Say — y’all know what “the slippery slope” is, right?
It’s that annoying logical fallacy that generations of politicians, religious leaders, would-be sages and pop culture gurus have used to goad you into doing or thinking things you’d never normally accept.
Things that no sane person would accept, given a bit of time for reflection. Things that bind politics, ego and emotion in your mind to serve somebody else’s purpose, somebody else’s morality (or lack thereof).
And you fall for it.
You’ve slid on your ass down the slippery slope so often that you’ve probably got callouses on your backside. And that’s perfectly understandable.
After all, the slippery slope is a deliberate but phony attack on your ego-beliefs and your social, political, religious and economic fears. These fears are hot-button points for you — so much so that your emotions and your mouth will jump directly into high gear while your brain is busy looking for a cup of coffee.
Don’t believe us?
Well, okay then. Let’s try a few examples, shall we?
- If we don’t tighten the laws pertaining to firearm ownership, soon every grade-school kid in the country will be showing up for class with a gun in his or her lunchbox or orchestrating a mass shooting somewhere.
- If we let the liberals limit our right to bear arms, then the next thing you know, they and their leftist government will be trampling all our constitutional rights and running our lives even more than they do now.
- If we don’t strictly curtail freedom of choice with respect to abortion, we’ll soon be a nation of child-murderers who think abortion is an acceptable form of birth control.
- If we allow a fanatic religious minority to determine a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, our national social policies will quickly be as biased and evil as those of the radical religious regimes we currently describe as enemies of our country.
- If we don’t do something to make the rich the pay for a greater portion of our country’s social costs, soon our system will go broke and we won’t be able to pay for social benefits for anyone. Tax them to the max!
If we don’t something to encourage business and the wealthy to reinvest in the economy, soon we’ll be a nation of either the unemployed, or the working poor.
- Our way is the one truth path to God/heaven/spiritual bliss. You can’t be saved and will be damned unless you’re doing things our way spiritually. If you stray from our path, you’re doomed to misery, sadness, torment and sin right here and right now. If you listen to anyone who tells you otherwise, you’ll be damned even faster, and you have no recourse or alternative.
- If we don’t bring our brand of values back into the daily lives of everyone in our country, then everything will get worse in our society.
- If we don’t prevent those who want to control our beliefs and values from pushing their views on us and violating our rights, then everything will get worse in our society.
Okay, we can’t offer any more examples.
There are thousands available in almost every area of public life — just committing them to text kind of makes us want to barf.
Obviously, we’ve cleaned up much of the language that’s normally associated with statements like these. Especially during political campaigns, you’re bombarded with endless and dire warnings about what catastrophes will instantly befall if you’re stupid enough to vote for the wrong person or party, or you pick the wrong side of a specific issue.
Take a good look at these statements; they have some things in common.
They’re all “If…then” propositions. Each presupposes a course of action as the “if” part of the proposition that is extreme, and that is likely based on hearsay, personal belief and unsubstantiated opinion. Each effectively puts words and ideas into the mouths of those who are assumed to take an opposing position.
Each assumes a conclusion with strong ego-based emotional, spiritual or political components. Each does so in a way that’s designed to provoke the strongest possible response from those who dislike the proposed conclusion. Each conclusion is an “ultimate result” that will allegedly flow quickly (“soon”) from your failure to take the action or support the view embodied in the “if” part of the statement.
This sort of thing targets the ego-beliefs you hold closest to you, the ones that you’ve tied to your identity in some way. It relies on your willingness to ignore logic, basic fairness, the law of the land as it’s actually written, and the rights of others, just so long as your views and beliefs win the day. Slippery slope arguments are intended to get you to act in such away that you ensure the submission of those whose views differ from your own.
Not one of the stated outcomes is logical. Not one can be shown logically to flow from the “if” propositions, which themselves make all kinds of assumptions about what opponents are really thinking or feeling. They also assume an alleged “factual” basis that you’re not really given a chance to scrutinize closely.
Those who offer you such statements in their attempt to gain your support (or at least cut off your support for the other guy) are playing directly to your ego and the strength of your beliefs and affiliations. That’s REALLY dirty, and REALLY common.
This is — in short — a bullshit way of doing things in a community.
It’s polluted the democratic process in western nations beyond recovery.
If you don’t think we’re right about that, just listen to the Canadian or American news on your local station (but not Fox, as that’s not news — it’s propaganda, and not very entertaining propaganda at that). Listen to current pronouncements by political candidates about what miracles will follow upon their election, what validation will come from the overlap between their beliefs and yours, and what catastrophes will befall if you listen to those on the other side of the political spectrum.
What’s happened to the common welfare, the sense of community despite disagreement that one is supposed to find in healthy democratic communities, from the civic to the national? Where is the sense of common purpose and the acknowledgement of shared beliefs? These are supposed to be infinitely more important than our sense of the differences between us.
We’ve become more interested in making political or social or moral or spiritual points against opponents than in living together peacefully, and all at the expense of common sense and the common good.
It’s sad, isn’t it?
In our opinion, there’s a reckoning coming. People are starting to wake up from a long sleep, and they’re starting to challenge conventional thinking. They’re becoming less willing to sacrifice their own beliefs and needs on the altar of political expediency, group ego, and group validation. They’re starting to rediscover their own true natures and identities — and they’re not going to be tolerant for too much longer of the faulty logic of liberal and conservative politicians, economic theorists, and religious or spiritual leaders who see the world only as “us and them.”
The common welfare and a sense of community of purpose will become priorities again, if people can stop thinking about beating each other long enough to think about going back to helping each other.
And as you know, we believe the key to it all is the revolution of one — that which occurs inside you personally when you remake your inner dialogue, rediscover your true sense of self, and identify those aspects of your life and being that should be paramount. Not for others, but for yourself.
Good. It’s about time. We share more with each other than you may realize.
Our best to you, always,
David & Kathryn