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Treat other religions with respect

Published July 9th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

When I first found this site, I was thoroughly amused.  I understand and even agree with your argument on the teaching of the Theory of Intelligent Design in public schools.  Your way of presenting this was very amusing, and wittily got your opinion expressed on the subject matter.

I sincerely wish I would’ve stopped scanning your website after reading your letter.
It was the attitude of the rest of the website that made me stop and feel terrible for the people who disagree with you.  From the video of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float performing a "religious action" on a random person to the tab specially designed for hate mail, I was instantly turned off to your concept of how you express your opinions.

Believing in something is one thing, but pounding others into the dust–pretty much BEGGING for the opportunity for someone to argue with you?  That’s something entirely different.  I know people must be begging for the hate mail that only screams at what a dumb religion yours is… just so that you can slam your argument into their faces. 

I think your message got lost a long time ago, Bobby.  It’s really sad… you had a good thing going, I think.  It’s really sad that your message of "don’t teach Intelligent Design in our schools" turned into "religion is pointless", which then turned into "everyone who believes in a religion is below me, and that gives me the right to completely disrespect everything they stand for".  It’s really sad that people join this group just so that they can slam onto other people.  Because really?  What are you hoping to accomplish at this point?

I may not agree with Christianity 100%, but I do believe "Do Unto Others" is a great philosophy to live by.  So is "Turn The Other Cheek".  Basically, treat other religions with respect… but if they don’t honor your viewpoints back?  Take the high road.  Maybe make a simple comment (like your letter) and be done with it.  By dragging it out like this, you’re making yourself look bad… and that’s all.

Thank you for your time,
-Alfred



833 Responses to “Treat other religions with respect”

  1. morgan says:

    Well christian morals also tell us to kill homosexuals and kill the unfaithful and kil lthe unbelivers, i dont know if thaths good…
    We dont hate religion more than religion hates us.
    furthermore im very offended that you keep calling us satire, we are a real religion wich deserves respect!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!

  2. whippetgud says:

    You talk to God and that’s alright. God talks to you and they lock you up in the nut house.

  3. Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

    Sorry guys, but this is getting boring now, can’t someone troll a new hatemail so we can get back to some proper debate, this one lost it’s way several pages ago. The ‘atheism as a belief system’ was good for a while but unfortunately stonefields stubborness wore it all down to a silly series of repetition. How anyone can propose a lack of belief as a belief system defies logic, his argument that we can’t disprove the existance of god is redundant, as my lack of belief (as is most, if not all atheists I would imagine) is based on facts and not on faith as his belief is. He was arguing with intelligence and good manners, by and large, but arguing from the point of view of someone who accepts faith and belief as a way of life and thereby ignoring the scientific evidence against the existance of a god or intelligent designer. It kept the post going though, so it had some merit i guess (believe?).

    Sauce be with you all,
    The Reverend

    • B. says:

      Yeah, this isn’t going anywhere. Maybe I should make up some poorly spelled hatemail so we can all be amused again.

      How about this for a start?

      Hey, you questin god? Questin Jezus? He be yer savier, you beleive in fooood? ME EAT FOOD! HAHAHA! Owned ya

      • Lalala says:

        That’s some funny sh!t

  4. Noodlity says:

    Well, I, for one, was planning to try and play Devil’s (or god’s?) Advocate, using the actually good theistic arguments I’ve stumbled upon for the past years. Thing is, my new Pastafarian faith pretty much countered or absorbed all of them.

    However, I’d still like to offer my own experience on how to efficiently defuse the most common theistic tactics and arguments. And in what better form, than that of a drinking game:

    So, next time you participate in a religious discussion, take a six-pack of your favorite brew, and take a sip whenever you notice anything like the following:

    1. The inevitable comparison to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or any other communist/fascist/nazist dictator. Also known as a Godwin. This is a verry common tactic, equating atheism with totalitarianism in attempt to label it as inherently destructive and oppressive.
    DON’T try and write it it off as a logical fallacy, even though it is. A zealot’s grasp of logic is too weak to be swayed by this anyway. Also, don’t bother explaining the differences between pure atheism, and the various political ideologies that claim to profess it.
    DO simply state that Hitler was Catholic, Stalin actually reinstated the Church in the USSR, and Mao was a Chinese Traditionalist. That’s all it takes to turn a Godwin into a god-lose. The part about Mao may not even be true, but it’s even less likely that a zealot will bother looking it up.

