Deepak Chopra: Which is Real, the Moon or God?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 11:18 am
@johannw,
johannw;153987 wrote:
What is it that you don't understand? I can try my best to explain it better, if you're interested. But if not, we can move on to another conversation. =)


I don't understand how he justifies the proposition that God exists with Quantum theory. It is what is called, "gobbledegook". Slapping two things together and saying one justifies the other is not the same thing as presenting a coherent argument for it. How many quantum physicists, do you think, would take Chopra seriously? What does he know about QM? What are his credentials in the subject? It is what is called, Popsci, only worse.
 
johannw
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 01:45 pm
@johannw,
Quote:
I don't understand how he justifies the proposition that God exists with Quantum theory. It is what is called, "gobbledegook". Slapping two things together and saying one justifies the other is not the same thing as presenting a coherent argument for it. How many quantum physicists, do you think, would take Chopra seriously? What does he know about QM? What are his credentials in the subject? It is what is called, Popsci, only worse.


Those are all good points. I think Chopra's view is simply this: because an observer is necessary for the physical universe to exist, and humanity hasn't been around since the beginning of the physical universe, then the existence of a omni-present, time/space transcendent god is necessary since said god would have "observed" the universe into creation.

It's all foolish and silly, and you're right, the scientific community does not take these ideas seriously. In fact, Chopra constantly links this Observer effect with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and if you read anything on the Observer effect, you'll generally find the two are often mistakenly linked and don't actually apply to each other.

Like I said before though, I just found his views interesting and entertaining enough to start a conversation about it. And I was curious to hear other's thoughts on the subject. Nothing more
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 01:51 pm
@johannw,
I've always wondered why someone with a deep belief in the spirtually metaphysical would need scientific backing. The very notion that one would feel the need to have science back their beliefs show a sort of doubt concerning their beliefs. I'm not against science nor am I against the spirtually metaphysical, yet I do understand that they are not all that compatible and I hold my beliefs in both somewhat seperately. For this reason I have never really respected religious/spiritual apologists. I also however do not have much respect for people who dogmatically preach against the religious/spiritual for much the same reason. To rebel so harshly shows a denial of their own possible tendency to be spiritual.
 
Baal
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 03:20 pm
@GoshisDead,
In modern times (and perhaps in times of old, for many people) what is spiritual and esoteric merely refers to those things which are outside the scope of what is currently considered logical. In other words, that which cannot be properly parsed and integrated by science and whatever else may be assuming the title of the empirical and rational etc. is automatically relegated to the rational.

The critical mistake here, however, is that spiritual does not necessarily mean the illogical and irrational. It is true that in many apologia for the spiritual, the author tends to describe the limits of our logic and reasoning capacities. Nevertheless what the author is actually doing is telling us the limits of what we currently believe to be the answer to everything. That science is limited, our logic does not explain everything, therefore it may be a worthy pursuit to explore other arenas of perception/knowledge/thought. This does not mean that the spiritual necessarily begins where the logical ends, nor does this suggest that there is no overlap between them.

In fact, it would be horribly painful for people to actually live their lives with the belief in the spiritual if this belief consisted merely in the negational possibility of the spiritual. While it may be a means of explaining the inadequacy of those belief systems which do not include the spiritual, this negation of the exclusivity of logic does not reveal the spiritual in the slightest. The negational, perhaps even semi-dialectical form of reasoning only works to create a whole if something else replaces it, and only if that something else truly is capable of presenting its own ontology and belief system.

That science does not explain everything does not explain what it does not explain. It is possible to nominally submit to a higher authority, but at this very moment of submission to this we admit that we cannot go beyond submission and therefore what is left of the spirit to our understanding is merely encapsulated in the sentence "there is something else".

Thus Deepak and his respondent were somewhat correct in their arguments. Deepak argues that one does not need to believe in things he knows. While in itself, this statement is pure nonsense it does hold truth about the nature of belief in itself; that belief as it is lived and thought out, as it is experienced -- that belief as a system no longer stands out in itself as what we in modern western thought call belief. In other words, what is belief is something that is baseless and unmaintainable - that it ultimately has its shortcomings, but to know, this is were a comprehensive system of thought - something purely ontological can be established.

For Deepak, that which is belief does not have the power to properly influence in a rational fashion. Not only is the belief itself unjustified, but also its influence over any decision is itself also unjustified; it is only knowledge which has the right to do this as only knowledge is part of our reality. Quite thusly, then, does he point out how God is supported by the negation of science. It is only knowledge, science which begets God as some kind of man in the sky - in an almost epicurean fashion, that had given this scientific system a jumpstart. Nevertheless, it is science which is the system and God merely exist at its head.

