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LINK Neil deGrasse Tyson: Atheist or Agnostic? | Big Think - YouTube

My sentiments exactly.

Being an apatheist frees me from this debate. It seems Neil has an inclination at least!

DangerDave 8 Sep 5

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I don't have to disprove god. People that believe in god or any omniscient being have to empirically prove to me that it exists. I had a person recently hit me with the rusty argument ( Why is our universe so precisely tailor-made for the emergence of life?) In all actuality most of our observable universe is destructive to our form of life. We are just lucky to have a short time in evolution to be a sentient life form that happened to land during a fairly stable time in our solar system.

I have no need to prove or disprove. I merely consider possibilities, the least of which are man-made religions.


I sympathize with Neil deGrasse Tyson and agree that he does not have the tremendous amount of energy needed to argue and debate the religious issue or against the religious issue. Science is plenty enough to fill up your plate. But, thank madalyn Murray O'Hair, that there are people who are willing to do so. We have few enough outspoken free thought Fighters as it is. And there ought to be a lot more. He missed defines the term atheism though. Atheism is not the negation of a god. But is the statement of the absence of a god. Not necessarily the same thing. It says there is no such thing as a god you can't negate it anyway, just the idea of it. I consider myself an anti-theist but most of the time am am basically a closeted anti-theists because being public about it can cause irreparable harm to a person's life. Especially if they have a public job or something in the government. Neil deGrasse Tyson also fits this category because he has a very public presence and his public life could be held hostage buy a specific point of view that only Garner's attack from various religious entities

I am an apatheist, antitheist in that I'll address abuses of religion as in any other institution.

As an apatheist, I transcend the argument neither side can prove. In that way, I'm pointing out injustices instead of attacking people's most closely held beliefs.


I found this video deeply offensive for the following reasons.

  1. He called atheism a movement weighed by ideological baggage...I believe atheism to be a philosophical idea. Nothing more, nothing less. No strings attached. You don't have to read the God Delusion to be an atheist. Hell, if you grow up in a secular society, atheism is going to be your default, without having to do any reading.

  2. If there is some form of organisation, this is mainly to protect basic human rights, like seperation of the Church from the state, trying to help people who are in danger for their beliefs and want to escape their countries, female mutilation etc. Prof. Tyson, speaks from the comfort of his luxurious house, enjoying the privileges of a democratic nation. Does he wonder what it feels like to live in countries that science is censored? That freethinking is censored?

  3. Ancient Greeks, believed that giving a proper name (labeling?) is the beginning of wisdom. It's so much easier and organised to say to the other person, I am an atheist, or a humanist, or an agnostic, the same way they say to you, I am a christian. Can you imagine a debate where the two sides say: I believe in lord Jesus to be a god, and that love is so important, but the label does not matter, I am not a christian, just an agnostic deist, and you? Oh, my friend, I don't believe you are right because your data is not sufficient, thus I am not going to accept your proposition. I am going to remain neutral for the time being...

I am sure there are other annoying things he said, but I stopped the video there...

He's speaking of gnostic atheists in the free world who demand others identify as atheists.

1- Call it what you will but atheism is a collection of diverse ideologies. Some atheists deny evidence of UFOs, for instance, and are just as insufferable as their theist counterparts in "preaching" their dogma....and it is dogma.

2- I can't speak of his mind but I'm sure Professor Tyson is as appalled as I am by the conditions of people in repressed countries. The subject here is the hostility he experiences from free world atheists.

3- Labeling is it important but it is highly inconsistent. He clearly speaks of gnostic atheists simply as atheists, agnostic atheists as agnostics.

In the "Learn" sections of this site we have the suggested definitions but I doubt half the members have read it.

First time I used the heart eyes emoji. Excellent response.

Also, if golfers were actively trying to subjugate women and remove their reproductive rights (among many other terrible things), 'non-golfers' probably would be an organization and movement.

@JeffMurray Thanks very much πŸ™‚


Something he said that really hit home for me is once you're seen as a member of a group, people will assign all of the supposed traits of the group to you. That hasn't really happened for me vis a vi athelsm. However I've experienced telling someone I was a Libertarian, and suddenly I'm a anarcho capatalist who worships at the altar of Ayn Rand and thinks the national parks should all be privatized and that there should be no environmental regulations which couldn't be further from the truth.

You're lucky. Try being agnostic on this site!

@DangerDave can you give an example of what you're talking about?

@OldMetalHead Review virtually any posts on agnosticism, the paranormal, philosophical' god theories',... gnostic atheists attack any ideas not consistent with their ideologies and the people presenting them.

I know those who do are the least intelligent of their kind but it is a pain on a site which by name is for agnostics.

@DangerDave Sorry about that. I know I'm guilty of calling out woo myself. If you ever catch me attacking anyone please call me out.

@OldMetalHead Consider it done. Consider just passing over agnostic posts as I do gnostic ones.


The difference is trivial when compared to the effects of the dogma which is religion. Since he has been a great spokes person for sceptical thinking, and the value of those positions and the people who hold them he has done enough to be valued whatever his exact position.


Not my concern...his intelligence attracts me.


My view aligns with his. That is the reason I chose this site.

Unity Level 7 Sep 5, 2020

Neil always takes a practical approach to things. It’s hard to argue with practical, and I think that’s the whole point.


The title of this clip assumes falsely that agnostic and atheist are exclusive of one another and at odds. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I rather like Tyson's stance on these questions. The obsession many freethinkers have of assigning all non-religious people to one or the other category is an unfortunate distraction from more important topics in freethought. Secular humanism, for example.

Still, he clearly makes the distinction of agnostic and (gnostic) atheist. Why he didn't explicitly state it is beyond me.


Maintaining that religion is a good thing as he has done indicates a dishonest position to me.
If he and every other scientist didn't depend on grant money would he still be that standoffish?
We may never know.
The point is that to be an establishment scientist dependent on politicians granting money for your research evolutionary forces tend to favor the obsequious.
I think Neil is a perfect name for this otherwise brilliant man.



There is also these.

TRWZ Level 4 Sep 5, 2020

I like to think that he is saying that he is a philosophical agnostic yet practical atheist like I also say about myself.

@gsiamne ...yea, I could understand that; to a certain degree.

@gsiamne I second that. He has said he finds the very question of atheist identity to be so distracting, if not alarming, to religious people he may try to engage in a challenge to open their minds that it becomes counterproductive to use it. The offended people simply stop hearing what he has to say. And he has said that in no way means he believes in a religion or is looking for any deity to notice him and take a personal interest. I like that perspective, though I personally embrace both atheist and agnostic labels.

I've tried to get traction on this: the secular agnostic

This is because I reserve Atheist to mean "does not believe exist" and as such would be incompatible with agnostic which to me means "I don't know if exists".

However, saying "secular" just means that you don't engage in religious practice in your day to day life. This applies equally well to atheist or agnostic and, obviously, an atheist.

Hence, the secular agnostic is one that doesn't know if god(s) do or do not exist, but lives there life without regards to any religious tenents or dogma.

@MikeInBatonRouge that's kind of how I feel about the satanic temple. Even though I agree with many of their goals, oftentimes being edgy backfires.


He looks at it scientifically and politically. He makes a lot of money on his lectures and videos. He does not want to alienate the customers. I like the guy and I think he's privately Atheist. He's smart isn't he?

I absolutely agree that he is an atheist in private.

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