The sad news about the death of the world’s greatest contemporary scientist – Stephen Hawking – last week , and some of the following press coverage raised thoughts about Mortality and Religion. Stephen was an atheist and held strong views:
“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” he told the Guardian. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
“Spontaneous creation is the reason”
Religion or Atheist?
As I have a scientific background I am inclined to veer towards being an atheist although some days I will be just plain agnostic. I wish I could have the Faith, and believe in some form of after-life but frankly struggle to reconcile it. Whatever your religion, I can accept that some people are true believers and it is a huge part of their life.
“Science cannot prove that God does not exist – nor can it prove it.”
Unfortunately, I think part of my difficulties come from ideas in religious texts. I cannot accept literally the stories in Genesis. Perhaps you should accept them as parables. Another example, transubstantiation – defined as the change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, even though the physical appearance of the offering remains unchanged. Sorry to offend Roman Catholics but I just cannot understand this fundamental belief.
Big Bank Theory
Science does not have all the answers for sure. Even scientists will agree that no theory is absolute. Even though Genesis is an anathema to me, the Big Bang theory is not entirely satisfactory in my mind. According to Space.com, they summarise the Big Bang as follows:
Nearly 14 billion years ago, there was nothing and nowhere. Then, due to a random fluctuation in a completely empty void, a universe exploded into existence. Something the size of a subatomic particle inflated to unimaginably huge size in a fraction of a second, driven apart by negative-pressure vacuum energy. Scientists call this theory for the origin of the universe the Big Bang.
Hawking says: “..as both space and time were created in the Big Bang, there was no time before the Big Bang; thus it doesn’t make sense to ask what came before it”.
Boy do I have trouble understanding Nothingness. Take a few seconds to mull that idea over. It is like saying if a “God” exists what came before to make God. Or is god just a concept, idea or belief?
I cannot understand “Nothingness” and struggle to see how nothing converts into matter and the formation of the Universe. Richard Dawkins had a great discussion with Lawrence Krauss about scientific minds evolving, and although current scientific understanding finds nothingness difficult to comprehend they eventually expect science to provide a better explanation. Although they do accept that the Big Bang Theory could be wrong – no scientific theory is absolute!
In their minds it is possible our scientific understanding has not evolved enough. Look how we have developed understanding in the last few decades – Einstein, etc. They say Primitive Man would not be capable of understanding Quantum Mechanics so what our brains might understand in the future is infinite (does the idea of infinity mash your brain?)
So Science may not have the complete answer too! Folklore and unexplained events often trouble me too. My cousin, for example, is convinced in some form of afterlife and she has experienced too many strange happenings and events to remain sceptical.
So there are no absolute answers about “religion”. Perhaps I am having an agnostic day!