ANALYSIS: Hawking because he denied that God is needed to explain the universe and that the universe is just spontaneous in its origin and not divine is accused of having rejected philosophy.


Philosophy no matter how abstract needs to get information about empirical things you can sense to get started. Everybody does philosophy. Hawking cannot reject philosophy. He may do it badly but that is not rejecting it but trying to do it.

Philosophy is in principle if not in practice based on reason and Hawking uses reason to work out his system and mathematics involves thinking and reasoning.

Hawking objected to philosophy only in relation to the following questions:

How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves?

How does the universe behave?

What is the nature of reality?

Where did all this come from?

Why do things behave as they do?

Did the universe need a creator?

The Christians want to present Hawking as ignoring reason and philosophy to justify his non-belief in God. But Hawking explained that his problem with philosophy was that it was out of touch with the discoveries of modern science. It was really incorrect and uninformed philosophy he was and is against. He rejects philosophical arguments for God as unnecessary in the light of the discoveries of the laws of physics.

Philosophy is the search for wisdom and the study of wisdom. Wisdom is based on truth. Physics is practically a branch of philosophy that uses logic and experimentation to get at the truth. Physics is a search for wisdom about how all things came to be and how they work. Hawking rejected not philosophy but bad philosophy. He rejected it for the philosophy of experimentation, mathematics and physics. That's all he did.

Christians think about how things came to exist and conclude that a totally simple being made all things. This being is so simple that he didn't need any being to make him. For them, God is essence that has no components or parts. God is real but is not a material thing or material substance. They offer the analogy of our thoughts. They are real but they are not made up of material things. For example, a thought has no parts. It is quite a leap to assume that our thoughts have no parts! Memories are stored in our brains meaning they feel ghostly to us when we have them but that is just our experience and the way we perceive them. In reality they are not that ghostly.

The believers think they see intelligent design in the universe. So they reason that the simple being who designs must be intelligent. But that is the wrong way to go about it. It is like, "I see a beautiful landscape painting. Somebody painted it for it couldn't have been painted by accident. Somebody also must have designed the landscape in the painting."

A totally simple being cannot be a mind or have one. Unless the believers can explain how a simple being can be a mind they should not argue the way they do. We cannot explain our own minds or how to make them or how they work. We know what they do but we don't fully know what they are. We only understand a bit. We know we are beings made of parts and that indicates that the mind is made of parts too.

Suppose the simple being can be a mind. Suppose there is another simple being that is not a mind. Because they have no parts we will see no difference between them. We can never know if a simple being is or has a mind. If we look into somebody's brain and see nothing there but silver then clearly that person does not have a mind.

God can be a life force but not a conscious being. A God who is really an impersonal mechanical intelligence makes more sense than a God who actually is a mind. It is less complicated. The Christian personal God is not simple.

If Hawking rejected philosophy then what if he had no choice over what he learned in physics?

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