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 hyoid
Joined: 5/12/2009
Msg: 2
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the UniversePage 1 of 19    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)

unnerving many creationists and theologians in the process, as one would imagine.


I doubt that any, much less many people of faith are unnerved by pronouncements of this type by other people-such is the nature of faith.

More likely, their response is "He's wrong."

For the record, I agree with him. I just don't need his arguments in support.
 CallmeKen
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 3
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/7/2010 9:46:06 PM
For those creationists out there, do ideas in science such as these at all undercut or shake your belief in a god, personal or otherwise?

Stephen Hawking is almost completely paralyzed, he speaks through a computer, his is eternally limp as wilted lettuce and he poops into a bag.
/
Is it any wonder that he doesn't believe in God?
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 4
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/8/2010 1:15:15 AM

Stephen Hawking is almost completely paralyzed, he speaks through a computer, his is eternally limp as wilted lettuce and he poops into a bag.
/
Is it any wonder that he doesn't believe in God?

In spite of that, he still gets more attention from the media for his opinions than you do, so you have even less reason to believe in god.
 nospeakafukanese
Joined: 8/26/2010
Msg: 5
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/8/2010 2:06:08 AM


Troll Removed
 x_file
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 6
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/8/2010 2:11:48 AM

My question: For those creationists out there, do ideas in science such as these at all undercut or shake your belief in a god, personal or otherwise? (Honesty would be much appreciated.)


I'm not a creationist, but the idea presented by Hawkins is not that there is no God, but that God is not a necessary to explain the Universe and it's internals - if I could put it that way.



More to the point, given that we need not necessarily invoke god to explain the universe, and to the extent that one nevertheless maintains their belief in a deity, it would be interesting to know why it is that an individual would maintain that belief.


There is no mystery here, or much of interest. The explanation is simple: just because it is not necessary to invoke God as an explanation in science doesn't mean there is no God, hence why some individuals can, and still do maintains a belief in God.

The claim that God did not create the universe is, in my opinion, an arrogant claim, especially when it is coming from the sciences because it is not the domain of science to go beyond the empirical and the theoretical.

Science should claim "There is no evidence of (or for) God" rather than "There is no God". And frankly, right before the claim "There is no evidence of God", I'd like to see what constitutes evidence for God or else, even that claim should be taken with a grain of salt and so should the claim, "God exists".
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 7
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/8/2010 4:54:16 AM

Of course, the ideas Hawking raises aren’t particularly new; it’s just that they’ve come to the public’s attention via the media publicity of the new book. (Given his celebrity, when Stephen Hawking talks -- especially about god -- people [and the media] pay attention.)


Inasmuch as Steven Hawking being arguably one of the most brilliant people on the face of the planet, it's unlikely that his opinions or the opinions of any scientist is going to have any effect on the devoutly faithful.

One thing I've discovered over the last while debating with people who are inclined toward certain spiritual beliefs, particularly literalist Christian creationism or more obscure spiritual beliefs, their "beliefs" are built upon a framework of equivocations and justifications that beggar even the simplest principles of logic. Even though I identify myself as agnostic, it's ironically the arguments of the believers that make me lean more toward the atheist camp.

And then there's simple denial. "Richard Dawkins? He's an idiot." I wouldn't be the least surprised to hear that statement from a Creationist about Hawking.


Stephen Hawking is almost completely paralyzed, he speaks through a computer, his is eternally limp as wilted lettuce and he poops into a bag.
/
Is it any wonder that he doesn't believe in God?


Well, that was just...ignorant.
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 8
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/8/2010 6:44:01 AM
I don't think much of anything will change at all, but it does show the danger and, of course, the fallacy of appeals to authority: that authority can change his mind on the subject.

I get bored with theists who predictably quote Einstein (way out of context) as a compelling reason to believe in god. It is the old, "Well he is smarter than you, so his belief is more valid than yours." Nevermind that they misinterpret his beliefs!

I have no problem believing differently than someone who might have a higher IQ because that is not how I form my beliefs.
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 9
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 3:53:05 AM
wow, i never saw a more non-persuasive argument for nothing. the gist of that video is this: if we give typewriters to monkeys and just sit around and wait long enough, they will eventually & spontaneously type stephen hawking's book.... complete & without error... except for perhaps that slight poo stain in the margin ...according to the laws of quantum physics, of course!


so..... stephen hawking has just turned science into a religion? who knew???


