Carl Sagan’s opinions on religion and god, what do you think?

“Sagan wrote frequently about religion and the relationship between religion and science, expressing his skepticism about the conventional conceptualization of God as a sapient being. For example:

Some people think God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne…

My definition of atheist and Carl’s definition of atheist are not the same. According to you, he says, “An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.”

But, for me, atheist simply means ‘not theist’. Theists are those who are certain (have faith, believe) that at least one hypothetical deity, that they are imagining, is actually real. Everyone else, who is not theist, for whatever reason, or for no reason at all, is atheist.

I think it is pretty clear that Carl was ‘not theist’.


John Popelish

“and that the only conceivable scientific discovery that could challenge it would be an infinitely old universe”

I think he should consult Thomas Aquinas about that. Or John Polkinghorne.

I am not particularly concerned what Carl Sagan’s views are. We use anthropomorphic language about God because there is no more appropriate language. What God is in himself is probably completely beyond our conceptualisation.

Sagan did NOT believe in a personal god, making him an atheist.

That he called the universe, and the nature of, god, just like einstein, makes him a pantheist as well.

I’m an atheist, and a pantheist.

It seems to me the nature of existence itself is anthropomorphozed by us humans who tend to do it to just about everything.

Much as Sagan wrote in your quote.

If you need to break it down into a them and us, atheists and theists dichotomy, then sagan was an atheist.

Both he and einstein found peoples belief in personal gods (like the judaeo christian concept of god) to be childish.

His “views” were reasonable, and just right for him.
I don’t agree with his definition of “atheism,” but that’s fine.


Irrelevant. The man was a brilliant scientist, not a philosopher or theologian.

he did not know what he was talking about god says it best

KJV: Psalms 14:1. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

His views have now changed

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