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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

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Joke

HERESY!!!!

May the Flying Spagheti Monster strike Judge Gerard down with long thin strands of pasta!

Well, that would prove the judge wrong, wouldn't it

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Facepalm

Re: HERESY!!!!

Exactly! What next?! That the religious texts weren't written by human hands with the guidance (inspiration) of His Noodly Appendage?

Seriously, all religions were created by humans, if "being created" is the disqualifying property, I want to see Christianity and Judaism next on the table.

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Pirate

Re: HERESY!!!!

"May the Flying Spagheti Monster strike Judge Gerard down with long thin strands of pasta!"

Fortunately, the FSM is a really easy going deity. Seriously, he doesn't even mind if you want to follow other religions at the same time. Remember that this is the one religion where nobody has been killed in his name. Let's keep it that way.

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Re: HERESY!!!!

Remember that this is the one religion where nobody has been killed in his name.

Sadly, I guess that's precisely what disqualifies it as religion...

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Re: HERESY!!!!

> where nobody has been killed in his name

Never heard of Jain then?

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Paris Hilton

Re: HERESY!!!!

"Never heard of Jain then?"

No, who's Jain? Jane? Jayne?

This, however, is Paris. Just because. :-)

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Bronze badge

Re: HERESY!!!!

Tomato42,

No, being a parody is the disqualifying property. As a parody it is damn entertaining and useful, but it is still a parody and not meant for serious consumption*. The others you mention were created in good faith*.

*puns intended

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Devil

Re: HERESY!!!!

I wish some noodley lawyer would take your comment seriously and argue that judaism was just a small tribe's creation in response to Egyptian and Assyrian religions (not a parody as much as an ironic religion - "we're little but our god is big; too bad you can't see him."). The there's christianity which is clearly a satiric take on various Greek and Roman gods and beliefs ("Your gods are on Mt. Olympus? Fine, ours will be on the clouds above Olympus. Your Hades is surrounded by water? Fine, ours is in boiling lava. Et cetera.").

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Re: HERESY!!!!

You left out the biggest religion in your list, namely Islam. Wildly successful and created in the 7th Century.

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Re: HERESY!!!!

Christianity is the worlds biggest religion by some distance

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

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Re: HERESY!!!!

I'm presuming he meant these folk. Unfortunate symbology though.

http://www.britannica.com/topic/Jainism

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Re: HERESY!!!!

And on top of that, have you read their books??! They're not even FUNNY!!!... well.. ok, they ARE funny, but not "ha ha" funny...

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Vic
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Go

Re: HERESY!!!!

The others you mention were created in good faith

Archeologists near mount Sinai have discovered what is believed to be a missing page from the Bible. The page is currently being carbon dated in Bonn. If genuine it belongs at the beginning of the Bible and is believed to read "To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within this book are fictitous and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental." The page has been universally condemned by church leaders.

Vic.

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Excellent

Now, can we serve the same judge on the same bench a lawsuit that strips S***ntology of religious status in his state.

End of the day, it was devised by the late Ron L Hubbard as a bet with sir A. Clarke on who will come up with a more convincing religion. He actually lost the bet which p***ed him off and he released his creation into the wild.

So, based on the precedent the esteemed judge has established in this case, we can now have some fun. Popcorn. Big bag please.

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Headmaster

Re: Excellent

As I understand it, the bet was with Harlan Ellison, not Sir Arthur C Clarke.

(But I agree with pitting this judge against any organisation that preys upon "The weak of mind and fat of wallet")

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Re: Excellent

His comment about basing a religion on what is clearly a work of fiction seemed almost pointed. Since he's a judge, and so words aren't picked by mistake, and since he's clearly well versed in these topics, it's obviously a deliberate "read between the lines" link. It will be interesting to see if this is, or can be, used as a precedent against the DC-10 / volcano / alien cult.

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Yag

Re: But I agree with pitting this judge against any organisation...

... that preys upon "The weak of mind and fat of wallet"

Unfortunately, I don't think he'll be able to do anything against political parties.

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Re: Excellent

If I could upvote this comment more than once I would.. This was exactly what I thought when read that statement... It was clearly a very directed and very astute statement. This judge is intelligent, witty, and logical... very rare attributes.

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Re: Excellent

Robert A. Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard. Although the actuality is hotly contested particularly by the Church of Scientology. There is little but anecdotal evidence that the bet was ever made, Heinlein's contribution is generally felt to have been the novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", which is possibly one of the most enjoyable anti religion pieces ever written. You grok?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

Now, can we serve the same judge on the same bench a lawsuit that strips S***ntology of religious status in his state.

