Monday, March 29, 2004

Traction on the Slippery Slope...

In mid-March Joe @ EO posted Slippery Slopes and Androsexuals: The Inadequacies of Social Conservative Arguments in which he asked,
Follow the path of almost any social conservative’s arguments about culture and they will inevitably come to a slippery slope. For better or worse, the slippery slope argument has become a common appeal that we rely when we attempt to argue our point. We assume that their effectivness is dependent on others agreeing that an unacceptable conclusion awaits at the bottom of the slope. But what happens when the argument is effective but the outcome is not deemed objectionable?
In a chapter titled, The Public Relations of Moral Right, from What We Can't Not Know, J. Budziszewski says,
...the classical approach to cultural engagement resembles the accommodationist approach because it appeals to people in terms of what they already believe. ...classical persuaders appeal not to whatever people already believe, but to the scattered points of truth in what they believe. ...the task is to connect the dots. ...classical persuaders are real persuaders, not pseudo-persuaders; their aim is to change minds, not just behavior. ...One begins with what people know or intuit already, and one builds on it. ...all we can do is show him that his assumptions are in conflict with each other, as inevitably they will be. The idea is that the moment he realizes the conflict among his assumptions, he is in crisis; he must either try to hold onto his worldview, knowing that it is incoherent, or embrace another one which will inevitably have the same problem. ...reality poses a constant problem for fallen man. He wants to acknowledge some of the truth which presses in on him, but taken together it points too strongly to other truth which he resists with all his might. In the end, he must deny so many obvious things that the work is just too much.
We all have the capability to choose what we believe. That someone may choose to believe a wrong to be a right, in spite of reason and logic, will haunt humanity until the new creation.

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