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Russell's Teapot
#1

Russell's Teapot
Russell's Teapot

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to
disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is,
of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars
there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit,
nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to
add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful
telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot
be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to
doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however,
the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as
the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at
school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of
eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist
in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

- Russell, Bertrand (1952). "Is There a God? [1952]

---

So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



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#2

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Russell's Teapot

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to
disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is,
of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars
there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit,
nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to
add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful
telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot
be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to
doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however,
the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as
the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at
school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of
eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist
in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

- Russell, Bertrand (1952). "Is There a God? [1952]

---

So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

That way. Smile
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#3

Russell's Teapot
And not just the orthodox.  Pope
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#4

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 10:25 PM)Dom Wrote: And not just the orthodox.  Pope

Well, yeah.  Back in the days before the crazies stopped knocking on my door, I used to ask them to prove their deity even existed.  Usually, they would refer to the Bible.  But I would show them an alternative history book (I favor Harry Turtledove) and point out that it was equally valid.  

I apparently got on their shit-list, because they don't come around much anymore.  On the other hand, I do keep my American Atheist hat on a hook by the front door "just in case".  The last couple who visited blanched when I pointed to it.  "A real live atheist, oh God save us all".  I can only barely imagine what they thought.

Wink
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#5

Russell's Teapot
Quote:So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?


I find "Fuck you and your God" to be generally successful.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#6

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 10:36 PM)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?


I find "Fuck you and your God" to be generally successful.

Oh where is the fun in that? I like to waste their time. My time is my own. I get some odd pleasure is wasting theirs.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#7

Russell's Teapot
I let the goddess take care of it.


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#8

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Russell's Teapot

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to
disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is,
of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars
there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit,
nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to
add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful
telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot
be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to
doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however,
the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as
the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at
school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of
eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist
in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

- Russell, Bertrand (1952). "Is There a God? [1952]

---

So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

If a Christian makes it I say; "Go convince the Muslims your claims are real. Whichever of you are still standing afterwards, I will have a conversation with."
"The advantage of faith over reason, is that reason requires understanding. Which usually requires education; resources of time and money. 
Religion needs none of that. - It empowers the lowliest idiot to pretend that he is wiser than the wise, ignoring all the indications otherwise "
 - A. Ra
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#9

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 11:35 PM)M.Linoge Wrote: If a Christian makes it I say; "Go convince the Muslims your claims are real. Whichever of you are still standing afterwards, I will have a conversation with."

Yeah, why do theists bother unbelievers when they haven't reached a consensus among themselves first?   Huh

They don't just believe in a single teapot.  They believe all sorts of weird things are in orbit out there.
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#10

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 11:35 PM)M.Linoge Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Russell's Teapot

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to
disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is,
of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars
there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit,
nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to
add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful
telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot
be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to
doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however,
the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as
the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at
school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of
eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist
in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

- Russell, Bertrand (1952). "Is There a God? [1952]

---

So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

If a Christian makes it I say; "Go convince the Muslims your claims are real. Whichever of you are still standing afterwards, I will have a conversation with."

No... Sorry, but that jst supports the winning side. And the winning side as little to do with logic or reality.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#11

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 12:46 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 11:35 PM)M.Linoge Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Russell's Teapot

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to
disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is,
of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars
there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit,
nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to
add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful
telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot
be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to
doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however,
the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as
the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at
school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of
eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist
in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

- Russell, Bertrand (1952). "Is There a God? [1952]

---

So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

If a Christian makes it I say; "Go convince the Muslims your claims are real. Whichever of you are still standing afterwards, I will have a conversation with."

No...  Sorry, but that jst supports the winning side.  And the winning side as little to do with logic or reality.

There will never be a winner. If one religion laid waste to all others it would fracture and fight with itself. Which leaves them right where they started; incapable of convincing believers that their version of god-belief is real.

If they can't convince those who already believe in magical nonsense, they are not ready to argue with a skeptic.
"The advantage of faith over reason, is that reason requires understanding. Which usually requires education; resources of time and money. 
Religion needs none of that. - It empowers the lowliest idiot to pretend that he is wiser than the wise, ignoring all the indications otherwise "
 - A. Ra
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#12

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

"I'm unconvinced. What's your evidence?"

Don't try to teach them the principle, simply stand by it and let them figure it out themselves if and when they get around to it. Simply refuse to accept the undue burden of proof. They'll get tired and move on to someone who hasn't thought as much about the matter.

"Oh, you don't have evidence? Well, I don't have faith."
Freedom isn't free.
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#13

Russell's Teapot
I like using an Invisible Donut orbiting Jupiter instead of a Teapot.  I like tea but donuts are pretty good tasting.
                                                         T4618
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#14

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 01:16 AM)M.Linoge Wrote:
(07-19-2020, 12:46 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 11:35 PM)M.Linoge Wrote: If a Christian makes it I say; "Go convince the Muslims your claims are real. Whichever of you are still standing afterwards, I will have a conversation with."

No...  Sorry, but that jst supports the winning side.  And the winning side as little to do with logic or reality.

There will never be a winner. If one religion laid waste to all others it would fracture and fight with itself. Which leaves them right where they started; incapable of convincing believers that their version of god-belief is real.

If they can't convince those who already believe in magical nonsense, they are not ready to argue with a skeptic.

OK, I did assume that theists of one superstitious persuasion or another WOULD be on the "winning side" in the current times. My bad.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#15

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 01:31 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

"I'm unconvinced. What's your evidence?"

Don't try to teach them the principle, simply stand by it and let them figure it out themselves if and when they get around to it. Simply refuse to accept the undue burden of proof. They'll get tired and move on to someone who hasn't thought as much about the matter.

