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Pastafarians worldwide are celebrating after a landmark Austrian decision in favour of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster paved the way for its recognition as a full-fat religion. Until now, worshippers of His Noodly Appendages have until now been nothing more than a marginal cult battling the dark forces of Intelligent …

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Coat

He waited two years?

Well, in for a penne...

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Pint

Science Be Praised!

Richard Dawkins, showed them the way -- and how it is OK to be a dick to people you don't agree with......

p.s. The sea otters had the correct answer to the Great Question IMO.....

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hmm

Is pointing out the ridiculousness of items of clothes as religious symbols being a dick?

Or pointing out the general ridiculousness of religion come to that?

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Devil

The latter.

and how SouthPark already covered the Flying Spaghetti Monster in 2006 - "I will crush the Time Child's skull on my tummy"..... loved it.

I don't subscribe to organized religion - What I believe is between me and Him, no need to wear a special club jacket or tinfoil hats lol.

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Anonymous Coward

It all depends on how you go about it...

Atheists often forget that the non-existence of God is also a matter of faith,

and can be equally guilty of the "I'm right you're wrong" rhetoric.

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Atheism is not faith

To AC @14th July 2011 12:48 GM

Throw crumbs to troll... Okay: I don't collect stamps. I am not a non-stamp collector.

Start with nothing and add faith. Or start with nothing and don't need to make up stuff.

Either way, semantics aside, your interpretation of atheism doesn't suggest the existance of a god more than anything else.

Do you explicitly not believe in Russell's teapot orbiting the earth? Prove what you think is true or ascribe it to faith. Don't assume I think about your position to have any faith about it.

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Re: It depends

Theists, for their part, often forget that whilst absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, it most certainly is a valid reason to ignore the thing in question.

You can't prove that the universe wasn't created by a giant todger, but that's no reason for you to worship one and as far as I'm aware, nobody does. Funny that...

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Angel

hmm

Isn't faith a belief that is not based on proof? And usually it's a belief that can't be changed by any amount of demonstratable facts (flat earth society anyone). Faith's proof is a book of some form, usually written a while after the events described, transcribed from oral traditions (with all the inherent problems that brings), by people who had visions (which would now be described as madness/hallucinations/etc. David Icke!!!) which at some point has been edited or interpretted in different ways by different people.

Science's proof is a series of books written at the end of a process exactly as it happened by literate people where any changes to the belief are made by observation of the facts, not whether you believe the writers son-in-law or cousin should write the next chapter.

There is no end point to science but it moves in one direction, whereas with faith there's an endpoint, but that endpoint moves according to the person viewing it.

There may be a deity (deities) up there but I've seen nothing from any of the current world faiths that convices me. Maybe we've just not written the right book yet.

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Two thumbs up

"What I believe is between me and Him"

As the great Bill Hicks said : "No middleman required"

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Stop

I don't need faith to be an Atheist.

The total lack of evidence (and no, some Stone Age scribbling doesn't count as evidence)in any deity is more than enough for me to not believe in something however many people have delusions to the contrary.

I'm an Atheist that accepts there is no God based on the lack of evidence.

Others are Theists that accept there must be a God based on Stone Age scribbling and the lack of evidence.

Guess which position needs faith.

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Angel

"...as far as I'm aware, nobody does."

Er, maybe not any more....

http://www.king-tut.org.uk/egyptian-gods/sun-god-ra.htm

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Devil

Theists?

Given that the discussion suddenly veered into teapots surely those are teaists? Is that the religion for the next census or is that too close to some US political party? :-)

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Headmaster

ummm

Bronze Age scribbling (and quite a bit of Iron Age too ...)

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Really?

I'm not convinced that theism is nothing but atheism with a belief in God plonked on top. Everybody has a set of philosophical assumptions which they view the world through, the person who adopts a naturalistic worldview has to defend their assumptions just like anybody else. The atheist will make affirmative claims about all kins of things -questions ranging from why, out of all the universes which the big bang could have given rise to, did it produced this one through to questions over how we go about deciding what behaviour is morally acceptable. Even if atheism is not itself a faith claim, it forces you into a corner where you end up making claims that most defiantly are.

Either you claim that Richard Dawkins wrote over 400 pages on absolutely nothing or atheism is a whole lot more than a lack of belief in God.

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FAIL

Mental Note:

Never, ever, bring up a SouthPark reference n a British IT site... you will take a beating from both atheists, Christians, AND the Jedi it seems.. I got it, I got it! Have Mercy!

