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We shouldn’t live with absolute frivolity

Published August 12th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

While life should not be taken too seriously, this doesn’t mean we should live with absolute frivolity. Yes, so-called religions attempt to mandate all sorts of opinions and behaviors about morality and social conformity. This does not mean that actual religion — the sincere attempt to understand the unknowable — is inherently stupid or necessarily bullshit.

Quantum mechanics tells us that all possibilities exist simultaneously until foreclosed by inconsistent observations. So, with regard to what we truly cannot know or observe, it’s possible that all beliefs are equally "true" and very much real. It’s an incredibly powerful thought: that we can design our own eternity simply by imagining it.

Personally, I’d want much more from my eternity than to party on a pirate ship with a bunch of beer and strippers. The ability to have that experience at any time and for any duration? Sure, that would be great. But plain old life has plenty to offer that’s much more sublime and extraordinary than simple hedonism. And it’s not even a very ambitious vision of hedonism.

World history is replete with terrible evils committed in the name of "religion." Certainly, it’s an important message that moral and social "values" should not be elevated to the level of religious beliefs. But our ability as humans to recognize the fundamental unknowable questions — where are we from, why are we here, and where are we going — creates a fundamental human need to discuss and confront these questions.

Pastafarianism does indeed celebrate the power of the individual to choose his or her own answers to these questions. Some might like the idea of choosing answers that are deliberately silly or absurd. But to do so simply to make a point about the beliefs of others is to degrade and dishonor one’s own spirit.

-Tom



936 Responses to “We shouldn’t live with absolute frivolity”

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  1. PlagueChicken says:

    When faced with the vastness of the cosmos and the craziness of the subatomic, the only sane position is militant agnosticism. I don’t know and YOU DON’T EITHER!

    Now, we can be serious or we can be funny – but the underlying point is the same. Anyone who claims a moral imperative, or who has ‘certainty’ based on a collection of myths, fables, stories and assorted wishful thinking needs to have a hole poked in that bubble of belief.

    As it turns out, long flexible appendages are just the right thing for bubble bursting. If it riles up the believers…we might be partially to blame, but they might want to pause for just a moment and reflect on why this is so disturbing to them. Oh..right…that is why they call is ‘blind’ faith.

    cheers

    • nun sequitur says:

      ‘the ONLY sane position’

      is to stop believing anyone in the minority is insane & 4 us 2 stop using the terminology sane & insane as a jumping off word in discussions..which have nothing to do with it, really.

      • PlagueChicken says:

        Fine…rational then.

        • nun s equator says:

          ; )

          i c a can of worms either way, but its a start…

        • nun s equator says:

          Mainly because even a seemingly ‘irrational’ response is, rational when certain factors taken in2 account r accounted, 4..& when leaving those factors out involves goals of labeling some1 irrational, amts 2 same difference…

  2. Maggie says:

    I really don’t have a problem with people insulting religion. Well, I guess I think it’s rude if you say certain things about people’s beliefs, and it will definitely offend people if you are inconsiderate about things that are important to them. But really, anyone has the right to criticize any religion and anyone else has the right to ask them to stop. However, please stop saying “We really don’t mean to offend anyone…” and then saying something completely, unavoidably offensive. If just makes people lose respect for you. I really don’t mind people challenging my religion, as long as they are respectful about it, or at least honest about the fact that they aren’t being respectful.

    • Insightful Ape says:

      What we say is not “unavoidably” offensive. We don’t mean for it to be offensive and in fact there has been no shortage of the faithful coming here to tell us that this is a hilarious website and there is nothing offensive about it. But there are others who find any criticism offensive and for them,the only way not to get offended is to silence dissent.
      So does the shoe fit?
      FSM bless.

      • nun sequitur says:

        those writing letters may very well b looking for creating dissent, which can exert powerful influence & lead to change- even if it is not the change this particular letter writer intended, as long as it is for the betterment of all involved, a valid consideration.

