Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster - Atheism in Full Retreat

Over the last few years 'The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster' has grown in popularity. Also known as Pastafarianism, this parody religion is a form of atheism that in reality is mocking Christianity.

The Church of FSM started as a protest against the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools - the reductio ad absurdum argument being that the FSM and 'Theory of Intelligent Falling' are just as scientific as the Theory of ID. 

The reason I say that it is "atheism in full retreat" is because atheists don't actually believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). They think that belief in God is just as absurd as believing in the FSM, but the problem is that the FSM is not their justification for knowledge.

In debates between Christians and Atheists, atheists will often posit some hypothetical deity that they don't believe in such as the FSM, The Ghost That Never Lies, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, or other religions gods such as Allah, Krishna etc. The problem with this is that they are abandoning their atheism in order to defend it. As soon as the atheist does this the debate is over. They are showing that they cannot defend their atheism, and in order to try to defend it they are having to posit something they don't believe in.

Today on another post a commenter who I assume is an atheist, said that I should assume that they are a Christian. When I asked this person if they really are a Christian they would not answer the question. So I've refused to continue publishing that persons comments, because they are not being intellectually honest in terms of defending what they actually believe. The reason for this tactic from atheists is because atheism cannot provide a justification for knowledge or rationality. Without revelation from God they have no way of knowing anything for certain. They could be living in a world where everything is illusion for all they know.

In the debate between Sye and The Realistic Nihilist (TRN), Sye refused to debate TRN when he would not defend his actual position. For the purpose of the debate TRN wanted to temporarily adopt an evidentialist worldview. But this kind of jumping around between worldviews is absurd, and it's good for Christians to expose this absurdity and not let professed unbelievers get away with it.

In a different debate between Sye and a group of Atheists, Thunderf00t said that 'The Ghost That Never Lies' was his avenue to certain knowledge. When Sye asked him if he really believed that, Thunderf00t avoided the question. 

As soon as atheists posit something they don't actually believe in, they are in full retreat. They've lost the debate right there, and as Christians it's our job to point this out to them.

For more on the FSM see Jason Peterson's excellent article: Falsifying the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

20 comments:

  1. You clearly do not understand atheism...or humor.

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    1. Sorry, I meant to type that here. The reply below, dated March 27, 2014 at 6:12 AM, is my response to your question above.

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  2. Atheist are not "abandoning atheism in order to defend it" when they propose hypothetical deities in a logical argument. The FSM and other such nonsensical creatures are satire and used both as a humerous point and a logical one. It is meant to show how ridiculous it is to believe in some made up deity. There is exactly as much evidence to support the god of the bible as there is to support the FSM. It is a joke and you obviously didn't get it.

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  3. As I re-read your essay here I must change my reponse. You actually seem to be quite intelligent in your assessment of the logic behind the FSM argument, but I still think you don't get the humor. I also still think you do not understand atheism. Atheism is not a claim that needs to be defended, it is a rejection of the beleiver's claim and therefore the burden is on you. I don't "have to" posit something I don't believe in in order to defend atheism. If you would like I can very well defend my atheism without such metaphors, but if I am limited in this way by not being allowed to use a certain type of argument then I say you should defend your belief with a similar limitation. You should be able to defend your belief without presuppositionalism. In fact presuppositionalsm is a worse offense than whatever you claim is wrong with the logic in the atheists' FSM argument. Presuppositionalsim in and of itself is intellectually irresponsible as it takes for granted a conclusion that is not yet proven. If you truly wish to have an intelligent debate as it seems that is what you strive for in your language above then you must abandon pressupositionalism. Until then you don't have any intellectual high ground to admonish athists for whatever weakness you perceive in the FSM argument.
    -matt

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  4. Brendan, how do you know that your divine revelation is true?

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    1. I know that it's true by revelation from God and by the fact that if it weren't nothing could be true. How do you get truth without God? What is truth according to your worldview, and how do you know anything to be true to any degree?

