Someone else’s thoughts on that Hawking interview

May 17, 2011

Roger Olson says it very well in this post, and not just because his words echo mine

First, how does being a physicist make Hawking an expert on metaphysical questions?  This seems another classical case (like Carl Sagan in Cosmos) of a scientist dabbling in philosophy outside the boundaries of his realm of expertise.  IN PRINCIPLE physics cannot prove or disprove life after death or heaven or hell or God or any such realities.  I am ashamed of journalists who fall for this stuff.

Second, perhaps Hawking doesn’t want to believe in life after death because he’s unsure of his eternal destiny.  Projection theory works both ways (as Hans Kueng has so well demonstrated in Does God Exist?).  Atheists project the emptiness of their own lives into the sky, believing God does not exist because, if he did, they might be in real trouble.

This reminds me of some questions put to PARADE magazine colunnist Marilyn vos Savant (I can’t believe that’s her real name!) a few years ago.  Apparently people think because she has a very high IQ she knows the meaning of life.  Someone wrote to ask her what gives a life meaning and purpose.  Her response?  A life is purposeful that produces more than it consumes.  Now how does having a high IQ qualify one to speak authoritatively on such subjects?

One Response to “Someone else’s thoughts on that Hawking interview”

  1. Nancy Says:

    Good review. I agree with you.


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