Author Topic: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe  (Read 14688 times)

yontenjamyang

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Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« on: July 02, 2012, 10:13:31 AM »
I found this article and would like to share with all. It provides arguments on "WHY God did not create the Universe" and almost seem to be pointing to the direction of "Humans created the Universe" as is implied by the law of Karma.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Why God Did Not Create the Universe (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704206804575467921609024244.html)

By STEPHEN HAWKING And LEONARD MLODINOW

According to Viking mythology, eclipses occur when two wolves, Skoll and Hati, catch the sun or moon. At the onset of an eclipse people would make lots of noise, hoping to scare the wolves away. After some time, people must have noticed that the eclipses ended regardless of whether they ran around banging on pots.

Ignorance of nature's ways led people in ancient times to postulate many myths in an effort to make sense of their world. But eventually, people turned to philosophy, that is, to the use of reason—with a good dose of intuition—to decipher their universe. Today we use reason, mathematics and experimental test—in other words, modern science.

Albert Einstein said, "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible." He meant that, unlike our homes on a bad day, the universe is not just a conglomeration of objects each going its own way. Everything in the universe follows laws, without exception.

Newton believed that our strangely habitable solar system did not "arise out of chaos by the mere laws of nature." Instead, he maintained that the order in the universe was "created by God at first and conserved by him to this Day in the same state and condition." The discovery recently of the extreme fine-tuning of so many laws of nature could lead some back to the idea that this grand design is the work of some grand Designer. Yet the latest advances in cosmology explain why the laws of the universe seem tailor-made for humans, without the need for a benevolent creator.

Many improbable occurrences conspired to create Earth's human-friendly design, and they would indeed be puzzling if ours were the only solar system in the universe. But today we know of hundreds of other solar systems, and few doubt that there exist countless more among the billions of stars in our galaxy. Planets of all sorts exist, and obviously, when the beings on a planet that supports life examine the world around them, they are bound to find that their environment satisfies the conditions they require to exist.

It is possible to turn that last statement into a scientific principle: The fact of our being restricts the characteristics of the kind of environment in which we find ourselves. For example, if we did not know the distance from the Earth to the sun, the fact that beings like us exist would allow us to put bounds on how small or great the Earth-sun separation could be. We need liquid water to exist, and if the Earth were too close, it would all boil off; if it were too far, it would freeze. That principle is called the "weak" anthropic principle.

The weak anthropic principle is not very controversial. But there is a stronger form that is regarded with disdain among some physicists. The strong anthropic principle suggests that the fact that we exist imposes constraints, not just on our environment, but on the possible form and content of the laws of nature themselves.

The idea arose because it is not only the peculiar characteristics of our solar system that seem oddly conducive to the development of human life, but also the characteristics of our entire universe—and its laws. They appear to have a design that is both tailor-made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration. That is much more difficult to explain.

The tale of how the primordial universe of hydrogen, helium and a bit of lithium evolved to a universe harboring at least one world with intelligent life like us is a tale of many chapters. The forces of nature had to be such that heavier elements—especially carbon—could be produced from the primordial elements, and remain stable for at least billions of years. Those heavy elements were formed in the furnaces we call stars, so the forces first had to allow stars and galaxies to form. Those in turn grew from the seeds of tiny inhomogeneities in the early universe.

Even all that is not enough: The dynamics of the stars had to be such that some would eventually explode, precisely in a way that could disperse the heavier elements through space. In addition, the laws of nature had to dictate that those remnants could recondense into a new generation of stars, these surrounded by planets incorporating the newly formed heavy elements.

By examining the model universes we generate when the theories of physics are altered in certain ways, one can study the effect of changes to physical law in a methodical manner. Such calculations show that a change of as little as 0.5% in the strength of the strong nuclear force, or 4% in the electric force, would destroy either nearly all carbon or all oxygen in every star, and hence the possibility of life as we know it. Also, most of the fundamental constants appearing in our theories appear fine-tuned in the sense that if they were altered by only modest amounts, the universe would be qualitatively different, and in many cases unsuitable for the development of life. For example, if protons were 0.2% heavier, they would decay into neutrons, destabilizing atoms.

If one assumes that a few hundred million years in stable orbit is necessary for planetary life to evolve, the number of space dimensions is also fixed by our existence. That is because, according to the laws of gravity, it is only in three dimensions that stable elliptical orbits are possible. In any but three dimensions even a small disturbance, such as that produced by the pull of the other planets, would send a planet off its circular orbit, and cause it to spiral either into or away from the sun.

