Sometimes a gem of a comment gets overlooked, but is well worth promotion to headlined status. Here, let us belatedly highlight SM on gerrymandering definitions in the slippery slope thread:
SM, 13: >>If three successfully interbreeding populations of finches on a single island are separate species then whenever a Japanese person marries a Sicilian we already have inter-species marriage.
This gerrymandering of definitions for partisan political advantage is a classic case of the Slippery Slope: we let people adjust a definition to their own advantage once, even in a small way, and it isn’t long before you cannot even discuss the subject because there are too many definitions and none are sufficiently accepted or overlapping for discussion to be meaningful.
And here too we see that not only have we established a pernicious precedent with regard to altering – and thus multiplying – definitions, but we’ve done the same with regard to permitting contradictory definitions to be used wherever opportunistically convenient.
As others have noted, the wizards* who use these rhetorical tricks are not trying to clarify our thinking or advance the discovery of essential truths (let alone Truth), but are merely intent on closing down debate so as to maintain an unchallenged political narrative.
*Because they use words as incantations, claiming that reality is constructed “on the fly” as it were by human consciousness**, they think that changing the words used to describe reality changes reality itself.
** Even as they simultaneously claim that consciousness is an illusion. See my point above about contradictory definitions. Slippery Slope? This is a mad hatter’s rabbit hole, a one-way acid trip to civilisational self-lobotomy . . . >>
Okay, food for thought. END