Neil DeGrasse Tyson Challenges Dawkins’s Confrontationalism

This is a great video from way back. In it Neil DeGrasse Tyson effectively gets across the point that you need to combine your mastery of the facts with sensitivity to how the others’ minds work if you are going to be persuasive to them, rather than just put them off with confrontationalism and dismissiveness. Dawkins then hilariously makes the point that he’s not as bad as one could be in this regard.

While he’s not perfect, I think Dawkins stays more within the bounds of fair game civility than is acknowledged, as I illustrated by analyzing his much misrepresented Reason Rally Speech.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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