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taniwha

There is no God

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Paranoid Android

The problem with this sentence is that the denial of evidence that is contradictory to what one knows is at the heart of a lot of societal problems.

ISIS fighters would say the exact same thing about their belief in Allah and their devotion to Jihad. They just know that they are right, and will continue to just know and kill and rampage around costing the world lives and billions of dollars.

It is NOT enough to just know and this is while providing innocent comfort to some, causes unimaginable suffering and spreads the cancers of extremism, willful ignorance, and indoctrination across society. Your "I just know" and the extremism version of it are not the same I know, but they are brothers in the same family of thought (or lack thereof).

I know you said that my views aren't the same as ISIS, but I think acting to take human life for any reason is unacceptable whereas believing God exists based on your experiences is a totally different thing, especially if that belief actually helps other people.

With that said, I'm not sure how else I can act. Do I lie to myself just to appease you and those like you?

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Liquid Gardens

I can't just change what I know. Sure there's science and empirical study, but I would be dishonest to myself if I were to say anything except "I know God exists". In essence I'd be lying to myself, and I've said it before but how can I claim to seek truth if I'm lying to myself to find it?

Of course you can change what you know, it happens all the time. I think it takes just one very easy, and to me eminently honest, statement: "maybe I'm wrong". I don't think I 'know' anything like this that is at a similar level of controversy or lack of empirical support as 'God exists'. Matter of fact saying "I know x" can be an impediment to changing what you know.

I at least have never heard of, nor can really theoretically imagine very well, a personal experience that would make me know something so specific as 'God exists'; I would have to ignore a mountain of evidence concerning how our brains work, or don't work, and that personal experience as we are using the term is and has been unreliable in determining truths about the world (although not anyone's internal world). Why isn't 'aliens with extremely advanced superpowers' an alternative explanation for whatever evidence you think exists that makes you know that God exists?

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White Crane Feather

And if he was a philosopher you could move the goalposts further by saying he isn't a theologian. I don't see why a scientists opinions on the matter are less valid than those of any other expert. Hawking has been asked the question a million times and until recently has skirted the issue. I don't see how he has been misleading, do you have any examples?

Yes. As I just mentioned he knows dam well that they way physicists define time is very far from what is used in common language and understanding. The physics understanding of time does not eliminate sequence. There is no way for hawking to know that there was "no time" understood as sequence or progression of states of the universe. There can be and probably was much "time" before the Big Bang. The necessarily narrow use of "time" in physics does not speak to leap that some make that the every imaginary nothing was the only thing. In fact, there is not a shred of evidence that the vacuum itself came from the Big Bang, In fact Hawking( and most scientists) speculation that the the universe was caused by a rare quantum fluctuation nesesitates the existence of a vacuum energy and thus a vacuum with all kinds of things happening.

Yet many still propigate the idea that pre Big Bang conditions did not contain "time" and nothing existed at all. bull****. This is an underhanded attempt to doop people into not equating a creation event with some sort of creator. Instead of a god, they invent an imaginary nothing which is not accurate either. It's politics. I am glad that other scientists don't play that game.

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J. K.

You are not providing me with another meaning you are just saying I'm interpreting it wrong and I'm pulling you up on that.

I see that I should have been more complete with post # 44. I was trying to avoid using church vocabulary, since that seems to offend people on here.

The words of mr walker very clearly only have one meaning. According to the OED, operate = to perform a task or duty, via = by, belief = a thought process or faith.

So the OED doesn't provide "perform surgery" as a definition for "operate"? Interesting.

So according to mr walker god performs his tasks by faith. The only other way to get any other meaning out of it is to change those what the words mean and you can't do that.

Or in your case, take the phrase totally out of context since you don't understand how spiritual processes work. "God performs His tasks by faith" --> "God chooses to use humans to perform His work and uses their faith as a conduit to provide the spiritual energy to carry out His will."

So how did god exist without those to believe in him to perform his task of creating the universe? It's a paradox. He can't exist until he creates someone to believe in him.

Your "powered by faith" premise is interesting, but is totally a mis-assumption.

