So last week Michael Shermer was on Larry King Live with, amongst others, multimillionaire purveyor of all things soft-brained Deepak Chopra. They discussed “life after death,” a phrase I’ve never quite understood, but apparently it has something to do with humans somehow having a soul which survives physical death and then exists in some other hypothetical realm of existence and then haunts theme parks.
Chopra is basically a stoned 14 year old who’s surrounded by hordes of yes-men in business suits who insulate him from any criticism and reinforce his delusions of grandeur. When he’s not lying and inventing straw men about his critics, he’s vomiting out empty platitudes with a confidence and certainty which is just unseemly considering the lack of coherence involved.
Now I admit it’s easy for someone like me to not understand what a professional whatever-Chopra-happens-to-be is saying. I’m right now reading a book dealing largely with the spectrum of light and have to constantly re-read paragraphs to make sure that I fully understand what’s being said. So it might be that he’s just way too deep for me to even understand, dude.
For example, this is from his Twitter just 49 minutes ago (Twitter is so Zen, man):
“I will get in touch with the field of pure potentiality by taking time each day to be silent, to just Be.”
The problem with that possibility is that actual scientists come to the same conclusion about Chopra’s incoherence – even the guy who wrote the aforementioned book I’m reading. So it’s not just me that’s criticizing him for not being able to explain his views, it’s also other people who really know what Chopra proclaims to talk about.
So anyway, after Shermer embarrassed Chopra on Larry King Live, which for some reason was neither live nor with Larry King, Chopra wrote a whiny blog entry on the deplorable Huffington Post, a regular purveyor of dangerous pseudoscience and outright stupidity. And at the end of his whining, he challenged Shermer to a debate. In a response, after outlining some of the same problems I’ve mentioned with Chopra, Shermer accepted the challenge.
It wasn’t made clear what the actual topic of the debate is supposed to be. That’s one problem. Creationists often challenge guys like Shermer to debates, propose a topic, and then change it at literally the last minute. If it isn’t a continuation of the Larry King discussion, this one will probably be some kind of overarching general ‘battle of worldviews’ where Chopra will be free to throw as much shit to the wall as possible, hoping that enough will stick for him to ‘win’ without having to actually answer a legitimate question or defend a real position.
This is a mistake on Shermer’s part. He needs to nail this guy down to a specific position to either advocate or oppose because rambling nonsense in random directions so that his audience can claim to understand him and feel superior to skeptics and materialists is what he does for a living. And if he tries to do that once the debate has already begun, Chopra’s just going to condemn him for staying on-topic and trying to confine his free spirit or some other such nonsense. Anyway, it’ll still be fun times for everyone, so get the popcorn ready.