Occam’s Spaghetti.

Smug atheists like to “counter” belief in God by pointing to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

As I understand it, the argument is, “God can’t be proven not to exist, but neither can the Flying Spaghetti Monster; therefore…God is no more likely than a Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

That’s the “logical” component, but it’s a just an excuse.  What matters to FSM mockers is nursing their smug sense of superiority:  “Ha-ha, you are soooo stupid but I’m smart and funny and better than you.”

There’s no denying that moron deists can be pained and confused by the Spaghetti simile.  There’s also no denying that most deists are morons.  It’s a quality they share with most atheists…especially those who feel the God/Pasta comparison makes an actual point. 

Why isn’t it a valid comparison?  The concept of God explains things.  Important things, like right and wrong and good and evil and how one can be in conflict with one’s own self.  Whereas the Flying Spaghetti Monster explains…absolutely nothing.  It’s a silly answer to an unasked question, like its cousins the Burrowing Root Beer Beast and the Undulating Ugli Unseelie. 

The idiocy of the FSM folks is amazing, even for spoiled and jaded Westerners.  “God” is the Occam’s razor answer to “where did ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ come from?”  It’s militant atheists who need ponderous and ever-changing theories of “Selfish Genes” and “Darwinian Altruism” or whatever.  It’s they who multiply entities needlessly and who ignore the necessary implications of professed beliefs.

That’s not to say that simplest answer = best answer, of course.   The quick answer to “why does the sky orbit the Earth?” is that the sky orbits the Earth.  But if you stick with that, your simple answer won’t stay that way.

Obviously I believe it’s the mil-atheists who are the celestial sphere-heads here.  They’re kept feverishly constructing and revising explanations for the differences between people and nature. 

I value thoughtful atheists the same way I do all thoughtful people:  as treasured oddities almost never encountered.  But FSM “worshippers” are the exact opposite:  the lowest of the intellectual low.

Now here’s some footage from Alberta.  I’m not saying the landscape is proof of God’s handiwork, but note the damn fine production values:

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About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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15 Responses to Occam’s Spaghetti.

  1. Xpat says:

    like its cousins the Burrowing Root Beer Beast and the Undulating Ugli Unseelie

    Funny Worme! Me laugh.

  2. waytoomanydaves says:

    “As I understand it, the argument is, “God can’t be proven not to exist, but neither can the Flying Spaghetti Monster; therefore…God is no more likely than a Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

    Um, no. That isn’t the argument at all.

    The argument is, “See how ridiculous this looks?”

  3. Xpat says:

    I’ve usually understood the assumed paraphrase to be something like this: “All belief in supernatural beings is more or less equally absurd.” I think that’s what the FSM people think the argument is.

    (I’ve heard the version with a giant Teletubby in the sky, and I responded indignantly that in Teletubby cosmogony the Sun Baby is clearly the deity, fer cryin’ out loud. Duh.).

    Anyway, to me it really shows how atheists and theists talk past each other most of the time. When an atheist makes that argument what I hear is this: “I can easily disprove the monotheism you believe in by invoking a polytheism which I don’t believe in. Ha! Take that!”

    They think it’s a slam dunk and I think it’s a non-sequitur.

  4. Edohiguma says:

    That’s just silly.

    My argument is a different one: Take the NASA UDF photo, the ultra deep field. Some of the light from there has traveled 13 billion years to reach us. Some of this light comes from galaxies which consist of millions of stars and probably just as many planets. 13 billion years ago there was no Earth, no sun. There was nothing. In other parts of the universe suns and planets were already old. And now people tell me, and this isn’t really against a particular religion, but rather something that comes from most of them: we the true god. We know what this god wants.

    So we primates with our overclocked monkey brains sitting on this completely irrelevant little planet in an utterly unimportant solar system in the ass end of nowhere in one of very likely millions of galaxies… we know what the true god is and what it wants from us…

    The Greek had a term for this: hubris. Not saying that this is solely something especially monotheists seem to be infected with. There are plenty of atheists with it, too, but especially among monotheists I’ve seen it far too often. People say they know what god wants from us based on a book written by humans for humans in order to execute power over those humans. Every religion works the same: a small group of priests, who have all the rights, and a large group of rightless followers. Every cult, every religion works exactly like that. Interesting, no?

