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How Stephen Hawking Got It Right On Religion

by Neil Bamforth

Professor Stephen Hawking was a remarkable man in so many ways. A brilliant scientist who made theoretical physics almost understandable to everyone. He lived for 50 years after his ALS diagnosis when 3 or 4 years is more usual. He was clearly a great humanitarian as well.

His view of religion was spot on.

To paraphrase : “People believe in a God like a fairy tale because they are frightened of the dark” – or something like that.

It’s understandable really. The idea that, when you die, that’s it. No more consciousness, just eternal darkness that you aren’t even aware of because you have no awareness. You’re dead.

Not a pleasant thought really is it.

Much nicer to believe that there is a God and a heaven and that’s where you’ll go – or your spirit will. Up the stairway to heaven.

Mind you. If Hawking is wrong, and there is a stairway to heaven, given his circumstances confined to a wheelchair, how the hell will he get up them anyway?

There’s nothing wrong with religion and faith per se. As usual it’s humanities extraordinary skill at corrupting anything and everything it touches.

Someone wants to believe in God or Allah or whichever deity they like fine. It’s when they try and impose their unshakable beliefs on others there’s a problem. And, boy, if you upset a religious fundamentalist – emphasis on the ‘mentalist’ bit – are you going to get it.

Rwanda recently banned a mosque from calling Muslims to prayer on the quite reasonable grounds such a racket was disturbing everyone and, after all, Rwanda only has about a 5% Muslim population so, they said, the majority shouldn’t have to put up with all the wailing from the mosque.

Quite right too.

Read: Why Britain Must Ban Some Faith Schools

In America the Christian ‘mentalists’ are always behaving in a loopy like way. I don’t need to list them. Most readers are American anyway so you already know about them.

Take ‘mentalist Catholics’ – somebody please take them. Anywhere is fine, preferably some small uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere would do fine.

Catholicism said their priests were married to God – is that right? I’m no expert. Odd if it is. I thought they were against gay marriage. Still, alter boys across the globe found out in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t just the body of Christ the priests were after.

Then, of course, you have the relatively smaller religious loop-di-loops. Scientologists, Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses – I wonder what he did to require witnesses? – along with huge religions completely alien to us such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and so on.

What the hell IS a Presbyterian anyway??

I strongly suspect the late Professor Hawking got it right. Religious faith is a fairy tale that helps assuage our fear of the dark.

Harmless in principle but often corrupted by loonies.

Catholicism has a St Bernard and churches named St Bernard. I always thought religion was going to the dogs.

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Posted by on March 20, 2018. Filed under PETS—POLITICS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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Glenn R. Geist
Glenn R. Geist
3 years ago

Indeed there is no reason to postulate, much less demand, some deity to explain things. Not that it’s all been explained by any means. No more reason than to believe there are little people inside your TV putting on a show for you and especially if you know exactly how one of these things works.

But of course the semi-mythical William of Ockham said just the same thing and somewhat earlier: “Entia non sunt multiplicanda prater necessitatem.” Which I would translate very, very loosely as “hey, you don’t have to be making up shit when you don’t need to.” Gravity works by itself – and all the other forces of the universe. No need to invent thousands of gods or even one.

Neil Bamforth
Neil Bamforth
Reply to  Glenn R. Geist
3 years ago

Yeah but life’s more fun with Thor!

I studied Latin at school.

Close enough 😂

Michael John Scott
Reply to  Neil Bamforth
3 years ago

I also studied Latin. Three years. My mother made me, and I’m glad she did because it helped me to learn languages with little difficulty.

jess
jess
3 years ago

Have to admit to shedding a tear over this man. Such a brilliant mind gone and we are left with the dolt45s and Cheneys still breathing our oxygen. Just not fair at all. I’m curious that you say it’s much nicer to believe in a god that will take you up a stairway. Why would it be nicer?

Michael John Scott
Reply to  Neil Bamforth
3 years ago

Yeah, it wouldn’t be so bad if you could have a few drinks. A friend of mine used to say he believed in heaven and hell, with heaven being an open bar and hell being forced to hang out in church.