75 minute FSM workshop

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75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:06 pm

So I'm going to be leading a workshop on Pastafarianism in a week. The current title is "FSM: Noodle Or Myth?" The name isn't really important, and I can work with that one, though if you guys have any better ideas, feel free to shout them out.

The audience is 14-18 year old Unitarian Universalists, which is a very pluralist, multiple ways to truths, no dogma type religion. They'll all be fairly liberal, so and a higher percentage of them will have heard about it before, as compared to the general population.

I'm just not entirely sure what to do. It's occurring at a conference themed around food in a social action/justice aspect. other workshops are about things like composting, knowing where your food comes from, etc. I dunno how much of that spin we can put on it. Is the Million Noodle March still applicable?


My ideas so far are to bring the Gospel and the open letter, read the letter and selections from the Gospel to introduce them. I'll have a Q&A session at some point, so that'll get the audience involved, but I'm not sure what else I can do to make it interactive.

As far as visual aides go, I'm limited to whatever I bring with me (which I don't want to be much), and an easel & pens. I'll probably re-create the graph, and draw key points as I talk about them (FSM itself, mountains, trees, midget, etc.)

I'm going to have 75 minutes, though I only need to aim to fill 60 minutes worth. Hopefully if we get something good going here, it can become a template used for other, similar presentations.

So, ideas?
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Edd on Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:44 pm

I'd point out that religions seem to always incorporate food into their rituals and, even though Bobby most likely decided that the Flying Monster should be made of spaghetti for humorous reasons and included beer valcanoes because he was in college at the time, because ours is a satirical religion, we would have inevitably settled upon some type of dish as a preferable communion. Religions arise from cultures and cultures are often closely associated with certain diets and delicacies. I'm sure that Unitarians realize that what's on the menu is meant to help one identify with others of the same background, reinforcing the familial bonds in the shared activity of breaking a fast, enjoying the fruits of labor, or relaxing and unwinding around a table or fire.

It might be a good idea to mention the 'I just ate spaghetti' thread and the 'What are you eating right now?' thread as examples of how the Church of the FSM uses food to encourage participation in the forums.
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Ubi Dubium on Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:58 pm

My first question is - can we come? Can I send the UbiDubiKids at least? Send us the where and when details if we can come.

I'm thinking of several different topics you could cover.

Of course, start with our basic theology, and don't forget intelligent falling as an alternative to gravity. And the Eight I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts, and our flimsy moral values.

And then, of course, the main point of all of this: how preposterous it is for religion to be taught in science classes, and how we point this out by insisting on equal time for our silliness. You should probably point out that it's not necessary to be an atheist in order to be a Pastafarian, even though many of us are. It's only necessary to believe in the separation of church and state, particularly in the public schools. We are fighting to preserve secular education, not to abolish religion.

But then, there are several other ways in which the Church of the FSM (pesto be upon him) has been useful.

First, we hold up a mirror to other religions. Sure, what we believe is silly. But if a xian or other "true believer" in another religion looks at any religion other than their own, they also see it as silly. Our "religion" has echoes of many others in it. To any xian who is offended by the FSM, they really should think about how what they believe would appear to an outsider. And - we emphasize not taking yourself too seriously, which all true believers could use a dose of. Remember what the FSM (pbuh) says in the Seventh I'd Really Rather You Didn't: "Get Over Yourselves, You're Not That Interesting." Pastafarian counter-protests to Westboro Baptist are particularly good examples of this.

And lastly, we provide a tool for analyzing the validity of religious apologetics and other attempts to logically prove anything about a god. In this, the FSM (pbuh) is much like the Invisible Pink Unicorn and Russells Teapot. You can't prove that any of them are not true. (But with Pastafarianism, we have all of the trappings of other religions, which they lack.) If you take any argument for the existence of a particular god, insert the FSM (pbuh), and find that the argument makes just as much logical sense as before, then it's a poor argument. Any valid argument for preferring one particular religion over another has got to be good enough that it can't be FSM'd. We can also counter claims of truth stemming from a holy book because we have one too. If they claim to be special because of "chosen people" or "sacred garments" or "ritual meals", we've got all that. If they try to be "sciencey" we can be just as "sciencey" right back at them. (We have a graph and everything!)