The emergence of the complex structures capable of supporting intelligent observers seems to be very fragile. The laws of nature form a system that is extremely fine-tuned. What can we make of these coincidences? Luck in the precise form and nature of fundamental physical law is a different kind of luck from the luck we find in environmental factors. It raises the natural question of why it is that way.

Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evidence of the work of God. The idea that the universe was designed to accommodate mankind appears in theologies and mythologies dating from thousands of years ago. In Western culture the Old Testament contains the idea of providential design, but the traditional Christian viewpoint was also greatly influenced by Aristotle, who believed "in an intelligent natural world that functions according to some deliberate design."

That is not the answer of modern science. As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.

Our universe seems to be one of many, each with different laws. That multiverse idea is not a notion invented to account for the miracle of fine tuning. It is a consequence predicted by many theories in modern cosmology. If it is true it reduces the strong anthropic principle to the weak one, putting the fine tunings of physical law on the same footing as the environmental factors, for it means that our cosmic habitat—now the entire observable universe—is just one of many.

Each universe has many possible histories and many possible states. Only a very few would allow creatures like us to exist. Although we are puny and insignificant on the scale of the cosmos, this makes us in a sense the lords of creation.

Stephen Hawking is a professor at the University of Cambridge. Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist who teaches at Caltech. Adapted from "The Grand Design" by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, to be published by Bantam Books on Sept. 7. Copyright © by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Printed by arrangement with the Random House Publishing Group.

bambi

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 02:01:58 PM »
Its quite sad to see him so smart but lack the facility. His karma is truly sad to be like that. I have read that he have no more control over his body and he uses his cheek muscles to direct a program which eh continues to write and research about science and non scientific.

Stephen Hawking was born January 8, 1942 in Oxford, England. From an early age, he showed a passion for science and the sky. At age 21, while studying cosmology at Cambridge, Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Despite his debilitating illness, he has done ground-breaking work in physics and cosmology and his several books strive to make science accessible to everyone.

In September 2010, Stephen Hawking spoke against the idea that God could have created the universe in his book The Grand Design. Hawking previously argued that belief in a creator could be compatible with modern scientific theories. His new work, however, concludes that the Big Bang was the inevitable consequence of the laws of physics and nothing more. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," Hawking says. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist."

The Grand Design is Hawking's first major publication in almost a decade. Within his new work, Hawking sets out to challenge Sir Isaac Newton's belief that the universe had to have been designed by God, simply because it could not have been born from chaos. "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going," Hawking said.

Big Uncle

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 05:26:51 PM »
The Buddha said that the world we live in was created through the ripened environmental effects of our karma. So, it was not a single creator being that created it but a collective force of all our karmas that brought everything into existence. Just because everything seemed so beautiful, it doesn't mean it was created by a single creator being.

On the topic of creator beings, I recently read this interesting article, which seems to tackle this question. Although, I wouldn't fully agree with everything that's being said about the issue but it does offer an interesting points about inter-religious harmony.

Do Buddhists Believe in God?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/do-buddhists-believe-in-g_b_859658.html?utm_hp_ref=buddhism

Once, when I was on a live radio show being interviewed by a Christian talk show host, her first question to me was, "Do you Buddhists believe in God?"
I had only a few seconds to think of an answer.

"Yes," I said.

"Good!" the host said. "And how do you pray?"

I said that we prayed in silence to reach our divine nature.

"I like that!" the host said.

When I have told this story in talks, some of my Buddhist listeners say, "Oh, that's nice. It's good to be polite." But I wasn't just being polite. I was raised in a Christian church and went to Christian Sunday school. My favorite song as a child was "God is Love." After graduating from college, for a year I attended Christian seminary, with the idea of becoming a minister. I didn't become a dedicated Buddhist until some time after that. I am comfortable with the word God.

It's true that by saying "Yes" I was also making an effort to establish some common ground. It was live radio, our time slot was 20 minutes and I was there to discuss a just-released book. I didn't want to spend the whole time trying to explain what Buddhists believe. Also, I felt that a more nuanced answer, however I couched it, would have come across as some version of "No." I sensed the need to give a definitive answer. The answer I gave came closest to what was so for me -- understanding that I was not trying to speak for the world's 320 million Buddhists, but only for myself.

The host knew I was a Buddhist; I was on her show to discuss my book, Healing Lazarus: A Buddhist's Journey from Near Death to New Life. I sensed from the way she posed her question that all she really wanted to know was whether I was a person of religious conviction and belief -- a person of faith. And I am. I'm an ordained Buddhist priest -- a religious professional. My daily religious practice is the center of my life. I lead meditation groups, I am training and ordaining other priests. In that context, "Yes" is the best answer.

