If my people, who are called by my name...
Perhaps not Oxford's finest hour
Recently seventy-four-year-old physicist Stephen Hawking stated again that he was an atheist. Of course, as a free-thinking man, that is his right. But, as a scientist, he would better serve his trade by calling himself an agnostic. That is, unless he is willing to posit definitive proofs for his position. And this he does not do. All he has to offer are three very weak arguments to support it. (Robin Schumacher does a very fine job outlining Hawking’s arguments.)
First of all, Hawking (simply stated) believes that historically the notion of God (or gods) came about to fill in gaps in human knowledge. And, as time and knowledge progresses, we no longer need that notion. God, therefore, becomes unnecessary. Furthermore, eventually we will have all the answers.
This argument is fraught with weaknesses. First of all, it is unscientific to argue a position relying on unknowable future discoveries. It is called the “appeal to the future” fallacy.
Second, there are many ways to scientifically establish a negative claim, however, the burden of proof is substantial. Generally, the strongest arguments that can be offered are a proof of impossibility, or evidence of absence. Hawking offers neither. In his opinion, God is simply not necessary. This might represent Hawking’s belief, but it does not constitute a valid proof.
Third, while Hawking is correct in his argument that historically gods had been created to provide answers to questions not answered by science, that is just not a valid argument to prove the non-existence of God.
Hawking’s second argument against God is what he refers to as spontaneous creation, where an eternal universe creates itself from nothing. Schumacher correctly points out that nothing is actually not “no thing.” It is a question of mind before matter, or matter before mind. But, in either case, nothing is actually something. Why might that something not be God?
Hawking’s third argument relates to his aversion to the existence of miracles (because they violate the laws of nature). The God of the Bible performs miracles, and because miracles do not exist, therefore God does not exist.
Schumacher answers that question with this: “Why can’t the God who created the universe and all its natural laws suspend them when He chooses?”
In my opinion, Hawking (in this instance) does nothing more than create a straw dog, and then proceed to kick his pathetic invention around the block. He proves nothing.
I would have no problem with Hawking taking a position as an agnostic. But when he, as a scientist, declares himself to be an atheist, then I expect valid proofs. He arrogantly offers none.
Keep in mind that Einstein also had severe doubts about religions:
"I am not an Atheist," Einstein writes. "I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations."
What sometimes is misunderstood is the way God deals with man’s wisdom. In the first book of Corinthians (1:27), God inspired Paul to write: “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."
This is how I view wise old Hawking’s arguments against the existence of God:
I believe that a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument, no matter how strong and compelling that argument might seem. I’ll give you an example of how this works for me.
Mr. Dumb says: “I just finished my Luscious Chocolate Bar. Boy, was it good!”
"Mr. Too Smart counters: “Did you say you finished your Luscious Chocolate Bar? I don’t think so, Mr. Dumb, because that’s quite impossible! You could not possibly have eaten the whole Luscious Chocolate Bar. And I can prove it!
“You see, Mr. Dumb, before you could have finished the Luscious Chocolate Bar, you must first have eaten half of it. Then, once you have eaten half, you must then eat half of the remaining half. And, of course, then half of that remaining half, then half of that, etc., etc.
“Don’t you understand, Mr. Dumb, this process of division must logically take place an infinite number of times, thus making the task of ever actually completing the Luscious Chocolate Bar a mathematical impossibility!”
To this, Mr. Dumb responds: “Sorry, Mr. Too Smart, I truly did eat the whole Luscious Chocolate Bar! And, I really enjoyed it! I have a chocolate stain on my hand. And, see, here’s the empty wrapper! Check it out!
“Besides, Mr. Too Smart, if I didn’t actually eat the whole Luscious Chocolate Bar, where is it? I can show you the empty wrapper; and the chocolate stain on my hand, can you show me the Luscious Chocolate Bar?”
Folks, that’s all God asks of us. He wants us to be dumb stumps like Paul (“who decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (I Cor. 2:2)).
He wants us to be radically obedient, not intellectually superior.
He wants us to do the Great Commission, not merely describe it.
He wants us to tell people what He has done in our lives, not cleverly expound upon all the great theological niceties of our faith.
All the wisdom of the world cannot convince Mr. Dumb that he did not really eat the whole Luscious Chocolate Bar—he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he ate the whole thing.
You will discover that all the “Yeah Buts” in the world cannot refute your testimony, because your personal experience can never be challenged by another’s argument, no matter how vociferously propounded and no matter how compelling.
God, revive America, again. Restore righteousness to our land.We must have revival.
My book, WIND, is the roadmap for this revival. It is available from Amazon, and Kindle. Please consider buying it. Whether or not you get the book, I will provide one article on this site every week until we have revival. If you like it, email the link to a friend, and put it on Facebook.
You may email your thoughts and comments to email@example.com. If you choose to email me, please know that I might print some or all of your thoughts on this site. If you don't like what I advocate, let me know.
–Mike Carrier, M.A., NYU
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Some thinkers have already written America off. For instance, in 2008 Fareed Zakaria wrote a New York Times Best Seller entitled The Post-American Worldin which he outlined just such a scenario.
According to many academics and philosophers (such as Mr. Zakaria), America’s role as a leader in the world is on the wane. Even some of our current political leaders are looking to the rest of the world for guidance through our tough times. They are speaking as though America’s best days are long gone.
Well, perhaps they are right. Maybe it is time to give up and bow down to what the world wants us to do; to surrender our liberties, and our leadership. Perhaps it is time for capitulation.
But, we do have a choice. And the choice is clear and real. In earlier times, when faced with similar circumstances, America (and other God-centric countries) simply heeded the imperative stated in the Old Testament: "If . . . My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chron. 7:13-14).
Nothing could be more clear, or more simple. Within that short statement resides all that is required of us to find our way back. It has worked before, and it will work again.
This book explains in clear terminology how you can do your part to help bring about the restoration of our country through a Third Great Awakening.
WINDis a call for national revival—a clarion call.
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*Corrections of WIND.
*WIND Vol. 2 is not yet available, but if you would like to preview a chapter of it you may: "Revivals in History--The Correct View"