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Sextus Empiricus and the question of equipollence

From the Scopes trial...

The parents have a right to say that no teacher paid by their money shall rob their children of faith in God and send them back to their homes skeptical, or infidels, or agnostics, or


CO: SWBAT evaluate the equipollence of theism and atheism by reading Sextus Empiricus and writing a short response about Pastafarianism.
LO: SWBAT distinguish between various -isms by writing definitions and using them in discussion and writing.

Key Vocabulary
theism atheism agnostic equipollence Pastafari skepticism possible/probable confessional/academic

Sextus Empiricus
c. 160-210 AD
Lived in Alexandria, Rome, or Greece

Representative of ancient skepticism

Skepticism of Sextus Empiricus

What is his definition?
What is his value? What is his claim?

Do you agree?

Timeout: why do we care?

What assumptions are we making in our conversation today with respect to ethics and religion?

In geometry,

equipollence is a
certain relationship between ordered pairs of points. A pair (a, b) of points and another pair (c, d) are equipollent precisely if the distance and direction from a to b are respectively the same as the distance and direction from c to d.
-from Wikipedia

In non-mathematical usage, equipollence means equal in force, power or validity. ...Equally possible.

Are theism and atheism equipollent?

Discuss these questions at your tables: What gives each position its "power, force, validity?"

Are these positions equal in their power, force, and validity?

What epistemological standards are we employing in this conversation?


Flying Spaghetti Monster


Tenets of Pastafarianism

Pirates, the original Pastafaris, were

peaceful explorers. Every Friday is a religious holiday. The only dogma is rejection of dogma. etc.

equipollent to theism and atheism?

Please write a 5-paragraph essay arguing for or against the equipollence of Pastafarianism.

be sure to include an explanation of Skepticism as portrayed by Sextus Empiricus. Explain the meaning of the word "equipollence." Support your argument with explanations, examples, counter-examples, etc. You are welcome to consult the arguments of others as long as you give credit in citations. Please submit your essay to Canvas.

Antithesis: Tennyson's poem The Ancient


For nothing worthy proving can be proven, Nor yet disproven; wherefore thou be wise, Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt...

(But which side of doubt is the sunnier side? Stay tuned...)