Pastafarians Remind the Real Motivation of the Modern Atheistic Movement

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Tiassa, Aug 4, 2013.


Which most appropriately reflects your outlook? (choose all that apply)

  1. The atheistic movement has no obligation toward intellectual honesty.

    0 vote(s)
  2. The atheistic movement has no obligation toward basic human dignity.

    0 vote(s)
  3. The atheistic movement has no obligation toward anything or anyone.

    0 vote(s)
  4. Other (???)

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member


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    Sievehead: Lukáš Nový triumphed in the Czech Republic, earning a state endorsement of bigotry in the name of diversity.

    At its heart, we see a basic theological conundrum:

    (1) The only dogma of my religion is the rejection of dogma.
    (2) Under this religion, I am dogmatically obliged to wear a sieve on my head wherever I go.
    (3) Therefore, please allow my dogmatic obligation which I will refuse to reject as instructed by the tenets of my faith, so that I might mock, and show state-endorsed hatred toward, billions of my human neighbors for being religious.​

    This is Pastafarianism.

    It is also affirmative evidence toward a thesis emerging over recent decades, that the modern atheistic movment isn't about any question pertaining to God, but, rather, self-empowerment through bigotry.

    To the other, like I always say of racists, sexists, religious supremacists, and other bigots: If they really think their bigotry noble, they ought to be proud of it instead of complaining when they're called bigots.

    Mr. Nový, like Niko Alm before him, is at least showing his bigoted pride.


    Williams, Olivia. "'I'm a Pastafarian': Man who claims his religion forces him to wear a sieve on his head given permission to wear one on his official identity card picture". Mail Online. August 1, 2013. August 4, 2013.
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  3. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member


    When you live in a world where religious groups are being allowed to argue that if we don't grant them special rights they are being oppressed (ie if we have marriage equality we are oppressing Christians) and we have groups which think its ok to completely insult one religion (by making insulting cartoons of there prophet) while at the same time screaming THEY should be protected from insults, while we have unrestrained groups like the Baptist church which screams nothing but hatred and groups claiming to be Christian bombing doctors and young scared girls and couples. In light of all that, is this really bigotry or just a push back against the stupidity of the way we have allowed religion to destroy society?

    I am pledging to a new fantasy mutiplayer RPG game which is coming out soon and one of the threads on its forums is "can I preach the love of god", we can't even get away from religion in our own homes (JW\Mormons) or in our entertainment because some twit wants to use a GAME (ie something you play for fun) as a platform to spew his religion in everyone's face
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I have several problems with the subject line.

    First, it's so ungrammatical as to be almost incomprehensible. It would make more sense if 'remind' was replaced by 'reveal'. Would that still capture its intention?

    Second, what's "the modern atheist movement" exactly? Since when has not believing in the existence of God (leaving open the very real question of what the word 'God' is thought to mean) turned into a "movement" that requires (or even possesses) a party-line?

    Third, what does this "pastafarianism" (whatever that is) have to do with the multiple motivations that different people might have for not believing in the existence of God?

    I'm guessing that Nový's idea was that if the more Islamist sort of Muslim women are allowed to wear their headscarves on official identity photographs, then others should have the right to wear equally ridiculous gear on their photos, if they say that their religious faith demands it.

    I'm not sure how the Czech government allowing him to do it constitutes a "state endorsement of bigotry". I'd be more inclined to say that if the Czech state starts making distinctions between those who can and can't wear distinctive religious dress, then that would be bigotry.

    More importantly, what does any of this have to do with the motivations for not believing in the existence of God?

    Does it even matter what this guy's personal choice of religion is, provided that he says that whatever it is includes his wearing a sieve on his head?

    If the Czech government starts making distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate religions, between behaviors that are legitimately required by the recognized religions and behaviors that aren't, and between people that sincerely believe in their religion and those who don't, then wouldn't the government be prying far deeper into this guys "faith" than it inquires into the faith of Muslims? Would that be fair?

    Does Islam really require all women to wear headscarves? Some might argue that it does, but millions of Muslim women don't. So right there, you have a problem. Must a Muslim woman believe sincerely in her brand of Islam before she's allowed to wear the scarf in photos? How can the government possibly measure that? What the government basically ends up doing is accepting a woman's say-so about what her religious belief is and about what that belief requires.

    If the Czech government gives Muslim women the freedom to make that determination about themselves, then what would justify its withholding the same freedom from everyone else in the Czech Republic?

