So, where’s your hope?

A great scientist died last week. Of course, I’m talking about Steven Hawking. When I saw this quote going around the Internet, I was thinking about all the things this remarkable man had to overcome with MND, and all the brilliant scientific discoveries he made, yet I just wanted to ask…so, where’s your hope? 

According to Hawking, there’s no heaven or afterlife…we just shut down like a worn-out computer. And then we have his darker perspective on the future of mankind, like his warning about the implications of AI just last November during the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal:

“Unless we learn how to prepare for — and avoid — the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization,” he said. “It brings dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It could bring great disruption to our economy.”(From, “Stephen Hawking Delivered One Final Warning to Humanity Months Before He Died“)

That’s a cheerful thought. And considering our track record with these kinds of exponential advancements in technology, he’s probably right….we should be very afraid.

And this gets to my point. If I were a thinking atheist I would have no hope either. What compelling reason would warrant it? I get to do a few things while briefly walking on this side of the dirt and then I’m gone. There’s nothing else…zippo…zilch…the end. I’m just dead and that’s it. Even if I made an impact on humanity while here, so what? What was it for? Someone else to applaud my accomplishments? Why should I care when I’m dead? There is nothing to enjoy. And if I had to struggle through life with an affliction like Hawking, or worse, then life really sucked for me. There’s no justice, no fairness, no compensation, no reward….just a cold grave waiting in the end.

Here’s what Solomon said about this kind of hope:

12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Eccl.1:12-14 NIV)

That’s why I laughed when I read that believing in the afterlife is just a fairy tale for those who are afraid of the dark. Really? Because I’m not afraid of the dark. I just find a life that ends in death a bit…disappointing. Or to quote, Solomon, “meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” What was the point of it all…scurry around like ants and then you’re “dust in the wind?”

Hope isn’t wishful thinking; it’s believing in a brighter future. For the Christian, it means believing in the promises of God. We see Jesus as the forerunner of something too wonderful to even fully comprehend. He has gone before us to assure us that God keeps His promises.

17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.  (Heb.6:17-19 NIV)

This hope is at the very core of the Christian faith. We believe that as good as this life can get (or not), it’s only a brief prelude to something much more glorious. And this transformation ultimately includes all of God’s creation. It will not end with a whimper, or be lost in destruction, but in redemption through Christ Jesus our Lord!

20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Rom.8:20-25 NIV)

No, we’re not afraid of the dark. We’re not afraid of death at all because that’s not the end of the story. We will not cease to exist, we will just change forms. For death has been defeated, once and for all, forever! That’s what hope is.

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” (1 Cor.15:54 NIV)

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 38 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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83 Responses to So, where’s your hope?

  1. KIA says:

    Of course when he said this Stephen Hawking didn’t ‘know’ that there is no afterlife anymore than we ‘know’ there is. He was just declaring his lack of reason to believe that one exists, given the lack of evidence sufficient for him to be convinced

  2. sklyjd says:

    Mel, I think if you were to understand that we are primates and an animal species with a very powerful brain, it may help you to realise that life on this planet is as good as it gets.

    Human minds are what we are, we ask questions of everything because we can, and basically, we complicate our existence with thoughts, emotions and ideals that include everything we humans are capable of doing, whereas other animals get on with their lives, they hunt, eat, sleep, mate, play, groom etc. Until they die. They want to live and to survive each day because they understand death far better than many of the most advanced human animals who insist in making one of the most natural functions of life a most complicated event.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Mel, I think if you were to understand that we are primates and an animal species with a very powerful brain, it may help you to realise that life on this planet is as good as it gets.

      I understand why Hawking would say it because he was committed to the dogma of materialism, but I wouldn’t come to that conclusion at all because it’s a myopic and incoherent ontological position to hold. I wouldn’t keep my “powerful brain” from asking the most obvious question, the elephant in the room, if you will. Why is there science at all? Why do we exist at all? And I wouldn’t try to pigeonhole science into things that science cannot answer, that are metaphysical. That is not science, it’s the secular religion of scientism.

    • Citizen Tom says:

      @sklyjd

      Does God exist? You have no way of proving He does not exist. Philosophers, on the other hand, can offer logical proofs that He does exist.

      Do we continue to exist (our souls) after our bodies cease to function. You have way of proving we don’t. The Bible, however, provides testimony Jesus rose from the dead..

      Yet you assert this is as good as it gets. Without any proof. Powerful brain? Well, compared to the other life forms on this planet most of us score well in IQ tests, but wisdom seems to be issue.

      • sklyjd says:

        “Philosophers, on the other hand, can offer logical proofs that He does exist.”
        Do you not realise that philosophers do not present any such evidence God exists or what you call “logical proofs” whatever that is.

        Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. (courtesy of Wikipedia) Philosophy of science will study the aspects and concerns of science or of any philosophical subject.

        “The Bible, however, provides testimony Jesus rose from the dead.”

