I read this term as part of Supreme Court Justice Scalia's legal argument that equates murder and sodomy. He responded to a college students question about this view.
Said Scalia - "It's a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd, .....If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"
The term and the use of it in terms of Gay issues caught my interest. Because a Supreme Court Justice was using this as support for his legal take on sodomy, I thought I better check up on what I thought Reduction of the Absurd was. I had been rudely taught the lesson by my English teacher when I participated in the Debate team for a brief moment or two back in high school. So I googled it.
Wiki folks had this:
"form of argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result"
It was as I remembered it. I had been participating in a debate practice and had made some outlandish claim with no evidence to back it up. Teach hit me hard in Latin with "Reductio ad absurdum". He was a snobbish know it all. But to be fair to him, he was one of the best teachers I ever had. He demanded my best. He would not let me be lazy.
So here is Supreme Justice Scalia using this fallacious argument to support some of his views on things legal.
And Scalia is supposed to be one of our go to "wise men" we rely on to keep our laws fair and balanced? He must have fallen back on this argument back in 2000 when he and his robed cronies gave the Presidency to Bush ll. It was most certainly an absurd decision.