    I still fail to see the relevance. I'd guess that it wouldn't be difficult to find atheists who disagree with what this guy did, and many religious people, Christian and otherwise, who do agree with him. I don't see that this is even about atheism, really. It's about giving everyone the same right of self-determination.

    Whether what this guy did, and what the Czech government did to humor him, and my little defense of it immediately above are justified or not, you still haven't given us much reason to believe that it's a consequence of disbelief in the existence of God.
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  7. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    He's not obligated to wear a sieve, it's a form of expression that demands equal ridiculousness for all. If the religious get to wear headgear as part of their identity, then we should also be able to do the same. Just for fun.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    An awful lot of baggage for that picture to carry.

    I think he just wanted to wear a colander on his head, and thought it was a funny way to support his silly "religion." No more or less dumb than the slogans you see on T-shirts every day.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Notes Around

    It's a literary thing, not suitable for pedantry. I mean, sure, I'm not by any stretch of the imagination Charles Dickens, but you might as well object to the underlying paradox of simultaneously being the best of times and the worst of times.

    Also, "reveal" would suggest this is a newly-identified phenomenon. It isn't.

    The historical origins of what we recognize today as atheism were philosophical and rather quite astutely expressed. In recent years, however, atheists have rightly grown weary of religious supremacism to the point of objecting. Unfortunately, the resulting loose coalition of common identity politics has jumped onto the well-established supremacism carousel.

    The atheistic monument? Okay, whatever. I understand. But two wrongs don't make a right.

    Messrs. Nový and Alm, however, have gone even a step farther. As Mr. Nový's case reminds, the underlying justification for being a Sievehead is contradictory to the religion itself. Whatever commentary Mr. Nový might be trying to make—

    —what he has managed to accomplish is, once again, a question of wrongs making a right. While Nový would reject religious freedom for others, he demands it himself, and what he has convinced Czech officials to do is put a state endorsement on his open mockery of billions of religious people.

    Read the last sentence of the preceding section. It is a simpler version of point (3) in the topic post, which is fairly explanatory of the devices involved. It's one thing to pretend confusion about the point, but to do so while ignoring the explanation is kind of silly.

    I'm aware that the question of honest faith has absolutely nothing to do with the atheistic consideraton of what's wrong with religion, but your statement overlooks the fact that the difference between the one and the other is historical faith versus deliberately dishonest dogmatic justification.

    There are plenty of contradictions in religions, to be certain, but if you are incapable of at least identifying the problematic elements in the basic theological conundrum, there's not much I can do to help you understand.

    See, this is the problem: When bigots fixate on stereotypes, they ignore what's actually going on.

    All you talk about is rights.

    I mean, sure, I ought to be able to wear a four-foot penis mask on my face when I have my driver license photo taken.

    That's fine.

    Of course, I ought not complain when a police officer arrests me for an invalid license since he cannot verify that it is me. Then again, there is an easy enough solution that even the French government rejects, which is fingerprinting. Put my fingerprint data in the barcode on the license, take my fingerprint if you cannot match my face to the license photo because it's hidden behind a veil, or Groucho glasses, or a four-foot penis mask.

    Easy enough. We have the technology, and it's not especially expensive. Indeed, with such implementation, the cost would crash.

    Then again, what to do about bouncers and doormen?

    But, you know, it's easier to just tell religious people they can't abide by their faith.

    And if they can? Well there's always a Lukáš Nový or Niko Alm in the world to remind us that it is offensive that people should have religious liberty.

    Absolutely nothing. What a stupid question.

    Both practices have long historical and theological justifications. Nový's claim not only lacks historical or theological justifications, but, rather, invokes a deliberately fake theological justification and then rejects it, all while demanding state approval.

    I have no problem with new religions. But I do oblige them to the same standards as longer-standing faiths. That is, they must make sense. And while I sympathize with my atheistic neighbors over most of the sociopolitical points they argue, they've set the bar very low for themselves, and come off sounding just like the backwater evangelicals they so loathe.

    And since this new religion is not actually a religion, but a willful, calculated cruel prank intended to demean billions of people around the world, I don't see why it should be considered a real religion, especially when one can only get the demanded effect by rejecting the tenets of faith.

    Take a look at Spidergoat's and Billvon's responses; I'll get to that in a minute.

    Meanwhile, I would recall that aside from Muslims and Sikhs, it was only us anti-American, terrorist-supportin' liberal freaks who thought it strange that TSA would confiscate Sikh religious artifacts specifically. After all, by their justification I would confiscate a number of crucifixes as well. The blunt-edged, symbolic "knife" is a weapon? I've been to Jesuit school, and I know plenty of Catholics otherwise as well; some of the crucifixes they carry can not only put an eye out but also drive through the brain.