        Of course, the Bible is a collection of writings taken as true events in complete faith only by Christians, however science has discovered that many stories in the Bible are only myths.

        This planet Earth is as good as it gets, I have never seen evidence that any other world exists after death and from this fact I strongly suggest that it does not exist.

        Being wise or using wisdom would be the ability to think and act on evidence. Think about that Tom.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          Being wise or using wisdom would be the ability to think and act on evidence.

          You have intelligence and wisdom confused. High intelligence requires a powerful mind. Wisdom involves the acceptance of spiritual guidance.

          Wisdom is what it takes to discern the proper course of action. Wisdom is based upon a proper understanding of the difference between what is good and what is evil.

          We are born with the intelligence we have. We can strive for knowledge. Wisdom is a gift we request from our Creator.

          Our host has written posts that include philosophical proofs of God’s existence. If you have not done so, I suggest you read some of them. If asked, I expect Mel would happily suggest what he thinks best.

        • sklyjd says:

          “You have intelligence and wisdom confused.”
          “Wisdom is based upon a proper understanding of the difference between what is good and what is evil.”
          “Wisdom is a gift we request from our Creator.”

          Have you Christians tried hijacking the word “wisdom” or what? It appears you believe with much faith of course that only Christians can have wisdom because only God issues it. This word is so far removed from what you want it to mean it is hilarious.

          If you decide to look “wisdom” up, you will see how totally wrong you are.
          Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.

          Wisdom or sapience is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight, especially in a mature or utilitarian manner. Wikipedia.

          Psychologists tend to agree that wisdom involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs.

          “Our host has written posts that include philosophical proofs of God’s existence.”

          Only in your creationist mind, philosophy does not have proofs of anything, you have been sucked in. You do not have any evidence of God’s existence only neuroscience has the methods and the evidence to decide where, when and how he exists.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @sklyjd

          At this point our different ideas about the nature of wisdom have to do with our differing ideas about the purpose of life. Since we have distinctly different ideas about the reason for our existence, we don’t share the same beliefs about what is wise.

          In a generic sense, someone who is wise displays sound judgement, but what is sound judgement? Until we define what constitutes sound judgement, have we defined wisdom?

          Consider again what I said. “Wisdom is based upon a proper understanding of the difference between what is good and what is evil.” If someone has sound judgement, don’t you think they would be able to properly distinguish good from evil?

          How serious is this issue? Do you think that when Nazis and Communists stick their victims in concentration camps they think themselves or their victims evil? If one believes the “gods” require human sacrifice and that these “gods” deserve our worship, would not one believe it wise to sacrifice prisoners of war to the “gods”? People did. In their enthusiasm to display their deeds to their gods, some built huge monuments to their efforts.

          Look at yourself, full of hostility. What is the point of finding strife where none need exist? Yet the natural man, unreformed by the Holy Spirit does that. Why? Those who believe in the “gods” or that this is all there is have a very short sighted view. Such generally live for their own glory, grasping what they can for themselves, knowing that this moment will pass and be loss. What is the point of love, giving our heart to anything that will not last? Eventually, if we live long enough we lose everyone and everything we care about, and we suffer the grief of its loss. Thus is nothing to exist for except the greatest pleasure or the pride of pretending nothing can faze us. So form of Epicureanism or Stoicism.

          Have you ever watched a child realize the loss of something they treasured. It seems laughable. What is all the fuss about a kite hopelessly snagged in a tree or a dirty and ragged doll that got “accidentally” left behind? We laugh until remember we once had such treasures. We laugh until we remember the funerals and the souls we still long for. Some old and suffering in pain, but still we miss them.

          So what is good? What is evil? You seem to think that we define good and evil based upon what we know of this world, but Christians look farther ahead.

          If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. — by C. S. Lewis

          Because we have faith this world is not as good as it gets — because we know the love of God — we have hope. Because we love God, we obey Him. In fact, the wise define obedience to God as wisdom.

        • sklyjd says:

          Yes Tom, we have different ideas. Yours are concerned with desperation, hope, fear and faith and because my ideals are based on a world of reality it appears to you to be hostile.

          Sound judgement is usually associated with cold hard evidence and defining good from evil is more of a moralistic state of mind, and it does not take wisdom for most humans to naturally understand this difference.

          “would not one believe it wise to sacrifice prisoners of war to the “gods”? People did. In their enthusiasm to display their deeds to their gods, some built huge monuments to their efforts.”

          Nazis and Communists were led by a couple of deluded and deranged leaders; however, I agree people did sacrifice people to appease the gods, but now we understand how much of the world works and how and why the weather works, how the human body basically works etc. So, much of the civilised world got over human sacrifice, gods, witches and demons.

          “You seem to think that we define good and evil based upon what we know of this world,”

          I sure do, I am living in this world, it really exists, and I choose to stay in reality, it is where we all live, the only other worlds like the one you live in are solely manifested within your brain. Christians, Muslims, Jews and many others all have faith in other worlds, but unfortunately you are only looking forward to your own eternal death.

