Neil deGrasse Tyson: Atheist Or Agnostic?

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • callistacat

    He makes some really excellent points.

  • MichaelD

    I still find his aversion to labels funny cause scientists love their labels :P . Labels brings clarity to and are a good starting point for a lot of discussions. I still absolutely disagree with much of what he says. Though I don’t really care what he wants to call himself or where he wants to spend his energy.

    And on the non golf players thing. The second we have people being imprisoned, fired from jobs, discriminated against and disowned by their families I will claim the label of agolfist. Its just such a completely asinine comparison it irks me every time I hear someone make it. Are they doing to argue against 100, 200 years ago would they be arguing against the label of abolitionism? Urg I guess its just a big pet peeve of mine.

    • Ahzzmandius

      agolfist sounds too close to adolphist. ;) So I don’t think I’ll go for that one.

  • http://goodreasonblog.blogspot.com.au GoodReason

    The Entirely Understandable Evasion of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    http://goodreasonblog.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/entirely-understandable-evasion-of-neil.html

  • http://overthinkingmusic.wordpress.com Jennifer, Uppity Bitch and General Malcontent

    I love Tyson, but he also has a weird aversion to politics despite the fact that there is one party that consistently positions itself against reason (the other just does so some of the time). I listened to an episode of Startalk where Janeane Garofalo cohosted and took him to task for his non-reality-based “politics,” and it was pretty good.

    He’s still one of my favorite people.

  • joshuaekin

    FreeThoughtBlogger Cristina Rad made a video response to this video, because it is stupid:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHE0N95kh9s&feature=share&list=UUupX3k88Z1cRYCDuCPrmxlg

    Tyson completely misrepresented an entire movement here, and he shouldn’t be speaking of things he doesn’t understand to the public face.

    Matt Dillahunty also called him an ‘IDIOT!’ in one of the last few episodes of The Atheist Experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/coreyalanrobey coreyrobey

    Okay, so the guy isn’t up on philology or linguistics. He’s dead wrong as a matter of fact. I mean, an atheist is simply someone who doesn’t subscribe to theism, someone who doesn’t believe. Someone who doesn’t know also doesn’t believe. lol. But I still love him…

  • Michael

    He is playing his cards and playing them well I would say, he is remaking Cosmos and its airing on Fox.

    If he feels the label atheist would hinder some people from watching or absorbing or dull their enthusiasm then he has done the right thing, more power to him!!!

  • John44

    The problem I have with Tyson isn’t that he wanted to avoid the question- but that he perpetuated myths. He has every right to refuse to come out if he doesn’t want to. What can’t be excused is misusing terms for his own personal convenience or taking a position on a matter without any idea what the terms your using mean- and then not apologizing for them. He’s now made a “BIGTHINK” video that perpetuates this problem and actively makes it worse.

    He should apologize and retract his position- whether he wants to come out as the atheist he plainly is, is his call.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1434900034 Marty Sullivan

    He seems perfectly aware of what the terms mean. He just uses them differently than some self-described atheists do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1434900034 Marty Sullivan

    It sounds like you’re the one who needs to brush up on their “philosophy or linguistics”

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/


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