My question: For those creationists out there, do ideas in science such as these at all undercut or shake your belief in a god, personal or otherwise? (Honesty would be much appreciated.)


although i wouldn't count myself among the "creationists", i'll go way out on a limb here and say i seriously doubt their beliefs are going to be undercut in the slightest by the beliefs of contrarian theoretical physicists. of course, exactly the opposite is also true.

as a matter of fact, i predict this: that each side in this tedious yet occasionally hilarious debate will find more and more evidence to support their own point of view, and then take their own personal observations as well as their own thoughts and feelings about said personal observations as proof of exactly why they are right and the other guy is wrong.... until the universe finally self-annihilates in protest. and so it goes, in a world of people with convoluted, non-sequitor ideas who refuse to agree with each other.

what else is new?


 NothingLeftToBurn
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 10
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 7:35:03 AM
Hawking is so overrated. Yawn! I agree with flyguy51 that nothing will change. I quote a favorite author, "There is no reason to expect reality to be rationally apprehendable." And I quote Zygmunt Bauman, "Rational people go meekly and quietly into a gas chamber if we allow them to believe it's a bathroom"
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 11
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 8:26:29 AM
"There is no reason to expect reality to be rationally apprehendable."
How ironic is it to use reason to argue that reality isn't reasonable?
 NothingLeftToBurn
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 12
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 12:31:11 PM
"There is no reason to expect reality to be rationally apprehendable."
How ironic is it to use reason to argue that reality isn't reasonable?


It's not reasonable at all, which is precisely my point!!!!!!!! That's the other intrinsic quality of reality, irony and contradiction. I don't know who it was but someone said, "The universe is a dance of opposites"
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 13
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 1:35:18 PM
I know that's your point.

But my point is that it is a performative contradiction to use reason to argue that reality isn't reasonable. It's similar to "Words have no meaning" or "I always lie"
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 14
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 3:46:26 PM
At what time was the concept of God a necessary assumption for the pursuit of science? Anyone who conceives of religion as being some type of ancient proto-science is, I feel, completely missing the point. Science is concerned with HOW the universe is, religion is concerned with WHY the universe is. To ask 'why' may be unanswerable and completely wrongheaded, but it appears to be of profound importance to a great many people. So much so, that they are prepared to affirm the most ludicrous claims in order to maintain this 'meaning'.
 NothingLeftToBurn
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 17
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/9/2010 9:15:24 PM

I know that's your point.

But my point is that it is a performative contradiction to use reason to argue that reality isn't reasonable. It's similar to "Words have no meaning" or "I always lie"


I get what you're saying. It's a conflicting event from which there is no escape. I mean, deep down I know that truth is a pathless land, but I still argue that many things are true. Life is a paradox bro, but the show must go on.
 x_file
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 18
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/10/2010 9:35:50 PM

But that’s exactly it. Hawking is using the “empirical and the theoretical” to arrive at his conclusion that god isn’t necessary to create the universe.


Sure.

God isn't necessary to create the universe... meaning the equations of mathematics/physics gives us a sufficient explanation of "how" the universe was created - and by created we don't mean "brought into existence" but rather how the universe expanded to its current state.

In other words, if the universe was a cake, we know the recipe (or think we do). Even if we don't know who made the eggs, the cholocate, etc., given the elements and the recipe we know how to "create" a cake. The word "create" is used in the practical sense - as one would expect.

Perhaps if Hawking used the word "made" rather than "created" there would be less confusion.




Hawking isn’t saying there is no god. Rather, like that (apocryphal?) saying of Pierre-Simon Laplace, he “has no need of that hypothesis” in his explanation of cosmic origins.


Exactly. Posing God as a hypothesis doesn't give you anything extra - the hypothesis has as much or less explanatory power than the laws of physics (or certain equations) so why bother with God when physics/mathematics is just as good... which is another way of saying what Hawking is saying... again keeping in mind that science is concerned with the "practical" or "how" rather than "Why" or "Who".
 late™
Joined: 2/1/2010
Msg: 19
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/11/2010 1:21:33 AM

In other words


Ahhh... let's violate the law of parsimony...


if the universe was a cake


The "cake-o-verse"!

....never mind.
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 20
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/11/2010 4:04:56 AM
If you’re referring to the Sean Carroll clip, what he’s saying with respect to quantum mechanics isn’t far-fetched. After all, we should be reminded that quantum mechanics is one of the main pillars of modern physics.


kardinal, yes that's the clip i'm referring to. i'm familiar with the most basic concepts of quantum physics and consider myself a "fan". well, not that quantum physics can have fans like mother mary and the saints can have fans, but you see what i'm saying. i just found that video clip to be a ridiculous non-sequitor. because if his premise is true, then so is mine. which is why i made the sarcastic comment about hawking turning science into a religion. it's not that i necessarily think that's what he's done (i didn't read the book), but i do think that's the spin that sean carroll is putting on hawking's book.


