tip off

Do I really need to explain to Andrew Bolt why the “slippery slope” is a logical fallacy?

Pure Poison IconSome hilarious dumb in Andrew’s attempted defence in today’s paper of the slippery slope fallacy, sorry, “argument”:

When you destroy the traditional idea of a marriage being between a man and a woman, in favour of a union between any two consenting adults, you invite more changes.

Why stop at two? Why not also “respect” unions between a man and two women? After all, polygamy has what same sex marriage does not – religious backing in Islam, and historical precedents everywhere.

Yes, this is the slippery slope argument that social “reformers” sneer at, arguing we’re smart enough to know how much is enough when we start smashing.

Yes, how else to determine where we draw the line? Which is why Bolt now apparently endorses a return to Biblical marriage, where a woman must marry her rapist and the man rules over her.

What, too far? No, sorry. When you destroy the traditional Biblical idea of a marriage being between a Christian man and a Christian woman, in favour of a union between any two consenting adults, you invite more changes. Why stop at atheists? Why not also “respect” polygamy?

Only the rules in the Bible stop us falling down the slippery slope. If you let women be treated as equal, then eventually people will marry dogs. Why not? You’ve already abandoned the Bible, the only clear rules on what should be acceptable. And why should non-Christians be allowed to marry? Recognising non-Christian marriage is the first step to allowing people to marry a tree. Once you’ve abandoned the Biblical principles, where do you stop?

It couldn’t possibly be the case that we can review each development on its merits, and if it has more problems than benefits draw the line there like rational human beings, could it?

Nope. As soon as we let women not marry their rapists, we brought the rest of this on ourselves. And if we don’t want to find ourselves being forced to marry a stockpile of Australian uranium on a dock in India, then we must return to those Biblical principles immediately. All non-Christian marriages must be annulled. All divorcees must be forced to go back to living with their first husband. All rapists must be let out of jail and forced to marry their victims.

Because if we don’t, then where will it end?

PS I did like Andrew’s little concession disguised as a dismissal – “The legal difference between those unions and marriages are usually small”. Oh, so you concede that there still are differences before the law in how they’re treated, do you?

But as long as they don’t affect you, you don’t mind?

PPS Seriously, I doubt Andrew Bolt is really stupid enough not to understand why the “slippery slope” is a fallacy. Which begs the question, then – why does he run an argument he knows is misleading and false? What is he trying to do? (Note: suggestions on what readers suspect he is trying to do will be tightly moderated, so as to protect our right to speak in these dark times.)

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  • 1
    returnedman
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    But what if I don’t WANT to marry my dog?!?

    Damn you, gay marriage – damn you to hell!

  • 2
    savemejeebus
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The argument is a logical fallacy because it presupposes that the law is constitutive of moral behaviour, not declarative of it. Of course, knowing that something is legal does in some respects loosen a person’s moral objections. But history has demonstrated time and time again that there needs to be a huge moral groundswell of support before unequal and immoral laws are challenged and changed. For example, the suffragettes of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Civil rights movement in the US, and the gay rights movement in Aus that led the Dunstan Labor Govt. abolishing anti gay laws in 1972.

    But, if you extend Andrew’s argument ad absurdum, then the problem in Aus started in 1972. By allowing gay men to have sex with impunity, then you risk them forming emotional attachments, then what next? They start demanding that their relationships be recognised by the state like any normal couple. How dare they. Soon incest and beastiality with animal/human hybrids populating the country taking all our jobs.

  • 3
    monkeywrench
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Here, doggie! *whistle*
    and just to hand from BoltNews: Capital Punishment Instated for Sin of Onanism.

  • 4
    The Pav
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    As you point out the Southbank Sook is clearly too intelligent and educated not to realise the fallacy of the article put out in his name.

    This then leads to what is his motive. We can speculate greatly or quite easily assume what the reason is however I would suggest that it is {EDIT}

    This begs the question as to why that august body does not enforce its own rules. After all the Court has made a finding of {EDIT}

    If journalists want to avoid inquiries and have some regard in the community why don’t they act to protect their code of ethics.

