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Hawking says “there is no God” in his final book.

 
EN
 
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16 October 2018 15:23
 

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/16/health/stephen-hawking-final-book-intl/index.html

“There is no God. No one directs the universe,” he writes in “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.”

He also wrote: “There are forms of intelligent life out there,” he writes. “We need to be wary of answering back until we have developed a bit further.”

It’s no surprise that Hawking did not believe in God. But now he takes the affirmative position that there is no God. That’s his business, to be sure. But I suppose my questions would be

1) Are you equally sure that there is no God and that there is “intelligent life out there”?

2) Upon what proof are you relying in each case?

3) Is directing the universe the only possible description of what God does?

Just food for thought.

 
Jefe
 
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16 October 2018 16:12
 
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

1) Are you equally sure that there is no God and that there is “intelligent life out there”?

One is statistically more likely than the other.

EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

2) Upon what proof are you relying in each case?

Science.  Statistical probability.  Shrinking gaps.  Absence of evidence.  Absence of detectable footprints.  Absence of independently verifiable miracles.  Absence of efficacy of prayer. 

EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

3) Is directing the universe the only possible description of what God does?

It’s a big part of the ‘job description’ as advertised by the religious.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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16 October 2018 17:02
 
Jefe - 16 October 2018 04:12 PM
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

1) Are you equally sure that there is no God and that there is “intelligent life out there”?

One is statistically more likely than the other.

EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

2) Upon what proof are you relying in each case?

Science.  Statistical probability.  Shrinking gaps.  Absence of evidence.  Absence of detectable footprints.  Absence of independently verifiable miracles.  Absence of efficacy of prayer. 

EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

3) Is directing the universe the only possible description of what God does?

It’s a big part of the ‘job description’ as advertised by the religious.

+1

Also what’s behind door number three is seductive as hell when the show must go on.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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16 October 2018 18:31
 
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/16/health/stephen-hawking-final-book-intl/index.html

“There is no God. No one directs the universe,” he writes in “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.”

He also wrote: “There are forms of intelligent life out there,” he writes. “We need to be wary of answering back until we have developed a bit further.”

It’s no surprise that Hawking did not believe in God. But now he takes the affirmative position that there is no God. That’s his business, to be sure. But I suppose my questions would be

1) Are you equally sure that there is no God and that there is “intelligent life out there”?

2) Upon what proof are you relying in each case?

3) Is directing the universe the only possible description of what God does?

Just food for thought.

I admire Stephen Hawking for his accomplishments and in making his science accessible to the public.  It is interesting to hear what he says on such subjects, but he has no inside track on the ‘Big Question’; something we must each search for and/or answer for ourselves. 

1)  I am quite sure (not 100% sure of anything) there is no god as described by religions.  It appears to be statistically likely that there is intelligent life out there.

2)  I don’t believe in god as I have seen no evidence, and such a belief would seem to conflict with the world as it is.  A belief in ET is simply based on probability and perhaps also the desire that we are not alone in the universe.

3)  Although I don’t believe in a single entity god per se, I don’t discount the possibility of ‘something’, some force or element of existence that we are not aware of.

 

 
 
EN
 
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16 October 2018 19:17
 
Jefe - 16 October 2018 04:12 PM
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

1) Are you equally sure that there is no God and that there is “intelligent life out there”?

One is statistically more likely than the other.

Not true. There is no way to determine the statistical probability of either. With respect to God, since we have no objective evidence one way or the other, we cannot establish a baseline from which to determine probability. With respect to “intelligent life out there”, since we have no objective evidence one way or the other, we cannot establish a baseline from which to determine probability. All we have is our own existence, which may or may not be unique. A determination of probability is simply out of the question.

Furthermore, even assuming that “one is statistically more likely than the other” is correct (which it isn’t), that would only lead to a statement of probability, not a statement of absolute certainty as made by Hawking.  If he had said “God probably doesn’t exist” and “there is probably intelligent life out there”, your argument might hold. But that’s not what he said. You have failed to adequately answer my question.

Finally, let’s consider Neil deGrasse Tyson, who said that there is a 50-50 chance we are living in a simulation.  A simulation is the product of intelligence. If Tyson places a 50-50 chance of the universe being a simulation, where does Hawking get his evidence to rebut that?  Answer - he doesn’t have any.  Tyson knows more physics than either of us, and he can’t discount the possibility of intelligence behind the existence of the universe.  The simple fact is that an absolute answer is impossible.  Hawking fails.

Jefe - 16 October 2018 04:12 PM
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

2) Upon what proof are you relying in each case?

Science.  Statistical probability.  Shrinking gaps.  Absence of evidence.  Absence of detectable footprints.  Absence of independently verifiable miracles.  Absence of efficacy of prayer.

