The Deepak, part II: Chopra goes after “militant skeptics” like Dawkins and Harris

Deepak Chopra’s rant against “militant skeptics” (i.e., those who dare question his woo and obscurantism) continues on SFGate with “Part 3 of the rise and fall of militant skepticism,” coauthored with Jordan Flesher. I’ll give you just one delectable chunk of woo from this deeply muddled (but wealthy) quack. I’ve put the money quotes in bold:

In a word, while Dawkins makes a crude claim that the five senses are reliable indicators of what is real, Harris makes a sophisticated claim in the same area, by assuming that the human brain, a physical object that evolved over millennia, is reliable as the model for everything that happens inside our minds. But if the five senses can’t be trusted, neither can the brain, which processes the input of our sense organs and fashions them into a three-dimensional model of the world. The model isn’t the same as reality. At best it is only provisional; at worst it may be very far from the truth, as witness hundreds of models from the past that have been thoroughly exploded (e.g., the Earth is the center of creation, blood washes back and forth in the body like the tide, etc.)

Harris may argue that the scientific method can “stand on its own” apart from the nervous system of the experimenter via the use of technological systems that run on the logic and language of mathematics, etc. However, the data which computers churn out still has to come in contact with the nervous system of the scientist in order for a theory of morality and human consciousness to be constructed. (The deep question of whether mathematics is universal or somehow mediated by the human nervous system has yet to be answered with any certainty.)

If Harris hadn’t stretched his assumptions to the breaking point, he wouldn’t have revealed that he was making the same mistakes when arguing against God. For God, of all things, exists on the cusp between what we know, what we think we know, and what is indisputably real. An arthritis patient’s pain is indisputably real, even though subjective – in fact, it is real because it is subjective. There is no scientific proof that a report by a mystic that she feels the presence of God isn’t real, and the subjectivity of the experience is the measure of its realness, not the measure of its illusory quality.

In a word, Harris and Dawkins, by turning their backs and scorning subjectivity, have fallen into traps of their own devising. Militant skepticism builds upon their mistakes, amplifies them, and employs scurrilous personal attacks to cover over their own intellectual flaws. In the end, the militant movement will collapse, not because the people who like God outnumber the people who dislike fear, and are suspicious of God. Skepticism’s agenda is doomed because its thinking is basically unsound.

Where is that damn cusp? I want to see it!

That second bit, about subjectivity equaling realness, is the basic fallacy of all religion, and the reason why science wins; for science has ways of separating what you want to be true from what is really true. There is, after all, a difference between pain, God, and the Moon, which Chopra thinks doesn’t exist unless people are looking at it). You could, I suppose, claim that scientific truths are mass delusions, but then why do they make verifiable predictions? Are those “subjective” too? And does a mentally ill person who’s sure he’s God mean that he really is God?

And. . . TWI**ER WARS:

Picture 5Sam is not impressed:

Picture 5

And Michael Shermer gets in a few licks, too:

Picture 2

89 Comments

  1. NewEnglandBob
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    “There is no scientific proof that a report by a mystic that she feels the presence of God isn’t real, and the subjectivity of the experience is the measure of its realness, not the measure of its illusory quality.”

    I would call it a deepity, but that would elevate it out of the irrational.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      There is no scientific proof that a report by a hob-goblin-whisperer that she feels the presence of hobgoblin ectoplasm isn’t real, and the subjectivity of the experience is the measure of its realness, not the measure of its illusory quality.

      Yeah.
      Right.

      • eric
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        The worst part is not that it supports ridiculous examples (although that’s really bad). It’s that this quote would make reality self-contradictory. You mystically feel that X is present in the universe. I mystically feel X is absent from the universe, and according to Chopra, both of us are right.

        • Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          And it is just after then when the switch from objective idealism to subjective idealism is made, and then to solipsism. No thanks.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      A deepakity then?

      To paraphrase Shermer: Deepak Chopra, deepitys, and copra are all deeply trivial and nutty, so they must be connected. Quantum post modernist cow feed?

  2. boblevel
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Deepak is just another woo-woo quack, peddling to his gullible followers so he can fleece them out of whatever funds they may have. Sure hope he has to pay taxes on this nonsense!

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Ah, but taxes are merely the economic consciousness preserving itself.

