Author Topic: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.  (Read 3192 times)

Kai

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Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« on: January 31, 2012, 08:54:43 pm »
I'm currently having a conversation with someone about Church of the Flying Spaggetti Monster (AKA Pastafarianism). I was posing that, unlike she had proposed, Pastafarianism and Discordianism (or CotSG) are not really that similar.

My argument was that, while the latter irreligions were "religion masking joke masking substance", the latter was a joke through and through. People who use the parody tend not to self identify under that label, which is at best a ploy by atheists to counteract the teaching of creationism in schools.

Compare this with the more "traditional" irreligions of Discordianism and Church of the Subgenius. The former is a radical westernization of zen and taoism, the later a radical subversion of religion in general. And I pointed out that in 10 years, hardly anyone will remember the flying spagetti monster, but there will still be Discordians.

Now, why is that?

It seems to me that these "one-liner" irreligions have essentially no substance. As Nigel said previously, Discordianism is a complete system, a complete metamap through which to go about exploring reality. It provides an entire, absurdist groundplan from which to view the universe. The "substance obscured by the joke" is actually rather deep and useful. And this substance, and the history of human creativity surrounding this substance, allows a social cohesiveness despite the fact that it is a joke (and that "Discordians stick apart"). For example, this forum wouldn't still be around 10+ years after it got started if there wasn't some essential substance beneath the joke.

There is no social cohesion in Pastafarianism beyond the original goal to push creationism out of public schools. I would argue that there is actually NO Pastafarianism in the first place, because no one actually identifies as one. The lack of substance means that social groups tend to quickly fall apart. Look at the Church of Google for the same reason. It's the difference between laughing at a joke and forgetting it, and laughing at a joke only later to go "oh, there are a whole bunch of hidden gems there".

I know people here have been to some of these parody religion forums, and I hope you will comment.

My other thought is when you cling to a joke which has no substance as if it did, you start taking yourself too seriously. And if the backers of the parody aren't high enough in numbers, the social structure tends to fall apart quickly when under attack. There's no reason to cling together, as it was at the Church of Google forums.
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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 09:14:34 pm »
Well said, Kai.

This may be belaboring the point, but one must really take into consideration the intent of the belief structure.

"Disorder is just as important as order; and by the way, they're both subjective illusions."*

"Creationism is stupid; I use reducto ad absurdum to prove that."

Discordia gives you new tools in order to create new filters and roadmaps through existence.
FSM attacks a foolish state of mind by postulating an identically foolish state of mind. 

And who wants to share a similar framework of ideas as the thing you're trying to tear down?






*The 'intent' of Discordians tends to be mutable, of course.  Don't get distracted by this version.

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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 09:21:06 pm »
Good post, Kai! Pastafarianism essentially boils down to a very clever argument which is part of a specific discussion: creationism vs intelligent design. Pastafarianism holds no further truths, it is merely a negation of ID.

And that negation is very very similar to many ideas expressed in Discordia ("Don't you think some of this may be bullshit?"), which is why Eris and the FSM are cousins. But they are very different animals.

Part of Omar's intent was to create a system which offers an approach to spirituality without the thought-stopping snares of dogma and tribal hierarchy. He knew that the experiences those "enlightened masters" were having were real experiences, the bullshit comes when you try to draw those experiences into the realm of human error and drama. So maybe we can get past that error and drama by banishing seriousness and embracing humor and absurdity. It's a real challenge to western religions which only offer you spiritual rewards as a "retirement package" from years of work and submission to the [human] hierarchy.

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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 09:27:23 pm »
One liner is a perfect way to describe it kai. I would go further to say that since fsm is a joke and only a joke after a while its just not funny anymore.

Actually i remember a few years back a pastafarian scoffed at me when i advised her to check out a real fake religion like discordianism instead of a one trick pony. She seemed to think discordianism was an old joke best suited for nerds even though she was clearly nerdier than me by light years.
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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 09:32:48 pm »
Well said, Kai.

This may be belaboring the point, but one must really take into consideration the intent of the belief structure.

"Disorder is just as important as order; and by the way, they're both subjective illusions."*

"Creationism is stupid; I use reducto ad absurdum to prove that."

Discordia gives you new tools in order to create new filters and roadmaps through existence.
FSM attacks a foolish state of mind by postulating an identically foolish state of mind. 

And who wants to share a similar framework of ideas as the thing you're trying to tear down?






