This insightful gem comes from a
comic strip series named after
Russell's famous analogy.




Lil Bush & Family

On Heaven

Russell's Teapot

Russell's teapot, sometimes called the Celestial Teapot, was an analogy coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell to refute the idea that the burden of proof lies somehow upon the sceptic to disprove the unfalsifiable claims of religion.

Russell wrote the following:

If I were to suggest that . . . 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.
You may need to install or update Adobe Flash Player to view many of the videos on this site.
If the video above fails to play, click here.

But now, we can prove that teapots do orbit the sun!

From the world of science, there is now a response to the challenge to religion posed by Russell's Teapot. Carolyn C. Porco is a planetary scientist who administered Voyager's imaging of the rings of Uranus and Neptune. She is the leader of the imaging team on the Cassini mission to Saturn. Porco heads the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS (CICLOPS) in Boulder, Colorado. She is an expert on planetary rings and was the first to describe the causes of the eccentric ringlets and the behavior of 'spokes' within the rings of Saturn that were discovered by the Voyager probe. Carolyn Porco, who is also a Yoan Saint, was also the first scientist to prove that there are, indeed, millions of actual china teapots orbiting the sun!

While Russell was correct in removing the burden of proof from the skeptic and placing it squarely on the believer, where it belongs, such exercises encourage a tendency to dismiss the spiritual along with the valid refutation of specific religious fantasies. Porco is a scientist who is firmly committed to empirical verification of belief. Yet, she was able to see that, in order to embrace the scientific method, we need not dismiss genuine spiritual (i.e., "religious") wonder and awe in the face of our existence within the incredible universe.

Not only did Dr. Porco demonstrate the existence of china teapots orbiting the sun, she estimated that there are more than a million China teapots in China alone, all of which are orbiting the sun in an elliptical orbit. In her world view, which does not separate the spiritual from the scientific, she was able to see the obvious response to Russell. We are part of creation, a full-fledged manifestation of the universe. Our hopes, dreams, aspirations, aims, and goals are as much a part of the universe as rocks, trees, stars, and galaxies.

Indeed, in Yoism, YOU are a divine experiencing center of existence. Just as humans are the source of the orbiting teapots that Russell thought were too absurd to believe in, you are the source of the mystical experience of Reality with its incomprehensible, paradoxical impossibilities.


Russell's Cheshire Teapot:  Orbiting the sun are millions of china teapots!



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Russell's analogy was misused

Russell said that the teapot was in orbit between Earth and Mars, not just in orbit around the sun.