Royal Society of Edinburgh
April 7, 2011 , 2
Anybody who’s given some thought to ethical dilemmas will have come across the old slippery slope argument. Quick intake of breath. Oooh, no. Once you allow … or …, the whole of society will slide into decadence and ruin. Don’t even venture a toe there.
I’ve been tiptoeing through the mountains and forests of philosophy and ethics for rather a long time now, and some of the old chestnuts can taste rather stale at times. So I was delighted to hear a novel illustration used to refute the danger of slippery slopes in relation to assisted dying.
He said, if someone gave him a carrot he didn’t refuse to eat it because of the risk of having to eat a million carrots.
For me it was the highlight of the evening. So I thought this week I’d share that smile with you, and perhaps at the same time modify my putative reputation as a pedlar of serious and sad!
Just in case you’re interested, the audience voted overwhelmingly in favour of assisted dying: 77 to 3 before the debate, 68 to 11 after it. What do you make of that?