So, I’m a little surprised (but not completely) at the outcry over Stephen Hawking’s comments this week. For those of you who don’t live your life online, Hawking states in his new book that God is not necessary. Basically, he said that because gravity exists, the universe CAN spontaneously create itself. God is unnecessary.
I can see how church leaders might not like a person of Hawking’s intellect declaring no need for God, but I don’t see the need to react so vehemently. Why would Mr. Hawking, who adheres to the religion of science and intellect, come to any other conclusion? I’m actually rather surprised that he held out so long for the existence of a God. I’ve read headlines this week that Hawking has disproved the existence of God, which may have some scientific backing, but practically it doesn’t mean much. Many, many will still believe in the existence of God, and won’t rely on one man’s scientific theory as much as their own experience and evidence.
I think the headlines only underline that many continue to believe and not believe very rigorously: remember that Hawking is selling a book, and it’s sure to sell very, very well. It’s a good reminder that a little religious controversy will always move the needle when it comes to book sales (I’m counting on that for my own book, should it ever get published). In fact, the church’s stringent retaliation only assures more books will get sold, rather ironically.
As for my own opinion, I appreciate what Tim Connor wrote in the American Thinker:
There is no per-se law that dictates how matter is to behave. Therefore if matter didn’t exist then neither would laws such as gravity exist. You cannot have laws such as gravity without matter…
So Hawking’s explanation is basically an exercise in circular logic. Matter exists because of gravity which exists because of matter which exists because of gravity . . . and so on and so forth.
Of course, you already knew my opinion since I generally post on the psalms, but whatever. Just some Saturday morning thoughts on Hawking and, in my opinion, the ironic response of the church (of course I’m only propagating that irony with my writing here, but what can you do?). Unfortunately, for atheists, God is here to stay and there will be many intelligent people who argue for a belief in God. And, for the church: atheism is here to stay as well, and many intelligent people will argue against belief in a God. For the church, while we want to create the possibility of God logically, I think belief ultimately comes from experience: we do far, far better by giving and loving than by posting cruel comments at the bottom of articles (not that anyone would ever do that).