Weekend religiosity

January 11, 2020 • 10:40 am

I bin comments like this one frequently, as they’re from those who have drunk the Kool-Aid and come over here to make us drink it, too.

This time, however, I will put up a believer’s comment, addressed to the “dear atheists here” (we’re also called “simple folk”). Apparently Mr./Ms./Their Dejuss thinks that the metaphor of Russell’s teapot is simply dumb.

I am not necessarily going to allow Marius Dejesus to comment, but I will inform that person to look for responses to this post devoted entirely to the comment.

So, dear atheist readers, you’re welcome to respond to this in the comments. The thesis is that the teapot is a worthless argument and says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of a god. I disagree, but I’ll let you folks take it from here:

[JAC quoted here”:] Most of you have heard of Russell’s Teapot, the hypothetical but undetectable orbiting object that Bertrand Russell used to …

You see, dear atheists here, before anything else, Russell should tell mankind what he knows of the concept of God among peoples who do know God exists, otherwise Russell is not being sincere with his analogy of God to a fantasy in his brain of an orbiting teapot in space.

Now, before anything else, God in concept for Christians, Muslims, and Judaists, God in concept is the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning.

So, Russell if he is really a sincere investigator of the existence of God, in concept as the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning, he should attack the concept and then show that in concept God is contradictory even just in concept, so God cannot exist, owing to the concept being intrinsically contradictory, like for example, an invisible pink unicorn.

You see, atheists here, because Russell knows that he can and does hoodwink simple folks, he gets away with making fun of God, and simple folks think that he is very rational with comparing God to an orbiting teapot in space.

What he is doing is misrepresenting God to make fun of God, but there is nothing of any rational argument at all, with analogizing God to an orbiting teapot in space.

If he is sincere, he should instead attack the concept of God, namely, that God in concept is the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning, that is what Christians and Muslims and Judaists know about God, namely, that in concept God is the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning.

So, atheists here, please attack this concept of God, no need to bring in analogies like orbiting teapot in space, flying spaghetti monster, invisible pink unicorn – they are all straw men, or evasions from the issue itself, Does God exist or not, in concept as the creator cause of the universe and man an everything with a beginning.

And also, dear atheists, you can attack the religious practices of Christians and Muslims and Judaists, you see, you are not into God’s existence but into adverse critique of religion(s).

So, dear atheists, you are factually into anti-religion, but not rationally into the argument that God does not exist, God in concept as the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning.

94 thoughts on “Weekend religiosity

  1. I’ll try to go for this part :

    “So, dear atheists, you are factually into anti-religion, …”

    … I…[tries hard]… I can’t.

    The writing here is peculiar. It seems to be asking not to say anything about it. Likewise, it is asking to be read, and understood (both of which I did – grammatically, etc.). I actually think that is a fascinating aspect of the entire piece of writing – saying something, a sort of experience of letting the words fly around in my thoughts, bumping into other ideas and associated thoughts. The lived experience of the writing.

    1. I, too, am struck by the exceedingly peculiar syntax and use of words. First off, this person needs to take a remedial English grammar course, or maybe this person is segueing into glossolalia or has some sort of lesions in the language areas of his or her or their brain? If so, why won’t g-d cure it pronto so that we can understand what the heck he or she or they is/are talking about?

      And what, pray tell, is a “Judaist”?

      1. And what does “God in concept” mean? That is also strange wording. We understand that Christians have a “concept of God, what we are looking for is any FACT of God.

        1. Yes, that stood out to me too. I have several concepts of gods, orbiting teapots, flying horses, etc, but distinguish concepts from reality.

        2. Janet: indeed. I can have the “concept” of a leprechaun hiding under my bed, but if I look for one and can’t find any evidence that it is or was there, I’d be very careful about trying to persuade my neighbors that one was lurking there.

        1. Rather like several “holy” books. Although they tend to contradict themselves while making the repetitions. If there really is only a single devine author, then g*d must have Alzheimer’s. Come to think of it, that could be why s/he/they/it forgot to mention the dinosaurs in Chapter 1. But it doesn’t explain why such an all-seeing deity invented Alzheimer’s in the first place…!

      2. there’s an element of Scientology called a “Suppressive Person”, which gets its own abbreviation : SP. An SP is, in the parlance of the 70’s, a “downer”, a “bummer” – give out negative vibes. It’s a short hop from that to being a person who raises any criticism, who asks questions that messes up the whole glass menagerie they set up.

      3. “And what, pray tell, is a “Judaist”?”