As the Nobel laureate physicist Steven Weinberg has tersely said, "Science does not make it impossible to believe in God, but it does make it possible to not believe in God."


now *that*, i have no argument with whatsoever! maybe sean carroll should have cut to the chase instead of clouding his promotion with the rest of his crap about calling quantum phyiscs into play and then waiting "X" years to explain "the entire universe" :) what can i say, the guy irked me.
 x_file
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 23
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/13/2010 8:50:17 PM

But we should realize that asking even this “why” or “who” question about who created what exists or why it exists in the first place is begging the question.


Of course. The next logical question is "Who created the creator?" and/or "Why?"

There is no end to this type of regressive reasoning.



It presupposes at the outset that the question is even a valid one.


Certainly. This is true for most if not all questions.



Thus I think it’s entirely an open question as to whether question "Why is there something, rather than nothing?" is in fact a valid one, and I side with Grunbaum in thinking it’s a pseudo-question.


I agree. For me, and most philosophers there is no beginning or end of existence/reality - it has always been. Therefore if the universe is all there is, then it has always been. If not, it must owe it's beginning, directly, or indirectly, to that which has always been. In either case, we know the answer.

This is why many scientist are not concerned about the "true origin" of the universe, but rather its "practical origin" - meaning "how it expanded".



That is to say, I agree with Grunbaum that things can just exist, and that there need not be an explanation for that fact.


I agree with the base idea.

I disagree with the idea that things can't just exists. For me only one thing can "just exist" - thought I wouldn't call it "a thing", and I wouldn't say "it exists".
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 24
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/14/2010 1:37:04 AM
Thanks for the article and video. It left me with lots more questions than I had to begin with. But I love to learn new things.

My question: For those creationists out there,
I do believe in G-d, and that G-d created the universe. But I do not share the views of the stereotypes painted about those people who are called "creationists" in these forums. So bear in mind, that you simply cannot work out my views from reading what has been written or told to you about "creationists".

do ideas in science such as these at all undercut or shake your belief in a god, personal or otherwise? (Honesty would be much appreciated.)
They CAN. I often find myself questioning my beliefs, when I consider arguments against my theistic beliefs. I had such a moment yesterday. If I really found arguments that were stronger in logic and reason than my personal reasons for believing in G-d, and that G-d created the universe, then I would change my beliefs.

So far, I haven't found such proof. I've found a lot of people who CLAIMED they had such proof. But when I analyse their arguments, in the same ways as I analyse everything in my life, then I find problems in their proofs.

I also analysed the article, and the video, and found problems with both.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 25
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/14/2010 7:00:14 AM

Thus I think it’s entirely an open question as to whether question "Why is there something, rather than nothing?" is in fact a valid one, and I side with Grunbaum in thinking it’s a pseudo-question. That is to say, I agree with Grunbaum that things can just exist, and that there need not be an explanation for that fact.


On that one, I'm afraid I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. Of course, much of my reaction to this kind of reasoning is visceral in that to say that something like the universe can simply exist because it exists just doesn't "feel" right. It offends that innate understanding instilled by millions of years of evolution that effect must follow cause.

I think, however, that to characterize it as a "pseudo-question" is also incorrect in a very real sense in that it is dismissive of a legitimate course of investigation. Indeed, the only difference in the Creationist approach is that, rather than just saying that everything is because "it is," Creationists go a little further to say that everything is "because of God."

Cosmologists are actively involved in the search to find evidence of "preconditions" to the big bang. Though there is no predicting the result of any scientific endeavour, it is at least plausible to suggest that the results of such an investigation might well result in some particularly profound findings of what we term "reality," although I am far less inclined to impose my particular biases on what constitutes "ultimate reality" than our mutual friend App seems to be.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 28
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/15/2010 1:15:22 PM
RE Msg: 26 by Kardinal Offishall:

Here I am reporting a summary of what I've been hearing over the last 10 years from religious people and non-religious theists about the discussions on theism and religion with atheists.

It's my summary, and my report. So you are quite willing to say that I could be wrong. You might have entirely different experiences as an atheist. Religious people and non-religious theists might behave entirely differently in the USA. But this is the general outlook I am coming across, as an insider, of the views of religious people and non-religious theists, of different religions and non-religion, of different nationalities, who are resident or visiting the UK, in the last 10 years.

To sum it up, as far as religious people and non-religious theists are concerned, they no longer care what atheists think. They are simply getting on with their own lives, and ignoring atheists, until they talk themselves into proving themselves wrong.

