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Parable of the celestial teapot (Bertrand Russell) (Read 3915 times)
Gerrit-Jan Linker
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Parable of the celestial teapot (Bertrand Russell)
17.12.11 at 16:00:12
 
Bertrand Russell's parable of the celestial 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.
 
Source:
Richard Dawkins - The God delusion
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« Last Edit: 17.12.11 at 16:03:07 by Gerrit-Jan Linker »  

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