Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
MrLearner
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Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by MrLearner » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:25 pm

Hello everyone,

I recently watched a debate on youtube between deepak chopra and richard dawkins.


I can easily understand dawkins and agree with him mostly. I tried my best but I don't understand what Deepak Chopra's view is, he uses lots of technical words but not simple language. Is he saying atoms have consciousness. Anyway I would have easily dismissed his ideas, but then I did a search and realised he has a huge following and his view are hinduism related. So can anyone explain to me in simple language what his view is, and is it sound with buddhist view. I just want to know if Deepak is talking buddhist ideas or is it something else. Thanks :)

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Ben
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Ben » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:03 pm

from memory Chopra's ideas borrow from Hinduism and Buddhism but are more accurately described as New Age. Im no fan of Chopra' and since Dawkins escalating obsession with tearing down religion, nor a fan of him either.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
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Kim OHara
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:33 pm

Ben wrote:from memory Chopra's ideas borrow from Hinduism and Buddhism but are more accurately described as New Age. Im no fan of Chopra' and since Dawkins escalating obsession with tearing down religion, nor a fan of him either.
Agreed on all points! :smile:
I would add that Chopra is a sloppy thinker. If you can't see any basis for his arguments, it's often because they have no basis.
:toilet:

:namaste:
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Digity
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Digity » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:16 am

I didn't listen to the talk, but Deepak Chopra talks a lot of pseudoscience. Atoms have conscience...any real scientist would laugh at a statement like this. I wouldn't take him too seriously...he's making millions off of his "spiritual" pursuits.

Just because you have a huge following that doesn't mean anything. Don't get fooled by popularity. I'm sure for some, Deepak has provided them something, but when you really examine him closely you see that a lot of what he says is jibberish.

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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:50 am

Digity wrote:I'm sure for some, Deepak has provided them something, but when you really examine him closely you see that a lot of what he says is jibberish.
I agree. His ideas are superficially appealing, but the shameless use of pseudo-science really lets him down.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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dhammacoustic
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by dhammacoustic » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:05 am

Given that Chopra is a fake Hindu, a psuedoscientist, and a sassatavāda-salesman who has managed to make millions of dollars by selling the same pathetic quantum shit, it's okay to dismiss anything that comes out of his mouth.

As for the ucchedavādin (a.k.a Dawkins), it seems to me that he knows nothing about philosophy, and I really don't think that he knows or understands diverse modes of thought. In the video, (around 51:00) he doesn't even seem to understand the question "Who is I?".

No reason to waste valuable time watching this idiotic debate.
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by rolling_boulder » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:29 am

The Pasura Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

will tell you anything you need to know about debates.

Metta,
RB
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:21 am

:goodpost:

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:02 pm

I can't know what are Deepak Chopra's intentions and he may be a good guy. But his arguments are scientifically worthless. He says atoms have consciousness, or a rudimentary form of consciousness, and that is wholy unsupported by science or Freeman Dyson.

His basic idea, it seems, is that there is a universal consciousness that "shines its light" on all matter and exists in interdependence with matter, even if in a higher plane. And that's how every atom has some form of consciousness. It is hinduism and borders on some of the tibetan buddhist teachings.

Even if you don't like Dawkins you have to at least appreciate that he risks his life on a daily basis to fight against religious fascism or authoritarianism. Atheists and skeptics have always been on the forefront of the fight for the liberties we all enjoy. Dawkins is doing this peacefully so he deserves our gratitude, or at least some apreciation because history has shown us that society must be secular.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Kim OHara
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Kim OHara » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:26 am

Only slightly off-topic ...
... The potential coexistence of all religions is a seductive fantasy. In its service, popular authors and academics have preached the comforting delusion that religions are essentially the same, and therefore fundamentally compatible. As Boston University’s Stephen Prothero puts it in God Is Not One, "This is a lovely sentiment, but it is dangerous, disrespectful, and untrue." Thankfully, the vast majority of modern scholars now side with Prothero, and the American Academy of Religion’s curriculum guidelines for public schools ensure that teachers at all levels will not irresponsibly homogenize the world’s religious traditions.

