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Deepak Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY 
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Post Deepak Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Deeprok Chopra makes the usual kinds of complaints against Dawkins. By focusing on areas of science that aren't well understood, Chopra is merely making a long-winded God of the Gaps plea.

"Does science tell us why a brave soldier runs in to rescue his buddies under heavy fire? Does science tell us why we want to be creative and why we exalt art? Does science even tell a scientist that he exists? Dawkins fails to admit that some things may not be reducible to data."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-ch ... 04216.html


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Last edited by geo on Sun May 26, 2013 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
You can't pin down Chopra on taking a position on anything. He'll just give you some New Age buzzwords and use "quantum" and "consciousness" in there somehow. But he's apparently made a lot of money doing that, so I give him credit.

http://www.wisdomofchopra.com/



Sun May 26, 2013 8:34 am
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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
There's no way I can comment intelligently on the piece, since I haven't read Dawkins' book. This means I can't evaluate whether Chopra is doing what we've seen a lot of from anti-atheists on this internet forum: imputing views to an atheist that the atheist is not really expressing, but is merely suspected of having. Does Dawkins discount art or human feeling in his book, for example? I'd be surprised if he did, because elsewhere he speaks of how important these are to him. His subject happens to be science, so he would naturally exclude some things, wouldn't he?

Still, though I might be too susceptible to Chopra's eloquence, the piece strikes me as worthy of attention. Dawkins can indeed be dogmatic, both about the state of the art in science and about what it is healthy to believe. Is he willing to consider that there may be more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in his philosophy?



Sun May 26, 2013 9:13 am
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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Maybe his point is simply that Science does not have all the answers; something that men like Dawkins make a lot of money preaching that it can.

Can you provide a quote or video clip of Depak claiming that because of this or that mystery, God has been proven to exist?
I mean, yeah, he beleives in God. But you seem certain that his argument is a GOTG.
I think youre just being lazy and just using that over used rebuttle.

Lets see the evidence to back your accusation.
If not, youre nust saying he is because he beleives in God.
Youre being prejudiced against his beleif.



Sun May 26, 2013 9:19 am
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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Chopra is actually a physician. So if he never got in to the book and public speaking business he still would have or could have made "a lot of money"

Im not certain how much zoologists make, are you?
certainly Dawkins has made a killing of his preaching. probably more than he ever would have made studying the crapping habits of birds.



Sun May 26, 2013 9:33 am
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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Chopra does indeed love quantum physics and brings it up all the time as if its very mystique validates his own art of woo. If we ever do figure out what quantum physics is all about, Chopra will have to move on to something else. But I suppose he's pretty safe with quantum physics for now.

In the chapter on atoms, Dawkins brings up quarks, tiny particles inside protons and neutrons. I would bet Chopra could make something of quarks too. (He probably has.) But in this passage here, Dawkins isn't sounding like someone who claims science knows everything. This is actually the close of the chapter.

Dawkins wrote:
. . . even protons and neutrons have an inside. Even they contain yet smaller things, called quarks. But that is is something I'm not going to talk about in this book. That's not because I think you wouldn't understand. It is because I know I don't understand it! We are here moving into a wonderland of the mysterious. And it is important to recognize when we reach the limits of what we understand. it is not that we shall never understand these things. Probably we shall, and scientists are working on them with every hope of success. But we have to know what we don't understand, and admit it to ourselves, before we can begin to work on it. There are scientists who understand at least something of this wonderland of the very small, but I am not one of them. I know my limitations.


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Last edited by geo on Sun May 26, 2013 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
saying that Chopra is using a God Of Gaps arguement is an overly simplistic analysis.
Chopra is a scientist by training. He's an MD.
He is giving his perspective as a scientist. His is a holistic approach and one that many people can and do relate to in connection with health, values, and worldview.
He is certainly on the other side of the fence when compared to diehard materialists.

Many of us here are not scientists and have not lived in the profession or mingled with fellow scientists.
Most here are well-read armchair scientists and philosophers. Although it does not mean we are not entitled to an opinion, nevertheless, some of our opinions are blurted out in the most obviously biased style



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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
But what about the passage above that geo quoted? You complain about others not supporting their claims, but you're constantly stating that Dawkins et al preach that science has solved all mysteries, and provides all else we need in order to understand who we are, why we're here, to live a good life, etc. To my knowledge, you've never provided any support for that; you just assume they harbor such views. Now's your chance! Some quotes, please.



