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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Unified Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Eruption
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    i'm not only a member...i'm....

    wait....no....

    i'm only a member.
    not another dime from me, fellas...

    tinzen

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    Baluchitherium mistere's Avatar
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    I'm actually a New Adventist Monsterist.

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    I, for one, welcome our new Flying Spaghetti Monster overlords.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! Wickett's Avatar
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    Default Pasta Monster gets academic attention

    When some of the world's leading religious scholars gather in San Diego this weekend, pasta will be on the intellectual menu. They'll be talking about a satirical pseudo-deity called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose growing pop culture fame gets laughs but also raises serious questions about the essence of religion.

    The appearance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the agenda of the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting gives a kind of scholarly imprimatur to a phenomenon that first emerged in 2005, during the debate in Kansas over whether intelligent design should be taught in public school sciences classes.

    Supporters of intelligent design hold that the order and complexity of the universe is so great that science alone cannot explain it. The concept's critics see it as faith masquerading as science.

    An Oregon State physics graduate named Bobby Henderson stepped into the debate by sending a letter to the Kansas School Board. With tongue in cheek, he purported to speak for 10 million followers of a being called the Flying Spaghetti Monster — and demanded equal time for their views.

    "We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it," Henderson wrote. As for scientific evidence to the contrary, "what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage."

    The letter made the rounds on the Internet, prompting laughter from some and vilification from others. But it struck a chord and stuck around. In the great tradition of satire, its humor was in fact a clever and effective argument.

    Between the lines, the point of the letter was this: There's no more scientific basis for intelligent design than there is for the idea an omniscient creature made of pasta created the universe. If intelligent design supporters could demand equal time in a science class, why not anyone else? The only reasonable solution is to put nothing into sciences classes but the best available science.

    "I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; one third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence," Henderson sarcastically concluded.

    Kansas eventually repealed guidelines questioning the theory of evolution.

    Meanwhile, Flying Spaghetti Monsterism (FSM-ism to its "adherents") has thrived — particularly on college campuses and in Europe. Henderson's Web site has become a kind of cyber-watercooler for opponents of intelligent design.

    Henderson did not respond to a request for comment. His Web site tracks meetings of FSM clubs (members dress up as pirates) and sells trinkets and bumper stickers. "Pastafarians" — as followers call themselves — can also download computer screen-savers and wallpaper (one says: "WWFSMD?") and can sample photographs that show "visions" of the divinity himself. In one, the image of the carbohydrate creator is seen in a gnarl of dug-up tree roots.

    It was the emergence of this community that attracted the attention of three young scholars at the University of Florida who study religion in popular culture. They got to talking, and eventually managed to get a panel on FSM-ism on the agenda at one of the field's most prestigious gatherings.

    The title: "Evolutionary Controversy and a Side of Pasta: The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Subversive Function of Religious Parody."

    "For a lot of people they're just sort of fun responses to religion, or fun responses to organized religion. But I think it raises real questions about how people approach religion in their lives," said Samuel Snyder, one of the three Florida graduate students who will give talks at the meeting next Monday along with Alyssa Beall of Syracuse University.

    The presenters' titles seem almost a parody themselves of academic jargon. Snyder will speak about "Holy Pasta and Authentic Sauce: The Flying Spaghetti Monster's Messy Implications for Theorizing Religion," while Gavin Van Horn's presentation is titled "Noodling around with Religion: Carnival Play, Monstrous Humor, and the Noodly Master."

    Using a framework developed by literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin, Van Horn promises in his abstract to explore how, "in a carnivalesque fashion, the Flying Spaghetti Monster elevates the low (the bodily, the material, the inorganic) to bring down the high (the sacred, the religiously dogmatic, the culturally authoritative)."

    The authors recognize the topic is a little light by the standards of the American Academy of Religion.

    "You have to keep a sense of humor when you're studying religion, especially in graduate school," Van Horn said in a recent telephone interview. "Otherwise you'll sink into depression pretty quickly."

    But they also insist it's more than a joke.

    Indeed, the tale of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its followers cuts to the heart of the one of the thorniest questions in religious studies: What defines a religion? Does it require a genuine theological belief? Or simply a set of rituals and a community joining together as a way of signaling their cultural alliances to others?


    In short, is an anti-religion like Flying Spaghetti Monsterism actually a religion?