    • nun sequitur says:

      respect only works if it is MUTUAL. if some1 starts out with premise everything i had been raised to believe (whether i subscribe 2 or understand it fully or not) is irrevocably wrong & requires conversion 2 this, other preset belief system or roast in blazes, y would any1 find THAT offensive?

      • nun sequitur says:

        ive been physically forced to what amounted to attending church services & made an example of & humiliated when i declined & it was not with my/ my parents consent, & i was not in any position 2 defend myself; & am still not. u have no idea if it has not happened 2 u.

        • nun sequitur says:

          & i was in no NO position, 2 b placed in that position @ the time; it was irresponsible & wrong, among other things that went on.

      • nun sequitur says:

        they are not merely beliefs, the damning of persons for ‘not repenting’. . .these are ACTIONABLE, persons believing this way do not limit neccessarily to an idea & are in the majority. ..putting anyone objecting on the defensive, automatically.

        i find it interesting that of the people suggesting 2 me that i may require an ‘exorcism’ in the catholic tradition (due to accumulated issues with depression & physical pain which has nothing to do with some1 elses religious ideologies), if i suggest okay, sure, after this form of exorcising is applied to the entire system of churches, i will consider this…then i am considered a bigot, or being unkind, or judgemental. y would that be so unfounded a response for me to make, when the solicitation for said ‘exercise’ was not requested to begin with?

        • Wayne says:

          Nun Sequitur

          The website is free to all who wish to make a comment, and aside from ‘double ups’ due to site issues, directly offensive, insulting comments, racism, trolling etc deletion of comments, or prevention from commenting on the site is kept to a minimum.

          Your comments fit none of these criteria so you are more than welcome to post and your points of view are appreciated and accepted. Therefore, it is not likely that yours will be removed.

          However, some concerns have been raised by long time posters about the stability of your comments, and I have concerns with the repetitiveness of points in answer to others’ posts, the above five being an example of this.

          Therefore, I must request that you attempt to limit the repetitiveness to a single comment, and try not to inundate the site with posts that can easily be included in one reply. I would also consider reducing the amount of detail on your personal suffering as we are now well aware of this.

          We have recently been through a period of harassment from a dedicated troll whose efforts forced us to make changes we didn’t really want to make to the site. Therefore we are now quite ‘sensitive’ to these things, and wish to spare you from the actions preventing trolling (which I believe you are not doing, but others hold differing opinions).

          Again, I do not wish to discourage your desire to post, but as aforementioned, concerns have been raised and I must take those concerns into account, especially when they come from long term Pastafarians whose credibility on this site and in such matters hold a great deal of weight to my decisions. Please, do not take this in the wrong way, but I must hold the greater good of the site foremost in my mind, and feel it is now due course to remind you of the situation.

    • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

      Maggie, just because people are prone to take offence when the truth is spoken does not automatically mean the teller of those truths are intentionally trying to cause offence. Anyone can take offense at anything at any time; does that mean that nobody should voice an opinion in case someone takes offense? Of course not. I’m sure I speak for the majority of Pastafarians when I say that the intention to cause offence is far from the motivating factor (mostly) but the taking of offense is often the result of people disagreeing with what is said. It IS possible, despite what you might think, to cause offense unintentionally; to fully appreciate the difference please read some of the hate mail we get and that will leave you in no doubt what ‘intentional offense’ really looks like.

      Happy New Year to you and may the Sauce be with you.

      The Reverend

      • nun sequitur says:

        if it is not intended to avoid offense, does this
        amount to same thing?

        some clearly intentionally inflammatory things have been sent in…& u took offense 2 things i said which had no such intent.

        • nun sequitur says:

          Wayne, there is no REPLY button beneath your name. I cannot, literally cannot limit my posts by combination into one, i in fact mentioned on another thread having issue with trying 2 fine tune what it is I am trying 2 say…it is not intended 2 b anything regarding the site. I knew however that when i responded 2 something said by mr rigatoni, i was probably in for a rash of s-t, after it posted & i saw what i had just written…which is independent of whatever this trolling issue is, have probably way more than just netiquette issues (so someone, one day told me- between my caps keys sticking & having had some spoofing & hacking, aside @ time); I still do not know what a troll is…(in online capacity, not the yard ornaments…which my parents actually had, one)…just when i was thinking of changing my name (would b third incarnation), 2 UH OH SPAGHETTIO.

          if you have someones email when they sign up, couldnt u just PRIVATELY post a person, rather than this sort of public humiliation? if u would, please just remove my posts, all of them? It would b of great comfort, to me. & PLEASE do not say u r well aware of sufferings- u r not, that is the least of it.