    2. The bringing up of Einstein and/or Newton as religious scientists-geniuses, either attributing their accomplishments to faith, or attempting to validate it in light of them (“he was a genius and he believed, so it’s true”).
    DON’T try and argue about what these people “really” believed in. It really doesn’t matter.
    DO say exactly that – that it doesn’t matter. These men’s brilliance shines in what they managed to scientifically *prove* , not in what they supposedly thought or believed. Unlike religion, science is based on facts, experiments with reproducible results, or at least specific, measurable predictions. Not on blind faith in *anyone’s* words.

    3. Waves and waves of BuyBull quotes. The perfect demonstration of a zealot’s utter lack of creativity and original thought.
    DON’T try and point out all the inconsistencies, factual errors etc. It’s a waste of time. Also, don’t bring up those quotes that show how nasty the book really is (“Deuteronomy” comes to mind). Zealots read selectively from it anyway, ignoring whateveer they don’t like.
    DO quote either the Gospel of the FSM, the more random the quote the better, or some completely irrelevant piece of fiction, especially fantasy. After all, if the zealots lazy it out with quotes from a fantasy book, you’re entitled to do the same.

    That’s all I’ve got for now. Contributions to the list will be appreciated.

    • B. says:

      Last year I went to a university course called “Faith & Atheism”. The teacher was a Christian and we had to read his book, but anyway…

      My favorite argument was the “Ontological argument”. It means that one proofs God’s existence by assuming he is omnipotent. An omnipotent being can not NOT exist, therefore God must exist.

      When faced with this, I suggest you draw a picture of Randall’s teapot and say that this is an omnipotent teapot. Now, no one can dispute its existence.

    • Noodlity says:

      Well, B. , the Ontological Argument can indeed be easily defused by Russell’s Teapot, The Invisible Pink Unicorn, or our very own Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      That’s actually what bugs me. For one, Pastafarians have at their disposal various arguments and debate tactics that pure atheists could never utilize. It’s a significant advantage. On the other hand, we can only target the specific weaknesses of most organized religions, not religion as a whole.

      Then again, this might be just the right thing to do. After all, our foe is not religion in general, but religion posing as science. In other words, while we can’t stop whackjobs from feeding their own superstitions, we can make damn sure they won’t forcibly spread them around, especially in places they really don’t belong.

      Today’s addition to my list:

      4. Anyone bringing up the Crusades, the Inquisition, Giordano Bruno etc. This actually concerns our side, not the zealots’.
      DON’T do it. No, really, don’t. It’s not that it’s so illogical or out of place; but it’s been done a thousand times to little effect, so it’s become a dead horse the zealots can just ignore.
      DO try something modern. Getting angry and preachy over stuff that happened (or didn’t) centuries ago is the zealots’ turf, so deny them that. Invoke the “war on terror” as a religious conflict; mention the *current* efforts of churches to suppress life-saving scientific research and freedom of thought and education; and don’t forget the cases of ordained child molesters, especially those receiving political asylum from the Vatican.

      A zealot lives in the past, moreso a past they never lived through themselves.
      The present, however, catches them off guard. Use that to it’s full advantage.

      • Danimal says:

        Watch out of the no true Scotsman argument when bringing up pedo priests. I usually like to bring up catholic predators if someone has made the Hitler was an atheist argument first. Christians don’t understand logical fallacies (or else they wouldn’t be christians) but they do understand fighting fire with fire.

        • Danimal says:

          Sorry that should have been “watch out for” not “watch out of” I think living in Iowa is draining my brain power.
          Danimal

        • Noodlity says:

          Good point there. I myself usually encounter the Scotsman whenever a zealot tries to distinguish “religion” from “faith” (in itself a valid difference) , as if religios attrocities aren’t done by “true” believers. Or “religion” from “church” , nevermind that the church is precisely what defines and shapes the religion.

          This one is a hard nut to crack. But we’ll try anyway.

          5. When the “no true Scotsman” fallacy is invoked:
          DON’T out it as a fallacy – to zealots, it looks like we’re cheating our way out of addressing their “argument”.
          DO point out that when even pedos not only get accepted in the flock, but even lead it, then the definition “Christian” is a meaningless moniker, generally describing people with a cross fetish. That it has become a useless term, for a useless religion, since *anyone* can make their own values and call them christian.