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Einsteinium

I know you said that my views aren't the same as ISIS, but I think acting to take human life for any reason is unacceptable whereas believing God exists based on your experiences is a totally different thing, especially if that belief actually helps other people.

With that said, I'm not sure how else I can act. Do I lie to myself just to appease you and those like you?

No, of course not lie to appease others. If you are dead set that your views are 100% correct and nothing at all will ever change your mind then it is hopeless for anyone to even try to explain to you the multitude of reasons why you could be wrong. It is a lost cause. You will not accept anything counter to your established view and you will not admit that you even MIGHT be wrong.

May you live forever.

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Frank Merton

I know you said that my views aren't the same as ISIS, but I think acting to take human life for any reason is unacceptable whereas believing God exists based on your experiences is a totally different thing, especially if that belief actually helps other people.

With that said, I'm not sure how else I can act. Do I lie to myself just to appease you and those like you?

How silly: appeasing others is not the issue. Being honest with yourself is.
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bigjim36

I see that I should have been more complete with post # 44. I was trying to avoid using church vocabulary, since that seems to offend people on here.

So the OED doesn't provide "perform surgery" as a definition for "operate"? Interesting.

Or in your case, take the phrase totally out of context since you don't understand how spiritual processes work. "God performs His tasks by faith" --> "God chooses to use humans to perform His work and uses their faith as a conduit to provide the spiritual energy to carry out His will."

Your "powered by faith" premise is interesting, but is totally a mis-assumption.

Of course it does mean to perform surgery but seeing as that could not possibly be the right definition I decided not to include it. Let's give it a try god performs surgery by belief. So god is a faith healer? Seeing as he is omnipresent there should be no illness or disease amongst those who believe in him as he will perform surgery on them. So any believer who gets cancer or gangrene for example must be a liar and can't believe enough? Why do you assume I don't understand how spiritual processes work? Just because I deny they exist? Just because my interpretation of a phrase doesn't fit with your reimagining of it? Many on here know my background, I was brought up in a religious house and attended church till I was 15, I went to catholic school and went through the various catechisms. So I do understand them and I reject them as a fallacy. Through study I came to realise that the bible is rubbish, all the "holy books" are rubbish, the churches and religions are rubbish, if god actually existed he would put a stop to all the religious in fighting and make himself known. He did it with noah apparently. Why not do it again? Wipe out all the sinners. Also your own definition brings up my question which you ignored again. If god uses our faith as fuel, how did he exist before he created us? Please please please answer!!!

Edited by bigjim36

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J. K.

Of course it does mean to perform surgery but seeing as that could not possibly be the right definition I decided not to include it. Let's give it a try god performs surgery by belief. So god is a faith healer? Seeing as he is omnipresent there should be no illness or disease amongst those who believe in him as he will perform surgery on them. So any believer who gets cancer or gangrene for example must be a liar and can't believe enough?

I was pointing out your choice of words - using one definition of "operate" as if it were the only one.

Why do you assume I don't understand how spiritual processes work? Just because I deny they exist? Just because my interpretation of a phrase doesn't fit with your reimagining of it?

If you are going to discuss a spiritual subject, then you must accept the use the context of spirituality. Would you discuss fish while denying that water exists? Discussion of a point of view doesn't require acceptance of that point of view, merely being able to posit that point of view.

if god actually existed he would put a stop to all the religious in fighting and make himself known. He did it with noah apparently. Why not do it again? Wipe out all the sinners.

That is on His to-do list. We just haven't reached that point yet.

Also your own definition brings up my question which you ignored again. If god uses our faith as fuel, how did he exist before he created us? Please please please answer!!!

Yes, the answer to the question you are proposing initiates a paradox. However, your "if" statement is at fault. God does not use our faith as fuel.

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Einsteinium

That is on His to-do list. We just haven't reached that point yet.

This is your opinion.

Yes, the answer to the question you are proposing initiates a paradox. However, your "if" statement is at fault. God does not use our faith as fuel.

Again, nothing but your opinion.

