Response to Meme Quoting Neil deGrasse Tyson

“I dream of a world where the truth is what shapes people’s politics, rather than politics shaping what people think is true”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson

I dream of the same world. I think the difference between Tyson and I would be that we both disagree with what truth is. Not that either of us necessarily resort to letting our biases and politics get in the way. However, I would argue that it is just as difficult for him as i to abandon personal preference and political leaning when trying to evaluate what is true. We tend to see the world through the lens of what we believe is true. We (even subconsciously) tend to look for data things that confirm what we believe while ignoring things that do not fit into our view of reality. This is a natural and innocent mechanism for most people.

What we would hope to expect of people is that they let their worldview, philosophy on life, and politics emanate from what they believe to be objectively true at basic levels. This might not be true, but I cant help but think that he is building a straw man argument against those who hold religious and conservative beliefs. He might be saying that conservatives believe what we do because we are religious or conservative and not because we actually believe it is true. He is, after all, a very well known and outspoken metaphysical naturalist and atheist. A philosophy that a priori leaves no room for god or anything supernatural as a possibility.

He concludes what he does because he believes it’s true but i hope that he is not drawing a caricature of everyone who disagrees with him as irrational or dogmatically stubborn in our beliefs any more than he is. This would be an uncharitable position to take. Then again, i might be reading into it too much. smile emoticon good thought provoking post.


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