The “absurd” conclusion of a reductio ad absurdum argument can take a range of forms, as these examples show:
- The Earth cannot be flat; otherwise, we would find people falling off the edge.
- There is no smallest positive rational number because, if there were, then it could be divided by two to get a smaller one.
The first example argues that denial of the premise would result in a ridiculous conclusion, against the evidence of our senses. The second example is a mathematical proof by contradiction (also known as an indirect proof), which argues that the denial of the premise would result in a logical contradiction (there is a “smallest” number and yet there is a number smaller than it)
Aristotle clarified the connection between contradiction and falsity in his principle of non-contradiction, which states that a proposition cannot be both true and false.
Professor of Theology at Denver Seminary Doug Groothius says of this:
“When people are thoroughly addled, reductio ad absurdum arguments do not work on them. This is because they themselves are already absurd and embrace absurdities as part of their nature and the nature of reality outside themselves. See Isaiah 5:20; Romans 1:18-32.”
My observations is most of those in the Q-Anon movement embrace absurdities as part of their nature.