    Joining them on the panel will be David Chidester, a prominent and controversial academic at the University of Cape Town in South Africa who is interested in precisely such questions. He has urged scholars looking for insights into the place of religion in culture and psychology to explore a wider range of human activities. Examples include cheering for sports teams, joining Tupperware groups and the growing phenomenon of Internet-based religions. His 2005 book "Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture," prompted wide debate about how far into popular culture religious studies scholars should venture.

    Lucas Johnston, the third Florida student, argues the Flying Spaghetti Monsterism exhibits at least some of the traits of a traditional religion _ including, perhaps, that deep human need to feel like there's something bigger than oneself out there.

    He recognized the point when his neighbor, a militant atheist who sports a pro-Darwin bumper sticker on her car, tried recently to start her car on a dying battery.

    As she turned the key, she murmured under her breath: "Come on Spaghetti Monster!"

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  7. #7
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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    Guy at work has the pirate fish sticker on his car, and stencilled on his parking spot. Awesome.
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......

  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    I've been an admirer (seriously) of these guys since I heard about it last year. The letter to the school board is one of the best pieces of complaint letter writing I've ever seen.

    To have thought of teaching intelligent design in schools as fact was abhorrent in the extreme and I'm glad they backed down. Kids are getting enough bad information anyway without being given this kind of thing.

    Anyone with a suspicion of organised religions and cults might want to have a look at Richard Dawkins "The god delusion", a very good read.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

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  9. #9
    Eruption hotforteacher921's Avatar
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    RAmen!

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    I've been an admirer (seriously) of these guys since I heard about it last year. The letter to the school board is one of the best pieces of complaint letter writing I've ever seen.

    To have thought of teaching intelligent design in schools as fact was abhorrent in the extreme and I'm glad they backed down. Kids are getting enough bad information anyway without being given this kind of thing.

    Anyone with a suspicion of organised religions and cults might want to have a look at Richard Dawkins "The god delusion", a very good read.
    Ironically, the best education a child can get in the United States from K-12 is at a Catholic School. They instill morals, social ethics and they teach religion. Not just Christianity but they give a fantastic look at ALL religions, your average 10th grader at a Catholic school can tell you more about Bhudism than the average adult can. Plus, they have excellent science departments and they never let Catholic Dogma get in the way of science.

    The flip side is that Catholic School kids know all the best jokes(dirty) and Cathilic School girls have earned their reputations (although I don't think that they're any worse than regular highschool girls, it's the uniform and the idea that she'll be discussing second base in confession on Monday morning )
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    The thread title always makes me hungry.

  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    Ironically, the best education a child can get in the United States from K-12 is at a Catholic School. They instill morals, social ethics and they teach religion. Not just Christianity but they give a fantastic look at ALL religions, your average 10th grader at a Catholic school can tell you more about Bhudism than the average adult can. Plus, they have excellent science departments and they never let Catholic Dogma get in the way of science.

    The flip side is that Catholic School kids know all the best jokes(dirty) and Cathilic School girls have earned their reputations (although I don't think that they're any worse than regular highschool girls, it's the uniform and the idea that she'll be discussing second base in confession on Monday morning )

    Interesting Axxman. Obviously I can't disagree with your point because I don't know anything about the American education system - if it is anything like the British, most of it is in the toilet.
    Good to hear that "all sides of the coin" are taught regarding religion and that science is left to speak for itself (if that truly is the case) but I always have a problem with the idea of morality being taught.
    In and of itself, surely this has to be a good thing - I think most would agree that a sense of "right" should be instilled into our young. The problem for me arises when we look at whose version of right and wrong is being taught. Simply by being a faith based school, there would be a slant in one direction. Fair enough maybe, since no religion actually preaches hate, regardless of what certain sections of the media might tell us.
    However, taking the Catholic faith as an example, there are quite a few things that I know of that i disagree with, in my opinion some of them being downright irresponsible.
    For example, the Catholic church (and please correct me if I am wrong here) does not believe that contraception is right. I don't want to get into a debate on that specifically but, my own moral compass tells me that is just plain stupid.
    So would I want my children to be taught from that kind of viewpoint? Of course, I am not obliged to send my children to a school of this type but I think you get my point.
    Anyway, teaching some kind of morality is obviously better than none at all.
    However, I do believe that it is an inherent characteristic of human beings that we are able to distinguish right from wrong.
    It is education, enviroment and society in general that distorts these values and principles into whatever we might become.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    all praise be to the flying spaghetti monster!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    Interesting Axxman. Obviously I can't disagree with your point because I don't know anything about the American education system - if it is anything like the British, most of it is in the toilet.
    Good to hear that "all sides of the coin" are taught regarding religion and that science is left to speak for itself (if that truly is the case) but I always have a problem with the idea of morality being taught.
    In and of itself, surely this has to be a good thing - I think most would agree that a sense of "right" should be instilled into our young. The problem for me arises when we look at whose version of right and wrong is being taught. Simply by being a faith based school, there would be a slant in one direction. Fair enough maybe, since no religion actually preaches hate, regardless of what certain sections of the media might tell us.
    However, taking the Catholic faith as an example, there are quite a few things that I know of that i disagree with, in my opinion some of them being downright irresponsible.
    For example, the Catholic church (and please correct me if I am wrong here) does not believe that contraception is right. I don't want to get into a debate on that specifically but, my own moral compass tells me that is just plain stupid.
    So would I want my children to be taught from that kind of viewpoint? Of course, I am not obliged to send my children to a school of this type but I think you get my point.
    Anyway, teaching some kind of morality is obviously better than none at all.
    However, I do believe that it is an inherent characteristic of human beings that we are able to distinguish right from wrong.
    It is education, enviroment and society in general that distorts these values and principles into whatever we might become.

