User:Alterationx10/Reductio Ad Absurdum

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For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Reductio ad absurdum.

Reductio ad absurdum is a logical spirit that, throughout human history, has been incarnating in mathematicians and philosphers alike. Its main purpose is the reduction of rational arguments to absurdity.


When Socrates invented logic as a way of avoiding taxes, he overlooked the possibility that his newly conceived device had the ability to self-destruct. His student Plato pointed this out to him a couple of years later, infuriating Socrates. Unfortunately, Plato was right, and soon the Greek state found out. Officials kicked Socrates out of his house, taking posession of all his belongings. They did not, however, make a scandal out of the 23 youngsters that were present when they kicked out Socrates. They kept those for themselves too. With logic being reduced to something absurd, and Socrates to a drunk recluse, his ideas went into obscurity for 3000 centuries. Plato did intend to write about them to honour Socrates, but this turned out to be impossible.


Reductio ad absurdum made its next appearance in the history of humanity through a fight Isaac Newton had with God. God was getting increasingly nervous by the rapid rate with which Newton was discovering his laws. He made it clear to Newton that he could intervene in the universe at any time to alter the results of measurements (see Flying Spaghetti Monster). Thus, Newton served as a medium to reimplement Reductio ad Absurdum into the apparatus of science and mathematics.

Modern mathematics and the decline of rational thought

Georg Cantor, creator of set theory, infinity and all other kinds of incomprehensible stuff that prevented him from getting a decent job, was the next victim of Reductio ad Absurdum. He used at such an extensive rate as to end up in a soul asylum. David Hilbert is also believed to have used it a couple of times, but turned to gastronomy before any serious harm had gotten upon him. Kronecker would later utter "This is not mathematics, this is theology!", about Hilbert´s confidence in in his gastronomical abilities.

Theorems attributed to Reductio ad Absurdum

See also

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