        • Mel Wild says:

          @ sklyjd. You said:

          I sure do, I am living in this world, it really exists, and I choose to stay in reality

          Great. But that was precisely what I was talking about in my other comments. How does the world “really exist?” In other words, what is the fundamental cause of its continuing existence? What is its “Ground of Being?”

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @sklyjd

          I see Mel Wild took up the argument. Unfortunately, it is not possible to persuade somebody of something that they fervently don’t want to believe, and it is quite apparent you don’t want to believe God exists. Shrug!

          Christians can lead people to Jesus, but we cannot make them believe in Jesus.

          It seems to me that I can, however, add something to what Mel said. I doubt you realize the relationship between Philosophy and what we now call Science. Science is an offspring of Philosophy. That is why Ph.D stands for Doctor of Philosophy.

          Philosophers invented the rules of logic that made Science possible. Mathematics is simply a complex expression of the rules of logic. Epistemology, a division of Metaphysics, deals with the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity. Thanks to Christianity, Epistemologists — scientists — decided there was only One God, and that God had created a universe that followed logical rules. Hence, they decided to glorify the Creator by carefully studying His Creation.

          What is the point? There is not much point in respecting Science and not respecting Philosophy and logical proofs. Science owes its existence to Philosophy.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          @sklyjd

          BTW — I find this baffling.

          Sound judgement is usually associated with cold hard evidence and defining good from evil is more of a moralistic state of mind, and it does not take wisdom for most humans to naturally understand this difference.

          What is a “moralistic state of mind”?

          How do you determine what is good and what is evil?

        • Mel Wild says:

          @ sklyjd.

          Philosophy can utilize deductive reasoning, much like mathematical theorems, to prove something that science cannot prove. In fact, science has no explanation for its own existence.

          Trying to prove or disprove the existence of God with science is a category error. Science can only test regularities in nature. Trying to answer a question outside of empirical testing of natural phenomenon is a metaphysical question, not a scientific one. So, you can appeal to science or “evidence” until you’re blue in the face, it will never address the question of God. You are simply espousing some version of logical positivism, which was debunked in the mid-20th century.

          We must deduce the existence of God (or “Ground of Being”) ontologically, not by looking for evidence. As C.S. Lewis said, that would be like Hamlet looking for evidence of Shakespeare in the attic of his castle.

        • sklyjd says:

          “Philosophy can utilize deductive reasoning, much like mathematical theorems, to prove something that science cannot prove. In fact, science has no explanation for its own existence.”

          Philosophy cannot prove anything. Why do creationists make up meanings of words? English is always English, not to be changed for American theist convenience.

          Philosophise, to speculate or theorise about fundamental or serious issues, especially in a tedious or pompous way. Explain or argue (an idea) in terms of one’s philosophical theories.

          Seeking knowledge is a fundamental human practice that comes naturally to most of us. We all want to know how and why things work, in fact it is precisely why gods were believed to control everything and why we have moved on to science, technology and math etc.

          Neuroscience, is the science that can tell you where your God exists, and the deduction is that no gods can exist outside of your head. The mainstream scientific communities understand that people will always believe in gods regardless of what evidence is presented, after all people still believe in a flat Earth. Metaphysics may explore the fundamental questions, but it cannot produce solid evidence of anything but where science has succeeded many times.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your vacuous dismissal of philosophy explains a lot why you would embrace something as incoherent as atheism. Probably why you embrace your “religion” of scientism as well, which, ironically, is a metaphysical worldview.

          Science cannot explain God for methodological reasons. It can only explain regularities in nature. To think it can do any more than that is scientism. Science explains nothing. It can only tell us how things work in the natural world. Science cannot even explain it’s own existence. For all of this you must turn to metaphysics. If you understood this you wouldn’t make such an ignorant statement.

        • sklyjd says:

          I do not dismiss philosophy, however if you are going to argue it confirms your God exists it just highlights your ignorance.

          “Probably why you embrace your “religion” of scientism as well, which, ironically, is a metaphysical worldview.”

          Again, you cannot understand what “religion” or “scientism” means or you apply the words simply as an annoyance.

          Scientism is a term generally used to describe the facile application of science in unwarranted situations not amenable to application of the scientific method. Wikipedia.

          ‘Science cannot explain God for methodological reasons. It can only explain regularities in nature.”

          Science, I agree cannot explain God, however it has been able to identify many claims and stories told by all religions as fictional.

          “Science cannot even explain it’s own existence”

          I think this is silly statement only used by theists. You can apply this to everything unless of course you believe in a god.

          Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy exploring the fundamental questions such as concepts, existence and reality. This is certainly where science starts, however without science none of the fundamental questions or the future of life on Earth would be answered would they?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I do not dismiss philosophy, however if you are going to argue it confirms your God exists it just highlights your ignorance.