... The result, however, is disastrous. Suddenly we are in the land of bumper-sticker postmodernism, where truths are perspectival and no one can be objectively wrong. Like the unity of all religions, the validity of all religions is a lovely sentiment (Coexist!), but it is dangerous, disrespectful, and untrue. Dangerous, because it means people will be less likely to fight against injustices and falsehoods that are underwritten by religion. Disrespectful, because authentic respect involves caring when others’ beliefs go wrong, not just letting them believe whatever they want. And untrue, because basic logic tells us that "God condones slavery" and "God forbids slavery" cannot be equally valid claims.

The other possible response, then, is to teach that there are multiple religious perspectives, which are not all equally valid and deserving of respect. If this sounds crazy or extreme, start by thinking in terms of historical claims: There are multiple perspectives on the age of the earth that aren’t equally valid and deserving of respect. Or maybe think about it in terms of ethics: There are multiple perspectives on child abuse that aren’t equally valid and deserving of respect. Now the next step: Acknowledge that religious beliefs include historical and ethical claims. No extremism here, just common sense — the same common sense that allows religious traditions to correct mistaken positions on the age of the earth, or whether God wants black people to be priests.
...
The Problem With Religious Tolerance by Alan Levinovitz, via https://richarddawkins.net/2015/10/the- ... tolerance/

:coffee:
Kim

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:00 am

Standing ovation!

How sad is it that posmodernism, a.k.a. academic voodoo, is now the norm, and common sense is extremist?! It blows my mind!
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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daverupa
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by daverupa » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:05 pm

Here is the Chronicle article in full.

Very nice.
...start by thinking in terms of historical claims...
Huzzah!
But tolerance doesn’t tell us that just because the belief is religious, there’s no way to pronounce on its truth. It doesn’t forbid us to criticize falsehoods if religion is used to justify those falsehoods. And it doesn’t mean that people who challenge deeply held beliefs represent a threat. That’s complacence, not tolerance, and it’s time to start recognizing the difference.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

Pinetree
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by Pinetree » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:43 pm

Deepak Chopra comes from Hinduism, this is not Buddhist teaching.

The point is not that atoms have consciousness, but that atoms are a manifestation or expression of a universal all-pervading consciousness. Among others, this universal consciousness has the function of a creator of the universe, and you, me, we are part of this consciousness and our thoughts contribute to the creation of the universe.

This is a sort of religious philosophy, and is in a completely different league than science is. Any comparison or debate is nonsense.

The problem being (and I read a good article I can't find now) is that some Hindu scholars will pick and choose certain concepts from modern science that they twist until they vaguely sound like stuff from their Hindu scriptures and they say: "See, our religion has known this for thousands of years. "

MrLearner
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by MrLearner » Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:40 pm

Thanks for all the replies :) I'm glad that my initial instinct of dismissing Deepak's views due to his pseudoscience, was right according to majority. I think the reason why he has a following is that, he also teaches meditation etc to celebrities and people who are unaware of it. They immediately see the obvious good effects in it, and think then everything else he says must also be true.

@modus: Yes I completely agree with you about having some sort of gratitude to Dawkins.

@dhammacoustic: Yes I completely agree with what you are saying,especially dawkin's philosophical knowledge but I think Dawkins is a guy who obviously has not been fortunate enough to meet Dhamma, his attitude also would make sure he will never accept it in this lifetime, but if you look at what he is saying, ignoring his lack of philosophical knowledge makes some valid points. I saw in a different interview in youtube, where he was interviewed in Sri Lanka, and then he was asked about buddhism. There he says he sees it less as a religion and more a way of life. He said it was very interesting and beautiful but unfortunately he doesn't know much about it.

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dhammacoustic
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Re: Deepak chopra vs richard dawkins?

Post by dhammacoustic » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:12 am

MrLearner wrote:@dhammacoustic: Yes I completely agree with what you are saying,especially dawkin's philosophical knowledge but I think Dawkins is a guy who obviously has not been fortunate enough to meet Dhamma, his attitude also would make sure he will never accept it in this lifetime, but if you look at what he is saying, ignoring his lack of philosophical knowledge makes some valid points. I saw in a different interview in youtube, where he was interviewed in Sri Lanka, and then he was asked about buddhism. There he says he sees it less as a religion and more a way of life. He said it was very interesting and beautiful but unfortunately he doesn't know much about it.
I kind of appreciate Dawkins' fight against dogma and intellectual ignorance, but since the debate seems to be about answering questions on ontological matters, I think the video is a waste of time (and bandwidth), due to the participants.

:anjali:
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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