    And every leader claims to know the truth and to have the one (or more) true god(s). Despite the universe being HUGE and mankind being absolutely irrelevant in it. Not to mention very young. First homo sapiens sapiens popped out about 150,000 years ago, which, even in the age of our planet, is absolutely nothing. But we know the true god. Yeah. Right.

    This utter arrogance is what infuriates me most. What makes it worse is that if god exists, it must be a lifeform of such a high level of deveopment that there is absolutely no way we’d ever even just remotely understand it. A lifeform that can create the entire universe? Wow, that must be super highly developed. Far beyond anything we can even remotely imagine. But we still know what this thing wants from us. My brain hurts from just writing this.

    It’s funny how JMS, the creator of Babylon 5 and an atheist, made the best argument:

    Not long ago I pointed this, and a few logic fallacies in the bible (like the one how god is all knowing and all powerful but he couldn’t foresee Eve grabbing an apple, while there were only TWO humans around, and then got pissy like a 3-year old), out to a witness of Jehova. He answered with something that made me laugh: god can look into the future, but doesn’t always do it. See the issue with this? If god can see in the future, then there are future, present and past for it. If there are future, present and past for it, then god is linear. If god is linear, then god has a beginning and an end. So that means god comes from somewhere.

    We don’t know the true god. We believe we know, but believe… well… I can believe pigs fly, but that doesn’t mean they do. People should realize that our existence is utterly meaningless in the face of how massive the universe is. But I guess that would shatter many small minds. I have no problems realizing this. Same with realizing that one day I will die. There is nothing that can prevent this. I. Will. Die. My existence, in this incredibly large universe that is very likely full of life (look at the size, nature, god, whatever you want to call it, doesn’t waste anything, the universe is too big to be there just for us, and the amount of exo planets found so far is also amazing, one day we will find life, it’s inevitable) will be utterly irrelevant. Whatever happens to the soul… No idea, prove to me that there is a soul. The Catholic church once said animals have no soul. How would they know? Where’s the proof either way? There is none. Only belief spread by the same old small group of priests whose power depends on that belief. Interesting, no?

    Yes, animals are lesser developed than us. We are, atm, the highest developed animal on this planet. No other can even remotely match us. But I have seen emotion in animals. Happiness, sadness, it is there, just their hard drives aren’t as good as ours and thus their software sucks compared to ours as well. Development. Evolution. We are the Sandybridge while a gorilla is a 386. A dog is probably SNES. Something will come after us. It’s inevitable. Mankind is constantly evolving. Our average height, for example, is increasing. But I digress.

    Which is why I find our conflicts on this planet so utterly laughable. We’re not even kids quarreling over who gets the pudding. We’re ants fighting over a piece of dirt. And what is the driving force behind our conflicts? Ideology, both political and religious.

    We haven’t learned anything. Sure we’ve advanced in technology (primarily for how to better kill each other), but outside of that? We’re still as mature as the first cavemen.

    Though that landscape is prove of plate tectonics and wind and water erosion, which have nothing to do with anything supernatural.

    • wormme says:

      I agree, and may have blogged here, that civilization has not advanced. Technology has. And the better clothed, fed, and sheltered people are, the more willing they are to get along with others. In general.

      You are exactly bass-ackwards in ascribing hubris to believers. Christians at least. Devout and knowledgeable ones are as humble as people get (though I don’t claim they are more humble than, say, an equally devout Buddhist.) They know bone-deep that they’re no better than anyone else. Of course, for that very reason they believe their situation is better.

      As far as chronotheistic theorizing goes…I don’t do that, any more than I wonder what things look like inside a black hole.

      Which is why I find our conflicts on this planet so utterly laughable. We’re not even kids quarreling over who gets the pudding. We’re ants fighting over a piece of dirt. And what is the driving force behind our conflicts? Ideology, both political and religious.

      How on EARTH do you find unending conflict “laughable”, given what you believe? See, if you’re right about the godless universe, the driving force behind conflict isn’t “ideology”. Try this: the driving force behind conflict is that we’re freakin’ ANIIMALS. You’re the one claiming we differ only in quantity, not quality. So can you point me to the non-human primates that don’t challenge and fight each other over status, food, and mates?