    • henkm
      Posted November 20, 2013 at 3:37 am | Permalink

      taxes are not (for) real, are they?

  3. markus koebler
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Is he really worth your time and attention? I doubt it.

    • Marta
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Strongly disagree with you.

      Deepak Chopra has grown extremely wealthy peddling his impenetrable woo, and while I don’t begrudge him one centime of his wealth, it’s worth keeping in mind that he’s earned it as a by-product of his efforts that make people dumber.

      Yeah, it’s worth Jerry’s time, and everyone’s a beneficiary of his choice to use it to challenge pseudoscience and Deepak Chopra.

      Finally, it’s just a little arrogant, you deciding whether or not Chopra warrants response from Jerry, isn’t it? How can it concern you, in any way at all?

      • Larry Gay
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        I do begrudge Chopra his ill-gotten wealth. He is after all filling the minds of gullible people with BS, of which there is already far too much in this world.

    • kevinj
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Ideally he could just be ignored but for reasons that baffle me he does have a large following.
      While the hardcore followers are mostly beyond help its the people who see something he has written or him waffling on some tv show without opposition and think hmmmm that sort of makes sense that this sort of article is good for.
      When they google for him they may stand a chance of finding posts which show that what he claims as fact really isnt.

      Jerry, and others, patience and willingness to answer point by point does amaze me though. I skim read these sort of posts on WEIT on the grounds Chopra annoys me that much and thats with his waffle diluted and dissected.

      • Michael
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        The reasons for his big followings are simple:
        Endorsed by Oprah and Tony Robbins. These two people reach many many millions with their network and Deepak`s a well oiled marketing machine also helps.

      • henkm
        Posted November 20, 2013 at 3:40 am | Permalink

        Why does that baffle you? How large has the following of the Tea Party become?

    • Sastra
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Deepak Chopra is simply one of the more outspoken examples of those who are Spiritual-But-Not-Religious, the group MOST likely to sneer at the gnu atheists for attacking the Straw Old Man in the Sky With a Beard. “That’s not the God I worship! My understanding of God is more nuanced, more ecumenical, more reasonable!” Remove the pseudoscience and he’s thus saying the same thing every “sophisticated” believer says — just with less vague handwaving and more specific claims.

      Matter comes out of Mind; pure mentality is the underlying reality. This is the heart of religion, with the historic creeds and doctrines removed. Pure Supernaturalism.

      And Chopra, by arguing that science supports it, is walking right into our insistence that the existence of God is a hypothesis. A failed one (when it’s specific enough to be wrong.) And Chopra — as arrogant and ignorant as the creationists — is specific enough to be wrong. He wants to group us with the fundamentalists; we see his unanswerable assertions and disingenuous evasions and know where to place him.

      God is a field of consciousness that is set up for maximum diversity — and that includes the divine and diabolical, the sacred and the profane. (Deepak Chopra)

      Not worth time and attention? Are you kidding? This is SPIRITUALITY, the hot contender for what religion will eventually evolve into if the traditional religions fail to capture the interest of people who want to reject tribalisms and yet believe in more (more than what we can reason to, more than what we can reasonably expect, and more than what a horrible, narrow, cold, warped, defective ATHEIST believes in.) This is supposed to be the intellectual position.

      It’s dangerous in a different way than the usual suspects.

      • Kelton Barnsley
        Posted November 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        +1

  4. Timothy Hughbanks
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Of course,

    God exists on the cusp of what we know and what we think we know.

    Since science continually expands and refines “what we know and what we think we know”, God has to keep moving into the gaps – that’s the damn cusp. You’ll never see it though, because as soon as you can see where God used to be, the slippery bastard will have moved on.

    • Damocles
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      I confess, I read your post thinking of a guy fixing a hole in the ceiling, and just when he’s finished, Ceiling Cat pokes his head out of another, previously unseen hole, and taunts him.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted November 20, 2013 at 4:10 am | Permalink

      God of the cusps

  5. Greg Esres
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    “That second bit, about subjectivity equaling realness, is the basic fallacy of all religion”

    I would draw a distinction between the subjective feeling and its interpretation. It seems obvious that a subjective experience is a real experience (since our subjectivity is a consequence of real physical processes), but labeling that experience as “God” or whatever is an interpretation applied to that experience and isn’t part of it.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      Congratulations Greg.
      I knew someone would dissect this argument correctly. The “subjective experience of god” is real, but that doesn’t mean “god” is real.
      That is Chopra’s error here.

