Monday, April 30, 2012

A book by Leonard and Deepak

War of the Worldviews

This book is a debate between Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow. It isn't a line by line debate. They take turns writing chapters. So you could read just what Leonard wrote if you wanted.

In chapter one, Deepak seems to be arguing in favor of free will. Also in chapter one, Deepak seems to take the position that we don't know it all so we should remain open. Certainly he isn't claiming that unproven hypotheses are true. His example: the elephant story.

Leonard writes the next chapter. Both are addressing the question: What is reality? I find myself agreeing with both of them at times. Leonard is addressing the awesomeness of what our senses can experience.

Leonard states: "Deepak's belief that the universe is purposeful ...". On April 29th, we were talking about Marx and Hegel and their histrionics as we watched the Popper DVD. I think they were saying that history has a purpose. Popper disagreed. I must admit that Deepak saying that the universe has a purpose seems a little far fetched to me. I think I am with the existentialists: humans make their own purpose.

Below quote is from this link :
"Suppose we divide theories of the meaning of human life into the exogenous and the endogenous. According to the exogenous theories, existential meaning derives from a source external to the agent, whereas on endogenous theories, meaning and purpose are posited or projected by the agent. "

I totally agree with this statement that Leonard makes: "one must be careful when discussing scientific issues not to use terms loosely."

I liked this quote by Richard Feynman: "the first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest to fool."

I liked this statement by Leonard: "It is easy to convince oneself of dubious ideas if the arguments one uses to support those ideas are built around words with wrong, vague, or multiple meanings."

I wonder if religious people think that Deepak is doing a good job defending their worldview. He talks about the perfection of God; and the omniscient, omnipresent , omnipotent God. And then he says "the defeat of perfectionism seems totally justified...Spirituality therefore cannot get back into the game on religious terms. It has to add something new"

On page 57 Leonard says "A quick way to turn science into science fiction is to play with the meaning of its terms"

To be continued

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