Sunday, January 23, 2011

Russell's Teapot

From Wikipedia:
Russell's teapot, sometimes called the Celestial Teapot, Cosmic Teapot or Bertrand's teapot, is an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), intended to refute the idea that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon the sceptic to disprove unfalsifiable claims of religions. Russell's teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God. The analogy has also been used by sociologists to denote correlations with religion and social conformity. In common usage, Russell's teapot is often considered to be an example of a straw man argument in that it is used to claim that the provability of the hypothetical teapot is equivocal to the provability of an unrelated entity, in this it may also become an argument from ignorance in that it can be used to imply that absence of proof is proof of absence.
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(Thanks David)

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