We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Slippery Slope Fallacy?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A slippery slope fallacy is an argument in which someone presents a statement that one act or event must eventually lead to another, without proof to support this series of events. The exact nature of such an argument can consist of nothing more than the beginning and ending situations, with few intermediary events. More elaborate slippery slopes, however, often include numerous steps that are going to occur to create the transition from beginning to end, with no evidence to support the likelihood of these events. A slippery slope fallacy can also occur as a result of someone using two states that have a difference between them, which is hard to define, to argue that one state does not exist.

One of the most common ways in which this fallacy can occur is through the process of someone creating causality where none exists. This is often seen coming from political figures, who frequently create a slippery slope fallacy in their arguments. Someone arguing in favor of keeping a drug illegal, for example, might argue that “If we legalize this one drug, then we will legalize another, and another, until nothing is prohibited and society crumbles.” The problem with this argument, however, is that there is no proof that the first event will lead to the next, nor to the final result in the argument.

These different consequences are typically the best way for someone to attack the fallacy. The more links someone uses within such an argument, between the beginning event and the end, the easier it often is for someone to attack these links. An argument’s weakness can also be found in how well each of these links relate to each other and are relevant to the overall argument. Someone wishing to attack the fallacy should look at how many events are necessary to possibly move from the beginning to the end of the slope, and point out weak connections between each link.

A slippery slope fallacy can also be created in a second way, based on connections between two ideas. Someone can argue that because one thing is similar to another thing, in a way that is difficult to clearly define, then one of those two things does not truly exist. For example, the distinction between beneficial and harmful plants found in nature can be difficult to perfectly define without exception. Someone may construct a slippery slope fallacy based on this fact, by asserting that this weak distinction means that all plants found in nature can be harmful.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.