Am I an Atheist or a Pastafarian?

Published October 17th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

An essay by Tyler Naffin:

For as long as I have known the meaning of the term, I have considered myself an atheist. Recently however, I have begun to reconsider my atheism. The cause of this reconsideration is Pastafarianism. Pastafarianism is a religion that was brought to my attention when I read an article in the November 2006 issue of Wired magazine called The New Atheism. In an interview with renowned atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, he mentioned the deity of Pastafarianism, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. At first I thought nothing of it, but a few weeks later I noticed a YouTube clip that had a Flying Spaghetti Monster sighting in Germany. As soon as I discovered that His Noodiliness was not a figment of Dawkins imagination, I began to research the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I discovered that it was part of the Pastafarian religion, and upon learning of some of its tenets, I was instantly converted. But this would seem to be at odds with my atheism, to believe in a god. Since then, I have been in a constant struggle to decide what I believe.

Now there has to be a reason that a firm atheist such as me would be converted to a theistic religion like Pastafarianism so easily, while rejecting other religions like Christianity and Islam. Therefore I will briefly explain Pastafarianism, while forgoing the pirate regalia usually required to be worn when teaching the ways of the religion. In the beginning, the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the Universe, presumably when he was drunk. This aspect, known as Unintelligent Design, has successfully been used to explained disco and Jar Jar Binks, among other things. His Noodiliness created pirates as absolute divine beings. The declining numbers of pirates over recent years has caused the Flying Spaghetti Monster to become angry and punish us through global warming. Heaven consists of beer volcanoes and a stripper factory, while there is no known equivalent to Hell. This in a nutshell, is Pastafarianism.

By now you must be thinking that I am a certified nut for believing in such a thing. You would also not be the first person to think such a thing on the grounds that I believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. However I shall tell you that I do not truly believe that all of existence was created by a flying blob of spaghetti surrounding two meatballs. I never have. But I still claim that I do. The reason for that is because Pastafarianism is an excellent satire of Christianity and religion in general. A closer examination of Pastafarianism would reveal that it has many parallels to Christianity. For instance, while the Bible has Moses and the Ten Commandments, the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has Captain Mosey and the eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts. True to the nature of a satire, Pastafarianism causes one to look more critically at the acceptance of absurdities within the Judeo-Christian beliefs because of such parallels. But the question of why I consider myself a Pastafarian still exists, and it is a question I struggle to answer.

I use Pastafarianism to criticize the beliefs of Christians by pointing out the parallels between Christianity and Pastafarianism and how the beliefs of Pastafarianism, while absurd, are in essence the same as Christianity. After all, there is as much evidence supporting the Judeo-Christian god as there is for the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The only problem is that there are few Christians that I know at a personal level, and thus few Christians to criticize. As for my atheism, I continue to read up on many topics, including the Bible, in order to prepare myself for a debate with a Christian in areas where invoking the Flying Spaghetti Monster is unable to help. Now for the question of whether I am I an atheist or a Pastafarian, I have come to this conclusion: I will consider myself an atheist in a broad sense, such as to what group I consider myself a part of, like if I am ever asked a survey question about my religion. On the other hand, I will consider myself a Pastafarian when it comes to a personal discussion with someone in which I can properly explain my beliefs. I feel confident that I can always justify that my belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster is no more wrong than belief in any other deity. At least we have a graph!

Well, there are many religions, but I suppose they all worship the same God.
-Bertrand Russell

You might say that because science can explain just about everything but not quite, it’s wrong to say therefore we don’t need God. It is also, I suppose, wrong to say we don’t need the Flying Spaghetti Monster, unicorns, Thor, Wotan, Jupiter, or fairies at the bottom of the garden. There’s an infinite number of things that some people at one time or another have believed in, and an infinite number of things that nobody has believed in. If there’s not the slightest reason to believe in any of those things, why bother? The onus is on somebody who says, I want to believe in God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, fairies, or whatever it is. It is not up to us to disprove it.
-Richard Dawkins

183 Responses to “Am I an Atheist or a Pastafarian?”

  1. Wench Nikkiee says:

    “homozygotes and delays AIDS onset in heterozygotes”
    Another fundamental concept the YECs/IDiots appear unfamiliar with is that diploids (such as mammals) have two copies of each gene (or alleles)…one inherited from mother and one from father.
    Recessiveness or dominance (there are other types of allele interactions which affect function as well….for example epistasis: the interaction between two or more genes to control a single phenotype) of an allele of a mutated gene in a heterozygote has to be taken into consideration.
    Sorry for the terminology guys….is necessary to provide it for anyone interested to look this stuff up.
    Genetic mechanisms are complicated and mostly don’t fit into nice little cause and effect boxes! There is currently a fair deal of investigation going on into changes in mitochondrial DNA sequences to piece together mutations which have resulted in diverges species. Think along the lines of paternity testing.

  2. Aristotle says:

    JW Oct 19th, 2007 at 1:37 pm
    “Also how do you deal with the fact that for something to evolve at any significant rate it must reproduce wildly (like bacteria). Last time I checked higher order species didn’t yield thousands of offspring. But yet the time table you have established for their evolvement into ‘us’ is considerable shorter”
    I would first like to point out that I know nothing about biology. I forgot everything from that class.
    Now… Could it possibly be that more complex animals evolve at a faster rate because, being more complex, they’re more likely to have a mutation? In which case, they don’t need as many offspring to evolve as fast as bacteria?

  3. Wench Nikkiee says:

    I just found some easy to read info on mutation rates:
    Scroll down to:
    “The Frequency and Causes of Mutation”
    “The mutation rate is the frequency of new mutations per generation in an organism or a species. Mutation rates vary widely from one gene to another within an organism and between organisms. The mutation rate for bacteria is one per 100 million genes per generation. Despite this relatively low rate, the enormous number of bacteria—there are more than twenty billion produced in the human intestines each day—translates into millions of new mutations to the bacteria population every day. The human mutation rate is estimated at one per 10,000 genes per generation, and human mutation rates are comparable throughout the world.”
    NB Average generation time for bacteria is 20mins.
    Also take into account that mutation rates may have varied in past times under different environmental conditions as well as existing gene structures and enzymes ect. involved in replicating (cell division) mechanisms.

  4. Wench Nikkiee says:

    @Aristotle Oct 20th, 2007 at 3:00 pm
    “Could it possibly be that more complex animals evolve at a faster rate because, being more complex, they’re more likely to have a mutation?”
    Well a mutation may have more complex effects because of more complicated pathways and interactions.

  5. storm petrel says:

    In times/places where the difference between a very successful organism and an unsuccessful one were/are small, beneficial mutations would become commonplace faster as those without them died out that much faster. In humans in developed parts of the world, there is less need for physical advantages over the rest of the species other than resistance to disease, which modern medicine can substitute, so there is little difference between the death rates of those with and without the mutation.

  6. Iron Bess says:

    Buy the Gospel of the FSM, Jimmy, it has everything in it.

  7. Mathy Kid says:

    @Jimmy Or look it up on Wikipedia; that’s what I did.

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