Thursday, March 14, 2013

Guest Post: Sliding Down the Slippery Slope

I am out of town for a few days, and Sheldon Cooper from The Ramblings of Sheldon was kind enough to fill in for me today with a guest post. He is a former fundamentalist and is now an agnostic, I highly recommend his stuff. And now on to today's post, Sliding Down the Slippery Slope

We've all seen it before, the age old logical fallacy of the slippery slope argument. Lately I've been hearing it quite often from people opposing gay marriage, especially now that Illinois is likely to pass a gay marriage bill through it's state House sometime this spring.

I have noticed that two of the slippery slopes they often say that we will slide into are not actually condemned by the Bible, or the Bible is contradictory unclear on these topics.

Which is ironic, because most of the people making these arguments believe that the Bible is the word of God, and that's it's inerrant (without error).

Let's look at the top 2 most common slippery slope arguments when it come to gay marriage:

It will lead to legalization of polygamy!

What the Bible says about polygamy:

There are many examples of famous polygamists in the Bible, including Abraham, Jacob, Solomon and David. Were they condemned for their polygamist ways? No, in fact, David was called "a man after God's own heart", and Solomon was considered an exceptionally wise man.

The only direct condemnation of polygamy itself is in First Timothy Chapter 3, where Paul gives the qualifications for men in church leadership positions, and says that they should be the "husband of one wife". However, no clarification is given as to whether polygamy is banned or considered acceptable for laypersons in the church.

Some see Genesis chapter 2, the creation of Adam and Eve as showing that the Bible considers monogamy to be preferred over polygamy. It is true that husband and wife are referred to in that passage (singular, not plural), but nowhere in that passage is polygamy mentioned, no less condemned, keep in mind that Adam and Eve were supposed to be the only 2 people on earth at the time.

Polygamy in the modern era:

Take note of the list of nations that allow polygamy. Notice a pattern there? Not one single Western nation has legalized polygamy, and only 3 Western nations recognize polygamous marriage performed in nations where they are legal, to any extent of the law.

If the objective of legalizing gay marriage was to prepare people for a push to legalize polygamy, wouldn't the push to legalize polygamy already be underway in a major fashion right now?

Wouldn't European nations that have already approved gay marriage some years ago be clamoring to pass legal recognition of polygamy?

Yet neither has happened..... Of course there has been a little more discussion of polygamy in recent years, because of polygamists in the media, such as the TLC show Sister Wives, but there has not yet been a major movement supporting legal recognition of polygamy, in fact, in many US states, polygamy is still a felony. There's a long way to go as a society if polygamy is ever to get legal recognition, that is if it ever does (which does not seem likely now)

It will lead to legalization and acceptance of incest!

What the Bible says about incest:

Now, on this topic, the Bible at first seems to be more clear. Passages like Leviticus Chapter 20 explicitly ban incestuous relationships, and this feeling is also seen in the New Testament, as seen in I Corinthians 5, where Paul condemns a man who is in a relationship with his mother or stepmother (the term "father's wife" is somewhat vague here).

Sounds good, but here's a few things to think about that shows that the Bible is rather contradictory on the issue. At the end of Genesis 19, we see that Lot was not ever condemned for having children with his two daughters (and also not condemned for offering them up to be gang raped and probably killed by a hostile mob outside his home in Sodom).

Here's a fact you may not have thought of. In Genesis 4, the Bible states that Cain found a woman that he then married, yet the Bible makes no mention of any other families other than the family of Adam and Eve, yet it says in Genesis 5:4 that there were sons and daughters of Adam and Eve (other than Cain, Abel and Seth).

The only logical conclusion to the age old question, "Who did Cain marry?", is a relative of his, whether that be a sister or a niece.

So the Bible bans incest, but thinks that the world came about because of incest within the only family who was created by god? Makes sense.....
Modern era:

Many people in the US would be surprised to know that first cousin marriage is legal without restriction in 19 states and DC, and is allowed with restrictions in 6 other states. However, these laws were in place before gay marriage was legalized, and have not been expanded since, either into new states, or to include other family relationships. Again, the slippery slope argument fails.

Does the slippery slope argument really work on anyone who didn't already oppose gay marriage already? Probably not, it's more than likely a ridiculous attempt to justify what one already believes in opposition to it.


  1. At this point, fundamentalists will throw any argument (no matter how poor) at same-sex marriage. Whether their arguments bear out in the real world doesn't bother them.

    1. I think they have deluded themselves into thinking that it does have an effect. ;)

  2. The most insulting has got to be "it will lead to beastiality!"

    1. Yes, for sure, that or pedophilia. They seem to have issues with comprehending the concept of consent, which isn't all that surprising, seeing how rampant sexual abuse by ministers is in religious circles.....

  3. Thanks again for the guest post Sheldon.

    You did a great job showing what the bible actually says about these topics. It's funny, people will often times say "the bible says X" just because they think the bible is good and they think X is good. But in reality, they have no idea what is really in the bible. When it comes to polygamy, as you point out the bible seems to be perfectly fine with it, which actually makes sense since it is from such a misogynist culture.


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