We shouldn’t live with absolute frivolity

Published August 12th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

While life should not be taken too seriously, this doesn’t mean we should live with absolute frivolity. Yes, so-called religions attempt to mandate all sorts of opinions and behaviors about morality and social conformity. This does not mean that actual religion — the sincere attempt to understand the unknowable — is inherently stupid or necessarily bullshit.

Quantum mechanics tells us that all possibilities exist simultaneously until foreclosed by inconsistent observations. So, with regard to what we truly cannot know or observe, it’s possible that all beliefs are equally "true" and very much real. It’s an incredibly powerful thought: that we can design our own eternity simply by imagining it.

Personally, I’d want much more from my eternity than to party on a pirate ship with a bunch of beer and strippers. The ability to have that experience at any time and for any duration? Sure, that would be great. But plain old life has plenty to offer that’s much more sublime and extraordinary than simple hedonism. And it’s not even a very ambitious vision of hedonism.

World history is replete with terrible evils committed in the name of "religion." Certainly, it’s an important message that moral and social "values" should not be elevated to the level of religious beliefs. But our ability as humans to recognize the fundamental unknowable questions — where are we from, why are we here, and where are we going — creates a fundamental human need to discuss and confront these questions.

Pastafarianism does indeed celebrate the power of the individual to choose his or her own answers to these questions. Some might like the idea of choosing answers that are deliberately silly or absurd. But to do so simply to make a point about the beliefs of others is to degrade and dishonor one’s own spirit.


1,569 Responses to “We shouldn’t live with absolute frivolity”

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  1. hamish says:

    “So, with regard to what we truly cannot know or observe, it’s possible that all beliefs are equally “true” and very much real.”

    So existant until proven nonexistent, eh? Fine. So we’ll treat the religious fairy tale as something that is real. But ONLY IF you also treat the following beliefs as equally real

    1. Santa Claus
    2. The gospel of Jack and the beanstalk
    3. Three headed monsters from Planet Xuhula who control your daily bowel movements
    4. Invisible aliens walking among us.
    etc etc etc

    And of course, the one true God – The FSM. We can all accept religion to be true in the same manner as the other articles in this list is true (although it’s not a fair test – there is more evidence for the existance of Santa Claus and the FSM than for your invisible space daddy)

    Also, how’s this – The theory of gravity is bullshit. There are invisible gremlins amongst us who do nothing but exert force on all matter, living and non-living. This force is what binds us. And these mischeivous gremlins keep pushing all the matter around in such a way that it SEEMS like gravity and all its theories are accurate.

    How about you teach this alternate theory in school, an alternative to the theory of gravity?

    “But our ability as humans to recognize the fundamental unknowable questions — where are we from, why are we here, and where are we going — creates a fundamental human need to discuss and confront these questions.”

    Absolutely fine. But if one has to discuss, one has to discuss logically, to reach an end. We see ‘A’, and this causes ‘B’, hence, we can infer ‘C’, and so on, building our knowledge base at every step, enabling us to rationally confront these questions in the right manner. But then we have the believers who suddenly jump on to an answer – God – without any rationale, any evidence, any logic whatsoever. The answer to all these fundamental questions is God, that’s it, and don’t you dare question the answer. No, that’s not a helpful discussion.

    Just because we don’t have an answer right now doesn’t mean we should fabricate one. And stating loudly (VERY loudly) that the answer is God doesn’t make the argument any more convincing.

    The point is… where do you draw the line? If you expand the scope of what can be taught in schools, religious beliefs rank right there along with a thousands of other insane theories. The believers don’t want to accept that their beliefs rank along with those ‘absurd’ theories, and that’s understandable. But if you create any objective rationale that would determine whether a theory is absurd or not, then without exeption, religious views find themselves on the absurd side.

    They tried to do that with science. If you loosen the definition of science to forcibly include religious/ creationist views, you automatically include tons of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo from alchemy to rain dances to blood letting.