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    2. That's not an answer Brendan. Saying you know the revelation is true from revelation is circular logic. You'll have to do better replying to my question.

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  5. Please read my commenting policy. It would be a circular argument if the argument was just the Bible is true because the Bible says so, but as I've said, that's not the argument. The Bible is true because it says so, AND because you can't get truth without God. How do you get truth without God? What is truth according to your worldview and how do you know anything to be true to any degree?

    Any further comments that do not answer my questions will not be posted.

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    1. So you have no way of telling that your revelation is true beside your assertion that you can't get truth without God? That means that unless you can show that your second premise is true your argument fails. Here's one of the flaws of your argument, and I understand why you would like to change the subject.

      Just so that you will have no reason not to post my reply, I'll answer your question. I use my senses and reasoning to judge if something is true. The same reasoning and sense that you use to judge your revelation as true.

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    2. In order to say that something is false, you have to know what is true. You say you judge if things are true by using your reasoning. How do you know that your reasoning is able to bring you to correct conclusions about anything? What is truth according to your worldview? You've yet to define the word truth.

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    3. "In order to say that something is false, you have to know what is true."

      This is false. We can know some things to be false even if we don't know everything that is true.

      "How do you know that your reasoning is able to bring you to correct conclusions about anything?"

      The same way you do. We have a battery of reasoning skills and senses that we test what we think we know with. It's the same senses and reasoning you use when reading your Bible or however you receive your revelation.

      "What is truth according to your worldview? You've yet to define the word truth."

      Truth is that which corresponds with reality. What is your definition?


      Now, since I'm answering your questions, I think it would be only fair if you answer mine. You have yet to explain how you know that your revelation is true. It's possible to *think* that you have a revelation from God and it must be true, but in actuality be wrong abut that, isn't it? Andrea Yeates who drowned her kids in the bath tub thought she had a revelation from God telling her to do it. Can we agree that she was delusional and that she was mistaken about receiving a divine revelation? The point here is, how can you, Brendan, be certain that your revelation is true. Do you see that this problem exist for you regardless of whether or not God exist?

      You still haven't answered my other question. You're saying that we can only have knowledge if God exists. This is a bare assertion that you haven't demonstrated. So please proceed to do that.

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    4. I asked you how you know your reasoning is able to bring you to correct conclusions about anything, and you gave me a reason. When you did this you employed your reasoning. So you assumed that your reasoning is valid a priori. This is the absurdity of atheism. You have to reason that your reasoning is valid, and without revelation from God you have no way of knowing that your reasoning is valid. So I'll ask again - how do you know that your reasoning is valid and able to bring you to correct conclusions about anything? How are you able to know anything to be true to any degree in your worldview? I agree with you that truth is that which corresponds to reality, but without God you have no way of knowing which perception of reality is the right reality or which things are true or false for certain. I know that I have the truth by revelation from God, and I'm not saying anything that isn't in line with the Bible. Andrea Yeates was not hearing from God as God wouldn't get someone to do what she did. The fact that you mention that is because you know it is morally wrong to kill innocent children, and the reason you know this is because you do know that God exists. But without God why is anything morally wrong? These are the kind of things that help me to know with certainty that the Bible is true, because it can account for moral absolutes, our moral consciences, absolute truth, absolute laws of logic and so on. I'm not talking about any private revelation here either. If I wanted that I'd go to the local mental ward. I know for certain that God exists, and that the Bible is true, and you do too, but you're suppressing the truth in unrighteousness because you prefer your sin. I urge you to repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ before it's too late.

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    5. I'm a tad bit late to the party, but to address your arguments...

      Truth is that which corresponds to reality.
      I know my reasoning is able to bring me to correct conclusions because I've an overwhelming amount of previous success with it doing just that, and instances where it has been inaccurate are opportunities I've taken to refine it so that it might produce better results.

      "When you did this you employed your reasoning."
      To reason is to think in a logical way. Logic is defined as reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. That is to say, that by reasoning you're using strict principles of validity in order to assess something according to those principles. Our principles may differ, but we are both reasoning regardless. To act as though employing one's reason in an argument is itself a flaw is foolish, as there are no other ways one may present a coherent argument in the first place.

