Constantly Claimed By Atheists, Neil deGrasse Tyson Responds To That Whole Concept — Wonderfully

John Lennon once sang "This ism, that ism, ism ism ism." I wonder if Neil deGrasse Tyson occasionally hums that tune?

 

One of his main points is that once you’ve declared yourself an “ist” of some sort, all kinds of assumptions follow.


Just look at what people assume about Bernie Sanders, for example, because he calls himself a “democratic socialist.” Or what follows when you describe yourself as a lot of other "ists" — a capitalist, a theist, an idealist, an opportunist. Or an atheist. 

But I think the salient point that Tyson makes here is really perfect: “At the end of the day, I’d rather not be any category at all.”

That makes total sense.

(Full disclosure: I am an atheist, but I’m not one of the convention-going, agenda-having ones that he describes in this video. I just move through life without the need of a god.)

For more, here are some of his clips on Big Think, and his books and other things live here.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

Keep reading Show less

California wildfires death toll climbs to 50

Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.

(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
  • 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
  • On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
Keep reading Show less