Russell's teapot

A very interesting take on the unfalsifiable claims of religion called the CLESTIAL TEAPOT by Bertrand Russell.  This is well worth the read!

[quote=“Bertrand Russel”]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.

Just over 50 years later, Richard Dawkins expanded on the theme:

[quote=“Richard Dawkins”]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.

Can I get an Amen?


That’s why you have to go to the new prophets. We have one right here in Canada, that is if you accept Saskatchewan as a part of Canada …

I have about a dozen dawkins videos, if anyone wants to view them send me a p.m. and we can work out a way for you to get them. If you have never read russel’s Religion and science its a perfect start for someone who doesnt know much about atheism but suspect religion is feeding them bullshit, I have it in audiobook as well so its available if you want to give it a listen. Removing religion’s delusions from your life is one of the best things that can happen to you.

Oh, I think there are a number of delusions that are more dangerous than religion.  Consumerism and marketing to name just two.  One of the great religious leaders of our age, the Dalai Lama, is in Canada this week.  I think we can all learn a thing or two from him…like meditation. 

Agreed.  He is the personification of serenity.

Correct, I should have clarified I am speaking of the christian religion, all of its denominations, and I agree consumerism is a huge problem, and maybe has the biggest influence over people, I’m a big Chomsky fan too. Moderm government has gotta be in the top five worst influences in anyone’s life too, it appears harper isnt giving the dali lamma much respect, was just a clip in the news about it.

This should be required viewing for anyone that is sick of being defrauded by organized religion:

To deny or lambaste organised religion is one thing, to deny a higher power (God), is quite another. I personnaly believe in God and think there is nothing wrong with faith. If you pull or have lost your faith based on a teapot theory, that is a sad choice indeed, but yours to make none the less.

As for Christians, Muslims, Buddhists etc,  there is no denying there were great and very influential men that walked this earth. Be they, the son of God,  prophets or just spiritual men, the world would be a better place if everyone studied what they said, what they did and followed their examples.

Well, we are all free to make choices.  I am happy that you have your faith.  A person can be an atheist or an agnostic and lead a very happy productive life. 
I have a lot of respect and admiration for the Dali Lama.  I am not a Buddhist like the Dali Lama, my spiritual path is centered on Zen Buddhism which has its origins in China.  Zen isn’t a religion, it is a way of living.
I would enjoy a meeting with the Dali Lama. :smile:

I have a few audio books by Paul Scheele on zen you might like, I really enjoyed them. Also have a seven audio books authored by the dali lamma among many othr authors on the same subject, if you want I can put up an ftp server and you can download them if ya like.

While i don’t often agree with some of the Harper machinations in government, as for his respect for the Dalai Lama, I dunno, he seems to have done a fairly admirable job of welcoming him and his message. Basically telling China to mind their own business and that Canada will welcome whoever they wish to welcome.  Not sure how much more you would want the guy to do. … ional/home

He even welcomed him to Parliament Hill, which is more than the Liberals did, they decided that it might be too hot there and instead met at a Bishops residence. So in this case at least, Harper has appeared to do the right thing.

I mean every once and a while they do something right in Ottawa, and this time they seemed to have handled the situation with the right amount of importance…


That’s just begging the question though: are many atheists unhappy?  Just because they like to argue doesn’t mean they’re less happy than people who do believe in God.

Personally, I consider myself a “gnostic.”  I believe there is a god, but I don’t believe that any one religion, let alone any one person, has quite figured out who God is or what God wants.  There are many who have honestly tried (i.e., Jesus, Mohamed,  Buddha, Confucius), and have given us a lot of wisdom and knowledge over the ages.  But like all humans they’re fallible, and thus there are bound to be indiscrepancies between their teachings.

And of course let’s not forget people such as the leaders of the Spanish Inquisition or the Salem Witch Hunts, or even modern-day televangelists who use their pulpits to push their agenda on others.  But blaming religion for producing people like that is like saying kitchen knives are responsible for what Lorena Bobbitt did to her husband.  It’s not the tool that’s responsible, it’s the person who uses it.