The respondent almost seems to agree with Deepak, since for the scientists, the problem is not necessarily with the notion that God exists, but rather that God controls and that God provides a system. That science is not merely a method but its own reality is the general notion advanced by those scientists who are making attempts at explaining God as well as those who refute it. Their logic and belief is almost identical; what they dislike and antagonize is the propagation of other systems that are entirely dissociated from the method, conclusions, or ontology that science has advanced. That in this day and age, people do not seek out Science for all their answers and ills -- that people still resort to 'primitive' beliefs and 'primitive' methods which function not only as axioms but also as methods and prototypes in themselves is what the scientists fear the most.

Those like Deepak however will admit the existence of God but still insist on a gatekeeper role. According to this, God does not make sense in any other fashion except for that of the negation of Science itself; it follows that only through the study of Science can we learn that (1) God exists (2) God created science (3) God's domain is outside of science. The first two conclusions were explained above, and the third was hinted at and is yet the most important here:

If Science is our base model, then it is science which necessitates God and not the other way around, even if in the purely causal explanation god precedes science, it is nevertheless for us and our function that science has its primacy over god; the latter being an attainment of wisdom which comes about after science. It is Science then which must shape our conception of God (even though in "Reality" the opposite occurs), and it is therefore deduced that our only way of function and knowledge still remains that of Science, again disclaiming and discounting any spiritual or alternate form of reasoning.
 
polpol
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 03:29 pm
@GoshisDead,
"I don't understand how he justifies the proposition that God exists with Quantum theory. It is what is called, "gobbledegook". Slapping two things together and saying one justifies the other is not the same thing as presenting a coherent argument for it. How many quantum physicists, do you think, would take Chopra seriously? What does he know about QM? What are his credentials in the subject? It is what is called, Popsci, only worse."

There is nothing to understand apart that this guy Chopra is making tons of money selling eastern spiritualism to the west. He presents himself as a vulgarisateur of ancient knowledge but in reality he marketed it in such a way as to make it appealing to westerners and especially the American consumer. He is not the only one, there's lots of them like the Maharaj Mahesh Yogi in the sixties. Chopra is very popular among Hollywood stars and the like, people that need a quick spiritual fix because their way of life is driving them crazy. It is a shame. He presents himself as an Ayurveda practitioner and melted down a most complex system of thought into "Astrology for beginners" type of thing.

I think it all started in 1975 with the "Tao of Physics" by FRitjof Capra (PhD physicist) who made a comparative study between subatomic physics and eastern philosophies. It is interesting and the guy was probably honest (he admits his inspiration and insights had something to do with his use of toxic substances), but he was merely exploring the parallels. Now it has gone out of proportion. Kennethamy is right, it's worse than Posci because it's down right dishonest and mean for people who truly seek knowledge but on the other hand if you're that stupid as to swallow such bull, then it's just too bad, I guess.
 
johannw
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 04:21 pm
@johannw,
These are all super interesting and well spoken reactions, thank you! I definitely agree with all of you that Chopra's views, as well as his scientific (mainly in quantum theory) and spiritual credibility are questionable, to say the least.

Quote:
I've always wondered why someone with a deep belief in the spirtually metaphysical would need scientific backing. The very notion that one would feel the need to have science back their beliefs show a sort of doubt concerning their beliefs. I'm not against science nor am I against the spirtually metaphysical, yet I do understand that they are not all that compatible and I hold my beliefs in both somewhat seperately. For this reason I have never really respected religious/spiritual apologists. I also however do not have much respect for people who dogmatically preach against the religious/spiritual for much the same reason. To rebel so harshly shows a denial of their own possible tendency to be spiritual.


I especially like that point of view because I've made that same observation. People with spiritual beliefs who look for scientific reasoning to those beliefs give the impression that they need to use the material (science) to justify the spiritual (religion) because of an insecurity they may have with believing something for which there is no proof. A truly spiritual person should hold those two paths apart and not need one to prove the other.

On the other hand, those who have such a fiery hate for religion and attack any argument give the impression that they have to do so in order to satisfy their own, personal insecurity about their belief (or lack thereof).

It all really boils down to mutual respect, I think. Whether you're atheist or religious, it's imortant to accept that there are people's who's beliefs are different from yours and that those beliefs probably make that person's life better or more enjoyable for them. That alone should/could be the basis on which you respect their views.
 
 

 
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