Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
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18-05-2011, 08:47 AM
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
A couple of things in the interest of fairness.

I challenge anyone to find the words "all Atheists" in Chopra's article. I can see what sentences people are reacting to and I can see why, but I don't think the assumption that Chopra is saying X is true of all Atheists is reasonable.

If people aren't willing to accept that there are some Atheists on this planet that are doing what Chopra is accusing them of, well, I call shennanigans.

I enjoyed the article and I think he makes some good points. Before my whippings begin, there is a difference between saying, he raises some interesting points and all hail Chopra.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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18-05-2011, 12:23 PM
 
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
(18-05-2011 08:47 AM)Ghost Wrote:  A couple of things in the interest of fairness.

I challenge anyone to find the words "all Atheists" in Chopra's article. I can see what sentences people are reacting to and I can see why, but I don't think the assumption that Chopra is saying X is true of all Atheists is reasonable.

If people aren't willing to accept that there are some Atheists on this planet that are doing what Chopra is accusing them of, well, I call shennanigans.

I enjoyed the article and I think he makes some good points. Before my whippings begin, there is a difference between saying, he raises some interesting points and all hail Chopra.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt


In fairness, I think you need read Chopra's article again.

If you're making the contention that the words, "all atheists" doesn't appear in Chopra's article and that's what discounts any inference it is an all encompassing indictment he's making of atheists, then you are correct. The two words, "all atheists" does not appear in his article.
However, his article is replete with his blanket references to all atheists when he omits the two words, "many atheists" "some atheists", so as to impart he is speaking not of the whole of the atheist community in his rhetoric, but instead is only referencing a select specific few that fit the criteria he describes.

There is every reason to take issue with Chopra's article, because he is indeed speaking of atheists. Until he designates a select few to indict with his criticism, that's his responsibility in making blanket statements, about the whole of the atheist member community.
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18-05-2011, 01:29 PM
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
(18-05-2011 08:47 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I challenge anyone to find the words "all Atheists" in Chopra's article. I can see what sentences people are reacting to and I can see why, but I don't think the assumption that Chopra is saying X is true of all Atheists is reasonable.
chopra's article Wrote:By making belief in God their enemy, atheists deprive themselves of what spirituality is really about: a process of inner growth.
Atheists = multiple = all. If not: please Mr Chopra: be more specific
besides
I've never had more inner growth then since I'm an atheist.
Chopra's article Wrote:The atheists I've met went through a period of personal disillusion
And this anecdotal events are now meant for all Atheists? If not: please Mr Chopra: be more specific

Articles like this may have the intend to have a nuanced image of atheism but in practice they haven't. Instead of "shades of gray" they make the whiter more white and the blacker more black. If this was not mister Chopra's intend, he should write a more "shades of gray "article. But then again... who reads such boring articles.

You know Matt,
This is what bothers me. Today everything you say and do gets polarized, you are left or right, you are theist or atheist, you are before or against. Everything that could be labeled "shades of gray" becomes "boring" or "double standard". I think it has to do with the short attention span most people have these days.

I think I's OK for you to say "This was not the writers intend". Perhaps you're right, but... its not your call! Mr Chopra should say that, but yet... that's not the perception

Observer

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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18-05-2011, 02:41 PM
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
(18-05-2011 08:47 AM)Ghost Wrote:  A couple of things in the interest of fairness.

I challenge anyone to find the words "all Atheists" in Chopra's article. I can see what sentences people are reacting to and I can see why, but I don't think the assumption that Chopra is saying X is true of all Atheists is reasonable.
Now you are just splitting hairs. So, it's okay if I say "Christians are filthy and vile people that hate everyone and everything" after looking at the WBC just because I don't specify "all Christians". When they use the general term "atheists", they at least mean most atheists. Just like when you say that "Dogs like to play fetch" you don't really mean "Some, possibly a majority but possibly not, dogs like to play fetch". You mean "As a general rule, dogs like to play fetch".

(18-05-2011 08:47 AM)Ghost Wrote:  If people aren't willing to accept that there are some Atheists on this planet that are doing what Chopra is accusing them of, well, I call shennanigans.
Yes, I know there are less-than respectable atheists. I acknowledge them as a minority and should not be taken as how most atheists are. The point isn't that they talked about some of the worse atheists, the point is by referring to the worst of the atheist community as simply "atheists"(not making the distinction that there are many that are not like this) they paint a poor and dishonest picture of the atheist community as a whole. They perpetuate the idea that atheists walk around smug and feeling they know all answers to the universe.

