The Atheist’s Flying Spaghetti Monster

Most people do not think deeply about their worldview.  Indeed, I do not believe most people could even give you a synopsis of their worldview, or if they could, their synopsis is actually the only part of their worldview that they have actually actively thought out, so their synopsis is actually their full body of knowledge.  While a synopsis is helpful, it cannot adequately direct people how to act in more subtle nuances of particular situations.

So let us think about one aspect of a worldview.  This aspect is Purpose.  Purpose is a very broad aspect of a worldview.  While we could investigate the many layers of purpose, I do not think most people even accomplish one of the first steps when thinking about purpose.  What is the first step?  It is asking, “Does purpose logically exist in my worldview?”

What is Purpose?

Quite simply, purpose is the reason for which something exists.  Purpose is what drives us to a certain goal.  Purpose is what guides the proper use of something; for instance, you would not use a pair of scissors to light a fire.  A pair of scissors was created for the purpose of cutting.  Since we know a match was created to start fires, then we would use a match to accomplish that task.

But the question is, “How is something given purpose?”  You see, mere existence does not create purpose.  Purpose goes much deeper than existence.  I submit to you that no thing can have a purpose unless there is a creator acting on the thing.  Purpose does not exist without a creator.

The Atheist’s Flying Spaghetti Monster

I want you to look at purpose from an atheistic perspective.  Without alluding to any god at all – yes, that includes the Cosmos or Mother Nature – can you tell me my purpose, my reason for existence?  The honest answer to that is, “No.”

How can I say that?  Because while you may be able to conjure up a purpose in your mind, the simple truth is that whatever purpose you conjure up is exactly that: conjured up.

From an atheistic perspective, I do not exist to help others, live with others, or even just live.  I simply fortuitously exist.  But as we said earlier, mere existence does not create purpose.  There is no purpose driving evolution.  Evolution is circumstantial, not purposeful; there is no purpose behind circumstance.

Do you know what that means?  From an atheistic perspective, purpose is just a big flying spaghetti monster; it does not even exist even if atheists insist it does, and whatever purpose an atheist contrives, it is just as contrived as anybody else’s idea of what their purpose is.  That means a person who says life’s purpose is to destroy things is just as logically accurate as someone who says life’s purpose is to preserve things.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but so is purpose.  That is, from an atheistic perspective.

Hypocrisy

What I find amazing is that there are some atheists who are okay with the idea that purpose is a simple contrivance on their part.  They still claim that life has purpose even though they know it does not.  That is hypocrisy at it’s highest.  Why?  Because they insist that God does not exist, therefore we should not live by His standards.  Yet they know purpose does not actually exist and they still say we should live with purpose. Imagine a theist who says, “We know God is not real, but we will create a God anyway because without a God, we will be lost.”? Well, this is what atheists do with purpose. They say, “Purpose does not exist in actuality, but we will create purpose anyway because without purpose, we will be lost.” Of course some atheists would chide the theist for the former statement, but they do not chide themselves for their similar transgression. Indeed, there are many atheists who believe that the idea of God only exists because people needed to create a God to provide purpose to life, otherwise there would be only chaos. Yet, these same atheists conjure up purpose for themselves because they need purpose, otherwise there would be only chaos.

I am going to be exploring this thought a little more in my next blog about another atheist flying spaghetti monster.  So really this blog ought to be entitled, “One of the Atheist’s Flying Spaghetti Monsters”.

Conclusion

Purpose, from an atheistic perspective, is just a big flying spaghetti monster.  It does not exist, yet atheists will trumpet it in lectures.  By the way, if you do not agree with my conclusion that purpose is just a big flying spaghetti monster, then I suggest you read the many atheists who would agree with me.

