Nous

Random thoughts and views of Tim Young

The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

with 4 comments

spaghetti_monster

 

The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is meant as a parody of intelligent design. He makes his first appearance in a letter to the Kansas State Board of Education in protest to their decision to require that intelligent design be taught alongside evolution in public schools.We are told that the FSM created the world and even regularly intervenes in human affairs by use of his “noodly appendage.” He supposedly created the world to make it look as if evolution is true, and he frequently sabotages carbon dating test so that they give inaccurate readings, leaving us with the impression that the world is really very old when in fact it is only 10,000 years old. There is even a church for this deity called The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I say: Give it up! Please!!

First off this is nothing unique. We have the Invisible Pink Unicorn (IPU), Russell’s tea pot, supermanism, etc. All of these are really meant as parodies of theism (usually Christianity), and they are supposed to somehow show the absurdity of believing in God. Well, I’m beginning to get tired of hearing all of them (FSM seems to be the most popular at the moment). So atheists, before you’re tempted to use one of these as an objection to Christianity, please take note of the following:

By creating such superficial fairytales as the FSM or the IPU, you are really showing your superficial understanding of Christianity, and any reasonably reflective Christian will not take you seriously. Why? Well:

1. These cheesy, on the spot parodies do not at all take into consideration the historic development of Christianity given through the various works of great historic (and contemporary) figures. Everyone from St. Paul, St Augustian, Thomas Aquinas, and Anselm, to Calvin, Edwards, Plantinga, and Van Til… the list could go and on, but the important thing is that you’re failing to understand Christianity as a complex knowledge tradition, and this causes you to draw inadequate analogies between the God of the bible and, say, a flying spaghetti monster.

2. You’re mistakenly viewing the Christian God as a vacuous concept.. As if I could go from believing “God exist” to believing “God does not exist” without it having a catastrophic effect on my world view. More to the point, Christianity is a complete world view, and the Christian God is at the very center of that world view. He gives purpose to our existence, He gives purpose to the universe, He is the ground of knowledge and truth, ethics and aesthetics. I cannot answer the questions “what is right and wrong” or “what is beautiful” without making recourse to God.. The entire foundation of philosophy, science, history…in short, everything, is built upon God. To get rid of God is to get rid of an ENTIRE world view, thus one is forced to answer life’s ultimate questions by making recourse to other things, by other means. On the other hand, whether or not I choose to believe in a flying spaghetti monster, an invisible pink unicorn, a dragon in my garage, an invisible gardener, or a tea pot in orbit around the Sun between Earth and Mars, has no such effect.

So please, give it a rest!

…though I do have to admit the FSM pictures are pretty funny!

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4 Responses

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  1. I don’t think anyone is using the FSM as a serious argument against Christianity or for atheism. If they are, they need to go back to school.

    The FSM is, however, a delightful parody.

    morsec0de

    March 19, 2009 at 5:25 am

  2. Well maybe you’re right about that, I don’t know. It’s just that I’ve seen quite a few atheists argue in this fashion

    -If the FSM is an untenable idea that does not need to be taken seriously, then Christianity is an untenable idea that does not need to be taken seriously.
    -The FSM is untenable
    -Therefore Christianity is untenable and I don’t need to take it seriously.

    As soon as you mention something about God they say “Well what about the FSM?” It’s silly if you ask me. But your response brings me hope that not all atheist are like this.

    Tim

    March 19, 2009 at 12:00 pm

  3. Whether or not the FSM is untenable has nothing to do with whether or not Christianity is untenable.

    I happen to believe that both are true. But I wouldn’t try to get to one through the other.

    morsec0de

    March 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

  4. morsecode, I wish every atheist was as smart as you 🙂

    Tim

    March 19, 2009 at 9:47 pm


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