Neil deGrasse Tyson gets bitchslapped

If you haven’t watched Neil’s disappointing and rather insulting Big Think video, I recommend you do; it’ll demonstrate what I feel is his intellectual cowardliness in regard to the fundamental issue of his belief. While he’s being vetted as Carl Sagan’s spiritual successor, Neil lacks this man’s intellectual courage, particularly when it comes to fighting the evils of irrational thinking. Carl was never ashamed of his lack of faith, and did not shy away from the label. Let’s not forget the very word ‘atheist’ is a statement about the lack of a belief. We are all atheists in some form or another; these labels are conferred to us because of our reticence to accept bad ideas. That a movement exists at all is a testament to the fact non-believers are still viewed with contempt and mistrust. Being an out-group trying to survive in a sectarian world has indeed forced us to create a makeshift community, and while I’m not always happy with the way some of us behave, to condemn us all under the same banner smacks of plain ignorance.

So here’s some guy taking Neil to task for being too much of a pussy to be honest about his belief. Good. I can’t stand when people still placate the ignorance of superstitious belief while simultaneously decrying the lack of critical thinking in the world. Get some fucking balls, dude.

Comments (25)

  • avatar

    Jeffrey

    Seriously. How dare this astrophysicist not tow the atheist line! *eye roll*

  • avatar

    Max

    Wow, labeling Tyson with such passion… Don’t go crazy! If he’s mainly agnostic, he knows better than you. Here’s a little help for you:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism

  • avatar

    Richard

    I wasn’t insulted… He just wants to avoid the baggage, of which, let’s be honest, there is a lot. Obviously he is an atheist, by virtue of the fact that he doesn’t believe in god, whether the labels himself as such or not, but even so I give him a pass. If he doesn’t want to identify himself as such, then that’s his decision. If he’s not interested in the the atheist scene then that’s fine, he doesn’t have to be. I’m not gonna chide the man.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    I’m tired of gutless excuses not to be “associated” with atheism. If he wants Carl Sagan’s mantle, then I think we deserve someone who doesn’t shy away from unbelief. We keep giving him love and he just ignores the fuck out of us. Seriously tired of this kind of weaksauce opinion. I don’t want us to suck his dick if he’s going to pretend we don’t exist.

  • avatar

    Lightnin' Lives

    I have my own take on that NDT video:
    http://theunconverted.com/an-open-letter-to-neil-degrasse-tyson/

    I definitely haven’t lost any respect for him, just as the fact that Carl Sagan never openly admitted to being an atheist doesn’t make me lose respect in him.

    The fact of the matter is that if we all get our way, the words theism and atheism will have little meaning in mainstream society. What really counts is skepticism. Atheism is just a byproduct of that fundamental critical thinking skill.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    I still like him, but I miss Hitchens, a man who wasn’t afraid to fight.

  • avatar

    Lightnin' Lives

    Yeah, but Hitchens was a professional debater. He argued for a living. deGrasse Tyson’s main role is to spread the idea of skepticism and the corresponding scientific method of inquiry into the physical nature of reality (to children no less).

    You don’t need to conflict and confrontation in order to do that.

    If you read my open letter, I’m sure you realize that I do hold out hope that he’ll accept what he is (an atheist). I just don’t think he needs to embrace fighting.

  • avatar

    Nathan Hahn

    Tyson has the responsibility tasked with promoting science to the public sector/science illiterate. He has to be a non-threatening personality with little to no confrontation. It sucks that this this great mind has to be politician-esque. But I believe that taking a dive in the atheism sector for the sake of promoting science is a worthy sacrifice… He cares more about science than atheism, so let him do what he needs to do.

  • avatar

    SlightlyOdajini

    I can´t believe so much people is pissed at Neil DeGrasse Tyson just because he has his own stance on the “atheism” label issue. Free thinkers my ass. Why in the world should he act and think the way YOU would like him to? This is super retarded.

