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Slippery Slope

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by

Jessica Christensen

on 27 September 2013

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Transcript of Slippery Slope

Slippery Slope:
A Literary Fallacy

Examples of Slippery Slope in The Crucible
Giles: I never said my wife were a witch, Mr. Hale; I only said she were reading books.

Hale: Mr. Corey, exactly what complaint were made on your wife?

Giles: That Bloody mongrel Walcott charge her. Y'see, he buy a pig of my wife four or five year ago, and the pig died soon after. So he come dancin' in for his money back. So my Martha, she says to him, "Walcott, if you haven't the wit to feed a pig properly, you'll not live too many," she says. Now he goes to court and claims that from that day to this he cannot keep a pig alive for more than four weeks because Martha bewitch them with her books.
When the arguer claims that a sort of chain reaction, usually ending in some dire consequence, will take place, but there's really not enough evidence for that assumption. The arguer asserts that if we take even one step onto the "slippery slope", we will end up sliding all the way to the bottom.
Definition
This means that a person blames a negative outcome on a certain event, when in actuality, the possibility that this outcome will occur directly as a consequence of the event is unreasonable.
Don't End Up in a Roadside Ditch
This video is a great example of the 'slippery slope' fallacy because it demonstrates how one can assume that a single action leads to irrational consequences.
Dilbert
This is a great example of slippery slope. Walcott assumes that Martha Corey is a witch because she reads books. Just because someone reads books doesn't mean that they are a witch.
He also incorrectly assumes that she is the reason he cannot keep a pig alive for more than four weeks, when that really might be his own fault.
Act II, pages 71-72
Another Example of a Slippery Slope in The Crucible
In act two Abigail Williams accuses Elizabeth Proctor of sending her spirit out to stab her. Abigail's evidence of this accusation is a poppet Mary Warren gave to Elizabeth that had a needle accidentally left stuck in the poppet for safe keeping. Since Elizabeth had possession of the poppet it is assumed she was doing voodoo on Abigail.
Explanation
This example shows how quickly people can jump to conclusions. The people in The Crucible assumed that since Elizabeth had possession of the poppet there was no other possible reason for that possession, besides voodoo.
Citations:
1. "DIRECTV Commercial - Don't Wake Up in a Roadside Ditch." YouTube. YouTube, 06 May 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.
2. "Reject Proposals." On Dilbert.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.
By: Jessica Christensen and Maddie Dismuke
The End!
Full transcript