:)

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Paris Hilton

Fixed it for you

Isn't the Tea Party a belief that is not based on proof? And usually it's a belief that can't be changed by any amount of demonstratable facts (Republicans anyone).

If only it weren't merely a joke.

Paris, because she has a better grasp on reality than the average true believer.

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Anonymous Coward

And the thumbs down have it..

They're right, I'm wrong...

Before the invention of the microscope, the germ theory of disease got a really rough ride:

"you expect me to believe disease is caused by tiny invisible... creatures?"

"Can't see 'em. never will see 'em. We've discovered everything we're going to. Move along, nothing to see here. "

& for those who say they don't need faith, do they fully understand everything they rely on for their daily existence (they've got more time than me), or do they take some things as read?

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Re: It all depends on how you go about it...

It's been said before many times by many people, but it bears saying again. Atheism is a faith/religion in much the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

Expanding on that, the assumption of non-existence of anything must always the default position; the null hypothesis. Religionists have never managed to reject that hypothesis, so why should a position of not accepting the existence of something whose existence hasn't been proven be called "faith"?

Show me incontrovertible evidence for the existence of a supernatural being whose worship will have a beneficial effect on my life and the lives of the people I care about and I'll be the first convert to your religion. Essentially, put up, or shut up.

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Coat

hmm

> Before the invention of the microscope, the germ theory of disease got a really rough ride:

> "you expect me to believe disease is caused by tiny invisible... creatures?"

> "Can't see 'em. never will see 'em. We've discovered everything we're going to.

> Move along, nothing to see here.

You can see 'em, a man in a white coat can show them to you

Science (as a belief system) is one for the open minded who know that they don't know everything and more than likely never will. That's the joy of the universe, once you understand something more questions appear and you've got to answer them, sometimes, those answers will mean the original question needs reinvestigating. Round and round we go, each time learning a bit more.

There are some like Fred Hoyle who stick with their opinion regardless of where the evidence leads, which is quite religionlike.

Religion (or rather organised religion) is for people who accept anything they're told regardless of how much it doesn't match their own experiences and how much demonstratable proof of a theory exists. Galileo and others have been punished for their theories which have only recently been accepted as true by the religious authorities. By this in a century or two evolution and the universe being more than 6000 years old will eventually be accepted as true.

Then there's the grasping at semantics. A program a few months ago had a religious tyke saying that as it's called the theory of evolution so as it's only a theory therefore isn't true. It's why I now always refer to it as the law of evolution ;)

Religion is a mental crutch we developed to cope with uncertainty and death. As a species we've just got to accept that when you die, your brain stops working and that's it. There are no reapers, pearly gates, virgins, swirly patterns or whatever other versions of an afterlife. Your time on this earth has ended.

You're only here for a while so don't be a pratt complaining that someone else has drawn a picture, eaten bacon or defaced a book, when it doesn't matter. Enjoy it and do no harm, simple rules for life I think.

Mines the white one.

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Re: And the thumgs down have it..

The difference between the sort of basic faith that the world will continue working as it is and religious faith is that religious faith always (or almost, can't think of a situation where it doesn't right now though) demands that you have faith in something that goes directly against your observational experience, whereas the other dictates that your observational experience is generally quite a good way to judge things. That means, that all the knowledge you take from your experience in life, all the books you've read about physics, or chemistry or biology. You have to just throw all that in the gutter in order to have faith in the main tenets of any religion. That is the big difference. One is based on the knowledge we have of how the world tends to work, and one is based on rejecting that knowledge, and in general, it's the rejecting of knowledge that is called faith, since everyone has the first one (maybe except Christian Scientists and other nutcases), so there's no point trying to suggest it distinguishes one person from another, or that it's important.

By suggesting that we have faith means that you have missed the point utterly, our lack of faith is "religious faith" but shortened, and if that's the best argument you have against atheism then maybe you should lay off the apologist books a little, because this is typical of the ridiculous reasoning that they tend to spew out for believers.

It's like the argument that atheists have a faith in science instead of a faith in god. But is that really true? Do you expect a ball to float upwards when you let go of it, because you don't have any faith in gravity? Do you think that any scientist who happens to have faith is in some way a worse scientist than me because he doesn't have room for faith in science? The argument suggests that atheists can be distinguished from believers because of a difference of faith in science, but I think anyone who has progressed past the earth being 6000 years old arguments should be rightly insulted by this, whether they believe or not.

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Re: And the thumbs down have it

"& for those who say they don't need faith, do they fully understand everything they rely on for their daily existence (they've got more time than me), or do they take some things as read?"