    Of course we won’t raise the issue of News Corps failure to enforce its own ethical standards will we?

  • 5
    John Many Johns
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    ...
    Why not also “respect” unions between a man and two women? ...

    Why is polygamy always couched in terms of a man with multiple wives? Why not in terms a a woman with multiple husbands?

  • 6
    RobJ
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Yes, how else to determine where we draw the line? Which is why Bolt now apparently endorses a return to Biblical marriage, where a woman must marry her rapist and the man rules over her.

    That’s right, in biblical marriage women are merely possessions, like cattle.

    As for the slippery slope, personally I don’t give a toss, as far as I’m concerned ANY two (three, four etc etc) consenting adults should be able to get married, have sex etc etc, as long as their consenting it’s their business and nobody else’s.

  • 7
    Brizben
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Another error would be to say “Muslims want _______.” Without a sane reference he is just putting words into peoples mouths they are not saying.

    I also think it is interesting how the conservative mind works. As soon as someone mentions gay marriage I think of legal protection (property, wills, etc). But as soon as someone mentions gay marriage to a conservative they start saying “oh no everyone will marry their goat!” ????? I guess the Liberals have their own unique problems endemic to their own party.

  • 8
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I read the article reeeeaaaaaallllly quickly and I found was that gay marriage will end in abortion and assisted suicide.

    Slippery slope indeed. Gay marriage should be allowed. Then they can be as miserable as the rest of! boom-tish

    I find it very difficult biting my tongue when church groups start arguing about gay marriage (as Bolt slipped in). I am not catholic and therefore cannot get married in a catholic church. Therefore I presume if a catholic church has an issue with a gay couple wanting to marry in a church they can do exactly the same??

    The question has to be asked to people who oppose the law “How does it affect them?” – how does having to people in a commited relationship who love each other being able to profess that love and commitment in the same way anyone else can affect them and their situation? it doesnt.

  • 9
    Russ44
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Polygamy is not only approved by muslims – Mormons see it as “traditional” too. Andrew seems to be arguing for the preservation of a “tradition”, so he surely sees other traditions as inviolable too – but how far back do we need to go to establish a tradition? And what of Tony Abbott trashing traditions in parliament such as pairing for absent members?

  • 10
    meverz
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Every jumps all over arguments such as these.

    Labelling an argument a “slippery slope” seems to be enough to discount it. I am yet to hear anyone argue why such an argument is invalid regarding Gay Marriage.

    The main argument in favour of Gay Marriage seems to be “If two people love each other, shouldn’t they be allowed the same rights, privileges and responsibilities, no matter their genders?”

    Assuming you agree with that, then on what basis can you limit it to only 2 people? Why can’t you logically extend the argument to marriages of 3 or more people? If two guys can get married, why not 2 guys and a women?

    I’m not against Gay Marriage, I just wish some of it’s more enthusiastic suporters would take to time to show / explain why the same arguments in favour of Gay Marriage can’t also be used to support the marriage of 3 or more people? I genuinely want to know what the difference is?

  • 11
    Aliar Jones
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I look forward to the first animal/human marriage!

    Seriously, this is nothing more than a tortured attempt to dog whistle..no doubt his herd of zombies are swallowing it hook and line..

  • 12
    Aliar Jones
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I just wish some of it’s more enthusiastic suporters would take to time to show / explain why the same arguments in favour of Gay Marriage can’t also be used to support the marriage of 3 or more people?

    There’s no call for it, why should we? you’re desperately grabbing at apples to make oranges which makes your claim to be a supporter not very believable and a lot more like concern trolling.

  • 13
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Labelling an argument a “slippery slope” seems to be enough to discount it. I am yet to hear anyone argue why such an argument is invalid regarding Gay Marriage.”

    Did you not read the post? It’s invalid in exactly the same way as it’s a poor argument against Christians getting married. Or marriage being recognised by the state at all. It’s stupid because if there is a slope we’re already on it, so we can stop after gay marriage just as easily as we can stop before gay marriage.

