Deepak Chopra in Nightline Debate - (New Title)

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by Waynesrhythm, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi All,

    I saw a segment on Nightline last week in which a Christian minister and another Christian woman debated Deepak Chopra and another Christian minister about whether Satan existed. Here's the link in case anybody is interested in watching it. (I wasn't particularly impressed with the arguments either pro or con.)

    What I found a bit disturbing was Deepak Chopra's insistence in describing some Christian beliefs as primitive. I was aghast as soon as I started to hear him use this term. And he then proceeded to use it repeatedly in his ensuing arguments.

    Finally, the minister he was debating took him to task (fairly politely) and let him know how condescending it felt to have him refer to his beliefs in such a manner. I felt it presented a great opportunity for Deepak to re-evaluate what he was saying, perhaps apologize for his choice of words, and express sincere regret for how it was making the minister feel. Instead, he did none of these, and even chose to continue using such disrespectful words and tone.

    Though I am not Christian, I do believe that this Christian minister, and all religions and spiritual paths/orientations should always be given utmost respect. I do not feel it is ever appropriate to directly or indirectly, subtlely or subconsciously denigrate another person's religion or spiritual orientation.

    But since we are all human, if we do discuss religion or spirituality, it will likely happen that we may, usually unknowingly, at some point offend the spiritual sensibilities of another person whose beliefs are different than our own. In these instances, I think it presents opportunities for both the person feeling offended and the person whose remarks were felt to be insensitive.

    I myself would probably feel quite mortified to hear that somebody had felt offended by any remarks I had made. But I would appreciate their candor (and courage), and I would certainly try to make amends. Either by sincerely apologizing, or by letting them know that I believe that all religions (and non-religions) (not sure if that's a word) :) have their place in this world.

    In the end, I tend to think of people's personal religion as the way they make their way in this world, especially the way they treat their fellow Souls (both animal and human).

    Just a few of my thoughts for tonight. :)

    Best, Wayne[This Message was Edited on 04/06/2009]
  2. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Always nice to see you.

    I watched the first three segments. I agree with Rain that Deepak Chopra was using the word primitive very specifically. In the first instance, it was used to mean old and outmoded in relation to the history of science. It was a debate; it is perfectly acceptable to call an idea outmoded in a debate. That is the nature of debate. Then, much later, in reference to aspects of his own, and our, nature which are primitive in the way our fight or flight mechanism is primitive. In neither case did I find it problematic. If, later on in a debate, he makes the point that he finds these things "primitive" in a similar way to the ways he has used it so far but is more forceful, I'd be fine with that. It is a debate.

    I was ready to agree with you Wayne because I'm always ready to agree with Wayne but I don't. I have preconceived ideas about all MDs that lead me to assume they are arrogant but I don't think he was being arrogant in this case. It was a debate and he was on the side of science from which viewpoint these beliefs are, strictly speaking, primitive.

    Peace out,
  3. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Rainbow & Rafiki, Hi All,

    Rainbow and Rafiki, I normally don't do many posts in the morning because of lack of mental energy, but I had to let you know I got to doing some good chuckling as I read your posts. (Luckily, chuckling doesn't take a lot of mental energy.) :) The reason I was chuckling was because of how careful you were trying to be to disagree without hurting my feelings. It wasn’t that it was outright funny, but more that your efforts were really, really sweet! I just love you guys, whoops, gals.

    Rainbow, RE: “”“All this seems so appropriate and right-on, to me, with situations happening daily across the world, and in our own little microcosm on this Spirituality Worship Board.”“”

    Actually, the main reason I created this thread was to remind people here in a bit of an oblique way how important it is to carefully choose our words right here on this board. I normally don’t read the threads here that get a little heated, but from various comments I do see, it seems there is often a sense of disrespect that can trigger things.

    In the above story about the debate, I really wasn’t trying to focus in on whether the use of the term primitive was right or wrong, or disrespectful or not. My point mostly had to do with the opportunity Deepak had when told how the way he was using terminology was affecting the minister.

    People can say that it was the minister’s responsibility to not feel offended (and I would agree), but I would put more of the onus on Deepak, or anybody else in that position (such as some people on this board who have been told their way of communicating is adversely affecting them). I think the question arises as to whether you continue to communicate in a way that you know offends another person, or do you choose to try to make your points in a way that doesn’t offend. There is literally an infinite number of ways in which to effectively present our viewpoints. Why not choose one that doesn’t offend?

    I actually don’t think a debate forum is a good venue for discussing religion or spirituality. It seems the debate format (for anything) usually involves trying to mentally corner somebody into submission. And even if that is successful, if somebody feels like they’re being cornered, they’re probably less likely than ever to listen carefully and consider your viewpoint.

