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Neil deGrasse Tyson furious rant over argument for existence of God: ‘Life’s miserable!’ | Science | News

Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses God in 2017

The astrophysicist has become well-known for his blunt and often dogmatic take on science. More recently, he waded into a bizarre debate ignited by celebrity Demi Lovato after they [Lovato identifies as non-binary] claimed it was “derogatory” to call extraterrestrials “aliens”. Hearing the comments, deGrasse Tyson claimed that aliens “have no feelings”.

While he conceded that Lovato was being “considerate”, he pondered why Lovato might think extraterrestrials would be offended in the first place.

He told TMZ: “All the aliens that I’ve ever met, they have no feelings.”

He added that we do not know what “is going on in the head of species of life from another planet.”

The exchange was characteristic of deGrasse’ Tyson’s approach to science, the astrophysicist having previously taken a similar tact when discussing the existence of God.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: The scientist shut down the argument for the existence of God (Image: CBS/GETTY)

Demi Lovato: The singer claimed it was offensive to refer to extraterrestrials as 'aliens'

Demi Lovato: The singer claimed it was offensive to refer to extraterrestrials as ‘aliens’ (Image: GETTY)

In 2017, during an interview with CBS, he brutally shut down any scope for the chance of an intelligent creator.

Asked if he believed in God, he replied: “The more I look at the universe, just the less convinced I am that there is something benevolent going on.

“If your concept of a creator is someone who’s all powerful and all good — that’s not an uncommon pairing of powers that you might ascribe to you creator — I look at disasters that afflict Earth and life on Earth.

“Volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, disease, pestilence, congenital birth defects, you look at this list of ways that life is made miserable on Earth by natural causes.

“And I just ask: how do you deal with that?”

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Science: deGrasse Tyson has become known for his dogged approach to science

Science: deGrasse Tyson has become known for his dogged approach to science (Image: GETTY)

He went on to add that he had “no problem” if, on further investigation, humans encountered something that resembled a god.

However, he continued: “But, there’s just no evidence of it.

“And this is why religions are called faiths collectively, because you believe something in the absence of evidence — that’s what it is!

“That’s why it’s called faith, otherwise we’d call all religions evidence.

“But we don’t for exactly that reason.

“Given what everyone describes to be the properties that would be expressed by an all-powerful being in the gods that they worship, I look for that in the universe and I don’t find it.

“So I remain unconvinced.”

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[ANALYSIS] 

God: He said all the miserable events on Earth question the presence of an all powerful and good God

God: He said all the miserable events on Earth question the presence of an all powerful and good God (Image: Youtube/CBS)

Pope Francis: Religious leaders claim God's presence is visible in everyday life

Pope Francis: Religious leaders claim God’s presence is visible in everyday life (Image: GETTY)

However, deGrasse Tyson previously admitted that he does not describe himself as an atheist.

This is because the very definition of atheist, he claimed, does not apply to him.

Speaking during his appearance on the ‘PowerfulJRE’ podcast in 2018, he said: “Arguing and debating the meaning of things, for me, it’s however people are using the word that’s the meaning.

“It’s why I don’t call myself an atheist.

“You can look up the dictionary definition of atheist and it kind of applies to me but what is the definition of atheist in practice?

“It is what leading atheists do and it’s their conduct and behaviour, it’s what they say, it’s their attitude — that is what an atheist is today because they’re the most visible examples of that word.

“Most of their conduct I either don’t agree with or don’t engage in.

Fermi Paradox: It is an attempt to answer the question of where aliens might be

Fermi Paradox: It is an attempt to answer the question of where aliens might be (Image: Express Newspapers)

“I don’t debate religious people and tell them they’re idiots; it’s not in me to do that, and I don’t purge myself of words that have religious foundations in them.”

A year later, returning to the theme of natural disasters in an interview with Penguin Books, he questioned the assertion by many that “fascinating phenomenons” really pointed towards the existence of a god.

He said: “I don’t know if God exists, deeply religious people are certain he exists – he, or it – but there are ardent atheists who are sure God does not exist too.

“My posture is, particularly in the monotheistic traditions, that God is typically described as being all-knowing, all-powerful and all good.

Cosmos: deGrasse Tyson is perhaps best-known for his role presenting the documentary, Cosmos

Cosmos: deGrasse Tyson is perhaps best-known for his role presenting the documentary, Cosmos (Image: GETTY)

“Yet, I look back through history and, in particular, the earthquake in Lisbon, in 1755, 80,000 people died.

“That earthquake took place on All Saints Day, in the morning, when most people in Lisbon – the holiest city in Europe – were in church.

“Churches were the largest structures of the day, if you have an earthquake what’s the first building to collapse?

“The ones that are the largest, most susceptible, so people died in churches.”

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