Thought I'd share this with you. I followed a link from a discussion in General FSM News
to a BBC commentary
on an article in The New Yorker
about the history of atheism - all of it worth a read.
Although I'm only a recent convert (of a few days) to Pastafarianism, I made refererence to Him and to our Church in my reply. Although not directly linked to the education issue (though I did mention it), I hope this doesn't put me in the category of one of those "radical people who consider this the perfect vehicle to spread their inane doctrines.
Anyway, this is what I wrote (linking to this site). Comments welcome.
â€œWho can say what the landscape will look like once unbelief has enjoyed a past as long as Islamâ€™sâ€”let alone as long as Christianityâ€™s?â€ - Anthony Gottlieb
I donâ€™t believe we as a species can afford for it to take as long as that to spread. Itâ€™s quite ironic considering that Christians have traditionally used â€œThe end is nighâ€ to frighten people into being â€œsavedâ€ but looking at the world today, if in 50 yrs time we havenâ€™t been annihilated by religionists (be they religiously driven rogue states or terrorists), weâ€™ll be lucky.
But I seriously think satire could come to the rescue and save the world! If I say to a religious person â€œWhat you believe is based on nothing in fact and therefore any claims you make (e.g. that you should get public money to fund your school) is outrageousâ€, I am attacking something dear to that person and the conversation is going nowhere. If on the other hand I put an entirely different argument to that person, looking at a situation thatâ€™s more distant and possibly avoiding his/her particular religion I may have a chance of sowing some seeds of doubt in the concept of religion itself.
For instance â€œThe Islamists and Zionists are mistaken in their claims to the Temple Mount. We of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have the true claim to it as He has revealed to usâ€¦â€ and so on. The only thing we â€˜Pastafariansâ€™ donâ€™t have that the others do is a history in the region but a little stretch of the imagination can rationalize up something on that front. Any other argument, on the other hand, attacking the validity of any particular aspect of â€˜my beliefâ€™ can be turned around to question the validity of the same aspect of their own.
I donâ€™t think the particular numbers or classification of non-believers/atheists etc. matters. Whatâ€™s required is that more of us find a way of illustrating the ridiculousness of faith before itâ€™s too late - and a parody religion might just do the trick