Perhaps you can explain why you think not understanding something is a good reason to turn to faith (as if that's going to answer the question?)

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Anonymous Coward

You can see 'em, a man in a white coat can show them to you

Now you can, you couldn't then.

My analogy is to the current situation, where people believe if you can't see it, or measure it, it doesn't exist. They couldn't see germs then, but they still existed, and had an impact on their lives they couldn't ignore.

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Anonymous Coward

Not understanding...

Just one example.

many people don't understand how a car works internally, but they have faith in the mfrs, that the car will be up to the job. They don't personally verify everything is safe, they have faith that they are protected by consumer laws and mfrs diligence, without going into the details.

Same with flying, using computers, electricity - anything. There's always a level at which you haven't personally understood or verified something that you rely on.

Not saying that the faith is always justified. Experience informs us of that one way or the other, and everyone's experience is different.

And I wasn't attacking the validity of atheism in any way. The person who said we're all agnostic is right. You won't really know until you get to the other side, or not.

Seems I touched a nerve.

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Re: germ theory of diseases got a rough ride

And quite right too.

Actually, since the microscope predates just about all medical knowledge bar Galen (and that's not saying much) I'm not sure there was much of a theory, but even if there was I have no problem with it getting a rough ride before there was any evidence to back it up. But maybe that's just me because...

I have no problem with changing my mind in the light of new evidence and I have no problem with saying "I don't know." when confronted by something I don't understand. However, I have noticed that some people feel obliged to invent an answer in such cases and really object to changing their mind when evidence eventually turns up.

I think the latter is the recognised phenomenon of confirmation bias. As far as I know, however, the former isn't a recognised psychological trait. (If anyone knows better, I'd be interested to know.) My gut feeling is that the two are correlated, but I've no hard data so I'd better be good and say "I don't know."!

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Re: the "Theory of Evolution"

"A program a few months ago had a religious tyke saying that as it's called the theory of evolution so as it's only a theory therefore isn't true. It's why I now always refer to it as the law of evolution ;)"

I'd say you're half right. Evolution is not a theory. However, it isn't a proven law either. It's an observed fact. Stuff changes. Things living now are just different from things living a hundred million years ago. The "speculative" part is the theory of natural selection, which provides an explanation for how those changes might happen. Darwin and Wallace developed the theory to explained the by-then-already-accepted fact of evolution, as observed in the fossil record.

Given what we now know about genetics (with credit due to Mendel at the end of the 19thC and Crick and Watson in the middle of the 20thC) it just isn't very speculative anymore. It's hard to see how you could fail to get natural selection in a world where genes are constantly and selectively weeded out of the population. But in the middle of the 19thC, Darwin and Wallace were effectively saying that such mechanisms would eventually be found and *that* was quite a bold hypothesis.

But as I said, you are right to bother about terminology. If more people spoke about the "Theory of Natural Selection" and the "Observed Fact of Evolution" then spectators might take issue with the terminology and learn something. (Two things, actually.)

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Coat

Re: maybe not any more

Oh yeah, I forgot about that one. Thanks for the, er, heads up.

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Trollface

Indeed

You a correct but if you refer to it as the law of evolution it annoys them more. Trolling is for real life, not just the interwebs ;)

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Go

Well if Scientology can do it

There aren't any tennents of faith in scientology, yet they are recognised as a religion all over the place ... except in the UK where they are still officially a cult; courtesy of a judge or two's ruling.

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...And in France...

...Where the cult is illegal IIRC.

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Joke

Well I know that some people are religious about Lager...

I suppose they would drink Tennent's of faith?

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Not recognised in Germany or Austria...

AFAICT, and there are plenty of elements of faith in Scientology.

All the stuff about thetans - unprovable, you have to take it on faith.

But that alone doesn't qualify it for legal recognition as a religion.

Nor does being recognised somewhere prove that they should be recognised everywhere.

Pushing for CoSFM and Jediism to be recognised might seem like a fun joke, but from there it's a short step to granting recognition to Scientology, which I'm a lot less comfortable with.

Unless it drives us the other way, and we remove special legal status from all religions.

I'm with the French in that regard: Church (of whatever) and State should be separate.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm all for all removal of faith legal recognition

It is an arse of a situation that a judge can be carrying a kirpan (there is at least one judge who does in the UK) in a court of law, while passing judgement and sentancing someone to jail for carrying a blade in the UK.

The American's at least forced the kirpan to be riveted in to the sheath.

