The Sunday night Curiosity show featured Stephen Hawking on the question, “Is there a creator?” Most importantly, it appeared at the same time on channels such as Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Green channel, Science channel, etc.
Hopefully, it will get people thinking. Is there a God? Do we need a God? Is there an afterlife? Is there a heaven and hell? Do we need religion? Why would we need any religion?
Obviously the answer, according to Hawking, would be that we can explain the universe without God and thus the idea of a God as a creator or moral guide is a fiction.
Not surprisingly, you still can’t get through to people who do not have an open mind, who do not think logically, who do not consider all aspects of their belief and why they are believing something.
One religionist whom I know was not thrilled when Hawking came up with the statement that probably there is no afterlife and thus axiomatically no heaven or hell. “You believe what you want to believe,” was said by this individual after the “no heaven or hell” statement, “and I’ll believe what I want to believe.”
For another who has previously expressed belief in ghosts, seen ghosts, seen the “angel of death”, been touched by a spirit and such said it this way. “I KNOW that there is a heaven and a hell,” was stated emphatically.
I pointed out that “No, you do not know – you only think that you know.”
“No, I KNOW,” was repeated with similar emphasis on absolutely knowing about the reality of absolutely nothing of heaven and hell.
All this brings out questions of what we know and how we know it. Unless existing in a Twilight Zone, alternate world, hocus pocus, magical science fiction concept of reality, I know right now that I am typing this column on my computer. The text I write with the keyboard is visible on the monitor screen. I see it – I know it and what my thoughts are.
I also know other things, even without direct affirmation as above. I have never been to Russia, but I know that there is a Russia. Depending upon age and interest, you can know this from books, MovieTone news at the movies in the 1940’s, ads in Life magazine by Studebaker and Chevrolet bragging about manufacturing vehicles for Russia to help them help us defeat the Nazis.
I know it from lecture travelogues, similar TV shows of today, books on a history of Russia, history of the Russian czars, people having emigrated from Russia, Faberge jeweled eggs collected by the czars, a history of Stalin, anthropological studies of the region, maps, photographs from the space shuttle, etc.
The point of all the above, is that there is ample proof of a Russia from facts, logic, and information of all types from a wide range of sources. I don’t have to see it.
Then look at the “proof” of heaven or hell. There is no proof, no evidence, no factual reports. Houdini never came back from a heaven or hell and never relayed a coded message to his wife during repeated annual séances after his death on October 31, 1926.
The only mention of a Christian heaven or hell is in the Bible. This is no different from any other afterlife myth (and that is all that it is) in various religions from the Egyptians, through the Vikings Germanic Asatru religion, through various other primitive religions. They all did and do lack the science of today. They attempted to explain things including death through the “gods” of their time and magical religions. But let’s discuss more about this later.