By Henry B.
Very often, when pro-life or traditional marriage activists are arguing for their respective points, they will argue something along the lines of : "If we allow X, than there is no reason for forbidding Y. And so Y will happen."
Usually, these arguments are met by a triumphant cry of: "Slippery Slope! Fallacy!"
However, when arguing like this, pro-choicers are actually committing a far subtler fallacy. This may be termed as the Fallacy fallacy. (Not a typo.)
They make the assumption that a fallacy cannot be true. As an example of how a fallacy can be true, look at the Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy. This fallacy is when someone assumes things that happened in rapid succession are related. If I go out for a picnic and it rains, I cannot assume that my going for a picnic caused it to rain.
However, just because a fallacy tells us something is true does not make that something false. If I pet my dog and he starts wagging his tail, it is extremely reasonable to assume that the petting caused the wagging. It hasn't been logically proved, but few would argue it had other causes.
Now, to return to the slippery slope fallacy. Many conservatives argue that allowing some abortion will lead to ever more abortion, ever more infanticide, and many other atrocities. The pro-choicers are correct to assert that this is a fallacy, but they are incorrect to simply leave it there. Yes, it is not a logically guaranteed thing that that Abortion will lead to infanticide and so on, but it is very, very probable. Because doing these things strips away the moral protections guarding things even the most modern ethicist finds reprehensible, it practically guarantees those things will occur in the future.
In conclusion, yes, the Slippery slope is a fallacy, but it is a fallacy that is so often correct that it cannot be dismissed by simply calling it a fallacy.
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