Chopra and Mlodinow on OnPoint
What happens, then, when two worldviews clash? In 399 BCE three Athenian citizens accused Socrates of refusing to recognize the traditional gods and introducing new divinities instead (he was also accused of corrupting their youth). The penalty for this clash of worldviews, or gods, was death. During his trial Socrates refused to back down or to flee from a certain verdict of guilty. According to Plato, he said, “So long as I draw breath and have my faculties, I shall never stop practicing philosophy.” Unfortunately, in many parts of the world today, a clash of worldviews is still met with violence and death.
This book is about a clash of worldviews, but no blows were exchanged. The book came about when two strangers met at a televised debate on “the future of God.” The setting was an auditorium at the California Institute of Technology, and the audience was composed of many scientists and students, but also of laypeople, including Deepak’s fans from the surrounding community. Each of them brought his or her own personal beliefs— no doubt some of them were religious— but they also brought their own worldview, which runs much deeper than belief.