33 thoughts on “Now’s your chance

  1. I’d like to ask Deepok Chopra what sort of evidence would persuade him his spiritual view of reality was mistaken, and Michael Shermer’s naturalism is correct.

    I doubt very much that he would give a clear and direct answer* — my guess is that he’d stuff a strawman version of “materialism” which folds under some obvious contradiction and then talk about how very hard it is to overcome that. But it might be useful to make him twist out of a clear and direct question.

    *(Always a safe bet)

    1. Deepak’s reply: “I feel very comfortable looking at myself in the mirror because I have so much money I know I’m special.”

  2. I wouldn’t bother because he will just string a nonsense word salad together and present it as an answer

  3. It doesn’t seem particularly constructive to mock him if he’s taking the time to talk with you. But it might be helpful to your dialogue to ask him if he could elaborate upon some things he finds dubious, lacking, problematic, or inflexible in the discourse of Western science. If he simply begins to make zany claims about specific things that (capital ‘S’) Science has wrong and Ayurveda has right, then he’s not playing ball very well (e.g., evolution is wrong and a panda built the universe in seventy days (or whatever)). But if you get him to articulate a cogent critique of instrumental reason, that’s kinda cool.

    Or ask him if Ayurveda is right about telling people to eat dairy. Lots of vegetarians cry foul on that one.

    1. “But if you get him to articulate a cogent critique of instrumental reason, that’s kinda cool.”

      Good luck with that!

  4. I have a genuine question for Mr Chopra: What are his views about the applications of Quantum chromodynamics to spiritual health? Does he think that the fundamental colourful beauty of the elementary quarks has an analogue in the rainbow, and perhaps even transcends it?

    PS: I now realize how hard it must have been for Sokal to chrun out a whole article in this vein. After all, he is a real physicist.

  5. If the letters in his name were electrons fired through a double-slit the interference pattern might re-arrange itself to form (OK, I am actually talking about anagrams here!!)

    Appear Hocked
    Cheap Peak Rod
    Cheap Ape Dork
    Repack Hope Ad
    Aped Ark Epoch
    Padre Ape Hock
    Poach Dark Pee
    Peed Ah. OK Crap.
    Aho, prepacked.
    Do Preach Peak

  6. Just ask him a really elementary question about quantum mechanics to establish that he is really profoundly ignorant of it. For example, ask him to explain in a simple and concise manner the relationship between the Schrodinger Equation, a particles wave function and the probability of a particle being in a given state at a given time. Embarrass and expose him by causing him to waffle inanely about something exact and precise that he fraudulently claims to understand.

      1. I clicked on that, and I got “Your heart requires your own force fields”. Now if you think about it, isn’t that true? Wouldn’t the heart stop without the force fields generated due to ionic imbalances in the nerves controlling the heart?

        Maybe the random quote generator has the advantage of sometimes actually generating true statements.

    1. “I’m sorry, but your question is much too clear and forceful, and it comes burdened with implications for life in actual world. Could you possibly rephrase it with vaguer and flabbier jargon to make the audience think highly of my intellect?”

  7. My question would revolve around the idea of spiritual turnips, and how the intracellular amalgamations of primordial transcendance can serve to mitigate epistemological concepts of spirituality, in the face of ontological meanderings (eternally enshrined in the works of Nuttbaggins, et all) that refute our internal selves and play silent witness to the evolutionary mandates we’re all less than cognitively cognizant of, while at the same time remembering that the shadows of our souls can undermine our true intentions and allow us to stray from the path of enlightenment and wisdom, without jeopardizing the entire reason we exist, which is ostensibly to bring salvation to cultural cross-fertilization and submit it to para-psychological, linguistic methods of standardization and faith-based explicatives that work as digressions from…

    …(three pages later)…

    … conciliatory breach of understanding exactly where, cosmologically or otherwise, we abrogate any obligation to assert the normatives of statistical techniques which are routine and have explanatory value.

    I have a follow-up question, as well.

  8. It would be great if Michael Shermer gave Deepak Chopra some of the “quotes” generated by the computer program you mentioned a while back, along with stuff he has actually said, and let’s see if Chopra himself can tell which is which.

  9. Oh, you meant _Chopra_! I don’t think Shermer’s agnosticism has meant that he is particularly good at resolving knowledge from woo, I think he has been seriously criticized for insufficient skepticism at times.

    Which he likely will be again after privileging a woo-meister by acknowledging him. Thanks, no questions on my account.

    1. I think he has been seriously criticized for insufficient skepticism at times

      I gather he’s a Libertarian. That usually requires some pretty big blind spots.

      And someone calling themselves jonathanray is making unsourced accusations about his publiv behaviour.

  10. I remember a video clip where severe umbrage was taken at the word “woo”. Why such a reaction? It’s such a pretty-sounding word, and can mean all sorts of positive things to different kinds of people. It’s even a playful noise that children make when they pretend to be a choo-choo train. Rather than fight it, why not embrace “woo” and make it your own? Turn negative energy into positive energy. Celebrate “woo”.

  11. I’d like to apply Chokra’s own views to the question of asking him a question.

    I’d like him to admit he’s woo-full. So Applying his own methods, I believe (and imagine the night before) him answering my question, “Do you believe the stuff you say?” Answer, “No”.

    Given the Quantum nature of Deepcrak’s world, I should in fact, be able to “create” the answer I seek.

    But, we will not get this answer. Why? I think DC would explain it along the lines, “because we don’t believe him.”
    Ah, the conundrums of our universe.

  12. If Shermer plays his cards right, he’ll get Deepak pissed off. I just love it when Mr. Light and Love lowers those eyebrows and looks like he’s going to kill someone. He has quite a temper.

  13. I would ask Chopra whether there are any forms of medical pseudoscience that he believes don’t work or have harmed people by discouraging them from using treatments that work. Then I would ask how he tells the difference between treatments that don’t work and the ones that do.

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