Hope you have fun wit this. Let us know if we can come.
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:15 pm

Unfortunately, the registration for the event is closed. I should've realized ubidubikid#1 could come 'cause of age, but since you guys don't come to my church (or any, if memory serves) I hadn't made the connection. She could come to later ones, though. I'll PM you about it.

Thanks for the good explanations. I plan on having the very first part be completely straight-faced fundamental FSM beliefs. Once I get all that stuff out of the way, and hopefully get the audience going, I'll be like "But seriously, here's why we do this." and explain things like how the graph reminds us that a relationship doesn't mean correlation. Or what was the exact wording of that?

I'll try to have a general outline/script and post it here for you guys by Monday or Tuesday.
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Ubi Dubium on Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:14 am

I think you are after "correlation does not imply causation".

Let us know if anybody drops out. If there's space I'd be happy to bring UDK#1, in full pirate regalia, with a copy of the Gospel and our small devotional pipecleaner FSM's. Or let us know if you are presenting it again, and we'll be sure to sign her up.

We've visited your church a couple of times, but only saw you there the once. I'll watch for more details on your presentation - this looks great!
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:34 pm

I've been much more regular this year, so if you come at all, I'll most definitely be there. Actually, I should invite you guys to the youth service. I will PM you and stop distracting from the topic on hand.

Which I have no further developments on, so yeah...
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:50 pm

I've acquired the ability to have a power point presentation projected upon the plaster of the wall, or some screen.

So, I've started putting together said presentation, along with a script. I will do my best to convey the experience.

The Bolds are the titles to pages with bullets. The normal text under those is the slide's bullet, and the italics are what the presenter should say, approximately.

The Set Up:
Kasnas Board of Education: Intelligent Design allowed to be taught.
In 2005, the Kansas board of education decided to allow the teaching of Intelligent Design in school, in science class, as a legitimate alternative to the tested, proven, and widely accepted theory of evolution.

Grounds being: Students should be exposed to different “theories.”
The prevailing argument in favor of the decision was that students should not be exposed to just one theory, they should have a wider range of things to learn from.

Enter: The Open Letter
So, the good prophet Bobby Henderson took up charcoal and papyrus, as is customary for Prophets, and wrote a letter to the Kansas Board of Education. At first, it seemed to be a failure, garnering no response from the Board. But then, a miracle occurred. The Flying Spaghetti Monster went back in time, invented the internet, and then told Bobby to post the Open Letter on the internet. From there, it took off like wildfire, as many of the Pastafarians who had been living in secret were finally able to come out, and the Letter started getting attention.

Next Slide: Touched By His Noodly Appendage image, or other such suitable generic FSM pic.

The Letter (Proceed to next slide at the following sentences):

None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it.
<Picture of Loose Canon, Ideally eventually a picture of the actual text, printed out and sprawled about somehow>

Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia.
<Picture of Captain Jack Sparrow reading. Caption: A Pastafarian teacher reviews the days lesson.>

For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years
<Graph>

P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures.
<Said drawing>

I Read It In This Book…:

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
The word was out, and the believers were hungry for more.

Intelligent Designs
Some wanted more evidence and proof for the FSM. They either weren’t fully convinced themselves yet, or they were eager to start educating others.

Humor
Others wanted more of the witty repartee to entertain themselves, and again, show others.

Spiritual Guidance
Some just wanted and actual holy book, or at least have their prophet be published and somewhat legitimate. What Bobby wrote was a bit of all three, and I’d like to now share with you a particular excerpt.

