Friday, September 02, 2005

An interesting theological question

A fellow blogger and comrade in the fight against Holocaust denial Andrew Mathis has posed an interesting theological question. Having discovered the glory that is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, he asks:
I only wonder if belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster would conflict with my Judaism. Does the Torah say that God is not a flying spaghetti monster? Does believe in the FSM contradict any of Maimonides's thirteen articles of the Jewish faith?

This is truly a conundrum for me. Help!
I'm not Jewish and don't know enough about the Jewish faith even to hazard a guess. Certainly I am unaware of anything in the Torah (or the Bible) that says that God isn't a Flying Spaghetti Monster. (Yes, I know that pasta didn't exist when they were written.) I would imagine, however, that God could appear in any form He wishes. Certainly the consuming of pasta shouldn't be a problem, particularly if it's Kosher. Christians might have a problem with the requirement to end all prayers with "Ramen," instead of "Amen," but that shouldn't be a problem for Jews, I would guess.

Can anyone else do a better job of helping Andrew out?

14 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 9/02/2005 10:30 AM, Blogger Mike the Mad Biologist said...

In Judaism, God is ultimately formless and unknowable (when the Romans sacked the Temple, they open the Holy of Holies, and found to there surprise, nothing). Sorry, belief in Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't compatible with Judaism.

I can't believe I'm answering this seriously...

 

At 9/02/2005 11:07 AM, Blogger Andrew E. Mathis said...

Oh, sure you can believe it! Actually, after I made my post, I read Yigdal to remind myself of Rambam's 13 articles, and indeed, one of them is that God is shapeless and formless.

Tough luck for the Yiddische Folk, eh?

 

At 9/02/2005 11:15 AM, Blogger Andrew E. Mathis said...

By the way, the argument that because the Torah doesn't mention something may render the idea valid is used in rabbinical exegesis all the time. E.g., if there were only Adam, Even, Cain, and Abel, who did Cain and Abel marry to have kids. Well, the rabbis say, the Torah doesn't say that Adam and Eve didn't have other children, did it?

But now we're back on intelligent design... ;-)

 

At 9/02/2005 2:58 PM, Anonymous Mark Paris said...

I don't think formlessness excludes the intentional expression of god's presence in any form. If he can appear as a burning bush, why can't he appear as a FSM?

 

At 9/02/2005 3:06 PM, Blogger Jonathan Dresner said...

God can appear in any form, though most of the references are anthropomorphic (the burning bush was accompanied with the voice of God, but did not contain the essence). However, we are pretty strictly enjoined against depicting God in any but the most abstract sense: the Rabbis make a great deal out of the fact that God's presence in the Temple of days gone by was in an empty space, not in a statue or token.

On the other hand, divinity doesn't get any more abstract than pasta sauce....

 

At 9/02/2005 3:08 PM, Blogger VaneWimsey said...

The first and fourth commenters are both right -- G-d IS not a Flying Spaghetti Monster. but G-d could APPEAR as a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

But hey, guys, remind me, how are we supposed to reconcile the shapeless/formless thing with the passages of Torah to the effect that (1) we are made in G-d's image, and (2) Moses was allowed to look at G-d?

 

At 9/02/2005 3:47 PM, Blogger GrrlScientist said...

I dunno .. I'v seen some rather shapeless and formless spaghetti in my day .. NOT cooked by me, by the way!!

GrrlScientist

 

At 9/02/2005 5:14 PM, Anonymous RobertK said...

Considering Amen is, in fact, a Hebrew word, Jews too might have a problem with ending their prayers with Ramen (despite its MSG-laden goodness).

 

At 9/03/2005 2:18 AM, Blogger dubiousbiologist said...

While it may not conflict with Judiasm, it definitely conflicts with the Marinara sect of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, which holds you shall hold no other forms of Pasta before Its Great Saucy Goodness. On the other hand, the Linguinists sect of FSM has less rigorous pastra requirements: vermicelli, fettucini, even penne are all acceptable.

The Eastern form of FSM holds ramen, soba, and udon to all be an Equivalent Trinity.

 

At 9/03/2005 3:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the point of the FSM that it is a different entity from the Christian or Judaic god? Not that god appeared (or could appear) as a FSM.

If Judaism allows you to believe in morethan one god (or, at the least, creating entity), then I guess you can believe in the FSM, but I doubt it.

I have noidea what the FSM itself feels about you having more than one god. I imagine it's OK with it, solong as that god is not pasta based.

 

At 9/05/2005 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are chinese noodles a form of pasta?, and when were they created?

 

At 9/06/2005 1:12 AM, Blogger drogidy said...

I think the bigger question is: can the FSM (be it Judaic or not) be composed of pasta that it could not, itself, consume?!?

 

At 9/06/2005 2:26 PM, Blogger Andrew E. Mathis said...

Nota bene: Moses never *saw* God. God warned Moses to duck as God went by. Moses merely was able to *hear* God. He was the only prophet that could. Even the Muslims don't believe Muhammad heard God's own voice, but they do believe that Musa (Moses) did.

a.m.

 

At 9/07/2005 8:46 PM, Blogger drogidy said...

Can the FSM see itself in a mirror?

 

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