          I myself use the term “zealot” precisely for this reason: it’s religion independent, and it describes not belief, but the *manner* of professing and defending it; namely, in defiance of fact, logic, and reason.

          6. Similarly, when zealots try “moving the goalposts” , giving increasingly vague and esoteric definitions of what their god is supposed to be:
          DON’T go and chase them around. You’ll find yourself arguing over things that are too insubstantial to be certain of. Only zealots go there, and if you stay too long, you’ll become one as well.
          DO hold your ground in reality. State that quite a lot of people live happy lives without exploring the realms of metaphysics, and they should only need bother with that god guy, when, if at all, he hauls his @$$ out of there, and onto something more real.

          It is HARD countering logical fallacies; no doubt about it. Especially when it is useless to point them out as such.
          But it’s possible. For what we lack in overzealous conviction, we can more than make up for in creativity

    • Lalala says:

      What do you do when people make the religion = morality argument. I mean, there is the Catholic molestation epidemic, that atheists are much less likely to commit crime, and the fact that if your really did live your life Bible-style (especially the old testament) you would be a truly disgusting human being. But all those seem (as most logical arguments often do) to fly over their heads.

      It’s like they can’t distinguish “you don’t share 10% of your morals” with “you don’t have morals”

      • DawkinsFanGirl says:

        You can also ask why being moral, and doing good, because someone (god) is watching is superior to being moral and doing good not because someone is watching and judging, but because it is what you believe is right. If religious people didn’t think they were being judged by god would they all start raping and murdering? Is that truly where morality comes from?

        • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

          Fangirl, ask them if their morals slipped when they found out there was no Santa Claus. The same thing applies on a larger scale with the watchful eye of a god.

          I was taken aback when I heard some moron on the radio – talking about pirating music – who asked “why WOULDN’T you steal something if you know you wouldn’t get caught?”. Hopefully he is religious – he needs supervision, even if it is imaginary. Personally, I don’t steal because I’m not a thief.

  5. nevo says:

    just asking… where does he say that religon is pointless? and like the idea of the hate mail tab. I think that with it people are able to get an idea of how different religons can be interpreated, this may seem like a joke to some, but for others it is the answer to life. That idea that, ohh this is stupid or this is fake, has been assigned to every relgion, so why say it is making fun of other religons when, it can be a learning experience. thank you bobby for this, it really has helped me, and alfred, hope you are able to get the idea of this but if not im alright with that

    -EAJ

  6. Munchegod The Destroyer says:

    Why are people sending Hate mail in my opinion it just makes them look stupid, they demand we accept their religion why not ours.

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      Don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth, Munchegod. It’s like complaining that the pins keep getting set back up at the bowling alley.

  7. Tally says:

    I find this post utterly amusing. It is hillarious to find that THIS post ended up in the hate mail file. That my good sir is utterly amusing. Also, hush hush on the pasta hate… You could be smitten by his noodly appendage and turned into an EVIL pirate, or worse (and more likely as the FSM is a kind and caring meatball-eyed spaghetti monster) you could be smitten by an Italian for desecration of pasta. It is inhuman to say pasta aren’t beings just like us, SOME OF THEM BREATH AND RESPIRATE JUST LIKE US (Namely the FSM)!!!

    The Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster does not aim to disagree with other religions (too liminaly), you go believe what you want and the church can stand here and enjoy our depiction of heaven. In all honesty though, the benefits of beer volcanoes far outweigh the benefits of nothing but clouds.

    I pose you two options: accept Pastafarianism as an equal religion and avoid being a racist or ignore it. There is seriously no need to write all that… Nobody takes us seriously anyway; just ignore it.

    Arrr,
    The FSM’s loyal pirate: Tally.

  8. Sallie says:

    I believe this person forgets that atheists are never given the right to not believe without condemnation and ridicule. Who is he kidding, there is never a ‘let them not believe’ attitude among christians.

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      The truest words ever written on this site.

    • Taylor says:

      Very true. Atheist is the new gay. Conform or be condemned, ridiculed and shunned. That’s the way they roll.

      • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

        Religions tolerate each other – some better than others – because they’re basically playing the same game with slightly different terms & rules. Atheists on the other hand are the ones reminding the emperor he has no clothes.

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