That transitions into the next 8 slides being the 8 I'd Really Rather You Didn't.

Nothing else jumps out at me to be included in the "Straight Faced" section. The next portions would be explaining the true cause behind the movement, perhaps quoting a bit from The Cause section of the website, as well as some of the things that have been said here, and may be said in the future.


Again, any thoughts, criticisms, ideas for things to put it, or whatever, is very welcome.
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby teripie on Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:14 pm

Are you going to be wearing appropriate garb? Got your pirate regalia all cleaned up?
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Ubi Dubium on Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:09 pm

This is Qwerty we are talking about. He wears Pirate regalia to school! And it's not very Piratey to clean up your regalia, anyway.

Great start, Qwerty. Do you have any idea how long what you have so far will take to present, and how much more material you might be looking for?
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:56 am

Second half, I think it's actually pretty good. I haven't had the time to time it (ha), but I'll do that later today. I have no pictures yet, though I may be able to acquire some scientific graphs for the science section. I was a bit worried about the presentation being too dry, but it's the more serious part, so I don't feel so bad. But if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear how I can spice it up.

Also, it should be noted that it gets more note-like than script-like in some parts, but if you're familiar with the subject matter, it shouldn't be hard to know what to say.

She Blinded Me With Science!

Gravity vs. Noodle Pressure
Gravity is one of the many unproven “theories” being taught in science class today. Since it is unproven, clearly any other suggestion is just as valid, so I submit the FSM. You see, the reason we don’t fly off the earth is because the FSM pushes down on us. Examples: midgets get more touching. 0 C.E. male height: 5’3” 2000 C.E male height: 5’10”. Third world countries, health crisis/poverty yields shorter population. Pg 4

Communion Test
Two subjects were asked to fast for 72 hours to minimize outside forces. Then one was given typical Catholic Communion, paper thin wafer. The other was given typical FSM Communion, large portions of spaghetti and meatballs. Christian: listless, decreased heart rate, body temp, brain function. Pastafarian: increased heart rate, body temperature, brain function, felt “full”. Pg 38

Kiwi Experiment
Evolution: Kiwi birds are flightless, no predators. FSM: Kiwi birds are lazy. Dump Truck Over Cliff experiment, pg 48.

Conclusion: We Rock.
It is experiments, logical conjecture, and well-cooked meals like the ones I’ve just mentioned that are evidence for the FSMs superiority over not only Evolution and other fancy-pants science, but of all other forms of Intelligent Design.


But Seriously, Folks:

Separation of Church and State:
The issue that started all this was the teaching of Intelligent Design in public high school science class, next to Evolution. Pastafarian exists to show how silly the arguments and tactics of ID are, since they can be used in favor of a floating cosmic complex-carbohydrate. This is the main, or at least original purpose of the church.

Correlation vs. Causation.
One of the main blunders that ID makes sometimes is confusing correlation with causation. The original reason for the pirate graph is to highlight that this is not always the case: you can’t just make a graph and call it science.

Lighten up, dude.
A lot of people get unhealthily worked up about issues. Religion is one of them. FSM is designed to help emphasize the importance of not taking oneself too seriously. 7th I’d Really Rather You Didn’t: “Get Over Yourself. You’re Not That Interesting.” It’s like Political Cartoons. We still take government and the issues brought up in cartoons seriously, but we still laugh at it. The Daily Show/Colbert Report: Sure they’re funny, but they’re also making important points.

God =/= Proof
We provide a tool for analyzing the validity of religious apologetics and other attempts to logically prove anything about a god. In this, the FSM is much like the Invisible Pink Unicorn and Russells Teapot. You can't prove that any of them are not true. (But with Pastafarianism, we have all of the trappings of other religions, which they lack.) If you take any argument for the existence of a particular god, insert the FSM, and find that the argument makes just as much logical sense as before, then it's a poor argument. Any valid argument for preferring one particular religion over another has got to be good enough that it can't be FSM'd. We can also counter claims of truth stemming from a holy book because we have one too. If they claim to be special because of "chosen people" or "sacred garments" or "ritual meals", we've got all that. If they try to be "sciencey" we can be just as "sciencey" right back at them. (We have a graph and everything!) Our point is, you can’t prove or disprove any sort of God, and you shouldn’t either.