  • avatar

    Human_Nature

    Despite his criticism of religion, Sagan denied that he was an atheist and said that he hated the term saying:
    “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”

    In reply to a question in 1996 about his religious beliefs, Sagan answered, “I’m agnostic.” Sagan’s views on religion have been interpreted as a form of pantheism comparable to Einstein’s belief in Spinoza’s God

  • avatar

    Jason Crichton

    It’s a chicken shit stance to take. What a gutless set of answers.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    actually, if you watch this video, you’ll hear from James Randi that Sagan actually had to hide his lack of belief. Don’t just rely on the anemic Wiki article as your source, my man.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hqkxo9gXzA

  • avatar

    Rasmus

    Granted I don’t know a lot about Carl Sagan’s beliefs, but it seems to me that what Neil’s saying in this video is exactly what Sagan would’ve said. Didn’t Sagan call himself agnostic (and perhaps even a pantheist in the spinoza kind of way)?
    “An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God.” – Carl Sagan (I don’t think that’s an accurate description of atheism at all, but as far as I can tell, Sagan seemed to think so).

  • avatar

    Rasmus

    Sorry, should’ve read the comments a bit closer, Human_Nature had already pointed that out… oh well. I’ll have a look at the James Randi video now.

  • avatar

    Goldust

    “Despite his criticism of religion, Sagan denied that he was an atheist and said that he hated the term saying:
    “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”

    If Sagan actually ever said that then he apparently didn’t understand what the word atheist actually means. Despite what a lot of people apparently seem to think, atheism is not the absolute assertion that there is no god, rather it is the lack of a belief in a god or gods because the claims of their existence has not yet met the burden of proof.

    It’s the difference between saying “I absolutely know for a fact that there is no such thing as bigfoot.” and saying “I don’t believe in the existence of bigfoot (because of a lack of convincing evidence).”

  • avatar

    Michael

    I’d say it’s atheists that got bitch-slapped. As they well deserved.

  • avatar

    Vladimir

    Listen… I’m not believer, and I had a lot of religious nonsense complicating my life.

    But I do not think that “in your face” atheism or any other “-ism” works. I can be very angry at times, and I have a tendency to use horrible words to describe some people and their beliefs, but not in a way that will compromise me. I’ve called people names in their face with proper arguments, mind you.

    But I do not shoot myself in the foot while doing that. Keep in mind that we are all individuals because we think for ourselves. While I enjoy your show tremendously (btw. make it so that you have other ways of accepting payments except paypal, they don’t like my country), there are a number of issues I might not agree with. That is not reason for me to go primal and do an argumentum ad hominem on your ass.

  • avatar

    Veronica

    You are AWESOME AND ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

  • avatar

    James

    You guys just don’t get it, do you? You can’t use science to prove/disprove unscientific things. Science is limited in what can be discussed.

    If it’s not scientific, all you can do is be agnostic towards it. It’s not known, and is not knowable. This is philosophy of science 101. NDT is being a GOOD scientist by claiming that something beyond science is precisely that: not science.

    Anyone who makes the epistemological leap of faith from lack of evidence to proof of non-existence (particularly in a scientific framework) is just deluding themselves.

    It’s called scientism, and it’s a great discredit to science.

  • avatar

    Lance

    In reply to a question in 1996 about his religious beliefs, Sagan answered, “I’m agnostic”.[49] Sagan’s views on religion have been interpreted as a form of pantheism comparable to Einstein’s belief in Spinoza’s God.[50] Sagan maintained that the idea of a creator of the universe was difficult to prove or disprove and that the only conceivable scientific discovery that could challenge it would be an infinitely old universe.[51]

    …so..he is like Sagan

  • avatar

    Danielle Crawford

    Some people just don’t think that much about god, or religion. He isn’t raising his children to be religious, but he doesn’t seem to spend much time thinking about it, except when people call him an atheist, and he corrects them. If he says he’s agnostic, then he is. He probably just doesn’t want the religious drama to follow him, and just wants us all to learn about science, and specifically space, an idea which I support even if he was Catholic.

  • avatar

    Donovan

    Well…
    The problem is that we atheist think (me) that i dont need to speculate something to belive in something. We are rational peoples some speculate in metaphysics other in physics and the problem is not beleving the problem is afirming something thats has lacks of posibilitie thats why god is just an lack of posibilitie cause its has lack of evidence there for i dont need to acept or believe in something thats is only speculate.

  • avatar

    Kent Cooley

    decencydecencydecencyall you white dick suckers that have a problem with fucking yoself then fuck a different atheist. creation caused us to exist, whatever creation is do you folks have any appreciation or gratitude for some of life’s experiences or do you all think that you as people of similar thinking think u did it all yoselves? and to the dumb bitch that asked would my god or that which allowed our creatio would be offendd by me or anything i do makes u a double moron!!!! im not a stupid ass religious zealot bitch, go kill yoself you dumb ass distaction from understanding!!!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to top