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The Gravity of an Impersonal God
"I don't claim that God doesn't exist. God is the name people give to the reason we are here.But I think that reason is the laws of physics rather than someone with whom one can have a personal relationship. An impersonal God"
----Stephen Hawking, Physicist and Author of "The Grand Design"
In the 10 Questions section of Time Magazine, the noted physicist further expressed his opinion, that "although the universe doesn't have an end, it had a beginning in the Big Bang". He further noted that "there was nowhere before the Big Bang, just at there is nowhere south of the South Pole."
I am obviously not anywhere near the intellectual brilliance of Mr. Hawking, but I'd like to try anyway to understand what he is saying. So let me get this right Mr. Hawking.... "whatever" initiated the Big Bang could not be physically placed, situated, or located but that "whatever" it was, existed before the Big Bang. You opined that "whatever" initiated the Big Bang is the reason why we, humans, are "here". The "whatever" you are labeling or naming "the Laws of Physics". Theists of all stripes gave the "whatever" a name---God, which to them is a supernatural, transcendental entity, without any physical form, thus unreachable by scientific exploration and quantification.
Laws of Physics=Impersonal God.
An excellent formulation I'd say, considering that physics could be as impersonal, and cold and unfeeling as a block of south pole ice.
Humans despite their all to obvious imperfections are perfectly capable of sublimating the "Laws of Physics", a concept that was just a concept until humans ascribed meaning, purpose and truth to it, thus making it as humanly personal as it could possibly be. The unified Laws of Gravity, as an example, was after all just a concept, until Newton gave it meaning, purpose and verity, thus personalizing it to where we now know, beyond scientific certainty, that it exist but in a non-material reality.
If humans could, in all his willfulness and vanity, ascribe meaning and purpose and truth, to a non-material concept like Gravity, could they not also ascribe to God, another non-material concept, meaning and purpose and truth, thus making God as real and personal , like Gravity is real and personal.
There is of course a lot of difference with how humans perceive Gravity, and God. Gravity affects us physically despite its non-material nature. God affects us spiritually, because we have assigned to him the quality of the transcendental, the ethereal, and the supernatural. A God as personal as we percieve him to be, existing in an all too material impersonal universe.