        • Wayne says:

          I did not email as I was unsure whether or not it would be considered an invasion of privacy, and also because I don’t need to. As I said, others have commented on these issues and they need to know that their request have been acted upon, henceforth it was dealt with here.

          I will not be removing your posts, at this point. However, if the repetitive clutter continues and more complaints are received then I will have to start removing some of them. You say you cannot fine tune your comments…well, most others seem to be able to, and I would suggest that you think about what you need to say before you post it.

        • nun sequitur says:

          col

        • nun sequitur says:

          & 1 last thing; the good evening comment…& u r accusing me of being disruptive?

          I m sorry i have fragmented thinking. But, i actually do. I m sorry that 2 is annoying. as long as the majority have prompted u 2 address me in this manner, i will go, because i do not stay where i m not wanted. on top of that i was bound 2 b leaving anyway, elsewhere.

        • nun sequitur says:

          Thanks for reminding me i have zero credibility as well. That really does not help. In earnest, i ask u 2 please remove every last one of my remarks.

        • nun sequitur says:

          & maggie, sorry 2 damn myself further, but u just contradicted yourself.not minding being insulted & then saying well but u r, ,,am i the only person not petmitted to b contradictory? I am a BUNDLE of contradictions, physical pain & subject 2 political maneuvering, offline & i suck @ politics AND math- i am missing some parts in my logic center. Do u think that escapes me? @ least u have me nearly laughing @ myself, tho not quite. It is just i am so tired of f-g crying.

        • nun sequitur says:

          peRmitted (not ‘pet’mitted…fg typos)

        • nun sequitur says:

          & are the people complaining restaurant owners…i m just also wondering if my gluten comments were taken out of context & had hesitated 2 post, about it…i told a breadmaker in our area about this, hoping he would come up with a good GF recipe possibly, which would benefit them & others, i got a look like i had just suggested they shoot their dog..i GENUINELY was trying 2 disseminate USEFUL info with that, incidentally. For the record.

          couldnt someone have just responded ‘no comment’, 2 me…instead of this response?

        • nun sequitur says:

          As long as i m overposting & they may with ur grace b removed, i will also ad, i cannot win…i get overt attempts @ religious conversions & covert subversions in that category OFF line, i come here & get reminded of my shortcomings & fallibility…

          I do understand. I dont want 2 b in the same body as myself, currently.

        • nun sequitur says:

          …when i say ACTIONABLE, i meant on the part of people translating those ideas into actions, sometimes behind my back…like the manager whom got me fired after telling every1 around me all the unsaved by christ go to hell…i was NOT trying to incite any ‘action’ by anyone against any1 els…i want it to STOP actually, & have the damndest time expressing myself, because i am a mess…my brain is like the drain we just cleaned out, to better allow function, only the ‘before’ version…

        • nun sequitur says:

          Wayne a request was put into site admin to REMOVE what u term my clutter, ALL of it; i have prior spoken to the company in charge of our service over SPOOFING, so that what I READ on this end is NOT what actually has been POSTED @ your end for starters & we had contacted the police about the ongoing issues with not just the communications interference this way, a number of things including entry into our place & a computer tampered with; we have been HARRASSED off line, i alluded to. Someone let our dog, out without our knowledge or consent…& we had been under FALSE impression some of the ONLINE stuff had stopped. We are requesting ALL the posts be removed, NOT JUST PART. There is NO way to verify which responses were accurately reflecting content displayed. We started taking screenshots using another camera, to capture some of these games including the savescreen being tinkered with, applications altered, files uploaded to the device; i explained VIA email on the CONTACT me link on the site, that there are other extenuating circumstances. I am not going to explain to u again about my difficulties being succinct, u tell me ‘othrrs do it’- i am not revealing things about myself which u do not need to know pertaining to this & will not b compared to others whom ‘seem 2 do okay’; if u would EMAIL ME PRIVATELY via the EMAIL GIVEN @ SIGN UP & under which i EXPRESSLY ASKED the site administrator to co,tact me, that would be appreciated. I am not talking about this, I am referring to NOW; & included content i, the email to bobby EXPLAINING my permission to remove all posts. THANKS.

