Flying Spaghetti Monster
The Flying Spaghetti Monster either revealed itself to, or was simply invented by, Bobby Henderson as a parody of Intelligent design, similar to the Invisible Pink Unicorn. The FSM first came to public notice in 2005 when Henderson wrote an open letter  to the Kansas School Board, which was considering adding Intelligent Design to the curriculum, arguing for the inclusion of the FSM by echoing many of the arguments used by Intelligent Design advocates.
Although the FSM is particularly absurd, and there is no evidence for its existence, the same can be said of God and of the "Designer" of Intelligent Design (ID). Thus, Henderson argues, if a school district chooses to teach ID in the classroom, it ought to teach about the Flying Spaghetti Monster as well so that students can hear all viewpoints and make up their own minds.
- "I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design. [...] It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith."
In 2006, Henderson published the first book about the FSM, The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. A second, online book, published on the internet by a multitude of authors from around the world called "The Loose Cannon"( The Loose Cannon official site) is the Pastafarian version of the bible (which also parodies the bible).
Pastafarians hold very few beliefs universally, but all followers of the FSM hold that pirates are sacred, and that global warming in linked to the declining number of pirates worldwide (this parodies churches that keep making up correlations and saying they are causation, such as "less people believe in our god, so X is happening!'). Pastafarians believe that the universe was created by the FSM while drunk, resulting in the imperfections in the universe.
Most Pastafarian beliefs are seemingly parodies of intelligent design, Christianity, or other things of religious significance, or promote common sense, reason and tolerance. The holy day of the week for pastafarians is Friday. Pastafarians celebrate a loosely defined festival called "Holiday" which coincides with other mainstream religions' holidays that are around the northern hemisphere winter solstice, as well as September 19th being Talk Like A Pirate Day. Religious clothing is either dressed as a pirate or wearing a colander on the head.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is depicted as a knot of spaghetti, flanked by two meatballs, with eyes on stalks. Such a depiction is merely a guess, as the FSM is invisible to all known forms of scientific detection. The FSM is not actually made of spaghetti, but chooses to appear as such, as he really, really likes pasta.
The FSM is said to be capable of altering measurement results to make the world appear older or otherwise different from the way it really is. Thus, a scientist may carbon-date an artifact as being 10,000 years old, but:
- "[W]hat our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage."
FSM lore includes a creation myth, and a graph showing an inverse relationship between global temperature and the number of pirates in the world, which serves to illustrate the flaw in assuming that just because figures correlate they must be causally connected.
Pastafarian heaven has a stripper factory that produces whatever strippers you like, and a beer volcano that produces whatever beverage you like, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. The Pastafarian hell has two levels, the "upper" layer of it being reserved for bad people, where they do manual labour, with a redemption system, where they eat cheap pasta, with poor meat in the sauce. The "Lower" level is reserved for people such as Hitler, where people do the most manual of labour, such as sewage cleaning, again, with a fair redemption system.
The ethical system of Pastafarianism is based on the "The Eight I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts".  They outline a live-and-let-live morality based harmonious co-existence, non-judgemental conduct and the golden rule. Worship of the deity is not commanded.
- "I don't require sacrifices and purity is for drinking water, not people."
In many ways, this ethical system is superior to all other mainstream religions.
While the beliefs professed by the religion appear to be satirical, this is explicitly denied by the church.
- "It’s not a joke. Elements of our religion are sometimes described as satire and there are many members who do not literally believe our scripture, but this isn’t unusual in religion. A lot of Christians don’t believe the Bible is literally true – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t True Christians. "
It is possible that people are drawn to the religion for a diversity of reasons, such as agreement with the religion's free wheeling ethical system.
Freedom of conscience
The origin of the religion is closely associated with the so called freedom of conscience: the original open letter to the Kansas School Board highlighted the absurd implications of teaching religious ideas in science classes.
- "I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design. [...] It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. "
Various US states, including Massachusetts, driving license photos are banned from having hats or head wear except for those worn for religious reasons, because of freedom of conscience. Various people have used this exemption to wear a Pastafarian colander in their head for their driving license photo.  Since the religion is generally considered a satirical believe system, this action is probably intended to point out the absurdity of religious exemptions. Having religious beliefs privileged above secular motivations is a violation of church-state separation.
- "The basic idea is that there is as much warrant for my belief in God as is your belief (were it present) in a 'flying spaghetti monster'. [...] Describing God as a 'moral monster' or a 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' does nothing but reject characteristics that God may or may not have and use these characteristics to ridicule the idea of His existence. "
There is no single or unified motivation for discussion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. One use of the FSM is that he can be used for satire; many of his attributes are exaggerated or comedic versions of the Abrahamic God's attributes. Apart from tradition, there is not much evidence for either the FSM or Abrahamic attributes of God. However, promoting the FSM does not need to directly address the existence of God. Saying the FSM is intended to disprove the existence of an abstract God is straw man argument. The reason for this is it is enough to satirize the supposed attributes of God. Once a person realizes there is no good reason for a particular set of divine attributes, they are open to question the other things they have been taught about God. Humor is often the best argument against religion.