      "This is the absurdity of atheism. You have to reason that your reasoning is valid, and without revelation from God you have no way of knowing that your reasoning is valid. So I'll ask again - how do you know that your reasoning is valid and able to bring you to correct conclusions about anything?"

      All one needs to accomplish this is an overwhelming preponderance of previous experience where in one's reasoning was able to form an accurate model of reality, crossed with the ability to refine their methods where they've failed in order to provide more accurate models in the future.

      "I agree with you that truth is that which corresponds to reality, but without God you have no way of knowing which perception of reality is the right reality or which things are true or false for certain."

      If your god is a figment, telling you that reality is that which is not real, and you accept it as truth, you would be the one without the view which corresponds to reality. To say that without your god one can not tell the difference between reality and fiction is quite foolish, as you've provided no evidence for that claim. At best, you can ask what I believe the source to be, but that does not itself provide an answer. If you've no evidence for your answer, and you've no argument to provide besides asking me for an alternative explanation then I think you've failed to make any point what so ever for your case.

      "I know that I have the truth by revelation from God, and I'm not saying anything that isn't in line with the Bible."

      You're about to however.

      "Andrea Yeates was not hearing from God as God wouldn't get someone to do what she did. The fact that you mention that is because you know it is morally wrong to kill innocent children, and the reason you know this is because you do know that God exists."

      Need I remind you that your god told a man to slit his son's throat and sacrifice the boy to him as a burnt offering? There is nothing morally right about doing this, it's detestable in every way, yet if you're correct and my morality is derived from your god I should find it acceptable, no? I care not that it was stopped, the idea that such a request be made in the first place is terrible. It's as though someone were to give you a gun loaded with blanks and tell you that if you don't shoot the person you love most in your life, they'll kill you instead. Would that be morally just, even though if you pulled the trigger they'd be unharmed? I'm quite sure I know the answer...

      Onward to part 2!

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    6. "But without God why is anything morally wrong?"

      Ah, morality. Morality can exist regardless because all one need have is empathy for their fellow person as well as an understanding of what harm and consent are. You use empathy in an attempt to understand whether or not someone would want said action taken upon them. You then use your understanding of harm to deduce whether or not any harm will come to them from this action. If yes, you ask them if they consent to said harm, if they do not, the action is immoral. If they consent, the action is moral. If the action causes no harm to them then the action is not immoral provided it does not interact with another person, at which point you must repeat this process. If no one is to be harmed, or all people within the scenario consent, then it is a moral action. Accidental harm is not immoral, however it must be truly unintentional, otherwise it's immoral due to knowing the potential consequences of one's actions.

      "I know for certain that God exists, and that the Bible is true, and you do too, but you're suppressing the truth in unrighteousness because you prefer your sin."

      I prefer my sin? Really? Look, if I knew there was a god, why would I deny it? What kind of fool would deny an eternity of paradise in the face of a limited life of meager joys? One would need be a true moron to take up such a proposition. To argue that I know there is a god but I just want to sin so I ignore it is not only insulting to me, but it's also showing that you're likely not even thinking about this from the other person's perspective. You're acting as though people have something to gain from that, really though, I ask you, what could anyone gain out of that bargain that would ever make it a reasonable position to hold, especially if reason is given by your god? Would that not make the reason itself faulty? This makes no sense.

      "I urge you to repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ before it's too late."

      It's never too late. Just give me verifiable evidence as to why I should believe there's a god, why I should believe there's a heaven, why I should believe there's a Jesus Christ in which to put my faith, why I should believe they're the path to such eternal paradise, and last but not least why I should serve a god who's actions are purportedly in line with what I would say is some of the greatest evil possible. Do that, and I'll do just as you urge me to do.

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    7. +DemonJustin of Phoenix

      //I'm a tad bit late to the party, but to address your arguments...