    I’d suggest that the religious folks just mind their own religions. Don’t try to invade the rational world. Keep it to yourself, don’t litter the public with your beliefs, and just allow people who think differently from you to have their own opinions. Stay away from sites like this if you find it offensive. In the end, as George Carlin said “Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself”, and we can all get along just fine.

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      Unfounded beliefs should pass the “smell test” before they are accepted. As Hamish points out, some ideas are more likely than others. For example, Creationists have absolutely no facts on their side, so they attack TRUE science in order to justify their ideas. They think if evolution can be discredited, they win by default, as if there are no other possibilities. So let’s take a sniff of ID – there are some serious questions.

      1. No one alive has ever seen or heard a God. Unless you want to believe Oral Roberts or Pat Robertson. I’d sooner believe a crackhead.

      2. Life took billions of years to develop. Why didn’t god just snap his fingers? Is he the Great Procrastinator?

      3. If a god truly designed things, why did he screw up so badly? Over 90% of species have gone extinct, and there are real inefficiencies in even the most favored species, man.

      These questions only add up to one thing: the Creator MUST be the Flying Spaghetti Monster. His drinking problem and continued dalliances with the heavenly strippers answer all three.

  2. a friend says:

    While I’m not going to convert (sorry, I’m christian), i just want to say that i support that you’re expressing you’re freedom to believe whatever you want. I don’t see why anyone should hate, you’re religion is your choice and doesn’t make you evil, worthy of hell, etc.

    Btw, this website makes me laugh (in a good way)

    • man says:

      you used the wrong ‘your’

      that’s embarrassing… :)

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      friend, you can become a Pastafarian/Christian. I, for instance, am a Pastafarian/Atheist. The FSM is not so hung up on recognition as Yahweh.

      • George says:

        OMFSM, I’m a Pastafarian/Atheist too! What are the chances?

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      “Btw, this website makes me laugh (in a good way)”

      Which makes you Christian/Pastafarian or Christafarian or maybe Pastian. Either way, it is always a pleasure when a Christian shows up who ‘gets it’.

  3. Lesnakey says:

    Tom, religion is not “a sincere attempt to understand the unknowable”. By definition, faith precludes one from entertaining the possibility that one’s current “understanding of the unknowable” may be wrong.

    In fact, most religions are pretty BS attempts to understand the unknowable. The sun would still revolve around the earth, etc. etc.

    • nun s equator says:

      really? It seemed like as unsuccessful a conclusion as many others, & i can attest 2 the sincerity of the scores of folk having tried 2 convert me over the years, 1 man was in tears. sincerity is not in question, ,,from my perspective. ever c the movie ‘soulsurfer’?? a young girl has her arm bitten off by a shark. she felt jesus spared her life & went on 2 honor him by getting back up on her surfboard ultimately & going on 2 fulfill her goals & is a phenomenal surfer, tops on the circuit. granted, the medical team, her quik responding companions, supportive family & community & her propensity & talent probably had something 2 do with it, but i took away from it that a sincere unshakeable faith she reports in jesus played no small role in her rise…

      • nun s equator says:

        Well…in some cases, there lacked sincerity. several. Just not most.

      • Lesnakey says:

        There is a marked difference between a “sincere and unshakeable faith” – to which your response speaks – and a “sincere attempt to understand something” – which was the focus of my response. To sincerely want to understand something you must forgo faith, because you must be open to the possibility that your current understanding may be wrong. Christians don’t go round saying “I will believe in Christ until a more plausible explanation of existence presents itself”.

        • nun s equator says:

          Lesnakey says: January 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

          “”…….a marked difference between a “sincere and unshakeable faith” – to which your response speaks – and a “sincere attempt to understand something” – which was the focus of my response. ……Christians don’t go round saying “I will believe in Christ until a more plausible explanation of existence presents itself”.””

          i c your point. ..this supports the idea behind the criticisms ive been handed concerning lack of faith…how, if i only had it, which if i dont state it, i must not…how if only i would, essentially the sky would open up, the key 2 the universe would b slipped beneath my door…& how all my suffering is due 2 denying christ, or variations thereof…etc. its been that or burn in hell, period. BUT not really…it is that or b cast out. PEOPLE cast out people…based on god, very often…& i do not know that all unshakeable belief-ers hold out that there could not possibly b any other explanation, but it would seem this way judging by those whom have shown up with materials 2 share about end of times…but again, cannot deny that these intentions most often (if not exclusively) is well intentioned- its based on a belief that is firm & accepted most of the time…

          I guess if u r in the sciences & u feel a benign, positive force is guiding u ethically in your work, there’s nothing harmful @ all in this (is there?)…but what if somehow, hypothetically… lets say u r a researcher & happen 2 b deeply religious…& u discover something which flies in the face of there being a ‘creator’, would u even b aware of it if u r not looking 4 it?

          is that the kind of thing u refer 2?

        • nun s equator says:

          this dynamic does not limit 2 any 1 religion..nor even 2 religion, alone, does it?

          the creator part, okay…but an inability 2 c alternative possibilities, prob not limited 2 religion…

        • nun s equator says:

          i was offerd a job once with a j.witness family…then 1 member confided 2 me being uncomfortable with the practices, disagreed with these & it was told 2 me, secretly…the job involved childcare…& 1 of my employers was 2 b, a police officer. I was totally unprepared 4 this & kind of distraught…if i accepted the position, would any deviance from the ‘rules’ b blamed on me? The answer was probably, so…i was 2 keep these broken rules FROM other family members…i worried about the remainder of the family adhering 2 something under the ‘authority’ of ‘head of household’ as it was outlined 2 me, but ultimately i was the ‘stranger’ there & felt even more powerless, very awkward & alone…i already had issues of my own & was not equipped. I now looking back, wish i had sought further specific advice from area social agencies, like a womens group…but felt i would b violating the family’s privacy…if every1 there had been in agreement with practices, id have had no issue following what was asked of me, out of respect. In any case, it made me wonder how many families r divided in this manner & saw it as harmful 2 the persons whom felt forced 2 keep dissent 2 selves…& wondered about repercussions, otherwise…because, now they knew that i knew…when i declined the position. . .that freaked me out a bit…2 many things like this in my life. NOT good…

  4. nun s equator says:

    this may b all in good fun regarding religion, but the people targeting me over the years, not interested in this…

    but in twisting around what has happened. i tapped into a store display yesterday while using a motorized device 2 navigate, it was impossible 2 avert; as the display was on wheels & designed 2 b moveable, it did. move…this prompted a ‘joke’ from nearby person that i had attempted 2 run him over & he laughed about it; in reality, i was nowhere near him …& if i hadnt been falsely accused of causing an accident i had not, it might b amusing. But, it isnt… not @ all, really…y i respond, i do not know. I would like 2 think its amusing, perhaps.
    Tho, it isnt..as its not really intended, 2 b. Just that i perceive it, as such.

    maybe if i wasnt being lied about while everything i say is made out 2 b a lie, id get the joke.

    It is no different, with this. If i had not been discriminated against, if certain things had not come 2 pass, maybe i would most appreci8 this gesture…which is sincere…
    & i have no doubt of that.

  5. Reverend Captain Psmitty says:

    Hi, everybody, I’m sorry to have to post something that’s irrelevant to the rant de jour, but I’m new to this site, (love it, BTW,) and am having difficulty navigating. Where do I go to post hate mail? I’ve written some, and I’d like to put it up, but I don’t want to just have it be commentary to someone else’s rant. Where do I go to make an original post?

    Also, one small criticism, not enough pyrates!

    Arr, matey, Ramen, and Pastalujah

    • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

      Are you serious? Firstly individuals don’t post hate-mail, Bobby does – they are (genuine) e-mails that he gets directly, from ‘haters and concerned critics’; secondly, why the hell would a supporter of the FSM as you profess to be, want to post hate mail? OK, you’re new to the site, but please take some time to find out what the f*** is going on here! You either have no clue or you are a raving lunatic, and we have enough of those here at the moment thank you very much.