    Imagine the outcry if TSA started confiscating rosary beads—a strangulation "weapon"—and crucifixes.

    And you've missed the point entirely, it seems. That is to say, when people choose to duel straw men of their own fashioning, it's pretty indicative.

    • • •​

    I always adore these responses because in order to make a counterpoint, they reinforce the original point they argue against.

    To say, for instance, that, "He's not obligated to wear a sieve", is to ignore the fact that he made the opposite claim, that he is, in fact, required to wear that headgear.

    Furthermore, reductions of religion to "just for fun" or a "funny way" to be "silly" only remind how easy it is to voice bigotry.

    To the other, it's convenient. From here on out, there's no reason to attend some people's opinions. After all, if the cultures that shape people are "just for fun", or "silly", then their opinions are the same.

    Meanwhile, despite some folks' best efforts, more responsible people will continue to discuss the subjects according to these nasty little obligations called arguable and supportable theses.
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I once wore a Matrix costume to a brewery costume contest. I went with two women also dressed up as characters out of the Matrix. Let's see how many Tiassas I could have offended:
    -one who thought it was sexist (women wore latex and leather; I wore a black coat and sunglasses)
    -one who thought it was racist (we were all white)
    -one who thought that our silliness was offensive (we were pretty silly about the whole thing)
    -one who thought the religious overtones were offensive (I was, after all, dressed as Neo, a Christ figure from a popular movie)
    -one who thought we were bigots because most other people came in variations of drinking costumes (lederhosen etc) - so we must have been intolerant of them

    You can get offended over anything, and many people do in fact make careers out of being offended. In the case of someone wearing a colander on their head due to a religion intended as a joke, there may be a better use of your time.

    Or not; if outrage is your thing, he can enable that as well as anyone I suppose.
  11. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    I seriously hope that was tongue in cheek.
  12. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    No religions make sense, that's the point. Why does having a tradition mean you get to do stuff that a person adopting their own new ideology doesn't? If the state is obligated to give in to religious ideas, then by god I'm going to have some ideas, call them religious, and have them respect it, and there isn't anything they can do about it without defining why old silly ideas should be respected and new silly ones should not. This is in the same vein as Lenny Bruce, who famously started a charity for himself.

    And calling someone a bigot is an easy way to stifle the very serious struggle going on here for freedom from religion.
  13. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Probably for the same reason you can talk negatively about all and any religion to the exclusion of the FSM, which, for some uncanny reason, supports your atheistic ideology (and before you try and pretend that atheism doesn't have an ideology - at lest the sort you are advocating in this thread - it might pay to remember that its technically impossible to talk about curbing the behaviour of others - ie why and how we got to prevent religious people displaying behaviours that identify them as such - without one)

    good to hear that you are finally abandoning atheism and becoming religious ... although you might have a hard time presenting your agenda beyond satire

    perhaps that would make sense if you had an argument for how religion is persecuting you (unless you warrant criticizing your poorly thought out atheistic arguments as persecution)
  14. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    The only possible objection I would have to Pastafarianism is that creating any religion, even a satirical one, is dangerous. Look at how Scientology got so popular, it could easily get out of hand and become a real religion, which would be tragic. Religion causes all sorts of persecution. I could tell you some horror stories if you want.

    My brand of atheism is an ideology, but technically, atheism itself is not. I just happen to value secular and humanist ideas too.
  15. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Why the.. would you say that? If true, it would be seriously uncharacteristic of modern atheism, and certainly not something I would agree with.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  16. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    If we were all oriented towards the same goal i.e., making the world a better place for all, we would scarcely notice our differences be they religious or otherwise. My personal experience as an agnostic who used to be a believer in the Abrahamic God, is mostly one of unacceptance and avoidance because I no longer believe. Me, well I really do not care what one believes in spiritually really, I mean it is is only secondary until the material and educational needs are met in this world. Once this is done then everyone can make up any kind of dogma they wish and eat cake too!
  17. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    then in one succinct sentence, you have answered your earlier question

    "Why does having a tradition mean you get to do stuff that a person adopting their own new ideology doesn't?"

    Kind of like asking why are people who imitate asylum seekers (satirically or otherwise) get treated differently from regular asylum seekers


    given that the fsm is exclusively advocated by atheists, it seems unlikely

    so does any ideology that makes it through to the political level (from atheistic communist russia to the playground).
    IOW the moment you start to talk about ideology is the moment you have an idea that could possible warrant political representation (and hence have concomitant issues of persecution etc)

    and the theists persecuted in communist russia couldn't?