    You're correct about Catholic School kids not getting a comprehesnsive sex-education, but parents who send their kids to a Catholic school already know that. My brother went to a Catholic School for his junior highschool and it didn't seem to be a handicap, in fact when he got into public high school he was so far ahead that he was bored. He actually graduated high school in his Sophomore year with the GED and entered the US Air Force when he turned 16. He served 13 years as the Air Forces' top ranked Arab linguist before leaving the service to work for Haliburton and Southern Bell. He is currently working on his Doctorate in International Law in Texas and the US Government is paying for it.

    I am technically smarter than my brother but I opted not to got to Catholic School and I ended up fucking myself. However, I did get the 1978, full-tilt-boogie version of High School sex education. Big friggin help that was. Maybe I should list that on my resume': Can locate Vagina on 96% of women.

    Again, it took a nice Catholic school girl to show me how to put on a rubber with one hand and in the dark.

    The thing is that the majority of kids in Catholic Schools are NOT Catholic, my family isn't. It was never an issue for my brother.

    ...but I always have a problem with the idea of morality being taught.
    In and of itself, surely this has to be a good thing - I think most would agree that a sense of "right" should be instilled into our young. The problem for me arises when we look at whose version of right and wrong is being taught.
    My kindergarten year was primarily focused on "Being a responsible student", this was 1969 and in those days the idea was to shape us into students. We were given daily resposibilities and we were teamed up with different kids so that we learned to get along with eachother. Anti-social behavior was rooted out and creatively punished and good behavior was rewarded.

    At the Cathoilc School my brother attended (Carmel Mission School), the kids had chapple in the morning. No big deal. Were the morality lessons drawn from the Bible? You bet, but because the Nuns were proficient in the Old and New Testiment, the morality lessons were almost always taylored to the individual and the infraction. That way the kids weren't being smacked over the head with the Bible they were given a chance to think about what they had done and why it was wrong. The fact that it's a Catholic School means that the parent's know in advance as to who's values are being taught and they don't have to send their kids there if they don't like it.

    The kids my brother went to school with were not robots, or turned into mindless Catholics. In fact their Catholic education made them much more cynical about the church and religion than most kids their age. They just had better mental tools to make that judgement than their secular counterparts.

    Look, NOBODY is perfect and Catholic/religious school have faults just like public schools.

    I don't know the UK that well but if there's a good Catholic University near you that offers extension classes I highly reccommend looking into them. You LOVE a good debate so you should find a class taugh by a Jesuit because Jesuits live to debate. They will debate anything and they can be frustrating bastards, which is why the order has been kicked out of the Roman catholic Church twice (which also means that they can't be all that bad).
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    a good Catholic school provides and incredible education. I'm an Jew, though not a conventional deistic one, and I'd still send my kid to catholic school before I sent them to a regular public school, assuming I could afford it.

    Though they're not all great. My Carmel in Houston is a prime example of one that has declined in quality over the years. I knew several people that came out of there in the late eighties and very early nineties and they raved about it. My younger brother and sister had terrible experiences there and my parents yanked them out after a semester. Even the alumni I know are appalled at the decline so like everything else, a Catholic education is no guarantee to becoming some nobel prize winner or millionare...but it's definitely, generally speaking, a better option than most public schools.

 

 

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