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Desperado
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:18 AM)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzSMC5rWvos#!

I have to say I'm a bit saddened by his characterization of people who identify as "atheist."
ElectricBlue187
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:20 AM)
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he's absolutely right
Eggman
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:20 AM)
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Yeah atheists must care immensely.
Always-honest
always-end-with-a-swirl
(04-30-2012, 12:20 AM)
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i hate the word atheist.

edit: he's right imo.
Last edited by Always-honest; 04-30-2012 at 12:23 AM.
Kalnos
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:22 AM)
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I love lamp
Salvor.Hardin
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:23 AM)
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Aren't his views on atheists exactly the same type of demagoguery he claims people are prone to use when confronted by a label? You'd think, since he acknowledges it to be a wrong thing to do, he himself would not do it.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 12:24 AM)
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So he's not an atheist because he doesn't want to be associated with 'active' atheists? That's all I get from the video. For all intents and purposes, he's an atheist - but I can respect his desire to not be labelled as one (or as anything).

Originally Posted by Salvor.Hardin

Aren't his views on atheists exactly the same type of demagoguery he claims people are prone to use when confronted by a label? You'd think, since he acknowledges it to be a wrong thing to do, he himself would not do it.

This was going to be my first reply :p but the only time he really adds an attribute to 'atheists' is when he mentions that the atheists HE knows are a particular way, not really encompassing the entire group. That being said, he sort of self-dodged the 'aren't atheists and agnostic the same thing/overlapping?' - all he said in response was "No they're not, and that's because I know some annoying atheists and I am not like that".
SoulPlaya
more money than God
(04-30-2012, 12:24 AM)
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I really don't get what is the obsession GAF has with this guy.
cutmeamango
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:24 AM)
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But he is using the word wrong! OH MY GOD! There is no agnosticism, fence sitter. Everyone is an atheist because atheism is the starting point! Who's Huxley?! NO NO WRONG.
Nappuccino
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:25 AM)
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He's not an atheist because he doesn't want to be put in any category. You're all kinda missing the point.
elrechazado
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:25 AM)
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Originally Posted by SoulPlaya

I really don't get what is the obsession GAF has with this guy.

It's the internet generally. I don't get it either. He's not very interesting.
Mumei
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man […] but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him"
(04-30-2012, 12:25 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

So he's not an atheist because he doesn't want to be associated with 'active' atheists? That's all I get from the video. For all intents and purposes, he's an atheist - but I can respect his desire to not be labelled as one (or as anything).

I think so.

He's right that not all agnostics are atheists, but the particular agnostic in the video sure sounds like one to me.
Scullibundo
MEMBER
(04-30-2012, 12:26 AM)
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Originally Posted by Salvor.Hardin

Aren't his views on atheists exactly the same type of demagoguery he claims people are prone to use when confronted by a label? You'd think, since he acknowledges it to be a wrong thing to do, he himself would not do it.

I think that is why he specified 'Atheists I know.'
Always-honest
always-end-with-a-swirl
(04-30-2012, 12:26 AM)
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Originally Posted by SoulPlaya

I really don't get what is the obsession GAF has with this guy.

Since when is that?
Sickboy007
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:27 AM)
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I don't like it when agnosticism is reduced to "eh, whatevs".
Dany M
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:28 AM)
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I like that people are learning about him. He is an awesome scientist.
OpinionatedCyborg
Thread Clinging Troll
(04-30-2012, 12:28 AM)
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just go away
HappyBivouac
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:28 AM)
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He's absolutely right. Good guy.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 12:28 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mumei

I think so.

He's right that not all agnostics are atheists, but the particular agnostic in the video sure sounds like one to me.

What's interesting to me is that he goes on to say a lot of the things I say about Atheism (at it's core definition, Atheism is really not a 'thing', it only exists because the alternative is popular) - but at the same time he still seems to have misgivings about having the title placed on him, not because it isn't accurate - but because it comes with baggage.

I guess the sort of baggage 'Agnosticism' comes with is okay with him

The baggage of people constantly telling him he's actually an agnostic atheist :p
Alfarif
This picture? uhh I can explain really!
(04-30-2012, 12:29 AM)
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He said exactly what I've been telling people who want to debate me about religion or politics or ask me my stance on shit all the time. I don't have the time or energy to debate with you, I'm too busy actually living and trying to be a good human being.

