Slippery slope

Worries about slippery slopes arise where acceptance of one thing seems to lead inevitably to the acceptance of further things that are agreed by all to be undesirable. For example, someone might say:

“If we permit euthanasia of people with advanced terminal cancer, pretty soon we will be permitting the killing of pensioners, the sick and the handicapped”.

The strength of this kind of argument often depends on the credibility of the claim that one thing will necessarily lead to another. It may be possible to show that ‘one thing’ need not lead to ‘another’ — i.e. that there is no slope, or that while there is a slope, it is not slippery!