I suppose it was an inevitable reaction to Stephen Hawking’s new Book ‘The Grand Design’ where he concluded that There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe.
To me, it is equally inevitable that the media would immediately zero in on this concluding fact rather than actually appraise the whole book. Of course they then go on to seek out senior members of the various churches and religions for their view upon the subject knowing full well that they were hardly likely to agree with Hawking on the subject. Indeed, why would they I mean let’s face it their jobs, their continued existence depends on them maintaining the religious status quo so they are not going to openly admit that they thing Hawking may be right now are they?
I Think the closed either of them came was when Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s Chief Rabbi said: “Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation – the Bible simply isn’t interested in how the universe came into being.” He might as well had added, Or God for that matter.
I noticed a Hub Forum on the subject was created almost as fast as the News about the book and its conclusions and of course the wailing and the gnashing of teeth started immediately from the usual crowd none of which have
a) read the book,
b) have any intention of reading the book or
c) any actual academic qualifications to challenge Hawking upon any subject , let alone the
Natural Laws of Physics.
However, as far as I am concerned let them rant, it is pointless to even to try to debate with them and their evangelical believes they will simple talk round and round in circles with each point becoming more ridiculous than the previous one.
For those who are otherwise more open minded but still confused about the colossal point of the creation of the Universe from the Big Bang to what we see all around us today all Hawking is attempting to do in this book, as with all his books, is to try and make a mind boggling set of theories and equations easier to understand for we lay people.
Does Hawking have all the answers ? No; of course he doesn’t, like all the other great thinkers of our time he is merely taking the next few steps towards a greater understanding.
All he is trying to explain is that there is no GOD Factor required in any of the equations and that the shape of the Universe as we see it is the result of a VERY BIG BANG that started the universe expanding, something it is continuing to do, and the rest is down to the forces of Gravity.
I can understand why scientific reason rattles the bars of the religious cage and why for many people the merely hint or suggestion that there is no God is unsettling for them. To many their belief in God and a hereafter gives their lives at least some sort of meaning or purpose.
As I have said many times before in Hubs and in the Forum, “Take God out of any equation and if the theory still stands, then that doesn’t prove there isn’t a god, it merely proves God played no part in that theory.” Whether that be the Creation of Man, Evolution or the Universe denying the theory, or denouncing the theorist doesn’t disprove anything all it displays is a narrow closed mind of ignorance and an unwillingness to listen to another man’s reason.
I appreciate your above points.
Stephen Hawking is free to express his opinion
Exactly keyword: opinion.
Atheists are going to use this is another point to "back them up" and its going to do no good, because its all opinion.
It will always be the egg came before the chicken ?? debate.
I might have swam the british channel an even if I had witnesses you could say that they are lying.
I might have pictures and you could say they are faked.
SOo You are going to believe what you want to believe.
SOo it is a waste of time to argue beliefs.
But we can argue about what we think that something says.
We can go back and look at whatever we are talking about.
When it comes to biblical scripture, most people have learned interpretations from their teachers and don't want to see what scripture actually says.
Sure it was not a fact; so at the most it could be only an opinion of an Atheist Agnostic, very obviously.
Sorry, but when mountains of hard evidence suggests something obvious, it goes well beyond opinion.
You call it mountains of hard evidence that god doesn't exist, I call it theories and hypotheses. There was "mountains of evidence" saying Al Gore's global warming was real, what happened to that?
The big bang theory has many flaws and may not even be right. In some ways it has already been proven wrong. The newest theory which they still call the big bang(so they weren't wrong) Is that instead of blowing up, the universe inflated.
BTW, I am what many people consider an Atheist.
There are mountains of evidence to suggest gods were not necessary in the creation of the universe or it's evolution.
Please feel free to explain your claim. Present the flaws and who has proven it may be wrong. I'd be happy to hear that as it would be new information that no one is aware.
It's called Inflationary theory and occurred after the Big Bang.
But, not one that appears to be well-informed on science.
You either are or are not. Period. I suspect not.