End of the day, it was devised by the late Ron L Hubbard as a bet with sir A. Clarke on who will come up with a more convincing religion. He actually lost the bet which p***ed him off and he released his creation into the wild.

Well, the judge can't just go sideways and take that matter as well, but what I see here is an an exact and focused plan to indeed make their life difficult by the way the judgement is phrased. You may recall from FBI versus Apple that US law has this neat feature called precedent - this judge is no doozy. He's opened the door for exactly that, without appearing to.

Very, very clever.

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Angel

Re: Excellent

@Voland's right hand; Good comment but what is with all the self censorship? Everyone knows what you are writing, so man up and write it. Words exist and demand to be used.

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Re: Excellent

By the test of parody the Book of Mormon obviously qualifies (prophets called Moron and Ether give you a taste of the whole and, unlike the New Testament, there are absolutely no archaeological remains that give any credence to what it states about the history of America.) Then there's the writing of the Jehovah's Witnesses, which are equally laughable. (The founder appeared not to know that the original books were written in Greek and Hebrew.) As the founders are dead it can't be proven that their writings are unintentional parody.

This verdict is a very slippery slope and the Scientologists and Mormons should be funding an appeal, with amicus curiae briefings (just joking - it would be better if it was upheld all the way to the Supreme Court and the consequences followed, fiat justitia ruat caelum.)

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WTF?

Re: Excellent

Living inside a giant fish, talking snakes, walking on water, rising from the dead, travelling on a magic flying horse.

Yep, he's got a point. No real religion would be based on a work of fiction.

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Re: Excellent

If we're dissing religion because of origin stories, protestant-ism (or whatever the word is) was created purely so Henry VIII could divorce his missus and get it on with a new bit of fluff. Protestant-ism; by the judges logic, is merely a parody of catholicism.

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Re: Excellent

A bit of myth this. Protestantism was already underway in Europe due to the writings of Luther and Calvin as a reaction to the excesses of the Catholic Church at that time. In Britain this thinking was already gaining credibility before Henry jumped on it and formed the Anglican Church (which is not that different to the Catholic Church). The total break with Rome came with the Elizabethan Religious Settlement.

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Re: Excellent

"protestant-ism (or whatever the word is) was created purely so Henry VIII could divorce his missus and get it on with a new bit of fluff."

Serious historical naivety at work here! Luther? Wycliffe? Lollards? Divorce or annulment? Dynastic considerations (bits of fluff were not a problem; lack of a legitimate son was, given the risk of plunging back into the decades of dynastic warfare which preceded the Tudors taking the throne)? Henry's own opposition to Protestantism?

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Re: Excellent

@Andrew Newstead & @Doctor Syntax - Thanks to both of you. I sit corrected. Always refreshing to learn stuff; especially when the thing you learn is the thing you think you know is -in fact- false. Nice one.

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Re: Excellent

Harlan Ellison was born in 1934, and Scientology officially started in 1954, but was around in various gestatory stages prior to that, so Ellison would have been a tad young to make the bet.

The version I heard was that it was Robert Heinlein, and his religion was the Perfect Universal Love that featured in Stranger in a Strange Land, amongst others.

I think that there are probably many other versions of the story, but I'd recommend you watch Going Clear, which has a fairly good history of the origins of the bullsh^w Scientology.

Anyways, I always wondered about Pastafarianism, and their symbol, the colander - is it like a crucifix? I mean, you boil pasta to death and then strain its remnants through the device... I can't see the FSM manifesting when all its followers have that on their heads.

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Coat

Re: Excellent

It's the other way around. You boil the Pasta to life by infusing it with the elixer of life (water). Straining the pasta through the collander symbolises the rising of the FSM from the primordial soup of the universe at the beginning of time. Before boiling it is hard, brittle and lifeless. After boiling it becomes supple and life giving.

--> The one with the olive oil stains

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Re: Excellent

Henry VIII was not behind protestantism. He simply saw a way he could exploit it to his own advantage, as it was a way to eliminate the basis for the Pope's power. Get rid of a rival.

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Re: "so Ellison would have been a tad young to make the bet."

erm, Harlan Ellison was known for being very precocious in the sci-fi writing industry from way back when, (ok lets say early 1950's for "way back when"). So I can well believe that he would make that bet in his early twenties.