Advertisements

11 comments

  1. I’m an atheist and I think you don’t understand what we mean when we say that life has no purpose. Being as we don’t think the universe was formed intentionally, but by some force of nature we are still working on discovering, we can’t honestly say a universe that has no intention behind it can give us purpose. How could it? It’s not a being with thoughts or reasons. It just does, as nature does. When we talk about purpose, we are talking about giving ourselves one. It’s not hypocrisy if you actually understand where we’re coming from. The phrase, “They still claim that life has purpose even though they know it does not” makes no sense at all, and any atheist who’s thought about this can explain that to you. No atheist is going to tell you that life gave us all a purpose. Maybe their parents did, or their friends, or themselves, but life isn’t what we look to for purpose. It’s a completely different cause altogether. By the way, I find your piece to be a little…. rushed? “I suggest you read more atheists who would agree with me,” is interesting because I read an awful lot of atheist literature and I haven’t found a single one who does agree with you, including big authors such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Even Youtube atheists won’t agree with you. Your point is moot unless you can share an actual atheist who says explicitly that they think life gave us purpose even though it didn’t. I challenge you to find one who’s thought about it, come to that conclusion, and bring them to the table. Peace.

    Like

    • Komoha,

      Thank you so much for your honest reply.

      I think you just confirmed my point, but please correct me if I am wrong. You said, “When we talk about purpose, we are talking about giving ourselves one.” That is pretty much exactly what I said atheists do. The problem with that is while admitting life has no intrinsic purpose, atheists create something called purpose. The problem is, a created purpose is no real purpose at all.

      What if I said, “God is not real, but we will create a God anyway because without a God, we will be lost.”? Well, that is what atheists do with purpose. They say, “Purpose does not exist in actuality, but we will create purpose anyway because without purpose, we will be lost.” Of course some atheists would chide the theist for the former statement, but they do not chide themselves for their similar transgression. That is why I believe it is hypocritical.

      I would agree with you that my post is a little rushed. Fortunately for me, this is only a blog post and not a doctoral thesis. I have to constrain myself in some way, which is the one of the hardest parts about blogging because I want to just keep writing. However, I agree that you will not find many of the “new atheists” who agree with me in totality. Many of them will agree with me that purpose does not exist in actuality (as you do yourself), and that is to what I was referring.

      However, if you read more classical atheists like Nietzsche and Sartre, you will find they conclude much close to what I say than the new atheists. (There is a reason they are called “new”.) Just to be clear though, I did not say atheist writers have said life gave us purpose. I said they state life gives us no purpose, yet they still create purpose.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Not just hypocrisy but incoherence as well, which is not surprising since any structure without a sound foundation is nothing but a house of cards and must crumble.

    A materialist/atheist must and will always adopt an illogical stance and will always be unable to defend it [though they try desperately-utilizing much ignorance] because there is no standard for anything for them; everything is based on each individuals own opinion and the spotlight of reality will render such opinions illogical as they’re always living beyond even their own metaphysical assumptions.

    “The Word of God remains and abides forever, because it is the only standard that gives any life cause, function/purpose.”
    Jesus’ standard – Love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The ancients, I agree that it is incoherent. I refrained from using that term since most people do not understand that term in relation to philosophy and I did not want to have to explain it here.

      The atheistic worldview is inevitably inconsistent as well.

      Like

  3. You say ‘the problem is, a created purpose is no real purpose at all.’ So much wrong with this!

    First, why is it ‘a problem’? Any purpose, including your own religious one is ‘created’; you would say by your God, I and other atheists would say by other human beings – but it’s ‘created’ nonetheless. This appears not to be a problem for you, so why should it be for those who create their own purpose?

    Secondly, why is a ‘created’ purpose ‘no real purpose’? Do you never create purposes that don’t rely on a God? For example, when you decide to make a journey, the purpose of which might be to be somewhere else, visit friends, watch a game or whatever. These are not divine purposes; they’re ones ‘created’ by you. Are they any less ‘real’ for that?

    Finally, so what if there’s no over-arching grand purpose, no great cosmic significance to our existence? It doesnt mean we’re ‘lost’ as you claim. It means we’re privileged to be here to work out our own purposes – ones that don’t entail appealing to any made-up deities.

    Like

    • Thank you for your reply. I am honored that you took the time to read my blog and write a reply. I hope I can honor you by giving a challenging reply.

      You used a different meaning of “created” than I did. When I say created in this post referring to atheistic purpose, I mean “made-up, fabricated, imaginary”. When you say created, you mean “given”. You are right that in a theistic worldview God gives us purpose, or creates our purpose. This purpose however, comes outside ourselves, so it is not made-up or imagined. Using my scissor analogy, you would not say that the inventor of scissors made-up a purpose for scissors. You would say the inventor created the scissors for a purpose. In the theistic worldview we are created for a purpose, our purpose was not made-up.