So Mickey, Just how much evidence do you need before you would consider it a mountain ? If you are, as you say many claim, an Atheist then to you god doesn’t exist period. If you challenge what we offer as simple proof that there is no God, and never was, then that makes you an Agnostic not an Atheist.
Same with Global warming, what we the sensible are saying is we agree it may not be a proven fact however if we all wait until it is it may be too late to remedy. If on the other hand we take steps to minimise the undeniable manmade contribution then surely it won’t do any harm will it ?
As for the Big Bang, take a kids balloon and inflate it as high as you dare. Seal it and spray it with a mild sticky substance and cover it in sugar crystals. Wait for it to try then stick a pin in it.
Take another balloon cover that in the same sticky substance and sugar crystals now start to blow it up and this time keep going. Then come back and re explain your doubts on the Big Bang theory.
If they do they should be blasted for it... for they have not read or understood one thing about the book or its message.
I knew straight off as soon as the media jumped on that one small paragraph they were trying to stir things up. The quote clearly states . " Hawking Concludes..." He did not write the entire book on the non existence of God which is the point I was trying to make.
All the people here on Hubs and in the press are bouncing up and down in their prams over one line from a whole book, which in all probablity they have not read, because it appears to make a scientific statement about God which it doesn't.
Why do "you" try to explain, pigion-hole or catagorize an un-settled, possibly diseased mind in constant "Human" motion? He's a space cadet!
Does not matter what He says what so ever.
Whereas, when you speak everyone should believe everything you say! LOLOLOLOL!
What’s it like to be in a minority of one ?
I just loved your highly thoughtless, insensitive and inaccurate comments.
In Stephen Hawking’s case it is his body that is crippled not his mind. But it is not just in my humble opinion but in the world of science he possesses one of the finest and sharpest minds which places him in the realms of Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, Hubble and Einstein.
Mentally, I wonder where you come on that list, or precisely what your personal contribution to increasing the sum of mankind’s knowledge might be ?
Do you really wonder at the mental ability of someone who calls Hawking a "space cadet"? LOL! And depends on Fox News for guidance! Hopeless!
Well said. I will just throw out there that in times past, God was a very busy fellow. He helped to explain the weather, childbirth, why the harvest was bad this season, why there was a famine last year, human emotion, who triumphed in war, how old the sun is, and differences between men and women, just to name a few.
As time has worn on, God has gotten smaller and smaller. In many parts of the world, he's out of a job altogether. Hawking's ideas, I think, further that process just a little more.
“Take God out of any equation and if the theory still stands, then that doesn’t prove there isn’t a god, it merely proves God played no part in that theory.”
That's absolutely true, but isn't it interesting that God has playing a part in fewer and fewer theories as the centuries have worn on.
If you read some of my Hubs I theorise on the Pagan invention of Gods Way back when mankind was getting up on their hind legs and starting to ask questions.
If you invent a spirit world then you have to have special people who can communicated with and interpret the words of the Gods and the Spirits.
If like me you can see the life spark of organised religion in there.... a leap to where we are now is not that hard.
What I don't understand is this seemingly endless human need to worship things....!
Evolutionary theories suggest that belief in God and/or the supernatural (the "instinct" or "genetic propensity for supernatural assumption) was a trait that proved to be successful in early humans. And since it helped the version of homosapiens we mostly still are today, it makes sense that neurlogical predisposition is still ubiquitous. They've even proved that atheists have superstitious beliefs, they just squash them as much as they can, over-ride the reflex with the force of reason.
The idea being that some brains were "wired" to believe in supernatural Gods and some brains weren't. In order for SOCIETIES to succeed, people in greater numbers had to cooperate. Cooperation requires people play by a set of rules. Rules often are made to confine or reduce behaviors that are selfish in nature in favor of behaviors that benefit the society at large. THAT is a HUGE determiner for how well a society succeeds. The more people working together, the more skill sets and services come together, which makes for developing technologies like stone spear heads, and even makes for larger, more coordinated war bands, which make for more resources etc.
