Slippery slope

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2006
Slippery slope
3
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 4:04pm

OK this has been bugging me for a few weeks and I think I finally may be able to articulate it.

In general people are called on for having a weak argument when they use a slippery slop argument. So if I say that allowing abortion for severe genetic defects could lead to people rounding up and euthanasing all people with disabilities I would rightly be called on for using a slippery slope argument and told that one happening does not guarantee the other so the second part of my argument has no part in the debate.

Then the same people will say something like, if the gov will not allow me to have an purely elective abortion then they can stop me from having a medically needed one, or force me to have one, or force me to get pregnant etc.

Why is one generally accepted on this board while the other is called down? Is it because one has more inherent value than another or because one support the POV of more of our posters than the other?












Photobucket

I love my computer
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
In reply to: cl_misa101
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 4:31pm

"Why is one generally accepted on this board while the other is called down?"

Really, it depends on the person decrying it. A claim that it is a slippery slope is an argument, just like the content of the argument itself. If you believe that it is not a slippery slope, then you should show how it could realistically and logically come about.

A lot of our claims of what could happen could be classified as slippery slopes. That's why I rely on logic and expert testimony whenever possible to back me up. Let's look at your examples in particular:

"So if I say that allowing abortion for severe genetic defects could lead to people rounding up and euthanasing all people with disabilities"

I would say that this particular argument is a slippery slope. One is a right given to individual people; here, you are translating that right into a government-instituted practice. At this point, the government does not formally encourage people to abort in these instances. The slippery slope lies in the changing of an individual decision into a vast government bureaucracy. You could certainly argue that Hitler's T4 program started pretty much the same way, but you'd probably be hard-pressed to make the connection between Hitler's actions with the current inclinations of our respective governments. Hence the
slippery slope.

"if the gov will not allow me to have an purely elective abortion then they can stop me from having a medically needed one, or force me to have one, or force me to get pregnant etc."

For all except the last point (forcing you to get pregnant), this is not a slippery slope in my opinion. The reasoning for it (relying on the logic above) is that all of these involve the government's ability to decide what you can do with the present contents of your uterus. It's a fairly tenuous connection, I admit, which is why I don't tend to rely on this kind of argument very often. When I do, I usually do it within the context of saying that this was former SCJ Sandra Day O'Connor's reasoning in upholding RvW in 1980.

On the last point (forcing you to get pregnant), that is totally a slippery slope. You could try to make the connection that, à la Comstock laws, you could be denied access to adequate means of contraception, but even if the government legally sanctioned rape and banned all contraception, that does not mean they can force you to get pregnant. There are still too many radical and extremely unlikely steps in between, as shown by the last sentence.




Powered by CGISpy.com


Thanks

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
In reply to: cl_misa101
Mon, 04-14-2008 - 5:10pm

Honestly, I think it can be both. Ad-hominem arguments are pretty easy to deflate though, whereas it is fairly easy to logically argue that restrictions against elective abortion can pave the way for restrictions against necessary abortion.

Take the PBA ban, for instance. Here you have a medical procedure, which is often the safest option, removed from the list of options because people don't want women to be able to choose it electively. Never mind that women AREN'T choosing it electively - just the idea that they MIGHT was enough to get it banned.

I suppose some slippery slopes are more logical than others, lol!


Powered by CGISpy.com pregnancy
baby siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-06-2008
In reply to: cl_misa101
Tue, 04-15-2008 - 9:08am

both are feasible, because both extremes have happened...in some cases in the same country (Nazi Germany for instance did both extremes, including euthanasia of undesirables and forced gestation of others)..and China and Romania are two more recent examples of the extremes of abortion rights...in China forced abortions and in Romania forced gestation (birth control was illegal in any form, women had to be examined monthly to see if they were pregnant, if they were and miscarried they had to *prove* that they had not purposely caused the miscarriage, if they were not concieving they had to *prove* they were not doing anything to prevent conception)...


Which is the basis of my whole belief.