      However, that is not the same thing as what some atheists do. Atheism has to conclude that life is fundamentally meaningless. Instead of embracing that, some atheists try to force a fabricated, made-up, imagined meaning for life. I just read a quote by Bill Nye that we “have to work together.” Well, no we do not. There is no “have to” in atheism. Yet this atheist seems content with forcing purpose on people where no purpose actually exists. Quite hypocritically actually, he tells other people that what they think is their purpose actually is not, but their purpose is what he says it is, i.e., that we have to work together.

      The second definition problem we have is purpose itself. When I talked about purpose in this blog, I was talking about ultimate purpose. You are adding another definition of purpose, that is, secondary purpose. Of course we can create secondary purposes. Secondary purposes are not the same as our ultimate purpose. And yes, secondary purposes are less “real” in that they are not set in stone and can change at any time.

      To your last point, there are many “so whats”. That means anyone can make up any purpose he/she wants. That means if someone wants to say their purpose is to take over Iraq and Syria and establish an Islamic state, then who are we to say he/she is wrong? In fact, if you believe that we have the privilege of making our own purpose, then you would be hypocritical to deny that someone the pursuit of their purpose.

      Lastly, your last sentence confirms the inconsistency of many atheistic claims. You chide “made-up deities” but hail made-up purposes. If people can make up purposes, why can they not make up deities? And if it is wrong to make up deities, why is it not wrong to make up an ultimate purpose?

      Like

  4. Hey bud!

    Had a few replies. Hope you’re well:

    “Most people do not think deeply about their worldview.”

    I’m tempted to agree with you, but I couldn’t find any poll or study on this. If you have some evidence you can cite, would you mind sharing it?

    “Does purpose logically exist in my worldview?”

    I think there is a problem with how you’re starting out. Purpose my not exist logically, but there still may be evidence for it. It’s not logical that Earth is third planet from the sun, but there’s ample evidence to show that it is. I believe that purpose is logical only to someone who chooses to incorporate it into their worldview. In other words, I think it’s a choice. And one way to make a choice is to look at the evidence. When I do things, does it feel like there is an inherent goal for them?

    “Without alluding to any god at all – yes, that includes the Cosmos or Mother Nature – can you tell me my purpose, my reason for existence? The honest answer to that is, ‘No.’”

    Right. I cannot tell you your purpose, but I can’t tell you your purpose with alluding to god either. I can ask you your purpose and I can choose to believe you or not, but I can’t know for sure. Purpose is subjective in much the same way that your favorite color is. I can’t tell you your favorite color any more than I can tell you your purpose.

    “How can I say that? Because while you may be able to conjure up a purpose in your mind, the simple truth is that whatever purpose you conjure up is exactly that: conjured up.”

    You use the term ‘conjured up’ in a way that makes me feel you’re assigning a negative connotation to it. A lot of amazing things are conjured up. The internet was conjured up as was Superman, Cable television, and the rules to chess. And many people think those things are awesome.

    “There is no purpose driving evolution. Evolution is circumstantial, not purposeful; there is no purpose behind circumstance.”

    Totally agree. I do appreciate that you didn’t use the word ‘random,’ for that’s a whole other discussion, but yes, purpose does not equate circumstance. Mos def.

    “That means a person who says life’s purpose is to destroy things is just as logically accurate as someone who says life’s purpose is to preserve things.”

    Logically, sure. If I believe that people who wear brown shoes should be slapped in the face, I could argue that logically. But I can’t show you any evidence for it. However, it’s my choice whether or not to act upon that belief. If I do, then chances are society will find a way to stop me from doing it. Not because it’s illogical, but because it’s breaking laws written by and voted on by people who choose to make their society that way.

    You and I could argue the whether same sex marriage helps or hurts society. But neither of us will singlehandedly make it legal or not. Society uses systems that people set up to come to a decision to act one way or the other. But your vote does not have to be logical.
    “What I find amazing is that there are some atheists who are okay with the idea that purpose is a simple contrivance on their part. They still claim that life has purpose even though they know it does not. That is hypocrisy at it’s highest.”