          Actually you do dismiss it when you say, “Philosophy cannot prove anything.” This is not true. Like with mathematics, you can make logical deductions with philosophy that logically proves the necessity of essentially ordered things, that there must be a fundamental force at the source of any distal causal chains for anything to exist at all. Of course, you cannot prove that this is the Christian God. No one is saying that. But you can prove that nature doesn’t make itself continue to exist without this “Ground of Being.” Philosophy comes before theology. You must have a coherent ontology before you can even talk about the existence of God.

          On scientism, you said this before:

          Neuroscience, is the science that can tell you where your God exists, and the deduction is that no gods can exist outside of your head.

          This is pure materialistic scientism! Now, you’re the one promoting magic. Neuroscience can prove no such thing! THAT is in your imagination. You believe that science can explain something that science has absolutely no way of explaining. You are confusing cognitive science and brain activity with consciousness and intentionality. They are NOT the same thing. There are huge problems with this notion that I won’t go into here.

          Science cannot even explain it’s own existence”
          I think this is silly statement only used by theists. You can apply this to everything unless of course you believe in a god.

          The fact that you think this is a silly statement only proves you don’t understand the point. The point is, you have no coherent ontological foundation. I showed this in my post, “God is not a god.” Science explains nothing about being. It cannot tell us why we continue to exist, hence, it cannot explain its own existence. Furthermore, it cannot answer, “why is there science?” It can only tell us regularities that already exist in nature.

          Don’t get me wrong. I agree that science does what it’s supposed to do brilliantly and we owe a lot to how modern science has advanced civilization. I’m all for that. But its power is precisely because of its limitation. Science cannot tell us about being and it’s the wrong tool to use to investigate the possibility of “God.” When trying to answer these kinds of questions with science, you have left the field of scientific inquiry and have ventured into the secular religion of scientism.

  3. John Branyan says:

    The godless heathen reaction to Hawking’s death has been enlightening for me. They just can’t bring themselves to say “he’s gone”. They publish thoughtful wishes that he “enjoy the stars”. They draw pictures of empty wheelchairs with Hawking roaming toward bright lights in the distance. Ask them about this and you’ll be told it’s “irrelevant”. (https://sayitnow.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/a-mind-that-held-the-stars/#comment-12931)

    Far from “irrelevant”, the pagans are revealing the truth of scripture. God has set eternity in their hearts. Their stubborn pride only lets it slip when people die.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Far from “irrelevant”, the pagans are revealing the truth of scripture. God has set eternity in their hearts. Their stubborn pride only lets it slip when people die.

      I couldn’t agree more. Otherwise, why would atheists say that someone will “enjoy” anything after they die? I asked that question on the site you linked and didn’t get any direct response, except that comment (but not in direct reply to me). But the idea of even talking to a dead atheist, even sentimentally, is incoherent and nonsensical. As you said here, they must borrow that from believers to do that.

  4. John Branyan says:

    “…we ask questions of everything because we can, and basically, we complicate our existence with thoughts, emotions and ideals that include everything we humans are capable of doing, whereas other animals get on with their lives…”

    Yes!
    We humans should strive to be less human. It will simplify our lives.
    Perhaps we can reverse evolution and return to single-cell organisms!
    You atheists are such deep thinkers.

  5. Hope and faith. If all were for naught, at least I died believing in something. However, I know that I know; Jesus is alive and He lives in me.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I agree. Our hope is real. But science will never prove or disprove it. I cannot, like a lot of things that are most important in life.

      • KIA says:

        “I agree. Our hope is real. But science will never prove or disprove it.”
        —-
        Mel, this is one of the most honest Statements that I have read from you on your blog. Thank you. While I don’t agree with the last part about the general inability to prove some of the most important things in life, I think that is overreaching just as Hawking did, but in serve of a false equivalency, it’s honest to admit you can’t demontrate the truth of what you believe. You also over reach in saying g that science can’t disprove it. And I think youalsoover reach in thinking just because something can’t be disproven, that you still have justification to believe what you admit you cannot demonstrate to be true. Please consider why you believe things you can’t demontrate​ to be true.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You also over reach in saying g that science can’t disprove it.

          It’s not overreaching, it’s a logical deduction. Science studies nature. And the question before us is whether there is anything outside of nature. Therefore, science cannot answer the question.

  6. I’ve seen/read many blog-posts paint the late, confused salesman Billy Graham in this same jabbing negative way Mel. What I find puzzling is that most everyone who writes about these sorts of men or women that lead people in great ways — or in this case evil, misguided and distorted ways — do not KNOW the famous influential person on any intimate, daily level. Hence, what do they REALLY know? That’s why I didn’t bother to write anything on Billy Graham’s death.

