Hi-Point Firearms Forums banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,279 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to introduce you all to a wonderful little gem on the Burden of Proof.

The Burden of Proof is a concept designed to indicate which side has to present an ironclad argument, and which side just has to disprove one part of that argument to win.

Russel's teapot, AKA the Celestial Teapot, is a mental exercise that proves that the Burden of Proof lies on the affirmative, IE the side that says that something exists or something should be done, as opposed to the negative, which says that something does NOT exist or NOTHING should be done.

Bertrand Russell proposed that there is a tiny china teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. It is too small to be seen by any telescope we have today, and Earth does not have the resources to comb the unknown depths of space between the two planets.

I challenge you to prove him wrong.

This is posted in the Religion section because it has a profound impact on religious debate. It is impossible to prove the nonexistence of this fictional teapot. In the same way, it is impossible to prove the nonexistence of God. The burden of proof does not lie on the scientists to prove there is NOT a god, it lies on the creationists to prove that there IS a god.
 

·
You know who I am
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
In the same way that it is impossible to prove that there is not a tiny teapot orbiting between Earth and Mars, it is also impossible to prove that there is. I don't believe that the burden of proof rests completely on one party, that doesn't really make any sense to me IMO.
 

·
You know who I am
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
man, all you guys keep stimulating my brain and distracting me from stuff i'm supposed to be doing
For real...I have barely done any work at all lol.

I'll definitely be interested in your take on this, you generally throw ideas out that would never occur to me haha.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
At the risk of oversimplifying the debate, I believe the proof is that we are here. The complexity of the Earth and its inhabitants and the myriad of factors necessary for life to not only exist but to thrive for thousands of years is so far beyond the reaches of chance as to make the argument for coincidental creation laughable.

Look at the computer you are reading this on. I don't care how many millions of pieces of computer parts you throw into a blender or for how many millions of years you jumble them around randomly. You will never get a fully assembled, working computer. Never. Heck, you can simplify it. How many times would you have to set off in explosion inside a pile of wood and graphite and pink rubber before you got a fully assembled No. 2 pencil? It would never, ever happen. And yet, you as an individual are infinitely more advanced than a pencil or a computer and you happened because of random chance? I don't have that kind of faith.

And just because Betrand Russell says the burden of proof is on the affirmative, doesn't make it so. Bertrand Russell is going to deny a Creationist's proof even exists so it's a lesson in futility. He's like a three year old who thinks that nine comes after four. No amount of reasoning will change his mind. He merely rejects your reality and substitutes one of his own choosing.

-'bridge
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,401 Posts
I would like to introduce you all to a wonderful little gem on the Burden of Proof.

The Burden of Proof is a concept designed to indicate which side has to present an ironclad argument, and which side just has to disprove one part of that argument to win.

Russel's teapot, AKA the Celestial Teapot, is a mental exercise that proves that the Burden of Proof lies on the affirmative, IE the side that says that something exists or something should be done, as opposed to the negative, which says that something does NOT exist or NOTHING should be done.

Bertrand Russell proposed that there is a tiny china teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. It is too small to be seen by any telescope we have today, and Earth does not have the resources to comb the unknown depths of space between the two planets.

I challenge you to prove him wrong.

This is posted in the Religion section because it has a profound impact on religious debate. It is impossible to prove the nonexistence of this fictional teapot. In the same way, it is impossible to prove the nonexistence of God. The burden of proof does not lie on the scientists to prove there is NOT a god, it lies on the creationists to prove that there IS a god.
This argument runs a fine line with the burden of proof. It is typically, and correctly stated that the burden of proof lies with the one who is making the positive claim. However, realistically, the burden of proof lies on the person who is trying to convince the other person of their opinion. If used defensively, against an argument that is designed to convince you, a teapot atheist, that there is a teapot, then yes, the burden of proof lies on the party who is making the claim.

However, this argument seems to be used offensively more often than it is used in a defensive manner. That is, as a method to convince those who do believe that there is a teapot out there that there really is not. In these cases, the burden of proof is shifted to those who are making the claim, which does not necessarily need to be a positive claim.

all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,279 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@ Mason - It would be very simple to prove the existence of a teapot. A photograph would suffice.
In the case of Russell's Teapot, the point is not to prove that the teapot exists, but to realize that there is no logical way the teapot would have gotten there, and thus it does not exist. However, it is impossible to disprove this wild claim.

@ Stonebridge - I'd encourage you to do a bit of research on evolution and natural selection. We did not just pop into being as fully-fledged humans by chance. This is an example of what is known as a straw-man argument, where you claim the opponent's perspective is something and then attack the argument you created, rather than the argument the opponent is presenting.

