The Dandelion Group

Technique of the week

Slippery slopes

Be careful. Reading this blog post will teach you elements of dark rhetoric, which increases the chance of you becoming an evil manipulator and destroying the human race or even the planet. You have been warned.

Faulty reasoning is spurned but not always unsuccessful. Before we explain how to defend yourself, we zoom in on a common fallacy: slippery slopes. You have met this technique in politics as a form to dramatise the consequences of a proposed law (e.g. If we let refugees work, our unemployment will rise and our society will collapse). Whilst such exaggerations often carry a grain of truth, their main aim is to throw the other side off guard.

How to provoke with a slippery slope

  1. Pick a proposal from your partner or a draft law.
    (e.g. winter holidays in the Swiss alps)

  2. Spend five minutes on writing down 15 negative consequences.
    (e.g. cold weather, get lost, get eaten by a wild animal, snow allergy)

  3. Group them in three categories: realistic, possible but unlikely, and utopian.

  4. Pick an unlikely or utopian one, heckle and observe whether the other person loses control.
    (e.g. Why would you like getting eaten by a wild animal?! What about people allergic to snow?!)

Exercise

Something is rotten in the state of California. Two school districts banned Little Red Riding Hood because the girl carried a bottle of wine in its basket. Come up with reasons to ban three other fairy tales with the help of slippery slopes.

Learn the techniques. Boost your confidence. Make your point.
Click
here and jump the curve.

Ben Wilhelm