The Church Grows and Expands:

Community
Bobby Henderson is cautious about defining the role of the church, as it means different things to different people. He’s said that “People get something out of religion despite their lack of literal belief; peace, a sense of community, a way to understand the world – whatever. With Pastafarianism, literal belief is even less important; belief is not required for our religion, because we have no irrational Dogma that requires faith.” Also: “We are pursuing a religion that makes the world a better place. It means something different to each of us. We don’t need to analyze it.”

Pirate Ship
The current goal Bobby has for the church is the pirate ship, to travel the world and spread the word, hold rallies, be awesome, etc. Currently all proceeds of the Gospel and merchandise go to that fund (or feeding Bobby, which is certainly within reason).

FSM as a Unifying Force.
There’s some who say that all the worlds religions really point to basically the same thing, or that they must all be interpretations of something similar. The FSM can be that thing, as it’s a made-up Deity. Not that it *is* that thing, but it can be used to describe it. Pastafarians come from all walks of life, atheists, Christians, UUs, hindus, you name it. Some even truly believe in the FSM. (Personal note: My agnostic leanings lead me away from espousing belief in a deity, but any religious experience I have had has been in the Pastafarian Context. FSM is my deity of choice) Through the FSM, people of all faiths can worship together simply by dressing like pirates and eating pasta, and who doesn’t enjoy doing that?


What Can You Do?

Spread The Word
More than anything, exposure is the most important thing to any movement. Money helps in a capitalistic society, and using that money to actually do good is the ultimate goal, but the best way to get said money is to have a large following. Don’t be afraid to explain the FSM to someone else.

Be A Pirate
People often make statements by wearing a message on a shirt, or certain garb. Well, if you dress like a pirate, believe me, you will get some attention. If you are not able to dress like a pirate all the time, perhaps just on Fridays. That makes the practice more regular, and also more peculiar, prompting more questions, that you can easily answer. If full regalia is not feasible, you could just wear a T-shirt or something. If you don’t want to be bombarded by questions every day, or every week, how about once a year? September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate Day, and is the most holy holiday. An Excellent chance to dress up like a pirate, talk like a pirate, have fun with friends, and go out and educate the masses!

Join The Forum
If you’re a socially inept shut-in who spends their entire day on the computer, why not join the forum? There’s a vibrant community of die-hard Pastafarians ready to discuss any questions you may have, or if you prefer just lurking, it’s an excellent source for Pastafarian current events and discussions. I will also note that it is the source of the Loose Canon, and the location in which that is continually collected and organized, at least until further notice.

Buy Merchandise
There are of course shirts, mugs, earrings, bumper stickers, etc that you can purchase for reasonable prices. If you’re going to donate, you might as well get something out of it.

Form Your Own Chapter
Perhaps the most important aspect of the church; literally growing it. In High School you can form a club, or if there aren’t enough people for a club/no sponsor/not quite the right climate, getting a group of people to dress like pirates on Fridays can produce the same results. Club or no, I suggest dressing like a pirate, and going to a local food location after school and having a good time, explaining the point if people get curious. Just be careful not to offend. Prime locations are either Italian/pizza, and/or places that plenty of local students go to. As for college, you can have more success with Clubs. They generally have a member requirement, but the college will often be able to give you more support. In high school, hanging out and eating pasta is all good and fine, but if you make one of these groups in college, it’s important to have plenty of activities. Having regular Friday services can be very helpful. They don’t need to be terribly structured, but if you can make the point more than just eating and drinking together, you’re getting somewhere. You could assign different people different weeks to write something, either a sermon, or just something spiritually significant. You could also go for more of a Quaker style, less structured worship time.



