The Fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God.”

News today that Stephen Hawking has said God was not necessary for the Universe to be created. Actually it’s not news at all, he’s been saying this for a long time, it’s just that he’s got a book to promote. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

People like Hawking, Dawkins etc always fall into the same trap, no matter which side of the debate they are on, i.e. they assume that if God exists at all, then (a) He created the Universe; and (b) it must be the Judaeo-Christian-Islam model of God. Hence if there is no evidence that the Universe was created by anyone, they assume that God does not exist.

However,if one rejects the Judaeo-Christian-Islam model of God and substitute that of most Pagan religions, one finds that Hawking et al have nothing to say, because one realises that the existence of God does not depend upon Him / Her having created the Universe.

Most forms of Paganism, no matter how disparate, tend to follow the line that the current patron God(dess) of mankind is not the creator of the Universe at all, which was instead created by a more ancient or primordial force. For example: Zeus is the ruler of the Olympus not because he created the Universe but because he took over the role. Odin is the All-Father, not because He created the worlds, but because he is the mightiest of the Aesir.

Thus if Hawking etc were to say to a pagan, there is no evidence that God created the universe – therefore God does not exist – the pagan would send him away with laughter ringing in his ears.

In any case, we should remember that the “Supreme Creator” is only one aspect of Divinity. Another aspect, and one which is probably far more important to most people in their daily lives, is “Supreme Moral Authority,” given that most people are concerned with God’s existence to give meaning to their lives. Prove that there is a Supreme Moral Authority in the Universe and you have proved the existence of God in a far more meaningful and relevant way than any argument based on creationism. In fact – prove that Morality exists in objective terms, and Creationism can go hang altogether!


Filed under Religion

20 responses to “The Fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God.”

  1. There are two sides to this, Hawking is probably speaking in terms of common usage, eg, ‘God’ is the Judeo-Christian god, because that’s the only one whose name and definition are the same. Zeus is a god, for instance, not ‘God’.

    Secondly, most Pagans would engage in discussion, not laugh, at Hawking. At least, the Pagans I’ve known. Admittely, in the entire world, that doesn’t add up to a lot, so its a relatively small test group with a subjective viewpoint! Hehe.

    Just read the ‘Oaths of Secrecy’ article- the plot of Watchmen springs to mind.

    Keep writing!

    • I think you’ll find if you read the (ancient) pagan philosophers that they would often refer to “God” generally when in fact, had they been pressed they would have admitted that they were referring to one particular God. The example which springs to mind off the top of my head is Empedocles’ famous quote “The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.” NB: Empedocles lived 490 – 430 BC.

      The distinction between “God” and “particular god” was also blurred in the mind of Saint Paul! In describing the Christian God to the pagan population of Athens, he said: “… since it is in Him that we live and move and exist, as indeed some of your own writers have said: We are all his children.” (Acts 17:28).

      The irony of the above quote is that in describing the Christian God, Paul is actually quoting from two poems which were originally addressed to Zeus – the “Cretica” by Epimenides, and the “Phainomena” by Aratus. (To my mind this indicates that Paul was far more open-minded towards Paganism than the subsequent Christian Church has been).

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  4. Not exactly. If you’ve read The God Delusion, for example, you’d see that atheists like Dawkins (and myself, for that matter) are quite cognoscente that no gods exist whatsoever, in any form. It’s not that we don’t believe in the Abramic gods – they’re all out.

    If you don’t need gods to explain the origin of the universe, what do you need them for?

    • If God were the Supreme Moral Authority, His existence would be proved by proving that Morality exists as an objective phenomenon. E.g. why is it that Intelligent people have consciences.

      If God were the Supreme Mind, His existence would be proved by showing that Mind is an objective phenomena e.g. how do you explain Consciousness?

      If God were the author of Life on this planet, I’m not sure whether it could be proved, but I suppose it could be disproved by coming up with an adequate explanation of panspermia which refutes the ideas of Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramsinghe.

      If God were the architect of this Solar System, his existence could be proved by showing that the ratio of the orbit of Venus to that of Earth equals the Golden Section, and that we are the only planet with intelligent life to see it.

      Finally, if God were the Author of all things Miraculous, His existence would be proved by showing that miracles occur.

      All of these are valid roles for God and are perfectly compatible with a pagan view of theology – yet none of them necessarily have anything to do with the creation of the universe per se

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  7. In “The Grand Design” Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics…the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theory.

    In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

    Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (fx raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

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  10. This reminds me of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But I enjoy Stephen Hawking. I think he does a good job of worshipping the universe even if he doesn’t know he’s doing it 🙂

    Creator God is such a paradox. How can an eternal being create itself? And how can he not? He is right that the universe created itself from “nothing”, that is, itself. Can you remember “before” spacetime too? And the creation of this present universe? 🙂 Oh well, the past no longer exists… not as such, anyway.

    Creator God. Nothing. Zeus. Zdeus. Deus. Theo. Teo. Tao. Hanyaw’aat. Physics. WHATEVER, I only hail Almighty Science. The United Atheist Alliance is where it’s at- because I like to argue about vocal fold vibration labels!

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  15. Bablo Unity

    After a life time of research and exalted academia, Hawkin’s earth shattering conclusion is that “the laws of physics are sufficinet in themselves to create the universe, without the need for God”. Wow! I suppose he (and co-traveler Dawkins and others in that ilk) was in the legislature that drew up the almighty laws of physics, perhaps he was the speaker, or maybe it was so far back in time that it had to be some element of the “primordial soup” our evolutionary ancestors.

    I always look at athiests and compare them to ants in some corner of Buckingham palace arguing over the existence of the Queen.

    I would rather not quote Psalm 14:1 but prefer 1 Corinthians

    1 Cor 1:18-25

    “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.19 For it is written:

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
    20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    Someone should ensure that Prof Hawkings gets this message.

    Bablo Unity

    • I think you’re missing the point. I have no quibble with Hawking’s interpretation of Physics whatsoever, merely his interpretation of Theology. If one accepts that “God” is not a concept suitable for science – because, pace Karl Popper, Her existence is not falsifiable – then Hawking really does not have any right to comment on God one way or the other – though this does not necessarily detract from his accomplishments as a scientist.

      Dawkins however is a cock.

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