I realize that I can’t know for sure whether Bertrand Russell’s proverbial teapot is in orbit around the planet (or is it around the sun?), but I have no problem* categorically stating that I believe it is not.
Except that’s not quite true. I have a bit of a problem with the word “believe,” since it misleadingly suggest I’m talking about a belief or faith. In fact, my view of Russell’s Teapot (and God) is more of an opinion. It’s a best guess.
The problem is that while we make a distinction (at least I do) between “belief” and “opinion,” in colloquial speaking (and writing), we generally use the verb “believe” to refer to both kinds of views. I have a pretty extensive vocabulary, and I’m not afraid to use it, but I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “opine” in my life.
The other option, of course, is the verb “think,” and I try to use that when I’m referring to my view on deities — that is, I think there aren’t any. If I were a little less mindful of my Rule #1, I might respond to queries about what I believe by saying, “I don’t believe, I think.”
(pic via xkcd)