Belief and opinion does not equal reality, you have stated nothing more than your belief/opinion on these matters, which are no more valid than anyone else's belief or opinion on these matters. The God of your mind may not use faith as fuel, but the God of someone else's mind very well might.

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fullywired

A.

I respect his intellect and dedication to science, but even smart people are stupid at least some of the time.

Food for thought for no one in particular so please don't be offended

Being smart means thinking things through - trying to find the real answer, not the first answer.

Being stupid means avoiding thinking by jumping to conclusions. Jumping to a conclusion is like quitting a game : you lose by default.

That’s why saying “I don’t know” is usually smart, because it’s refusing to jump to a conclusion.

So when someone says “They are so stupid!” - it means they’ve stopped thinking. They say it to feel finished with that subject, because there’s nothing they can do about that. It’s appealing and satisfying to jump to that conclusion.

So if you decide someone is stupid, it means you’re not thinking, which is not being smart.

Therefore: smart people don’t think others are stupid

Derek Sivers.

programmer, avid student of life.

fullywired

Edited by fullywired

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bigjim36

I was pointing out your choice of words - using one definition of "operate" as if it were the only one.

If you are going to discuss a spiritual subject, then you must accept the use the context of spirituality. Would you discuss fish while denying that water exists? Discussion of a point of view doesn't require acceptance of that point of view, merely being able to posit that point of view.

That is on His to-do list. We just haven't reached that point yet.

Yes, the answer to the question you are proposing initiates a paradox. However, your "if" statement is at fault. God does not use our faith as fuel.

Your earlier quote "God chooses to use humans to perform His work and uses their faith as a conduit to provide the spiritual energy to carry out His will." So which is it? He uses their faith as spiritual energy or he doesn't use our faith as fuel? Because as far as my understanding of the English language stretches this is a contradiction. Or is it a spiritual process that I don't understand?

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Paranoid Android

Of course you can change what you know, it happens all the time. I think it takes just one very easy, and to me eminently honest, statement: "maybe I'm wrong". I don't think I 'know' anything like this that is at a similar level of controversy or lack of empirical support as 'God exists'. Matter of fact saying "I know x" can be an impediment to changing what you know.

I at least have never heard of, nor can really theoretically imagine very well, a personal experience that would make me know something so specific as 'God exists'; I would have to ignore a mountain of evidence concerning how our brains work, or don't work, and that personal experience as we are using the term is and has been unreliable in determining truths about the world (although not anyone's internal world). Why isn't 'aliens with extremely advanced superpowers' an alternative explanation for whatever evidence you think exists that makes you know that God exists?

Aliens could be an answer but I think God more likely, as my experiences appear to be consistent with humans over thousands of years - an alien is unlikely to waste that time on such a species as ours. And remember, my comments about knowing God are not specific to any deity, it's a faith-based proposition that I chose to apply to Christianity. And as noted, in that time my faith had not seemed to be misplaced.

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White Crane Feather

Food for thought for no one in particular so please don't be offended

Being smart means thinking things through - trying to find the real answer, not the first answer.

Being stupid means avoiding thinking by jumping to conclusions. Jumping to a conclusion is like quitting a game : you lose by default.

That’s why saying “I don’t know” is usually smart, because it’s refusing to jump to a conclusion.

So when someone says “They are so stupid!” - it means they’ve stopped thinking. They say it to feel finished with that subject, because there’s nothing they can do about that. It’s appealing and satisfying to jump to that conclusion.

So if you decide someone is stupid, it means you’re not thinking, which is not being smart.

Therefore: smart people don’t think others are stupid

Derek Sivers.

programmer, avid student of life.

fullywired

In defense of hawking, I don't think he was being stupid, I think he was being political. There are more than one kind of rabbits that men chase.

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Paranoid Android

No, of course not lie to appease others. If you are dead set that your views are 100% correct and nothing at all will ever change your mind then it is hopeless for anyone to even try to explain to you the multitude of reasons why you could be wrong. It is a lost cause. You will not accept anything counter to your established view and you will not admit that you even MIGHT be wrong.

May you live forever.