    And it’s stupid because it ignores that we can decide issues on their merits. It’s an attempt to attack gay marriage without finding an actual argument against it, instead relying on arguments against other things down the line. But if there are arguments against those other things, then that’s a reason why the line would stop before them, even after gay marriage is recognised by the law.

    The main argument in favour of Gay Marriage seems to be “If two people love each other, shouldn’t they be allowed the same rights, privileges and responsibilities, no matter their genders?”

    You’re leaving out the critical other half – unless there’s a good reason not to. Your side is yet to present us with any such good reason.

    Assuming you agree with that, then on what basis can you limit it to only 2 people? Why can’t you logically extend the argument to marriages of 3 or more people? If two guys can get married, why not 2 guys and a women?

    Because there might well be problems with any polygamy proposal that can’t be overcome. When somebody puts up a polygamy proposal for us to consider, we can judge it on its merits.

    There’ll either be some real problem with that polygamy proposal or there won’t. If there is, then what is it? If there isn’t, then what’s the problem with legalising it? You’re trying to fudge between the two, suggesting that there’s some problem with polygamy… but not specifying what it is, because if you did then it’d be a clear distinction between gay marriage and polygamy and you’d lose your attempt to conflate them.

    I’m not against Gay Marriage, I just wish some of it’s more enthusiastic suporters would take to time to show / explain why the same arguments in favour of Gay Marriage can’t also be used to support the marriage of 3 or more people? I genuinely want to know what the difference is?

    You’re welcome.

  • 14
    Brizben
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I genuinely want to know what the difference is?

    The difference is no one is marching in the street for polygamy. No one is lobbying for it.

    Why do you want polygamy?

  • 15
    Angra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Maybe we need an equivalent to Godwin’s Law on the Slippery Slope.

    Whenever a rightist resorts to a ‘slippery slope’ analogy they have by default lost the argument. As it is so obviously just a nonsense.

  • 16
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    “Labelling an argument a “slippery slope” seems to be enough to discount it. I am yet to hear anyone argue why such an argument is invalid regarding Gay Marriage.”

    Because it’s a bogus metaphor. There’s no slope, and it’s not slippery anyway. If allowing gay marriage leads to people shacking up with animals, then why doesn’t traditional marriage? Are we really standing so close to the edge of a precipice, overlooking the depths of moral turpitude, that we can’t recognise long-standing, monogamous relatinships, that everyone knows happen anyway, without society collapsing into a matrimonial free-for-all? Does anyone really believe that?

    In this case, the slippery slope claim is just an overreaching form of status-quo bias. People don’t like change because it’s not what they’ve got now. They can’t quite explain WHY they don’t like it (apart from not wanting other people being allowed to call something “they’ve” got the same thing as what “we’ve” got because that spoils what “we’ve” got … no, seriously, that is what this comes down to) so they dress it up a bit and claim that any change means certain disaster. Which is BS.

    There are obvious problems with polygamy, quite separate from the simple question of numbers. If those problems can be resolved, then I personally have no problem with it. But I don’t see that happening easily. And in a society where women have the same opportunities in life as men, and if they’re encouraged to pursue them, then I have my doubts about how much demand there’d be for traditional polygamy anyway.

    All of the other suggested comparisons are just stupid. There’s not much chance of people demanding to marry their dog, or their sister, or their dad, because nobody actually wants to.

  • 17
    Angra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    MoC – well said.

    Polygamy (or more precisely polygyny and polyandry) is a bit different though. The practice was historically sanctioned and even encouraged by most major religions. And in many countries is part of traditional culture – although often accompanied by the subjugation of women.

    Just how many wives did King Solomon have?

    Good ol’ St Augustine was against it though. And his arguments seem to be the foundation of the anti-gay-marriage lobby, despite being around 1,500 years old.

  • 18
    B.Tolputt
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The main argument in favour of Gay Marriage seems to be “If two people love each other, shouldn’t they be allowed the same rights, privileges and responsibilities, no matter their genders?”

