Proposal: Pastafarianism

There phrase "real religion" has been used several times in discussion related to the Pastafarian proposal. 1 2

What is a real religion? What is the difference between a real religion and one that is not real? Can a religion transform from not real to real over time, or is intrinsically real from the beginning?

This topic would seem to be a bit beyond the scope of an area51 site proposal, but the definition seems to be important for the definition of this proposal. Answers should not focus on any one religion, but provide distinct measurable criteria.

  • Related discussion Isn't Buddhism a Religion? – James Jenkins Oct 11 '14 at 9:52
  • Starting to get some good attempts at an answer. Comments that I enter to answers are attempt to help focus and direct, to points that may not have been considered. +1 indicates I think you you did a great job, but may have overlooked something. – James Jenkins Oct 12 '14 at 8:40
  • Our two answers as they exist currently, really heavily on belief as key criteria. How do you measure belief? It is subjective, much like pain we all agree that it exists, in the acute (rapid onset) version, there are physiological signs that measured (pulse & BP) that are indicators, but in chronic (long term) there is little or no empirical (objective) indicators. You say you believe, I say you don't; both are equally valid/invalid as they are unmeasurable. – James Jenkins Oct 12 '14 at 9:10

Coming from a scientific and certainly non-religious background (meaning that I am nowhere close to being an expert here and that my answer is really nothing more than an opinion), I would say that a religion is a set of beliefs that people hold without any evidence to support the ideas. In which case yes, Pastafarianism is a real religion, and I continue to fail to see a reason why its SE proposal should be stopped.

  • +1 How do you measure belief? Every religion has some evidence to support it, "without any evidence" is problematic in your answer. As an example shrinking numbers of Pirates and the increase in global warming, for Pastafarianism – James Jenkins Oct 12 '14 at 9:00
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    -1: You know just so good as everybody, that this is a parody religion, but somehow forgot to mention that. – peterh Oct 12 '14 at 21:38
  • @PeterHorvath Who are you to say that there are people out there that don't believe it? – HDE 226868 Oct 12 '14 at 21:40
  • @HDE226868 People as you asks the same around tenth times from me. You are so... similar. Good bye, I need to flee from your overwhelming intelligence. ;-) – peterh Oct 12 '14 at 21:43
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    @JamesJenkins Still trying to figure out how to improve this. . . – HDE 226868 Oct 12 '14 at 21:43
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    @PeterHorvath Your sarcasm is not appreciated. – HDE 226868 Oct 12 '14 at 21:43

I wrote a complex answer about how this could not be answered. When I got near the end I realised the answer is really quite simple.
A real religion is one where some people believe in an unseen/unprovable deity.
If no one believes its a story.
If the deity is seen and proven it would be a government.
Therefore, "a not real religion" is not a valid term. It has to be a religion or something else.

  • +1 How do you measure belief? Some people believe in a Easter Bunny (chosen over Santa Clause in this example for its Pagan foundation), who is a deity level being, capable of overcoming physics as humanity understands it. Not saying that an 'unseen/unprovable deity' is bad wording just pointing out that using it in your definition creates Bunnyism as a religion. – James Jenkins Oct 12 '14 at 8:58
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    On the point of how do you measure belief. Belief is defined as an opinion or conviction that something is true. So someone stating that they believe constitutes an adequate measure of belief.<br>The second word that needs clarification is Deity, which is defined as a god/goddess or supreme being. <br> So may people believe in the Easter bunny. But, at most consider he/she/it to be only a giver of gifts not a supreme being. Therefore, by this definition it is not a religion. However, if some of those believers did believe the Easter bunny to be a god/goddess then Bunnyism would be a religion. – 404 User not found Oct 16 '14 at 13:10
  • FSM has been seen many times, and is clearly proven by string theory. SO, FSM is government? – Marjeta Oct 26 '14 at 18:07
  • Also - you didn't provide definition for "god", so you didn't rely prove Bunny is not god. – Marjeta Oct 26 '14 at 18:09

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