*The 'intent' of Discordians tends to be mutable, of course.  Don't get distracted by this version.

I think it's really interesting how a social group can persist despite opposition of member viewpoints. Or perhaps that's just a requirement of social group continuity. Those that can't survive argument schism or disintegrate.
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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 09:34:10 pm »
One of the things that killed Pastafarianism is that they stopped being funny, and turned into a pack of shrill evangelistic atheists.
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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 09:36:52 pm »
One of the things that killed Pastafarianism is that they stopped being funny, and turned into a pack of shrill evangelistic atheists.

Yeah, they took the joke too seriously, and unfortunately for them atheism isn't exactly an accepted worldview in this country. Turned people off.
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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 09:38:34 pm »
One of the things that killed Pastafarianism is that they stopped being funny, and turned into a pack of shrill evangelistic atheists.

I think I would have a hard time pulling off "shrill" ove the internet if I tried, but they seem able to do it without effort.

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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 09:40:09 pm »
One of the things that killed Pastafarianism is that they stopped being funny, and turned into a pack of shrill evangelistic atheists.

Yeah, they took the joke too seriously, and unfortunately for them atheism isn't exactly an accepted worldview in this country. Turned people off.
Even if it was accepted, no one likes a shrill evangelist.
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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2012, 09:40:22 pm »
Good post, Kai! Pastafarianism essentially boils down to a very clever argument which is part of a specific discussion: creationism vs intelligent design. Pastafarianism holds no further truths, it is merely a negation of ID.

And that negation is very very similar to many ideas expressed in Discordia ("Don't you think some of this may be bullshit?"), which is why Eris and the FSM are cousins. But they are very different animals.

Part of Omar's intent was to create a system which offers an approach to spirituality without the thought-stopping snares of dogma and tribal hierarchy. He knew that the experiences those "enlightened masters" were having were real experiences, the bullshit comes when you try to draw those experiences into the realm of human error and drama. So maybe we can get past that error and drama by banishing seriousness and embracing humor and absurdity. It's a real challenge to western religions which only offer you spiritual rewards as a "retirement package" from years of work and submission to the [human] hierarchy.

Yes, and despite the lack of dogma and tribal hierarchy (I'm not sure the latter doesn't happen), there's not an immoral attitude to the ideas. Discordians aren't hermits alone in the wilderness.
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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 09:41:12 pm »
Well said, Kai.

This may be belaboring the point, but one must really take into consideration the intent of the belief structure.

"Disorder is just as important as order; and by the way, they're both subjective illusions."*

"Creationism is stupid; I use reducto ad absurdum to prove that."

Discordia gives you new tools in order to create new filters and roadmaps through existence.
FSM attacks a foolish state of mind by postulating an identically foolish state of mind. 

And who wants to share a similar framework of ideas as the thing you're trying to tear down?






*The 'intent' of Discordians tends to be mutable, of course.  Don't get distracted by this version.

I think it's really interesting how a social group can persist despite opposition of member viewpoints. Or perhaps that's just a requirement of social group continuity. Those that can't survive argument schism or disintegrate.

It's not unique to just us-- Rabbis have been arguing about the Torah for CENTURIES.

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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 09:42:20 pm »
One of the things that killed Pastafarianism is that they stopped being funny, and turned into a pack of shrill evangelistic atheists.

Yeah, they took the joke too seriously, and unfortunately for them atheism isn't exactly an accepted worldview in this country. Turned people off.
Even if it was accepted, no one likes a shrill evangelist.

DING.

This is why I habitually threaten and abuse people who want to talk politics at parties.

I don't care which supposed "side" they're on.  It's the SAME THING.  Likewise, there is no difference between Veganza Pastafarians and Rick Santorum-esque Christian evangelists.

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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 09:43:11 pm »
It's not unique to just us-- Rabbis have been arguing about the Torah for CENTURIES.

In both cases, it's a sport.

This might bear a little more thought.
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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 09:47:35 pm »
Hmmm. Good point.

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Re: Why Pastafarianism didn't persist.
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 09:52:56 pm »
Lotsa good points, here. I agree with alla youse.

I would actually go a step further, too, and say that beyond the superficial veneer of "joke religion", Pastafarianism and Discordianism have almost nothing in common. Discordianism is a framework of philosophy, whereas Pastafarianism is really nothing more than a joke with Christianity as its butt.
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