    I don’t think it’s a ‘simple contrivance.’ I think purpose is something you choose to give yourself or not. But most of the people I know personally who do ponder it, tend to think of it in ways that I would hesitate to call simple. For myself, I know that I am constantly evaluating and open to changing my purpose depending on how I feel in relationship to my current circumstances. For example, I used to believe my purpose was to become a famous actor. At 34 I’m starting to think that my purpose may be different than that.

    “Yet they know purpose does not actually exist and they still say we should live with purpose.”

    By no means do I claim to know what all atheists believe, but I have read some books by atheists and seen some interviews and what not. And all the ones I’ve seen seem to say the same thing which goes something like this: “Purpose is something you give yourself. Feel free to choose the one want.” I’ve not heard any say that people should live with purpose.

    “Purpose does not exist in actuality, but we will create purpose anyway because without purpose, we will be lost.”

    You say it doesn’t ‘exist,’ but it does. However, someone who has an atheist point of view would say it exists, but did not come from any supernatural being. I don’t think that a supernatural being need be present in order for purpose to exist anymore that I think a roller coaster needs to exist in order have fun. It’s one way that could create fun for people, but not the only way. Some people might choose to have fun with a board game. Or they may never choose to have fun.

    “Purpose, from an atheistic perspective, is just a big flying spaghetti monster. It does not exist, yet atheists will trumpet it in lectures.“

    When you say ‘it doesn’t exist’ I think you’re saying ‘it doesn’t exist universally.’ Forgive me if I’m wrong. Please correct me. But I think of it like this. Gravity exists in that it affects me. The equation for gravity exists, but only because humans created it. Superman doesn’t ‘exist’ the same way you or I do, but Superman has affected the lives of way more people than you or I ever have. And he’s done it for longer than most human lives last. Some people look to Superman as a role model. Is that wrong because he’s not real in a corporeal sense? I don’t think so.

    Another point I wanted to raise is that you say ‘atheists’ in a way that makes me think you’re lumping them all in the same category. And I find that very hard to do. The only thing all atheists seem to have in common is that they choose not to believe in a god. Other than that, they have different beliefs, opinions, personalities, etc. So, you may hear from three different atheists and get three different thoughts on purpose or any other topic.

    Like

    • Rich,

      Thanks for your thoughts, buddy, and thank you for reading the blog. I love you, bro.

      Can I cite studies that show most people do not think about their worldview? No. I am sure there are studies out there, but I did not research any. All you have to do is ask someone to define their worldview and you will quickly realize that the depth of their knowledge of their own worldview is maybe a paragraph long and certainly not thought out well enough to answer specifics without running into inconsistencies. Just ask people to justify their worldview, and many people will not even understand what you mean by that sentence, much less know how to actually do that.

      “I believe that purpose is logical only to someone who chooses to incorporate it into their worldview. In other words, I think it’s a choice. ” – It sounds as if you are saying that you agree with me that purpose does not actually exist but people create it. That is what I said, just different words. At least, that is what purpose is from an atheistic perspective. It does not actually exist, but atheists will still claim that they have “purpose”, when really according to their worldview, they have no purpose, they fulfill no purpose in the cosmos, the cosmos would not care if they were aborted or if they lived a 95 year life.

      “I cannot tell you your purpose, but I can’t tell you your purpose with alluding to god either.” – This is not true from a Christian worldview. Our purpose was given us by our Creator and He said our purpose was to love Him and our neighbor as ourselves. The specifics are worked out later, but we certainly have a defined purpose. You know the purpose of any device by reading the manual or knowing why an inventor designed said device; the same is true with God. We know our purpose because of His manual (Scripture).

      “You use the term ‘conjured up’ in a way that makes me feel you’re assigning a negative connotation to it.” – I am using it in a negative way here. I am using it the same way an atheist would use it to say God was conjured up. The whole point of my post is to show that atheists conjure up a fictional purpose and call it real. I am showing the inconsistency of the atheistic perspective.