    If your values truly ended at secular ideals, you wouldn't be in the middle of a discussion about dress codes adopted by the religious (unless women dressed in head scarves traumatize your delicate mind or something)
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    its laughable that you can talk about working towards the goal of making the world the better place for all as if merely taking such a road automatically necessitates an environment bereft of conflict.

    I think what you mean to say is "is a better place in accordance with my values"

    Even if we even want to give you the (extreme) benefit of the doubt and accept that your values (or the practical measures necessary to achieve them) would actually benefit the entire world, it is certain that they would generate conflict, persecution etc etc

    kind of a difficult ask considering material existence (or even just plain old economics) necessitates a perpetual disproportionate distribution of opulence between individuals/societies
  19. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    So, you admit that you are a bigot against the silly and the satirical. According to your ideology, only the most serious of religions deserve respect. I hear that's why Islam doesn't like cartoons.

    You talk as though Pastafarianism isn't an ideology.

    Blame communism. Nothing about not believing in god implies you care if other people believe in god. If Stalin or Putin don't like you, you go to prison camp. Sounds like that's just what happens in Russia.

    I'm interested in everything religious. You must know thy enemy. First they come for your strainer...
  20. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Do you want to hear them or not? I personally benefit from a secular society, and one particularly progressive corner of it. Not everyone is so lucky, some states are dominated by religious pandering. Of course we all know what utopian societies they represented!
  21. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    i find nothing laughable about my goal to make this world a fairer and more just place while I can. You see LG, I really try to stay away from divisive side issues like religion, political persuasions or anything that diverts my attention from that goal. Goal orientation is the key, not what i may ponder in my spare time about the truths of the universe, or what color of lint is in my belly button, indeed what I have found that when working with different nationalities of differing beliefs all of the differences seemed non existent. Why? Because we were all working towards the same goal with a selflessness that you rarely find these day.

    Unlike you LG, I believe we (humankind) can and will evolve to a more organized and fairer world without the help of some supernatural hero. Virtue is its own reward for me,not the promise of some future glory in some other place. Your ankle-biting and nit-picking does nothing to dissuade me.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Notes Around

    What's sad is that the only way I might possibly have been offended is by the proposition that the Matrix movies are worth cosplay.

    And, in truth, I would actually laugh. Not because I'm offended, but because such willful human frailty strikes me as funny. I only get offended by people embarrassing themselves when it's a child or mentally incompetent person being forced to denigrate themselves for everyone else's entertainment. As long as you're competent, consenting adults, embarrass the hell out of yourselves to your hearts' delight.

    Oh, hell, I'm happy to let Sieveheads wear what they want. It helps the rest of us identify the unstable characters in the movement.

    The idea of wearing a colander on one's head as a joke against religion isn't actually problematic. Rather, it's the state endorsement of that bigotry against religion.

    I would probably be a lot lighter on the accusation of atheistic bigotry if, at some point over, say, the last twenty years, atheists would demonstrate some reasonable understanding of what they're complaining about. As I already noted, while I sympathize with my atheistic neighbors over most of the sociopolitical points they argue, they've set the bar very low for themselves.

    The reality is that the atheistic skepticism seems arbitrary. Atheists don't apply that sort of scrutiny to other ideas insofar as they have no obligation to. It's kind of like I pointed out to a neighbor in another discussion, who is happy to entertain artificial constructs that he finds useful, but rejects those that get in the way of his sentiments.

    I did once identify as an atheist, but it led to nihilism because, unlike my atheistic cohort at the time, I felt it was inconsistent to demand certain scrutiny for one mythical set, e.g., religion, while refusing that scrutiny for other things.

    Whenever I see an atheist anthropomorphizing his car or boat, or even taking part in baseball superstitions, the point is made. It isn't about objectivity or equality, but about hating religion and religious people.

    It's kind of sad that way.

    And for nigh on a decade, I've been trying to get an answer from atheists about what replaces the functional core religion offers people if they abandon their faithy. It's not so much that atheists can't come up with an answer; I have yet to encounter one that can comprehend the question.

    The lack of human sympathy about these attitudes is the most distressing aspect.

    To borrow and paraphrase an old bit from Bill Maher, I would certainly be an atheist, if only they would first. However, it has become clear through diversely repeated exercise that integrity of principle—i.e., the atheistic objectivity and skepticism—is far too inconvenient.

