Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Nightline Face-Off: Does God Have a Future?

Play all videos (12)
March 10, 2010 at the California Institute of Technology
Sam Harris and Michael Shermer vs. Deepak Chopra and Jean Houston
Original link - Scheduled to air tonight March 23, 2010 at 11:35 Eastern


  1. For the supposedly more open minded, credulous side, Chopra behaved like a bullying Fox News host.  Meanwhile Ms. Houston didn't say a single germane or salient thing the entire night.  A perfect example of the reluctance of modern theists to engage these debates.  C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterton might not persuade many on this board, but at least they would engage the issues.  No one from any viewpoint learned anything from the religious representatives that night.

  2. <span>Jean Houston said next to nothing the entire time.</span>

  3. I found it funny how agitated Chpra seemed to get at times ... not very Buddist of him

  4. I liked Houston.  She is obviously a good story teller and entertaining - unfortunately most of what she said appeared to be a non-sequitur to the conversation. I have heard of Chopra, but never seen him speak much.  He reminded me of a sleazy televangelist.

  5. Darabos Edvárd KonrádMarch 24, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    God of the gaps. By the book.

  6. Depak seemed to just be spouting hippie gobbledy-gook.

  7. What Harris does so well is he understands what Deepak and Houston are saying, and can then deconstruct it in their language. Shermer, on the other hand, dismisses their arguments as "woo" and does more harm than good. While what he said makes perfect sense to a skeptic who already knows what he means by "woo" and "fuzzy language," the people he really needs to communicate to will not get the message. To them, he embodies the "close-minded" scientific man and only reinforces their thinking that they are right.

  8. I disagree and I think that actually the reverse is true. You are making the assumption that there is anything even capable of being understood within the vacuous ramblings of Chopra and Houston, yet if you can stomach listening to either of them for more than a minute, it's clear that there is not. Literally everything she said was incoherent, name dropping, UNBELIEVABLY pretentious, postmodern prattle, and everything HE said was all that plus an assload of quantum flapdoodle (as Murray Gell Mann would call it) on top of it all. IMO, Harris let himself get bogged down in trying to answer Chopra's crap and Shermer just dismissed it out of hand, which is what the willful obfuscation of those two deserved.

    As support for my position, I present you with the most ridiculous sentence ever uttered by a human being:

    Deepak Chopra: "In the absence of a conscious entity, the moon remains a radically ambiguous and ceaselessly flowing quantum soup."

    I DARE you to make sense of that.

  9. R€LIGION $TINKS OF MONE¥March 24, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    Deepak´s constant obsessing over "woo" and "fuzzy" was telling.  

  10. A lifelong vocal antitheist of over 50 years who welcomed the "new atheism," I nevertheless felt vaguely uncomfortable in drawing too much comfort from the apparent new support.
    Now I know why. Most of these comments here drip with ego, arrogance, self-indulgent cleverness, mutual ego-stroking and closed-minded-orthodoxy of the worst of the moron televangelists.
    I sadly suspect much of the "new Atheism" is mostly shallow youthful rebellion. You know, the stuff of the trendy anti-war generation back in the '60s who morphed into Granada, Lybia, Panama, Kuwait, Iraque, Afghanistan etc. of today.

  11. Whenever Jean opened her mouth, a whole stream of meaningless noise came out. Deepak is a hippy woo fuzzy moron/con artist.
    Sam Harris was great. He called the other side on their woo and deconstructed and demolished their woo nicely. Shermer sticked more to facts, but is not yet used to debating hippy liars.

  12. I would boil the discussion down to this:

    You can call your dog a cat if youd like, however dont be supprised when people are utterly baffled when you tell them your cat barks. Also dont pretend that their confusion is due to the profound nature of what you have done.

  13. For fucks sake Ivan if you're going to sockpuppet concern-troll you could at least ATTEMPT to make it believable. Christ my 10 year old niece is capable of more convincing deceit.

  14. Some how Deebak is like Dinesh D-Souze v.2.0.
    Same kinda of babble, which is exactly woo-woo. His used the shotgun tactics and shot as many shells as he could against the enemy in one sentence.
    Basically what he said was that "We don't know how this or that works so there must be a god" aka God of the gaps.
    Harris as always was the polite and good speaker as he de-constructed what the others said to a more layman terms so all could understand what is going on.
    It is just so nice to hear Sam talk. When he opens his mouth, u just stop everything ur doing and concetrate what he is saying cos everything he says seems to make 100% sense. And yeah, what was that Houston doing there anyways?

  15. Alm I supposed to be Ivan???
    In the classless language this generation seems capable of understanding...."What the fuck....?"

  16. <span>"I know what each of those words mean, I still don't think that I eh.. eh..."</span>