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Stephen Hawking and his ‘No-God’ – Does God Exist?

I happened to read an article on web which mentions an interview where Stephen Hawking, the famous astrophysicist declares that there is no god, and he says that he is an atheist. I am a student of both the fields- science and spirituality. At the same time, this topic of constant debate around man vs. the divine is of special interest to me.

I completely respect the views and opinions of Stephan Hawking but I necessarily do not agree with the same. It is funny to watch the conclusions which others draw from statements of others. Something similar has happened with this interview given by Stephen Hawking. Of course, the web is flooded with endless discussions and debates.

As I have already mentioned, I respect the opinion of Stephen Hawking which is a result of his own study over the years. At the same time, I trust my own experiences and my own contemplation also. Many times, I am asked this question at different events or talks- Is there a god? Can we find him out? Can man acquire all that is needed to be a god?

The diminishing God

Long ago, man was at a very primitive stage of scientific development and hence, many things were absolutely unknown. This made a large room for believing in a god. Later, as science advanced, and we discovered more and more about this universe, men started to realize- that nothing in this world can remain unknown for a long time. This gave a lot of boost to scientists and explorers. And today, all of them are hoping, soon will come a time when man knows everything, rather, everything about everything. This will completely destroy the room for the god.

It seems, that Stephen Hawking has sensed this right now and hence has concluded that god does not exist. A man of meditation will simply laugh on all of this. It seems that most of the Scientists have not at all understood the concept of god. If they still think that god is the one who has created this world and is busy doing miracles, they are absolutely wrong. If they think that god is a person, monitoring everything which is happening around, they are again wrong.

The sad story about this fellow named god is, people have concluded that their ideas of god is god and then they defeat their own idea and claim that there is no god.

God cannot be reduced to a particle, or to a person like us or even to a super-man who can manage things just at his whim.

Scientists can find out answers to all the problems which they today find un-solvable and still, the god will remain as mysterious as he is. Eventually, man is bound to be able to control the minutest of the things happening around and still, the mystery around the god will get multiplied.

Finding out the god- Is science the way?

In the universe, we get what we look for. So, if that thing does not exist, your mind will create it and then you will get it. Those who want answers, they get the answers and those who are not bothered about knowing and getting answer, they get an actual taste. This separates out scientists from seekers. In case of a scientist, the more he goes on knowing, more he wants to know. I remember reading Richard Feynman, where he had wisely said that a scientist should be comfortable with the fact that there are many things which are beyond his understanding- which cannot be broken down in formulae and mathematical models. Most of the scientists, cannot remain happy if something is unknown to them. On the other hand, in case of a seeker, he seeks something only at the initial stages. As he walks along the path, he is not at all bothered about knowing anything. He no more seeks something. He gets a different kind of understanding. Let us assume that a scientist finds out that there is no god. What next? How is it going to change the lives of others? Keep that aside, has the scientist himself gained anything in the process? Nothing except a few formulae and may be structure of some complex mathematical models.  Look at a seeker- he gets transformed on the way. His greed, lust, anger drop on the way. The farther he goes, purer he becomes. He develops a unique sense about him and the entire universe around him- which cannot be captured in any formula or model.

I think this discussion – whether god exists or not is nothing but a question which is constantly being harped by insecure human ego. He wants to make sure that nothing over powers him. He somehow wants to convince himself that he is the one who controls everything. This is a falsity as nature doesn’t operate through the principle of controlling but it operates through the principle of freedom.

Scientists are doing their work and I wish they meet success on the way. As Stephen Hawking has said, there might not be a god who supervised the Big-Bang and is breaching our privacy by controlling our lives. A lover of god is not interested in all this, nor will he get disturbed by reading all this; as he is not interested in any destination but is simply walking the way, enjoying every bit of it, getting transformed every step.

