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?”

  1. Wench Cyka says:

    @ Wench Nikkiee
    It’s just a very simple theory, but couldn’t the high rate of mutation among humans have something to do with our relatively limited gene pool – compared to other species, not speaking just rednecks here – and the fact that we will eat just about anything on the planet that doesn’t eat us first? We are arguably the least picky eaters as a species on the globe… could be a couple extra free radicals in that bag of Doritos ya know!

  2. Spaghetti-eating Klingon says:

    I just noticed that last itme I was here I misatributed something to Pluto instead of the funky symbol dude. Just thought I’d correct that.
    Love to chat more, but I’ve fallen behind on my reading.

  3. grumpy_otter says:

    Dear St. Arrrrgyle,

    Your description of the creation story was WONDERFUL!!!! I have not laughed so long or hard since I slipped in a puddle of marinara and meatballs! It was beauty and wonderment and magic!

    In re: to the original post–I was raised a Christian, became an atheist at age 27, and now, at 42, have discovered his noodly goodness.


    And do you know why? Christianity never made me happy. Atheism made me smug and self-righteous.

    Pastafarianism brings me joy!

    Thank you, oh brethren and sistren!

    My only problem is that I don’t look good in pirate regalia. My town has very few shops that cater to Pirates, and there just isn’t much selection. Since I know how to sew, I may have to create my own, more flattering, accoutrements.


    • The stranger says:

      I highly recommend going to a pirate festival or renaissance fair. They have many vendors that sell exquisite regalia.

  4. El Peatieablo says:

    42? That’s so awesome!

  5. ValkyriePariah says:

    I’m more on the atheist side. I joined in on pastafarianism because it’s fun! It doesn’t speak of any condemning gods of any sort. Just a nice happy-go-lucky flying spaghetti monster that only wants the best out of us. Believing in him(even if I’m still an atheist) has made me happier. Besides it’s not like other religions that tries to push the existence of god on me too quickly. I can take my time to choose whether or not I want to believe in his noodlyness.
    Gotta say though, I think I’m soon becoming a pastafarian myself! Now if you’l excuse me I have a bowl or pasta waiting for me.

  6. Swedish Meatball says:

    I do not feel tha need to abide by the rules and regualtions of any deity to forgive people, in fact, I have forgiven most people on this here planet were on, though I have not meet these lads and lassies yet, so I have nothing to be unforgiving about yet.

  7. Big Mac says:

    misquote. Bertrand Russell actually said:

    For four and a half months in 1918 I was in prison for pacifist propaganda; but, by the intervention of Arthur Balfour, I was placed in the first division, so that while in prison I was able to read and write as much as I liked, provided I did no pacifist propaganda. I found prison in many ways quite agreeable. I had no engagements, no difficult decisions to make, no fear of callers, no interruptions to my work. I read enormously; I wrote a book, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, and began the work for Analysis of Mind. I was rather interested in my fellow prisoners, who seemed to me in no way morally inferior to the rest of the population, though they were on the whole slightly below the usual level of intelligence, as was shown by their having been caught. For anybody not in the first division, especially for a person accustomed to reading and writing, prison is a severe and terrible punishment; but for me, thanks to Arthur Balfour, this was not so. I was much cheered on my arrival by the warder at the gate, who had to take particulars about me. He asked my religion, and I replied ‘agnostic.’ He asked how to spell it, and remarked with a sigh: ‘Well, there are many religions, but I suppose they all worship the same God.’ This remark kept me cheerful for about a week.

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