Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deepak Chopra busts out the measuring stick!

(via Atheist Media Blog)

   On Nov. 2, Deepak Chopra was Bill O'Reilly's guest. They spend a bunch of time bashing Richard Dawkins. There are certainly some interesting parts, which I will comment on below the fold.

   Around 1:20, Deepak starts talking about how Dawkins supposedly uses his scientific "credentials" in debates. I don't completely buy that. I have no doubts, though, that Dawkins uses his knowledge of science in debates. There is a difference here. It's not Dawkins using an argument from authority, as Chopra implies. But then he seemingly justifies the use of these credentials when referring to Francis Collins. My guess is that is OK since Collins is on his side. (More disturbing, though, was how he made it sound like Collins was out to prove whose is bigger.) Then, of course, O'Reilly has to jump in on the fallacy, too.

   Then, around 2:05, the typical Bill O'Reilly silliness erupts! Though, I grant that it is a common Christian claim, but this idea that our justice system is based on the Ten Commandments is completely absurd! Only three at the most are part of our justice system. More significantly, the first commandment and the First Amendment of the US Constitution are completely contradictory.

   O'Reilly then makes the stupid point of how the Ten Commandments hang in the Supreme Court. It is my understanding that the Code of Hammurabi also hangs there. Explain that, Bill! (Tides go in...)

   Chopra starts talking gobbledegook shortly after that, including some bullshit about "the laws of physics themselves preclude us from intellectually getting in touch with the source." Yeah, that sounds pretty much made up. Then he starts talking about "listening to the heart," and it seemed to me that he meant it literally! (He's not talking about it as a metaphor for the subconscious!)

   I must give O'Reilly some credit, though, for calling Chopra out for taking the idea that the "prophets" "transcended" is, as he put it, "a matter of faith." That's exactly right. And faith is pretty much believing any bullshit you want, because no evidence is required to have faith.

   Shortly after that, though, O'Reilly begins talking nonsense about meteors. Then Chopra starts to say that evolution does not contradict something, perhaps the existence of the god he believes in, but O'Reilly jumps in and says, "intelligent design does not contradict science." Well, if you're talking about science overall, no, it doesn't; it can't. However, intelligent design is not science and, furthermore, it does contradict the well-supported theory of evolution.

   Then Chopra...oh, what a whopper that seems so reasonable. He seems to be entertaining the idea that if humans were ever to create an artificial life form, that life form would have been designed, thus proving that life requires a designer. It's absolute bullshit. You can make the same argument for everything else. Take lightning, for example. Humans can create some powerful "bolts" of electricity in laboratories. (In fact, avionics hardware is tested in such labs to find out how lightning resistant it is.) Since this laboratory lightning is "intelligently designed," does that mean lightning (from a thunderstorm) is intelligently designed?

   Lastly, Chopra pulls the argument from ignorance fallacy. Essentially, since science cannot disprove a deistic god, so Chopra suggests that believing in such a god then becomes acceptable. Science can't really disprove fairies, leprechauns, pink unicorns, or whether or not we live in a matrix. Should we believe in those things too?

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