    Now, if you want to discuss Stephen Hawking’s vast library of work and accomplishments, (that you did not go into here) rather than his intimate personal life (of hope or no hope, of which you know nothing), then that would require many more blog-posts over several months. But my gut tells me you’d rather just write your own personal opinion about a man you didn’t know and who believed differently than you… like this post. 😴

    “However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. — Stephen Hawking

    We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being, but we share the same human spirit. — Stephen Hawking

    I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer. — Stephen Hawking

    One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away. — Stephen Hawking

    It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven’t done badly. People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.” — Stephen Hawking

    Given what Dr. Hawking himself said, did, and published… I’d say he was a very inspiring man for humanity and future generations, especially happy hopeful scientists. 🙂

    • Mel Wild says:

      What I find puzzling is that most everyone who writes about these sorts of men or women that lead people in great ways — or in this case evil, misguided and distorted ways — do not KNOW the famous influential person on any intimate, daily level.

      Two brief responses:

      First, why do you use the word, “evil?” Do you believe there is evil in the world? I’ve been told this is a religious word and that evil doesn’t exist.

      Second, I was not maligning the man at all, I said he was a brilliant man who overcame a lot of personal difficulties. I was asking the question about where his (or our) hope comes from. Hawking made some rather dogmatic and derogatory comments about faith here, like “there is no heaven or afterlife…” and that believing in one is a fairy tale, yet this is a faith statement because science cannot prove or disprove it. It’s simply a prejudicial bias based on a fundamentalist materialistic ontology.

      Again, no disrespect to Hawking and his accomplishments, but his is not a very compelling existential view at all to me. Frankly, the existence of black holes, quantum gravity, has had absolutely no impact whatsoever on what’s important to my life. And I certainly won’t care one bit about it when I’m dead.

      Given what Dr. Hawking himself said, did, and published… I’d say he was a very inspiring man for humanity and future generations, especially happy hopeful scientists.

      Of course, his discoveries were brilliant and overcoming his physical difficulties is inspiring. But he certainly doesn’t care about them now, according to his own view of the afterlife. And hoping for a better future in this life is a crap shoot, it seems. According to his warnings about the implications of AI, it could be the worst possible future imaginable. I certainly wouldn’t want to anchor my hope here.

      • Re: the word evil. I often use vocabulary/language that my audience or my addressee will recognize and understand. Would you consider Stephen Hawking associated with evil or a form of evil? Would you associate anyone with evil or forms of evil, i.e. anyone who does not preach or teach the gospel of 4th-century CE Jesus Christ? To be more precise, anyone who preaches or teaches the direct antithesis of 4th-century CE Christology?

        I was asking the question about where his (or our) hope comes from.

        I addressed that and shared some Hawking’s quotes about vitality, happiness, love, and hope. The remainder of your response is your personal opinion of Dr. Hawking and his accomplishments — you have the right to your own opinions of him or anyone else for that matter. Your opinions of the man or his work could be wrong as well. Nevertheless, like Einstein’s work was monumental for Hawking’s discoveries and proofs about the nature of the Universe, the Cosmos, and Quantum Physics, so too will Hawking’s work contribute to FUTURE scientific discoveries and proofs. The “impact” is not simply for any one person like yourself Mel. It is for things bigger than one or a few. 😉

        To close and end my comments here, I would like to repeat what I’ve said before about your personal blog and posts…

        Without imperfection, without adversity, without naivety, without failures and alternative solutions for success and betterment, we’d never learn. We’d never grow and appreciate what this wonderful and daunting life has to offer. Fore the sake of wisdom and discernment we all need people around who disagree with us. In that regard Mel, I am glad you allow differing viewpoints about your blog-content. That does offer some (possible?) value. Hmm, I just thought of something…

        Out of curiosity, how many blogs do you regularly visit and dialogue on that oppose or differ from your world-view Mel? Thanks.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Re: the word evil. I often use vocabulary/language that my audience or my addressee will recognize and understand. Would you consider Stephen Hawking associated with evil or a form of evil?

          No. I don’t think Hawking was evil, nor did I insinuate he was. You brought that up. I do believe he was misguided by his materialist prejudice, but that’s my opinion.

          Without imperfection, without adversity, without naivety, without failures and alternative solutions for success and betterment, we’d never learn. We’d never grow and appreciate what this wonderful and daunting life has to offer.

          I would agree with that. Of course, this argues against what some atheists have complained about to me, why God would allow suffering and these imperfections in the world at all. They seem to be arguing that we should be automatons that experience no such ups and downs as you list. You can’t have one without the other.

          Out of curiosity, how many blogs do you regularly visit and dialogue on that oppose or differ from your world-view Mel? Thanks.

          I do read some blogs, and I also quote many who disagree with me here, as you should know. But, frankly, and I mean no personal disrespect, I find many comments and arguments by materialists on the Internet vapid and vacuous and incoherent. They are arguing against some straw man version of fundamentalist Christianity, not classical theism, or even classical philosophy. Besides, a lot of these sites seem to be echo chambers to encourage the unbelieving faithful. So, I don’t waste a lot of time trying to reason with people who have no interest in being open to my view. I really don’t have the time.