I'm not dead set in all my views. I readily admit I took my views on Christianity on faith, and since then my faith has been strengthened. The existence of God, however, is a different matter. Imagine you went on a holiday overseas and you come back and tell of your experiences and the person you're telling a story to tells you that personal experience is untrustworthy and you can't use it to validate the awesome experiences you? That's a little like I feel when someone tells me that I shouln't use experience to judge my views on God.

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Einsteinium

I'm not dead set in all my views. I readily admit I took my views on Christianity on faith, and since then my faith has been strengthened. The existence of God, however, is a different matter. Imagine you went on a holiday overseas and you come back and tell of your experiences and the person you're telling a story to tells you that personal experience is untrustworthy and you can't use it to validate the awesome experiences you? That's a little like I feel when someone tells me that I shouln't use experience to judge my views on God.

Your experiences are important to you as they should be, but experiences unless objectively evidenced are not evidence for an objective God, they can only ever be evidence for a subjective God within your own mind unless backed by objective evidence.

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J. K.

This is your opinion.

Again, nothing but your opinion.

Belief and opinion does not equal reality, you have stated nothing more than your belief/opinion on these matters, which are no more valid than anyone else's belief or opinion on these matters. The God of your mind may not use faith as fuel, but the God of someone else's mind very well might.

Your opinion is duly noted. Why would I support a position which I don't believe in? My beliefs are reality for me. I am aware that other beliefs are reality for other people, and I do not demand that everyone share my belief.

Your earlier quote "God chooses to use humans to perform His work and uses their faith as a conduit to provide the spiritual energy to carry out His will." So which is it? He uses their faith as spiritual energy or he doesn't use our faith as fuel? Because as far as my understanding of the English language stretches this is a contradiction. Or is it a spiritual process that I don't understand?

You may have missed the word "conduit". Let me try again. God chooses to use humans through which to perform His work. The Christian's faith in God opens a spiritual channel through which God provides spiritual energy to guide and empower the Christian to act as God's representative on earth.

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Paranoid Android

Your experiences are important to you as they should be, but experiences unless objectively evidenced are not evidence for an objective God, they can only ever be evidence for a subjective God within your own mind unless backed by objective evidence.

Well of course my views on God are subjective. All experiences are subjective, that doesn't change me from saying I know God.

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Arbenol

Actually, testing God's effects would not be workable as a scientific experiment. He doesn't perform on command, so the experiment could not be repeated with similar results multiple times.

Actually. That has nothing to do with what I said.

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Liquid Gardens

Aliens could be an answer but I think God more likely, as my experiences appear to be consistent with humans over thousands of years - an alien is unlikely to waste that time on such a species as ours. And remember, my comments about knowing God are not specific to any deity, it's a faith-based proposition that I chose to apply to Christianity.

You and I have no idea what is likely or unlikely in how super-powered aliens would behave; they are as unknowable, if not more so, than God. But when you can say aliens could be an answer but you think God is more likely, that doesn't sound to me like you 'know' God exists, at least using the way I use the word.

I've been discussing this with you under an apparent misunderstanding too which may be my bad. I had gotten the impression from earlier conversations and from your earlier comment here, "my faith is in the Bible, and over the fifteen years of my life since converting it has not let me down and I therefore consider my faith to be justified. But if I wasn't Christian I'd still accept the reality of God. I've had too much personal experience to say I have faith in God's existence because I know God exists.", that although you do say your specific Christian belief is faith-based, your belief in just God was not based on faith because of your personal experience. But you seem to now say it is a 'faith-based proposition' that you applied to Christianity, so not sure.

And as noted, in that time my faith had not seemed to be misplaced.

Although as you said in your earlier quote that this may 'justify' your faith, it is not evidence that there is any truth to it; in that way it is not known whether it's justified.

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Leonardo

Food for thought for no one in particular so please don't be offended

Being smart means thinking things through - trying to find the real answer, not the first answer.

Being stupid means avoiding thinking by jumping to conclusions. Jumping to a conclusion is like quitting a game : you lose by default.

That’s why saying “I don’t know” is usually smart, because it’s refusing to jump to a conclusion.

