from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A tricky precarious situation, especially one that leads gradually but inexorably to disaster: "[Without] a clear boundary to confer personhood on a human being ... we approach a slippery slope that ends in the disposal of inconvenient people” ( Steven Pinker).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A chain of events that, once initiated, cannot be halted; especially one in which the final outcome is undesirable or precarious.
- n. An argument that follows a chain of events or causes and effects to some conclusion.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
A recent study comparing thirty-four heroin addicts in a treatment program with fifty-nine non-drug-using controls found that addicts were significantly higher on our scales of present hedonism and fatalism, and significantly lower in future orientation.18 But how can time perspective end up oiling the slippery slope to drug addiction?
The economist Herbert Heaton wrote in 1928 that Canadian “cards and bills alike found themselves on the steep slippery slope of war finance.”
The argument against creative capitalism has to be a more complicated oneperhaps an argument about how changing corporate goals will lead to a slippery slope or undermine the legitimacy of capitalism.
Herman Melville in his 1876 Clarel: “The steeds withstand the slippery slope / While yet their outflung fore-feet grope.”
Young Earth Creationists argue that accepting anything other than acts of special divine creation during the six twenty-four-hour days of Genesis 1 would put the believer on a slippery slope toward a counterfeit faith.
Logicians are very cautious about slippery slope arguments because it is impossible to know beforehand, with absolute deductive certainty, that an “if-then” statement is true.