SO, the propensity to believe in God serves the function of having someone/something to "be watching" and make sure that all of the INDIVIDUALS in a society are following the rules that benefit society rather than the impulses for selfish behavior. Societies don't form based on selfish impulses, so, those primitives whose brains did not as easily make room for supernatural beliefs were not as successful, could not compete for resources, and could not compete for the wimmins!
Basically, to make a long story finally come to an end, humans with brains wired to believe there are invisible beings (spirits, ancestors or gods) watching them will behave and follow the rules.
A really cool study demonstrating the impact on rule following and supernatural enforcement is written up here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor … =129528196
Thanks. I think the point of science is to not make assumptions. The assumptions should be left to religion to make without facts, not science. I don't think his mistake is having personal opinion, I think it is making a personal assumption attempting to base it on science.
How do you predict the future? How do you know no one that disagrees with the statement will not read the book? Is this science or assumption?
How is it open minded to believe conversations about something are pointless? If pointless, why begin the thread?
Since you believe it is pointless, are you admitting Hawking is making claims that you or any other atheist can't prove or disprove of whether the universe would not need a creator?
Can I suggest you re read my Hub one more time from the top, what I refere to as pointless is the attempt to debate any God based or religious comment with the raving Evalglists we seem to get on here.
The point I was trying to get across, if it isn't clear enough to you is this, If I or Steven Hawking was to come on Hubs with a copy of God's Death Certificate they would still not accept it and carry on their useless trirade.
PS I am a Pagan not an athiest, please get it right there is a world of differnce. That's why I know there is No God or Gods because it was our Pagan ancestors who invented them and laid the foundations of all the religions.
What branch of paganism do you follow sir? polytheism, shamanism, pantheism, or animism? Other?
What would you say if I replied none of the above.
I suppose for quick clarification and enlightment of our fellow readers I think perhaps a brief explanation of your list of choices may be in order.
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities. both Gods and Goddesses.
Shamanism centres around communication with the spiritual world
Pantheism is a belief that Nature and God are identical but do not believe in a creator god
Animism philosophical, religious or spiritual idea that souls or spirits exist in both humans and animals.
In the beginning I suppose all Pagans were Polytheistic in so far as it was them who created the Gods, demons and spirits in an attempt to explain and or understand what to them was inexplicable. The Shaman were those who supposedly had the power to commune with the other worlds and act as spokes person for the Gods and Spirits. ( Has a nasty resemblance to a whole slew of modern day religious leaders don’t you think).
If by Pantheism they mean the worship of the Great Earth Mother fine but she is the giver of all life she is not nor ever was a God.
Animism is just a load of wishful thinking...
Some groups forming today under the banner of Neo Paganism are in my view equally misguided in so much as they seem to be under the illusion that Paganism is some form of religion which it most certainly is not and never was. This bunch are off on a journey of their own making looking for something new to worship.
Hey Merlin, can you recommend any books on the subject? I'm interested in reading more about these groups.
A cheap and simple place to start would be by searching the pages of Wikipedia. In there you will find easy reference and brief explanations of all the various conotations of Paganisim.
Many Wikipedia authors site other points of reference and books for further study.
But please understand that I do not subscribe to any of the modern day interpretations of Paganism which to me seem to be groups of well meaning but delusional people in search of an alternative to the organised religions.
I I have often said I do not understand this Human obsession to find things to worship.
I think it is obvious. Self loathing little people need heroes. They know how impotent they are, how poorly their minds work, how helpless they are, so they seek favor from something stronger and wiser.
It's all woven into their literature. They are self described unknowing sheep who must be led.
Fearful of making decisions for themselves (probably comes from seeing how badly their choices turn out), they want someone else to take responsibility, to tell them what to do, how to act. They don't want to exercise their brains very hard, so you can't have philosophical discussions of moral relativism; no, they want hard and fast rules to live by.
Weak, mentally lazy and superstitious. they would have no reason to ever feel good about themselves if it were not for an imaginary god who "loves" them - as long as they don't give him any sass, that is.
Seems pretty easy to understand, I think.
Hello, Mr. Fraser.
In regard to your post, you would readily agree then that ba`al is.
