Citizen Zings Deepak Chopra With Bolt Of Logic

From regular reader Bruce Foutch comes this video of a citizen asking “quantum healing” guru Deepak Chopra and some “Bishop” a simple question.


Deepak Chopra Flummoxed

The transcript reads:

Emcee: I want to take another question. There’s a gentlemen in the red shirt who’s had his hand up for awhile to come up to the microphone.

Citizen: My questions are for Deepak and the, uh, and the Bishop. Now you stated before that all belief is a cover-up for insecurity, right?

Chopra/Bishop: Uh huh.

Citizen: Do you believe that?

Chopra/Bishop: Yes.

Citizen: Thank you (tumultuous applause and cheering).

Chopra/Bishop: (sitting stunned, flummoxed, chagrined, dumbfounded in equal parts).

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Our red-shirted brother held them down and gave ’em a few in the kidneys. Then just walked away, his opponents lying prone, either too frightened or stupefied to return to the battle. The camera doesn’t show it, but I’d like to believe our hero casually walked to the door, pausing only to light a cheroot in the shadows before his disappeared.

Pop, progressive, and various other failed philosophies are chock full of self-defeating statements like Chopra’s that, were they actually examined show the philosophy to be empty. My favorite is due to multiculturalism: “There is no truth.”

What’s yours?

37 Comments

  1. “Atlas Shrugs”

    As in, good people with a lot to give to society will be fed up by bullshit and just declare “whatever”.

    Quite similar to the Monty Python’s one, “It’s the society’s fault, it’s not mine!”

    Same bullshit.

    Next?

  2. The absolute truth is unknowable. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle demonstrates that, at one level, you can’t know everything about even a simple situation. So What!

    Approximations to the truth are sufficient for most purposes. If my first year students are doing an experiment with a transistor, a three term equation pretty well covers it. It is a sufficient approximation of reality. OTOH, the equations that describe the stability of the selfsame transistor operating at 1 GHz, are somewhat more complicated.

    That which is sufficiently true in one situation is not nearly true enough in another. A good technologist/engineer/scientist knows the difference.

  3. Deepak’s response (which is cut off from the clip to which you have linked) was… “If something is real, you don’t need to believe in it. You just experience it. And God is real because we can experience God.”

    I’m not defending Deepak, I just though the full context was needed.

    I have never had an experience with God, so adopting his belief, God must not be real.

    Here is the entire clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf8i9x2h_P8. The confrontation above begins at the 4:40 mark.

  4. “If something is real, you don’t need to believe in it. You just experience it.

    Now that’s quite illogical, unless if by “Real” Chopra means “Experienced”. Well, then, Reality for Chopra is all and only what he himself experiences. Then he says that God is real because we *can* experience God. So reality here is equated with the *possibility* of experiencing him.

    But how do we arrive at the conclusion that we, and everyone else, can experience God?

    Rather than belief, I mean.

  5. Tim,

    Oh, fine. Spoil my fun. Not that his response makes any sense, as you noticed.

    commieBob,

    Can you know Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle?

    Luis,

    Howdy!

  6. Thanks Tim for providing the name of the Bishop. I thought his reaction the most sincere. He knew he had just been had and laughed in seeming appreciation of the clever jab. I looked him up and discovered he actually has a couple of things going in his favor. First his middle name is D’Metrius, which should give him a point or two. And second, he was declared a heretic by his peers in the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops. I may not agree with him but I might very well enjoy talking with him.

    In direct opposite, was the white-haired woman on the end who just sat there in stunned silence, probably trying to turn invisible while hoping that the red shirted guy wasn’t going to come back and take a poke at feminist standpoint theory.

  7. Briggs says:
    11 February 2011 at 10:18 am

    commieBob,

    Can you know Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle?

    It’s approximately true under some circumstances. 😉

  8. Luis,

    Or, better yet, Randian belief, spoken through Galt, that “I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

    Goodness forbid!

  9. Yeah, Ari. And the left are the ones accused of being “anti-family”. Very funny indeed.

    Oh, and hi, mr Briggs ;).

  10. Briggs, “Can you know Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle?”

    Only at the expense of not knowing something else.

  11. Well, I’m sure I don’t know Heisenberg’s principle “absolutely”. Because that rather depends on what you mean by “absolutely”. Often I hear people say, “you know the equations, but you don’t understand them“. And I believe in them ;).

  12. Scrawled on one of the bathroom walls in the Physics Building where I went to school:

    “Heisenberg may have been here”

  13. Ugh…a couple of new age secular humanists…making up their own religion as they go along and spouting pure vomit for the masses.

