Yesterday’s post about the celestial teapot reminded made me of boundaries all of us should have, including me, in these arguments about faith.
The celestial teapot is about a hypothetical teapot circling the sun that, cleverly, was conceived of as too small for any telescope to ever see. Proponents of its existence could then claim no one can deny it is there. The proponents’ argument is ludicrous because they cleverly set up the proposition in a way that makes denying it is impossible.
The teapot proposition refers, of course, to the existence of a god. If the god is defined as being invisible how can anyone deny it exists?
Those of us who have never seen evidence of a god need to respect the views of those who believe it exists. Belief in its existence is important to millions of people.
At the same time, proponents of the existence of a god need to study the logical systems of debate and learn to understand the limits of their argument. They should practice stating their argument in a way that puts its best foot forward–that reflects well on the argument and on the person putting the argument forward.
Saying skeptics cannot prove there is no god invites ridicule of the argument and the person making it. The same for chiding the skeptic with his/her eternity in hell. Heaven and hell are like the teapot.
The best argument is to say the god exists to you and that’s all you can be certain about.