However, even though most of the world's Buddhists recite the name of Buddha or pray to Buddha, Buddha is not a deity or supreme being in the same way that the Christian God is. A lay minister of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Japanese Buddhism once told me that he tries to explain to his Christian friends that Amida Buddha is a principle, like universal love, rather than a god. Another point worth noting is that there is no word for "Buddhism" in Buddhism -- that "-ism" was an invention of 19th century European translators. Gautama the Buddha called his teaching marga, or the Path.

In that sense, the host's second question -- about how I prayed -- was the more interesting to me. For Buddhists, what and how you practice is more fundamental than what you believe. My teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, used to say that people could practice Zen meditation and also believe in God; that was OK with him. My good friend, Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, practiced meditation with us in the early days of Tassajara Zen monastery. Like many other Catholic priests and monks who have taken up, and even taught, Zen, Brother David did not feel a contradiction between his Catholic contemplative practice and Zen meditation. In fact, he felt that there was an affinity between the two. A Tibetan Buddhist teacher once said, when asked about God, "God and Buddha may appear to be different, but when we speak of the nature of God and the nature of Buddha there may be more closeness." I learned in Christian seminary that St. Anselm's definition of God was "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Shunryu Suzuki often spoke of the inconceivability of Buddha in similar language. In Zen meditation we seek to express and embody this inconceivability.

So when I said to the radio host, "We pray in silence to reach our divine nature," I was not just making that up. I knew that there is a long history in Christianity of the "prayer of silence." In the Eastern Orthodox tradition this is known as hesychasm, which is based on Christ's injunction in the Book of Matthew to "go into your closet to pray." A more modern version of this practice is the so-called "centering prayer," whose ancient origins can be traced to the writings of St. John of the Cross and other early contemplatives.

My colleagues in Zen may object that it is a stretch to call Zen meditation "prayer," or to describe its purpose as a method "to reach our divine nature." I understand; I'm sure this post will receive many critical comments both from the Buddhist and Christian sides. My purpose here is not to defend what I said, as much as describe it, along with the thinking behind it. I think what is most important is that the host and I had a real dialogue. After the show was over, she told me that someone close to her had experienced a traumatic brain injury, as I had done, and she wanted to know more. That was a touching moment, a human connection that was more important, I think, than anything I said or she said on the show.

Interfaith dialogue can sometimes be superficial, but it can also go deep. Dialogue is the universal antidote to misunderstanding and prejudice, especially the religious kind, and I am all for it -- even when it falls short, or seems unfruitful. This week's headlines about Osama bin Laden reminds us all of the terrible cost of misunderstanding, prejudice and hatred. The hatred and the killing will not end -- in fact, given our human propensity for demonizing those who do not believe as we do, such things may always be with us. But we must never stop trying to counter prejudice with efforts to find common ground. That was what I was trying to do on the radio show, and what I am trying to do here by writing about it.

vajratruth

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 05:48:17 PM »
The question of whom or what created the world and the universe has been a hotly debated topic for centuries and there is still no conclusive and irrefutable proof that either a god or some natural phenomenon was behind it’s creation. The question of the origins of the universe falls within the 14 Unanswerable Questions i.e. questions that the Buddha refused to answer I suspect, due to the fact that they are pointless to the pursuit of enlightenment.

 There is no “first cause” in Buddhism. Instead the Buddha’s teaching of Dependent Origination, when applied to the universe’s creation would be along the following line of thought – this universe happened because a series of other things happened.

The Buddha did not posit a beginning or an ultimate end to the universe and see the phenomena of the universe as always in the state of constant flux i.e. perpetually coming into and out of existence depending on the congruence of a number of other things.

Instead the Buddha approached topic in another way. The Buddha is supposed to have said: “Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.”

 In other words, don’t sweat it. It more important to understand the nature of things as they are instead of speculating on what happened in the past and what might happen in the future.  So what if a god created the universe? And similarly, so what if some other phenomena created the universe? To the Buddha everything in the world and indeed the universe itself is still Samara. And the point of study is to understand and practice methods to get us out of Samsara rather than rack our brains trying to understand who or what created the universe.

To the Buddha, the most pressing question is not of the universe and its creation but of man and his being trapped in his endless cycle of suffering, and how to escape from this cyclic existence.

This great story best explains the Buddha’s refusal to speculate about the universe:

The Buddha was not interested in discussing unnecessary metaphysical questions which are purely speculative and which create imaginary problems. He considered them as a ‘wilderness of opinions’. It seems that there were some among his own disciples who did not appreciate this attitude of his.