      Seriously, see what I mean about having your cake and eating it too? On the one hand, you claim that humans are just big-brained animals. Then, on the other…you laugh at them for acting like animals!

      Speaking of hubris…

      • Edohiguma says:

        I find it laughable because of how stupid it is. Instead of figuring out a way to work together, we’re too stuck in “my god is the true one!” or “my political plan is the best one!”, usually ending with “everyone who disagrees must die!” History is full with this. Back in the days the reasons for many wars were, at least somewhat, more feasible than today. Take the current war on terror. We give in to our animal side instead of using our hardware to overcome it. Why? It’s easier, more comfortable. It doesn’t require anything. Getting out it, now that requires effort and, especially today, effort is bad. Look at the world. Look at where we are.

        Primates tend to not fight over abstract things like power. The old and weak ones are simply selected out by nature and disposed of, usually by younger and stronger ones. Among mankind, that is no longer the case. Look at politicians. Instead of the fittest we’re left with what is sitting in our parliaments. Mankind doesn’t fight over status, food or mates. Not anymore. At least, not on a large scale. Individuals may act differently. But mankind as a whole, we fight over abstract concepts like power. A wolf fighting another has no desire for power. It reacts on instinct, since it’s simply lacking the hardware capabilities for more.

        Yes, I laugh at these people. Because while we’re the Sandybridge of all organic processors on this planet, we’re using it on a 386er level and are largely content with it, because for humans the only thing that matters is what is on their own plate and that’s their world. Such humans are laughable. They will always be apes. They will never see beyond it and I doubt they even want to. If they wanted to, they would do so. People like the men who put Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon, those men were of a different kind. People like Schweitzer or Semmelweiß, the Curies, heck, old Einstein. They used their Sandybridge on a higher level and changed the world. It’s our so called leaders who rely on us not using our organic processor at its full potential. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. And thus the majority of mankind will always be apes. Yes, we are animals, but we could be so much more if we’d just stop being easily swayed by fleeting things. Power, money, fame, what is it worth? Nothing. The Buddha is an amazing exception of the rule. He was rich and powerful. What did he do? He gave it all up. Now that takes balls. Washington is another. He stepped back from the power of being president. There aren’t many who’d do the same, which is why we are where we are.

        I don’t think it’s hubris to laugh at this. It’s more like… what else am I supposed to do? Shake my fist at it? Scream? Cry? I’d go nuts if I’d do that. So I just laugh at it and dismiss it with a random expletive, count my ammo, make sure my guns are working properly and wait for the crash.

        I agree with you that the devout and knowledgeable Christians or whatever else are humble, but how many of those actually exist? Not many. How many are true? Not many. Like capitalism these days most of the humble ones are crony. I just need to think back when I was still being dragged to church. What I usually saw there were people running there every Sunday but not giving a sh*t about anything other than themselves the rest of the week. Crony to the bone. And the priests aren’t any better. it’s all a huge industry with lots of money and power involved. Or take Christmas. “Let’s all be nice to each other because it’s Christmas”. Oh yeah, right. And the rest of the year we piss on each other. Sounds like a plan.

        Heck, when my grandmother died, you’d think my uncles would have told my father? They buried her without us knowing. All because of them imagining my father being after the money, which they wanted for themselves. They projected in a classical sense. So they buried her, presenting a good Christian image in the village, while they gave a crap about her when she was still alive. And the problem is that religious groups are full of such people and as long as that is the case… why would I take any of them serious? Both groups and people?

        I never claimed that we only differ in quantity and not in quality. On birth, we are all a clean slate. If born normal, without any defects we are practically all the same (with variations based on our DNA.) However, as we grow up we’re influenced by outside factors and, again, our DNA. In my case, for example, my family from my father’s side has a genetic leaning towards depression and sociophobia. This is a variation that can happen and we can’t really do anything about it, since it’s genetical (it tends to SUCK at times.) Apart from that, however, we’re pretty much like the rest. The genetic heritage is important, but so are the outside influences.

        Take cultures. The left tells us that all cultures are equally good, which is a load of crap. A culture that supports oppression of women and murder of gays is not equal to a culture were that doesn’t happen. Simple as that. The oppressive culture I tend to label as evil, simply because it’s oppressive and doesn’t even acknowledge the most basic things we define as human rights.