    I’ve always thought of Chopra as one of the most vile anti-American scammers in the new age movement. Why doesn’t he and this “bishop” take their show on the road and visit some Arab or Maoist countries and spout this bullsh_t? Let’s see how far they get when they don’t have the umbrella of a free (Judeo-Christian) system of government protecting them.

  14. a former student,

    Thanks. I hadn’t known about my entry. Fair enough, especially considering I used this forum to express my frustration with the lack of preparedness, interest, self-discipline, and even ability of the students I had this fall. For example, remember the extra credit where I asked about the definitions of some common words? How did you do on that? You will also enjoy this thread, where I wonder if too many kids enroll in college. Most come expecting they will be passed simply because they are there. And this one where I detail one of the exams you took.

    Now for your lesson. Chopra indeed is making much more money than I. But do you feel that what he is selling, as evidenced by his performance in this clip, is worth it? If so, can you tell me why?

    (Of course, please feel free to remain anonymous.)

  15. Checked out your feedback at ratemyprofessors and, according to one of your students, you are “bulligerant” as well.

    How can you live with yourself? 😉

  16. Matt,

    Don’t be stupid teacher, learn yourself some REAL stats.

    No red chili pepper for you!

    Anyhoo, I was of the opinion that you’ve been exaggerating the degree to which your students were ill-prepared to cope with college, much less your classes. After reading those reviews I find myself more inclined to accept your argument.

  17. Mr. Briggs,

    I am sorry to hear you are sans wine. I hope you’re not out of scotch as well. Perhaps that bottle of Laphroaig is still hidden away in the back of the cupboard. After all, it is Friday. Reward yourself for another week well spent educating your ‘real’ students out here in the blogosphere.

  18. There are only two types of people in the world:

    Those who don’t know there are two types of people in the world,

    Those who know there are two types of people in the world, and

    those who say” they are frikken people not types and sorting them into two or three groups is pointlessly simplistic”

  19. Dear Dr Briggs, this post was ever so slightly amusing but well below
    your usual standard. Neither “victim” of the alleged zinger was as
    stupid as you suggest and both seem decent, sincere people. It is
    nevertheless surprising that someone like Deepak who, I assume,
    knows enough higher mathematics to understand Quantum Theory
    did not immediately recognise the Epimenedes paradox.

  20. Everyone eventually has to believe something. I believe in the rules of logic; I know I couldn’t prove them. I believe precisely because I know that, and I am secure in that knowledge.

  21. DM of WA,

    Thank you. You might be right (about my swing and a miss), but you’re quite wrong about Chopra, whose has demonstrated repeatedly that he hasn’t the slightest idea what quantum mechanics is. For just one of many examples, read this article by physicist Vic Stenger.

    It’s always been my theory that people (like Chopra) are taken in by the word “quantum”, which has a mysterious ring to it. If Born had used “discrete” instead of “quantum” there would be a lot less confusion in the world.

  22. My favorite is the post modernists belief that knowledge is unknowable. When you ask them how they know this, they can’t answer.

    My suspicion is, you never really asked them and are just making it up. But please go on.

  23. Well, I must thank “a former student” for making me laugh. This new generation of kids don’t realize that they will be surpassed by light speed by all those asian teenagers, who don’t go to the cinema, don’t have boyfriends or girlfriends, spend all their time on study. Within two generations, the majority of the “intellegentsia” of the world will have flat noses and oval faces.

    These rednecks will then blame their teaxers, for “beyin’ stoopid, immatchure and, like, stuff, oh boy that asian chick is hot! Letz go play some MassEffet!!”

  24. Briggs, yes, Chopra is stupid. But he knows very well his limits and his audience. And he never fails to give speeches that try to convey as maximally possible that he does indeed knows what he is speaking about. Sometimes I see some videos of him to realise how dumb many people are.

  25. Mr Briggs u r just not cool enough for school if u were more cooler&less buligerunt you culd learn your students more good and be less of bad teacher and stuff.

    stats 4 lif3, old skewl style

    representin with my boys t-test and are-squared.

    I was being sarcastic of course.

    Maybe the problem is that most people today (students and parents alike) see Univeristy as a place to get a degree rather than as a place to get a higher education.

  26. a former student says:
    11 February 2011 at 4:43 pm
    Professor,

    You are mean, pompous, irresponsible and immature. I am not the only one feeling that way.
    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=1062869

    You enjoy putting others down to make yourself feel more interesting and superior. Deepak Chopra is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Dear former student, even though you are not the only one feeling that way, I am sorry you are feeling pompous, irresponsible and immature.

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