  6. Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Chopra is a waste of time. I don’t think he believes half the crap he spews. He seems to relish the attention he gets from skeptics and atheists. I think he is best ignored.

    • onkelbob
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      As the kidz these daze say:
      Plus One!

    • Marta
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Disagree with this, also. Everything I’ve seen, heard, or read from Chopra indicates that he believes every word of the baloney he peddles.

      Ignore him, if you like. That’s how Chopra attained his wealth. People who could have, and should have, debunked his pseudoscience decided that he should be ignored.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Agreed – I think he does believe the crap he spews and he is arrogant enough to keep spewing it to real scientists. He has a large following as a result of both people having cognitive disconnects and poor critical thinking skills. I welcome real scientists calling him on his woo as much as possible.

        • Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know – I think he is completely aware he can say whatever he wants as long as it’s wrapped up in vague enough science jargon – just enough to convince the average person that he knows what he is talking about. He doesn’t have to back any of it up and he will still make millions of dollars. I agree that he should be called out on it but I don’t think he believes all of his own bullshit.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            I’d say it is like convincing yourself of a lie so you cannot be caught lying. I have no evidence for this, but it seems likely that Deepak started out with BS then convinced himself of its truth, which was buttressed by his throngs of believers.

            He’s not the messiah, he’s a very bay boy!

      • Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        You may be right, though it is possible that even Chopra doesn’t know what he believes anymore. Sometimes I see Chopra as one of the world’s most brilliant method actors.

        His entire personality has become subsumed into this new age spiritual guru he created. Don’t forget that he is/was a doctor, and practiced mainstream medicine at one point. So he can’t be that deluded.

        Trying to figure out what Chopra believes deep down in his heart is a fool’s errand. For the most part, I think he is best ignored. I don’t think a fan of his would read this post and come away thinking “I’ve been taken in by a con-man!”.

        • Steve Bowen
          Posted November 19, 2013 at 1:55 am | Permalink

          It’s easy to assume that qualified doctors are scientists, but they’re not really trained that way. Doctors are trained more like engineers and so liable to see design and function in things. I think this makes them prone to teleological and magical thinking.

          • Larry Gay
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

            I couldn’t agree more. Think of that doctor from Georgia (the “evolution is straight from the depths of hell” guy, a US congressman).

        • Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          I’m coming to the impression that people like Chopra are a great test case for one’s philosophy of mind. Namely, I think he supports the idea (contra Fodor) that beliefs are sometimes a poor idea of what is really going on (cf. Dennett and, more strongly, Churchland).

    • onkelbob
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Since I agree with the statement that ignoring Chopra and others like him, I guess I need to argue the logic. The reason is that people who believe Chopra et al., are not reasonable people. They are not going to be persuaded by logic or arguments using facts or empirical evidence. I make this argument based on the fact they they came to believe in these “deepities” without the benefit of facts or empirical evidence. As D. McRaney has conveyed in his books, all your arguments against Chopra et al., will simply initiate these adherents to dig in, and double down on the stupid. Think of it as the 27% rule for woo worship.
      So why then should one ignore the Chopras and other snake oil salesmen? For a simple reason, asymmetric warfare. Namely if someone who is not an adherent to this woo, comes upon it and is attracted to it and glom on to their arguments for it. However, when exposed to arguments against it, and depending on the emotional investment whether to continue to believe or abandon it; i.e., they will make an emotional choice. However, if no argument appears against it, or better, if the only argument they hear is a refusal to engage in discussion of it, then the choice they make will more likely be a rational one; i.e., one based on reason or facts. Therein lies the only chance, do not force people into emotional choices, do not make it an us vs. them. Allow them to see this has not his enemies say bad things, rather make it only this crowd of loons thinks he’s making any sense and everyone intelligent just ignores him.
      People are not rational by nature, people are emotional unthinking reactive animals. It is only reluctantly do we think, until it becomes a force of habit. And very few think as a first action.

      • onkelbob
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Bad HTML in the 27% rule. It’s from John Rogers.
        http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/10/lunch-discussions-145-crazification.html

      • Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Since I agree with the statement that ignoring Chopra and others like him, I guess I need to argue the logic. The reason is that people who believe Chopra et al., are not reasonable people. They are not going to be persuaded by logic or arguments using facts or empirical evidence.