      Truth is that which corresponds to reality.//

      Without God you can't know you are in the right reality or that you aren't in a matrix or Hindu illusion and so can't know anything to be true.

      //I know my reasoning is able to bring me to correct conclusions because I've an overwhelming amount of previous success with it doing just that//

      Pragmatism can only tell you what works - not what is true or right. Killing your noisy neighbors would work at getting silence but clearly wouldn't be right.

      //To reason is to think in a logical way.//

      Without God you have no basis for immaterial, universal, and unchanging laws of logic.

      //If your god is a figment... //

      Impossible. God is the necessary presupposition for knowledge.

      //...I think you've failed to make any point what so ever for your case.//

      Failure presupposes knowledge and truth and without God you can't account for either of those.

      //Need I remind you that your god told a man to slit his son's throat...terrible//

      Without God you've got no moral basis for saying anything is wrong or terrible.

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    8. //Morality can exist regardless because all one need have is empathy for their fellow person as well as an understanding of what harm and consent are.//

      This misses the point and is irrelevant as it doesn't account for why we should show empathy or what is the moral standard by which we determine what is the empathetic thing to do.
      //you ask them if they consent to said harm, if they do not, the action is immoral.//

      So a parent would be immoral to force a child to have a life saving operation when that child wouldn't consent through fear and a lack of understanding of why the operation was necessary despite already having it all explained to them?

      //If they consent, the action is moral.//
      So it's fine to murder millions of people if you can brainwash them into thinking that they deserve to die and can get their consent?


      //I prefer my sin? Really?//

      Yes (see Romans 1)

      //Look, if I knew there was a god, why would I deny it?//

      Because you hate God and love your sin (again see Romans 1)

      //What kind of fool would deny an eternity of paradise in the face of a limited life of meager joys?//

      You tell me - you're doing just that.

      One would need be a true moron to take up such a proposition. To argue that I know there is a god but I just want to sin so I ignore it is not only insulting to me, but it's also showing that you're likely not even thinking about this from the other person's perspective. You're acting as though people have something to gain from that, really though, I ask you, what could anyone gain out of that bargain that would ever make it a reasonable position to hold, especially if reason is given by your god? Would that not make the reason itself faulty? This makes no sense.//

      I know from Romans chapter 1 and other passages in the Bible that you are wrong - that the truth is you're a sinner and that you're self-deceived because you prefer your sin and rebellion against God. You talk about being reasonable, but without God you have no basis for reasoning itself.

      //It's never too late.//

      There comes a point when a person's delusion becomes so strong that they've passed the point of no return. I hope and pray that this isn't the case with you. This may be your last chance.

      //Just give me verifiable evidence//

      Even the concept of evidence is proof that God exists because it presupposes knowledge and truth and you can't account for that without God. But what evidence can be given for the God who says you already have enough evidence?

      //last but not least why I should serve a god who's actions are purportedly in line with what I would say is some of the greatest evil possible.//

      Evil according to what objective standard? If God wiped out all of ISIS today you'd probably be calling God evil, and yet you've probably already argued that God is evil for allowing ISIS to commit evil.

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  6. I wrote out my reply, however, it's long enough that I'm told I must post it in 3 parts. The maximum limit to characters within a single post is 4,096, however my rebuttal is 10,563. I'm curious, how would you like to continue this?

    I can post it here, but it will need to be in 3 posts as I'd lose too much substance to my argument were I to attempt to shrink it by 20%. On the other hand, if you've another platform upon which we may continue this I am more than happy to do so as well.

    I am willing to do whatever, I rather enjoy conversations such as these and I do have pure intent with the conversation, so in the hopes that you won't mind continuing, I await your answer.

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    1. Hi Justin. Sounds extremely long! Have you taken a look at my website including the FAQ section? While I appreciate you taking the time to right a long response I'm pretty sure that your response isn't going to be something I haven't heard plenty of times before.
      www.godorabsurdity.com

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    2. I read it, but I don't think it truly addressed the content of my post appropriately.

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