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Stephen Hawking: God did not create Universe

12283 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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The law of gravity allows something to come from nothing? Since when does gravity create matter?

I'd be interested to see what his justification is for that statement.
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I'm afraid the quote is actually quite representative of what his opponents believe.
I'm afraid I must disagree.
Let's examine the origins of your fear.
We don't have a theory of everything and don't know everything about the universe, yet.
Therefore, god exists.
Sounds like a fallacy to me.
I think the a more accurate construction would be to replace your "therefore, god exists" line with "therefore, god can't be ruled out". Hawking seems to be arguing that we know enough about the universe to say that there's no room for a creator.
The "religious viewpoint" is an entirely solipsistic rationalization.
Why do you see it as a "solipsistic rationalization"?
The second sentence explained that implicitly, I think.
Every believer can "counter" the problem of many religions by simply saying, "But mine is the best religion."
This is not a very good answer to any unbiased observer; it's just a circular (and solipsistic/religio-centric) assertion.
You're conflating two different issues; the first is whether theism is possibly correct at all, the second is whether one religion is more correct than another. The first has to be dealt with before the second; if someone believes that it's categorically impossible (or that the impossibility is beyond a reasonable doubt) for God to exist, then of course the discussion of which religion is the "best" is going to be superfluous. (It seems that your term "unbiased observer" is better described as "atheist observer.") But if someone is willing to accept that theism is correct on some level, then it would make sense to compare and contrast religions.
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Since I don't see "theism" as having any sort of cohesive or coherent meaning, it is hard for me to see these as separate issues.
Each religion (and indeed, each person within a given religion) posits a very different entity to explain what they don't understand (among other purposes.)

For instance, do you really think that when azrinsani claimed that his God "gives us many hints and signs," this was completely general to any sort of "supernatural" power?
Do these gods care more that we believe in any sort of super-being than them specifically?
(Of course, even now I am applying a persona by using the words "being" and so forth, which doesn't even describe many gods.)
If you don't know what theism is, then how do you know that you're a-theistic? xD

Theism is usually described as a belief in a god or gods. These are separate issues because if we are to accept the premise that no god or gods exist, then it would automatically rule all theistic* religions as false, thus making the discussion of which religion is superior completely irrelevant. Since the second question is so dependent on the first, they shouldn't be taken together.

* e.g. not Buddhism, etc.
in the "weak" sense.
I'd accept that.

But what's a god?
Webster tells me: "a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship"
What does it mean to have "more than natural attributes?" What does "natural" mean as opposed to "supernatural?"
Furthermore, what does it mean to "require human worship?" Does it mean that the being/object wants to be worshiped, or that we are somehow metaphysically required to worship it?
I was going to copy/paste a bunch of quotes from but you could look them up yourself.
Perhaps you didn't notice that they are philosophically incoherent - "natural" has no meaningful definition and "supernatural" is only defined as the former's negation.
Regarding human worship, I don't think that metaphysical imperatives are logically plausible, and the remaining possibility begs the question: "...why should we care?"
Whether you think that metaphysical imperatives are plausible or not really isn't the issue. I'm merely saying that the question of whether we'd even entertain religious belief comes before a discussion about which set of religious belief is superior.
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Knowledge is a justified true belief
You have to at least believe it's true. :3
Can you have a belief that you think is false?

I thought belief implied that what you believed you believed to be true.....:unsure:
I'm saying that you have to believe that it's true first, before you "know" it. As you've said, belief in its truth value is a necessary part of this. You can't say something like "it's true because it's knowledge, and it's knowledge because I believe it, and I can't believe something unless I think it's true."
Let's look at the originator of the word Agnostic
It's kind of funny how the website that the image is taken from equates "freethinker" with some level of atheism/agnosticism.
That's a tautology. When you believe something you necessarily believe it to be true. I'm just saying what you're saying adds nothing to my definition.

To believe a statement about reality is to believe in it's truth.
So just cut out the unnecessary qualifier and you have just belief.
There's a scale of belief.

You've got it backwards. Knowledge arises when beliefs are justified and their truth verified.
It's not true because it's knowledge, it's knowledge because it's true.
I know, I was saying that you can't say that. :p
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