        • nun sequitur says:

          NO reply button beneath waynes name.

          Wayne, are u site admin? If u r &, r not anyone we have had reason to contact police over, are not police, are not known to us offline & are not colluding with anyone, like the missionaries alluded to elsewhere for example, etc there is no reason someone officially affiliated with the site could not reply to mail however GRANTED, i cannot verify what i send out will b accurately reflected once it reaches u, nor can i b certain of the content u send being accurate on THIS end. I have had issues with this sort of SPOOFING for some time- it may ONLY be on my display side & content affected when sent & received, difficult to say. If u would just REMOVE ALL THE POSTS it would be BEST & require no further action on either side. FURTHER i will make a donation twds these efforts, if u prefer. THANK YOU

        • nun sequitur says:

          NO reply button beneath waynes name.

          Wayne, are u site admin? If u r &, r not anyone we have had reason to contact police over, are not police, are not known to us offline & are not colluding with anyone, like the missionaries alluded to elsewhere for example, etc there is no reason someone officially affiliated with the site could not reply to mail(

          however GRANTED, i cannot verify what i send out will b accurately reflected once it reaches u, nor can i b certain of the content u send being accurate on THIS end…THAT is THE issue)

          . I have had issues with this sort of SPOOFING for some time- it may ONLY be on my display side & content affected when sent & received, difficult to say. If u would just REMOVE ALL THE POSTS it would be BEST & require no further action on either side. FURTHER i will make a donation twds these efforts, if u prefer. i ASSURE u portions of what gets posted here that i read as posted to your site, is NOT ACCURATELY reflected & in turn, NEITHER do my RESPONSES neccessarily match up, then.

          THEREFORE, why i am requesting ALL be removed- SOME would only make it WORSE…not if u feel u ‘have’ to, i am requesting u please just get rid of all. THANK YOU.

        • Wayne says:

          No, because there is no real need to remove them, and doing so will leave a mess of replies from others which will be difficult to understand as the original which they replied to will be gone. It is bad enough having to do that when it is necessary, so I will not do it when it isn’t.

        • nun sequitur says:

          NOW is posting not @ all, i attempt 2nd time, both show????

    • MS says:

      Amen to that maggie, amen. However, we should all be able to laugh at ourselves sometimes. I mean it shows poise if you can take an insult meant to be funny and then laugh at it. Sometimes i describe stories about me being a total dumbass and then laugh about it. Some people should learn to do the same

  3. Interested says:

    First of all, I’m glad that at least more than a few people understand that Pastafarianism isn’t a serious religion, at least not in the way people take it as- though it is serious in other ways. Do I really believe that a giant monster made of spaghetti and meatballs created the universe? No. Do I really believe that an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent created the ‘first woman’ from the ‘first man’s’ rib? Do I really believe that said being decided to randomly impregnate a virgin woman, without her consent, and used the resulting child as a ‘sacrifice’ to redeem humanity of ‘original sin’ that He Himself made up (thereby causing the collective suffering of mankind because He decided that we deserved to suffer for disobeying him; if pride is the greatest sin it’s odd that God Himself should be guilty of it)? No. There is no such thing as degrees of impossibility- nothing that is impossible can be more impossible than anything else. You may call it ridiculous, but the claims of Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is no more impossible than the claims of the Bible, or the Quran, or the Vedas. Just because they sound less ridiculous doesn’t make them anymore impossible.

