There’s be a lot of stuff in my Bloglines lately about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If you don’t know of the greatness of the FSM then by all means Google him up and have a good chuckle. According to Wikipedia Flying Spaghetti Monsterism is a “Parody Religion” which was a response to the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to allow intelligent design to be taught in science classes alongside evolution.

If I understand correctly the Joke here is that since the FSM is just a provable as GOD then its religion is just as valid. Well who am I to argue with logic like that. I guess we could say all religion is not only equally valid but also equally good. In fact since as far as I know there are no FSM terrorists then the Pastafarians have both Christianity and Islam beat. I mean first do no harm. Right?

Well, before we can say all religion is equally good, perhaps we ought to ask “good for what?” Religion was invented by Man for some purpose. Maybe you think your religion was invented by God, a God, or the FSM but certainly the other 99.9% of religions probably weren’t. So I think its a good idea to look at the question of why man creates a religion.

In the case of FSM its probably the easiest to understand. Its pretty clear that the major purpose of the FSM is to generate more Blog traffic.

Another prominent use of religion today is to aid in the manipulation of large groups of people. This is in fact probably the most common large scale use of religion throughout history. The cool thing about it is how well it works. I mean you would think that it would work only to motivate the adherents to support behavior consistent with their faith but that has rarely been an issue.

Religion is also a good money raiser. Followers are more than willing to part with their money for a little sense of belonging. Sure a 10% tithe is way less than the governments cut but you don’t have to even fix any potholes, in fact you can get the congregation to pitch in and do the work themselves.

We seem to be getting a good idea of how religion works well for the people who control it but what is the point of if for the members? We have science! What do we need this sprituality crap for? Because what science offers isn’t very much.

What Science says is that we are completely unimportant and have no meaning. All I am and all I do will affect only a small part of an single planet around an ordinary star in nondescript galaxy of an infinite universe and it will last only an infinitesimal fraction of blink of time. Of course its ok really since there is no “ME” anyway in the sense that I have no free will or anything. I’m just a temporary collection of atomic particles, acting in accordance with some arbitrary physical laws, that are temporarily taking the form of a 41 year dude typing at his computer. Now I might be a vain person but I think even someone who is perfectly humble might have a little trouble fully facing all that. In fact I think trying to truly come to grips with it could drive someone insane. I know there’s plenty of people who say they are cool with it. I’m just not buying.

We may choose to ignore the facts but we can’t change this reality. However one chooses to deal with this without going crazy, that answer is their Faith. By that definition, one of the largest faith groups in the US isn’t Christianity, Islam or Buddhism – its Denial. People on both sides of the church door excel at avoiding the hard topics, but its not clear to me in the end who is more able to stare down the Whole Truth – the Pure Rationalist, or the True Believer.






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