Am I an Atheist or a Pastafarian?

Published October 17th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

An essay by Tyler Naffin:

For as long as I have known the meaning of the term, I have considered myself an atheist. Recently however, I have begun to reconsider my atheism. The cause of this reconsideration is Pastafarianism. Pastafarianism is a religion that was brought to my attention when I read an article in the November 2006 issue of Wired magazine called The New Atheism. In an interview with renowned atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, he mentioned the deity of Pastafarianism, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. At first I thought nothing of it, but a few weeks later I noticed a YouTube clip that had a Flying Spaghetti Monster sighting in Germany. As soon as I discovered that His Noodiliness was not a figment of Dawkins imagination, I began to research the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I discovered that it was part of the Pastafarian religion, and upon learning of some of its tenets, I was instantly converted. But this would seem to be at odds with my atheism, to believe in a god. Since then, I have been in a constant struggle to decide what I believe.

Now there has to be a reason that a firm atheist such as me would be converted to a theistic religion like Pastafarianism so easily, while rejecting other religions like Christianity and Islam. Therefore I will briefly explain Pastafarianism, while forgoing the pirate regalia usually required to be worn when teaching the ways of the religion. In the beginning, the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the Universe, presumably when he was drunk. This aspect, known as Unintelligent Design, has successfully been used to explained disco and Jar Jar Binks, among other things. His Noodiliness created pirates as absolute divine beings. The declining numbers of pirates over recent years has caused the Flying Spaghetti Monster to become angry and punish us through global warming. Heaven consists of beer volcanoes and a stripper factory, while there is no known equivalent to Hell. This in a nutshell, is Pastafarianism.

By now you must be thinking that I am a certified nut for believing in such a thing. You would also not be the first person to think such a thing on the grounds that I believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. However I shall tell you that I do not truly believe that all of existence was created by a flying blob of spaghetti surrounding two meatballs. I never have. But I still claim that I do. The reason for that is because Pastafarianism is an excellent satire of Christianity and religion in general. A closer examination of Pastafarianism would reveal that it has many parallels to Christianity. For instance, while the Bible has Moses and the Ten Commandments, the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has Captain Mosey and the eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts. True to the nature of a satire, Pastafarianism causes one to look more critically at the acceptance of absurdities within the Judeo-Christian beliefs because of such parallels. But the question of why I consider myself a Pastafarian still exists, and it is a question I struggle to answer.

I use Pastafarianism to criticize the beliefs of Christians by pointing out the parallels between Christianity and Pastafarianism and how the beliefs of Pastafarianism, while absurd, are in essence the same as Christianity. After all, there is as much evidence supporting the Judeo-Christian god as there is for the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The only problem is that there are few Christians that I know at a personal level, and thus few Christians to criticize. As for my atheism, I continue to read up on many topics, including the Bible, in order to prepare myself for a debate with a Christian in areas where invoking the Flying Spaghetti Monster is unable to help. Now for the question of whether I am I an atheist or a Pastafarian, I have come to this conclusion: I will consider myself an atheist in a broad sense, such as to what group I consider myself a part of, like if I am ever asked a survey question about my religion. On the other hand, I will consider myself a Pastafarian when it comes to a personal discussion with someone in which I can properly explain my beliefs. I feel confident that I can always justify that my belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster is no more wrong than belief in any other deity. At least we have a graph!

Well, there are many religions, but I suppose they all worship the same God.
-Bertrand Russell

You might say that because science can explain just about everything but not quite, it’s wrong to say therefore we don’t need God. It is also, I suppose, wrong to say we don’t need the Flying Spaghetti Monster, unicorns, Thor, Wotan, Jupiter, or fairies at the bottom of the garden. There’s an infinite number of things that some people at one time or another have believed in, and an infinite number of things that nobody has believed in. If there’s not the slightest reason to believe in any of those things, why bother? The onus is on somebody who says, I want to believe in God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, fairies, or whatever it is. It is not up to us to disprove it.
-Richard Dawkins

184 Responses to “Am I an Atheist or a Pastafarian?”

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  1. I love eruptions in heaven says:

    I just can’t understand why people say that there’s a near to zero chance of something happening so it didn’t happen.

    I.E. its really strange for someone to roll a 6 for 100 times in a row, but someone probably did it once.
    thus if you say that there’s a chance of 1 in 100 billion that life was created randomly. do the math and you see your mistake if you think its impossible.
    A situation in which life might be created might occur every year. from the start of the earth till the time of the first liveform, that’s a lot of years. And probably there was more then 1 of those situations on earth every year.
    then take into account that there’s lots of other planets where this might happen, then we might be the one planet in which that 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance happened.

  2. Wench Nikkiee says:

    @I love eruptions in heaven Oct 20th, 2007 at 3:13 am
    “I just can’t understand why people say that there’s a near to zero chance of something happening so it didn’t happen.”
    They say it in desperation to maintain, and sell their delusional illusions!
    Just product promotion!

  3. ۞ says:

    In maths something things with zero probability can happen.
    In some systems everything is of zero probability – but one of them still happens.
    NB: on the other hand it is very unlikely anyone has ever rolled 100 sixes in a row – on a fair die.