Science has no proof of God or of intelligent life out there, nor can science exclude either. I’ve already addressed statistical probability. Gaps??? Where is the “intelligent life out there” gap???  Very, very small. No evidence whatsoever.  In fact, anyone on this forum who tries to point to actual alien existence is ridiculed.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Footprints??? Have you seen any alien footprints in Canada?  Miracles and prayer??? Who said anything about these?  Your bias is showing through - “God” does not have to be the Christian God - could be Deist.

Jefe - 16 October 2018 04:12 PM
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

3) Is directing the universe the only possible description of what God does?

It’s a big part of the ‘job description’ as advertised by the religious.

Who said anything about “the religious”. The only necessary description of “God” is that it is an intelligent creator of the universe. Could be Deist. Doesn’t have to guide anything.

The simple fact is that Hawking has failed to make his case.  It doesn’t hurt the atheist cause to simply admit this. But he is such an icon among the atheist community that I predict you will defend him no matter what.  You could just say that nobody knows, and you don’t believe because you haven’t seen any good reason to.  But that’s not what is going to happen.  And this thread will grow as a result.

 
EN
 
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16 October 2018 19:24
 
Jan_CAN - 16 October 2018 06:31 PM

I admire Stephen Hawking for his accomplishments and in making his science accessible to the public.  It is interesting to hear what he says on such subjects, but he has no inside track on the ‘Big Question’; something we must each search for and/or answer for ourselves.

I agree with you.

Jan_CAN - 16 October 2018 06:31 PM

  1)  I am quite sure (not 100% sure of anything) there is no god as described by religions.  It appears to be statistically likely that there is intelligent life out there.

I challenge you to show me the statistical analysis on either God or “intelligent life out there”, since there is no objective evidence of either.

Jan_CAN - 16 October 2018 06:31 PM

2)  I don’t believe in god as I have seen no evidence, and such a belief would seem to conflict with the world as it is.  A belief in ET is simply based on probability and perhaps also the desire that we are not alone in the universe.

Now you’ve hit home. Some people want intelligent life out there, but not God. So that’s what they believe.  Some people want God, but not intelligent life out there, so that’s what they believe. Some people want both, some people want neither, and some people don’t give a shit. We clothe our arguments in scientific terms, but really it’s all about what we want.

Jan_CAN - 16 October 2018 06:31 PM

3)  Although I don’t believe in a single entity god per se, I don’t discount the possibility of ‘something’, some force or element of existence that we are not aware of.

Honest reply. Thanks.

 
EN
 
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16 October 2018 19:26
 
Jb8989 - 16 October 2018 05:02 PM

Also what’s behind door number three is seductive as hell when the show must go on.

I think this is an admission that it’s all a crap shoot, but I’m not sure what you are thinking.

 
GAD
 
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16 October 2018 19:39
 

show a single iota of evidence for gods…zero, show evidence for intelligent life in the universe…all the life on earth. Gods 0, life 1.

 
 
EN
 
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16 October 2018 19:46
 
GAD - 16 October 2018 07:39 PM

show a single iota of evidence for gods…zero, show evidence for intelligent life in the universe…all the life on earth. Gods 0, life 1.

You miss the point. Hawking said “intelligent life out there.”  Show objective evidence for God - zero. Show objective evidence for intelligent life out there - zero.  Tie.

I am here. There is no evidence that “I” or anything like “I” is “out there.”

I have a tequila here. That is no evidence that there is tequila “out there”.

[ Edited: 16 October 2018 19:48 by EN]
 
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16 October 2018 20:48
 
EN - 16 October 2018 07:46 PM
GAD - 16 October 2018 07:39 PM

show a single iota of evidence for gods…zero, show evidence for intelligent life in the universe…all the life on earth. Gods 0, life 1.

You miss the point. Hawking said “intelligent life out there.”  Show objective evidence for God - zero. Show objective evidence for intelligent life out there - zero.  Tie.

I am here. There is no evidence that “I” or anything like “I” is “out there.”

I have a tequila here. That is no evidence that there is tequila “out there”.

No, I think you miss the point. There is zero evidence for gods, that is what faith is, belief without evidence, there is 100% evidence for life, faith here is the belief that if life is known to exist here then it could exist elsewhere. Do we know for sure, no/not yet, but belief without evidence and belief based on evidence are not remotely equal. To put in sports terms, what are the odds that a NFL team there is no evidence exists winning the Superbowl vs a one of the known teams? I’d say the odds are pretty goddamn good that one of the known teams will win it.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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16 October 2018 22:25
 

Is anyone surprised by the Hawkman’s admission?

[ Edited: 16 October 2018 22:27 by Nhoj Morley]
 
 
nonverbal
 
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17 October 2018 05:54
 
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/16/health/stephen-hawking-final-book-intl/index.html

“There is no God. No one directs the universe,” he writes in “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.”

He also wrote: “There are forms of intelligent life out there,” he writes. “We need to be wary of answering back until we have developed a bit further.”

