Originally Posted by Lifer
But if you have FAITH that there is a teapot circuling Pluto and you had hundreds of eyewitnesses ( ok, say we had the technology to send astronauts to Pluto just for, lack of a better word, arguements sake) who put their life on the line to swear that there was a teapot, and generations before that, there were hundreds of prophesies on record that there would be a teapot going around Pluto at exactly the same time that it was predicted
then the people who had faith that there was indeed a teapot circuling Pluto would not all be whackjobs.
So far, there has not been a book produced making so many predictions about the teapot, there hasnt been hundreds of people who saw the teapot, and these same people didnt have such faith in the reality of the teapot that they would all accept grisly deaths rather than take back their teapot story so in this case I dont feel there is the same weight of responsibility to disprove the theory.
What if the book supposedly saying there is an invisible teapot circling pluto also said in another spot that there is not an invisible teapot circling pluto?
And what if, with this literal certainty of internal contradiction within said Book Of The Teapot, others interpreted away the inconsistency?
And what if this recurs not once, not twice, but numerous times within the Book of the Invisible Teapot? And what if these apologists freely employ interpretive devices to explain away the impossibility of literal consistency in The Book of the Invisible Teapot?
And what if the vaunted eyewitnesses are most often shown to exist through the very Book of the Invisible Teapot they purport to prove the veracity of? And what if, even if they exist, outside
the Book of the Invisible Teapot, they say things like "well, it's actually a coffeepot, and it's Mars"?
And what if there are a dozen Books of the Invisible Teapot (Gospel of the Teabag), of which we choose four canonical Gospels of the Teabag, and they are not even consistent with each other?
Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The point of the exercise is to establish:
1) You cannot prove the consistency of the Book of the Invisible Teapot through the Book of the Invisible Teapot.
2) The Book of the Invisible Teapot must be 100% accurate in its predictions, at face value, without recourse to eisegesis ("reading into"), for the claim of 100% predictive accuract to be worth a damn.
3) Any internal inconsistency -- at face value, and without apologetics
-- invalidates said Book's claim of 100% accuracy.
If apologetics are necessary, then we have devolved into a subject realm of interpretation, and are no longer Book-of-the-Teapot-believing Teapot Plutonians, no matter how loudly we shout that we are.
Now, I do not begrudge anybody their faith or belief in the invisible teapot orbiting pluto. But if the above conditions aren't met, I'd be a fool to join them in their belief system, unless of course I were very lonely, or if they promised me eternal pleasure for believing in the teapot and eternal pain for not believing -- and, if I had no intellectual integrity to lose.
Now bear in mind, as accurate as the Teapot analogy is for your faith, Lifer, I believe it is just that accurate for my own. I personally can not believe in biblical literalism. I don't think a 100% consistent and accurate work would need apologetics to fix the seams. It doesn't take much to crack such a brittle facade.
However I do believe in some other unproveable propositions, and I think those who do not believe similarly either from early training, or from their own spiritual search, would be nuts to believe as I do because I tell them to, or repeat a little emailed story about how skeptics are really the dum dums and believers are really the smartypants.
There's nothing wrong, to me, about believing. It's a personal choice. If you or I choose to believe in the Invisible Teapot, it may give us great joy and invest our lives with great meaning to do so.
But I personally feel this joy and meaning are impoverished by attempts to foist them on others, because we inevitably become shills for a belief system rather than believers who can ask questions, refine or change their beliefs, and realize the Teapot is the same, but they themselves have grown. Of course others differ with me on this.
Eh well. A lot of rambling.
Interesting as always,