And to people saying atheist and agnostic are the same thing, they aren't. An atheist actively believes that there is no higher power in any shape, way, or form, while an agnostic won't assign a yes or a no to it nor a name to it because we understand that, at least right this second, we have no way of knowing whether there is or isn't.
Gaborn
Gaborn News:
Penetrating Your World™
(04-30-2012, 12:29 AM)
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I very strongly agree with him. I'm an agnostic leaning atheist. I don't see any evidence for "god" I don't expect to see evidence for "god" but I'm open to the possibility. And frankly I just don't see the point in arguing over religion since the "truth" or non-truth in any religion is incapable of being proven except in a global event of such magnitude that there COULD be no non-believers in which case it would make as much sense to characterize yourself as a member of a religious faction as it would be to identify yourself as a human. And then, if there IS no god it shouldn't matter in the majority of public life.

The only time I really care to argue about religion in a meaningful way is when someone wants to use their religion as a basis for public policy, for example the desire of creationists to use their belief (typically disguised as "intelligent design") in the science classroom. Whether there is or is not a god it would be wholly inappropriate to use the ASSUMPTION that god exists as the basis for education from a scientific perspective when in every other aspect of science we would demand an evidence based approach for claims. Science only works it is practiced through the narrow lens of the testable world.

But, aside from issues like that I just don't care enough to get all emotional like some GAFers do about the "wrongness" of belief or non-belief.
ElectricBlue187
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:30 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

That being said, he sort of self-dodged the 'aren't atheists and agnostic the same thing/overlapping?' - all he said in response was "No they're not, and that's because I know some annoying atheists and I am not like that".

I think he refers to the active movement to "convert" people to atheism while his beliefs are more "i'm doing my thing, you do yours" he has no particular reason to prosthelytize any particular -ism or belong to a particular group
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 12:30 AM)
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Originally Posted by Alfarif

He said exactly what I've been telling people who want to debate me about religion or politics or ask me my stance on shit all the time. I don't have the time or energy to debate with you, I'm too busy actually living and trying to be a good human being.

And to people saying atheist and agnostic are the same thing, they aren't. An atheist actively believes that there is no higher power in any shape, way, or form, while an agnostic won't assign a yes or a no to it nor a name to it because we understand that, at least right this second, we have no way of knowing whether there is or isn't.

Incorrect, an Atheist does not believe in a God. They do not ACTIVELY believe that there is no gods unless they are Gnostic Atheists.
Leshita
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:30 AM)
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Yep, this is the reason I do not call my 'atheist', in fact, I think most atheists are full of themselves (much like how Neil thinks). I have always stood by being agnostic because anything else is just hubris. We barely know anything about the universe.
cutmeamango
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:30 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

Incorrect, an Atheist does not believe in a God. They do not ACTIVELY believe that there is no gods unless they are Gnostic Atheists.

Stop. Please stop.
Sophia
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:31 AM)
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Ever since seeing his presentation on "Stupid Design", I've always been fond of him and his views. He's a good public speaker and he knows how to explain things in layman terms, and that helps a lot when trying to follow the conversation.

Although he seems to swing back and fourth between Deism, Atheism, and Agnosticism. Ah well.
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(04-30-2012, 12:31 AM)
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In terms of sophistry: using the correct language in order to best bring about a favorable reception to one's ideas, he is correct. I don't identify as atheist anywhere but GAF, because it helps my ideas to gain traction with others (even if those ideas are, honestly speaking, atheistic).

In terms of definitions: by the meaning of the word atheist, he is an atheist. To lack an affirmative god belief is to be atheist. If you can't honestly say a statement like "yes, I believe there is a god", you are an atheist. You are "a" "theist"... lacking the position of theism. If you "don't know", you similarly lack theism.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 12:32 AM)
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Originally Posted by cutmeamango

Stop. Please stop.

I am always willing to go toe to toe on this with you, as long as you don't reduce it to math.

Where am I wrong?
Kai Dracon
Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
(04-30-2012, 12:32 AM)
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I generally agree with him, tho the most critical part of his statement here is the beginning when he observes that "ists" and "isms" actually act as a barrier to communication by causing the other party to assume they know everything about you. That's the trouble with labels. Even the most well intentioned and theoretically useful label is a double edged sword.