And having been designed by man, for their individual necessity, fashioned not only statues, but statutes, governing bodies, cities, temples and tombs, catacombs, museums and the like in honor and service to ba`al, yes?
Even so far as to state every religious AND anti religious premise is under the umbrella of the same ba`al-ism?
Surely Ba’al is the ultimate creation of man ?
I always understood the term to be generic and covered many Gods including the Storm gods and quite a few others.
I have used the fact that Ba’al crops up all over the place as proof of my theories that as the Pagan tribes grew in size and began to split up and wander further and further afield they took Ba’al with them.
The fact that over time the many distorted ways he was worshiped or even who or what Ba’al was would seem to bare that theory out.
But No I don't accept Ba'al Is ! WAS; yes, as you say there is tons of proof he was.
There is a point in discussing a subject, however I agree that there is little point in people discussing what Hawkin said without reading the book, just looking at the few (often misquoted) passages from the book.
If you think Hawkins opinion is worth debating then read his book and look at his arguments, don't just say 'he is wrong' or 'he is right' because you are not actually putting together any thoughts of your own, you are simply re-iterating your opinion on a broad subject without investigating the root subject of the thread.
Rules often are made to confine or reduce behaviors that are selfish in nature in favor of behaviors that benefit the society at large.
" Basically, to make a long story finally come to an end, humans with brains wired to believe there are invisible beings (spirits, ancestors or gods) watching them will behave and follow the rules."
I trust you have your tongue firmly in your cheek when you come to such an idiotic conclusion....Please tell me you are joking and not trying to make a serious point.
My belief does not include any gods watching over me taking notes as to whether I'm Naughty or Nice.... (That's Santa Claus) yet I am content to accept and follow the rules of the society in which I reside.
I like to think I'm a good neighbour because to be so is the right thing to do not because someone else tells me it must be so.
I do not feel obliged to pop out and blow someone up because his beliefs conflict with mine or to inflict mass slaughter in the name of some supernatural non existent being.
My brain is wired just fine, to me there is no God or Gods save those man created for whatever purpose at the time.
The fact millions of people happen not to agree with me is fine I could happily care less but that disagreement would not prevent me from offering any of them a helping hand should the need arise.
How does that conclude my brain is not wired properly ?
I take it you aren't a big fan of reading. Or is it comprehension that eludes you?
Leaving aside the implied insult, I assume you are referring to the article written by Jesse Bering “Is Believing In God Evolutionarily Advantageous ?” And yes I have read it the fact that I chose not to comment upon it should have given you a clue as to what I thought about it.
The fact that he didn’t even think about creating the project until after he had his so called heavenly revelation should tell you something about his state of mind and how that may subconsciously effect the starting point of his experiments and ultimately his extremely biased conclusions.
The answer he was looking for is in his question; “Is Believing In God Evolutionarily Advantageous ?” What other answer could you honestly expect from him but YES ?
To suggest that God was created as some sort of early version of ‘Big Brother’ to keep the hoi polloi in line is hardly new or particularly revealing. Surely Atheists have been making that claim for centuries.
I grew up in a community where we were taught right and wrong from our parents and grandparents whose rules we obeyed or else. We, as kids, tested and challenged those rules on a daily basis as the young of every animal species on earth does. This is how the pecking order of society is set and how the Alpha males and females are selected. As kids back in that community we assumed that all adults knew our parents and would report any misbehaviour which would be punished.
As the ultimate Big Brother system I would say that God is doing a piss poor job or is no longer seen by the criminal masses or religious zealots as much of a threat or are you and Bering suggesting that all criminals and zealots are really Atheists ?
Of course Evolution and God go together, as mankind evolved he invented God or Gods as he continued to evolve he took these Gods with him but not for the reasons suggested as an implied threat to maintain good behaviour, for that these days we need CCTV cameras.....
Implied insult? What could you possibly mean? Is that like if someone asks you how you could come up with "such an idiotic conclusion?"
You chose to change the tone from one of cordial conversation to one of insult. Don't try to take the high road after you throw the first punch.
