Saturday, January 15, 2005

Examples of Reductio Ad Absurdum

The Advocate's premises are shown to be false as, if they are true, an absurd conclusion is reached.

An example: Hesa Cicy maintains that all beliefs are equally valid. For the sake of argument, this would mean that the scientific view of the Origin of the Universe and the Diversity of Life is of equal validity as a Young Earth Creationist view. Whilst this in itself is absurd, and perhaps example enough, his friend Chip Baud shows Hesa Cicy his argument is flawed - by following the premises to their natural conclusion:

If your argument is true - that all beliefs are equally valid, then there is no reason to give any particular belief any greater merit than any other - including your argument. Your argument is self-contradictory and as such, is absurd.