"Oh, you don't have evidence? Well, I don't have faith."

You are depending on theists "thinking"? Good luck with that.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#16

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 01:31 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

"I'm unconvinced. What's your evidence?"

Don't try to teach them the principle, simply stand by it and let them figure it out themselves if and when they get around to it. Simply refuse to accept the undue burden of proof. They'll get tired and move on to someone who hasn't thought as much about the matter.

"Oh, you don't have evidence? Well, I don't have faith."

I was driving with a mildly religious friend once and upon approaching a green traffic light I knew to be long on red, said "don't change, don't change, don't change". My friend (former now) said I was praying. I explained that I was merely hoping that the random elements of the universe might actuate in my favor.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#17

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 01:38 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(07-19-2020, 01:31 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

"I'm unconvinced. What's your evidence?"

Don't try to teach them the principle, simply stand by it and let them figure it out themselves if and when they get around to it. Simply refuse to accept the undue burden of proof. They'll get tired and move on to someone who hasn't thought as much about the matter.

"Oh, you don't have evidence? Well, I don't have faith."

You are depending on theists "thinking"?  Good luck with that.

I've emphasized the above to help you see I'm not "depending" on anything. The second denotation in the linked definition is my usage here. "If" is, after all, hypothetical by definition.
Freedom isn't free.
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#18

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 01:36 AM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I like using an Invisible Donut orbiting Jupiter instead of a Teapot.  I like tea but donuts are pretty good tasting.

Have you ever dunked your donuts in some tea?

ETA:No, you pervs, that ain't code-speak.
Freedom isn't free.
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#19

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 11:45 PM)Alan V Wrote: Yeah, why do theists bother unbelievers when they haven't reached a consensus among themselves first?   Huh 
They don't just believe in a single teapot.  They believe all sorts of weird things are in orbit out there.

Some of the religionist sects have such unbelieveably developed systematics that a teapot doesn't really do it.  
There's not only a teapot out there, there's a complete 12 place setting of pre-war Haviland-Limoges including the butter pats and chocolate pot, circulating out there.
This is known as Bucky's Corrolary. Tongue
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#20

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 01:53 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(07-19-2020, 01:36 AM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I like using an Invisible Donut orbiting Jupiter instead of a Teapot.  I like tea but donuts are pretty good tasting.

Have you ever dunked your donuts in some tea?

ETA:No, you pervs, that ain't code-speak.

My day wouldn't start right without tea. And that isn't code-speak. I mean green, LOL! But I keep weird hours sometimes. So if I get up after 4 pm, its decaf tea. Sometimes, if I get up early, I drink Oolong... And sometimes, I go really wild and have chocolate milk with Vanilla extract. Ain't I the crazy one...
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#21

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 02:03 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(07-19-2020, 01:53 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(07-19-2020, 01:36 AM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I like using an Invisible Donut orbiting Jupiter instead of a Teapot.  I like tea but donuts are pretty good tasting.

Have you ever dunked your donuts in some tea?

ETA:No, you pervs, that ain't code-speak.

My day wouldn't start right without tea.  And that isn't code-speak.  I mean green, LOL!  But I keep weird hours sometimes.  So if I get up after 4 pm, its decaf tea.  Sometimes, if I get up early, I drink Oolong...  And sometimes, I go really wild and have chocolate milk with Vanilla extract.  Ain't I the crazy one...

Coffee for me. Whatever I don't drink, I might use it for paint-thinner.
Freedom isn't free.
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#22

Russell's Teapot
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Russell's Teapot

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to
disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is,
of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars
there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit,
nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to
add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful
telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot
be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to
doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however,
the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as
the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at
school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of
eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist
in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

- Russell, Bertrand (1952). "Is There a God? [1952]

---

So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

Honestly, Russel's Teapot is the argument against the idiots who wish to unload their burden of proof by screeching "You can't prove gawd's not there!!!11!!!!1!!one!!1!"
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#23

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 01:36 AM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I like using an Invisible Donut orbiting Jupiter instead of a Teapot.  I like tea but donuts are pretty good tasting.

Dangerous.  You'd have to fight your way past the cops!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#24

Russell's Teapot
(07-19-2020, 02:30 AM)TheGentlemanBastard Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 09:57 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Russell's Teapot

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to
disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is,
of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars
there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit,
nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to
add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful
telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot
be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to
doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however,
the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as
the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at
school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of
eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist
in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

- Russell, Bertrand (1952). "Is There a God? [1952]

---

So how to respond to theist arguments that are Russellian Teapot arguments?

Honestly, Russel's Teapot is the argument against the idiots who wish to unload their burden of proof by screeching "You can't prove gawd's not there!!!11!!!!1!!one!!1!"

I think you analoged a "one" there, Wink

I suspect I have read about every argument for the existence of a deity by now. None make any sense. There are only 2 basic categories. One, how is there existence, and two, can you prove there isn't a deity.

On the 2nd, it is up to the claimant to prove there is one. Not to be tedious, but it is like disproving there are unicorns; you just aren't looking at the right place. As to the first, who knows? But science investigates where religion dares not look. We learn more every day and I don't see an end to learning.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#25

Russell's Teapot
My problem with theology is that is seemingly, all teapots.

1. There is a supernatural order outside of our observable material world.
2. Intelligent beings can exist there.
3. Some of these invisible being are intelligent.
4. One of them created everything in our material Universe.
5. This being is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and wise.
6. Belief in this God is perfectly basic.

All of these I find to have the epistemological status of Russellian teapots. All are assertions without evidence, and unlikely. It is teapots all the way down. And there are numerous other teapots to consider. God is simple. God creates logic, math and other metaphysical necessities. God is necessary being. Without evidence, there is nothing here but assertions.
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



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