On his website Bobby Henderson, the creator of the Spaghetti Monster (SM), writes: “Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel.”
A believer in God may be correct in pointing out that this is no a convincing argument for the very reason that created gods or entities are by definition a delusion. It’s a bit like Santa – we all know that he is a fictional character created to excite children. In the same way everyone knows that the SM is an imaginary creation on the part of Henderson to mock religious belief. If so, his argument already falls flat.
But a believer should also note that there is a misunderstanding concerning the Christian conception of God. For instance, Henderson has drawn a picture of his SM and it is clear, according to his pencil sketch, that the created entity is composed of two large meatballs surrounded by a mass of spaghetti topped with two eyeballs. It’s evident that the SM is supposed to be a finite, physical object which, for some unexplained reason, is not perceptible to our senses. Philosopher William Craig critiques the SM:
“What about the other theistic arguments? The contingency argument, if successful, proves the existence of a metaphysically necessary, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, personal Creator of the universe. That conclusion is also incompatible with the Sufficient Reason of all things being the Flying Spaghetti Monster, since as a physical object (even if invisible to our senses) he can be neither metaphysically necessary, timeless, spaceless, nor immaterial” (2).
Craig rightfully points out that Henderson has misunderstood Christianity’s conception of God being a “metaphysically necessary, timeless, spaceless” and immaterial entity. The SM is allegedly a physical entity compromised of noodles, and meatballs.
From Big Bang cosmology we have “grounds for believing in the existence of a beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, changeless, immaterial, enormously powerful, Personal Creator of the universe. Again, a being with such attributes cannot be anything like the Flying Spaghetti Monster” (3). Did the SM somehow exist in its physical form prior to the Big Bang event? It couldn’t have simply because the physical had its creation at the Big Bang event. Craig goes on to say that “the ontological argument gives us reason to think that God, as the greatest conceivable being, is metaphysically necessary and maximally excellent, that is to say, omnipotent, omniscient, and all-good. The poor Flying Spaghetti Monster is, alas, left trailing in the dust” (4).
However, the Christian may bring up the subject of Jesus’ own followers as witnesses to the resurrection? As Matt Rawlings points out: “For example, no group who has claimed to witness the flying spaghetti monster has died rather than deny their claim. Yet, early Christians suffered poverty, torture and death rather than deny they had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No other religion presents such a set of claims…The reason there is a church of Jesus Christ and NOT a church of the flying spaghetti monster is that those who walked with Jesus witnessed something that evoked such faith in them that they were willing to be impoverished, tortured and killed rather than deny what they have seen. Thus, the proper category of testing points to the truth of Christianity” (5).
William Craig concludes that “As a being, the Flying Spaghetti Monster comes up drastically deficient as an explanation of those phenomena,” and that “The real lesson to be learned from the case of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is that it shows how completely out of touch our popular culture is with the great tradition of natural theology” (6).
1. Henderson, B. Open Letter To Kansas School Board. Available.
2. Craig, W. 2007. God and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Available.
3. Craig, W. 2007. Ibid.
4. Craig, W. 2007. Ibid.
5. Rawlings, M. How Many Eyewitnesses of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Have Willingly Died for Their Witness? Available.
6. Craig, W. 2007. Ibid.