I’m beginning to think that this concept isn’t taught anymore by parents or by our educational system. While it may be a somewhat fallacious argument, as a thought experiment The Slippery Slope can be a cautionary lesson too.
After all it does not necessarily follow that equal rights for everyone, will result in bestiality, paedophilia, and the end of civilization. Althought there are those who would construct that argument.
I personally believe that in the realm of ethics an exploration of the slippery slope is a worthwhile exercise.
I guess it’s a tough concept to explain with a society that’s as fractured by special interests and the perception of special rights as ours is today.
Back at the dawn of time, I was taught about the slippery slope by my parents. My education on the subject was via philosophical discussions that my parents had or that happened during holiday get togethers.
Even in middle and high school we had discussions about slippery slopes using some of the morally ambiguous characters from literature.
My Granddad and Dad would sometime get into these discussions and it was only after many years and some information from my brother that I realized these discussions were perhaps more pragmatic than philosophical.
The Slippery Slope is at it’s core a description of how behavior becomes accepted and in the worst case even respectable due to repeated justification, excuses, and rhetoric.
Our politicians are pretty good examples. Influence peddling, favors for political contributions and the like. All of which are technically illegal, but which are often ignored because someone somewhere else is doing something 100 times worse.
You find yourself on “The Slope” when you justify an action you know to be wrong, using any variety of excuses.
“Well, just this once.”, “It’s not going to hurt anybody“, “That sign only means if you’ve got bad tires.”, “They can afford it, they’re wealthy, or better off than me, or insured.“
This is how you end up with a dozen people falling into a partially frozen lake.
This is how you have people believing that any imposition of law or order must obviously be racism.
This is how you end up with people more and more easily justifying that some criminal behavior is ok.
‘My kids needed Christmas I only stole that Xbox for them”. ‘I wanted to watch the football game so I took the TV from that rich white fucks house, what does it matter? He’s insured.”
This is the slippery slope that so many of our leaders used to talk about.
Before you say “Yeah, well you’ve never had it rough”, trust me, I have.
I’ll tell you a story sometime if you’d like.
My point is that we’re on a very slippery slope in our country right now.
We’ve seen the abuses from organizations like the IRS,TSA, DHS, State Department, & FBI.
We’ve seen what happens when government agencies believe they’re immune to prosecution and above the law. “Operation Fast & Furious”, Brutal & cruel screening procedures at airports, the release of Illegal immigrants from DHS holding as an attempt to scare Congress into avoiding the sequester.
Even the assault on the 2nd amendment has elements of the slippery slope. “We’re going to just take this one kind of gun.“, “We’re only going to require this, or that, or this other thing, for you to exercise your 2nd amendment right. “
But the scope of the requirements and restrictions keeps evolving and growing.
NYC “We’re going to limit your drink sizes because you people can’t control yourselves and are too fat. You’ve become a health burden.”
Now we’re seeing the Mayor initiating legislation to hide cigarettes. Again this is billed as “For the good of the children, and the general health & wellbeing of the people“
NYC is, no matter how you cut it, abridging the rights of the people to engage in their personal pursuit of happiness.
These slides lead us toward a destination that is radically different from the Democracy that our forefathers envisioned.
Unfortunately, like the icy hill, once you’re over the edge you can’t stop until you hit bottom.
We as Americans, need to think about how much we have to lose, and how far we have to fall.
Call on your representatives to stop the abuses. Let Congress & The White House know that you The Citizens… (We The People) have had enough, and that Washington has your full and undivided attention.
Demand investigations, and that lawbreakers within our government be brought to justice No Matter Who the are.
If we don’t put a stop to it now, there may be no stopping it till we hit bottom.
Just a thought…