But the reality is this: religion is based on faith.  Faith by definition can never be proven.  It’s something you either have or you don’t.  There are those who consider it misguided or even stupid to believe in something you can never prove.  Fine.  I would never dream of forcing them to.  And if they want to try and convince others of their positions, that’s fine too.  That’s part of what living in a free country is all about.

Bottom line: we all have to live together and get along together.  Nobody has the right to force their opinions on others.  But then again, nobody has the right to tell others they can’t express their opinions either.  After all, if you don’t like what someone’s saying, nobody’s forcing you to listen.

Thank you, I would enjoy that, ChrisJ. :sunglasses:

Well said, Stardog.

Sounds like the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument to me.  Does that mean that everyone should have a bazooka?  Does that mean that we should allow fundamentalists to take over countries on the grounds that they are entitled to their opinion and their view of religion? 
Good gun owners have taken courses and are conscientious about the use of their weapons.  Should religious practitioners be subjected to some kind of exam to see if they are going to be “conscientious”?   

Just thinking aloud here.

And this sounds like a reductio ad absurdium to me, not to mention comparing apples and oranges.  I never said anything about guns, I was talking about knives.  And kitchen knives no less.  A gun’s overall function is to kill.  Knives, on the other hand, have many uses.

Same with religion.  For some people, it is a source of comfort during times of sadness.  For others, it gives them a sense of community.  For others still, it helps them find balance in life.  Just because it’s been used for corrupt or manipulative purposes doesn’t mean that’s all there is to it.

Also, I never said anything about religion controlling government.  I believe that religion shouldn’t be within a million miles of government.  I don’t know where you got the idea that I thought otherwise.

But at the same time, government leaders are people, just like us.  I do believe they are entitled to practice their religion.  I also believe that they shouldn’t be muzzled against talking about their faith just because it make some people uncomfortable.

As for requiring religious practitioners to take tests to see if they’re going to be conscientious, I think that’s taking it a bit too far.  You can’t kill someone by trying to talk to people about your religion, or even trying to convince them of your beliefs.  Like I said before, it’s not like people are being forced to listen.

If we’re talking about religion being pushed in public schools or through other government programs, then you may have a point.  But I don’t remember this particular thread being about that.

So in conclusion, I have no problem with people who don’t like religion.  That’s their choice, and nobody’s forcing me to follow them.  I also have no problem with people who want to try and convince others that their religion is the right one.  Again, that’s their choice and nobody’s forcing me to listen to them.

Perhaps this would be a good time to introduce the one religion I could actually find myself subscribing to: Pastafarianism.

It was basically created as a counter to the arguments of those who were trying to have “Intelligent Design” introduced into biology classes.  Their argument was actually pretty clever.  Since the Intelligent Design proponents were basically saying that evolution was just as “provable” as ID, so was a religion that claimed that a flying spaghetti monster created the world since there was no evidence to prove otherwise.  As such, their new religion, dubbed "Pastafarianism, " should also be given equal weight in such classes.

According to wikipedia:

I particularly like the chapter in the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster about “The Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”:

  1. I’d really rather you didn’t act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don’t believe in me, that’s okay. Really, I’m not that vain. Besides, this isn’t about them so don’t change the subject.

  2. I’d really rather you didn’t use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don’t require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.

  3. I’d really rather you didn’t judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, Okay? Oh, and get this into your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we’re talking about fashion and I’m sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.

  4. I’d really rather you didn’t indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age AND mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is go f*** yourself, unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go for a walk for a change.

  5. I’d really rather you didn’t challenge the bigoted, misogynistic, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the b*******.

  6. I’d really rather you didn’t build multi million-dollar churches/temples/mosques/shrines to my noodly goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
        1. Ending poverty
        2. Curing diseases
        3. Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable
I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I AM the creator.

  7. I’d really rather you didn’t go around telling people I talk to you. You’re not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can’t you take a hint?

  8. I’d really rather you didn’t do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather/lubricant/Las Vegas. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of Mike, wear a CONDOM! Honestly, it’s a piece of rubber. If I didn’t want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.

Okay.  I guess I have a problem when they try to convince me that their religion is the right one…early on a Saturday morning…Don’t religious people believe in sleeping in? :smile:  I’m joking here!
In all seriousness though I strongly believe that people have the right to practice their belief system as they see fit.  Choose your own path.