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Humanism and Pastafarianism

2022-12-16

Author(s): Feng Chin Wen and Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/09/27

Introduction to Humanism

Humanism, no doubt, provides not only the denial of a few claims about the nature of the world and its operation but also gives a basis for consideration of the bountiful possibilities from modern science and in the ethical duties based on human compassion.

Our efforts as human beings relate to the basic ways in which we wish to work with one another for our collective benefit. It is about love, trust, commitment, fidelity, cooperation, rational decision-making, evidence, scientific and naturalistic viewpoints, and so on.

Introduction to Pastafarianism

Some entry points to this philosophy can come from the parody religions including Pastafarianism. Those faith groups taking a spin on the formal religious or faith claims about the world and the proposition of a designer or an architect of the universe. One that we can see.

Their take is one of a noodle God that can be seen in all the different swervy, fractal manifestations of the natural world. It comes from the perception of the natural world and then a joke based on the widespread confirmation bias about seeing design in nature.

Effective Change: Numbers Speak

I (Chin Wen) started to promote humanism and establish Taiwan Humanism Studio (THS) since 2015 Darwin Day by translation and writing of humanistic articles or videos. In that period, I mimicked the method of a popular science blog and wanted to attract more freethinkers to join. However, scientists have had several huge communities formed by academia in Taiwan and humanists don’t. Therefore, there would not have a chance that anyone would join the studio automatically before the community has established. I started to focus on the community building and advertising work but the consequent is limited.

As we can see the figure which illustrates how many fans our facebook page has. During almost two years of development, we only have less than 500 fans. Even though we improved our advertising skill by using inspirational memes and quotations, it only could reach 1,500 fans. After our announcement to be Pastafarianism, it grew to 5000 in a few weeks. That’s three times more than before! We have more than 8000 fans now and keep growing with more than 100 per week.

The Age of Experience

Religions did have an educational function before. it taught literacy, moral, and other knowledge to pre-modern society. Even in the Industrial Era, religions still guide people’s personal lives and ethical decisions. Therefore, humanists aim at debating with the churches on knowledge, moral and ethical issues.

However, the core of religion has changed. The New Religious movement and the Charismatic Movement religious competition of believers from theology to experience. People in the modern world struggle with psychological and emotional strain rather than physical struggles.

They are not interested to be a man who is desirable for gods. Instead, they want to enjoy the miracle to reduce the pressure from livelihood and improve work efficiency or self- achievement. If they have to listen to a lecture on the gods’ love of the people and the way to achieve redemption, they feel the information is both tiring and useless. Religion is a place for mysticism and to feel a relief from the daily stress of living.

The “Entertainmentization” of Religion

From now, humanists pay less attention to this social trend about — what might be called — entertainmentization of religion. How can we convince people to get rid of superstition if they just want some feeling and fun? Pastafarianism may be the nearest innovation for non-believers in this era. People can have fun, cosplay, and eat.

Pastafarianism is not only the strategy for advertisement but also reframing the concept of humanism.

Humanism is not a religion talking human as the god; it develops within human subjectivity to let people can determine their own destiny. For example, humanistic psychology aims for the development of human needs, capabilities and creativity rather than psychoanalysis and behaviourism. Humanism is not about what human should be but how human could be.

Pastafarianism deconstructs the concept of religion to disenchant the sanctity totally. Moreover, it’s concerned with the basic need of human “physiology”, by boiling Pasta’s holy body and eat it. It’s not a different philosophy but an adjustment for the need for people.

The Next Steps

The next religions will be a mixture of ultra-seriousness and super-playfulness. Pastafarianism will be akin to the form of the super-playful. Those super-serious ones can be seen in the techno-utopians. These different manifestations of options for people who choose what works for them amount to a reflection of the decline of traditional religious structures and the rise of miniature groups and individualist forms of faith — for fun or science speculation.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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