God vs. the Flying Spaghetti Monster
One of the more popular items on most atheists’ list of handy phrases to use against Christians is, “Prove that the flying spaghetti monster does not exist”. There’s even a website called the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and other similar sites. (I’ll abbreviate it to FSM)
Basically, their logic (I use the term loosely) is that they can invent a deity out of thin air and use it to show the alleged absurdity of belief in any deity at all. But in the process they commit volumes of logical fallacies which only prove that atheists apparently have nothing better to do all day than rage against a God they don’t even believe exists. They never stop to ask themselves why it should matter whether people believe in anything or nothing, why there should be any reason to get upset over religious belief of any kind. If evolution/naturalism is true, then who cares about anything at all? We’re all just pond scum with eyeballs anyway, so why spend so much time fighting against religious faith?
And to be fair, atheism is a religious belief itself. Of course atheists disagree, pointing out that “atheist” means “not believing in a God”. But this is not equivalent to saying they don’t have a religious belief. They have an active disbelief in God; they assert that no God exists. You could call it “anti-God-ism”. This is not at all the same as the agnostic view, which makes no statement either way. But since atheism makes an assertion, it is a philosophical statement, one which is not based on proof. Even atheists know that it is impossible to disprove the existence of God, and this is the basis for the FSM. Yet in making an active assertion of God’s non-existence, they make a statement indistinguishable from the FSM or any other religion.
Usually, the FSM card is played whenever a Christian states that it is impossible to disprove the existence of God, which both sides agree to. By responding with FSM, the atheist hopes to deflect attention away from this truth by making an absurd statement. Obviously, the FSM argument really is not a counter to the Christian’s statement, but a diversion. It says “Since the existence of God cannot be disproven, then we can believe in anything at all. So belief in God is nothing special.” For some odd reason, they consider this a “show stopper” and some kind of profound insight. It must be terribly vital to them or there wouldn’t be so many websites about it.
The fact that they spend so much energy raging against all things religious is proof of their religious zeal for their philosophy. If they truly were not religious, they wouldn’t give a hoot about FSM or Christianity or whether people believe in the tooth fairy.
In atheism, there is no truth, no right and wrong, nothing at all beyond our senses, but they scream if anybody disagrees with them. They would even like to live in a God-free utopia and spend great amounts of effort to make that dream a reality. Not a religion? Actions speak louder than words. Just look at the juvenile mockery, the straw men, the hatred they show for all who do not belong to the religion called Atheism. Those sites are filled with this crap, yet they think themselves to be rational and intelligent.
So what’s the best way to respond to FSM or other similar diversionary tactics?
Personally, I don’t even waste my time on people with such distain for science, truth, and objectivity. They really don’t want to discuss anything, just bash Christians. No matter how good your logic is, they won’t get it; it’s over their heads. Most of them travel in gangs because they rely on quantity over quality and win others to their side by sheer numbers. Rare is the atheist that works alone. But if you must engage them in mud-wrestling, here are some suggestions. Overall, I’d recommend taking the offensive instead of playing their games according to their rules and allowing them to do all the attacking.
Point out that FSM just confirms the fact that the existence of God cannot be disproved. It does not show that belief in things that can’t be disproved is ridiculous. They probably won’t see the distinction, but at least you will have tried. You might also try reminding them that much of their belief system relies on hypothetical entities in physics (which means blind faith in theories that can’t be proved). For example, the Big Bang theory is coming under increasing criticism by a growing number of scientists, most of whom are atheists. Atheists were not there to see the BB yet they have absolute blind faith in it, even when many of their own ’high priests’ have abandoned it.
Another idea is to list the many evidences that there must be a God, as opposed to the FSM. The fact that anything exists at all is proof of the existence of an intelligent entity that is not subject to the laws of physics and is eternal and uncaused. Otherwise they have to explain how the universe appeared out of nothing without a cause. It is scientifically and philosophically impossible for anything to cause itself to exist, because it would have to exist before it exists! Now that’s ridiculous! And not only does the running-down universe exist, it is ordered. It is not simply a formless blob of matter and energy, but an incredibly complex machine.
You also might try giving them some brain teasers of your own. For example, which came first, the laws of physics or the matter they act upon? How did physical laws develop, and why does everything obey them? If all life evolved, and living things are dependent upon each other, then how did they all evolve in perfect balance? This takes more blind faith than anything most other religions ask for.
Another tool in the atheists’ bag is to make up rules for debate that tilt the game in their favor. They’ll insist that you can’t use the Bible in any of your arguments, yet they’ll use their own religious writings which assert that naturalism is true. Naturalism is an interpretive philosophy, not a science. So they want you to first agree to naturalism which guarantees their victory. They get to operate on the basis of their biased world view while banning yours. So before the debate even begins, make sure they realize that naturalism is a philosophy and is therefore no more objective than yours. It is a logical fallacy to use the conclusion (there is no God) as the most basic premise! (circular reasoning)
The FSM and other absurdities are built upon ignorance. Atheists ignore the flaws in their own religious beliefs and make up straw men for others’ beliefs, then burn them down. They also love to get you mired in endless bickering over things like alleged vestigial organs, but you can stop that before it starts by hammering at their foundational axioms, their assumptions and biases. This is not between science and religion at all, but between two opposing religions, two worldviews, two philosophies. Don’t let them move on to anything they want to discuss until they admit the religious nature of their beliefs. An excellent resource for philosophy is Ex-Atheist.com, which contains rebuttals to many other stupid atheist ploys.
To make a long story short, God vs. FSM is like Godzilla vs. Bambi.