Faith gets exceptions to laws that the rest of us have to live by; and there are more examples where that came from.

Many of them (like the burqa) are actually cultural and have nothing to do with religious belief or prescription.

Level the playing field, is what I say.

Thetans are actually part of the science of dianetics, a description of a state of the human condition. The only religious tennant I've come across in scientology is actually the belief in reincrarnation ... but I'm telling you, reading Dianetics and analysing it is very, very hard going. Trying to take the book seriously is very hard when all I want to do is laugh myself stupid ... but I'm trying! http://dianeticjourney.blogspot.com/

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Anonymous Coward

BTW...

That's the definition of thetan as published by Dianetics and not any of the other documents like OT 8. If they want religious status, then they have to come forward to the government concerned and prove their tennants, else they should actually be getting the same response to their religious status applications as our intrepid Spaghetti Monster believer did here.

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"The science of dianetics"

I can only presume you meant to type "the bullshit fabricated to sucker in morons and people with severe self-esteem issues of dianetics"? Easy mistake to make, the keys are right next to each other.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeh, you're right

"science" should have been in large quotes, followed by a few *cough*s. However I'd then have had to go on to ROTFLMAO and various other things which would have likely started me off laughing again.

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Headmaster

"tenets"

is the word you're after

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Anonymous Coward

Scientology and religion

Aren't they a religion for tax purposes?

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Re: Scientology and religion

"Aren't they a religion for tax purposes?"

I heard that they are, in some strange country where creationism is considered a valid science and where local authorities are allowed to decrete that Pi=3*.

Most people would have written "in $COUNTRY, aren't they a religion for tax purposes?" but I guess that the citizens of the glorious U S and A are dispensed with unimportant details, like the existence of other countries with different laws. In some of them, the CoS is an illegal cult (as it should damn well be).

*I believe that this law, although never enforced, is actually still valid in one state. Finding which one is left as an exercise for the reader.

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FYI Pierre

In Australia they get a tax break for it, and I think you'll find that in the UK charities and churches (believe latter effectively become the former) get a good deal on tax.

Best clean up on your knowledge before replying to others about things you obviously know nothing about.

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WTF?

I'm confuzzed...

I thought the whole point of the the Flying Spaghetti Monster was to highlight the inherent ridiculousness of organised religion and blind faith in a magic sky zombie? Becoming a recognised religion pretty much legitimizes the concepts they were rallying against. Or are they being "ironic"?

Could someone enlighten me?

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I think the point is...

...that if they are an officially recognised religion, it brings the concept of officially recognising religions down to the level of ridicule. Where it belongs.

In other words, it is ridiculous to state that different rules apply to you because you believe in some nonsense that a number of other people also, wrongly, believe in.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with believing whatever you like, it's when you start acting as if the things you believe in are palpable facts when there is no evidence for them, and making laws to support you in those actions, that the problems arise.

Flame on religious types! The Christians, at least, have to forgive me anyway.

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Trollface

No, I can see a point

It encourages discussion about it. If FSM is not accepted, you have to ask why. If they say because it started as a joke, how do they know that the others didn't?

Tell them to find the test that proves it is not real, but the others are. (The Spanish say that there is no real faith in FSM, but that only means you have to find other more gullable people to start it off; preferably ones that haven't already latched on to one of the other religions.)

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Alien

Holy crap!

Not a single down vote on a post flaming religion? Something's not right...

"Wake up Neo"

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Coat

Church of FSM

See how it starts, with disbelief, mockery and persecution. Maybe in two-thousand years this will be a prominent religion.

<--- Mine's the one with: two with points, a big flat one and a packet of gravel

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What an arse

To me being an arse about a spoof religion is exactly as bad as being an arse about one that claims to be genuine.

How about: we're atheists, let's not be arses at all?

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Ah, but....

This is the internet...

http://xkcd.com/386/

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You have no idea....

Where Pastafarianism came from, have you?

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Pastafarianism came from

Cornwall?

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hmm

That's Pastyfarianism which is a scism based on pirates with beards, as opposed to Pastafarianism which accepts all pirates regardless of facial hirsuteness. Ultra orthodox Pastafarians if you will.

They also have slightly rounder hats.

An easy mistake and common mistake to make but you've still got a fatwah out on you now.

Sorry about that.

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Re: What an arse

If only, mr. Code Monkey, if only...

But in my experience there is a minority of atheist than can be as annoying and fanatic as the very well known minority of annoying and fanatic god-botherers.

I think the down votes in your post exemplify this...

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