        A religious jew. I am pretty sure our host PCC used the term Judaism multiple times on this site and Judaist is simply a believer/practitioner of Judaism.

  2. forgot to subscribe. I bet that is an added benefit to the piece – people subscribing to it. You’ve earned it, Marius – you’ve earned it.

  3. The fellow simply doesn’t understand the teapot analogy – it isn’t about God; it’s about how delusions are defended. When it comes to God, the absurdity of the teapot illustrates the fact that when the religious seek to deceive others about the existence of god, they must first deceive themselves.

  4. “So, dear atheists, you are factually into anti-religion, but not rationally into the argument that God does not exist …”

    The commenter completely misses the point of the teapot analogy. We don’t need to argue that God doesn’t exist. Instead we just wait for religionists to show us the evidence for their alleged God, just as we would of someone positing that a teapot orbits the sun. So far they have no objective evidence at all. Come back when, and if, you ever get any.

    The argument against religion is that believing in things without evidence, besides being irrational and silly, leads one to be vulnerable to the bad ideas of religious leaders.

    1. “Instead we just wait for religionists to show us the evidence for their alleged God, just as we would of someone positing that a teapot orbits the sun.”

      The difference is that the orbiting teapot is a physical entity. So while it can’t be proved NOT to exist, it could in principle be proved TO exist by means of empirical evidence. “Their alleged God” is not a physical entity, so could not be proven either to exist OR not exist by means of empirical evidence. That distinction, seems to me, renders the teapot analogy useless, for while waiting for the former evidence might be reasonable, waiting for the latter is not.

      It does not, however, render Mr. Dejess’s ramblings intelligible. What I notice most about his writing is his almost ritualistic repetition of the phrase “the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning.” It’s almost as if he thinks the wording in that exact order were magical and could make God appear, much as a priest purportedly does in consecrating the Eucharist.

      1. Nope; if god is theistic and interacts with the world, there are empirical ways to support his existence. I describe some of them in Faith versus Fact. So at least the teapot analogy is valid with respect to that kind of god.

        God doesn’t have to be a physical entity to be detected. You just look for his effects, like the effects of massless photons. If prayer worked, but only for Christians, that would be evidence.

      2. True. I imagine that the teapot idea assumed one could not check its truth. Even now, we could probably only find it if we knew where to look. After all, we still can’t find that airliner in the Indian Ocean. Still, back in Russell’s time they could have distinguished between a fact that is impossible to verify from one that is merely difficult.

      3. “Their alleged God” is not a physical entity,

        Did not know that. Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science? Good job.

  5. So, dear atheists, you are factually into anti-religion, but not rationally into the argument that God does not exist, God in concept as the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning.

    Not anti-religion (just as I am not anti-leprechaun and feel no need to argue their existence), if your fairytale makes you happy then go for it, just don’t include me in any way; this includes special rules and treatment just for you and your ilk.

    Explaining the creation of the universe and life by means of a god simply kicks the can and relies on the “everything needs a cause except my god” argument – I prefer the mystery to some random made up explanation.

    Russel’s teapot is a philosophical concept and isn’t poking fun at anyone. It is Hitchens’s razor made concrete.

    1. Not anti-religion (just as I am not anti-leprechaun and feel no need to argue their existence), if your fairytale makes you happy then go for it, just don’t include me in any way; this includes special rules and treatment just for you and your ilk.

      Unlike leprechauns, religions definitely do exist. I am not anti-religion either, until their believers start imposing their absurd rules on me.

      1. Unlike leprechauns, religions definitely do exist.

        It would be a lot more fun if it was the other way round 😀

        1. I’m saying they that they don’t definitely do exist which doesn’t exclude the possibility that they do exist. However, I’ve never found a pit of gold at the end of a rainbow, so I’m sceptical.

      2. I am anti-religion because they alreadypush their beliefs on the U.S. via government institutions. That said, in the fantasyland where this is not happening I am not anti-religion

      3. I think that religion goes beyond how it might affect one personally, when it says that condoms do not prevent AIDS, when it says that prayer saves lives, so you don’t need a doctor, when an abortion to save the life of a mother is denied.

        Martin Niemöller’s words are applicable to any creed whose tenets cause harm to others.

    2. Don’t forget to examine (critically, and hopefully fatally) the tax exemptions which the organisations of religion get, which no other organisations get.

  6. God being the “cause” of everything is an interesting idea, in the sense that God’s causal power is completely unlike the causal power of anything we know or experience.

    So why call it a cause at all?

