Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Friday 3 September 2010

Stephen Hawking and God

Stephen Hawking's at it again; infuriating the religious classes with his pronouncement that God was not needed at the creation of the universe.

If it was his intention to draw a line under the debate between science and the religons he is wrong because there never can be a definitive answer to who or what is 'God'.
Scientists seek answers to problems that are verifiable, whilst the religious talk in ineffable terms that can never be proved. The one deals with facts in the realm of physics whilst the other talks of metaphysics in the realm of souls.

I believe, however, that in one way Hawking is right. There is no 'Creator' and the universe came about as a result of a quantum fluctuation.That I believe that our physical universe was formed from nothing is documented on this blog site and my web site. It is balanced by a twin 'negative' universe that pervades our part of the universe in the way that the religions portray a God pervades all human life. This negative side to the universe gives rise to mankind's 'spiritual' side, a world of the mysteries that have been used since the birth of mankind by the shamans and priests to promote their ideology. Consciousness, death, the after-life are some of the mysteries that have fuelled man's need for other types of answers; answers that the scientists cannot provide. And here lies the crux of the problem. Scientists and Priests are talking of two different things when they talk of 'God'.
Scientists talk in terms of verifiable proof of a fact. Priests, notwithstanding the portrayals in scripture, have a more nebulous concept of the Creator, some saying that 'God' could in fact be the 'Laws of Nature'.

The point is, mankind needs both approaches. As the universe we inhabit is two-part, so too do we need the dual approach, because man needs to satisfy both his spirtual curiosity and the need to know from whence we came.

I think we can discount the probability that a theistic or interactive God exists. If He did, then there is some validity in the argument that He would be more hands on in the development of the human race. Muslims would know for sure whether to be Shia or Sunni. Anglicans, for instance, would know whether the ordination of women was respectful or not.
If there is no such God, then there would be no need for devotion. All the hours wasted in venerating something that is simply not there. With no public worship necessary, no different liturgy, there is a good chance that animosity between the religious groups could be brought to an end.
If, however, there is no need for devotion to a God, I believe mankind does have a need to positively address their spiritual side. Our brain has the capacity to understand this other part of our universe, what some might call our sixth sense; only it hasn't yet been awakened. Meanwhile, we are aware that it exists and at times we should be able to draw upon it, such as national disasters or National ceremony such as Coronations. We should be able to draw comfort from a lay liturgy that brings all men closer together, giving individuals and communities alike what they most need; peace and hope.

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