As for, is he being a hypocrite in describing "atheists", I get the sense that his disquiet with an "atheist movement" is based not in specific attributes assigned to atheists, but how people using that self-chosen label have often behaved. Western culture is kind of in the midst of a sniping session between theists and more outspoken atheists. Some atheists come on as the "hard" variety and are big on asserting actual disproof of god, etc. Other atheists focus on criticizing other belief systems. A lot of eager young Science Fanboys leap at the atheist movement to install it as a core part of their identity and even something to fight for. These young crusaders can be complete jackasses (and frequently are).
Agnostic
but believes in Chael
(04-30-2012, 12:32 AM)
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Great minds think alike.
SoulPlaya
more money than God
(04-30-2012, 12:33 AM)
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At least, I hope his religious views (or lack thereof) isn't why the Internet seems to love him. From this video, it doesn't seem like the guy cares about the subject (for or against it).
Spiffy_1st
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:33 AM)
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Yeah, that sounds like an issue in only religious countries. No one in England is going to judge you for being an atheist...
Sophia
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:34 AM)
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Originally Posted by SoulPlaya

At least, I hope his religious views (or lack thereof) isn't why the Internet seems to love him. From this video, it doesn't seem like the guy cares about the subject (for or against it).

Nah. He just happens to be a really really fantastic public speaker.
Salvor.Hardin
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:35 AM)
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Originally Posted by Scullibundo

I think that is why he specified 'Atheists I know.'

He does say that, but only right after he says "No they're (atheism and agnosticism) are not the same thing, and I'll tell you why."

I think he was just kind of caught up with his answer, and didn't realize what he was saying but it comes off as "All the atheists I know are activists, therefore someone who is agnostic cannot be atheist". Which is a baffling answer when there are in actuality very distinct definitions for both.

But more importantly, he uses his friends' activist atheism to build a point after he clearly points out that using an -ism, especially one which is as meaningless as the lack of belief in something, to box people for the benefit of their own pre-conceived notions is a rather unintelligent thing to do.
Mgoblue201
Won't stop picking the right nation
(04-30-2012, 12:35 AM)
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Maybe atheists try to "claim" Tyson because, beyond the caprice of mere labels, their views are very much in accordance? I mean, I don't go around calling myself a "new atheist", or even just a regular atheist, but my views are similar to those of Hitchens, etc, at least in their general outlines, with some disagreements on the specifics. Of course, I don't really care that Tyson isn't "vocal" or "confrontational" about his beliefs on god; I appreciate him for his ability to communicate his love and knowledge of science.
Last edited by Mgoblue201; 04-30-2012 at 12:39 AM.
Lionel Mandrake
(04-30-2012, 12:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by SoulPlaya

I really don't get what is the obsession GAF has with this guy.

Originally Posted by elrechazao

It's the internet generally. I don't get it either. He's not very interesting.

It's because he's a passionate, charismatic guy with a great understanding and interest in a subject, and he has the capacity to share his knowledge in a way that is both easy to digest, and often entertaining.

It's the same reason people still talk about how much they enjoy Carl Sagan. It's actually not much different than how someone would appreciate shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy, Beakman's World, or Mythbusters.

I've only become familiar with him a couple of months ago, but I have to admit that I really started to like him.

Originally Posted by SoulPlaya

At least, I hope his religious views (or lack thereof) isn't why the Internet seems to love him. From this video, it doesn't seem like the guy cares about the subject (for or against it).

It's a side effect. Here's this really likeable, knowledgeable guy who has been sometimes placed at odds with religion, due to some extreme creationists taking offense or disagreeing with some things he's said. People just sort of made him this beacon for atheism, which apparently he doesn't want to be.
Last edited by Lionel Mandrake; 04-30-2012 at 12:38 AM.
Gaborn
Gaborn News:
Penetrating Your World™
(04-30-2012, 12:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

I am always willing to go toe to toe on this with you, as long as you don't reduce it to math.

Where am I wrong?

I think people become too invested in labels. It's like people that have a desire to label sexuality or gender in a binary (or even trinary) way. People identify in ways that are not always commensurate with the precise meaning of language and they do so in a way that is often commonly understood even though it is not technically correct. That is, it is "correct" in the sense of common usage, it is just not correct in the literal meaning of words. It's like someone saying "But I don't fear gays, so I'm not a homophobe!" (Using that example because of course you absolutely are NOT that) Simply allow people to label themselves and stop trying to box people into a particular niche.
SoulPlaya
more money than God
(04-30-2012, 12:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by Spiffy_1st

Yeah, that sounds like an issue in only religious countries. No one in England is going to judge you for being an atheist...

It seems like part of Tyson's point is that Atheists tend to do a lot of judging themselves.
SoulPlaya
more money than God
(04-30-2012, 12:37 AM)
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Originally Posted by Lionel Mandrake

It's because he's a passionate, charismatic guy with a great understanding and interest in a subject, and he has the capacity to share his knowledge in a way that is both easy to digest, and often entertaining.

It's the same reason people still talk about how much they enjoy Carl Sagan. It's actually not much different than how someone would appreciate shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy, Beakman's World, or Mythbusters.

