Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hawking, Big Bang, God, Multiverse, M-theory

I posted this article Stephen Hawking, the Big Bang, and God by Henry F. Schaefer III upon which the following discussion commenced
AK wrote: I haven't read the article yet but it seems to rebuttal the new book by Stephen Hawking.
I'm wondering would it actually help to share our comments or have a discussion? Has any such discussion ever changed ones mind? We tend to read what we feel (believe) to read and stick to our version of truth. I know I'm being pessimistic. But thats how I feel sometime :)
Does anyone else here feel the same way?
SI wrote: I personally feel that discussions are enriching as we can look at the same thing from different angles. As none of us mortals can be absolutely sure we're 100% right, all arguments are plausible in our search for truth. Perhaps we all have certain pieces of the jigsaw puzzle...
AK wrote: I like the way you put it :)
Yes I believe we all have certain pieces of jigsaw puzzle but we like to think we have got the complete puzzle... thus the conflict :)
As for the book (The Grand Design), it can be downloaded from the following link:
http://atheistmovies.blogspot.com/2010/09/grand-design-stephen-hawking-leonard.html
SI wrote: Thanks for the link.
And yes, we should carry on our discussions. Every debate forces us to think deeper and adds a new dimension to our understanding. Carry on...
Aj posted: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727780.301-mtheory-doubts-linger-over-godless-multiverse.html
SI wrote: Hawking says "God may exist but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator". I have yet to read his book though.
In my opinion, M-theory or any other science does not set out to prove or disprove the the existence of God. It rather attempts to explain nature as best as it can. If the Creator has made a perfect set of laws, a perfectly automated system, then why not? I mean we don't need to invoke God to explain physical phenomena. But, it is up to the individual whether we accept it all happened / evolved on its own, or whether there is a Creator behind it.
http://larrykinglive.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/09/sneak-peek-stephen-hawking/
Aj wrote: Generally, non atheists are asked to prove the existence of God. It is seldom that non atheists ask those atheists who rely heavily on science -- to prove that God does not exist. It is a bit disturbing and sad to see that even after passing of millions of years, science is unable to decide.
Whether the proof can be given (either way) is another matter. But putting the onus in the other direction is also warranted.
Frankly, I didnt expect Hawkings to say God may exist. His saying that may mean two things. First, there is no conflict between religion and science. Second, science may never be able to prove/disprove existence of God.
SI wrote: I think he meant both :)
AK wrote: I honestly think the onus of prove lies with people who believe in (unseen) God. Let me explain you with an example... if I claim today that I've got supernatural powers and you have to believe me, I have to prove it to you... otherwise you are least bothered about my claims. You dont need to disprove me, unless it has any impact on your life. You might leave me to believe whatever I want to believe or ask me for evidence. It's that simple :)
Aj wrote: no, its not that simple.
who is claiming to have supernatural power here?
its relative.
those who believe in god, for them its normal to see nature as a product of god. And anyone claiming that universe is being maintained without a CPU is claiming something 'supernatural'. so let him prove....
AK wrote: Logically speaking... your argument that nature is the product of God and everything has to be maintained will put a BIG question mark on God too. That is... who created God and how it is being maintained??? These two aruguments are known as first-cause argument and argument by design.
We like to think that way cuz we have been told this from the childhood, over n over again such that it has been entrinched in our minds. That's why our minds are OK with the explaination that everything is created by God, but no one asks who created God?
By the way, I have absolutely no problem with whether someone believe in God or not as it's not affecting me. But if someone tries to convince me then I have every right to ask him for proof. That's why we had miracles, right???
On the contrary what atheists are doing... they are just telling us that guys your explainations/proofs are not valid from the logical point of view. That's it :)
AK wrote: Let’s imagine we’re sitting together having a relaxed, honest and open discussion about religion. On the table is a huge stack of white index cards and on each index card is one of thousands of different religions, gods, belief systems, along with arguments for believing in that particular religion or god. Maybe a card has a current religion, or maybe it has a older religion that no one believes in any more, or is largely forgotten. It doesn’t matter – the point is that they’re all here in this great big stack, except for the ones that you believe in – you religion’s not in this stack.
One at a time, I draw up a card and I read you the religion and god and arguments for why you should believe in it and you respond with the reasons you dismiss the arguments and why you don’t believe the religion or god, and I’ll write the responses down.
So we go through every argument ever made for every other religion, their gods, supposed holy books, witnesses, miracles, profits, saviors, prophecies, testimonies, answered prayers, faith claims, affects for good, archeological support; whatever the argument, we go through it. We note all your counter arguments and dismissals on the back on each card.
It won’t take long before we realize that there is a pattern. Your argument for dismissing one religion will likely be similar to a previous answer. We won’t need to write anything down any more – we can just refer back to a previous argument.
Once we get to the bottom of the stack, I take another card out of my pocket. This card has your religion and god on them, and all the arguments that you think support them. We go through that card and they are refuted referring back to arguments you made before, just as we did with all the previous cards.
The fact is that you’re an atheist in regards to thousands of other religions and gods. You already know everything there is to know about dismissing religious arguments. You’re an expert already. You rationally dismiss thousands of other religions or gods just like any atheist does. The difference is you don’t turn that critical side of your mind to your own beliefs.
This realization is all anyone needs to know to recognize their faith doesn’t stand up any more. It’s just question of how honest you can be with yourself.
This is pretty much sumed up in a quote by Stephen Roberts:
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
SI wrote: Let's do it. Perhaps that is what we need...
And, why I believe:
http://islam-qna.blogspot.com/2009/06/reading-scientific-and-mathematical.html
http://islam-qna.blogspot.com/2009/06/can-any-of-holy-scriptures-be-totally.html

1 comment:

Ron Krumpos said...

In "The Grand Design" Stephen Hawking postulates that M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics...the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate, but never completed. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theories.

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.”

E=mc², 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 (f(x) 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.