    Not quite, you need to add the fact that “the only difference between allowing two people of opposite gender to marry and that of allowing two people of the same gender to marry is the gender of the respective partners”. The legal consequences of the change are simply that homosexual couples can now have the same rights as heterosexual couples. All the issues with two people marrying are either accepted as reasonable or have been solved.

    Assuming you agree with that, then on what basis can you limit it to only 2 people? Why can’t you logically extend the argument to marriages of 3 or more people? If two guys can get married, why not 2 guys and a women?

    Well, aside from the fact I don’t actually have an issue with fully consensual polygamous relationships, there are a variety of problems with polygamous relationships that are not shared with paired ones. In a coupled marriage, there is already a set of logical procedures in place in determining consent, who gets power of attorney in the case of crippling injury or death, determining who gets what in a divorce proceeding, etc – especially in cases where participants in the relationship disagree on the course of action they might want to take.

    It doesn’t matter what gender the other partner is in a coupled marriage – the standards are the same and can work without change for same-sex pairs as easily as opposite-gender pairs. Polygamous relationships add situations & issues that are endemic only to having more than partner in the relationship and solutions have not been presented to these obvious issues, let alone to issues that might not yet be obvious but would come out over time.

    When you have equitable & fair solutions to these problems, I’m sure the politically progressive people amongst us (including myself) will strongly consider it. Until then, equating the two situations simply because it involves marriage is fallacious &, in my opinion, intellectually dishonest.

  • 19
    davkel
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    John Many Johns @ 5.

    Polygamy specifically refers to a man having more than one wife. The term for a woman having more than one husband is ‘Polyandry’, I believe.

    I imagine this would constitute another slip on the slope, as it were…

  • 20
    Fran Barlow
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Meverz asked:

    I just wish some of it’s more enthusiastic suporters would take to time to show / explain why the same arguments in favour of Gay Marriage can’t also be used to support the marriage of 3 or more people? I genuinely want to know what the difference is?

    OK … the slippery slope fallacy. The first problem with slippery slope is as MOC outlined. The fallacy is petitio principii — it assumes what must be argued — in this case that there is a slope, and it is irresistable. One might with equal reason see a given development as “releasing a pressure valve”. Thus, people argue for one thing hoping that it will be a slippery slope but all it does is satisfy almost everyone leaving those wanting the slipery slope marginalised. In this case, those favouring polygamy and polyandry, instead of getting to play in the pool alongside those thinking marriage laws are unfair, find that most people aren’t interested in further reform.

    As a matter of practice though, when one speaks of human and legal rights, one speaks principally about the rights of individuals rather than groups. Even things that seem to be a right by group — e.g. the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex etc — is only manifest when an individual from the category is denied a right on that basis. Here, a right to group marriage would be a right extended by groups not individuals.

    Personally, I don’t find the idea of group marriage at all objectionable. Providing these pass the test of informed consent, I see no reason at all for restraining them, though I note that amongst the supporters of, for example, polygamy, there is almost no support for gay marriage. This may help put paid to the claim that there is some natural prefiguring relationship between advocacy of gay marriage and advocacy of polygamy. I note also that one may have any number of de facto partners as far as social security is concerned. The state already recognises group marriage, so if people are worried about slippery slopes, this is a far more plausible one.

    It seems to me that the issue of effective and informed consent is the sine qua non of marriage. Nothing is being varied here. As long as it’s not possible to be certain that someone or something is capable of and inclined to give such consent, marriage is not possible. No uttering of the slippery slope can alter that, whatever one thinks of marriage to non-human animals or farm equipment.

    Perhaps on the day animals and farm equipment make that claim we will have to reconsider, but not before.

  • 21
    Angra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    By the way – I believe King Solomon had 300 wives. My Papua New Guinea Pastor friend said “He must have come from Mt Hagan.”

  • 22
    fred p
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Assuming you agree with that, then on what basis can you limit it to only 2 people? Why can’t you logically extend the argument to marriages of 3 or more people? If two guys can get married, why not 2 guys and a women?

