1070613 Views
936 Comments

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”

1 4 5 6 7 8 25
  1. ray says:

    Hi Tom.
    We pastafarians sure do differ from each other. I personally don’t hate religions or spirituality at all. They’re all pretty wonderful at their core…be nice, do good work, do the best thing, be aware, be compassionate, all is one, love is everything, peace is the way…all that. Different paths for different cultures, all leading to the same place. I have chosen to believe and practice the parts i like out of a variety of them.

    We religious/spiritual types aren’t here to force our silly stories and beliefs on each other. We are here to create peace, find enlightenment, do the right thing. This is how I use the silliness of the FSM story… to remind religious people who have strayed away from the core goal of their religion (with dogmatism/self-righteousness, etc) back to the central tenet (peace/enlightenment, etc), all with good humor and lightness of spirit and love.

    I definitely do not feel like I am dishonoring my own spirit or theirs in my use of FSMism.

    PS.
    It is apparent that you an intelligent, thinking person by the way you write. It really is. I detect a hint of egotism and “I am highly educated and really smart”-ness in your letter and subsequent posts. When I detect egotism, I want to fight you to prove that I am smarter than you, rather than hearing your ideas. The result is you lose your audience. Just a friendly note from one of the other zillions of smart people out here. Please Do keep up the good work and the searching. IMHO, you’re doing fine.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks dude.
      I agree with the comments about egotism. In a sense, this is a backlash against a cultural attitude where people no longer strive to be noble, to be the best human beings they can be. Religion, at its best, can remind us that the greater good requires each of us finding what’s great and good in ourselves.

  2. Apostle Strozzapreti says:

    I seem to have sparked some good-natured debating with my buddhism remark. While it would be impossible for me to really explain in depth the full buddhist philosophy- there is a few key things I happen to like, and is important for me in my daily life. They postulate being responsible for ones own actions, and to live without judgements. Also, the whole karma thing is so cliche’, usually associated with negative thoughts/actions. I am not sure karma was ever intended to be cast in a negative way.

    As much as I admire the buddhist principles, it is not realistic for me to live my life in thier manner. I was born and raised in western society and do not have the discipline needed. That being said, I do try to follow some of thier beliefs. Why? Simply because it feels right.

    I daresay I do not even consider Buddhism a religion, its more of a belief system.

    • Sean Boyd says:

      Your position is not, I suspect, uncommon. There was a time when I sat zazen (on my black pillow, no less).

      Grog, wenches and pillaging is a lot more fun.

      • Apostle Strozzapreti says:

        I cannot argue with your logic sir. That is why I am pastafarian.

    • Simon says:

      I am Buddhist (and a pastafarian too), and have always considered Buddhism a philosophy more than a religion. The big difference for me is that Buddha (the original Buddha) said “do not believe anything that doesn’t make sense to you, even if I have said it”. To me that is the very large separation of eastern and western religion. Buddha was never recognized as infallible, and today the Dali Lama doesn’t pretend to be infallible either. Buddhists believe in a the noble truths of life, this has NOTHING to do with the unanswerable questions. Buddhists on the whole submit a theory of what happens to the electrical energy when you die, but they spend way more time telling you how to live. The reasons are also not based on hocus pocus and fear of punishment, it’s simply the core fundamental concept of recognizing what life is about.

  3. Matt says:

    I can tell you with no doubt what happens after you die. You begin to decompose and smell bad. You were created by sperm mixing with an egg, just like trout and chickens. In the grand scheme of things you are no better or worse than a chicken or trout. Life really has no meaning we simply live, reproduce and die. Grow up and deal with it! You will die someday and that is it.

    • Gargamelli says:

      Wow! Won’t you be suprised when you wake up on the deck of a pirate ship straddled by You Know What.

  4. J0ker says:

    >Quantum mechanics tells us that all possibilities exist simultaneously until foreclosed by inconsistent observations.

    you wrongly understand this affirmation:
    – first: it’s not “possibilities” exist – actually all STATES “exist” (quoted. Why? read second)
    – second: “exist” in this case is just a convenience term – we able to use “don’t exist” – in the same meaning. Your understanding of existence is not related to quantum existence. At all.

    >So, with regard to what we truly cannot know or observe, it’s possible that all beliefs are equally “true” and very much real.

    This affirmation is totally wrong. Look for “non-informative prior” and “principle of indifference”

    >It’s an incredibly powerful thought: that we can design our own eternity simply by imagining it.

    wrong proposition based on wrong affirmations

    sorry, Tom, you need read more and much more to understand

    • Gargamelli says:

      You say “wrong” a lot but don’t really give very good reasons.

  5. Masterpowerful says:

    “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.”

    Dude. Come on. Really? Quantum mechanics does not say that at all. It only states that any sub-atomic possibility can happen at the sub-atomic level, and that’s it. Size matters in the universe. Once you move beyond the sub-atomic (or quantum) level of the universe, that principle no longer applies. If anything was possible at all times there would be no order/natural laws in the universe. Do you actually mean what you are saying here? No, all beliefs are not equal. Beliefs tend to improve with knowledge, which then makes old beliefs stupid: eclipses are caused by the moon moving between the earth and the sun; not an angry god who got ticked off at you for not killing a goat in his/her name.

    “This does not mean that actual religion — the sincere attempt to understand the unknowable — is inherently stupid or necessarily bullshit.”
    Hunh? By the very definition of “understand” you would have to know something in order to understand it. One cannot even attempt to understand something if it is unknowable. You can try to understand something you do not know about now, but that only means that it is not unknowable – it’s knowable!

  6. Walter says:

    I have wholeheartedly embraced Pastafarianism. My friends tell me what it means whenever they have had a dozen beers. Each of them. I started feeling really comfortable after becoming part of this wonderful movement, with its ancient and secret knowledge. I admit that I have never read anything about it, but I believe everything anyway. I was sure I’d soon see the light. But instead yesterday evening I saw the spaghettis on my plate, and a most horrible thought struck me: Am I commiting the worst of all sacrileges by eating spaghettis? Please help me!

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      Oh, no! Consider eating pasta just like a Catholic might view communion – consuming the body and blood of their god.

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      My vote certainly goes with tFtPtM. From time to time, both here and in more hidebound religions, there are complex debates about transubstantiation and its ineffable meaning. In our one true Church, the Pasta and the Marinara pass thru our lips to become….well…Pasta and Marinara. R’Amen

  7. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    “While life should not be taken too seriously, this doesn’t mean we should live with absolute frivolity.”

    I quite agree. We should be deadly serious when talking about world-wide floods, virgin births, resurrection from the dead, a man living within a fish for days, the sun stopping in the sky….Bwaaaahaaahaaa!

  8. Christer says:

    You’re a fraud and you know it! How can you possibly think that Spaghetti is God? More people in the world eat rice or grains than pasta. God is therefore obviously either a Risotto or a Loaf Of Bread.

    • Insightful Ape says:

      You are a troll and you know it. How can anything be reading your mind all the time? And the minds of all other billions of human being as well? Past, present and future? God is therefore obviously a figment of your imagination.

      • Christer says:

        I hadn’t thought of that.

        • FSM says:

          HAHAHAHA

1 4 5 6 7 8 25

Leave a Reply