chapter  4
18 Pages

Talking like a pirate

In 2005 a new religion was invented: Pastafarianism. e fact that it is a spoof religion, a polemical make-believe in a creator called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, casts light on common perceptions that religions necessarily possess certain components. Without agreeing this early in our venture that religions should be dened by some canon of “necessary and sucient” elements or by a set of family resemblances (Wittgenstein [1953] 2001),1 this chapter makes use of the writings and acts of those “touched by the noodly appendages” of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to further develop an argument about the need to start “elsewhere” in order to rethink and better dene religion. Pastafarianism is not an “elsewhere”. It is too closely moulded by the phenomenon it opposes, namely Protestant Christian Creationist eorts to get “intelligent design” taught in schools as science rather than religion. Precisely because Pastafarianism insistently contests “irrational beliefs” or non-falsiable metaphysics, it mirrors the pervasive contemporary obsession with belief. But more is involved here than strengthening the argument of the previous chapter.