The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson
This is the book adaptation of a letter written to the Kansas School Board that became an internet phenomenon. It’s pretty amusing in spots, but the joke gets old. It feels like a letter that’s been remixed into a book. (Okay, okay, I get it… your heaven has a Beer Volcano and Stripper Factory).
Overall, FSM is a delightful response to the insistence of teaching creationism alongside evolution in schools, but it probably should have stayed in letter and website form.
Somewhat related, this is an example of why I don’t let on that I’m an atheist at work…
Atheism: Reponses to “Atheists surely aren’t monsters,” @issue, Dec. 28
Brand of ‘morality’ hard to define, justify
If Sam Harris is the best apologist for atheism, then believers can rest easy. From the outset, it’s unclear why Harris believes America hates atheists when 37 percent would elect an atheist president.1
But Harris’ grossest missteps come when he justifies atheistic morality. Harris claims the Bible and Quran have nothing to offer “if a person doesn’t already understand that cruelty is wrong,” but what makes cruelty wrong absent divine disapproval? Nature is cruel. Just ask the wildebeest crossing a river full of hungry crocodiles. Cruelty often carries the day in survival of the fittest at the office, the ballot box and in society. By the time Harris suggests that “moral intuitions” are “hard-wired” into us, any rational reader should be hysterical. Perhaps, Harris could suggest who did the wiring? Harris should recall Sartre’s famous paraphrase of Dostoevsky: “If God is dead, then everything is permitted.” And so should we, if an atheist is ever on the ballot.
-ROB HARRIS, Gainesville
1 Um… because 63 percent wouldn’t?