Thursday, 19 May 2011

Hawkings on Heaven

Stephen Hawking has said that heaven is a fairy tale, and really, who can argue with that? Heaven is completely unevidenced and not even well thought through. What is heaven like? Has anyone come up with a conception of heaven that isn't self-contradictory or at least contradictory to the ideas of the religion that spawned it?


sewa mobil said...

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Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the now infamous 'the universe could have come from nothing...because of gravity' argument that had everyone with better than a first grade education laughing in the aisles.

Anonymous said...

This is just my personal opion now but I thought I would throw it out there. Im no theological expert, but I dont think it takes one to know that IF there is a heaven or ( The New Jeruselem ) it will be a disappointment at best. Understand, i never stopped believing in God, I just think he is playing a sick game and we are his toys. God makes Satan look so much more honorable and appealing to me. Im glad to be a Satanist.

Anonymous said...

Actually, what about heaven is contradictory?

Tigerboy said...

How about that NOTHING in the universe is eternal?


(I know. Heaven's not in this universe. Do you understand how frustrating it is to try to reason with people who feel perfectly comfortable making up alternate realities?) (I am not accusing you of doing that. I'm just sayin'.)

How about the idea that an eternity with NO POSSIBILITY of any type of poor results would destroy the pleasure one gets from of any type of success? How does one enjoy overcoming any difficulty? There are no difficulties!

There would be zero obstacles to overcome, thus, zero satisfaction! An eternity of perfection sounds pretty dull. (If not maddening!)

GCT said...

Let's not forget the problems with free will being supposedly good, but being impossible with heaven. Really, there are quite a few problems with the concept.

Tigerboy said...

It's a type of prison. No matter how much one might beg for it, one cannot escape the relentless perfection!

Tigerboy said...

Even the fantasy of the 72 virgins suggests that man likes to mix it up a little. Variety is the spice of life and all that!

If Paradise is the one, true, absolute perfection, any deviation from perfection is automatically flawed!

Yet, people enjoy flaws.

Unyielding perfection has no variety. Perfection equals mind-numbing stagnation.

Anonymous said...

"How about that NOTHING in the universe is eternal?


That seems to be the case. Neither without end or without beginning. Which, of course, demands an answer to the question: Why is there something instead of nothing (and please, please don't say gravity could do it since gravity is really something that's nothing - that just shows a catastrophic ignorance of philosophy and, well, science).

Tigerboy said...

Let's both assume that we may have difficulty answering the question: "Why is there something, instead of nothing?" I will grant you it's a tough question. Maybe the answer is: "I don't know."

How is difficulty answering that particular question in any way an argument in favor of Heaven, Hell, a virgin birth, a talking snake, horses with wings, or any of the other totally absurd features of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism?

It's not.

Merely because on does not yet possess all the answers, it does not mean that absurd, nonsensical fiction and obvious superstition are any more likely to represent truth.

GCT said...

We don't actually know that there is nothing eternal. All we can say is that time is an emergent property of this universe, so from that standpoint it's difficult to even talk about any sort of "before" the big bang or what that even means. And, since time is an emergent property of a universe that has only existed in its current form for a finite amount of time, we can't really say that anything in this universe is eternal. But, that gets us no closer to describing the state of the singularity which gave rise to our universe.

But, either way, Tigerboy is right. You don't get to claim a god of the gaps.

Tigerboy said...

(I have no idea which Anonymous I'm addressing, so I don't know what claims this Anonymous has made in the past.)


Perhaps you are not referring to the God of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism.

If you claim that the universe was created by GOD, not necessarily the Abrahamic God, but merely GOD, prime mover, first cause, divine architect (sort of a Deistic type of GOD), but we've agreed to make no other claims to know anything about Him, in other words, our knowledge of the attributes of GOD retreat to that which is objectively observable (namely ZERO), in that case, I don't know that I would necessarily argue with you.

"GOD" just becomes a word for that which cannot be explained. (It's a GOD that must constantly retreat before the advancement of science, but, if you want to call this ever-diminishing abstraction GOD, well, fine.)

I remember reading an article in "Scientific American" where they were trying to quantify the likelihood that all the observable universe, and all of our experience with it, is merely a computer program. It seems an odd thing. I guess it's possible. I cannot prove it's not true. But, what's the point? If it were true, wouldn't the sophistication of the program prevent us from knowing the truth?

If God hasn't made His presence obvious, isn't it more likely that He's not there? Why the shell game?

I may find the notion of GOD (first cause with an ego) to be illogical, but if we would be in agreement that He is entirely unknowable, that there is no evidence of His interaction with us at all, then, what does it matter? Call this "category of no knowledge" whatever you wish.

The problem arises when someone claims to know ANYTHING specific about how GOD manifests, or any aspect of His being or personality, or ANYTHING He thinks or requires of us. YOU don't know any of these things, I don't, and neither does anyone else!

Anyone who claims to know ANYTHING about GOD is delusional, or is making up false claims. (And the world seems to be chock full of such charlatans! Religion is a dirty, dirty business.)

Personally, I find the notion of an all-powerful prime architect, who is also a petty personality who has a petty interest in what I eat, or with whom I have sexual congress, or what I wear on my head, to be laughably illogical. But, I'm willing to admit that my atheism can only take me so far. I cannot KNOW there is no divinity of any kind. I cannot KNOW there are no garden fairies. I cannot KNOW that we are not experiencing a computer program. All I can say is that there is no evidence for any of it.

How foolish the GOD discussion gets depends on what is the description of the GOD we are discussing. How much of His "will" is known to us? Any claims at all? It's foolishness. Any revelations made to one little girl in a cave? It's a lie.

If we're talking about the obvious superstitious foolishness described by the three major monotheisms, I'm pretty comfortable calling: "Bullshit!" Anyone who falls for that Bible stuff is either really gullible, or is trying to get my money.