    If a man and a woman can get married, why not a man and two women? On what basis can you limit heterosexual marriage to only two people?

  • 23
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    mw @3

    “just to hand”

    nice.

  • 24
    Muddy Waters
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    The main logical argument against polygamy as I see it is that it would require a total rewrite of family law. What would happen when someone files for divorce in a polygamous marriage?

    Assuming one man and two wives….

    What happens to the division of property when one wife files for divorce, but the other couple remains together. How does this change when the husband files for divorce from both of his wives. What does it mean in terms of the custody of minors when the divorced mother wants to have custody. Does the couple that is still in tact have a better claim under family law?

    What happens when we extend it to multiple wives…

    Do all existing wives have to agree to a husband taking on additional wives, or can he marry anyone he wants. If there is a wife who objects to an additional wife, but the husband marries her anyway, what does this mean in terms of division of property in the event of divorce given that she never wanted the polygamous relationship in the first place.

    Let’s not even think about the legal complications if there is a two husband and two wives scenario…

    The legal complications around polygamy are too simply hard to resolve!

    Same sex marriage on the other hand… Legally there isn’t much of a difference between ‘traditional marriage’ and ‘same sex marriage’ in relation to property law, and family law (custody and guardianship of minors, etc).

    Property settlements in the event of divorce, family law matters regarding the custody of children, etc can all be handled under existing legislation with little if any amendments required.

    Here ends the slippery slope…

  • 25
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    “On what basis can you limit heterosexual marriage to only two people?”

    In the simplest case, “equity”.

    Show me a system of polygamy that preserves everybody’s interests and I’m fine with it.

  • 26
    Angra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    fred p – no real basis, except practicality and human rights.

    Why do you think “limit(ing) heterosexual marriage to only two people” is such a big deal?

    Note there is a long standing distinction between law and morality.

    I brelieve some blokes with better credentials than you of I have been debating this for some years.

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/law-phil/

    Check Bentham, Austin, Hart, Dworkin and even Aquinas.

  • 27
    Angra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    PS – I’ve met Jeremy Bentham.

    He’s stuffed and in a glass case at the entrance to University College, London.

    Didn’t have a lot to say.

  • 28
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Bolt knows how awful his argument is. But he’s making the argument to a readership of frightened conservatives, so what better way to turn them against a logical progression like gay marriage than to tell them it will result in polygamy and death camps?

  • 29
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps one of our right-wing trolls can explain to me how they are pro-small government and anti-nanny state, yet expect that the government should tell people who they can or can’t marry?

  • 30
    meverz
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jeremy,

    I agree with most of what you said in your follow up post. Thanks for clarifying things for me.

    I think most people have misjudged my position. I am a Christian (Anglican Minister in fact). I do think ANY sex outside of the marriage relationship is wrong. HOWEVER, I think on the basis of fairness, and protection, I would probably agree with gay marriage being legalised. We have eliminated most of the other discriminations on the basis of sexual orientation, so we should do the right thing and eliminate all of them. I would be happier if it wasn’t called “marriage” but that is really just semantics.

    My point was just wanting people to engage honestly with the concept that the same arguments used in support of gay marriage can also be used in support of polygamy. A few people have recognised that reality, and stated their (qualified) support, it’s great to see people willing to follow the idea to it’s logical conclusion.

    I wasn’t meaning to use the “threat” of polygamy as a reason against gay marriage, just to explore whether people had actually thought the issue through, and it seems a number have. I feel much the same way about marriage to multiple partners as I do gay marriage, it makes very little difference to me personally one way or the other, just please don’t try and force me to preside over it in my church.

    I now have a much better understanding of what it is about the slippery slope argument that promotes such hostility in supporters of gay marriage. Thank you to all who responded for helping me understand that.

    There was one point I did disagree with you on Jeremy, I don’t think at any point marriage has been limited to only between two Christian people. The institution of marriage clearly pre dates the time of Christ, and most probably even pre dates Abraham (~2,000 BC).