Here are the points addressing your points:
I think we’re going to see a lot more theologians and religious believers taking pot shots at physics and cosmology from here on out.
I was expecting the same. But what I've experienced IRL, is that whenever I am now bringing up arguments like this one, that my religious friends and my non-religious theistic friends ask me why I am even bothering to consider these arguments, as they have heard so many pro-atheist arguments that they have seen holes in, that they see no point in continuing to consider new claims from atheists. They seem to believe that there is no point in even arguing the point to help atheists, as they seem sure that atheists are now so closed-minded, that they refuse to consider anything that differs from their world view.

Personally, I see an increasing number of atheistic scientists and atheistic public figures talking about proofs against theism more and more as time goes on.

And I think they’re right to feel unnerved. For a while now a lot of them have helped themselves to physics and cosmology to motivate strong anthropic reasoning. But the tide is starting to change. A growing number of physicists are starting to speak out against strong anthropic reasoning (rightfully, by my lights).
Religious people that I know, and non-religious theists that I know, seem to not consider themselves the centre of the universe. Rather, they seem to see anthropic reasoning as a form of false reasoning that suggests that "because man has thought of it, it must be right".

As I see it, the multiverse and ideas in cosmogony like Hawking’s are a direct affront to theology and religious apologetics.

Said theologians and religious apologists will increasingly have to deal with a growing full-frontal assault on their ideas by sciences like evolutionary psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and cosmology. (For instance, there are numerous ongoing interdisciplinary research projects now looking at the neurocognitive underpinnings of religious belief and their evolutionary basis by scientists of all stripes -- and such empirical work has been growing fast in recent years.) It won’t just be simply evolutionary biology simpliciter that’s the enemy anymore.
Actually, the latest developments seem to be used by religious people to support their beliefs.

In addition, religious people that I know, seem to not see science as an enemy of their religion, but as a friend and complement to their religion. It is non-religious theists that I know who seem to see science as in conflict with their beliefs.

Religious people and non-religious theists that I know, see the new discoveries of science as nails in a coffin, just as atheistic scientists do. But the religious and theists see them as nails in the coffin of atheistic scientism, as an indicator of the death of the tyranny of scientists to proclaim that they are the all-knowing ones.

I have met several people, who never mentioned G-d or religion at all, and who feel that the scientists are letting them down when it comes to helping them and the world.

It seems to me that there is a conflict between science and something else, that is becoming larger and larger, but is a conflict between science and the ordinary people of the world, who are becoming more and more dissatisfied with what the scientific community is saying.

At the same time, there are a lot of problems in the Western world, that threatens to overwhelm the West. These problems seem to be increasing on a regular basis. These problems are problems that scientists are expected to address, as they cover the fields of research that science does. But the solutions provided by scientists are only once every several years, only solve a small part of any one problem, and seem to cost billions for each country. As each country in the West seems best by ever-greater economic problems, even the few solutions that are coming from mainstream science seem to be infeasible to achieve for the majority.

The religious people that I know, see this as an indicator that we are living in an "end times" before the coming of their messiah. The non-religious theists that I know, see this as an indicator of a paradigm shift in global consciousness, to a world in which science will return to being a tool for the world and nothing more, in which theists will be considered the equal of atheists, and in which everyone will accept the lessons of world religions, regardless of personal views.

All in all, the way you have described things going, is exactly the way that religious people and non-religious theists see things going. The differences seem to me to be that they see scientific discoveries proving them right, and atheists wrong, with atheists taking senseless pot shots at religion and theism more and more, and with them in the death throes of Western atheism, as eventually, the science will be too overwhelming to deny. Either that, or the West will just be so caught up in a web of denial, that it sinks to become vassal states of China.
 Appreciative9809
Joined: 9/8/2009
Msg: 29
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/20/2010 3:09:54 PM

I am far less inclined to impose my particular biases on what constitutes "ultimate reality" than our mutual friend App seems to be.


Not quite sure what you mean by "impose". I've repeatedly said that metaphysics and ontology are necessarily speculative. I've said that no metaphysics or ontology is provable. I've said that statements on those subjects necessarily have only the force of "What if it's like this?...". Or "Could it be like this?..."

I try to use the word "suggest", when I describe my suggestions about what is.

I should add that, nevertheless, some ontological or metaphysical claims or theories can be shown to be nonsensical, as has been the case with Physicalism.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 30
Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/22/2010 11:18:21 AM
In response to Kardinal Offishall's msg 21:

It's possible that Grunbaum is right, and that the existence of anything is a pseudo-question.

But here are a few reasons to think that Grunbaum is wrong.

