…because the slope is steep. If you don’t finish this tonight everything will fall apart. If you call him it is definitely over. If you let them play video games they will all become desensitized to violence and we’ll end up in a post-apocalyptic scenario. “If-then” narrative is one of the favorite logical fallacies that demagoguery of fear and intimidation likes to use to get its way and mold the opinions of others, gain followers, sell things, control by enticing emotional responses and drive behavior dependent on those emotions.

It may be something macro like its applications in a totalitarian regimes and institutions, it may be for marketing purposes to drive sales or in personal relationships to make you codependent, discredit you or manipulate the outcome. Ranging from everything like “if you’re not with us you’re against us and deserve to be punished for it”, over the “if you buy any other tooth paste your teeth will fall out” to “If you don’t do this for me I will leave you” – it is quite an effective tactic that basically plays on the emotional responses so intensely primal as fear. Although the “slippery slope” logical fallacy can be used in a positive context as delusional attribution of importance in the large majority of cases it is a manipulative tool and the chances are you’ve used it yourself in arguments when you didn’t have the energy to take the concrete matter and all its whole context into consideration, so it was easier to demolish someone’s argument by rolling down the hill of a slope until you roll so far that you depict the argument of another as a ridiculous and/or dangerous thing, living completely in the most absurd landscape imaginable, and as one inevitably leading to disaster. It takes one small usually not that significant step and blows its consequences out of proportion, making an argument that this action a direct route to it and that the outcome it speaks of is inevitable. The slippery slope goes directly from A to Z ignoring al of the other letters of the alphabet, going hardcore into straight catastrophizing and dismissing all of the possible solutions along the way.

There really are only a handful of situations in which the final result is only dependent on single action or inaction. Most of it is a product of layered interconnectivity of infinite number of factors over time. So the next time you are being convinced you “can’t live without” this or that, are backed into a corner by someone on the other side of the argument slipping way too far downhill or feel your own need to slip and slide, pull out on your most non-slippery shoes, plant your feet firmly at the ground, grab a rock and anchor yourself in a productive, wise, common sense ground that understands, sees, listens and responds intelligently.