Thursday, September 6, 2007

Russell's Teapot

I always find some interesting reading on Wikipedia. I am glad I came across this little theory of which I haven't heard until now.
I was also pleased to see that Richard Dawkins extended Russell's theory.
Since I like this stuff, check it out, for me, will you? :P

Russell's teapot
, sometimes called the Celestial Teapot, was an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), intended to refute the idea that the burden of proof lies upon the sceptic to disprove unfalsifiable claims of religions. In an article entitled "Is There a God?",[1] commissioned (but never published) by Illustrated magazine in 1952, Russell said the following:
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 an 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.

In his book A Devil's Chaplain, Richard Dawkins developed the teapot theme a little further:

The reason organized religion merits outright hostility is that, unlike belief in Russell's teapot, religion is powerful, influential, tax-exempt and systematically passed on to children too young to defend themselves. Children are not compelled to spend their formative years memorizing loony books about teapots. Government-subsidized schools don't exclude children whose parents prefer the wrong shape of teapot. Teapot-believers don't stone teapot-unbelievers, teapot-apostates, teapot-heretics and teapot-blasphemers to death. Mothers don't warn their sons off marrying teapot-shiksas whose parents believe in three teapots rather than one. People who put the milk in first don't kneecap those who put the tea in first.

---The source

I wasn't lead to this article from nowhere else than Spaghetti Monster. It was rather amusing reading. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who worships Spaghetti Monster himself.
I think it may be more profound to be a Pastafarian than to be an atheist. By acknowleding this religion you make yourself clear, that all religions are just as riddiculous as FSM only in exception that they take themselves seriously.

I pray thee, Spaghetti Monster


Stefan said...

Nice post :D
I fully agree with you being pastafarian rather then being atheist.


Rikaja said...

Well, thank you :)