    The Bible recognises marriages between non believers all they way through, and even counsels those believers who are married to a non-believer to stay married. So I’m not sure what mythical past where only marriages between believers has been recognised you are accusing believers of longing to return to?

    PS. Angra, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 Concubines, in clear disobedience to God’s word. And nothing good came from it.

  • 31
    Bob Hopeful
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    The ‘slippery slope’ argument has been used by reactionaries in attempts to ossify a wide range of rights-based reforms, including the abolition of slavery, voting rights for women and the eight-hour working day. We now accept these things as the norm and lo and behold, society hasn’t crumbled around our ears.

    Frankly I find it a little absurd that this debate needs to be had in the first place. Marriage is essentially two things: a social contract between consenting individuals, which is then ratified according to a legal construct defined by the state. The anti-gay marriage lobby concedes the first but is hell-bent on denying the second. What is most amusing is that most of them have obviously predicated their attitude on religious values, yet they lack the nerve to actually say this. As a consequence they come out with baloney sky-will-fall theories, like Bolt above.

  • 32
    Fran Barlow
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    And further on the slippery slope

    We might note for example that for much of human history slavery was ubiquitous and legal. People siezed by force could be bought and sold. Children could be married off not only without their consent but expressly against it. Children could be forced to perform heavy and dangerous labour. R@cism was a respectable doctrine for most of human history.

    In societies considered modern and civilised (and even in some that aren’t), these things have been repudiated. Children are not allowed to be married off or sold for industrial labour or s#xual service. It happens of course, but it is not recognised by law. Polygamy, once accepted as normal has been abandoned in most modern countries yet marriage survives.

    The slippery slope, if there is one, has been in the direction of more equality and human dignity rather than in the other direction. People expressly rejected traditional marriage precisely because it offended the principles of equality. People started rejecting dealing with children as commodities or articles of trade once they accepted that trading in humans was unacceptable and that people were entitled to dignity and basic human rights. That’s why the persistence of heteros#xual marriage amongst adults doesn’t lead to marriage between opposite s#x adults and minors. Society has already left such usages behind, and for good reasons.

    So how can one know when a slippery slope really applies? One must be able to isolate and characterise the cultural drivers of a particular development — examining the rationale for the development, its ethical precursors and the constituency for it. One can’t just pick some superficial element in a development and say that it must lead to some ostensibly unappealing consequence. people can make the choice this but not that We allow alcohol but condemn public drunkenness and drink driving. We allow consensual s#x but not non-consensual s#x. We allow advertising but restrict promotion of tobacco. We allow gambling, but say that minors should not be allowed to be involved and are moving, in the case of p*ker machines, to better define consent.

    Assertions of the slippery slope as an analytic tool dispense with examination of culture or context in favour of arbitrary and typically self-serving projection. They allow for no nuance in human choice and taken at face value reduce humans to the playthings of metaphysics rather than as being acquiring insight into their individual and collective needs and wants. The slippery slope represents stupidity with knobs on, because even when it seems to correlate with an actual line of development, it is not a driver of the development but a mere description of what is taking place in human affairs. One might with equal soundness describe the rush of air from passing traffic hitting the face of a pedestrian on the pavement as the driver of more traffic.

  • 33
    calyptorhynchus
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    It isn’t a slippery slope, it’s more like a precipitous mountain up which progressives have to drag the proposal. To imagine they could reach the next ledge is unthinkable.

  • 34
    David McRae
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    What a meme – plain packeting or leads to … BOTTOM INSPECTORS (Viz comics :p) where statists appointed police can demand from anyone a bottom inspection that must meet minimum standards or be instantly punished for heinous crimes such as “men in the rigging”

    if your bottom is pimpled
    or flabby and dimpled
    if your cleft hair is not winnet free
    if inadequate wiping
    has caused gusset striping
    then your bottom belongs to me

    The Bottom Inspectors is the best parody of the slippery slope fallacy I know of :)

  • 35
    David McRae
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    oops, sorry, above was meant to read “plain packeting or [any perceived nanny-ism] leads to” but I had the [ as html brackets – not thinking :)

  • 36
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see how long this response stays up:

    Andrew I totally agree on the issue of courts!
    Currently the Jewish Community has Rabbinical Courts called Beth Din to administer divorce and family law in Australia.
    Where is the ideal of one law for all?