  4. Mathy Kid says:

    @ Wench Nikkee, just to play devils (God’s?) advocate: When you quote Wikipedia as saying “The overwhelming majority of mutations have no significant effect, since DNA repair is able to mend most changes before they become permanent mutations”, you’re not proving the point: from an evolutionary standpoint, mutations that get corrected are just as useless as harmful mutations. What needs to be shown is that mutations exist that actually improve an organism’s chances of survival + reproduction. A quote from the Wikipedia page that says this is “A very small percentage of all mutations actually have a positive effect. These mutations lead to new versions of proteins that help an organism and its future generations better adapt to changes in their environment. For example, a specific 32 base pair deletion in human CCR5 (CCR5-Δ32) confers HIV resistance to homozygotes and delays AIDS onset in heterozygotes.”
    Then we get into the Borel’s Law/”things with small percentage probability will never happen” misconception again, but look! There’s a counterexample built in!

  5. St. Arrrrgyle says:

    Warning: Long post – but may be worth it
    To stop this constant bickering about the origins of life, here’s a little story that could appease everyone, and in all PROBABILITY, may be true………
    The Scene: God (the Xtian one), in wherever the place he came from, is sitting down to lunch with all the other gods. He’s bored, tired, and a bit grouchy after just having created the dark earth that first morning and then lighting it up (the Earth, not a blunt).
    God, shouting over the ongoing cosmic collisions and volcanic eruptions: “ Hey, service over here on Table 5. ”
    Waiter arrives.: “Hey, Shecky (God’s gofer who also moonlights as a waiter). Run down to the local 7-11 and get me a can of Campbell’s primordial soup. I’ve only got six days left for this “Creation” thing I had assigned to me by the God Council and I need something on my stomach to keep me going. Now gimme some love and get your ass movin’. ”
    God, thinking to himself: *Love, ooooooooo, that’s a cool idea. I think I’ll make up some goofy-ass creature that sorta looks like me and who’ll love me no matter what, and who I’ll love, providing he brings to the table every thing I’m looking for in a relationship. If he doesn’t, fuck him; I’ll think of something to do to him later.*
    After having waited impatiently for what seems like a millenium, Shecky returns, out of breath.
    God: “You dumbass! I said primordial soup, not this shit! Alphabet soup, for Christ’s sake.”
    * Oooooooo, “Christ’s sake”, I like the sound of that – I’ll have to do something with that concept.*
    “You were in a hurry ‘cause you didn’t wanna get lost in the clouds of ash? That’s no excuse for bringing back this weak, tomato-based liquid, with these little molded pasta letters in it. Awww, crap, I’ll eat it anyway. Nuke it in the microwave.”
    Shecky does God’s bidding and presents to Him a steaming bowl of the soup.
    God swallows a heaping spoonful of the alphabet soup and looks down into the bowl: “SHECKY! WTF! There’s a pubic hair floating in here.!” God, exhibiting the gag reflex that will become an integral part of Intelligent Design, upchucks violently into outer space. The egested stomach contents fall to Earth.
    God, after wiping his face on the tablecloth: “You asshole! If I ever catch you whacking off in the kitchen again, I’ll ……Never mind. Take this down.”
    Shecky begins arranging the remaining letters from the soup bowl onto the tablecloth in a frenzy of stenographic brilliance as God begins –
    “Day 1 Afternoon – Create Hell. First inhabitant – Shecky.
    Day 2 – Do the firmament thing
    Day 3 – Land, Water, Grass, Lawnmowers
    Day 4 – Sun & Moon, Yin & Yang
    Day 5 – Fish, Birds, et al
    Day 6 – Beasts, Creepin’ stuff, Man & Woman, (Man in my image, but with a smaller schlong)
    Day 7 – Take a break – then, Party Time!”
    *Damn, this is gonna be a bitch. Ahhh, screw it. This time consuming bullshit will cut into my social life. I’ll just throw together the Pillars of Creation and hope something comes of it. I’ll deal with the results later.*

    God, to all: “Anyone for a hot game of NUMERO UNO?”

    Meanwhile, on Earth, out of the primordial alphabet soup regurgitation arises – you guessed it – our beloved FSM, the one true god. Having inherited God’s DNA along with more than a few chunks of pasta and tomato sauce, he has a vague idea of what the old man was trying to accomplish, so he sets out to give the geezer a hand with his noodly appendages and to perfect the original plan. But, when after encountering hops, water, and yeast infections he develops an elixir to help clear his mind, it seems to have the opposite effect. Thusly – the mountains, the trees, and….. midgets. You know the rest of the story.
    Sure, there may be some inconsistencies here, but do what most all religions do – pick out the parts you like and chalk off the rest as allegory.
    Or just maybe – for us atheists – shit happens.
    RAmen, Brethren
    St. Arrrrgyle of A Sissy
    Pirate Saint of Gay Apparel

  6. Mathy Kid says:

    But if Christianity and FSMism were so neatly reconciled, what would we do when we were bored? There would be no one on this forum posting arguments to respond to. I’d have to find more books to read, or learn how to play Halo, or something.

  7. ۞ says:

    The fact is that almost all mutations are bad, they kill you

    What a load of rubbish. Most mutations give you an advantage, like the ability to fly, climb walls or catch fire wtc.
    It’s only reactionaries like JW who mean that the world isn’t populated entirely by people with cool powers.

  8. Mathy Kid says:

    @۞: The probability of rolling 100 6s in a row is 1 in 6.5*10^77. If someone tried it every year since the Earth formed (5 billion years ago), … drat, the calculator built in to my computer lacks enough digits to figure that out. But the probability of it actually working would still be insanely small.

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