The Slippery Slope Argument in the Ethical Debate on Genetic Engineering of Humans

Original Paper

Abstract

This article applies tools from argumentation theory to slippery slope arguments used in current ethical debates on genetic engineering. Among the tools used are argumentation schemes, value-based argumentation, critical questions, and burden of proof. It is argued that so-called drivers such as social acceptance and rapid technological development are also important factors that need to be taken into account alongside the argumentation scheme. It is shown that the slippery slope argument is basically a reasonable (but defeasible) form of argument, but is often flawed when used in ethical debates because of failures to meet the requirements of its scheme.

Keywords

Argumentation schemes Genetic enhancement Gene editing Germline therapy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy Department, Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric (CRRAR)University of WindsorWindsorCanada

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