    In any case, religion is not and never was just an attempt to ‘understand the unknowable’. It was, originally, a way to provide an explanation for things that people had no hope of proving at that time. Like all knowledge (or at least things considered to be knowledge), at some point, it turned into a tool of authority and control. In some hands, it was still a powerful force for good, but in many more hands it turned into a far more powerful force for selfishness, greed, and thoughtless cruelty. (Sadly enough, this says something fundamentally disturbing about human nature- that we can take things originally meant to be peaceful or at least harmless and turn them into weapons, without even really thinking about it.) I honestly think that religion, in all its forms, was a perfectly fine attempt at explaining the universe when we had no way to find out for ourselves how it worked, if one that eventually (and ironically, since it was first meant to be a way to expand one’s understanding of the world and to unite a common people under the same beliefs) became so confining and divisive. I won’t deny that. Science, however, has completely replaced that, and has done it so completely, with less (though not as much) divisiveness (though perhaps not, depending on her point of view, less confinement) than religion created and is still creating today.

    The only reason that religion persists now is due to ignorance (the most wasteful of crimes, in my opinion), stubborn pride (the kind that drives men to their knees before they’ll take a drink of water), and- yes- the need to know the answers to the questions you asked- ‘Where are we from?’, ‘Why are we here?’, and ‘Where are we going?’, among many others. The first and the last, at least, have simple, if not wholly satisfactory answers. We come from the universe, the same as everyone and everything else. We’re going wherever we want to go, up into the stars and down into the depths of the oceans, or- if you meant as a racial whole- anywhere from intergalactic colonization to complete annihilation- whatever or wherever we so will. As for why are we here? Who says there’s a reason? What, exactly, makes people think there’s a why to their existence? There are countless stars out there in countless galaxies in what may be countless universes, in an eternal cycle of time that will last for billions upon billions of years, if not for eternity. With those kinds of odds, at least one planet out of all of that infinity had to be able to harbor life as we know it. That doesn’t mean there’s actually a reason behind it all. It just is.

    If that answer seems empty or nihilistic to you, I can’t help but point out that, not only do such considerations matter little in the search for truth, I also can’t help but disagree. In a world where God exists, surely there would be more to the universe than just us. No omnipotent being’s vision could’ve been that shallow and narrow. In a world where he doesn’t? Being God’s ‘special creation’ couldn’t compare to being- through random chance- the only intelligent lifeforms to exist now and possibly for eternity. It may be a lonely, purposeless existence, and death may be the one true end in ways that most people can’t accept, but life would be mysterious and unique and precious in a way too vast, too deep to understand.

    As for a purpose to our existence? Time renders all our actions obsolete. If you want a purpose to your life, make up your own. In that way, no one can help you- not your friends, not your family, not even your God. Only you can make your purpose in life. If you want to be devoted to something you can’t prove the existence of in any way, it’s your life. I’d rather be devoted to a confirmable truth than a baseless conjuration.

    Science doesn’t have all the answers. Neither does religion. Science supplies the more satisfactory ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, and ‘how’; religion supplies the more satisfactory ‘why’. I’ve just never found religion’s ‘why’ to be believable. From the moment I was smart enough to understand religion, I decided I was smart enough to reject it. You can make up answers to any and every question in the world. Eventually, you might get it right, but you’ve got as much chance as those monkeys on the typewriters randomly writing ‘Hamlet’. It’s kind of like the universal likelihood of making a planet that can harbor life. At least one solar system won that lottery. Unfortunately, most (if not all) of the rest of infinity didn’t.

    P.S. You’re right about one thing, at least- doing nothing but indulge complete and total hedonism would, at some point, become completely and totally boring. That’s why I’ve incorporated a reincarnation cycle into my ‘eternity’. Don’t confine my religion into your own boring little belief boxes. Unlike Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc., Pastafarianism can be whatever I want it to be. All I have to do is believe wholly in His Noodly Appendage. FSM will take care of the rest.

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      I think you summed up every point I have ever made…. in my life…. into a succinct post. From now on I may just have to link back to your post in my replies to newcomers.

      Hats off, applause, standing ovation and a well deserved kudos to you.

    • nun sequitur says:

      social /political control=religion, as well.