Favorite Harlan Ellison quote is "The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.", although his one on people infringing his copyright is actually quite good as well.

Edit :- actually " 'You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.'" is good as well.

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Re: Excellent

Then there's the writing of the Jehovah's Witnesses, which are equally laughable. (The founder appeared not to know that the original books were written in Greek and Hebrew.)

I don't get this comment at all. I was a Jehovah's Witness, and all their texts are based on the Bible. They study the Greek and Hebrew in the scriptures often, and publish a book containing the Greek scriptures including the original Greek and the word-for-word translation alongside their own translation. Added to which, their bible is hardly any different from any other, just in more modern English and with slightly different wording here and there. And in practice, their beliefs only differ from those of other Christian sects in these main ways:

* They do not celebrate the fake holidays taken on from the organised Church from the pagans.

* They do not believe all good people go to heaven, rather that God will re-create the earth as it was intended later, and resurrect them to live in perfection (a slightly different interpretation of the words in the Bible)

* They believe strongly in Jesus' words to go out and spread his "Good Word"

All in all, I find their religion no more laughable than any other, it's just a slightly tweaked Christian sect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

So which religion isn't based on a work of fiction?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

"So which religion isn't based on a work of fiction?"

Downvote all you like.... I will await your 'proofs' and 'facts' with eager anticipation..... rAmen

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Re: Excellent

You're only getting a downvote from me because you haven't read through the thread and seen this repeated... and repeated....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

"You're only getting a downvote from me because you haven't read through the thread and seen this repeated... and repeated...."

Fair point, and you are correct.... have an upvote for my laziness....

...but I still think it is worth repeating..... and repeating.....

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Pint

Re: Excellent

Voland's wrong hand: "...Scientology....L. Ron (not Ron L.) Hubbard..."

Darn. Sorry I'm late.

I'll just dump my copy-and-paste buffer here...

"...would be little different from grounding a 'religious exercise' on any other work of fiction."

Thank you.

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Re: Excellent - @Dr. Mouse

I believe you when you say that the Jehovah's Witnesses have subsequently turned into a more mainstream Protestant religion. But I specifically wrote about the founder. If anybody is interested they can read the Wikipedia article, especially the section "Doctrinal development". The (long) article is written with a completely straight face and I don't know whether that means it was written by Witnesses or whether the authors felt it was beyond parody. I suspect the latter. There's an excellent chart that tries to make sense of the doctrinal swings.

Beliefs of the Witnesses have included multiple dates of the end of the world, (and a general destruction of churches in 1918 and governments in 1920) and swings between collectivism and authoritarianism. There have been so many purges that even Stalin might well be envious. Any idea that the Witnesses are some sort of homogeneous group with a relatively fixed set of beliefs is totally wrong. They seem to be in constant flux.

But the choice of name is significant. By the time it was chosen, mainstream churches had been in contact with Hebrew scholars long enough to know that there is no such word in the Bible as "Jehovah". What it is, is that when vowel points were added to Torah scrolls to be read in synagogue, the pointing for the letters YHVH (the unutterable name) was changed to be the vowels of the word "Adonai". The reader thus warned would know actually to say "Adonai" and the careless reader would read the non-word "Yahovai", thus avoiding doing the bad thing. But God omitted to mention this to the leader of the JW's, so from then on they were to be known by a name that told any instructed person that they had little Biblical scholarship.

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Re: Excellent

Hubbard had said things about starting a religion to make money many times.

"MEMORANDUM OF INTERVIEW — August 30, 1970

Between: Mr. Samuel Moskowitz, 361 Roseville Avenue, Newark, New Jersey (Phone No. 201-HU-5-3295) And: Mr. Charles H. Everline, Hearing Officer, CMB, NYK-21

By prior appointment I visited Mr. Moskowitz at his home to discuss information he reportedly had concerning the early history of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard. Mr. Moskowitz had informed Mr. Bud Loftus that he first heard Mr. Hubbard say at a meeting that the only way to make a million dollars was to form your own religion."

http://tonyortega.org/2016/01/19/when-the-feds-tracked-down-l-ron-hubbards-boast-about-getting-rich-by-creating-a-religion/

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Coat

Re: Excellent

I think most mainstream Christian theologians would say that the biggest difference between the Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs and mainstream Christianity is that JWs don't believe in the Trinity.

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Boffin

Re: Excellent

Protestantism is not a single sect, unlike Roman Catholicism. Protestantism is an umbrella term for literally thousands of sects who accept the Roman Catholic New Testament but interpret it differently.