 

By Mandar Karanjkar

Mandar Karanjkar is author, motivational speaker and consultant based in Pune. Mandar works with handful of organizations helping them with strategy, communication and culture. Mandar is trained in Indian Classical Music over a decade. He is a classical singer and flute player.

Mandar has written columns for many reputed newspapers. Engineer by profession, he conducts workshops and delivers talks on subjects as wide as strategy, innovation, online marketing, spirituality, Kabir, Zen etc.

Mandar is a published author.

21 replies on “Stephen Hawking and his ‘No-God’ – Does God Exist?”

Liked the way you mentioned what does God mean to people and how they limit God to a particle/person. Though God might not exist exactly in the form people worship God, but there is some super natural power that exists, which is beyond our reach. And I think that is God and is being worshiped by people in various forms. Generally scientists only believe in what they can prove scientifically, but science can not prove everything.

science CAN prove everything, you are a awful pessimist. Folks, back in 12th century never thought that there would be cars on roads or wormholes in space.
But it takes time. That’s all!

I respect your view but not agree with it fully. But actually people gain a lot by scientific theory, for example, how could you put this article in this web if the scientists did not discover internet? You may know that GPRS is based on Einstein’s relativity.
Then, you said that scientist does not gain much by making theories but a seeker gains much. I would like to say, according to me, a true scientist is a human who strives not only for understanding universe but also for equality, peace, self respect and respect for others. He is not egoistic at all.
And what is ‘pure’ according to you may not be so ‘pure’ according to others. Everyone has his own definition for ‘pure’ and also ‘reality’.
Also, scientists want humans to be self sufficient and not dependent on some ‘god’.
They (also I) want people to love each other without the concept of ‘god’.
First of all, why do we need a god? if it will be alright without him.
And finally think about ‘worshipping’. Why should a human worship and beg from any supernatural being? He should have at least a tinge of self respect shouldn’t he?
Lastly, understanding through pure thought is Aristotle way of thinking. How can one know everything by pure thought?

Hi Anagha,

First of all,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. When I use the term god, I dont mean any god to whom you have to pray and beg for something. At the same time, I am not at all saying that scientists should stop doing their work and whatever they are doing is wrong.

I have also said same thing- over the time, science will find out answers to all the question but still, nothing will be solved. For an example, we all know that there are different centers in our brain for everything and whatever happens is outcome of some hormones etc. This is a good information for re-search and healthcare developments. But do people stop from loving someone because they have known that its just a matter of hormones?

Certainly, man is not here to find out answers but he is here to live life. Yes, for some people (we call them scientists) finding answers is the only way of living- and thats certainly fine.

So as you have rightly said, we will find out answers to what we find beyond imagination today. But that cannot replace the god or whatever you call it. And once again, we are not all dependent on god and we dont need to bed for anything to him. For me, it is a way of improving yourself and living life joyously and blissfully.

Comments are welcome!

Regards,
Mandar

Hi Mandar
That’s very reassuring. You are like Alexey fyodorovitch of Dostoyevsky’s novel, Brothers karamazov.
By the way if every human understands this, then there will be no waste of money on orthodox practices and religious rituals!
It will develop humanity and unite them once and for all (perhaps not!).
I like raag jog very much and I admire and love Bhimsen joshi, also Rashid Khan saheb. I know its out of point but still as you are in music too.

Regards,
Anagha

Hi Anagha. I also love Raga Jog. I love the rendering of the Raga by Shivkumar Sharma Hariji and Mukul Shivputra. Would love to share experiences about music and also share my collection.
Mandar

completely agree with you Ma’m, even i always feel why do we need a reference named GOD to inspire our self? but people do need a third entity to inspire and motivate themselves. I always felt like a dependent whenever i believed in GOD, but then we can always change our perception about GOD. lets not consider him as a savior or magician. people should realize that GOD is nothing but their own self consciousness, their own inner voice. GOD is not a separate entity from our own soul. This is what i feel about god.