If someone wrote an article that said black people are not interested in education but rather stealing items in the way they wrote that atheists are smug, it would be horrible. No would would say that it's okay because they didn't say "all black people". If it were about Jews being greedy, no one would say that that it's okay, because there are some Jews that are greedy. So why is okay to say that atheists are smug? Perpetuating stereotypes in such a bold and serious manner is not okay, regardless of the stereotypes.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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18-05-2011, 03:09 PM
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

So I just wrote a post in response and it dissapeared. I don't have the wherewithal to write it again. Sooo.... fuck.

All I can think to post is this. "By taking the Holy Bible as litteral truth Christian's deprive themselves of the real point of science: to gain a greater understanding of the universe through observation." Am I talking about all Christians? Of course not. Only those that take the Holy Bible as litteral truth.

Just pretend I wrote a very thoughtful and well-supported post about how he's not actually saying all Atheists are/believe X. He's not attacking Atheism, indicting it or suggesting it should be eliminated. It's not an article of war. He's saying that there are pitfalls. Substituting rhetoric for truth, saying that people are either rational materialists or religious and dismissing the spiritual journey in its entirety are mistakes that Christopher Hitchens and any other like-minded Atheists are making.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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18-05-2011, 03:31 PM
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
Isn't it at least strange that this guy needs apologetics for his article?

Observer

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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18-05-2011, 03:56 PM
 
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
(18-05-2011 03:31 PM)The_observer Wrote:  Isn't it at least strange that this guy needs apologetics for his article?

Not really. If you read Chopra you'll find his writings espouse a new age eclectic belief system that encompasses Hinduism, Buddhism ironically enough, and flavors of Christianity.More the Gnostic variety than anything that may be construed as Fundamentalist.

What's interesting is that in the course of attempting to denigrate atheists and atheism, he does so because atheism isn't in keeping with what he believes everyone should be open to; spirituality.

When, if he was as spiritual as he likes to imply while getting richer in the process, not only would he refrain from making blanket indictments of all of atheism and the atheist individuals in the community, he wouldn't think atheism to be a matter of "making god their(atheists) enemy".

He's clueless as to what atheism is.
And just as an aside to Ghost, Chopra's article title itself forewarns everything he has to say he is saying about all atheists!
Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake

The argument to the contrary, when Chopra is clear in his own writing insults Chopra, who clearly is able to speak for himself.
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18-05-2011, 07:09 PM
 
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
I think that whenever one human interviews another without discussion, and then claims to understand, and challenge the others perspective after the fact, very little can be concluded other than that the interviewer loses credibility. I have heard Chopra speak from time to time and I do not doubt that I may agree with just as many, if not more, of his ideas, than I would Hitchens, since I view human relations to be at least as important as human realization. However, in this article Chopra wrote, his personal beliefs do seem to supersede logic and objectivity, and that unfortunately prevented the truth and an honest discussion.
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18-05-2011, 10:09 PM
 
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
(18-05-2011 07:09 PM)Hugh Mann Wrote:  I think that whenever one human interviews another without discussion, and then claims to understand, and challenge the others perspective after the fact, very little can be concluded other than that the interviewer loses credibility.
You'll understand when I say that part of your observation doesn't make any sense, to me. How does someone interview someone, without a discussion? The rest of that sentence then prompts the observation that the whole point of an interview is to garner understanding of the subject/person being interviewed so as to gain perspective of their perspective regarding the topic under discussion.

Also, with respect to the OP and the Chopra article, that is not an interview. Rather, it is a Column that Chopra writes and that appears in SFGate. It is an opinion piece, as it were, on the letter Hitch provided the American Atheists Convention in April 2011, wherein he had lost his voice due to his battle with esophageal cancer and instead of being able to fulfill his speaker engagement, he sent his speech in writing so as to be read to those in attendance.
(LINK)

Quote: I have heard Chopra speak from time to time and I do not doubt that I may agree with just as many, if not more, of his ideas, than I would Hitchens, since I view human relations to be at least as important as human realization. However, in this article Chopra wrote, his personal beliefs do seem to supersede logic and objectivity, and that unfortunately prevented the truth and an honest discussion.
I concur with your observations, in this regard. Smile
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18-05-2011, 11:24 PM
RE: Christopher Hitchens and the atheists' mistake ~ Deepak Chopra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qySx8tSs8BQ

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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