Anglicanism, by and large, is a form of Roman Catholicism that lets the monarch get divorced (although I've never quite understood why, with Henry's precedent, Edward VII had to abdicate - as leader of the Church of England he should have been able to exempt himself just like Henry VIII did.)

The sects based on the writings of, respectively, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Wesley differ so widely in belief that referring to "Protestantism" as a single entity is ludicrous at best.

Nothing mything here. Move along.

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Silver badge

Re: Excellent

"although I've never quite understood why, with Henry's precedent, Edward VII had to abdicate"

As a result of the removal of the unlamented James with the aid of the Dutch in 1688, King William was invited to take over by Parliament, and so Parliament became superior to the monarch instead of vice versa. Thus Edward 7th could be told where to go, and the Queen can do what she likes so long as she doesn't actually try to do anything. Whether it was really the horror of the A of C at the thought that an American divorcée might be pulling Edward's Prince Albert, or whether his growing approval of fascism meant that this was a good chance to get shot of him, I have no idea.

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Why only scientology?

Who says the Christian religion wasn't founded by Peter to piss of the Romans, or that Islam wasn't created by Mohammad because he wanted more than one wife? Just because we have records of how Pastafarianism was created it doesn't get to call itself a religion?

That's a pretty slippery slope for officials to be making that determination. Since prisoners have nothing but time, I hope it appeals it all the way to the Supreme Court. It would be interesting to hear their take on how freedom of religion applies here.

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Re: Excellent

Completely off topic I think ... but I really need to be pedantic.

Divorce is most definitely NOT the major difference between Catholicism and Anglicanism!

'Protestantism as a single entity being ludicrous' however is spot on. With around 30k 'denominations / sects', just about the only thing they all agree on is that they do not accept the authority of the Roman Catholic church. Some say Jesus was a prophet, some a Jedi ....

As Luther said ... 'There are as many opinions as there are heads ...'

And that leads to choas.

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JLV
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Re: Excellent

I thought PKD was involved and the subject was to find a way to get rich. Hubbard's take was that a religion was the best way* to do it.

Sadly, I tend to agree that the defining bit for this ruling is that FSM is a parody. Not one of the many religions which, rightfully, the state is barred from meddling with. Scientology is about as stupid as they come, but repressing it - outside of prosecuting willful embezzlement when they do it to their converts - would put us in line with the Chinese repression of Falun Gong. Which seems every bit as hoaky as Scientology, if that seems possible.

* Having read Battlefield Earth, I would say that is was the only way - Hubbard was not going to get rich from his writings. Those who criticize Battlefield Earth, the movie, fail to give it sufficient credit for vastly improving on what is a turgid, bloated, plot-less and just plain insulting-to-intelligence waste of paper. Yeah, the movie sucked, horribly, but it wasn't near as bad as the book.

I remember a sentence where you're helpfully informed that the hero's plane is going at 341.2 mph. Not 341.1? Or 340? Right in line with the earth being 80 trillion years old, eh, LRH? And Jonnie Goodboy, as the main character's name???

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

@ Dr. Mouse. You forget the cherry picked bits. Abstain from blood. Which means that if you or their children needs a simple life saving blood transfusion you/they get to die. But Jesus loves you. They also cut you off if you ever leave. They pretend that you are invisible and fail to hear your words. (Exactly what a loving God and Jesus would do /NOT). They only thing they celebrate is passover, where you get to be miserable for an hour while they pass around stale crackers and wine which you aren't allowed to drink.

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Facepalm

Re: Excellent

>Straining the pasta through the collander symbolises the rising of the FSM from the primordial soup of the universe at the beginning of time.

No wonder it got struck down. That's evolution.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: Excellent

>>"So which religion isn't based on a work of fiction?"

In Discordianism, you actually have to be fictional to attain the higher levels of sainthood. The reasoning is that fictional people are more able to approximate the perfection needed to be a greater saint. If you're a real human being (and not a cabbage or something) the best you can get is level one saint, even if you're Emperor Norton or similar.

We make no distinction fnord between reality and fiction because effect is what matters and one can be equally inspired by Captain Yossarian as by a real person.

Personally, I'm more concerned in this case as to why the prisoner is being denied books of any kind. Is knowledge and learning withheld in US prisons unless you can justify it as part of your religion? Fiction or otherwise, let them have their books. Hail Eris!

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