        You’re obviously right, within the limits you describe. However, the great benefit to be gained from the efforts of rationalist authors is that their demolition of woomongers may persuade the kids — the adolescents — toward rationalism and away from nonsense. If we win the hearts of the kids — and it seems that overwhelmingly we are — then the rest should follow.

        (Of course, it may not follow soon enough. By the time this country is ready to be saved by rationalism, it may already have been destroyed by the science-denialism of the ignorant old-fart bought politicians in Washington. Not to put too fine a point upon it.)

      • Marta
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        You’re leaving out an important factor: that debunking Chopra, if you know how and why he’s wrong, is simply the right thing to do, and this is especially true for people who practice professions (scientists, for example) whose business it is to research, inform and educate. The standard they walk by is the standard they accept.

  7. Wildhog
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Chopra says pain is subjective and is real because it is subjective. He has it backwards.

    The *experience* of pain is subjective, but pain is not subjective! A brain-monitoring device could detect and measure pain, because it is a phenomenon that takes place in the material world. And that non-subjectivity is what makes it real.

  8. eveysolara
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    there is no evidence that i am not currently a flying harpee on my ipad

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha! That made me imagine a harpy clutching an iPad as she flies around squawking.

  9. Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    The deep question of whether mathematics is universal or somehow mediated by the human nervous system has yet to be answered with any certainty.

    I thought it was generally accepted that mathematics is indeed universal — the universal language, in fact.

    And I don’t understand what Chopra’s talking about when he talks about mathematics being “mediated by the human nervous system”: it seems to me that 2 + 2 = 4 whether or not my nervous system is present. (Yes, obviously, there are physical circumstances where 2 + 2 ≠ 4, but we’re talking yer arithmetic here.)

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for this – I read that paragraph over and over trying to eke out some idea of wtf he was going on about here. Slippery philosophy nonsense loses me easily, even if I know it’s BS and this bit is one for the record books. Maybe whacking his back with a ruler is one way to solve our deepest mysteries? Would certainly connect his nervous system with mathematics…

      • Posted November 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        I read that paragraph over and over trying to eke out some idea of wtf he was going on about here

        As did I. It’s the kind of stuff that the postmodernists got away with far too often ~20 years ago because the only people prepared, at the time, to challenge them were people doing so on similarly idiotic grounds; most rationalists chose, bizarrely, to look away.

    • Latverian Diplomat
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Mathematics is more than arithmetic, and there are some deep philosophical issues with some of what mathematics does. But this is a question of whether mathematics is a product of the human mind, not the brain. Nobody thinks that Russell’s paradox was just a quirk of some mechanism in the human brain, like an optical illusion. It was a real mathematical issue (as long as you are willing to accept the existence of infinite sets).

      Like philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics is not something that practicing mathematicians spend a lot of time worrying about, but it’s not without merit.

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/philosophy-mathematics/

      For example, try to write out all the digits of pi, I’ll spot you all the matter in the universe as writing materials, you will run out of ink before you complete the tiniest fraction of the task. In what sense do those digits you didn’t get to exist?

      This is not a defense of Chopra; logic and reason were developed to make flawed human thinking rigorous, in the same way that scientific instruments make flawed human perception rigorous. His whole premise is flawed.

      • Jesper Both Pedersen
        Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        For example, try to write out all the digits of pi, I’ll spot you all the matter in the universe as writing materials, you will run out of ink before you complete the tiniest fraction of the task. In what sense do those digits you didn’t get to exist?

        They don’t.

        • John Scanlon, FCD
          Posted November 19, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          Is there a formula for the nth digit of pi that doesn’t require first calculating the first n-1?

          If there is, then in that sense they all exist.

          Otherwise, yes, it’s a bit abstract.

          • Jesper Both Pedersen
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

            It’s postmodern mathematics. Fun to play with, but not necessarily in touch with reality.

            I think. 🙂

            • Latverian Diplomat
              Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

              The interesting thing is that the same reasoning that shows that a given infinite series converges to pi is what makes calculus work, and without calculus, you don’t have physics as we understand it (Newton needed it for a reason).
              So, far from being disconnected from reality, this sort of stuff is an important part of our “dealing with reality toolbox”.

