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Comment count is 8
Riskbreaker - 2009-07-14

The world needs more like him.

fluffy - 2009-07-14

There are quite a few skeptics who try to carry the torch, but unfortunately they are generally pretty abrasive. I think the one who comes closest to a true successor is Phil Plait.

dueserpenti - 2009-07-14

There's no one like Carl Sagan. Sagan wanted to show people how much more beautiful the real universe was than the childish fake one superstitious people live in. He wanted to make people think better and live better, to make the world a better place. None of the modern atheist evangelists can claim such motives. I honestly think that at this point, they've stopped trying to change people's minds, have forgotten that the people they're arguing with can even be taught to think better. They preach to the choir and sneer at the rabble. They're scientific Calvinists.

keinsignal - 2009-07-14

dueserpenti, you're talking like somebody who's never read the books he's talking about. You can't tell me the guy who wrote "The Ancestor's Tale" or "The Blind Watchmaker" isn't trying to get people excited about science. Or that Chris Hitchens isn't genuinely interested in getting people to think differently about religion.

I think you're confusing "sneering at the rabble" with a completely justifiable disrespect for the hucksters who use superstition to fleece and control the credulous.

And seriously, scientific Calvinism? My ass.

dueserpenti - 2009-07-14

Christopher Hitchens is trying to get his bar tab paid, and has never, ever been interested in anything else. His "religion is stupid" shtick is just part of his general policy of trying to outrage as many people as possible in order to keep himself famous and marketable. As for Dawkins, when was the last time he said a word to anyone about science? He had a brilliant career as a biologist, but he's a professional atheist now, and that's a useless thing to be.

As to your second part, the hell I am. Both sides have been heaping contempt on the ones they perceive as the enemy with no attempt whatsoever to argue in good faith. The best, the very best they'll do is to write their opposition off as ineducable idiots. Both sides have declared that the other is beyond saving. That's how it seems to me, anyway. I, at least, am willing to admit I might be wrong.

Riskbreaker - 2009-07-14

What i liked about Sagan is that he didn't had the "religion sucks/i know more than you!" attitude that many have today. It's ok to put all the myth and superstition back where they belong, but you're not going to win any fans that way.

fluffy - 2009-07-15

Again, Phil Plait comes agonizingly close, but he ruins it when he specifically points out his mission by saying things like "it is no wonder people see Jesus' face everywhere" or "science is so much cooler than religion."

fluffy - 2009-07-15

Oh, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson comes close too, but he has trouble actually getting his message out: http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=31765

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