“Neil deGrasse Tyson: Atheist or Agnostic?” (plus additional ponderings)

As stated by Neil deGrasse Tyson himself: “Neil deGrasse Tyson, widely claimed by atheists, is actually an agnostic.”

I totally appreciate his explanation there and couldn’t agree more that it’s about remaining curious, so why limit ourselves with categories? Just explore life as you feel driven to. In the immortal words of Joseph Campbell: “Follow your bliss.”

There’s so much to explore out there and within our selves. So many layers of perspective, with the macro and micro shifting accordingly, infinitely looping or cycling in whatever way that plays out (a tesseract springs to mind):

Tesseract2

How it looks to any one of us is just as we see through our own unique individual human lenses. Movements and religions provide people with an external narrative (meaning one not formed within the individual but rather one which we can adopt, as defined by others who typically came before us). External narratives are interesting to ponder on and learn from, but I can’t see myself adopting some ready-made philosophy or religion. It’s just not my bag. And even when people do, they each still experience it through their own individual lenses, and how can it be any other way?

Been doing a good bit of thinking this past week on “collectivist” mindsets and considering the role of conformity when it comes to group-adopted narratives of whatever stripe. It seems we’re becoming conformity-driven in a new and conscious way these days, partly to satisfy modern economic demands and duopolistic political ambitions, but I also I think because people are afraid to stand on their own two feet, preferring the comfort of blending in with the rest of a herd. And I think that’s a lot of why fascism comes about, not just because rich people can and do benefit off of it, but because we humans are scared of our own individuality and the responsibilities it entails (especially in relation with acknowledging our own fallibility). People feel alienated enough by new technologies and scientific understandings that have been actively uprooting traditional thought.

Or perhaps people are pushing toward greater conformity because they crave security extended society-wide to protect and shelter their relatively comfortable domesticated lives, and they don’t realize this shortcut (this trend toward fascistic conformity), in trying to fashion a better reality through seeking to politically and legally impose their ‘idealistic’ will on the rest, comes with major pitfalls that have potentially devastating social and psychological consequences. People like to assume most of us are resilient enough to bounce back from whatever experimental conditions humans strive to put in motion because we’re still here after all this time, but I do not share others’ blind optimism there. Maybe, maybe not. Depends on whether we care to focus purely on physical existence or to take into consideration the importance of quality of life tailored to our species (as opposed to us trying to tailor ourselves to suit The Machine humans have brought into existence and allowed to dominate). What is the value of an existence many wind up loathing and wishing to escape?

It’s a very weird time to be alive, but then again, when isn’t? *shrugs*

Lots to ponder…

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