I just watched that ABC debate off this very website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi2IC6e5DUY
First of all before i go on to talk about what this topic is really about - the debate format…..was unbelievable. An actual proper debate. A debate where opposide sides Got to talk, at length, on a Specific issue, where ‘the good side’ (harris/sherma) were allowed the chance to deal with specific points Chopra was making, or to pin him down on particular words he was using, and to gain a common definition, to then respond to. And, for once, the mediator didn’t keep chiming in going ‘oh we’re short on time here’ ‘oh i’m going to have to cut you off there’...
It was an actual proper debate. What is it with America, and these weird debate systems you see on virtually every other youtube video - ‘you get 5 minutes. Then I get 5 minutes’. Its one of the dumbest things ever - and nothing ever gets resolved or concluded.
Anyway - about this topic. What Deepak’s fundamental message boiled down to was this:
‘How can we just be flesh and bone? How can we just be a material object, with a material brain, eventually leading to death and nothingness? How can we ever reduce the human ‘experience’ (whatever that means) down to scientific data on a graph? We are so much more than that! WE are so special!’
EGO. Nothing but EGO, from start to finish. Only a massively ego centric, self centred, insular person can think that. That there is more to life than birth and death, that we are more than our mere material brains.
Deepak can try as hard as he likes to differentiate it from your orthodox religions, but the thought processes which give rise to what Deepak believes in, are EXACTLY the same ones that give rise to the beliefs in religious people. Deepak would never admit it, but he finds value in exactly the same ideals as religious people, Coated in a layer of ‘new age’ waffle.
Whats even more amazing is, he contradicts himself constantly. 1 minute he’s applauding whenever Harris/Sherma acknowledge ‘the unknown’, but He himself is then hypothesising that there is a mind and a soul, a concious being which lives outside of the material body!
Its all about ego, and I guess, horror of the inevitable. I for one couldn’t care less if I was reduced down to sets of data on a piece of paper, if I was reduced down to a series of complex genes and molecules, all interacting with each other. That IS all we are, and the more that neuroscience develops, The more that That view - that all our human experiences are happening in the material brain - is holding true.
you cannot define ‘a higher purpose’ the way Deepak is trying to. Our experiences are all subjective (though happening in an objective material brain), and therefore life is simply what you make of it - we are ultimately constructs and conditioned by the environments we grew up and live in, and therefore there could NEVER be a specified, defined, written in literature higher purpose and meaning that Deepak subscribes to.
one persons higher meaning and ‘spirituality’ could be entirely different from another persons spiritual enlightening.
In a way Deepak is more dangerous than ANY priest or Imam, because he spouts the same values as religion (the same nonsense) but shrouded in a sea of mumbo-jumbo, which people will take more seriously. His play on words is frightening, and he has this uncanny ability to frame words into a sentence that is so woolly, that it almost numbs a sceptical mind - you’d struggle to even argue against it, because his semantics of words were so different to Harris/Shermas/a rational person.
very worrying indeed. I was even more alarmed when he started talking about ‘diabolical science’. This is EXACTLY the kind of sentiment that religious people will cling on to, to defend their faith. Science in of itself is a methodology, the use of it for destructive purposes has got absolutely nothing to do with science itself, and more to do with politics and selfish human interest, and lack of education.
i hope Sam writes a book one day that completely dismantles this new form of religion, which is in some ways a more potent weapon against humanity than any of your established religions.