Falacia de la pendiente resbaladiza

A slippery slope fallacy occurs when someone claims that a position or decision will lead to a series of unintended negative consequences. These negative consequences are often bad and/or increasingly outlandish. The person using the slippery slope fallacy takes these consequences as a certainty and does not analyze the logic of their own position. A slippery slope fallacy can be used as a deflection to avoid discussing the merits of a position, shifting the field of debate.

Often, a slippery slope fallacy is used in conjunction with an appeal to fear.

In our comic below, you’ll see how a slippery slope fallacy can be used to muddy the waters around a policy proposal.

A comic about the slippery slope fallacy.

Transcripción de imágenes
Panel One:
Title Card: Doctor Fallacy tries to send Captain Logic down… A Slippery Slope!

Panel Two:
Scene: A city at the turn of the century. A suffragette stands atop a soapbox on a street corner. Two gentlemen – one with a beard, the other with a monocle – observe her.
Caption: The year 1898.
Suffragette: Give women the vote!

Panel Three:
Suffragette: Give women the vote!
Bearded Gent: I say, seems a reasonable proposal.
Monocled Gent: Are you mad!?

Panel Four:
Doctor Fallacy (a devious talking owl) appears in a hypnotic cloud as the Monocled Gent begins to fantasize.
Monocled Gent: Can you imagine the ghastly possibilities…?
Doctor Fallacy: Let us do so, my good man.

Panel Five:
The Monocled Gent imagines himself in his living room, where the Suffragette is ordering him around. He stares confusedly at the spatula he’s holding.
Monocled Gent (narrating): They shall abandon their household duties…
Suffragette: To the kitchen with you, sir!
Monocled Gent (in fantasy): What is this contraption?

Panel Six:
In another fantasy, the Suffragette stands in front of the White House, welcoming in a pony.
Monocled Gent (narrating): They shall elect the most foolish of candidates…
Suffragette: Congratulations to President Peregrine!

Panel Seven:
Finally, the Monocled Gent imagines himself being pursued across a snowy field by the Suffragette. She’s now dressed like a soldier and wields a nightstick.
Monocled Gent (narrating): They will surely enact the most dreadful laws…
Suffragette: Halt! You’re under arrest for being too rich and handsome!
Captain Logic (a heroic talking owl) appears.
Captain Logic: Beware the ice! Your argument is a slippery slope!

Panel Eight:
Back in reality, Captain Logic confronts the Monocled Gent. He shrieks at the sight of a talking owl.
Captain Logic: You reject an idea because of a series of imagined unintended consequences? Illogical, sir!

Panel Nine:
The Monocled Gent has fainted. As his friend and the Suffragette look on with concern, Captain Logic and Doctor Fallacy have perched on a nearby windowsill.
Doctor Fallacy: We should stop time traveling.
Captain Logic: Agreed.

For a screen reader compatible slideshow version of the comic, please click through the below images:

Imagine if one of our characters were to directly engage with the Monocled Gentleman’s slippery slope fallacy. He implies that, if given the right to vote, women might try to elect a pony as president. A ridiculous statement like that can be used as bait. Suddenly, a person who was originally arguing that women should have the right to vote might find themselves arguing that no, women would not vote ponies into office. All of this sounds very silly, but it illustrates how a slippery slope fallacy can be used to shift the field of debate.

Of course, this is not to say that potential consequences of a decision should not be evaluated during a discussion. But these potentialities need to each be evaluated for their own logical soundness, and they should not be used to avoid engaging with the initial argument. A chain of events based on solid reasoning will help you avoid falling down the slippery slope.

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