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September 30, 2005


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I always wonder if it isn't a waste of time to try to debate with people like Chopra.

I'll sum up his whole argument (here as well as in huff-post): everything will be explained in the "next paradigm" - we can use whatever scientific evidence we have, he'll simply state that we do not know enough yet.

That being said, I felt that Shermer's arguments should have been directed at what Chopra said. I much prefer the point-by-point rebuttal of yours.

Excellent post. I'm getting so fed up with folks who continue to confuse skepticism with "cynicism" or "nihilism" - it's a pathetic defense that strives to say: "You won't accept anything as true, which is why you won't accept my silly stories as true." (Thus "supporting" their silly stories by discrediting our disbelief as general, rather than specific.) In reality, we won't accept anything as true without some form of supporting evidence, as you've made abundantly clear.

Bad Chopra. Good Skeptico!

Chopra is a salesman, selling a pleasant brand of confusion. There will always be an audience for such in the marketplace of ideas, and it is important that people who value uphold science and reason oppose such con artists, publicly and effectively.

Chopra is taking advantage of the current revolt against "organized" religion started by that demographic-from-Hell, the Baby Boomers. Unlike many other generations that rebelled against religion and replaced it with intellectualism or rationalism, the Baby Boomers (in whose ranks I, alas demographically - if not philosophically - belong) simply replaced organized religion with disorganized religion. Chopra is a perfect example of the latter.

Chopra is no more believable in his quantum confusion and psychobabble philosophizing than the town preacher was in his sermonizing and preaching, but Chopra manages to make what he does feel somehow slimy and disreputable. It's like a religion that Hollywood would create - all feel-good and no morality.

For some reason, humanity is not yet ready to cast aside the yoke of religion - or at least a goodly number of its members aren't yet ready. So, rather than adhere to the moral and ethical teachings of their parents' (or grandparents') generation, they have turned to people like Chopra who give them a sense that "there's more to life than this" without requiring anything in return. "I'm unique and valuable!" - just like everyone else.

Chopra is the new opiate of the masses. He's more like Extacy than opium, though - causing people to "feel good" rather than just making them insensitive to their surroundings.


Good comments on a very strange debate!

I often wonder if Shermer is just engaging in these sort of things to practice and improve his debate skills.

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