So when someone says “They are so stupid!” - it means they’ve stopped thinking. They say it to feel finished with that subject, because there’s nothing they can do about that. It’s appealing and satisfying to jump to that conclusion.

So if you decide someone is stupid, it means you’re not thinking, which is not being smart.

Therefore: smart people don’t think others are stupid

Derek Sivers.

programmer, avid student of life.

fullywired

In the particular section of Hawking's quote which is relevant...

When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in.

...he makes an irrational claim. He implies that without time something can happen (the creation of the universe), then asserts the same thing can't (the creation of the universe).

WCF assigns to Hawking a mischievous intent in making this assertion, with an agenda in Hawking's mind. I find there is no basis purely from the context of the quote to assign such an intent, and therefore conclude Mr Hawking simply didn't think about what he was saying - i.e. he was being stupid.

Edited by Leonardo
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Paranoid Android

You and I have no idea what is likely or unlikely in how super-powered aliens would behave; they are as unknowable, if not more so, than God. But when you can say aliens could be an answer but you think God is more likely, that doesn't sound to me like you 'know' God exists, at least using the way I use the word.

I would say that I know God exists with as much reasonable certainty that I can use the word "know" rather than "think" or "might".

I've been discussing this with you under an apparent misunderstanding too which may be my bad. I had gotten the impression from earlier conversations and from your earlier comment here, "my faith is in the Bible, and over the fifteen years of my life since converting it has not let me down and I therefore consider my faith to be justified. But if I wasn't Christian I'd still accept the reality of God. I've had too much personal experience to say I have faith in God's existence because I know God exists.", that although you do say your specific Christian belief is faith-based, your belief in just God was not based on faith because of your personal experience. But you seem to now say it is a 'faith-based proposition' that you applied to Christianity, so not sure.

Christianity and the Bible are the same thing in my view. I have faith in the Bible therefore my faith in Jesus and Christianity. I have no "faith" in God? I'm about as certain as one can get (like an atheist who says there is no God but actually means that they simply have no reasonable evidence to say that he does).

Although as you said in your earlier quote that this may 'justify' your faith, it is not evidence that there is any truth to it; in that way it is not known whether it's justified.

True, my faith might be misplaced, but to the best of my experience it isn't. So why change what's working well for me?

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Liquid Gardens

...he makes an irrational claim. He implies that without time something can happen (the creation of the universe), then asserts the same thing can't (the creation of the universe).

WCF assigns to Hawking a mischievous intent in making this assertion, with an agenda in Hawking's mind. I find there is no basis purely from the context of the quote to assign such an intent, and therefore conclude Mr Hawking simply didn't think about what he was saying - i.e. he was being stupid.

That is one possibility, the other being that we may not understand what 'The Big Bang' means to Hawking. From wiki concerning 'Hartle-Hawking state':

Hartle and Hawking suggest that if we could travel backward in time toward the beginning of the universe, we would note that quite near what might have otherwise been the beginning, time gives way to space such that at first there is only space and no time. Beginnings are entities that have to do with time; because time did not exist before the Big Bang, the concept of a beginning of the universe is meaningless. According to the Hartle–Hawking proposal, the universe has no origin as we would understand it: the universe was a singularity in both space and time, pre-Big Bang. Thus, the Hartle–Hawking state universe has no beginning, but it is not the steady state universe of Hoyle; it simply has no initial boundaries in time nor space

I won't pretend to comprehend that, maybe you can, but since he doesn't believe the universe has a beginning, it doesn't then sound like the point on which you are labelling his statement irrational and stupid, namely that he is saying that without time the creation of the universe can happen, is a correct representation of his views. Although I do agree that his statement would normally carry that implication to non-physicists.

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Leonardo

That is one possibility, the other being that we may not understand what 'The Big Bang' means to Hawking. From wiki concerning 'Hartle-Hawking state':

Within the context of the quote Hawking equates the Big Bang with the creation of the universe by comparing them without any other qualification. From this, we can conclude Hawking's intent in using the phrase 'Big Bang' is to allude to a science-based 'universal creation hypothesis' in opposition to a theology-based universal creation hypothesis.