    Outraged of Caulfield (Reply)
    Mon 05 Dec 11 (08:25am)

    Just curious. It’s stupid, as stupid as any other (and possibly a troll, for that reason). But it’s a flavor of stupid that rarely gets past the censors over there.

  • 37
    peter de mambla
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    *sigh*

    That’s the problem with these ethical arguments: they can never be solved. For in a roomful of arbitrary, subjective opinions, which one’s the right one?

    It can’t be determined. So why act like it can?

    Let’s spend our time on more productive issues — things that can objectively be determined. What’s the capital of Australia, for example? That can be easily solved to everyone’s satisfaction without the need for shouting slogans about morality at each other.

    *sigh*

  • 38
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    “What’s the capital of Australia, for example? That can be easily solved to everyone’s satisfaction”

    Do you mean where it is? Or where it should be?

    I think you’ll find the latter was never QUITE solved to “everybody’s” satisfaction :-)

  • 39
    Bob Hopeful
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s not about ethics, peter de mambla, it’s a question of rights.
    Ethical dilemmas only arise when someone claims a right that either impinges on someone else’s rights or undermines the social good. There are as yet no compelling arguments that gay marriage does either.

  • 40
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    A keeper:

    I’ve had it up to here with the GLBT community wanting to transfer their guilt and insecurity to the rest of us.

    First they invent the word ‘homophobia’. Well it’s not ‘fear of men’ that I feel, it’s simply disgust and nausea.

    And it’s not that if GLBT’s need relationships, as we all do, that they should be banned. What’s offensive is that so-called same-sex ‘marriage’ tears at the foundation of society – the union of a man and a woman to raise children in a nuclear family. But normal basic families must not be made to feel guilty about the genetic imperfections and sexual inclinations of a small minority.

    Tolerance is important, but that doesn’t mean we have to have GLBT preferences and their need for society’s recognition and approval rammed down our throats.

    As a married practising heterosexual, I’m out, proud and prepared to defend my principles to the hilt, without guilt or shame.

    TenezLeDroit of Nelly Bay (Reply)
    Mon 05 Dec 11 (08:58am)

  • 41
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    *blink*

    Gay marriage is about the abolition of marriage. It has nothing to do with marriage equality.

    Does anyone really believe the gay movement will stop at gay marriage? Of course not. The next stop will be holding up gay relationships as the ideal.

    Gay sexual activities will be taught routinely in school to your children and what is a serious sexual disorder will be normalised in the eyes of students whilst the reproductive aspects of heterosexuality will be belittled and demeaned.

    Our social dichotomy is widening. Anyone who thinks the culture wars are over is mistaken. They are about to step up to a new level which will inevitably end in violence.

    Philip (Reply)
    Mon 05 Dec 11 (10:19am)

  • 42
    Fran Barlow
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Meverz said:

    I feel much the same way about marriage to multiple partners as I do gay marriage, it makes very little difference to me personally one way or the other, just please don’t try and force me to preside over it in my church.

    Nothing in the proposals being made on same sex marriages would bind any faith community to accept them. That’s one of the consequences of the seapration of church and state. There are churches that refuse marriage between whites and non-whites and they are perfectly free to continue that policy too as this is purely a private matter, whatever else the rest of us would make of it. As I understand it, at least some catholic churches refuse marriage to divorced people. Again, that’s their call.

    I should add that in my view, the ideal situation would be for the state to simply declare a complete lack of interest in “marriage”, offer partnership contracts in template form to everyone wanting to go through with it and allow people to make their own arrangements about celebrating it. marriage would then be a church-like thing, and partnership registration a state-like thing, with enforceable terms. For the life of me I can’t begin to imagine why non-gay people want to get married, unless they are religious. If it’s a religious thing — why do you need the state?

