Answering Pastafarianism

It must be confessed that the postulation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has resulted in the creation of some rather humorous material on the Internet and elsewhere. See -

The FSM also has its place in certain philosophical discussions, though I am afraid that the number of such discussions is much lower than what the typical unbeliever apparently supposes. It is unfortunate that the FSM has been removed so far from its original context as to lose its function as an Overload Objection and to be used instead in thoughtless mockery.

The FSM is an imaginary hypothetical set forth to parallel theism. Whether or not this alleged parallel actually obtains may be a subject for debate, though when used against an argument like TAG it becomes quite clear that the nature of the Christian God needed for intelligibility is hardly comparable to the conception of the FSM. We may dismiss the submission of the FSM worldview as supplying the preconditions for intelligibility simply because we know it to be contrived. Indeed if it were not obviously contrived it would lose most of its argumentative force when injected into a traditional theistic argument. This leads to a second point, which is that the FSM is deliberately absurd. When the imaginary and absurd hypothetical of the FSM is utilized in an argument against the existence of God it is assumed that the same evidentiary status is to be assigned to both the hypothetical and to God which begs the question against the existence of God.

One wonders where the relevance of the FSM to God is to be found. The proposed analogy fails, and there is no argument to be found within the analogy anyway. If one insists upon utilizing FSM in argument even after the aforementioned problems have been raised then he or she is welcome to go ahead and provide an account of intelligibility from within the context of the FSM worldview. Christianity provides the preconditions for intelligibility whereas FSM cannot. In this respect FSM is not very much unlike the finite gods of antiquity which unbelievers likewise love to bring into debates about Christianity. The only thing FSM really adds to the discussion at hand when used out of accordance with its original intent is comicality. Latching onto and overusing this feature of FSM through mockery does not stimulate the intellect but rather tends to make it shallow.


No comments: