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Stephen Hawking: God did not create Universe

12274 Views 203 Replies 49 Participants Last post by  Ti Dominant
There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe, Professor Stephen Hawking has said.

He had previously argued belief in a creator was not incompatible with science but in a new book, he concludes the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics.

The Grand Design, part serialised in the Times, says there is no need to invoke God to set the Universe going.

"Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something," he concluded.

'Planetary conditions'

In his new book, an extract of which appears in the Times, Britain's most famous physicist sets out to contest Sir Isaac Newton's belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have sprung out of chaos.

Citing the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting a star other than our Sun, he said: "That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions - the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass - far less remarkable, and far less compelling as evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings."

He adds: "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.

"Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

The book was co-written by US physicist Leonard Mlodinow and is published on 9 September.

In his 1988 bestseller, A Brief History of Time, Prof Hawking appeared to accept the role of God in the creation of the Universe.

"If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God," he said.
BBC News - Stephen Hawking: God did not create Universe
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Human beings are not necessary to explain the existence of this computer I'm typing at.

It just sort of randomly and spontaneously put itself together and works very well. All just a coincidence, of course.

What a ridiculous statement by Hawking.
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If a computer is man-made, why isn't the natural universe God-made? Specifically the Earth, which has seasons, rain cycles, tides, and naturally regulatory predator-prey relationships that are necessary for sustainability and for life to flourish, all of which are evidence that the Earth is well designed for life. It operates according to specific rules, just like a human creation. Most people who try to argue against the "Watchmaker argument" for God seem to think has the exact same attributes as His human creation. Not so. The way God is described in The Bible, there ARE some similarities but there are also enormous differences.
If you claim that the universe is God-made or intelligently designed you create another question: Who or what made/created God?

Simple stuff.
Heard this one thousands of times. If God is who He says He is in The Bible, He has always existed and was also responsible for the creation of time. He is literally the Alpha and Omega. While He can reveal Himself in propositional statements that we as humans can understand, His true nature is something that is literally beyond human ability to fathom. At least in our current form.

Simple stuff.
Right, so God, a complex "being" does not require creation but the universe does.

Using lame, debunked Richard Dawkins talking points isn't going to get you anywhere in this debate. God is not necessarily complex, as Richard Swinburne has pointed out. One of the things He is is infinite, which is another concept that is simple and straightforward but extremely difficult (impossible?) for the human mind to fathom.

You cannot argue about God and creation with a creationist.
You've already proven on Vent that you're not fit to debate me on anything. Be gone.
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The Watchmaker argument has been refuted a thousand times...
Apologia Atheos: The Watchmaker argument refuted
"Nature is uncomplicated and random"? Did the author seriously just say that in the face of seasons, rain cycles, tidal shifts, earthquakes, predator-prey relationships and even seemingly auxiliary elements like lightning and thunder? The natural recipe for a sustainable Earth is quite complex and orderly.

"Money doesn't grow on trees" made me laugh. The finished product may not come from a tree but the ingredients like Crane paper, cotton, silk and linen, all of which are used in the making of fiat money, all come from nature. So in a way, money does grow on trees, hence the cellulose structure.

But parts 2 and 6 are completely irrelevant because they deal with specifics when you don't need to. All you need to know is that an object exists, regardless of anything else about the object. It could be a watch or it could be the Earth as a whole. Where do objects in general come from?

Part 3 is something that I predicted in an earlier post in this thread: that the "refuter" was going to assume that the creator God has the same characteristics as the human watchmaker. Which He clearly does not. But then the refuter contradicts himself in Part 4 by saying that God doesn't have the same characteristics as the watchmaker. Which one does the refuter want us to believe?

All in all the refutation is a failure. As is every attempt at refuting the Watchmaker argument.

First demonstrate that your God exists and that the Bible is truly his "word". Otherwise there is no point in having any discussion.
Way to completely change your approach when you realized your earlier argument was unsustainable.
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Yeah I did because you clearly have a mental block of sorts. It's pretty clear in your exchanges with Azrael.
So the one who defeats your claims earns the title of "mentally blocked"? That's being a poor sport, Molock. Dawkins' "Ultimate 747" argument just isn't very good. The term "complexity" refers to how many different parts interact with eachother inside a mechanism to allow this mechanism to achieve its ends. Dawkins is right when he says that the universe is a very complex thing but the God who created it doesn't need to be complex. What He needs to be is omnipotent and omniscient. He needs to have the knowledge of how to make a well-designed universe sustainable for life and He needs to be powerful enough to shape the universe into the form He has deemed will work. Omniscience and omnipotence. Not very complex.

The human body is made of flesh and bone but I don't claim to know what God is made out of. I don't think I'm capable of imagining it. But suppose it's made up of some supernatural substance that nothing is greater than. Would you feel comfortable saying that this substance isn't complex? I wouldn't. I don't even feel comfortable saying this. But that's not the point. The point is: if it's an objective fact that God has always existed, there is no need for Him to have been created. He exists on a level that human logic and intelligence is incapable of accessing and does not need to be created in the same way that things created out of natural matter do.

And then you bypass all this and say PROVE TO ME YOUR GOD EXISTS STARS. Do you now see why I have little to no motivation to do that for you?
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You are thinking too simply. The universe is not made, the universe grows. Look around, it's the most painfully obvious thing there is to see. Simple to complex. If evolution says anything, it says this.
What causes the universe to grow? Growth is an action. An object will not act unless an external force acts upon it.

"The supreme arrogance of religious thinking: that a carbon-based bag of mostly water on a speck of iron-silicate dust around a boring dwarf star in a minor galaxy in an underpopulated local group of galaxies in an unfashionable suburb of a super-cluster would look up at the sky and declare, "It was all made so that I could exist." - Peter Walker
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." -Psalms 19:1
Christian theology doesn't teach that "God made the universe for humans"; it teaches that He made the universe as a demonstration of His power and as a temporary realm where humans could choose to accept Him or reject Him. God places Himself at the center of existence, not His creation. And if He's really as great as He says, then He's right to do that. Next time, try learning about what your opponents actually believe. Your ignorance show badly.
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TBH Stars, the question your posts leave me with, overall, is whether you are even capable of engaging in objective, cogent debate without personally insulting your opponents.

Not that I suppose you have any interest in what other people have to say - but really, making snide inferences as to your opponents' cognitive abilities does not make your argument look more or less passable.

If you really want to influence anyone in the direction of seeing things from your perspective, stop avoiding questions and throwing unjustified insults in everyone else's direction. It just tells everyone you're incapable of honest, logical debate, without making it personal. I have to say, actually, that it's people of a similar mentality to yours that really made me question, and later abandon, my own faith.

So, to summarise, your approach is counter-productive.
I will not apologize for my bold, firebrand approach. In fact you're lucky I don't go harder on you all after some of the bigotry and persecution I've put up with for what I believe.

I don't wish to initiate anything. I'm on the defense, not offense. People who criticize what I believe will have their criticisms addressed.

Debates are SUPPOSED to be personal. Ethos matters in a debate. Getting inside another person's character/credibility is a good way to determine if we can take what they say seriously or not. So if someone lacks ethos, this means you hit where it hurts.

I'm not insulting skycloud's cognitive abilities. He's a smart guy. But he simply does not know about all of Christian theology. His quote definitely isn't as bad as the "all Christians think the universe is 6,000 years old" type of statements but it was still wrong. Smart people are often ignorant too.

Interestingly, you never criticized Molock for calling me "mentally blocked", about as unfounded an insult as you can get. Why is that Gracie?

One question from looking at your profile...if you reject Christianity, on what grounds do you claim that human beings have any rights that need to be advocated for? And don't use some form of moral relativism as your answer because as Timothy Keller points out, if morality is relative then so is social justice. Someone could claim you are a sower of injustice and inhumanity and if you asked them why they believe this, they could say "it seems that way to me" and you would be powerless to prove them wrong.
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Are you kidding? To everyone on this forum, not just Stars, debates are not supposed to be personal.

Newtonians didn't try and destroy Einstein's theories by attacking his personality. That shows a lack of focus, and a lack of staying on the subject at hand.
For every Einstein out there, there's an equal number of Karl Marx's or Erich Fromm's: philosophers who can't really be argued against successfully without focusing on their character.

"It is a fact, and in some ways a melancholy fact, that massive works of the intellect do not spring from the abstract workings of the brain and the imagination; they are deeply rooted in the personality." -Paul Johnson
This, ladies and gentlemen, is religious solipsism at its worst.
Which is only a problem if Christianity is false. But if Christianity is the objective truth, can you really say that there are any others valid answers, answers other than that the Christian God demands that we respect the rights He gave to us humans? The answer is no.
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Thank you for this mind-numbing tautology.
Your dogmatism is a problem whether Christianity is true or false.
I'm more ecumenical than you think. For instance I became much more Pro-Mormon over the years and in recent weeks I've become alot more Pro-Islam. When some group is being unfairly scapegoated by the political establishment (in this case, Fox News and the neocon evangelicals), they should be defended and sympathized with. I don't agree with some of the claims Muslim theology makes but I'm impressed by Islam's belief that Jesus literally rose from the dead. I didn't know that until a few days ago. As C.S. Lewis said "just as in arithmetic, there is only one right answer to a sum. But some of the wrong answers are much closer than others."
Actually, no, you're not. I did a considerable amount of formal debating throughout my school and college career and this precisely the opposite of what we were told to do. You are not supposed to make it personal, precisely the opposite. Making it personal demonstrates an inability to tackle the issues at hand, which are not the ethos or character of the person you are debating, but the basic, empirical information you are using to expound an argument.
Then whoever taught you gave you a very incomplete version of what debate is all about.