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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Chopra:
Quote:
It's ironic that Dawkins is addressing "how we know what's really true" when he is oblivious of the fact that we can never know the whole truth.


Really? Dawkins is oblivious to that fact? I think we've seen this strawman before.

Chopra:
Quote:
Experience remains richer than any scientific model. If I say that I am in love with the most beautiful woman in the world, in what way is a skeptic proving anything when he points out the improbability that I have found one woman out of three billion who is the most beautiful?


And what? You think Dawkins is confused about the state of scientific knowledge here?

Chopra:
Quote:
Likewise, nothing unconscious, delivered in dreams, produced by a sudden flash of insight, made evident by a chance observation (like the discovery of penicillin) counts as a valid way of knowing the truth, either. The history of science undercuts Dawkins' stance. For instance, Friedrich August Kekulé struggled to understand the structure of benzene until in a day-dream he envisioned it as a snake eating its own tail.


But his insights on the structure of benzene must be consistent with science, and have explanatory usefulness. If Kekule had published a paper merely relaying his dream as evidence, obviously it would be invalid. So what's the criticism? Does Dawkins refuse to acknowledge sudden inspiration? I can't see how that is possible.

Chopra criticizes Dawkins for ignoring some research on genetic mutations, the idea that the universe is conscious, the relationship between consciousness and quantum theory, etc.

If these go beyond idle speculation, then it is part of science. What's the issue?



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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Quote:
But what about the passage above that geo quoted? You complain about others not supporting their claims, but you're constantly stating that Dawkins et al preach that science has solved all mysteries,


What about it?
That is not a claim that because there is mystery, God must exist. Perhaps you and Geo believe that is what is being implied. But again I say that is a simplistic analysis of his argument, which in this particular case is in fact not an argument at all for the existence of God, but rather serves as an exemplar that certain questions Science can not address - PERIOD.

I don't "complain." I direct it to the attention of those that try to pass off opinions as FACT, including some of Dawkins work.

Please show me where I've said that Dawkins has claimed "science has solved all mysteries."



Sun May 26, 2013 11:26 am
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Post Re: Deepak Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
I'm not sure what Deepak Chopra wants from Richard Dawkins. Does he suppose we should stop assuming materialist explanations in science?

I wonder if Chopra could find a single sentence in MAGIC OF REALITY that is actually not true. The primary complaint is that Dawkins doesn't pay homage to spirituality. Buy why should he? This is a book about science.

Chopra wrote:
Dawkins, like other staunch materialists, believes that all subjective experience, being a product of the brain, must come down to a physical process, leaving no possibility that the physical processes of the brain maybe correlates to something happening in the mind. How microvolts of electricity and neurochemicals flying across synapses produce the entire world is a deep mystery, often referred to as the hard problem in consciousness research. This Dawkins doesn't even consider.


I suppose Chopra equates "deep mystery" to God. But does he expect scientists who are in the business of finding material explanations to start looking for supernatural explanations? How do you do research for that?

Here's a question. In our entire history, has any scientific discovery ever been attributed to supernatural explanations?
The answer is no. And, yet, Deeprok Chopra is having an apoplectic fit that Dawkins assumes material explanations in a field that naturally does and must assume naturalistic explanations.

It must be disheartening for woo peddlers to accept that they cannot contribute to the body of knowledge. But as we have discussed here on BT, that's not what religion is for. You cannot expect science to provide spiritual meaning just as you cannot expect religion to provide real world knowledge.

What I can't get over is Chopra's general snarky tone. It really is over the top. He makes several grand indictments like "This book tries to kill the legacy of faith in human culture." And "Dawkins is a one-man society for the suppression of curiosity." Good Lord, really?


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Last edited by geo on Sun May 26, 2013 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Deepak Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Dawkins interviews Deepak Chopra about his use of the term "quantum theory." I get lost trying to follow the man's train of thought. Sounds like a bunch of bullcrap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-FaXD_igv4

Also, I wanted to correct the spelling of Deepak's name.


