Sunday, June 21, 2015

Of Spaghetti Monsters and Men

Some of you may be unfamiliar with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or maybe you’ve seen the Jesus-fish-like FSM decal on the back of the car in front of you and wondered what that is all about. I thought I would take this opportunity to explain what it is and to thoroughly debunk it.

The FSM is an invention of atheism/agnosticism that equates the belief in God to the belief in the monster based on the fact that neither can be seen or physically proven, therefore neither can also be disproven. It is a modern version of Russell’s Teapot. In 1952, philosopher Bertrand Russell argued,

“If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is rooted in the same argument, only instead of a teapot, it is a “god-like” creature with a body of noodles and meatball eyes. The term was invented in 2005 in a letter from a 24-year old Oregon State graduate, Bobby Henderson, protesting the decision to permit the teaching of intelligent design in public schools in Kansas. The key difference between the teapot and the FSM is the level of mockery towards the idea of God. In the case of the teapot, Russell wasn’t arguing that it was God, but rather that it couldn’t be proven or disproven. The FSM is designed to make the idea of God seem ridiculous and stupid. It has become incredibly popular with atheists and agnostics in these past 10 years, and has been promoted by the world’s most famous skeptic, Richard Dawkins. They love to equate their “god” with God, but I’d like to demonstrate why that comparison is as stupid as the very idea of a spaghetti god.

The comparison fails for one big reason: there is absolutely no reason to believe in the FSM. On the other hand, there is very good reason to believe in the Christian God. For starters, God cannot be less than His creation. Spaghetti cannot explain chicken or cats or people. It certainly cannot produce intelligence. Spaghetti can only explain itself. If the universe were entirely spaghetti-like, we may have good reason to believe in a spaghetti god. Perhaps if our bodies or the ground we walked on, and everything that we saw resembled spaghetti, we might have reason to suspect origins of spaghetti. On the other hand, we believe in the God of the Bible because we do see Him in creation. We believe that God is intelligent because we are intelligent. We believe that God is immeasurable, because the universe is immeasurable. We believe that God is personal, because we are personal. Likewise, we believe that God is loving and cares for His children because we humans love and care for our children. The creation cannot be greater than the Creator. The FSM is subject to creation, a mere product, limited by time and space. The God of the Bible created time and space and Himself transcends their limitations. If there is no God, we have a lot of explaining to do, and in fact, are more likely to resort to such idiotic ideas as the FSM to explain the existence of anything. Throughout history, humans have invented countless gods that much more closely resemble the FSM, that merely are gods over something like rain or thunder, and are themselves limited. God, by His definition, is unlimited. He is greater than His creation. If creation is greater than God, than He ceases to be God, and the creation becomes god over Him. These are childish, unsophisticated ideas of what a god is, and therefore wholly irrelevant to comparisons with the Christian God.

The God of the Bible is complex. His triune nature is incomprehensible to the human mind. We are not capable of grasping Him fully, because we are not Him. We are lesser. The only reason we can understand anything specific about Him is because He has revealed it to us through nature, through His Scriptures, and through the visible life of Jesus Christ. To say that belief in God is as unsubstantiated as belief in the FSM is to deny history. We have the revealed Word of God, given to us over thousands of years, put down by roughly 40 human writers that testify to historical events, the rise and fall of kings and empires, as well as the lives of individuals who lived in those times. Most importantly, we have the accounts of the life of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. His life and death and resurrection resulted in the explosion of Christianity, which remains to this day the most influential force in the shaping of the world we live in today. No other religion has impacted the world like Christianity has. Many religions have shaped their surroundings, but none have had the global impact of Christianity. It only makes sense that if there is a God who claims to be personal, and to be interested in the lives of men, that there would be evidence of His existence in the world. He would be effective. There is no evidence of the life of the FSM. He has made no impact on our world. As far as “gods” go, he has done a pretty lousy job at getting his message across, if he has any. He is powerless, and he is dead. He never was, and there was never a reason to believe in him. Our God is alive, and every attempt to destroy Him has ended with Him victorious.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

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