There are many hypotheses as to how life first originated - the general consensus is that life began as a simple single-celled organism, and through evolution, gradually morphed into an increasing variety of simple life forms over the course of several billion years. Once life has first been created, it is a relatively small leap to the next step of evolution.

Also, a certain amount of sheer improbability is to be tolerated. Understand that the universe is vast - for all we know, infinite. Even if the chances of life originating at one point are one in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000... ad nauseum, it is bound to happen at some point in this vast universe. The fact that we don't see any life nearby is testament to how unlikely it is. However, we wouldn't be sitting here looking back on how unlikely we are if we hadn't been here in the first place.

Not chance, Stonebridge. Not entirely. We came about through one vastly improbable event and after, the continued evolution of the newly created life.

@ allthegoodnames - In my experience, nobody tries to go out and convert the Christians to Atheism unless they start the debate by trying to impose arbitrary religious morals on non-believers.

The goal is not to eliminate belief in god, but to discourage the use of this unprovable belief to affect non-believers. Outside of friendly debate such as this, I will never challenge a Christian on their beliefs if they do not first attempt to force me to follow their beliefs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,401 Posts
IRL yes. I have never had an atheist come and bang on my door and try to convince me of anything. For that matter I've never had a person of any belief other than Christian do so.

However, the water gets somewhat muddied when you are talking about internet sites. Every so often a Christian evangelist will come in, but what I find more often than anything else is an atheist demanding I prove myself.

all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,279 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just as often you see a Christian proselytising. On the internet, you have the ability to ignore it much easier - don't wander into the Theology section, or the equivalent. Here, it is more of a friendly debate than preaching, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,817 Posts
IRL yes. I have never had an atheist come and bang on my door and try to convince me of anything. For that matter I've never had a person of any belief other than Christian do so.

However, the water gets somewhat muddied when you are talking about internet sites. Every so often a Christian evangelist will come in, but what I find more often than anything else is an atheist demanding I prove myself.

all
They do however fill the air waves (media) with the doctrine, for free at that.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,722 Posts
No one that knocks on my door can convince me of ANYTHING..I don't buy sweepers, roofing jobs or meat from guys that knock on the door. Neither do I buy religion. As far as teapots in space well I'll have faith its there just like Mr. Russell says. To say theres no logical way the teapot arrived there is pretty isolationist though..perhaps some ET visited here picked up a souvenir for Mrs ET, who looked at it and said, its made in China ..we only buy neptunian! and chucked it out with the space trash. I can't provide a photo of said teapot because in the argument you've said no telescope we have can see it. As the old saying goes...I can't see the wind either but its there. So, I see no need to doubt the man he says its there no need to prove him wrong. If only atheists could see it that way.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,454 Posts
interesting conversation for sure. i fall under the belief of "just because you cant see it, doesnt mean its not there".

as for evolution of humans, theres this nasty little problem known as "the missing link" that evolutionists skate past without mentioning. for every other species there is fossil records of thier entire evolutionary line. except for humans. there is no fossil remains providing a link between semi-intelligent ape and self concious man. on the flip side, see my comment above.

SW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,401 Posts
They do however fill the air waves (media) with the doctrine, for free at that.
Yes they do. Hell, I see Christian mythology plastered over just about every possible surface as well. I'm just offering the observation of this argument that it is only valid if used as a defense, and not as a manner of offense.

all
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
...evolution of humans, theres this nasty little problem known as "the missing link" that evolutionists skate past without mentioning. for every other species there is fossil records of thier entire evolutionary line. except for humans. there is no fossil remains providing a link between semi-intelligent ape and self concious man...
SW

Don't worry, I'll not interject comments and disturb the discourse.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,232 Posts
...evolution of humans, theres this nasty little problem known as "the missing link" that evolutionists skate past without mentioning. for every other species there is fossil records of thier entire evolutionary line. except for humans. there is no fossil remains providing a link between semi-intelligent ape and self concious man...
SW

Don't worry, I'll not interject comments and disturb the discourse.
aaaack! too......many...........homos :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,232 Posts
I would like to introduce you all to a wonderful little gem on the Burden of Proof.

The Burden of Proof is a concept designed to indicate which side has to present an ironclad argument, and which side just has to disprove one part of that argument to win.

Russel's teapot, AKA the Celestial Teapot, is a mental exercise that proves that the Burden of Proof lies on the affirmative, IE the side that says that something exists or something should be done, as opposed to the negative, which says that something does NOT exist or NOTHING should be done.