        And the world is full with this.

        As for quality, a man like Albert Schweitzer or Ignaz Semmelweiß is worth much, much more than someone like Mohammed, Stalin or Hitler. That’s simply how I see it.

        And interestingly, it’s not the Schweitzer and Semmelweißes whose names ring through eternity. It’s the butchers and murderers. To quote 40k “If a man dedicates his life to good deeds and the welfare of others, he will die unthanked and unremembered. If he exercises his genius bringing misery and death to billions, his name will echo through the millennia for a hundred lifetimes. Infamy is always more preferable to ignominy.” This is how history works. Evil is remembered, good is forgotten. Which actually how our brain works as well. Bad things are easier remembered than good things.

        In case you’re wondering why I’m somewhat deviating from my usual stance. I was in Japan again. That helps to calm. I was on the Sky Tree. Oh wow, it was amazing. For once seeing what the human mind can achieve if it wants to, and secondly the view is just wow. Public opening is, afaik, May 22, but I know someone who was on the team, so I got in. I get into the strangest places, really. Anyway. The view was humbling.

        I’m not claiming I found enlightenment. Heck no. But I “saw” it once. For a split second the “non-sword” existed. About a second after that I had my collar bone broken. Yay. Don’t ask. I get into weird stuff. Really weird stuff.

        • wormme says:

          I’m sorry to hear about your relatives. My “tribe” has its share of those too, of course, though thankfully my close relatives aren’t like that and my parents steered us away from all the grasping and greed.

          My point is, if we’re animals it doesn’t matter what we fight about, since fight we must. And we’re the animals whose dials go to “11”. Humans fight over everything, how could ideologies be any different? I’d argue that fighting over beliefs is better than fighting over food, because that means there’s little food to be had.

          And as you say, some of those beliefs are far, far better than others. Has Christianity really been a bad one, taken as a whole? Look at the nations which most value human rights. And as the West gets more and more irreligious, are those rights expanding or withering away? Much evil has been done in Jesus’s name–as He said it would–but how many good works have been done, how many charitable hospitals and schools built? How much towering art has been inspired?

          I’m sure you’d never choose to live in an atheist Soviet state over a primarily Christian one. And maybe you’d most prefer a secular humanist Europe most of all–if it was filled with folks like you I sure wouldn’t mind it–but that Europe seems to be wilting under the heat of Islam.

    • Xpat says:

      Lord knows (or, Sun Baby knows) you’ve all seen enough of me to know I haven’t much to recommend myself as a representative of faith. With that unpleasant caveat out of the way, a few comments seem in order.

      I would agree with Edo that God (or for Edo a godlike entity) is unfathomable, but that’s all over the bible, too. The believer claims some knowledge of God, which is available through reason and revelation, but never all or even all that much knowledge of God. (Sufficient knowledge of God but not exhaustive might be a way to put it.) {Although, for Christians, the incarnation changes that equation a lot, since God makes himself known and available in a very close and substantial way.}

      However, to say we couldn’t know anything of God given the awesomeness and size of the universe doesn’t work for me. If humans can say something definite about the size and age and nature of the universe at all (amazing accomplishments which themselves indicate something about the breadth of depth what a human can potentially know) why should we assume that humans could not say anything definite about its creator? Why should we assume that a creator (or equivalent) would not want to be known? Why should we assume that a creator (or equivalent) would have no interest in humans? These assumptions (though Edo is in good company–sounds kind of like Spinoza) are at least as presumptuous as those of a religious believer. I actually don’t see how one can escape hubris here. Either way, one is forced to assert a very lot about very big things, and the escape from the hubris of faith turns out to re-create an equal and opposite hubris in the other direction. To me it indicates that humans, if they turn their attention toward such matters, are forced to think very big whether they want to or not, and that in turn indicates that humans are directed toward knowing God.

      I can’t argue with the contention that humans are nasty and unpleasant brutes. Uncle on that one! About the “substantiveness” of humans, it’s complicated. Human brains are (to my knowledge) the most complex object known in the universe and on that basis alone humans must rank up there somehow. We’re not chopped liver. Humans are very small relative to the universe, yes. But large relative to the smallest bits of it. So, somewhere in the middle. In sum, the size of humans relative to the universe seems more or less moot, though for some reason, Edo’s point about the late appearance of humans in cosmic history seems one of his strongest point to me. (I don’t know why I sense that about time as opposed to space and size–unlike Worme I cannot claim to be a particularly rational specimen.)

