Neil deGrasse Tyson: Sir, you have failed me.
I was so disappointed to hear this argument by Neil deGrasse Tyson, that I’m almost sorry I am posting it, but I need to talk about this. Please, watch the video — it’s less than four minutes long.
[Agnosticism] and [atheism] are not the same thing, and I’ll tell you why. Atheists I know who proudly wear the badge are active atheists, they’re like in-your-face atheists, and they want to change policies and they’re having debates…
Yes, sir. Agnosticism and Atheism are not the same thing, but the reason you are giving in your speech is painfully inaccurate, you have explained it, not only subjectively, but also very poorly.
The only accurate explanation is that Agnosticism refers to knowledge, and Atheism refers to beliefs. That’s it. An Agnostic does not know, because he or she can’t prove a god exists, everyone is an agnostic in that respect. An Atheist doesn’t believe a god exists because there is no evidence to back this claim. I am _certain_ you know this.
“Agnostic” separates me from the conduct of atheists, whether or not there is strong overlap between the categories.
No, sir, it doesn’t. “Agnostic” only describes your lack of knowledge about the god-question. Just so you know, some agnostics are activists, too.
The really disgraceful thing about all this, sir, is that you sound like you are buying into the idea that atheism is a synonym for activism, and spreading this misconception.
For the record, I like this approach of yours much better:
We have the same goals, sir. Seems to me you’re shooting yourself in the foot.