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Slippery slope

The slippery slope argument is also known as the thin end of the wedge or the camel's nose. The argument holds that once an exception is made to some socially accepted rule, there will be nothing holding back further exceptions to that rule.

The slippery slope argument is usually used as a commentary on social change, not as a point of logic. It is sometimes known as the slippery slope fallacy because it cannot be made to make logical implications.

Contemporary examples of the slippery slope argument in use:

  • If we allow women to abort their unborn children, then soon no life will be held sacred.
  • If we allow guns to be registered, then gun confiscation will follow.
  • Use of 'soft' drugs such as cannabis will inevitably lead to addiction to 'harder' drugs such as heroin.

These arguments are often based on a perception of momentum in the change of social mores.

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