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Post Re: Deeprok Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
ant wrote:
Chopra is actually a physician. So if he never got in to the book and public speaking business he still would have or could have made "a lot of money"

Im not certain how much zoologists make, are you?
certainly Dawkins has made a killing of his preaching. probably more than he ever would have made studying the crapping habits of birds.



Let's be realistic here fellows. Chopra is a businessman. He makes his money by keying into the perceived (accurately it would seem) spiritual needs, desires, and fantasies of those today that are intellectually constrained, emotionally in need, or perhaps simply bored with existence, and hoping that there was going to be more. His is the discourse of the used car salesman, one that seems to offer hope and benefit, but when deeply analyzed, a couple of days after the encounter, one finds skilled language, but little substance.

His marketing skills are beyond question, and my guess is that he is doing what he is doing because his medical skills are slightly less so. In the land of opportunity, one does what brings in the reward, not necessarily what is most desirable for the community at large. And rewarded he has been. There is nothing like seeing one's name in print, in shop windows about the planet, to boost self-confidence, and reinforce one's employment and income strategies.

In fact, all the above items in question, that have been offered as being outside the scientific realm, are in fact in it, at least on a tentative basis. The question is not whether there may be some natural explanation for these things, but, in this case, whether those explanations are as desirable, as psychologically reinforcing, as trendy, as exciting, or........as marketable, as the theories expressed by our master salesman. It is a sad fact today, that so many will lunge at the quick and easy, rather than do the duller work of reading and checking facts.


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Post Re: Deepak Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Quote:
Let's be realistic here fellows. Chopra is a businessman. He makes his money by keying into the perceived (accurately it would seem) spiritual needs, desires, and fantasies of those today that are intellectually constrained, emotionally in need, or perhaps simply bored with existence, and hoping that there was going to be more. His is the discourse of the used car salesman, one that seems to offer hope and benefit, but when deeply analyzed, a couple of days after the encounter, one finds skilled language, but little substance.


I think there is a psychological quirk at play, the same quirk found in nearly everyone. The way many people assess the truth is through the words that embody concepts. At some deeper level, the words themselves are the holders of truth. Whatever our assessment of the truth is, that assessment is attached to the words themselves rather than the correlation between the words and reality.

I have no doubt I'm failing at explaining this. But I've had the thought burning on the backburner since debating with Stahrwe a few years back. In some people's minds, the words used are able to supercede the reality they are supposed to refer to. So by mincing and combining words in new ways, you can alter the Truth. It's as if some people are lacking that second internal awareness of when the words aren't matching up to reality. To them, internal consistency is the gauge for truthfulness, and checking for a correlation to something objective is done only when convenient.


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Post Re: Deepak Chopra's review of MAGIC OF REALITY
Interbane wrote:

I think there is a psychological quirk at play, the same quirk found in nearly everyone. The way many people assess the truth is through the words that embody concepts. At some deeper level, the words themselves are the holders of truth. Whatever our assessment of the truth is, that assessment is attached to the words themselves rather than the correlation between the words and reality.

I have no doubt I'm failing at explaining this. But I've had the thought burning on the backburner since debating with Stahrwe a few years back. In some people's minds, the words used are able to supercede the reality they are supposed to refer to. So by mincing and combining words in new ways, you can alter the Truth. It's as if some people are lacking that second internal awareness of when the words aren't matching up to reality. To them, internal consistency is the gauge for truthfulness, and checking for a correlation to something objective is done only when convenient.


This made much more sense the second time I read it, and actually you explain it very well. Put another way perhaps, language can corrupt our thinking. And language can be used to manipulate others. Politicians use words and phrases with certain connotations they know will excite their constituents. Like "welfare state" or "corporate state." People can react viscerally to these phrases without taking the time to analyze what is actually being said. Chopra is well known in the skeptic community for using scientific-sounding words, but as Dexter said, it's hard to figure out what he's actually saying. Indeed, he's very good at the manipulation game.

Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" is a good primer on this subject. One cannot change the inevitable decay of language, Orwell suggests, but "one can at least change one's own habits."

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm


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Mon May 27, 2013 9:11 am
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