Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, please!

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Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, please!

Postby TDKs on Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:45 pm

I'm currently arguing with some folks that my driver's license "stunt" is an attempt to further the previous work of others for a) religious acceptance and b) to clarify that religions DO get exceptions that other groups and people do not. Drawing attention to the fact that religions do get special benefits by applying for said benefits (even if they're not used) seems practical to me.

I'm not convinced that religions should have so many benefits that other groups struggle to access themselves (tax benefits, reduced buildings costs, legal exemptions/benefits, unjust laws based on religion, advertisement in schools at risk of damaging students education, special benefits if incarcerated, etc) and that, really, religions shouldn't have special privileges just because they're religions.

If they're actually charities, then they should be entitled to the same rights as other charities. I don't feel it right that they should be manipulative in their "charity", using it to solely promote their own religion, to get converts - (look at that idiocy with that church "helping" by sending rosaries and bibles to the Philippines.) - or to push an agenda that will harm others including those NOT of their religion (like those anti-abortion lobbyist).

I feel they are in very much the same (handwaves for missing word) as Bobby's Letter.

If enough people pay attention and if they start to make noise about it, I'm hoping something might get done about it. Maybe someone with the ability to DO something about it WILL do something about it. Maybe we can get enough notice to start a petition to push for action. Naive, possibly, but it's a hell of a lot better than doing NOTHING. My "opponent" feels it is hypocritical to attempt to apply for the same benefits (and that it undermines such goals), regardless of whether you'd use them or not. I personally feel it's quite appropriate, considering! :P

I would be very interested in your views on the matter.
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby Pete Byrdie on Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:02 pm

Holding a mirror up to religion, challenging definitions, and simply making things awkward for authorities to give special rights to religious groups are the things I appreciate most about Pastafarianism. If we can make it impossible for the law to define a religion in a way that doesn't look ludicrous and exclusive, that's good work. If we can get the law defining religions so broadly that everyone can have a go at making up their own religion, just as good. But it won't happen in such a sweeping manner. It will happen by increments. Eventually, people will take notice, and the right questions will be asked.

To be honest, I think if a religious body wants to give money to a charity it should do so, but it should never be considered as a charity. It's an organisation, and ultimately it exists for the good of its members.
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby TDKs on Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:34 pm

Pete, just so much yes. That's summarised my position perfectly :)
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:35 pm

The separation of church and state are definitely important, and there are absolutely places where it should be challenged. But in terms of the licence photo, I actually might tend towards agreeing with your opponent these days. Or at least, seeing their side. I'm not sure it's the worst thing either way (as long as we aren't undermining law enforcement by making the licence photos unusable). But I think there is a bit of hypocrisy in it.

I do think religions should have some legal considerations, but only insofar as to protect freedom of belief and practice. So taking the license photo example, the government wants no hats or anything because they just want the most basic picture of someone, clearly showing their face, so that we can identify people, make sure they are who they are, etc. Now, if someone needs to wear a head covering at all times (or at least in public), for their religion or culture, that makes sense to me to stay on for the license since any time it would really come up, they'd be wearing it. Granted, if you're wearing a colander or what have you in a license photo, it probably won't make much difference either.

I guess the thing is that an easy way to interpret the colander license ID action is that someone who does not have sincere religious beliefs is asking for an exemption on religious grounds. So, if this is a political statement, isn't the political statement "everyone should have access to exemptions regardless of their sincerity?" Or, more dangerously, "only those who can prove a consistent, sincere belief should have access to exemptions?" But, taking the former, if everyone gets exceptions, there's no point to having the rules or laws in the first place. So if the next logical thing is to just have the laws without exceptions, it seems possible that basic religious freedom might be trampled in certain cases. Or at least a great deal of angst might exist where it could easily be avoided.

As for tax exemption, do religions get different tax exemption from charities and other non-profits? I always figured they were all 503(c)1 organizations, religious or otherwise.