I've only become familiar with him a couple of months ago, but I have to admit that I really started to like him.

I read a lot of popular Physics books. So, to me, he's nothing special, honestly.
Kud Dukan
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:37 AM)
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Originally Posted by elrechazao

It's the internet generally. I don't get it either. He's not very interesting.

Never heard anyone say he is not interesting before. That's a new one.
Mumei
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man […] but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him"
(04-30-2012, 12:38 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

What's interesting to me is that he goes on to say a lot of the things I say about Atheism (at it's core definition, Atheism is really not a 'thing', it only exists because the alternative is popular) - but at the same time he still seems to have misgivings about having the title placed on him, not because it isn't accurate - but because it comes with baggage.

I guess the sort of baggage 'Agnosticism' comes with is okay with him

The baggage of people constantly telling him he's actually an agnostic atheist :p

I agree.

I mean, I never really get people who refuse to identify as something because of the baggage. If you fit the criteria, people are going to think that you're a part of that category. And this is something you see sometimes with queer people who refuse to call themselves just "gay" or "bisexual" or whatever; they call themselves queer or questioning or some other label besides that. And they'll say, "Well I don't want to limit myself by giving myself a label."

... But if they are specific about what sort of people they are attracted and have dated or had relations with, you can place them in an existing category. I feel like it's sort of the same thing here, where he doesn't want to identify personally, but I'm willing to bet if he were specific about his views on what he believes about the existence of God / gods, we'd be able to categorize him.
Raistlin
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:39 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

That being said, he sort of self-dodged the 'aren't atheists and agnostic the same thing/overlapping?' - all he said in response was "No they're not, and that's because I know some annoying atheists and I am not like that".

If you listen to the beginning though, he describes how he feels about god ... and it does show the difference.
Gentleman Jack
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:39 AM)
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One would imagine anybody who understood the implications of the scientific method would be agnostic.
cutmeamango
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:39 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

I am always willing to go toe to toe on this with you, as long as you don't reduce it to math.

Where am I wrong?

There is no incorrect.

The word atheism was coined to define those who had rejected a god, its accepted meaning in philosophy (which many authors are basis and exemples for the modern atheists) is the active rejection of the idea of a god, and that is pretty much why agnostic term was coined. There is a separation between agnosticism and atheism as there is a separation between atheism and ignorance on the subject.
But if you feel that this new definition is better, feel free to use it, but to say the normative philosophical use (and initial definition) as wrong or incorrect, is ignorant.
Lionel Mandrake
(04-30-2012, 12:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by SoulPlaya

I read a lot of popular Physics books. So, to me, he's nothing special, honestly.

See, I don't. I find reading about science kind of daunting. I'm an average guy, who is interested in science, but is not passionate for it. My stance is probably much more common than yours is. So, for me and others like me, Tyson's great.
greycolumbus
The success of others absolutely infuriates me.
(04-30-2012, 12:40 AM)
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I really don't care about Tyson's religious views since it has little to do with what he's done and what he's known for. It seems like this is at the center of his argument.
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(04-30-2012, 12:40 AM)
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BTW, I knew this about Tyson as far back as 2005, when I watched a "Belief" conference where he rebuked Dawkins for his tactic of sharply calling a spade a spade. He was clearly more interested in a form of public discourse which had the potential to ingratiate his ideas to believers.

That's a fine position in some respects, but I think it would only make sense as an astrophysicist talking about stars and black holes and shit. It's a less tenable stance if you are actually debating the concept of gods, or man/earths/the universe's ultimate origin. Less room to be "careful" there, I think. If you're directly arguing a no-god origin, there's only so much nicey nice you can attach to it. You can be very polite, but ultimately you are arguing a concept which may step on the toes of many popular beliefs.
mannerbot
Member
(04-30-2012, 12:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

Incorrect, an Atheist does not believe in a God. They do not ACTIVELY believe that there is no gods unless they are Gnostic Atheists.

Atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of deities in general, not lack of belief in a specific god (no religious preference?). As such, an atheist may acknowledge that it is impossible to be absolutely certain that there is no god, but thinks it very improbable and lives on the assumption that there is not one.
SirChained
Banned
(04-30-2012, 12:42 AM)
So in other words he is an atheist but doesn't want to be called an atheist out of fear of being stereotyped. Cool.
Mumei
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man […] but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him"
(04-30-2012, 12:42 AM)
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Originally Posted by BocoDragon

BTW, I knew this about Tyson as far back as 2005, when I watched a "Belief" conference where he rebuked Dawkins for his tactic of sharply calling a spade a spade.

It's a very funny exchange, too.

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