    Note, for instance, how Yazata switches from the larger atheistic movement to individual atheists in order to raise a straw man: "... you still haven't given us much reason to believe that it's a consequence of disbelief in the existence of God".

    People are people. Once upon a time, even my atheistic neighbors recognized that the problems really start when groups of people come together and stop thinking for themselves. Of course, our neighbor also pretends ignorance of atheistic organization, such as Pastafarianism or American Atheists.

    But it is in these groups that the problems show through.

    The very idea of atheism has much to offer the human endeavor. 'Tis a shame, though, that so many atheists are pissing that value away. As long as it's about actual civil rights issues, I'm in. But when it comes to one-upping religious people by being an asshole, well, one is still an asshole.

    You know, kind of like that saying about Corvettes: Yeah, but it's still a Chevy.

    • • •​

    And why should it be? I don't limit my consideration of history to a recent number of decades for mere convenience.

    We might disdain the confusion, contradiction, and silliness throughout the history of religion, but if we follow the record, we can actually see where that silliness comes from.

    Take the Catholics, for instance. We can certainly reject the linchpin belief in the existence of God, but Catholic doctrine and dogma are, in respect of that presupposition of God's existence, nearly airtight.

    I would ask you to consider Dr. Jeffrey Burton Russell, an historian who has written many excellent volumes on philosophical history. He actually would prefer not be best known for his best scholarship—the five volumes on the evolution of the Devil through history—but, rather, his discourse on the physical attributes of Heaven and his book explaining how Flat Earth isn't something any Christian ever believed, but, rather, a nefarious anti-Christian conspiracy still intact after centuries.

    The atheists I've known over the years, in both the virtual and real worlds? Such books would make most of their heads explode.

    Elaine Pagels' The Origin of Satan? Right there you have a woman of faith writing one of the best overviews of the historical-literary evolution of Satan within Christian history ever written.

    Karen Armstrong? Perhaps the foremost modern theological historian in the world today? While we might note that nobody ever asked her why a former nun would write a book about the founder of Islam, it's probably more important to point out volumes like A History of God and The Battle for God.

    If more atheists studied religion sincerely, and actually understood the subject matter of their critiques, they could work wonders.

    Instead, we get these movements. Two wrongs don't make a right, except, perhaps, in atheistic math.

    That is to say, thanks to American Atheists, an organization—a collection of individuals—atheists in general can no longer complain about the mixing of religion and state. Gosh, I hope it was worth it, but I certainly am not going to thank them for undermining the separation of church and state.

    And these Pastafarians? Look, maybe if there was some historical line showing how these different interpretations of the will of the Flying Spaghetti Monster evolved, Nový's quest might make some sort of sense.

    But, in the end, it's a bigoted joke, and that would be fine. Except he has managed to compel the state to endorse his bigotry.

    • • •​

    Now, see, there I agree with you.

    Very simply: This practical joke stems from his disdain for religious freedom. He doesn't like religious people being free to wear their headgear. So he's making a point of ridiculing billions of religious people in a manner that verges on, if not traipses right into, hate speech. And, of course, being an American, I support people's general right to hate speech. However, I am very, very dubious about giving it specific government endorsement.
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Neither do I.
    I do find it laughable if you think you can so much as move in the general direction of accomplishing it without causing conflict (which, IYHO, is the intrinsic nature of adopting a path at the expense of making the world a better place for everyone)

    the comedy continues

    (Social) change, regardless of the merit of the goals, is political.


    thats fine.

    What is not fine is the imaginary notion that you can even hope to accomplish this bereft of conflict/persecution/etc etc

    false dichotomy.

    All I have said is that you are a fool to think you can work to better the world whilst strictly avoiding the path of conflict.
    For the sake of argument I even conceded that even if (and its a big if ... ) we accept that your ideas about bettering the world for everyone are actually capable of delivering the goods, you are still left the inevitable path of conflict born of politics staring back right before you.

    Rather than address this sore point of your logic, you instead opted to talk about how noble it is to have the goal of bettering the world (and imagining that you and your ilk are the exclusive proprietors of such thinking ..... which is clearly another departure point for conflict)

    obviously "believe" is the operative word ... needless to say, the economic model behind such thinking is conspicuous by its absence

    given that there are plenty of scriptural commentaries that head in this same general direction, you should realize that you haven't actually established a dichotomy between theistic and non-theistic discussion on this topic

    You are simply imagining that you are capable of offering something distinct (namely world betterment for all bereft of conflict ... aka "my ideas and my values deserve the mantel piece) when all your ideas have the trademarks of tired ideas that history chews up and spits out on a regular basis


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