It’s no surprise that Hawking did not believe in God. But now he takes the affirmative position that there is no God. That’s his business, to be sure. But I suppose my questions would be

1) Are you equally sure that there is no God and that there is “intelligent life out there”?

2) Upon what proof are you relying in each case?

3) Is directing the universe the only possible description of what God does?

Just food for thought.

Hawking talks about the absence of God as confidently as you might mention in passing that Osiris or Apollo or Shiva are fictions. That’s how it seems to me, anyway.

 
 
Jefe
 
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17 October 2018 08:48
 
EN - 16 October 2018 07:17 PM
Jefe - 16 October 2018 04:12 PM
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

1) Are you equally sure that there is no God and that there is “intelligent life out there”?

One is statistically more likely than the other.

Not true. There is no way to determine the statistical probability of either. With respect to God, since we have no objective evidence one way or the other, we cannot establish a baseline from which to determine probability. With respect to “intelligent life out there”, since we have no objective evidence one way or the other, we cannot establish a baseline from which to determine probability. All we have is our own existence, which may or may not be unique. A determination of probability is simply out of the question.

Furthermore, even assuming that “one is statistically more likely than the other” is correct (which it isn’t), that would only lead to a statement of probability, not a statement of absolute certainty as made by Hawking.  If he had said “God probably doesn’t exist” and “there is probably intelligent life out there”, your argument might hold. But that’s not what he said. You have failed to adequately answer my question.

Finally, let’s consider Neil deGrasse Tyson, who said that there is a 50-50 chance we are living in a simulation.  A simulation is the product of intelligence. If Tyson places a 50-50 chance of the universe being a simulation, where does Hawking get his evidence to rebut that?  Answer - he doesn’t have any.  Tyson knows more physics than either of us, and he can’t discount the possibility of intelligence behind the existence of the universe.  The simple fact is that an absolute answer is impossible.  Hawking fails.

Jefe - 16 October 2018 04:12 PM
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

2) Upon what proof are you relying in each case?

Science.  Statistical probability.  Shrinking gaps.  Absence of evidence.  Absence of detectable footprints.  Absence of independently verifiable miracles.  Absence of efficacy of prayer.

Science has no proof of God or of intelligent life out there, nor can science exclude either. I’ve already addressed statistical probability. Gaps??? Where is the “intelligent life out there” gap???  Very, very small. No evidence whatsoever.  In fact, anyone on this forum who tries to point to actual alien existence is ridiculed.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Footprints??? Have you seen any alien footprints in Canada?  Miracles and prayer??? Who said anything about these?  Your bias is showing through - “God” does not have to be the Christian God - could be Deist.

Jefe - 16 October 2018 04:12 PM
EN - 16 October 2018 03:23 PM

3) Is directing the universe the only possible description of what God does?

It’s a big part of the ‘job description’ as advertised by the religious.

Who said anything about “the religious”. The only necessary description of “God” is that it is an intelligent creator of the universe. Could be Deist. Doesn’t have to guide anything.

The simple fact is that Hawking has failed to make his case.  It doesn’t hurt the atheist cause to simply admit this. But he is such an icon among the atheist community that I predict you will defend him no matter what.  You could just say that nobody knows, and you don’t believe because you haven’t seen any good reason to.  But that’s not what is going to happen.  And this thread will grow as a result.

/shrug
I was going to write up a counter-point response, but I just don’t think it is the best use of my time.
Lets just agree that we’re both going to disagree on these points.  I don’t think we’re going to change each other’s minds.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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17 October 2018 09:10
 
EN - 16 October 2018 07:26 PM
Jb8989 - 16 October 2018 05:02 PM

Also what’s behind door number three is seductive as hell when the show must go on.

I think this is an admission that it’s all a crap shoot, but I’m not sure what you are thinking.

I more so meant that people invented gods to feel better about thier situations. That, and when you look at what they mean when they try to define it, it’s obvious that it runs into the extent of human imagination. Like desperation (or just mad hope) for more.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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17 October 2018 15:17
 

Maybe just semantics, but in my opinion Hawkings was wrong to claim “there is no God.” (How do we know for sure he actually wrote that, and that his wife or editor didn’t slip it in after he kicked the bucket?) What he meant to say was, “there is no evidence of God.” He was also wrong to assert, sans evidence, that there are intelligent life forms out there. What he meant to say was, “I believe there are intelligent life forms out there.”

That said, I agree with Jefe that the existence of intelligent life forms out there is statistically greater than the existence of God. For the reason GAD gave, that intelligent life already exists here, so at least we know for a fact that intelligent life is possible without transcending the laws of physics as we understand them. Isn’t this an example of applying Occam’s Razor? Accepting the existence of intelligent life forms out there requires fewer assumptions than accepting the existence of God. In order to accept the existence of God, we must first assume that our understanding of the laws of physics is deeply flawed.

 
 
bbearren
 
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17 October 2018 17:34
 

What I have learned as a mathematician is that the easy answers are usually not the right one.”

“What else is out there?”

 
 
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