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Who is your favorite intellectual?

Examples: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Robert Sapolski, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Dan Dennet, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Lawrence Krauss, etc.

GaleTRogersJr 4 Dec 5

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george carlin


Carl Sagan.


Considering contemporaries, I'd have to go with Tyson, Krauss, Thorne (not in the public eye), Harris (with some reservation), Chomsky (off and on), and, believe it or don't, Stephen Colbert. There are many others who give me cause to pause.

I agree with you on Colbert.


Neil DeGrasse ,Richard Dawkins,George Carlin


It might almost be cliche but I am a diehard Sam Harris fan. I love his well put together extemporizing as if he's reading a novel and his large vocabulary. I don't agree with him on everything. I'm no yes man, I mean, I'm even Pantheist and will disagree with him about the existence of free will saying, "nah, it's something deeper than that man," and claim turtles all the way down until there is concrete evidence for the non-existence of free will. I know a decent portion of the data that would lead him to deny free will, but as I've said, I'll willfully be stubborn here for hard proof. I agree with him however, that we are all downstream, as in we are all somewhat a product and responsive to our past. However, I find that how we may presently reflect on ourselves and our history in any way we see fit if we are able to play with perspectives that may have drastic affects on how we carry out the future. To get a little deeper, but I won't go on about it, I'll cut and paste a bit of my consolidated knowledge on the subject... We can be nothing but a response to our environment which conditions our subjective experience and knowledge to which we are reflective; determining the epigenetic expression of our genes manifesting conduct for which we create meaning-making to reconcile a possibly locked in worldview that is formative of our adopted beliefs and values which are saliently operative, all the while working with the human condition and the desires and needs of the body inside pain/pleasure parameters. As we seek that which is pleasurable and avoid at nearly all costs true pain.


Stephen Fry. Intellectual and compassionate with it; a rare combination.

Recently watched his series:

...often bursting out laughing at observations I’d only considered personal quirks of my own.. Good pick ~

@Varn . I would love to watch this. Thanks for posting.

@beaner44 It’s on Netflix 🙂

@Varn AWESOME!!!!!


All of them! But I listen to Sam Harris' podcast most consistently. Going to see him when he comes to Boston next week.

I like him too, but I find his argument that we don't find free will kind of difficult to swallow. What are your thoughts on that?

I agree with him. I think we have the illusion of free will and just don't recognize or refuse to admit that our actions are merely the effects of environmental causes being run through the software of our brains.

How was his show/appearance [whatever it is called]?


Noam Chomsky!

I would love to listen to Chomsky, but I can't understand a word he's saying.


Joseph Campbell and Alan Watts


Of the four horsemen, I think Harris is more open to new ideas. Dawkins, Hitchens, and Dennet more set in their ways, though they all had useful perspectives. Love Sapolski, and have great respect for Krauss, but my current fascination is with Jordan Peterson. I don't love everything he says, but the dude is one complex and nuanced thinker.

skado Level 9 Dec 6, 2017

Hitchens was, by far, my favorite Atheist/Anti-theist intellectual. His wit was like a finely sharpened scalpel used to eviscerate any would-be theistic apologist. Actually I like and respect all of these individuals. I'd like to throw in Aron Ra and Matt Dillahunty to my list of non-believing intellectuals.


Love Neil DeGrasse Tyson, definitely one of my favorites but I love to listen to others as well and while not a person, I stumbled on the Clergy Project and love listening to former and current clergy who lost their religion tell how and why it happened.

Is that a podcast?

@BlueWave IF you are referring to the Clergy Project I found them on YouTube and the stories these ex and in the closet current Clergy tell is really interesting and eye opening.


Friedrich Nietzche, Noam Chomsky, David Hume, Albert Einstein


Leonardo da Vinci Loathed the church, conformed to stay alive and free. Benjamin Franklin Was totally anti monotheism. Albert Einstein only used deity to explain what he did not understand.

Thomas Paine!


Lawrence Krauss


Tho he has passed, Christopher Hitchens, tho I do like Leigh's pick of Carlin, also!
All the rest of your examples are pretty spot on, but add Sagan in that mix! (& maybe Asimov, too!)


Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins


I respect all those men. But, i'll stick with myself. Researching and learning new thing is like a hobby to me.

MoniB Level 6 Dec 6, 2017

I'd say New South Wales Senator David Leyonhjelm. He is a member of the Liberal Democrats which is a libertarian party which believes in small government and individual rights + freedoms.


Thomas Paine, Hitch, Richard Feynman ,NDG Tyson.



past and present?

obama, tyson, maddow, lawrence, sagan, feynman, asimov, ellison, bradbury, freeling, van der post, hypatia

there are more. those will do for now.



My favorite intellectuals are all long dead.


to be honest i have no hero's that i want to take anything from...I have to make my own unique mistakes to make me who i am and what my life is all about...


Homer Simpson.

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