      About animal souls, Catholic theology says that all living creatures have souls, but that only humans (among the known biological entities) have rational and immortal souls. So, that basically means that Edo and the Catholic Church are in very close agreement about animals, and in very sharp disagreement about humans. (The Catholic Church, from Edo’s perspective, believes just about enough in animals, but way too much in humans.)

      The role of priests in belief is put tendentiously. If the implication is that the apostles were priests (they were the ones who delivered the Christian faith) I won’t argue with that, though some of the protestant brothers and sisters here might take issue . . .
      To say it’s all about control and enslavement is not accurate. We all inherited our anti-authoritarianism almost straight from the Hebrew prophets. It is extremely difficult to image our whole concept of the individual and individual rights developing apart from Jueo-Christian influence.

      • Xpat says:

        image –> imagine, Jueo –> Judeo

      • Edohiguma says:

        The concept of the individual and individual rights have nothing to do with Judeo-Christian influence. In the west they’re based on free thinkers who were not well liked by the established powers (nobility and church). They had to hide and operate in cover. They were prosecuted and hunted. Eventually they gained momentum and were victorious, that took a long time. The two most important stations of this were the American Revolution and, yes, the French Revolution. the French Revolution sadly went out of hand, but even then the seeds it planted all across Europe thanks to Napoleon were most important in the 19th century and the rise of parliamentarism across Europe. It was the Napoleonic conquest of Europe that brought the ideas of liberty, freedom and equality and help shattering the established rule by nobility and church. In 1848 there were revolutions all across Europe. In the wake of this, for example, Austria had to eventually adapt a parliament. It took many more decades to do away with the emperor and monarchy, but eventually this, too, was achieved. It’s not the perfect solution, no, because democracy is a crappy form of government. We just don’t really have a better one. And an imperfect being like humans can’t create something perfect.

        The most famous group of such free thinkers is, of course, the Illuminati. They were exactly that. Free thinkers challenging the established powers and dogma. Which is, together with our natural curiousity, one of our most important traits.

        In Asia, however, we find similar. One of the Chinese dynasties (and I don’t remember which one, I have it on file somewhere) broke with what was normal across the globe. Civil servants were no longer from a privileged caste. Instead anyone could attain this status as long as he would pass the necessary exams. That was a novel idea. And China in those days had less civil servants than Austria today, another amazing achievement. They kept it on a reasonable level. Oh my!

        I have massive issues with how quickly the Judeo-Christian view of the world dismisses everything east of India. Neither side has all the wisdom or truth, but generally it seems that the Judeo-Christian side is quick to act as if it had. It’s so quickly dismissed it’s amazing. People point at what Jesus said, but usually have no idea what Buddha said, and, interestingly, there are many similarities, even coming down to miracles. But it gets all dismissed. I think that’s still a leftover stance from white superiority in the age of colonialism. Or maybe the old “yellow peril” nonsense still floating around.

        And let’s not forget, which empire, which ancient highly developed culture… which of all of them NEVER fell?

        Not Rome. Not the German empire (more like the Holy Roman Empire of German nations). Not any American culture. Not Babylon. Not anything white They all fell.

        Which didn’t fall?

        China. They always come back swinging.

        As for the soul issue, I haven’t paid attention to the recent events, but I remember that the church under John Paul 2.0 issued such a statement. Animals have no soul. But then again, one of the councils back in the days also stated that the devil was an existing person. The things the powerful do to maintain power.

        And no, I don’t have a soul, I sold mine.

        • wormme says:

          I’ve seen some pretty good arguments that the primary driver of modern liberty was first England, then the Anglosphere. That puts the touchstone in the year 1215, with the Magna Carta. Over centuries the “divine rights” of rulers were gradually dissolved in the blend of Judeo-Christianity and Greek philosophy.

          English peoples weren’t superior, but their systems were, and the freer their people became the more they outperfomed others. Look at the colonies of the various old European empires, and see which are freer than others. And what is Earth’s trade tongue, today?

          Though no, I’m not arguing that it will outlast the Chinese.

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