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Monday, 18 May 2009


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Stuart Parsons

I am assured by my God (Cecil the Almighty) that there is indeed a teapot orbiting a distant star. Cecil (PBUH) revealed to me. via the Angel Fred, that he uses this teapot, when visiting that part of the galaxy, to brew up his PG Tips. Further revelations in our holy book The Qurbiblian (meaning submission to the ramblings of an idiot) establish that following in the same orbit as the teapot are a holy electric kettle, tea caddy, cup saucer and spoon, a sugar bowl and a milk jug. Cecil grants to all who believe in these holy artifacts an eternal afterlife life in the great Walmart in the sky.
The exact location of the holy teatime artifacts cannot be revealed for fear the ungodly NASAns will use them to brew unholy coffee.

Chris Sissons

Cecil the Almighty sounds like he is a bit of a rubbish god to me. My teapot orbits the sun, this star, not some hole in a corner star somewhere else in the galaxy. Frankly if alien deities can't look after their tea making equipment, I don't know what you expect me to do about it. By the way, it was Arthurs Dent who discovered it is impossible to get a decent cup of tea anywhere in the known universe. If Cecil's so brilliant perhaps he she or it can tell us where to get a decent cuppa (apart form on earth). And tell him not to pull any tricks - I'm a Methodist and I know about tea!


"There has been a lot of debate about this illustration. The problem is it is a false analogy."

I like how you claim that it's a false analogy, but from your text just after your claim, you're showing that you totally don't "get" the analogy. :)

Chris Sissons

Thank you for your comment. Do you have any references to the debate you mention? I can't really respond to your second point because I don't know what it is you think I don't get - I would be interested to read where you think I've gone wrong.

Stuart Parsons

Reference Arthur Dent. If PG Tips is good enough for Cecil THE ALMIGHTY they should be o.k for Arthur.
A good example of teapot worshippers are the 1.5 billion who have been persuaded to prostrate themselves before their particular omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient teapot five times each day.

Chris Sissons

Sigh ... Whatever your views on religion, please at least treat other peoples' religious observances with respect.

In any event, if you want a cup of tea I suggest you pour it out of the pot. We Methodists depend upon knowing this.

Stuart Parsons

I treat all peaceful religions with a modicum of respect. However, the 1.4 billion I was referring to have no evidence whatsoever for the existence of their evil God and their famous 7th century 'Prophet' murdered all who spoke out against him. With the support of his booty and sex motivated followers, he lied, plotted, tortured, killed, robbed, ransomed and raped his way to absolute political and religious power.

His present day followers, in the 57 nations they control, continue to oppress, kill, kidnap, rape and attack the homes, businesses and places of worship of those who are not of their religion. SUCH A 'RELIGION' IS NOT WORTHY OF ANY RESPECT.

Chris Sissons

Such a religion would indeed not be worthy of respect, if it existed. Let's be clear, all religions have periods in their history when they act in ways that are unjust. This applies as much to atheism, eg the Soviet Union under Stalin, as it does to religions. Human beings can be very nasty indeed and will use religion or science or anything else they lay their hands upon to justify the unjustifiable. When you describe the excesses of people claiming to support a particular faith, you do not describe the faith itself. I would be very suspicious of any ideology claiming to be exempt from being used for injustice.

Nic de Milo

Couple of points:
First, and most important, is why you completely missed the point of the analogy.
Bertrand Russell simply used something very silly and random (a teapot), which you are now focussing on as being the central issue in the analogy. It's not... it could just as well have been my left sock. Or God.
In fact, his point might be more comprehensible to you if you take the text and replace "teapot" with the word "God", then you'll understand what he's saying.

Second point: Teapots have been around since probably before many of the sacred texts were written.

Third point: discussing atheism within the framework of Stalin is like
discussing Christianity within the framework of Hitler - it's facile.

Stuart Parsons

With respect Chriss Sissons might I suggest you read The Quran, study the Sunnah and read the sirah of Ishaq, Tabari and Ibn Kathir. When you have done so get back to us and tell us what you now think of Islam.

Chris Sissons

I'm not entirely sure what Islam has to do with this debate. I've checked back over my comments and can't see where I've written anything about Islam. You've given me a very long reading list and realistically I'm not going to work through it in the foreseeable future. In the meantime I would say I support the Medina umma, where people of faith live together in harmony - a state I would insist is historically normal.

Stuart Parsons

Chriss, reference Bertie Russell. He wrote "Over a billion people believe in Allah without knowing what he stands for or what he demands. The Majority that do understand, have redefined their morality and ethics to fit in with the teachings of Islam whioh is floridly lacking in morality..... it is backward thinking imposed by a backward religion." He also wrote, "The fact that an opinion is widely held is no evidence whatsoever that it is not utterly absurd. Indeed, in view of the silliness of most of mankind, a widespead belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible."

Chris Sissons

Good old Bertie. He is right of course. But if you substitute 'Christianity' for 'Islam', you will get a statement that is similarly right. However, where he is in error and where most atheists are in error, is their belief they are the first people to notice this. Go back and read the foundation documents (Old and New Testament - I can't speak for the Koran) closely and you will see the same debate going on. Faiths are always a mix of the beliefs Russell describes and those who question this very tendency. The difference between an atheist and a Christian is that we remember.

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