Moral slope climbing is described as follows:
- A person holds an opinion about a particular group or action.
- This opinion is negative, something like racism.
- The origin of this belief is not necessarily known, and notably lacks any reasonable justification, or is either a generic stereotype or based on misinformation/prejudice.
- A well structured argument is discovered that presents either a legitimate or at least more substantial reason to reinforce the original belief.
- Justification for the original belief becomes the new argument, even though the real, lesser reason is still held internally.
This results in situations where, for instance, someone who hates gays will say they oppose gay marriage for some socioeconomic reason, instead of the real, unspoken reason.
I want to differentiate this from simply augmenting one's beliefs with new information. Individuals displaying this behavior would maintain the original belief even if the new information they have been using to justify it was disproved or otherwise invalidated.