Thursday, March 26, 2009

Could it be... Satan!?

(Sorry it's been a while, exam week you know. Not that anyone cares.)

Tonight, Nightline is airing a "debate" called "Does Satan exist?"

The people who are debating are a Christian pastor, the founder of "Hookers for Jesus," a former preacher, and Deepak Chopra. Deepak Chopra is a ridiculous self-help author, who regularly distorts science to advance his kooky theories. He famously claims that Quantum Theory supports the idea that people can cause physical changes in their physiology using their mind; Quantum theory says no such thing.

Couldn't they have found someone to represent reason/science? If you're gonna have Deepak Chopra argue for the correct side, there's not much hope that there will be much rationality in the debate. It's like getting the Pope to argue whether Vishnu exists. Maybe they just couldn't find a scientist who could keep a straight face when asked "Does Satan exist?" At least in the god debate there are arguments that seem sort of rational at first glance, even if they fail upon closer inspection. But how much can you really say about Satan? I guess I'll have to watch to find out. At least it should be a good laugh.

Edit: So I watched it, and Deepak Chopra wasn't as bad as I thought he would be. He had a few good moments talking about rationality, but he threw in plenty of his new-age woo. I still would have liked to see a scientist/rationalist there, I think someone like Hitchens could have done a much better job than Chopra. Anyway, it seemed like ABC was more interested in generating controversy than having a substantial debate, that's probably why the debate took place in a church where most of the crowd cheered every time the pastor proclaimed his ignorance, and why they brought the ex-hooker (who had a sad story, but obviously no debate experience).


  1. Atheism is a type of Satanism.

  2. You never cease to entertain, JP.

  3. The fundamental problem here is that for much of humanity (especially in the US) a rationalist viewpoint is simply something that doesn't occur to them. Of course there's some non-material something out there. The only question becomes do they believe that the supernatural entities can be malicious or do they just believe in supernatural entities which are all hugs and puppies. The notion that there are no supernatural entities is so far removed from their minds it likely doesn't even enter at any point in the process.

  4. I think your right, Joshua. That's why we need to get the rationalist viewpoint into the public conversation (for example, in this debate).