    I would actually be interested in hearing from some Christians on this board as to how they perceived any of this. But perhaps they’ve already hit the Ignore button on my posts. Can’t say I blame them. :)

    Thanks again Rain and Rafiki for your sweet sensitivity (and your honesty). It was really quite heart warming! :)

    Best to All, Wayne
  4. Sacajawea2

    Sacajawea2 Member

    Lol, Wayne, I had to chuckle myself...
    I saw this when it came on tv and it held my intersest for less than ten minutes. Which is a reason I would've stayed out of this thread if not for this comment from you:

    "I actually don’t think a debate forum is a good venue for discussing religion or spirituality. It seems the debate format (for anything) usually involves trying to mentally corner somebody into submission. And even if that is successful, if somebody feels like they’re being cornered, they’re probably less likely than ever to listen carefully and consider your viewpoint."

    I feel the same way personally, and that's probably why I lost interest.
    Personally I believe in Satan, that he's real so a tv segment wouldn't affect me in any decisions...I also believe we are responsible for ourselves as well, so Satan can't be blamed for the choices we make...


    PS And I forgot to add that I agree that we should choose our words carefully but at the same time, not take offense so easily when someone differs from our beliefs.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/03/2009]
  5. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi All,

    I went to the link that I posted above to review a couple of areas that had caught my interest and commented on. I was surprised to see that some of what I saw on the TV edition seems to have been edited out, and some of what is on the website was not on the TV program.

    So it appears that it will be difficult to reconcile what I have written above with what is available online. The website video ended (at least for me) at segment 4. I don't know if there are more segments I was unable to access or not. Just wanted to mention this to possibly avoid some confusion for those of you who are thinking about watching this online.

    Julie, thanks so much for your note. I'm happy to hear you have not used the Ignore button on me. :) I appreciate your comment about enjoying my posts. It tells me that perhaps I am able to write in a way that truly respects other people's beliefs. But still allows me to share some of my experiences and perspectives that you and others on this board may appreciate.

    Kind Regards, Wayne
  6. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi All,

    Well, I just got done watching all 10 segments. After doing so, I have come away with a far different take on this than after I watched the Nightline segment on TV, which only had about 20% of what was online.

    After watching all ten segments, I was actually quite impressed with all four participants. And I agree with you Rainbow, that they were actually quite respectful to each other. Which is quite an accomplishment, given the "debate" structure of the discussion. A format that can often deteriorate quite quickly.

    I finally did find the juncture where the minister was gently chiding Deepak for his use of the word primitive. Upon reviewing it, I did notice that Deepak did back off, and used this word only one more time, sort of sincerely indicating he couldn't think of another word to use. But he never did mention primitive again after it was brought to his attention. For those who would want to see that particular juncture, it is in Segment 6, and occurs in the first three minutes:

    This feels like a good lesson for me. By seeing only 20% of the the debate, I ended up with a limited perspective. Had I watched the whole thing initially, I would have had a much better understanding of the general tone and tenor of the discussion.

    It feels like an example of how much power editors can have, often choosing to air or print things that have a more dramatic aspect to them. It may capture public interest better, but it does so at the cost of distorting the true picture of what has transpired.

    After watching the whole thing, I have to say that the person I was probably most impressed with was the woman (ex prostitute) who had the courage to try to share what she has experienced and learned and hopefully prevent others from having to go through some of the terrible things she has gone through. A true profile in courage.

    Best, Wayne
  7. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    would have had no idea of it.

    I noticed there were a lot of 'Christians' in the audience who kept jeering and laughing whenever Deepak/Bishop put across some point of view which they didnt agree with and Im pretty impressed at the cool unruffled way they handled it. It couldnt have been easy to remain civil when you know most of them were against what you stand for and were vocal about it, those two came through with flying colours. A class act.

    God Bless
  8. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Springwater,

    Thanks so much for your comments you've made. I especially appreciated you mentioning the following:

    """So, no, most definitely I did not see any aura or forces of darkness out there on the debate forum. Only four indiviuals having a civilized discussion."""

    I was going to mention something similar to this, but then forgot to do so. I did not see any "darkness" amongst any of these individuals either. And as Rainbow mentioned, it takes courage to share your truth. I thought they all showed great courage and impressive sincerity in presenting their views. And in addition, did it in a mostly respectful manner.

    I've been debating (with myself) :) whether to share another perspective on the spiritual reason/purpose of the negative power (know as Satan in Christianity). It really doesn't agree with either side of the debate on Nightline, so I'm not sure how much interest there may be. I guess I'll give it a little more thought; don't really have the energy to do it tonight anyway.

    Best to All, Wayne[This Message was Edited on 04/05/2009]
  9. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi All,

    It was suggested I give this thread a new title. Given that I now have a different perspective on what all transpired on Nightline, I would agree that my original title is no longer an accurate or appropriate fit.

    Thanks Jam for the suggestion. :)

    Best, Wayne
    [This Message was Edited on 04/06/2009]