Visit the following website committed to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, view its contents, and then answer the following: In sociological terms, is the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster a religion?
Here is the website: http://www.venganza.org/
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Although it is very difficult to define what is and is not a religion, it is hard to say in an objective way if the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is a religion. I would argue that it is not.
Emile Durkheim proposed a definition for religion that has four parts. First, religion must separate the sacred and the profane and should be concerned with the former. Second, religions must make claims that their believers accept as true even in the absence of any evidence. Third, religions must have rituals that they use to symbolize their values and to encourage their members in their faith. Finally, believers must come together in religious communities to support one another and their faith.
FSM does not meet many of these criteria in any real way. It is strongest with respect to the second criterion. It clearly has a number of beliefs (pirates were peaceful explorers) that are not supported by evidence. However, it does not make any serious effort (at least as shown in this website) to set limits between the sacred and the profane. It does not have any rituals and it does not have congregations. Thus, FSM is really not a religion. In particular, it lacks the communal dimension needed for a true (in sociological terms) religion.
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