I'd like specific feedback on FSM as a Unifying Force, since I want to make sure that makes sense to everyone.

Also, the Form Your Own Chapter section is more based on what I think sounds about right than experience. If anyone who has experience with regular groups, do share any advice you have!
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Ubi Dubium on Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:15 am

Looking very good. In your gravity section, don't forget how the Chinese, the "inventors of pasta" have been especially blessed historically. All the extra attention from his Noodliness made them shorter than everybody else. He was obviously pushing down on them more with His Noodly Appendages! Of course, in recent years there are more of them, and so fewer Noodly Appendages to go around, so they have been getting taller lately.

Also - one of the best scientific "proofs" that our theories are correct: The FSM (pbuh) interferes in scientific experiments with his Noodly Appendage whenever he feels like it. He is particularly likely to interfere with any experiment designed to establish his existence, but might interfere with any experiment. So when an experiment produces inconclusive results, that is positive evidence! Every inconclusive experiment ever done makes our case stronger! You can't prove it isn't true! And look how many scientists have given us endorsements! (The Academic Endorsements section of the main page could provide you with some samples of these).

Are you familiar with this website? http://controversy.wearscience.com/

They do "Teach the Controversy" t-shirts, and a lot of them are great. I thought it might be a good source for some images for how ridiculous the whole "teach the controversy" thing is anyway. Here's a sample:

Image Image Image

If there are particular points in your talk that you need to find pictures for, let us know. We can probably help you find them.
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:19 am

I suppose all of it, at least in that last post. Considering I have no pictures for any of it, anything would be helpful. But don't stress over anything, I'm sure it's fine the way it is.
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Ubi Dubium on Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:58 am

Hmm. I'll have to check the "Answers in Genesis" website, or find some pictures of the Creation "museum" for examples of what we're fighting. The "Sightings" page on the main blog should have some good examples of his manifestations that you could use about anywhere, if you just need background images. And you could lift an image or two from the store, like a t-shirt or a car emblem. And of course, you have the graph, and Bobby's creation sketch.

One of the most boring lectures I ever went to in my whole life had slides. Three of them. Two hours of lecture and only 3 slides. (And this was the genius who inventes the idea of the paradigm shift! He was brilliant, but a horrible speaker.) Some other colossally boring lectures had powerpoint slides of exactly what the presenter was saying, and no pictures. So if you are going to do a powerpoint presentation, make sure you have lots of pictures. It looks like you are keeping the text to a minimum, just listing your main points. That's perfect.

Oh, also on the main page are some printable brochures. You might want to pick one to print out for your audience to take with them. Or, to steal an idea from HealthyAddict, give them each a piece of uncooked spaghetti as they leave.
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:11 pm

Okay, so I read the whole thing, and now I'm thirsty. I suppose that's a good sign, but it clocked in at about 17 minutes. Granted, that was speaking fairly fast ,but I'd probably be taking it really slowly if I went over 25 minutes.

The idea is to have ti be geared at new Pastafarians, so keeping that in mind I'd like to come up with some kind of interactive thing to do, so that it's not just a presentation.

The only thing I can come up with is having people practice FSM vs. ID debates, but I don't really think it's a good idea to try with newbies, and staff of one.

Any sort of activity would be good, because I'm definitely going to need something else to fill the time. Even if there's something else to add to the powerpoint (which I wouldn't mind), there's no way I can add 40 minutes to it.

Perhaps some kind of question and answer thing? Put up a question, and ask for volunteers to answer it, or otherwise interact with it, doesn't have to just be Q&A. Could set up some entertaining circular logic traps, but I'll need help coming up with them...
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Re: 75 minute FSM workshop

Postby teripie on Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:46 pm

Perhaps you can make it a little more interactive. Get some audience participation going after each section. Ask or take questions
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