              • Jesper Both Pedersen
                Posted November 19, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

                I agree off course, but my small beef was with the old infinite pi digits exercise. It is somewhat pointless given the infiniteness of the matter.

                Wouldn’t it be fun though, if we by some quirky coincidence discover that pi is in fact not infinite and some mathematician finally got the last numbers down….

              • Latverian Diplomat
                Posted November 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

                To Jesper Both Pedersen

                I think the pi digits illustration is useful because it’s easy to think one gets the implications of “going on forever” without realizing what a strange concept it is.

                And by the way, pi is proven transcendental, so it’s not only got an infinite non-repeating expansion, but it’s not even the root of a finite polynomial.

                Of course, the fact that mathematics can prove such a fact about a number that even here on this board we can’t agree actually exists, is all part of the fun. 🙂

              • Jesper Both Pedersen
                Posted November 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

                If the continued calculation of pi can bring about some new discoveries( besides the obvious ) in the realm of math and beyond, then I’m all on board and ready to join the fun.

                Who knows, maybe it will turn out useful in calculating when the heat death of the universe will occur…if that is in fact where we’re headed. 🙂

              • Latverian Diplomat
                Posted November 22, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

                I don’t think anyone is proposing a research program on expanding pi. Though it’s a useful thought experiment and I believe it’s one of things used as a shakedown cruise of new supercomputers.

                One the other hand, Carl Sagan had some fun with the idea in “Contact”.

              • Jesper Both Pedersen
                Posted November 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

                Speaking of math and infiniteness/finiteness, here’s an exiting bit of news on primes.

                (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/prime/)

          • Latverian Diplomat
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

            There is such a formula for the digits in base 16.

            http://www.math.hmc.edu/funfacts/ffiles/20010.5.shtml

            • John Scanlon, FCD
              Posted November 20, 2013 at 2:25 am | Permalink

              Oh, that’s very cool. So by my argument above, all digits of the hexadecimal expansion of pi actually exist, but the same may not be true for other bases.

            • John Scanlon, FCD
              Posted November 21, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

              And then there’s this, in base 12.

  10. Hempenstein
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Without militant wackos, militant skeptics wouldn’t be necessary.

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      ‘Militant wackos’. I like that!

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Strident wacko works quite well too.

        I’d rather be surrounded by a thousand stridulating crickets than be forced to listen to this wacko.

  11. Dawn Oz
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Delicious comebacks from all our warriors. I would fail a first year uni student who wrote Deepak’s crapola.

    Deepak’s deepities – now piled higher and deeper.

  12. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Even just that excerpt was painful to read. It’s so poorly written – non sequiturs (how does anything Harris say lead to the “proof” that…”God, of all things, exists on the cusp between what we know, what we think we know….”?) & lack of proof – I think a need a little more to convince me that Militant skepticism builds upon their mistakes, amplifies them, and employs scurrilous personal attacks to cover over their own intellectual flaws

    Honestly, they need to learn how to argue, but then they’d also have to know how to discern truth from BS, use analytical skills, ask the right questions, run the right experiments….in short, they need to learn how to reason.

  13. Sastra
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    An arthritis patient’s pain is indisputably real, even though subjective – in fact, it is real because it is subjective. There is no scientific proof that a report by a mystic that she feels the presence of God isn’t real, and the subjectivity of the experience is the measure of its realness, not the measure of its illusory quality.

    Analogy fail. What a shock.

    Chopra is sliding over the distinction between a direct experience and an interpretation of the experience.

    If you feel pain in your hands then you are right to say you feel pain in your hands. You can KNOW pain and what it feels like only through the subjective experience itself. Sure.

    But the minute you say you can KNOW you have arthritis because your hands hurt, you’re wrong because now you might be mistaken. There are many things which can make your hands hurt. Arthritis is a hypothesis about the cause, not just another term for the feeling. And the person who has the experience is not necessarily the best person to interpret it. The objective aspect of your “arthritis” pain may involve fire ants.

    This is one of the oldest tricks in the book — to confuse feelings of God’s immanence with knowledge of God.

    The other old trick is a staple of Chopra: pretend that those who criticize this are incapable of emotions and/or arguing that emotions and feelings aren’t real. He accuses us of being robots.