At the risk of radically oversimplifying Grunbaum's position, Liebniz's presumption of the "ontological spontaneity of nothingness" that is doing all of the intellectual 'heavy lifting' to supposedly demonstrate that the question is a pseudo-question, because it supposedly rests on an intenable presumption that we have no reason for presuming it when it is pointed out.

In English, Grunbaum is saying something roughly like, "there is no puzzle to answer or explain as a result of the existence of anything, because the non-existence of anything is not spontaneous. If the non-existence of anything is not spontaneous, then neither is the existence of something (or rather, everything) something that needs to be explained."

But Grunbaum overstates his case.

The coherence of a question about the existence/non-existence dichotomy does not disappear once you point out that nothingness has no more reason to be considered spontaneous than the existence of something, or everything.

The question is still there, it is only its formulation that has become more precise.

We have existence, rather than non-existence, of the World (meaning everything, including G-d in "everything" for this purpose).

The question is not, why existence, rather than non-existence, but rather what is it that allows for the existence / non-existence dyad?

Why is "being" or existence *possible*?

Why is there possibility or contingency at all?

In a roundabout way, this is really a question about truth. What caracteristics does (or do) reality(ies) have such that they are capable of description at all? (This is a different question than the one about whether any of our descriptions are substantially accurate.)

It's also a thus a question about intelligibility-- what characteristic does even nothingness, the absence of properties, have, such that we can understand and refer to it?

Another way of putting it is that yes, things **can** just exist. But all the heavy lifting just moves to the word "can", and that contingency is no more entitled to be considered spontaneous than non-existence is.

Why contingency rather than necessity?

Oh and the claim that "most historical cultures prior to Christianity did not think the question needed an answer -- they simply thought reality could exist, period" is pretty much hogwash. Rare is the culture that we have any evidence for that completely lacks some sort of creation-myth, which tends to demonstrate that they considered the existence of the world to be a question which needed an answer.
 exogenist
Joined: 6/10/2009
Msg: 31
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/22/2010 12:06:30 PM

My question: For those creationists out there, do ideas in science such as these at all undercut or shake your belief in a god, personal or otherwise? (Honesty would be much appreciated.)


I'm not a creationist. I'm spiritual. I do believe in "something" more than any idea about "God" I hold at present. Since, what we have determined about nature is like a least upper bound of that something then I don't need to conclude beyond nature. Understanding nature is understanding, in part, that something.

Also, a better description of Stephen Hawking's positivist approach is his lecture in the origin of this universe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFjwXe-pXvM.

As you've seen, I defined "God" as beyond my notion of "God" such that there is something. Why would I do that?

Its easy. I have a notion of infinity which asks whats next. I think the ones who are sincere, whether theist or atheist or agnostic accept that, for whatever is next, the probability that it is what I think it is low. There is some paradigm required in my thoughts to grasp the possibilities of what truly is.

Before then, I have, in the least, a fuzzy picture of what might be, and after that we again ask "whats next".

Sometimes, what follows from "God" can be profound and necessary for certain people and that profoundness would not exist without the form "God" (Consider Cantor, or even Issac Newton or even Michael Faraday). For other people the profoundness follows regardless of "God", as in the case of Stephen Hawking.

Whether God exists or not is not that important. Its how we deal with the questions and their answers which have the most dramatic effect, as exampled by Appreciative.

Scientists are tasked with understanding nature and her ways. Human beings are tasked with "living" and justifying their life as a "reason for being".

The only crime is what is held back by either atheist, agnostic or theist that would further our understanding of what truly is. Such a crime is evidenced in our actions and their justifications by any ideology or philosophy and our ability to not clasp so firmly unto them. .

Stephen Hawkings's approach is good in that its a direct path, by the methods of science, in understanding more. We just need to get to the business of understanding more. I find that there are many theist who accept this fact. I hardly suspect you'd find too many in these debates, which is unfortunate.

But for your enjoyment:

“ I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.

Heisenberg's view was tolerant. Pauli, raised as a Catholic but soon to leave that church had kept silent after some initial remarks, but when finally he was asked for his opinion, jokingly he said: "Well, I'd say that also our friend Dirac has got a religion and the first commandment of this religion is 'There is no God and Paul Dirac is his prophet.'"
 Paul K
Joined: 3/10/2006
Msg: 34
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Stephen Hawking: God Did Not Create the Universe
Posted: 9/30/2010 10:38:16 AM
The fact that there is a person who has expressed an OPINION, and that this opinion can engender so much divisivness is almost humorous. He is just one person, and quite a few of his opinions to this date have been refuted.

If he was making an opinion in the realm of physics, I would give his opinion more credibility, but since his opinion is about something that cannot either be proved or disproved, whats the point?

This discussion is truly a perfect example of mental masturbation.

Paul K
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