If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Slippery Slope Arguments and Miracles
If you accept supernatural beliefs, and if you have good
evidence in favour of them, that makes you and those influenced by you, accept
further supernatural beliefs on less evidence if they seem to fit your beliefs.
For example, if you think water from a shrine has cured a person's cancer, then
it is easier for you to believe other people who come along and claim it cured
And if you really believe that the Virgin Mary appeared
at Lourdes, then you have no reason to reject the testimony of Hindus who say
they had a vision of their false God Krishna and that he wants them to abstain
from all food for a week. There is nowhere to draw the line.
It is said that we ought to reject slippery slope
arguments such as that. Slippery slope arguments are useful a lot of the time.
But not always. We can live without belief in the supernatural. Its therefore an
unnecessary belief. Thus if the slippery slope arguments give us anything to
worry about then they do prove fair and square that ANY belief in
supernaturalism is irresponsible.
A slippery slope argument such as, "Allowing abortion for
the sake of saving a woman's life will only lead to abortion on demand in time."
That argument is dubious. Abortion is needed to save a woman. And to allow
abortion on demand may be an abuse. It is not the same thing. The abuse of a law
does not mean a slippery slope is happening.
It is complained that slippery slope arguments insist
that any harmless action - eg making beer - that can open the door to abuse - eg
people becoming alcoholics - are to be opposed and prohibited by law if
Carrying a knife is a harmless action in itself. Yet the
law bans it for people abuse the knives and start stabbing each other. Slippery
slope arguments can be dangerous for there is nothing that is not open to abuse.
If we took the slippery slope arguments too seriously we could end up banning
marriage because it sometimes leads to wife-beating! Slippery slope arguments
are valid when criticising religion. Why? Because religion is not an essential
to human welfare and indeed most of those who say it is important to them do not
mean that the religious dogma is important to them. How can it be when they
often don’t know it very well or pick and choose what they like? And most only
think about religion for an hour on a Sunday.
The argument that if the milder recreational drugs are
legalised at all everybody or most people will take them and need them all the
time is an example of how faulty a slippery slope argument can be. But is it
really that bad? It is possible that in time then most people will get addicted.
But is it probable? No.
Many worry that users are getting permission to do take drugs if the drugs are
legalised. It says this is the most important problem. It makes the drug-taking
socially acceptable. But if you accept supernatural beliefs then you should
accept people having and inventing even sillier ones than yours. You are giving
A religion that says unbaptised babies are unholy and not
sacred has to argue that individuals and religions that want to say things like
that about black people must be given the right and permission to. That is why
there is an unbreakable link between saying that unbaptised babies need God's
forgiveness and saying that black people are banned from God. Supernaturalism
would suggest that if a religion should say babies that are not baptised are not
friends of God’s then white Christians could start saying black people are not
friends of God either.
St Paul in the Bible said that the Christian faith is of
no importance if Jesus Christ has not really risen from the dead. This is an
example of somebody using the slippery slope to manipulate people. You could say
people are of no importance if atheism is not the true philosophy.
So when a belief is unnecessary and can lead to problems
in terms of the slippery slope then the belief is plainly bad news. It is bad at
least in what it infers and opens the door to.
The slippery slope form of argument can be very dangerous. It must be used wisely and with great caution. Religion only increases the need for slippery slope arguments and is fond of wielding them itself. Thus religion is dangerous.