Stars, I couldn't give a flying crap whether someone like you calls me a sower of injustice and inhumanity.
I am not calling you a sower of injustice and inhumanity. What I’m saying is that under your current belief system, if someone calls you those things, you’d have no way to prove them wrong. That is the ultimate failure of the concept of subjective morality. It disallows any definite praise or criticism of a person’s behavior.

At the end of the day, we all base our behavior on what we believe to be right, including you. You believe that god has handed down a set of moral absolutes, which are intrinsically right and infallible. However, the existence of your god is not beyond doubt (at all), so the moral “absolutes” you perceive him as having given you are not in fact absolute at all. You can argue until you’re blue in the face, but until you can provide irrefutable proof (or better still, your god does) that he even exists, you are in precisely the same morally relativist boat as everybody else.
Moral objectivism can exist even if God does not. All religions teach basically the same morality, with only superficial differences between them (see the index of C.S. Lewis’ “The Abolition Of Man” and the first three chapters of “Mere Christianity”). All these religions have different ideas about who God is and some declare God irrelevant. Yet the morality is strikingly similar everywhere you go. That to me is the best case that morality is objective. So no Gracie, you are wrong about this.

Why should I accept as final the decrees of a god I see little evidence for? I do not see reason to believe in god
What about those of us who do see evidence and reason for God? Why are we wrong?

As for human rights… well, at its’ very core it is pragmatism. In its’ absence human society is purely dog-eat-dog, so we have established a set of basic criteria to which each and every individual is entitled. Personally, I think it’s important because it protects those who are without other recourse to justice, and I am not willing to wait around for a frankly erratic (if we’re going by the Bible) deity to materialize and correct all the misbehaviours of the human race. humanity is forced to – gasp! – do something themselves to prevent our social structure from devolving into a state of anarchy. I value harmony and tolerance in society in general, so the protection of individual rights is important to me.
Why is it morally right to be pragmatic, just, tolerant and harmonious? Why is it morally right to want to protect individual rights? You’re just relying on your own subjective interpretation of reality for all these things whereas I seek to go beyond that and see what is objective and universal. You also fail to heed the wisdom of the Biblical saying “Trust not in your own understanding.” That verse doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be critical thinkers (we absolutely should); it means that human beings are fallible creatures who make lots of mistakes, so it is better to trust in the one who says he's infallible and has the historical record, fulfilled prophecies, etc. to back that claim up. I will not accept “because I personally think it’s right” as a defense of what you believe. Also, the fact that you use “anarchy” as a synonym for chaos makes me think you don’t know much about politics.

The God you speak of is a straw man. Christianity doesn’t teach that God intervenes in the world on a mass scale to correct injustices. Christianity teaches that the instructions for justice can be found in God’s Word, which He revealed to the Jewish people over the course of 1500 years. What you’re saying is akin to criticizing a basketball coach because he doesn’t wander onto the court in the middle of the game to assure his team is doing their lay-ups properly, sometimes shooting a few of his own. He gave us our instructions and it’s our job to follow them. If we followed them 100% of the time, we would have a perfect world.

I know what I was like as a Christian, and at the end of the day I had to do the hard work of questioning my faith alone. I do my best to care for those who need it, including spending time volunteering in Africa, and to be quite honest that’s a hell of a lot more than I can say for many of my old church compatriots.
I notice you're using this rhetoric several times: "I used to be bigoted and insulting until I realized the 'truth' of secular humanism and only then did I truly open my heart and let compassion to overtake me." I don't know what Christianity is like in Ireland but Christianity in America doesn't resemble that at all. The churches here, regardless of if they're Roman Catholic, mainline, evangelical, etc. all put a huge effort into humanitarian endeavors, both improving poor people's lives and bringing the Gospel to them (less so the mainlines). Statistics show that religious Americans, both Christian and non-Christian, are much more generous than secular Americans. Atheism in America seems more focused on attempting to prove the believers wrong rather than making the world a better place, even though they think this is the only life we'll have! Even if what you say is true, Christianity is in some ways a series of ideals to live up to. Failure to live up to ideals does not invalidate said ideals.
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