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For the author, lying is an everyday thing: a part of life so to speak, as we do not tell blunt truths to everyone to maintain correct social structures and to prevent negative feelings that can permeate in relationships. Mundane greetings like “Howdy do?” and mundane answers like “I’m fine” are considered lies because those are not honest answers, as well as “silent lies” like not answering questions for the benefit of society, because it might hurt someone’s feelings. People nowadays, he says do not put importance on lying as much as before, according to the author.
Slippery Slope arguments happen when the argument suggests that one thing will lead to another. Slippery Slope is represented here in the scenario where the lady committed a silent lie, and that would lead to her nephew’s death, suggesting that silent lies can actually lead to deaths.
In that scene, there was a lady who was accused by the author to have committed a lie by “simply keeping still and concealing the truth” (Twain, 1885). She “lied” because she did not want to tell the hospital about the incompetence of their nurse, thinking that she may hurt the feelings of the nurse. Thus, the nurse got the job of taking care of the lady’s nephew, putting the nephew at risk because of the incompetence of the nurse.
This is a fallacy. First, a lie is a false statement delivered deliberately (Encarta, 2010). With this definition, technically in this situation, no one told a lie. This is because the lady kept silent. Of course, her silence meant differently but it was not a lie at all. It was deliberate but it never meant to deceive people into believing that the nurse was incompetent. She knew that the nurse was incompetent, sure, but not telling people about it does not constitute to lying.
False Authority happens when the author asks the audiences to agree with him simply based on his assertion as a writer.
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