Well, this gets me back to the comprehension issue, maybe. I think you may be focusing too much on the belief that someone is out to get you than on what is actually being said. It sometimes amazes me how people don't recognize an ally when they have one.
Spiegel's POINT was that when he heard the bells ring, the thought that his dead mother's spirit or angel or whatever had rung them just popped into his head. It had NOTHING to do with his BELIEF that she had done it. He didn't believe that. He is a "confirmed atheist." The POINT was that even he, who believes the same as you do (for the most part), couldn't help his mind from making a hope-based reflexive thought that tied to his anxiety/sorrow over his dead mother. He didn't REALLY think it was angels, and a moment's thought immediately quelled any belief. The POINT was that, his brain did it to him and then he had to ignore it. NOT the other way around.
SO, having recognized this odd tendency, he decided to investigate, where he found in 100% of children, the suggestion of super natural "Princess Alice" made them 100% follow the rules. It takes a direct effort of mind to over-ride that (therefore more likely an adult or a child that has abnormal behavioral conditioning). THAT was his point.
I find it interesting that you responded to my first post so aggressively and then perceived this scientist as having an agenda. Maybe if you believed in a few nice faries or angels, you wouldn't see such dark motives in everyone. For someone who was taught right and wrong so completely as you say you were, you certainly don't give anyone else credit for knowing it. And your rude reponse suggests you might need to go back for a refresher course.
It's not atheists making the claim, it's anthropologists. The field of anthropology has been studying religion for around two centuries. But I'm not going to go into all that. If you were really curious about finding out how much the scientific evidence supports your claims, despite how much you appear to not want to have lots of research backing up your views, you could have it.
I'd be shocked if real history of your family didn't include religion that passed down moral conduct, at least seeded it into the waters. But, I won't try to argue that as I am sure you will say my assumption is idiotic and that you have sworn affidavits from every generation of your family, dating back to Rome, stamped and verified by Caesar's own notary public no less, that your family has never joined, even for a single second, with the rest of humanity in having a karmic thought, a knock-on-wood moment or any other super natural belief.
Even with all that, you still miss the point of group-behavior psychology in apes having been studied to prove (via the aforementioned anthropological studies) that a community mentality is favored by evolutionary processes in primates...which made for the addition of the inclination your family has masterfully avoided over the course of tens of thousands of years as being the sort of thing that might make for more successful communities--up to a certain size of community and until further cognitive development renders it less viable.
All I can do is sigh at this part.
OK I admit it I was being a little facetious on the subject of God as the ultimate Big Brother but only by way of making the point that the church has used the threat of an all seeing God for centuries as a means of preventing sin. The cynic in me couldn’t help it as I feel sure it only worked marginally better then than it does now.
So have the anthropological studies reached any conclusions from their research of our Ape cousins as to why their communities seem to be flourishing, with God or religion, but ours seem to be failing on a massive scale ?
I only ask out of idle curiosity since you brought up the subject of the community in which I grew up and the religious beliefs of my ancestors. To be brutally honest I have no idea, not the sort of thing that ever came up in after dinner conversation... “Hey Granddad tell me a story about your religious beliefs...”
The further back you go in history the stronger the hold of the church over the people doesn’t automatically make them believers just afraid of being considered different and social outcasts by the same church leaders. I have no proof but I feel certain that many of our ancestors were extremely adept at keeping their heads down and any anti church opinions to themselves.
Merlin Fraser wrote:
it was our Pagan ancestors who invented them and laid the foundations of all the religions.
I don't agree with you.
It started with the Creator-God Allah YHWH in times of Adam, the first man with whom He conversed and gave him the message for the fellow human beings.
I think you may be right, I know many people who couldn't make a decision if it was written down and held up for them to read. And of course it does make life easier when you have someone to blame for everything that goes wrong but I still don't understand this sad obession or need to worship things.
I've spent my entire working life solving problems and sorting things out and I'm happy making decisions, like everybody else I don't always get it right first time but still don't feel a need pray for divine guidance.
I'll give them guidance, and make decisions for them it that's what they want but if they start praying to me or killing the fatted calf in my honour they're going to get a slap !
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