I won't pretend to comprehend that, maybe you can, but since he doesn't believe the universe has a beginning, it doesn't then sound like the point on which you are labelling his statement irrational and stupid, namely that he is saying that without time the creation of the universe can happen, is a correct representation of his views. Although I do agree that his statement would normally carry that implication to non-physicists.

See above. Perhaps he is just being lazy with how he phrases what he says, but is that any different, or better, than being thoughtless?

And if Wikipedia is being accurate in representing the Hartle-Hawking hypothesis, then Hawking evidently does postulate the Big Bang initiation was prior to the advent of time.

Edited by Leonardo

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Liquid Gardens

I have no "faith" in God? I'm about as certain as one can get (like an atheist who says there is no God but actually means that they simply have no reasonable evidence to say that he does).

I didn't say you didn't have faith in God, I'm questioning whether you think your knowledge that some god exists is faith-based or based on how we evaluate the truth of the vast majority of propositions, with convincing reason and evidence. I'm probably not reading you right, but I have trouble reconciling "I've had too much personal experience to say I have faith in God's existence", which makes it sound non-faith-based and, "my comments about knowing God are not specific to any deity, it's a faith-based proposition that I chose to apply to Christianity", which sounds like it is based on faith, unless I've misunderstood what you are referring to with 'it's'.

Your analogy to the atheist statement does provide some clarification possibly about how you use the word 'certainty' though. I can take 'certain as one can get' in two different ways: you are as certain as you can possibly be about any proposition or you are as certain as you can get given what you have to go on. The reason I bring that up is that I'm as about as certain as it is possible to get about anything that Lake Michigan exists but not nearly as certain that there is no God (your description 'have no reasonable evidence to say that he does' is a close enough paraphrase of my non-belief); if you are as certain about God existing as I am about his not existing, you are not in an overall sense that certain.

True, my faith might be misplaced, but to the best of my experience it isn't. So why change what's working well for me?

Don't think I've ever suggested anything like that, I've got no issue with it as long as it's not harmful to others which I'm nearly positive with you is not the case, quite the opposite. That doesn't mean that the methodology can't be questioned, inconsistencies if they exist can't be pointed out, the way that we arrive at truth can't be scrutinized, etc. From my point of view, nothing I or anyone says can be of any threat to your faith; I more than welcome correction on this, but with faith it appears that there simply are no rules.

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Liquid Gardens

Within the context of the quote Hawking equates the Big Bang with the creation of the universe by comparing them without any other qualification. From this, we can conclude Hawking's intent in using the phrase 'Big Bang' is to allude to a science-based 'universal creation hypothesis' in opposition to a theology-based universal creation hypothesis.

The issue that I'm questioning is when you added your point, "if time didn't exist before the Big Bang, then how could that Big Bang have happened?", and called him stupid because you think he's contradicting himself. Here's the quote:

“When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise. We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no god. No one created our universe,and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.”

He doesn't even mention the Big Bang there nor does he refer to a science-based universe creation theory. I don't know how the Big Bang can have 'happened', but based on what else he's written, it seems like the normal ideas of causality and time are not necessarily what we think they are.

See above. Perhaps he is just being lazy with how he phrases what he says, but is that any different, or better, than being thoughtless?

I entirely disagree that Hawking needs to dumb down his answers that are apparently based on advanced physics knowledge so that everyone that might read them can understand them without further study. Do you want him to answer, "I decline to comment as it would be thoughtless of me to answer that question based on what I believe because you won't understand it at all unless you're a bleeding-edge theoretical physicist"? Most people know he's a popular author; I think you should be pointing at laziness in the exact opposite direction.

And if Wikipedia is being accurate in representing the Hartle-Hawking hypothesis, then Hawking evidently does postulate the Big Bang initiation was prior to the advent of time.

I don't think that is evident at all, that ignores what little I can comprehend of what it specifically says: 'the concept of a beginning to the universe is meaningless', 'the universe has no origin as we would understand it', the universe has no beginning nor boundary in time or space. It seems you have to ignore or have a different understanding of those quotes if you are then going to say he's postulating something that includes the word 'prior'.

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