      • nun sequitur says:

        including fsm.

    • Christopher W says:

      Outstanding. I can’t tell you how great that comment is.

      I tell people all the time that religion is only a part of you because you were brainwashed with fear and the suggestion of suffering. Look at the terrorists of today. They are taken at a very young age and put in camps (Sunday School..Church groups) they are told that if they do not conform to the teachings that they will suffer a horrible fate…..sound familiar?

      Do you really give them an option? Are they old enough to form there own opinion? As a society we agreed that a person has little or no say in there own actions until they are 18…..what the heck are we doing shoving something as big as a god in there heads?

      Look I don’t care what you believe in. Just keep it to yourself and respect others. Dont impose your beliefs on others.
      This planet can not survive with ignorant and intolerant people such as yourself…..

      I dare any believers out there to wait until there child/children is/are or 18 yo and then tell them about religion…whether it be Christianity or anything….I will bet you anything they will tell you that your crazy.

      I am the last person to think I know what is what…I will tell you my opinion…..the universe is way too perfect a scale of checks and balances..science may not have all the answers but the ones they do have you can actually tangible
      If there was/is a supreme being it left our sides a long time ago….

    • Long John says:

      Ramen!

  4. Christopher W says:

    grammer and spelling in my last post was less than accurate…on my first cup of coffee.

    I will say that I have been interested in the FSM for a great while and recently found this page. Its refreshing to see so many people with similar views.

    • nun s equator says:

      If everyone had similar views, there would b shit all 2 talk about.

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      It is, isn’t it. Being in the minority a majority of the time in the real world, it is nice to be able to go somewhere (even online) to find people who have not drank the Kool-Aid. Welcome aboard matey :)

  5. nun s equator says:

    evicted by deception

  6. Tasm10 says:

    Hi guys,

    With reference to Tom’s point about the Pastafarian afterlife, I’m pretty sure that not every Pastafarian would want that afterlife or even an afterlife. Personally I prefer the idea of complete oblivion if I have to die, which hopefully the FSM(praise his noodly appendages) will grant me when that time arrives. Despite humanity’s need for eternal existence in some form or another, I suspect that eternal consciousness would get extremely boring but that would depend somewhat on the afterlife. Perhaps we should ask the FSM to grant us very long lives that we could quickly and painlessly end once living becomes to much to bear. However we live in a huge universe, and perhaps an even larger multiverse with so much wonder, discovery and FSM knows what else. Also Tom, I would like to point out that while some parts of the Pastafarian afterlife may seem as you put it, “not a very ambitious version of hedonism”, traditional Hedonists are too caught caught up in the present, you know with the feasting, drinking, wenching and dancing, to consider a grand ambitious afterlife. In fact some schools of Hedonsim don’t believe in an afterlife at all. Before I conclude this retrospectivly rambling attempt at a response to Tom’s points, I must point out the trouble I have with people applying phrases like “Quantum mechanics tells us that all possibilities exist simultaneously until foreclosed by inconsistent observations” to philosophical arguments like the existence of one or more deities. Although I have not yet finished my GCSE physics course I can say that quantum mechanics applies on THE QUANTUM SCALE, and until such time as a Singular Unified Theory emerges that allows for quantum gravity, applying the principles of the quantum world onto the macroscopic scale is at best iffy reasoning and at worst a blatant misunderstanding of Quantum theory.

    R’Amen
    Tasm10

    • Keith says:

      If you want complete oblivion you could do worse than study the hatemailers. They, after all, do not read anything, study anything, think about anything, live any sort of life: in short, they are “oblivious”.

  7. Lennart Wilén says:

    When I first visited your site, I think it was six years ago, I found it was very funny and I was also pleased that you took up the Fight against religious dogma in school.
    When I came back today I became a little sad. Not that you still existed, but that you are still needed.
    In Sweden we still celibrates school session in some Churches but with no preaching and only non-confessional songs are allowed.
    I wish you good luck in the future.
    Lennart W. (Swedish Pastafarian)

  8. Pirate Smily Face says:

    .D

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