  7. The claim is that the teapot is a worthless claim? Even simple folks know there is such a thing as a teapot. Using it as a comparison to g*d only works if you have it orbiting in the solar system. If you planted this story a couple of thousand years ago and wrote a book all about this circulating teapot, today you would have a religion right up there with Christianity and all the other groups imagining g*d.

  8. OK, let’s get “rationally into the argument that God does not exist.” 1) There is no evidence for God. 2) See #1.

  9. As others have noted, the commenter has failed to realise that Russell’s analogy is not to God, but to a particular argument for God’s existence.

    “So, Russell if he is really a sincere investigator of the existence of God, in concept as the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning”

    …which is exactly what he does in many of his writings.

        1. I believe it started as tea in the Old Testament, changed to coffee in the New, and became the final unalterable espresso in the Koran.

  10. Read through Wayne Grudem’s ‘Systematic Theology’, a best seller for theological schools filled with ernest but deluded minds. After the 57 chapters and over 1000 pages I summarized it with the following poem …

    Oh, what tales we weave …
    when we want to believe …
    then for job security …
    must deceive.

  11. As a mythologist, I’d say that if your idea of a god is metaphorical of the possibilities of human experience and fulfillment in a given society at a given time (Campbell’s definition of a myth), then there definitely is a god. If, on the other hand, your idea of a god is a sky spirit who created the universe and who knows everything about you, and who, in some religions, controls or ‘wills’ your every thought and action, then I’d say, “Go ahead and pull the other one.”

  12. So, Russell if he is really a sincere investigator of the existence of God,

    He’s not. He’s a corpse today, but at the time of his writing he was a mathematician, philosopher and (crucially, in this case) logician. And with his teapot analogy he is attacking the logic of belief without evidence, of which g*d, the orbital teapot and (more recently) the Flying Spaghetti Monster (May Sauce Be Upon Her Meaty Mighty Balls) are examples.

    Except, of course, there is some evidence for the existence of the FSM(MSBUHMMB). At the very least, with the Beer Volcano and climate change, the FSM has a somewhat defensible geological model for it’s heaven (and hell).
    I’m also somewhat tempted by the concept of Sithrak, whose theology does have some quite close correlation with observable reality.

    1. If I were as rich as Elon Musk, I’d be grievously tempted to launch a teapot into orbit. Just because…

      Just think how fiendishly it would complicate everybody’s arguments.

      😎

      cr

      1. I checked and there isn’t one there, only a porcelain, not china, teapot halfway between Venus and Mercury.
        However between Earth and Mars I did find a pot with what appears to be some weed growing.

      2. I will studiously not mention that idea in any caver’s pub south of Lancashire. It is getting excessively close to the territory of the “Bristol Exploration Club”, who have a history of putting their mark in all sorts of inaccessible places. Since some work in satellite construction, I wouldn’t put it past them in the slightest.
        I wouldn’t fall of my chair in astonishment to find that they’d already done it.

  13. “Does God exist or not”

    No.

    “Does God exist or not, in concept as the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning.”

    Still no.

    1. ““Does God exist or not”

      No.”

      Not too seriously, I respond that
      ‘P or notP’
      is a propositional tautology, so
      ‘Does P or notP ?’
      must have the answer ‘yes!!’
      And substituting
      ‘god exists’ for the propositional variable P, the answer surely must be ‘yes’.

      Of course
      ‘Does P or does notP ?’ has neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ as the correct answer

  14. The problem is that you must explain why the creator that you propose is a “God in concept”, and not a “Devil in concept”, but you can’t.

    1. Or why a ‘god in concept’ as the creator cause of the universe included earthquakes, tsunami, typhoons, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, meteor strikes and many many other ‘natural’ disasters on Earth and elsewhere.

  15. Listen up my disciples:
    ‘–>Since non-existence is an imperfection, any perfect being which happens to exist by observation, necessarily exists by pure logic.
    Any non-existing being is imperfect by virtue of non-existence, and so god, which is known not to exist, is imperfect.
    The existence of existence is obvious, as is the perfection of perfection.
    Surely I need my very own TV network, so these deepnesses (note how I avoid “deepities”, a word of the devil), may be spread to the public. Please donate.<–'

    There, now Mr. or Ms. Dejesus or Dejuss, whatever, has just as much moral pressure to answer me as I have to answer him. And I'll do the latter below, so he/she's on the hook.

    I do have a male Norwegian friend with the name Marius, so it will be 'he' henceforth.
    And "Dejuss" occurs more frequently than "Dejesus" above, so my lame humour of writing the latter should stop.