      “However, it’s my choice whether or not to act upon that belief. If I do, then chances are society will find a way to stop me from doing it.” – I have yet to write a complete post about society, laws and morality, but we have talked about it before; I will definitely have to blog about it soon. What you just showed is that no action is inherently wrong, that is, from an atheistic perspective. Something is only “wrong” if a society decides it does not like the action. There are a ton of problems with that definition of wrong. With the definition of wrong that you seem to give, if you say someone is wrong for doing an action, you are saying, “Only because we decided you are wrong, not because you actually are wrong.” How dare you force your beliefs on another individual. Who are you and society to force another individual to stop doing what they feel they must do? Hmm. Sounds very religious of you and society. (I am sure you know this, but when I said “you” I was referring to people of an atheistic mindset.) I could go on and on about this, so I had better write a blog.

      “I don’t think it’s a ‘simple contrivance.’ ” – When I said “simple”, I did not mean merely not well thought out, although that is certainly the case among many. What I could have said instead is, “purpose is only a contrivance.” That means purpose is not real, it is fictional. No one can honestly tell another person, “You exist for a purpose.” In an atheistic worldview no one exists for a purpose.

      “I have read some books by atheists and seen some interviews and what not. And all the ones I’ve seen seem to say the same thing which goes something like this: “Purpose is something you give yourself. Feel free to choose the one want.” I’ve not heard any say that people should live with purpose.” – The writers you have read may not have said it exactly the way I have, but that is probably because they did not address the topic of purpose the same way I am. If you were to ask any atheistic thinker if we humans should live with purpose or without purpose, what do you think they would say? You really think they would say, “Go ahead and live your life without purpose.”? I am willing to bet the vast majority of them would say you should create a purpose for yourself. But that is one of the points of my post! They are okay with conjuring up something for the purpose of making life livable, all the while they chastise theists for conjuring up God for the purpose of making life livable.

      “You say it doesn’t ‘exist,’ but it does.” – It does not exist in actuality. You even said so yourself earlier. It only “exists” in our mind. But so does God according to atheists. Just because I can create something in my mind does not mean it exists in actuality. (That flawed logic is called ontological.) You are using one definition of exist, while my blog is using another.

      “I don’t think that a supernatural being need be present in order for purpose to exist anymore that I think a roller coaster needs to exist in order have fun.” – What is the purpose of a roller coaster? To provide entertainment for people. How do we know this? Because it had a creator who declared it so. So yes, a creator is absolutely necessary for purpose to exist. Now, what is the purpose of a snowy hill? To sled down? No. It does not have any purpose. It is circumstantially there and only circumstantially provides entertainment. Again, you are operating with a different definition of purpose than I am, and we will get to that in a few of the remaining paragraphs.

      “When you say ‘it doesn’t exist’ I think you’re saying ‘it doesn’t exist universally.’” – Not precisely. I would say that in an atheistic perspective purpose does not universally exist, but that is not what I mean. I mean that purpose is not natural, it is not real, it is imagined. Almost all atheists are Naturalists (indeed they should be, if they are not, then they really are lost philosophically). The problem is that the natural world does not offer us any direction, it does not give us any purpose, and it certainly does not tell us absolute right from absolute wrong.

      “Gravity exists in that it affects me. The equation for gravity exists, but only because humans created it.” – Gravity is a physical force so it exists in actuality. The equation needed to be discovered and identified, not created.

      “Superman doesn’t ‘exist’ the same way you or I do, but Superman has affected the lives of way more people than you or I ever have. And he’s done it for longer than most human lives last. Some people look to Superman as a role model. Is that wrong because he’s not real in a corporeal sense? I don’t think so.” – Firstly, again the definition of exist. If I were a little kid and I asked you if Superman exists, you would say no because you would understand what I mean by exists; of course I mean does he actually exist. Of course Superman exists in some form, but not in the form of which I am speaking. The same is true for purpose in an atheistic perspective. It does not actually exist. Secondly, if atheists use Superman as an example, that is really sad. They are using an imagined thing to tell people how they ought to live. Hmm. Again, sounds a lot like what they say theists do.

      ” … you say ‘atheists’ in a way that makes me think you’re lumping them all in the same category.” – I said “some atheists” on a couple occasions. I know that not all atheists will come to the same conclusions. If I did not say some atheists, then I was only referring to the ones who held such a belief or I was pointing out what should be the logical and consistent conclusion of their belief.

      Again, thank you my friend.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s