Hawking on God

Discussions and related news items
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:55 pm

Re: Hawking on God

Post by Ter » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:59 pm

Ygern wrote:Also, a lot of people bought ABHOT but didn't read it, intimidated by the subject matter. They shouldn't have been, it's very accessible and Hawking's mischievous sense of humour shines through.
Confession time: A Brief History Of Time is one of the few books I never finished, I found it a bit too accessible, I did read Hawking's "Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays" so I guess I can be forgiven :lol: . Feeling a little guilty, better go looking for it now.
Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:57 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Hawking on God

Post by inedifix » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:36 pm

"'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."
Hmm... I'll have to read the new book to get the context, but I think this might become one of those quotes we end up wishing he'd never said. I wonder if he's being a little coy again, in order to stir things up a little. Creationists love to (incorrectly) define atheists as 'people who believe there was nothing and then nothing happened to nothing... etc' so I think we're going to end up having to rebut an 'even Steven Hawking believes that nothing caused everything' argument.

Surely the whole concept of 'nothing' is an abstraction. Surely 'nothing' is, was, always has been, and always will be, impossible. We are surrounded by evidence that matter, energy and elementary forces exist. Nothing is the absence of all matter, all energy and all forces. Nothing cannot contain anything, not a boson, not a photon, not a fluctuation, and certainly not a god. Nothing means nothing. So I hope (presume) Hawking is talking about our known universe (or the known extent of it) not the entirety of all that has always existed (including beyond and before our limits of detection) and which must have always contained matter, energy and the forces that bind them in various states of formation and decay.

P.S. Nice thread title. When I first saw it I read 'hawking' as a verb. :lol:
“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable.” Chuck Palahniuk
Posts: 1993
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Re: Hawking on God

Post by lostexpectation » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:14 pm

hmm came across what looked like some interesting article on atheists perception of time after hawkings book was released, but can't find it now..anyone
Post Reply