Bertrand Russell proposed that there is a tiny china teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. It is too small to be seen by any telescope we have today, and Earth does not have the resources to comb the unknown depths of space between the two planets.

I challenge you to prove him wrong.

This is posted in the Religion section because it has a profound impact on religious debate. It is impossible to prove the nonexistence of this fictional teapot. In the same way, it is impossible to prove the nonexistence of God. The burden of proof does not lie on the scientists to prove there is NOT a god, it lies on the creationists to prove that there IS a god.
ok, so starting from the end. I don't think there is any need to prove the existence of God, or to prove that he does not exist. The only reason, IMO, that people set out on this quest to prove his existence or non-existence is to ultimately prove to everyone that they are 'right'. if you could prove it one way or the other, then you would be one badass scientist, theologian, athiest or whatever. empirically proving his existence is just vanity.

if there is a god, i would think that he would be a little less concerned with making sure his existence could be proved. i would think he would be a little above that banal struggle. the christian god is more concerned with people seeking him and finding him in faith. its easy to believe in a god that can be proven. it takes devotion to believe in a god, and follow a god, that cannot be experienced empirically.

as for the burden of proof argument, and the example of the teapot, i think we are not thinking big enough here. of course its ludicrous to believe that there is a teapot orbiting the solar system. but, i would contend that stranger things have happened, and we accept those things as reality all the time.

we consistently limit our existence to only include things which seem believable to us. and what is believable is limited by our experience, our paradigm of reality. if anything goes beyond that, usually we either don't believe it possible, or we write it off as a fluke or coincidence. some of us jam it into another paradigm, which is religion. its easier to accept a strange event or truth if we frame it in religion, because religion has a much lower threshold for 'proof'. its more about feeling something, believing it, having faith even if it doesn't make total sense, very 'right-brained'. many people write off religion for this very reason. "well if you can't prove it, its not real, and if it aint real and yet you believe in it, you must be crazy". this is a very 'left-brained' response, and its understandable. yet it is a very limited way of understanding the world, the universe we live in.

religion can be very oppressive to the mind, but IMO, it also allows people to think outside of the temporal world. for instance, in Christianity you have those who believe in angels, believe that god speaks to them, charasmatic groups that jump and scream and gyrate and all that stuff, whipping themselves into altered states that sometimes allows them to tap into the brain's capacity to connect with parts of our existence that we don't normally understand. then you got the holy spirit, which is kinda like the prime mover. but christian's strongly frown upon things like meditation, zen, and the concept of Supreme Conciousness. So Christianity (as we currently know it) is both helpful and a hinderance to understanding reality.

so how does this relate to the teapot? F#$%, i don't know. I just got going on a train of thought and ended up here. I guess my point is that laying the burden of proof on the affirmative is a misdirected goal. the burden of proof is good for things like, did so and so commit the crime, who ate the last cookie and things like that. but when it comes to matters of how we interact with the world/universe/each other/our minds etc... i think the goal should be understanding, not proving each other wrong.

now I'm the hippie
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Bertrand Russell proposed that there is a tiny china teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. It is too small to be seen by any telescope we have today, and Earth does not have the resources to comb the unknown depths of space between the two planets.
----------------------------------
I challenge you to prove him wrong.
----------------------------------
The burden of proof does not lie on the scientists to prove there is NOT a god, it lies on the creationists to prove that there IS a god.
Is it just me, or do these two statements lie in opposition?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,279 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@bomber - I'm not trying to challenge religioin or say it's a bad thing. However, for you to take your religion outside of your own head and your own home, you should empirically prove the worth of what you are doing. When you make policies based on religious morals, when you go out to aggressively pester others to "convert," when you discriminate against others who don't follow your creed or follow an "evil" religion, THEN you have to deal with the burden of proof.

@ leadslinger - The teapot was a piece of irony. Russell did not seriously believe there was a tiny teapot. However, by showing that it was impossible to prove him wrong, he showed that challenging a scientist to prove God doesn't exist to be conceited and ignorant. God, like the teapot, is a rather large "leap of faith" that cannot be empirically disproven, but must instead be proven.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,232 Posts
@bomber - I'm not trying to challenge religioin or say it's a bad thing. However, for you to take your religion outside of your own head and your own home, you should empirically prove the worth of what you are doing. When you make policies based on religious morals, when you go out to aggressively pester others to "convert," when you discriminate against others who don't follow your creed or follow an "evil" religion, THEN you have to deal with the burden of proof.
i think i should clarify one of positions.... religion + politics = lots of sorrow

i firmly believe in the separation of church and state, it is the only way to preserve the integrity of both
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top