Ordination & Holiday Ecards Courtesy Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: A Must Visit Website

Greetings from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

I hope everyone has had a wonderful year and is enjoying a festive Holiday season. This year has felt a bit dark — a little like truth, reason, and accountability have taken a beating — that satire has lost some of it’s power. When reality has become so absurd, how to point out its absurdity with exaggeration?

But I think we’re turning a corner, and I take comfort that the Pastafarian community has remained positive and stable. Another year with Pastafarians standing up for their rights and pushing back against discrimination. Another year of uplifting news stories, free of scandals. That makes me feel better.

What’s coming up for 2018? I’m thinking we should make an FSM book for kids. To indoctrinate the youth with religious propaganda, and so on. And also True Facts about pirates, not the revisionist history that public schools would have us believe. Just feels like maybe it’s time, what with facts having become so pliable, and with this atmosphere where the mixing of religion and education is not so objectionable – maybe it’s time we get into that as well. Just a thought. I’d enjoy brainstorming with the community.

I’m going to make an effort to communicate more often. If you get sick of it, please Opt Out with the link at the bottom of the page and I won’t bother you anymore.

I’ve got a few holiday gift ideas, below. We don’t really do merchandise anymore (though you can surely find knockoff shirts and things on the internet if you look.) The only thing we do now is the Ordinations, and I’d encourage everyone to become Ordinated, or to nominate a friend, if it feels right. Here we go:

• Nominate someone to the Ministry of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Do you know someone of impeccable character, ready to serve as a spiritual leader? This Holiday season why not surprise them with Ordination credentials?

FSM Ministers will receive Lithograph Paper Certificates and PVC Minister’s ID cards, and will be added to the official registry. They cost $25 or $40 including shipping anywhere in the world. You can order as a gift here. (Or for yourself here). I will send something you can present the nominee, before their credentials arrive in the mail. If they decide to not join the Ministry, you can re-nominate or get a refund.

• Send a Holiday e-Card to your friends and family

You can create a festive card with personalized message here. It takes only seconds and costs nothing. Below are a few of the designs. I will not smash any ads into your e-cards, nor will I read them.

 

• Give a gift card to Kiva and encourage your friends/family to join our Kiva Lending Team

Our Kiva Lending Team is near 5000 people strong, and has raised over $3.7 Million for the the poor. Please check out our team and join us.Our Kiva Lending Team

Skeptics We Love: James Randi

Photo courtesy of http://web.randi.org/about-james-randi.html

James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi has pursued “psychic” spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water “with a memory,” and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over the public’s eyes in the name of the supernatural.

He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1986 for his work in investigating claims of the supernatural, occult, and paranormal powers—in particular his exposures of TV evangelist/healers and of “psychics” such as Uri Geller.

He is the author of numerous books, including The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. His lectures and television appearances have delighted — and vexed — audiences around the world.

Our Favorite Quotes:

“No amount of belief makes something a fact.”

“There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out.”

“The New Age? It’s just the old age stuck in a microwave oven for fifteen seconds.”

Website:

http://web.randi.org/

Skeptics We Love: Sam Harris

Photo courtesy www.samharris.org

Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of FaithLetter to a Christian NationThe Moral LandscapeFree WillLyingWaking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. Harris is also the host of a popular podcast, Waking Up With Sam Harris.

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Our Favorite Quotes:

“Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, ‘atheism’ is a term that should not even exist. No one needs to identify himself as a ‘non-astrologer’ or a ‘non-alchemist.’ We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”

“What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.”

“I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs.”

Website:

https://www.samharris.org/

Skeptics We Love: Peter Boghossian

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Peter Boghossian teaches Critical Thinking, Science and Pseudoscience, the Philosophy of Education, and Atheism at Portland State University, is an Affiliate Research Assistant Professor at Oregon Health Sciences University in the Department of General Internal Medicine, is a national speaker for the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Student Alliance, an international speaker for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

Boghossian’s primary research areas are critical thinking and moral reasoning. His doctoral research studies, funded by the State of Oregon and supported by the Oregon Department of Corrections, consisted of using the Socratic method to help prison inmates to increase their critical thinking and moral reasoning abilities and to increase their desistance to criminal behavior.

Boghossian published A Manual for Creating Atheists in 2013 and developed the Atheos app to help people have non-confrontational discussions about gods, religion, faith, and superstition. As of August, 2017 he is wrapping up his second book. More on this to follow.

Our Favorite Quotes:

“Belief in God(s) is not the problem. Belief without evidence is the problem.”

“Your new role is that of interventionist. Liberator. Your target is faith. Your pro bono clients are individuals who’ve been infected by faith.”

“Few things are more dangerous than people who think they’re in possession of absolute truth. Honest inquirers with sincere questions and an open mind rarely contribute to the misery of the world.”

Website: www.peterboghossian.com

 

Skeptics We Love: Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Danger

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101.

He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things and The Believing Brain, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, and The Moral Arc. His next book is Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality & Utopia, due in early 2018.

Our favorite quotes:

“Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.”

“There are many sources of spirituality; religion may be the most common, but it is by no means the only. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades.”

“I’m a skeptic not because I do not want to believe, but because I want to know.”

Website: http://www.michaelshermer.com