So, I suppose what I'm saying is if you want a religious exemption, it should be for a real, sincere religious belief (which I believe is totally possible for Pastafarianism, though perhaps rare). That's just my opinion though, and it certainly depends on what the religious exemption is.

That is, FSM (regardless of sincere belief) is perfect for pointing out when religions are wrongly privileged and muddy the lines between church and state. Teaching creatinoism in public schools is the prime example of this. That's not even a "religious exemption" though, because they only way they can even hack it is by pretending to be science, which they aren't. So really, maybe Pastafarinism is more about pointing out what is and isn't science and shouldn't worry so much about religion. Still, my point is that I do think there are political statements about separation of church and state that can and should be made with Pastafarianism. I just question whether license photos (unless for sincere belief/practice, like if you actually wear a colander or pirate hat everywhere) is actually an effective and meaningful exercise of that.

Lastly, I'm curious if people (in general) are not aware that religions get special benefits when applied for. It seems so fundamental to much of the legal system in america, even the uneducated should have some experience with the practice. I think most people are aware of it, they just don't have a problem with it (at least in principle, or re: license photos, specific implementation may not always be perfect).

Just my $0.02!

EDIT: just read the other thread about your efforts in the UK. So, first I apologize for assuming this was happening in America, I'm certainly less educated on separation of church and state in the UK. But my main question is the same, how sincerely do you hold the Pastafarian beliefs, and what exactly are those to you anyway? I think the contradiction might be in asking for religious exemptions, and trying to argue that Pastafarianism is a religion that should be entitled to similar exemptions, yet at the same time trying to make the point that religions should not get exemptions. Perhaps it would be more of a statement to say "This is my religion, and we don't need no stinkin' exemptions." Also, just a question for Pastafarians in general: do we seek religious exemption so that we will be recognized as a religion, or do we seek recognition as a religion to get access to exemptions? Do we in fact need any exemptions?
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby Pete Byrdie on Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:33 am

I've had my doubts in the past about whether the wearing of a colander in photos was really equivalent to the religious garb of other faiths. After all, members of other religions wear their headwear all the time, so could legitimately claim that it is a facet of their identity. If we wore colanders all the time, we'd be beaten thrice daily. But then, some religious practice is cultural or a real world interpretation of scripture. A culture of having ourselves photographed wearing colanders has arisen within the Pastafarian community, in my opinion. Our cultural identity is as important to us as our Gospel, so I say, keep getting those colanders in photos, true believers! It is not just to honour the sacrifice He made when He boiled for our sins. It represents how our brains are defended from dogmatic faith, with holes only noodly appendages can enter.
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby TDKs on Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:50 pm

Well, the whole thing's just a tad on the ridiculous side anyway - rarely does religious headgarb obstruct identifying features, with exception to veils, of course. (But that's a bit silly in an identification photo, just food for thought...)
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby DavidH on Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:54 pm

So colanders are silly? What about miniature instruments of torture on chains?
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby TDKs on Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:02 pm

Colanders are eminently practical. But as headwear, equally as silly as other religious garbs. Read that as you will. :)

So long as you're enjoying your instruments with either yourself or consenting others of legal age and mental status, then I have no issues with it. Come to think of it, same goes for religious headwear too.
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby Rev. Rowan Redbeard on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:40 pm

I believe the argument goes that the FSM is a lazy and drunken deity, and therefore would rather just check people's ID when they die. By wearing a colander, strainer, or pirate headgear in any official photo ID, you are ensuring that the FSM will be able to identify you as a Pastafarian upon your death, and hence will send you to the Beer Volcano.

Otherwise he has to figure it out, and that might mean you end up in limbo for a while until he sobers up enough to work on his To-Do list.
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby IspywithmeI on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:48 am

I don't think a religion should have political goals. The goal of FSMism should be to promote a scientific worldview (hypotheses supported with proof). This does not exclude miracles/very unlikely events. It should however make everyone skeptical about such events.