        • I do believe he was misguided by his materialist prejudice, but that’s my opinion.

          I completely disagree based upon his many books and his many documentaries and guest-appearances on science shows and conferences where he spoke. As far as opinions go I believe your opinion is wrong, but that’s MY opinion here, huh? 😉

          I would agree with that.

          Thank you.

          I find many comments and arguments by materialists on the Internet vapid and vacuous and incoherent.

          I’d agree for the most part, especially on such vast, deeply complex topics such as world-views and like 4th & 5th century CE Christology — which covers over 500-years of history, much of it only recently being more fairly understood with monumental discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls — and which simply cannot be adequately and fairly covered in modern social-media in 1,000 or 3,000 word posts! The subjects are just too distorted and too convoluted to fairly cover in the majority of blog-posts on the internet. And many blog-authors are not adequately educated broadly enough to write on the subject.

          I don’t waste a lot of time trying to reason with people who have no interest in being open to my view. I really don’t have the time.

          Thank you for that revealing and honest answer Mel. It was one I expected and see far too often.

          Have a good week sir.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And your answer was one I expected. 🙂 Thanks for your comments.

        • John Branyan says:

          Taboo: “…The subjects are just too distorted and too convoluted to fairly cover in the majority of blog-posts on the internet. And many blog-authors are not adequately educated broadly enough to write on the subject.”

          Of course, he exempts himself from this criticism.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Of course he does. 🙂

        • LOL… I’m not sharing my parrot crackers Mel! 😉

          But hey, at least I come here (and some other opposing blogs) that in your opinion are a waste of time. It garners broader learning… as you agreed above.

          Alright, off to other necessary tasks. As I stated, enjoy your week. 🙂

        • Mel Wild says:

          To be clear, I’m obviously not afraid of opposing opinions discussed here or elsewhere, I just don’t have to time to waste on logically incoherent ones. Talk to you later.

        • Completely understand. That’s exactly why I don’t frequent most fundamental “Christological” blogs — there is nothing new to learn from those blogs because their belief-system and theology has been a Closed-system (Canon) since the 4th – 5th century CE… at least here in the Western Hemisphere. HAH! And besides, one can simply go directly to “the one source“: the Greek New Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. One does not need all the crazy commentary do they? 😉

          But I INfrequently stop by here Mel because you dabble in a few non-Christological topics. I find that to be intriguing, whether your viewpoint is reasonable, unreasonable, erroneous, or somewhat correct, it all offers insight into yet another perspective out of thousands or millions, even within Christendom.

          As a footnote, I have noticed that you do tend to stick to the basic apologetics and general doctrines of the FourSquare Church and the PCCNA, as would be expected. 😉

          Til next time sir.

  7. Kind of tragic, if people had actually read Hawking, they’d realize that he spent the first 10 yrs of his career coming up with a theory that couldn’t be proven, and the next ten years reversing course and working to disprove his first theory. At the end of his life he was busy reversing course again, debunking the big bang, and writing theories about imaginary time.

    The only thing Hawking was willing to be consistent about was that there was no God. Of course, at one point in his life he did give a pretty good imitation of being a believer, so I can’t even credit him with that consistency.

    • Mel Wild says:

      It is tragic. He was desperately trying to defend on untenable materialist ontology with theoretical physics.

      That’s the problem when you’re willfully ignorant of the classical philosophical arguments. The truth is, Hawking was never actually talking about God nor mounting any argument against God. As Hart put it, he was answering an etiological question when the question of God is an ontological one.

      Understanding philosophy and logic keeps you from being incoherent. Good advice for these atheists. 🙂

      • sklyjd says:

        You state “Understanding philosophy and logic keeps you from being incoherent. Good advice for these atheists.”

        I would bet Stephen Hawking was not wilfully ignorant of anything and knew exactly what he was doing. I would also believe atheists do understand logic far better than you would like them to.

        During the scientific process, deductive reasoning is used to reach a logical true conclusion.

        During the religious process Inductive reasoning is used, this is the opposite of deductive reasoning making broad generalizations from specific observations where conclusions are drawn from the data.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I would also believe atheists do understand logic far better than you would like them to.

          I’m not saying that atheists don’t understand logic. They just rarely employ it coherently when making their own faith claims to defend their materialist ontology. For instance, Hawking’s argument for gravity proving there is no need for God revealed that he didn’t even understand what is classically meant by God. He was arguing against some pagan “god of the gaps,” confusing an ontological question with an etiological one. He wasn’t even addressing the issue of God at all!

          During the scientific process, deductive reasoning is used to reach a logical true conclusion.

