Debate "Housekeeping" (05:52)
Moderator John Donvan frames the debate on the need for God and introduces the panelists.
Opening Statements For: Heather Berlin (06:04)
Cognitive neuroscientist, Berlin describes various forms of need. Scientific progress completely transformed knowledge of how the world works. She discusses "God of the Gaps."
Opening Statements Against: Deepak Chopra (06:19)
Integrative medicine advocate and Chopra Foundation Founder, Chopra defines consciousness; it is the basis of experience in every sentient being. "God is our highest instinct to know ourselves."
Opening Statements For: Michael Shermer (06:34)
"Skeptic Magazine" Publisher, Shermer states that evolutionary theory, history, and social sciences supports the declining need for God. He cites examples of moral progress. Religion is a group cohesiveness method that drives people to be more tribal and xenophobic.
Opening Statements Against: Anoop Kumar (05:48)
Emergency physician and author, Kumar states that what we call matter is an experience in our consciousness. Nobody perceives anything outside of consciousness. He considers infinity and its prevalence across all disciplines.
Necessity of God (07:47)
Donvan summarizes opening statements. Chopra states that science is an activity in consciousness. Berlin counters that consciousness is subjective and located in the brain. Kumar counters that the brain is an experience in consciousness.
What is Consciousness? (03:30)
Chopra states that before you can name an object, it has to be an experience. Shermer explains the weak consciousness principle and the strong consciousness principle; the mind is not anywhere without the brain.
Knowing Right or Wrong (07:17)
Kumar states that as the mind becomes more perceptive, the notions of right and wrong are more refined; consciousness is impersonal. Berlin discusses morality and brain function. Chopra counters that all that exists is consciousness; belief is a cover-up for insecurity. Shermer outlines a thought experience.
Secularization and Human Behavior (04:00)
Chopra explains we cannot do anything without experience and experience is all in the mind. Kumar states that blind belief is bad and that the cores of all religions sound the same. Berlin counters that we experience the world via consciousness.
QA: God vs. Consciousness (04:16)
Shermer states he would not change his stance if the language of the debate were different. Berlin states the concept of God is not necessary to live a moral life. Chopra counters that we need consciousness to have a thought.
QA: What Kind of Consciousness Emerged During the Big Bang? (03:17)
Kumar discusses the idea that consciousness is a product of life. Berlin counters that his comments are a circular argument; they argue objective consciousness.
QA: Necessity of Subjective Experience (01:26)
Shermer considers the Western definition of God and argues that a need to believe, because it is good for society, is not necessary.
QA: Evolution and the Future (04:55)
Chopra states that people need to understand the nature of understanding. Berlin counters that much of what happens that affects behavior is outside of awareness; consciousness is not necessary.
QA: Concept of God (01:33)
Chopra states that deities are symbolic manifestations of aspirations in human consciousness; they have a role.
QA: Repressed Notion of God (02:13)
Shermer considers millions of deaths by regimes that repressed religion. Kumar states that un-investigated beliefs lead to problems.
QA: God or a Continuum? (01:14)
Chopra believes the understanding of ourselves as consciousness is necessary for evolution.
QA: Is the Idea of God Useful in Society? (02:24)
Science is a method of investigation and spirituality is that which does the science; both are necessary.
Concluding Statement For: Berlin (02:35)
God is not necessary to have a sense of purpose. Competing visions of God are a motive for violence.
Concluding Statement Against: Chopra (02:12)
Chopra quotes Ludwig Wittgenstein and Buddha. Everything thing we think of as the past is a blurred concept; the past and future do not exist.
Concluding Statement For: Shermer (02:27)
Shermer considers where humans will be in 500 years. We are expanding or consciousness; religion and a belief in God are tools that are not necessary.
Concluding Statement Against: Kumar (02:09)
The way we experience the world is dependent on our minds. Everyone has a sense of identity that is fickle; identity can delocalize.
Considering Arguments (03:21)
Donvan thanks panelists and asks if they heard anything during the debate that made them think twice. Panelists consider transcendence and consciousness.
Audience Vote Results (01:37)
Donvan asks for continuing support of Intelligence Squared. Pre-Debate - For: 47% - Against: 31% - Undecided: 22%
Post-Debate - For: 67% - Against: 26% - Undecided: 7%
Credits: The More We Evolve, the Less We Need God: A Debate (00:09)
Credits: The More We Evolve, the Less We Need God: A Debate
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