Faith in pasta

By now, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster must be familiar to most people who keep an eye on the goings-on in the online world. Conceived as a spoof, albeit with a serious purpose, the FSM, as it is known to many of its devotees, has acquired quite a following.

It is not surprising that while the irreligious delight in the whole idea and the activities of FSM fans, the religious community should also take notice of it. What might have seemed a passing joke has become something more. I don’t doubt that some religious believers dislike the whole idea and even feel insulted. After all, the idea that the world was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster is no more stupid than the ideas of the religions that they themselves firmly believe in. This point is surely not lost on them.

It is therefore perhaps not all that surprising that the FSM is to be discussed at a religious conference, as recounted in this news item, Pasta Monster Gets Academic Attention. I am not sure that it is legitimate to include “academic” and “religion” in the same sentence but we’ll let that pass.

What caught my attention was not so much that the FSM is to be discussed but the following remark reportedly made by one of the delegates concerned:

Lucas Johnston, the third Florida student, argues the Flying Spaghetti Monsterism exhibits at least some of the traits of a traditional religion — including, perhaps, that deep human need to feel like there’s something bigger than oneself out there.

They can’t let it go, can they? According to believers, if you are religious then you are religious and if you are an atheist, well, you are still religious. This is all of a piece with the nonsense that atheism is somehow “fundamentalist” or that atheists, like believers, “have faith”. They just cannot accept the idea, never mind the reality, that some people have escaped the clutches of the pathological mindset that is religion. They have to lower the debate to their own level.

Ah well, never mind. It’s Sunday and we are going out to eat at one of our favourite haunts, Pane Vino in Chapel Market. Guess what we are planning to eat? Yes, pasta in on the menu!

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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3 Responses to Faith in pasta

  1. athinkingman says:

    When it is late on a Friday night I might feel the need to hope that there is something delicious in the fridge, but I know that there never is.

    I agree with you, the level of debate is always disappointing. Having recently left the religious camp (having finally seen the light) I have been hoping for some good debate with my former brethren, but have never managed to find anyone willing to seriously engage yet. I find it is so frustrating.

    The ‘argument’ that atheism is just another religion is so infuriating and so indicative of the failure to understand. It is a ‘bottom-up’ system for evaluating evidence and for reaching conclusions about life (which incidentally allows difference and enables debate). It is not an irrational system that demands conformity and the suspension of normal means of evaluating evidence, which tries to kill difference and stop genuine debate. Despite claims to the contrary, religion actually ensnares.

  2. baralbion says:

    I try to avoid labeling myself as an atheist. The word suggests there is a deity in which I do not believe and thus plays into the hands of those you describe. The whole religious thing just passes me by. I am born, I live my life, I see no evidence of anything beyond that which I directly experience and I do not need a god to help me live as best I can in harmony with others. Like all living things, I am a product of evolution. And no, I don’t know how it all began, and I’m not sure I care.

  3. SilverTiger says:

    To athinkingman: I suppose debate is not what religious believers are good at, since it in a sense defeats their cause. Asserting that atheism is a “religion” or a “faith” perhaps comes partly from ignorance (and a reluctance to take on board exactly what atheists are saying) and partly from a desire to make out that we’re the same as them “really”.

    To baralbion: While I am not overly keen on the label “atheist” myself, I nonetheless think it is convenient and at times necessary to use it. Rather than argue this is detail here, I think I will post on the subject.

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