- Lat. incommodum, “inconvenience”.
Bossuet defines the argument ad incommodum as “the argument that brings about an inconvenience” (, p. 131). This is a variant of the refutative use of the pragmatic argument, and can be considered as a kind of appeal to the absurd.
Bossuet illustrates this scheme via an example designed to prove the necessity of absolute political power and absolute religious power. He argues that the negation of these authoritarian postulates would have “pernicious” consequences, respectively “men would devour one another”, which is certainly not a desirable state, and “there would be as many religions as heads”, which is deemed undesirable by Bossuet:
If there were no political authority which one obeys without resistance, men would devour one another. And if there were no ecclesiastical authority to which individuals were obliged to submit their judgment, there would be as many religions as heads. Now, it is false that men should devour one another, and that there be as many religions as heads. Therefore, we must necessarily admit a political authority to which we obey without resistance, and an ecclesiastical authority to which individuals submit their judgment. (, p. 131)