    • Latverian Diplomat
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Even worse, it treats arthritis as some mysterious cause of pain. If we take “arthritis patient” to mean “one diagnosed with arthritis” then there is an underlying cause to the pain that is understood objectively.

      With some other types of pain, the cause is not well understood, this is not say the cause does not exist, it is just unknown, while the patient’s experience of pain is very real.

      To treat pain as a mystical experience does nothing for the suffering patient.

  14. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    One thing that’s clear is that Chopra has no idea what “in a word” means.

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      I was just about to post the following comment, when I looked to see if anyone beat me to it.

      The phrase, “in a word…” I do not think it means what he thinks it mean.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        I noticed that too. It should be, “in 500 words….”

  15. Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Delusional, dishonest, arrogant, egotistical best describe this man. But, he is exceptional at getting publicity for himself and his products.

  16. Alvaro
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    The guy’s next move is to co-author an article with a high school graduate, just to give it more credibility…

  17. potaman
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    http://www.wisdomofchopra.com/
    I recently discovered this.. Since random re-orderings of chopra statements are indistinguishable from real chopra statements , we can disregard all of them.

    • potaman
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      That says bullshit in gujarati

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I once tweeted one of these joke Chopra quotes & I got two woo followers. They lasted about 2 days before they realized I wasn’t the follow for them. 🙂

  18. Prof.Pedant
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    “for science has ways of separating what you want to be true from what is really true”

    All a person who is ignorant of the techniques of science needs in order to begin becoming wise is to realize that a distinction needs to be made between what is true and what a person wishes was true. Everything else is observation and practice.

  19. Posted November 19, 2013 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Chopra twice starts sentences with “In a word…” then proceed to use lots of words to make his point.

    How can he call himself a scientist if he can’t even count to 1?

  20. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    But if the five senses can’t be trusted, neither can the brain, which processes the input of our sense organs and fashions them into a three-dimensional model of the world.

    So how does Deepak know his model of the world is any more ‘real’ than science has found to date? Or more ‘real’ than the model held by a Roman Catholic mystic? Or more real than the delusions of someone in an insane asylum?

    If we are living in ‘universal consciousness’ then a good proportion of it is made up from the batshit insane.

    • Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Self-contradiction is not a problem for the solipsist.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, good point.

      The other point being that this the very reason scientists use objective means of ascertaining what’s real. You can’t trust the subjective output of your unreliable brain which, in turn, uses the input of your unreliable senses.

      It’s amazing how often Chopra’s arguments can be used against him.

  21. Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Choprawoo in the aphophatic wooniverse.

    Consciousness wasted on an unconscientious mind.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted November 20, 2013 at 3:20 am | Permalink

      Apophatic?

  22. Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    This

    For God, of all things, exists on the cusp between what we know, what we think we know, and what is indisputably real.

    reminds me of

    There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.

    There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know.

    But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know. – Rummy

    and

    A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven. – JChretien

    What was real before we were? Eh, Deeplypak’d? By his account, it would seem almost anything goes and so the indisputably real prior to talking monkeys was much as you would expect, but cell shaded. I feel it in my heart.

    Deeplypak’d Choprawoo is merde on a stick, yummy coated and deep fried = cerebrumial sclerosis.

  23. Jumbo
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Chopra makes post-modernism sound intelligible

  24. Leigh Jackson
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Love this line from Deep’s wiki:

    “Chopra adhered to mainstream medical practice; he then became an advocate of alternative medicine and a wealthy businessman – continuing the long tradition of entrepreneurialism in the American medical system.”

    Yeah, and the long tradition of swami-entrepreneurialism too. India is a production factory for these guys – they usually are guys. The west strews their paths with gold. So holy, so wise, so spiritual – and oh so rich. You can’t really blame them, can you?

  25. lanceleuven
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Here’s a hypothetical question for you:

    You’re walking down a dark alley late at night in a unfamiliar city. Approaching you is a militant. What type of militant would you prefer?: A militant Muslim, a militant Christian or a militant sceptic?

    (BTW I think I already know the answer.)

  26. Posted November 20, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    http://manyworldstheory.com/2012/11/19/83/

  27. Posted November 20, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Oops, meant to say: article about Deepak Chopra’s misuse of quantum mechanics: http://manyworldstheory.com/2012/11/19/83/


%d bloggers like this: