Bertrand Russell’s “China Teapot”

0 Bertrand Russells China TeapotMy apologies for yet another recorded essay. Work is getting in the way of my video making lately.

This is from an essay written by Bertrand Russell, “Is There a God?” which was written but never put in print by “Illustrated” in late 1952.

I’ve chosen some selections from the whole text of the essay.

You may not know about Bertrand Russell. Wikipedia is a fine place to start your research:

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Entry:

He’s an enormously interesting and complex character. I’ve chosen this essay not because it’s particularly profound, but because it’s so commonly used as an illustration of skepticism about the supernatural.

Duration : 0:5:14

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25 Responses to Bertrand Russell’s “China Teapot”

  1. p3tr0114 says:

    Russell’s main …
    Russell’s main point with his teapot example is that you can’t blame him for not believing.

  2. Alex Hulse says:

    The What do you …
    The What do you expect him to start imitating the author

  3. Marian Ross says:

    Why an American …
    Why an American accent of ones words who was so very English

  4. TheKaerius says:

    As someone who has …
    As someone who has read the bible, and considered its morality: Yes, but to worship god would still be morally bankrupt, because the deity portrayed is so evil.

  5. SwordSeraph says:

    “I do not know, …
    “I do not know, dear reader, what your beliefs may be. But whatever they may be, you must concede that nine-tenths of the beliefs of nine-tenths of mankind are totally irrational.”

    Thank you Mr. Russell. I have always advocated that no single entity possesses a monopoly on the truth. We all have our rationed shards of truth, and it inspires concern when a given shard is taken to represent the entire jewel.

  6. Gareth Hailes says:

    Bertrand Russell’s …
    Bertrand Russell’s autobiography is very good.

  7. danielhmanning says:

    @MyContext And …
    @MyContext And herein lies the mistake: you’ve made the assumption that I want you to believe what I believe. It’s understandable; most Christians are like that… And Atheists, Muslims, Communists, Republicans, Feminists, Packers fans, yoga instructors, etc, etc. I know what I believe, and I know why I believe it, and I have no interest in arguing anyone into submission to my beliefs. I don’t have a problem with Bertrand; just with his more militant followers.

  8. MyContext says:

    I do understand …
    I do understand having beliefs that have no support, however, I do not expect anyone to just agree to them. I still believe that people can be better, however, given the general state of affairs – it really doesn’t look like such a notion is reasonable, however, I find working toward such a goal worth the effort.

  9. MyContext says:

    I may disagree or …
    I may disagree or find your claim lacking, however, ignorant is off the table given your commentary…:)

    What reason do you have that would be reasonable to someone who does NOT already share your position? Since, this is the only criteria that I have for considering whether something is reasonable in general. There have been many positions that I have not agreed with, but I saw the reason in their claims.

  10. danielhmanning says:

    LOL… If I miss …
    LOL… If I miss the point? No, I think I got the point just fine, but thanks for your concern.

    As far as support goes, what kind are you willing to accept? Even better: if I know for absolute certain that God is real, would you allow me to believe in him without calling me ignorant?

  11. MyContext says:

    I grant one could …
    I grant one could make up a reason. However, is there a good reason? A reason that has actual support? He is simply pointing out there if there is no justification for the claim what are the merits of making the claim? See my profile regarding the ULINK if you miss the point…

  12. kidasterorig111 says:

    I see an argument …
    I see an argument and an analogy.

    Problem of evil argument
    Teapot argument

  13. danielhmanning says:

    @gamesguru Bertrand …
    @gamesguru Bertrand is pretty easy to refute, actually, because as an atheist, he had prejudices, as all people who hold strong beliefs do. Quick example: when he says there is no reason to believe in God, he’s really saying that there is no scientific reason to believe in something that, if it exists, must certainly transcend science. That’s like me grading someone’s math homework for proper spelling and grammar, rather than for mathematical skill. Russell is a strong mind, but not infallible.

  14. modelleg says:

    Thanks…well done!
    Thanks…well done!

  15. gamesguru says:

    Everyone should …
    Everyone should listen to this guy’s work a few times and try to refute him.

  16. WestonPDX100 says:

    What a bright light …
    What a bright light of rationality. Thanks for posting!

  17. ThreadLed says:


  18. DrNSalmon says:

    The greatest …
    The greatest thinker of his time, and far beyond it, Bertrand Russell is a gift to the ages.

  19. Dosh Izm says:

    Fair enough, in …
    Fair enough, in Australia catholic is by far the biggest religion, NZ would be catholic also Asia is buddism so there would be over 2 billion people not accounted for in this map around Asia, really i dunno why i give a fuck, i’m in that so called 2.4% seeing is believing dont believe everything you read, my ancestors where here 50 000 years ago that we know of, & the bible says god created everything when? oil takes how long to create as does coal, ahh yeah enough from me..

  20. C0nc0rdance says:

    Take it …

    Take it up with Encyclopedia Britannica (2003). This is their “Atlas of Faith”.

  21. Dosh Izm says:

    The map of faiths …
    The map of faiths at 4:30 couldn’t be any more wrong

  22. ZigZagBodybag says:

    My future husband, …
    My future husband, Bertrand Russell.

  23. ryb19100 says:

    Well done!! …
    Well done!! Bertrand Russell seems under-appreciated to me. It amazes me how his name never comes up in this conversation.

  24. Ital21 says:

    This is the most …
    This is the most logical follow-up of ideas I’ve seen in a video, 2nd in relevance and personal awe only to having read them.

  25. mynameaborat993 says:

    That was great!
    That was great!

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