    I think that a more-than-fair summary of his writing is simply that:
    #1/ He divides existing things into those with a beginning and all the others.
    #2/ He assumes that necessarily all those with a beginning necessarily have a cause, and in fact a unique cause.
    #3/ He makes no attempt to analyze the words "beginning" and "cause".
    #4/ He makes no attempt to justify the assertion in 2/.
    #5/ Any attempt to remedy 4/ would be useless in view of 3/.
    Aside #6/ I imagine he likes this spewing of verbiage mainly because now he has a 'clever' comeback to those who object to his verbiage by asking about the cause of the existence of god. Hint: The comeback depends on the set "all the others" being non-empty.

    1. A mild apology from me, for me and others:
      A ‘find’ on “dej” at this time gives

      3 instances of Dejuss,
      3 instances of Dejesus,
      6 instances of Dejess,

      or 4,4,7 counting those just written down,
      and each in the original posting.

      I’d guess the “ess”. The “esus” might be more appropriate; might not, if he’s a Buddist for example.

      So he deserves an apology.

  16. Now, before anything else, God in concept for Christians, Muslims, and Judaists, God in concept is the creator cause of the universe and man and everything with a beginning.

    That there is the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

    Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
    The universe has a cause.
    Therefore an uncaused Creator caused it (who freakily just happens to be my God.)

    1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
      The universe has a cause.
      And since I have no actual knowledge about that cause beyond the incredible presumption that I can list its characteristics, everything I claim from this point on is just a poorly disguised argument from ignorance.

      1. 1/: For all x, if x had a beginning, then there was a time when x did not exist.

        2/: Every part of the universe had a beginning.

        3/: Time is part of the universe.

        By 2/ and 3/,
        4/: time had a beginning.

        By 1/ and 4/,
        5/: there was a time when time did not exist.

        6/: A person who accepts the truth of 5/ needs a brain transplant.

  17. I bin comments like this one frequently,

    Took me all day to realize this isn’t a typo. Hey I’m a little slow haha. Unwise in the ways of blog tech speak.

  18. he should attack the concept and then show that in concept God is contradictory even just in concept…

    You mean like: monotheists claim He’s perfectly just and perfectly merciful? Those are contradictory claims.

    But never mind; the bigger issue is that existence cannot be assumed merely because some concept is non-contradictory. Showing “cannot be possible” unnecessary; all that is needed is “apparently absent”.

  19. Is Dejess unaware of the historical/cultural development/progression in the jewish/christian/muslim concept of god? The progression is purported to have been from weather god (thunder & lightning, etc.) to mountain god (god worshipped only at a specific place or places), to the best god of many gods, to the only god. Is he unaware of all the concepts of god that have fallen by the wayside and are no longer around to amuse/bemuse oneself with?

    Dear Dejess: if the concept/s of god can change so radically, perhaps you can also.

  20. Regarding unlikely objects, personnages and gods, at least Santa Clause left presents under my tree every year.

  21. “…misrepresenting God to make fun of God?” Who’s to say that God doesn’t have a grand sense of humor, loved the analogy and thinks *you’re* the ones that don’t get it.

  22. Perhaps a more concise quote from Russell might not confuse Marius so much: “”It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.”

    As a rabbi once told me, if someone tells you there’s a golden calf dancing in the air in front of you and you can find no evidence for it, you’re perfectly entitled to say you don’t believe them.

    Perhaps Marius could spend some time puzzling over why he thinks his favourite god is more likely than any of the other thousands of gods who have been alleged to wander around by other people.

    And finally, dear theist, I have no need of your hypothesis.

  23. The origins of gods is simpler than the cause of the universe.

    A state does not generally permit its citizens or its subjects to murder other people, but the business of the state is waging wars and carrying out executions, assassinations, etc.

    So there must be a way to distinguish between acts of state and private acts, and the natural justification is that the state is simply upholding the mandate of Heaven or imposing God’s law or waging war for democracy and freedom.

    Gods justify killing authority. If the gods didn’t exist, we would have to invent them. But that’s an entirely different entity than the purported “cause” of the universe.

      1. Its not coincidental that monotheistic Islam and Christianity both coincided with form of Imperial monarchy (the Caliphate, the Ottomans, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, the British Emire).

        The Imperial Order represented the “Order” of the known universe, so the God of the Imperial Order would represent the “Order” of the universe itself, and those that opposed the Imperial Order were not merely barbarians, but perverse and opposed to the universal.

        For good or bad, this is why God is dead.

  24. “creator cause of the universe and man an everything with a beginning.”

    Ok, that’s easy. No such thing exists, because there is no beginning to the universe (though there is of the local hubble volume).

Leave a Reply