    I accept though that for as long as gay people want to have marriages recognised by the state, there’s no good reason not to respect their wishes. If it means something important to them then I can see no good reason for standing in their way. Have at it I say.

  • 43
    returnedman
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Pfft – “Slippery slope”! Gay marriage!!! **titter**

  • 44
    Aliar Jones
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Tolerance is important, but that doesn’t mean we have to have GLBT preferences and their need for society’s recognition and approval rammed down our throats.

    What is it with conservatives and projecting everything in terms of violence and orifices?…let’s not even bother with the bizzare lack of self awareness required to claim that something that affects you not one tiny bit means you’re being violated!

    We had almost a decade of conservative rule and I can scarcely remember a single dissenting voice claiming that the policies of John Howard were ‘forced’ up our bums or down our throats…even if it felt that way most of the time.

  • 45
    David McRae
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Here’s another delightful comment
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_once_they_start_at_same_sex_marriage_where_will_they_stop/5382171/#5382171

    Peter of Sydney replied to Acushla
    Mon 05 Dec 11 (08:36am)

    So true. George Orwell strikes again. “Memory holes” to rewrite history and redefine what’s normal are spreading. Soon, we will redefine rape to mean a “temporary relationship”.

  • 46
    Fran Barlow
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Lovely one MOC, including the fabulous Nile-reminisicent homos#xual lifestyle rammed down our throats. ‘Ram’ works especially well given the other meaning of the word. That’s always been one of my favourites.

    I like it that the self-confessed righty says (s)he’s only a practising heteros#xual. Perhaps he or she should withhold judgement until becoming expert.

    Etymological note:

    Apparently, the first usage of the term homophobia was in this text: Weinberg, G (1972) Society and the Healthy Homos#xual Apparently, Weinberg’s s#xual orientation was heteros#xual and he was a Clinical Psychologist. Apparently he’d begun using the term as early as 1966. Apparently, he prevailed on a p*rnographer-acquaintance, Al Goldstein, to start using the term in magazines he published. One of his students, Ken Smith, used the term in a published paper in 1971 to describe aversion to homos#xuality. (Homophobia: a tentative personality profile)

  • 47
    David McRae
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    meverz@30 said “The Bible recognises marriages between non believers all they way through”

    I have no idea what your bibles say on marriage – although I have seen a bit from Leviticus on how to treat homosexuals that I disagree with.

    But I do know how my grandmother and many from her generation hated Catholics, oh with a passion, and viewed marriage to a Catholic as nothing less than the worst thing possible. Good story though, in her 70s, after much working on by daughter and grandsons, she eventually lost the hate scam that is religion.

  • 48
    returnedman
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Fran I love your creative little euphemistic character swappings. Keep it up!

  • 49
    John Many Johns
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    davkel @ 19

    Polygamy specifically refers to a man having more than one wife. The term for a woman having more than one husband is ‘Polyandry’, I believe.

    I imagine this would constitute another slip on the slope, as it were…

    Well I guess that explains that then, doesn’t it?

  • 50
    Skiman
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Interested to see if this comment gets through the net (he’s said in the last few days that it’s okay to say that people should be shot):

    For all the screams against the “slippery slope” argument, I have yet to hear same-sex marriage advocates give a cogent reason why marriage – in their opinion – may be between any two consenting adults of any sex, but not between three.

    I suspect that’s because you are not seeking out reasons nor listening to them when proferred, but that’s as maybe…

    Here’s a cogent reason. The reason why people are advocating same-sex marriage between (any) two (consenting) adults is equality. There’s a symmetry between two party relationships which permits equality to be a possible outcome. There is no such symmetry in tripartite arrangements.

    As for the slippery slope arguments, let me express my intellectual disgust for them thus: when people disagree with my views, I expect them to tell me why they disagree with the views that I have actually expressed, not with the ones they say I might in future. Or, to paraphrase, Andrew Bolt thinks that {EDIT} (which, in my opinion, is the slippery slope of his current journalism direction). It’s rubbish, isn’t it?

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