Last evening Eddie asked if I had read Leonard Pitts‘ piece in The Oklahoman. The day was too busy but I have had time this afternoon to take a look. Seems to me Pitts’ has found another way to point out the slippery slope fallacy. It reminds me of a conversation I overheard in October where two people were discussing what one may and may not do when talking about a particular subject. Language games played a central role in the conversation. One would object to the other by saying, "You cannot do that." To which the other would say, "I am doing that."
The consequence is not a no holds barred anarchy. Instead it appears to be a needed corrective to learn to trust people. I often wonder why we fear what is not yet a reality. I know the need to head off disaster but if disaster cannot be proved just how is it useful to exert the energy to head it off? I realize this line of thinking will break down eventually but have you ever wondered whether or no the issue is fear.
I visited a friend in the hospital earlier today. The surgery she endured yesterday removed a cancerous tumor in her colon. The "c" word strikes fear. After all she lost her husband to the same not long ago. Tests results await. News could be bad. But at present, a mental outlook that will help recovery is important. He, the Dr., suggested no need to worry about what we do not yet know. The intent is to trust. We who follow Jesus want to trust these we love to the good care of God. We also know the God in whom we live and move and have our being works in those who provide care and we need a good measure of trust in them. I cannot help but think that the thoughts of what might be could well be a slippery slope to despair. Research already indicates this in no way helps the patient.
One congressman swearing on the Koran does not a Muslim State make. In our denomination the slippery slope is run out more often than not. Step out too far, according to a given opinion, and soon you will be mired in whatever that opinion is fearful of.
Pitts’ uses the event as an illustration of intolerance. That may well work. For me, the issue points up the fallacy employed by those who either are either fearful and enjoy playing to others’ fears (fearmongers) or themselves fear a loss of power and so work the angles to ensure positions.
Seems like Rick Mitchell is right, the ice is coming sooner than later … be safe on those Okie roads.