A pastafarian should therefore strive to improve education. That's the only policy advice I would give. It would be nice if politicians would also meet the needs of planet, global population, country, population, voters and party in that order, but that's not the way the system works.
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby IspywithmeI on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:28 pm

I don't see anything wrong with religions receiving benefits. A common religion keeps people together. It's part of the culture. Many people would be lost without spiritual leadership. What would you suggest as an alternative? For example, stealing from a rich person and giving to a poor person would be considered good by a fan of Robin Hood. From that it's a small step to violent crime. From that it's only one more step to murder. A police state would be a solution but I would be happier with schools teaching
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you


By the way, I believe the FSM is even more lazy than RRR believes. He won't check if you carry an ID. He will just check what you're wearing. If you intend to wear pastafarian headgear ALL THE TIME just in case than I think it's only fair you are also allowed to wear it for your ID photo.
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby TDKs on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:34 pm

Reverend, I really like that! :D

Ispy - sadly, to get involved with education is to get political.
Furthermore, "From that it's a small step to violent crime. From that it's only one more step to murder." - I have to advise you to look up what a "slippery slope fallacy" is, as you've just committed it.

The issue is with religious groups receiving benefits that others are not entitled to - if they're charitable, then they should receive the same rights as other charities, under the conditions other charities are bound to. If they are not, then they should not be getting them.

I usually wear a Pastafarian necklace, and I always have my pin badge on my jacket. On the other hand, Pastafarian ID means I won't get ID'd for being served.
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby IspywithmeI on Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:38 pm

TDKs wrote:"From that it's a small step to violent crime. From that it's only one more step to murder." - I have to advise you to look up what a "slippery slope fallacy" is, as you've just committed it.

Clearly you didn't see Pain & Gain. I see what you mean: there seems to be no evidence that within a criminal career one starts with theft, works up to robbery and ends up with murder. Still what I said is not a slippery slope fallacy because Robin Hood also committed armed robbery. Murder is what happens during an armed robbery if the victim fights back and the criminal isn't prepared to give up. The connection is taking from the rich to give to the poor. Why not kill a fat rich bastard to feed 10 starving children?

TDKs wrote:The issue is with religious groups receiving benefits that others are not entitled to - if they're charitable, then they should receive the same rights as other charities, under the conditions other charities are bound to. If they are not, then they should not be getting them.

I don't see anything wrong with charity organizations using some money to promote themselves. In the Netherlands Christian churches collected almost 250 million euro in 2013 which is mostly used for paying staff and maintaining churches with the goal of helping men/women. If they consider spreading the gospel helping who are you to say you know better? The people donating the 250 million probably believe they've been helped.

TDKs wrote: Pastafarian ID means I won't get ID'd for being served.

Why is that bad?
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby TDKs on Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:24 pm

Being ID'd? Because if you don't have ID with you, you don't get served.

With regards to Robin Hood - well, your main problem there is stealing is not ethical to start with.

"charity organizations using some money to promote themselves" - which would be great, if the churches were held to the same classifications and requirements as charities are. But they're not. Churches are getting special privileges that other charities may find hard to access.

"If they consider spreading the gospel helping who are you to say you know better" - http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/531263/cbc ... -survivors - wouldn't the money spent sending 3000 rosaries and 1000 bibles have been better spent on food and medicine?
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Re: Is it Piracy? Political goals of FSMism: opinions, pleas

Postby IspywithmeI on Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:42 pm

I misunderstood what you meant by being served, hence my confusion.

Without common beliefs, who decides what's ethical?

I'm not familiar with the rules in the UK. What privileges are you referring to? A google search for this subject only showed me the church of England is rich. Wikipedia on the other hand tells me it has a hard time financing it's real estate.

Food and medicine are quickly spent. Bibles and rosaries last a lot longer. Which is better depends on if people are mostly sick/hungry or mostly in spiritual need.
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