Faith is all which keeps us going and fills our heart with hope and bliss.
Its always safe to have someone above us so that we can learn and improve all the way..

Also, let’s be more concerned about the core of the article and not get stuck in the technicalities. The article is using Mr.Hawking’s statement as an example to examine our deeper realities. Thanks…

Hi Mandar,

I think you really didn’t understand Stephen Hawking. I would like to quote him here so that they will give a better understanding.

Why he have to express his views on God?

Once he said that A child will come out in the morning and will watch a sun with a curiosity and he will ask his mother what is that thing and how it has been there his mother will simply reply him that God has created it which kills the curiosity and the intelligence of the child to know things, now he got an answer and there is no need to inquire about the world, stars, sun no more mystery.

Scientifically he told that to create something you need time and a matter(may be a negative energy) but in the black hole there is no time so the question who created this world itself doesn’t exists..he is the cutting the question from the root itself and he says to be curious about the universe. Curiosity doesn’t mean to believe in God or No God it is to be.

No person who meditates laughs at him. Eckhart Tolle in his books talking about Stephen Hawking said that “Some people who surrendered to severe limitation become healers or spiritual teachers. Others work selflessly to lessen human suffering or bring some creative gift into this world. One good example is Stephen Hawking who is a victim of motor neuron disease paralyzed on a wheelchair and he is a professor of mathematics said: “Who could have asked for more,” when asked his life.”

I quotes very few things here but these things are enough to have a glimpse on Stephen Hawking.

Namaste,
Pradeep

Dear Pradeep,

Thanks for the reply. If I am not wrong, I also interpret Stephen Hawking the same way you are doing. I also agree that universe need not have a creator at all. As i have mentioned in previous comments also, I also respect scientists and I myself work for an engineering firm.

My point is, this tendency of finding answers to everything might be good for development of society; i doubt if it is that helpful for personal growth of a human being.

Thanks again for taking efforts to share your thoughts with us!

Mandar

Hi Mandar-

It depends on the person who is pursuing, there is nothing wrong/right with the questioning. The ways may be different some people will reach by silence, some will reach by music, some will reach by questioning everything and finding who they are not. People can choose their own way of approaching life what really matter is their self experience..the being.

Everything helps to trigger the intelligence, In inquiring if something has been proved false in his concepts which are already coded in his mind then there is a chance to take responsibility to decode everything and if the journey goes well there may be a chance a moment comes when questioning ceases by itself but not by a decision.

Every path helps, when the path is not taking over the person.

Yes, I did understand your point of view In case the person got trapped in the pattern of questioning, if he is finding pleasure of thoughts in knowing, and if he is not able to be free from the pattern of questioning then it will not be helpful.

Thank you,
Pradeep Nirvan

Why God(spiriuality) is always ahead of science, where science has not able to find answer then god comes into picture. That ultimate truth is God. This doesn’t mean that human should control all the things. Actually Human(not all humans, only few of them think that way, who are controlling the world economy) think that we control the nature, I too will not support this, because the greed of smaller but SuperRich section of the society, whole humanity, nature, animals, atmosphere is heading towards greatest danger that is the Globalwarming.
Coming to the point Science is humble, it accepts that for now I don’t have answer to some question, but surely we can find.
But this thinking of GOD is I think signs of low confidence in ourselves, hesitation for real solution of the most basic problems(poverty, unemployment, casteism, Communalism, Globalwarming, Farmer Sucides(killings), Gender discrimination), Not willing to act on this, running from the reality, responsibility and Looking towards a thing,entity for action that doesnot exist.

We can solve the problems, that is science.
We call ourselves a student of SCIENCE, but that’s not our fault. Because we (our education system make us) only read and write science, We don’t learn it. We don’t apply it.

Dear Nikhil,

Interesting, your thoughts are.
I agree upon your views about science. I do not understand why believing in a god is a sign of low confidence. Will be great if you can elaborate further!

Regards,
Mandar

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