The Satan Debate on Nightline.

I just got done watching the less-edited version of the Nightline debate entitled “Does Satan Exist” (that link appears to be one that will someday no longer point to the specific debate, but just to all of the debates.).  I wanted to give my reactions to a few points.

First off, it was very well-produced, and I thought that the editing didn’t favor one side over the other.  Perhaps that’s because I watched the nearly unedited version online.  Who knows what actually made it to the TV.

There was one point in the debate that really piqued my interest.  They allowed audience members to ask questions, and a girl asked Deepak Chopra what made his experience more valid or more true than the other panelists’ experience.  He immediately retorted that his experience wasn’t more true, but that he could only speak from his point of view.  Then he went on to make the point that her experience was not as in-line with “what we know about science and microbiology…” (not a direct quote, I didn’t go back and check the wording…).

Out of one side of his mouth he would say that her experience is perfectly valid, and then he would immediately turn around and basically call her primitive and uneducated.  Yet he doesn’t see the incongruence there. He spins very pretty word-webs and things that sound pithy and neat but have no real meaning.  “All belief is just a cover-up for insecurity.  Once you know something you no longer have to believe it.  You just experience it.”  …what?

Which brings me to my favorite interchange in the debate (which I really hope made it to the final cut that aired on ABC).  Also between an audience member and Chopra, it went something like this:

Man in Audience: Earlier you said that all belief is just a cover-up for insecurity.  Do you believe that?

Deepak Chopra: Yes.

Man in Audience:  Thanks. (turns to go sit down)