          That’s really funny. Science, especially theoretical science, uses inductive reasoning all the time! Some of it is pure faith! There is very little empirical data to back up their assertions. And, besides, you cannot make a deductive claim for historical events and lot of other things we believe about reality. That’s the wrong method. You must use inductive or adductive reasoning for those things. You also cannot use science to prove anything beyond nature. It’s self-refuting. But you can make a deductive metaphysical argument for there being a God, which is what I gave from the classical Aristotelian-Thomistic argument in “God is not a god.”

  8. inspoverse says:

    Well written article. As a Christian I look forward to life with God.

  9. Anthony Paul says:

    Mel, I found this to be a very respectful and well-written article about a man who was certainly brilliant in his field. As I see it, his biggest error was in taking himself too seriously — the self-annointed messiah of the modern day religion of scientism to which you referred earlier.

    As Bernardo Kastrup points out in so many of his writings, when the study of physical science leads men to draw unwarranted metaphysical conclusions, it is then up to each of us as fully conscious and rational beings to form what he calls “a more parsimonious” view of the nature of consciousness and reality. This makes quite a lot of sense to me on one basic level which immediately springs to mind… On a pragmatic level, how does one live his life if it has no meaning? And not only our lives but the sun and the moon and the stars… all totally meaningless. But somehow the atheist must abandon all logic in order to find meaning in meaninglessness or survival would be unbearable… this is not just conjecture…. it is part of what we are, built into our DNA.

    I’m no genius, but even I can see that there is an undeniably disingenuous quality to the position held by so many avowed atheists like Dr. Hawking. Hawking was a brilliant scientist but a poor philosopher. The very best atheists have come from the fields of literature, philosophy, and art — men like Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus — who have convinced themselves and so many other vacant minds that man’s dignity comes from embracing what amounts to their own subjective perception of the total absurdity and meaninglessness of life. [In my time, only one man had the courage to truly believe his own philosophy and live up to the conviction of his beliefs… and he did that by putting a shotgun in his mouth and pulling the trigger… Earnest Hemingway.

    Apparently there are many in the world who subscribe to the Hawking philosophy that nothing lies beyond the grave… but I find it ironic that most all seem to die of somewhat natural causes. Which leads me to wonder who, indeed, is most afraid of the dark here?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Anthony, I think you’ve said it all very well here. I would agree, of course. When these great men of science reject philosophy, like Hawking, they end up defending positions that are incoherent, which is what happens whenever one tries to apply science to every area of reality (scientism). They don’t seem to understand the difference between ontology and etiology, so they make categorical errors in their dismissals.

    • sklyjd says:

      “But somehow the atheist must abandon all logic in order to find meaning in meaninglessness or survival would be unbearable… this is not just conjecture…. it is part of what we are, built into our DNA.”
      Somehow this statement is not correct. As far as logic is concerned the contrary is the case, it trumps faith every time.
      I do not find survival unbearable and I do not have to believe in any god or afterlife to enjoy my life. Built into our DNA you say, has this been confirmed by a non-creationist genetic scientist?

  10. Anthony Paul says:

    I have no empirical evidence for my statement about our DNA nor do I know if any even exists; but then I didn’t realize that this was a scientific colloquium. You yourself have undoubtedly written volumes on the pre-eminence of logic over faith… so let’s not even go there. You say that you do not find survival unbearable… that’s quite a testimonial to the benefits of your philosophy. On one level, my experience teaches me that as conscious self reflexive beings, humans need to find meaning and purpose in order to transcend mere survival… dogs and cats survive… we live. The fact that you are internally free to deny that premise is proof of what I am saying. Bottom line, I look for meaning in my life my way, you look for the same in yours your way. Just two sides of the same coin.

    On a somewhat different level, my contention is that science and philosophy work on different levels… the former asks “how” while the latter deals with the “why” of our existence… two very different and very meaningful issues. Science (though certainly not all scientists) have chosen to put a period at the end of the known universe thus suggesting that science is the ultimate philosophy, the ultimate religion… seeing all, knowing all, and for all time. This strikes me more as the result of the hubris of the scientific mind trying to establish its primacy among the disciplines… kind of like mine is bigger than yours — far from any application of any scientific principles of observation. How could the scientific mind explore such questions even if it wanted to do so? Science, by its own definition is not equipped to deal with the metaphysical. And yet, great minds such as the late Stephen Hawking could so easily draw these conclusions about the nature of reality beyond the visible cosmos without the proper credentials (tsk, tsk!) — I would take that in itself to be quite a leap of faith.

    • Mel Wild says:

      On a somewhat different level, my contention is that science and philosophy work on different levels… the former asks “how” while the latter deals with the “why” of our existence… two very different and very meaningful issues.

      Very important point here, Anthony. The problem with scientism is that its naturalist worldview cannot explain its own existence. So, the naturalist is left to just hand-wave away all ontological arguments or just throw up their hands and say, “who cares? My life is fine.” But this creates cognitive dissonance at the deepest part of who we are; it doesn’t make the question go away.

