In the realm of discourse and ethics, one can often encounter the idea of a slippery slope. This is the danger that an ethical principle, once accepted, can lead to ramifications of ethical actions that one might be unprepared for or even repelled by. For instance, in the ethical discussion of the value of a human life, if one was to argue that one’s value is determined by one’s contribution to society, this is could be a slippery slope. How do we then assess the value of infants, senior citizens, etc.?
Gene Veith, posed an interesting and thought-provoking question about the implications of the current debate on same-sex marriage. If we are willing to rearrange the norms when it comes to marriage and gender, is this a slippery slope for rearranging marriage and number?
What do you think? Is Veith being ‘doom and gloom’, or is his point worth considering? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
One thought on “Beware the slippery slope”
If it is true that 80% of the national population identifies as some stripe of Christian, but 60% of that same population can’t name more than four of the Ten Commandments, then what do “Christians” as a force in public policy have to say that sounds different than a purely secular conventional vs unconventional argument?
Further, if conventionals (Christian and otherwise) were to sway public opinion, what since Roe v Wade suggests that that opinion will matter if the issue is destined ultimately for a court?
Now, suppose that all manner of “marriage” were allowed. (For this discussion, I oppose unconventional “marriage” of any kind on purely linguistic grounds.) What then? Collapse of Christianity? Probably not. It’s survived worse. So … what?
It would be fine with me if the world conformed to principles that led me not into temptation, or caused me not discomfort. I believe the Muslim experiment is attempting this in some quarters. But very likely, our nation is on a slope and sliding in a direction some of us would not choose.
Fortunately, at this point, we aren’t forced to choose against our beliefs or principles. None of us is forced to take on yet another spouse (of any gender/species/planet of origin). Our complicity in abortion is not overtly compelled. So far, we are being asked only to sit by (preferably quietly) while those who do choose the unconventional slide away with abandon.
What then should be my response? One of the Ten Commandments gives me a clue: Love my neighbor as myself (and, thank God, not as my neighbor might prefer I love him). It suggests to me that I ought not to argue against un-Christian practices solely with an eye to creating a more comfortable, less gag-inducing society for myself. Rather, I should first live the Christian principles I espouse, and then be ready with a coherent reason for doing so. And finally, I should be prepared to live in a society that abhors me for my beliefs and then be ready to come alongside and care for my opponents if their slide ends up in a rougher than anticipated landing.
Now my wife would say, “You want to marry how many people? Hey, borrow my husband for a week. Then we’ll talk.”