      • Reverend Captain Psmitty says:

        @The Reverend Toni Rigatoni
        Yes I’m serious. Why would I want to post hate mail? For a couple of reasons. First, I’ve really enjoyed this site and what I’ve enjoyed most about it are the hate mails. You must too because you seem to keep coming back to read and comment on them. I enjoyed them as an art form, and thought I might emulate them. For fun, you know? Secondly, after reading a couple score of them, and their commentaries, I noticed that none of the original posters ever posted again. I thought it would be nice for a hatemailer to stick around and respond to your criticisms for a change. Otherwise, it’s just preaching to the choir, isn’t it? Anyway, I guess I’ll just post it here, since there’s nowhere better.

        You guys SUCK! Is this a joke religion? You are all giong to HELL!!!!!!! Spagiti dosnt FLY! Sapaggiti isnt holy! I ate spaagiti all teh time. I wish I culd make you all DIE with a single prayer so God coud love you all in HELL! You shoujld all get your facks straight, do your recherch, like in Carnathians 11:17 and Apostals 72:3-492!!! God is LOVE and dosent spew hates like YOU!!! If I ever met you in real life id stomp yuo in teh testicles and show you what a real christian does. I have faith because I KNOW god is reel, but Science dosnt believe itself because its all just THEORY!!! but youll believe it when you get to HELL!!! The flying Spgatti monster.is GAY! and you are all f#@king comunists to believe in a gay spegetti Monster. You assbags are heilaerius. You acrimonious, onanistic, coprophagous [email protected]#ktards!

        • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

          OK, that’s slightly humorous but totally pointless, why would we respond to an obvious wind up? I’m sure it happens a lot as it is more than possible that many hate-mail posts are wind-ups but we obviously can’t know for sure and so respond, accepting on ‘faith’ that it is genuine, but I’m sure no one would take you to task over your ridiculous trolling (other than as a troll). So, thanks for clearing up the dilemma; I’ll go with ‘raving lunatic’ in this case.

          May you TRULY be touched by his Noodly Appendage and may the Sauce be with you.

          The Reverend
          (The original and the best)

        • Mal says:

          Sadly, I think he’s already been “touched”…. by crazy

  6. Reverend Captain Psmitty says:

    @The Reverend Toni Rigatoni

    Why would you respond to any of this hate mail. This is all pointless. None of these fools seem to return here to receive our pearls of wisdom. We’re all here just talking to our selves. Why not have fun with it. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? To have fun? Anyway, if “Raving lunatic” and “slightly humorous” is what you have to offer for my humble efforts to brighten your day, I’ll take it in the spirit in which it was offered. BTW, I don’t think “Trolling” is an appropriate description of what I’ve done, since I’ve not tried to fool anyone into believing this represents my actual position. I’m just trying to use the sincerest form of flattery to express my AWE at the astounding levels of ignorance, hatred and bile some of these letters represent.

    Apologies to the other posters out there. I don’t really think this is pointless. Even if the original bile mongers never return to read your posts, it’s been an education to me. I’d never before heard of Russell’s Teapot, Pascal’s Wager, the Watchmaker Paradox, etc, before. At least you’ve accomplished that much.


    • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

      Thank you Psmitty for the acknowledgement that you have learned something from this site, but does this not tell you that it is more than preaching to the choir as you put it? Instead it has facilitated your becoming a member of said choir and has surely done so for many, myself included. I came to the site after hearing about it from a friend and have since become a devoted Pastafarian, and I believe I and many many others here have, and continue to learn from others as you have and to hopefully allow newcomers to learn from us. I, like you, although being a long time atheist didn’t have the tools to defend my position before finding the fellowship of the FSM. From the veterans here I too learned about Russell’s Teapot, Pascal’s Wager and a mountain of other information that gave me the knowledge and confidence to take on the suffocating tide of religiosity that is swamping society with rational argument and evidence.
      It’s true that many, though not all, hate-mailers are of the hit and run variety responding to them IS important. Maybe, just maybe a small percentage might go away with a small seed of doubt, but of equal importance is that the responses may well give others the courage to say ‘I don’t believe’ when they might otherwise have kept quite and give them the information they need to say ‘And this is WHY I don’t believe’. If we are to continue making a difference we must present ourselves as intelligent and rational or risk being branded as fools and dismissed as such. If you wish to play devil’s advocate for the sake of argument and discussion that’s fine and many here would welcome that, but please do it openly as the non-believer you appear to be; posting fake emails in my humble opinion is not the right way to do it.
      In the spirit of the FSM I would like to retract the disparaging remarks I made in the previous post, replacing ‘raving lunatic’ with ‘slightly misguided’ and welcome you to the ‘choir’. I look forward to interacting with you soon in the name of reason and good sense.

      May the Sauce be with you,

      The Reverend

  7. Marcio says:

    Quantum Mechanics has no application on anything outside the realm of quantum mechanics. In one of the letters directed at our glorious church, someone makes the following statement:

    Quantum mechanics tells us that all possibilities exist simultaneously until foreclosed by inconsistent observations. So, with regard to what we truly cannot know or observe, it’s possible that all beliefs are equally “true” and very much real. It’s an incredibly powerful thought: that we can design our own eternity simply by imagining it.

    It became a common thread these days; Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle being seized upon and applied to a moral sphere to support the concept that all conjectures are equally valid, that each one is a worthy interpretations of reality, even the ones that can not be verified.

    Quantum mechanics only applies to physical phenomena in a very small scale and it is near perfect predictor of statistical probability of physical states. Yes, statistical probability is not certainty, but the precision comes from repeating the same experiment multiple times. A photon’s state is known precisely if observed repeatedly. That’s all there is to Quantum Mechanics. The only analogy you could make to a moral/social realm would be you re- examining the same issue (e.g. Do I believe that Jesus real last name is not Christ, but Lo Mein, and he indeed is the Chinese son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) multiple times and count how many times you answered Yes or No. Then you add the answers and divide by their square root. Does that make any sense?

    The comment that all “possibilities exist simultaneously” is probably based on an analogy created by Richard Feynman to explain quantum mechanics. He said that one way to interpret the statistical results is to consider a baseball travelling from point A to B. The ball will simultaneously travel all possible paths from A to B, but they all cancel one another except the trajectory you actually get to see and experience. I could extrapolate that in a more intellectually honest manner and say that all deities (e.g. Zeus, Odin, God, our beloved Flying Spaghetti Monster) co exist simultaneously but they cancel out and what is left is only logical and observable conjecture.

    Maybe the source of this “all beliefs are equally “true” and very much real” is a confusion made with simple idea of freedom of expression. Yes you are free to express your thoughts but that doesn’t mean they will be in equal footing.

    As Russell put it, the onus to prove an outlandish claim is on those who make them. And the proof must be formulated in natural, not mystic terms.

    • nun s equator says:

      January 28, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      Quantum Mechanics has no application on anything outside the realm of quantum mechanics.

      Einstein, i just found out, was said 2 have been in full agreement with this & was fearful that quantum mechanistic views would b used 2 defend religion,spirituality to the detriment of science, somehow. I hav been guilty of saying qm has gone a long way twds explaining things prior confined to the so called spirit realm, but i was meaning 2question if all things assigned as spiritual r totally without a scientific basis…but in saying this, do understand many scientists warn against mixing up any hokeyness with science.

  8. Miranda says:

    I take it that Tom doesn’t realize that this was created in response to religious beliefs forced on children in school, and MAJOR discrimination against other religious beliefs? he is mad at this for doing what he claims he thinks should be done? weirdo. XD

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