      Here’s what David Bentley Hart said about this:

      “It should be no less clear, moreover, that philosophical naturalism could never serve as a complete, coherent, or even provisionally plausible picture of reality as a whole. The limits of nature’s powers are the same whether they are personified as deities or not.

      It is at the very point where physical reality becomes questionable, and reason finds it has to venture beyond the limits of nature if it is to make sense of nature, that naturalism demands reason turn back, resigned to pure absurdity, and rest content with a non-answer that closes off every avenue to the goal the mind necessarily seeks. The question of existence is real, comprehensible, and unavoidable, and yet it lies beyond the power of naturalism to answer it, or even to ask it.” (Hart, The Experience of God, p.95)

      • Anthony Paul says:

        Thanks for this, Mel. I plod through as best I can with my thoughts and perceptions gathered from many sources.

        IMHO, the sticking point between modern science and philosophy comes at the very nexus of Hart’s statement “…where physical reality becomes questionable…” To the materialist, there is nothing but the physical and observable before us. If it can be said that science has a philosophical world view at all, it must be defined as “the hammer in endless search of the nail”. It is their contention that all reality exists “out there” beyond any need for the conscious interaction of an observer. But now new discoveries in Quantum Mechanics are opening doors many would rather leave unopened. So how long will it take the scientific community as a whole to move its thinking forward based on new propositions about the cosmos being put forth at an increasingly rapid pace? That’s anyone’s guess. But the fact that it took them about 1300 years from Aristarchus of Samos to Copernicus to actually redefine the nature of our solar system does not make me optimistic of ever seeing it in this lifetime.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So how long will it take the scientific community as a whole to move its thinking forward based on new propositions about the cosmos being put forth at an increasingly rapid pace? That’s anyone’s guess. But the fact that it took them about 1300 years from Aristarchus of Samos to Copernicus to actually redefine the nature of our solar system does not make me optimistic of ever seeing it in this lifetime.

          Exactly. As Hart also says, the more educated one is the more indoctrinated they tend to be in their views. It usually takes someone from outside of the academic echo chambers, like Einstein with physics (maybe even Kastrup with consciousness?), to overturn the tables on their hardened dogma.

          Hopefully, it won’t take 1,300 years for the next upgrade, but there we are. Separating the secular religion of scientism from science would be a good start.

  11. Carburn says:

    Let me flip it around Mel with some questions of my own. Why look forward for an afterlife when life is right here? And why care for this life if you believe in an afterlife? Why does good action need to be rewarded in an afterlife?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Eternal life is NOT just about life after death. It’s about His life in me now, tomorrow, the next day, and forever. The after-life is just a continuing trajectory. My point is that this life doesn’t end with our physical death.

      And if this life is all there is, and your life here isn’t going well, at least there’s hope for something better. But either way, my life in Christ is a moment by moment thing. It’s better now, it’s gets a lot better then. My life if filled with hope every day.

      • Carburn says:

        But my point is that an afterlife weakens the meaning of this life. Why truly care about the moment to moment things if you believe there are infinite moments to come? Why bother changing the world if you believe an infinite perfect life in waiting?

        • John Branyan says:

          “Why bother changing the world if you believe an infinite perfect life in waiting?”

          Why bother changing the world unless you believe those changes will bring about a more perfect life? The desire to strive for a better life isn’t diminished by belief in an afterlife.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why does it weaken the meaning of this life? It can only strengthen it. I don’t think you properly understand the Christian message (Or, you’ve heard a really bad version of it).

          The Bible declares that all of creation is very good. We (humankind) were commissioned to take care of the planet and everything in it. And, according to Jesus and Paul, everything we do in this life matters. Following Jesus means walking in other-centered, self-giving love in relationship. There is nothing that would make this world better than if every one could walk in this other-centered love. All of these things have significance in the here and now.

        • Carburn says:

          Yet despite all that talk you are still faced with a sliver of life compared to an eternity of afterlife. Noone values an hour as much as they do a year, doesn’t make sense that anyone would value a little bit of life compared to an eternity. That is not a misunderstanding of christinaity, just simple reasoning.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are simply making an argument for Christianity now! If this life is just a sliver, why would you put all your hopes in a “sliver?” That seems rather foolish to me.

          And your time comparison is, as Einstein said, an illusion. Time is contingent and temporal. It’s relative to how you perceive it. It has no bearing on the afterlife. It’s also irrelevant to eternal life since this life, here, today, and forever transcends time.

        • Carburn says:

          Illusion or not, it is there. If you can overcome it, fine for you, many can’t. A sliver of life is irrelevant in comparison to the infinite for many. I am just trying to make you see the other side. Now if you prefer to invalidate that side in its entirety with personal interpretation that doesn’t change a valid viewpoint, fine, you do you. I guess I mistook your blog then.

        • Carburn says:

          Hmm actually I want to edit that previous comment but I can’t, because wordpress won’t allow it. Apologies. Reading back you didn’t say anything to directly validate my claim of you dismissing the argument entirely. Must have misremembered.

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