For, we have the example of one of them, Malunkyaputta by name, who put to the Buddha ten well-known classical questions on metaphysical problems and demanded answers. ?(Cula-Malunkya- sutta, no. 63 of M.)
One day Malunkyaputta got up from his afternoon meditation, went to the Buddha, saluted him, sat on one side and said:?‘Sir, when I was all alone meditating, this thought occurred to me: There are these problems unexplained, put aside and rejected by the Blessed One. Namely,

(1) is the universe eternal
(2) is it not eternal
(3) is the universe finite
(4) is it infinite
(5) is soul the same as body
(6) is soul one thing and body another thing
(7) does the Tathagata exist after death
(8 ) does he not exist after death
(9) does he both (at the same time) exist and not exist after death
(10) does he both at the same time not exist and not not-exist.

These problems the Blessed One does not explain to me. This (attitude) does not please me, I do not appreciate it. I will go to the Blessed One and ask him about this matter. If the Blessed One explains them to me, then I will continue to follow the holy life under him. If he does not explain them, I will leave the Order and go away. If the Blessed One knows that the universe is eternal, let him explain it to me so. If the Blessed One knows that the Universe is not eternal, let him say so. If the Blessed One does not know whether the Universe is eternal or not, etc., then for a person who does not know, it is straightfoward to say “I do not know, I do not see”.’

The Buddha’s reply to Malunkyaputta should do good to many millions in the world today who are wasting valuable time on such metaphysical questions and unnecessarily disturbing their peace of mind: ?‘Did I ever tell you, Malunkyaputta, “Come, Malunkyaputta, lead the holy life under me, I will explain these questions to you?”

 ?‘No sir.’?‘

Then, Malunkyaputta, even you, did you tell me: “Sir, I will lead the holy life under the Blessed One, and the Blessed One will explain these questions to me?”?‘No sir.’?‘

Even now, Malunkyaputta, I do not tell you: “Come and lead the holy life under me, I will explain these questions to you”. And you do not tell me either: “Sir, I will lead the holy life under the Blessed One, and he will explain these questions to me”.

Under these circumstances, you foolish one, who refuses whom? (i.e. both are free and neither is under obligation to the other.)?‘Malunkyaputta, if anyone says: “I will not lead the holy life under the Blessed One until he explains these questions,” he may die with these questions unanswered by the Tathagata ...?

Then the Buddha explains to Malunkyaputta that the holy life does not depend upon these views. Whatever opinion one may have about these problems, there is birth, old age, decay, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, distress, ' the Cessation of which (i.e. Nirvana) I declare in this very life.”?“Therefore, Malunkyaputta, bear in mind what I have explained as explained, and what I have not explained as unexplained. What are the things that I have not explained? Whether the universe is eternal or not, etc, (those 10 opinions) I have not explained.

Why, Malunkyaputta, have I not explained them? Because it is not useful, it is not fundamentally connected with the spiritual holy life, is not conducive to aversion, detachment, cessation, tranquility, deep penetration, full realisation, Nirvana. That is why I have not told you about them.?

Then, what, Malunkyaputta, have I explained? I have explained dukkha, the arising of dukkha, the cessation of dukkha, and the way leading to the cessation of dukkha. Why, Malunkyaputta, have I explained them? Because it is useful, is fundamentally connected with the spiritual holy life, is conducive to aversion, detachment, cessation, tranquility, deep penetration, full realisation, Nirvana. Therefore I have explained them.’ (p14-5)

(It seems that this advice had the desired effect on Malunkyaputta, because elsewhere he is reported to have approached the Buddha again for instruction, following which he became an Arahant.)








brian

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 05:58:11 PM »
The Buddha said that the world we live in was created through the ripened environmental effects of our karma. So, it was not a single creator being that created it but a collective force of all our karmas that brought everything into existence. Just because everything seemed so beautiful, it doesn't mean it was created by a single creator being.

On the topic of creator beings, I recently read this interesting article, which seems to tackle this question. Although, I wouldn't fully agree with everything that's being said about the issue but it does offer an interesting points about inter-religious harmony.

Do Buddhists Believe in God?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/do-buddhists-believe-in-g_b_859658.html?utm_hp_ref=buddhism

Once, when I was on a live radio show being interviewed by a Christian talk show host, her first question to me was, "Do you Buddhists believe in God?"
I had only a few seconds to think of an answer.

"Yes," I said.

"Good!" the host said. "And how do you pray?"

I said that we prayed in silence to reach our divine nature.

"I like that!" the host said.

When I have told this story in talks, some of my Buddhist listeners say, "Oh, that's nice. It's good to be polite." But I wasn't just being polite. I was raised in a Christian church and went to Christian Sunday school. My favorite song as a child was "God is Love." After graduating from college, for a year I attended Christian seminary, with the idea of becoming a minister. I didn't become a dedicated Buddhist until some time after that. I am comfortable with the word God.

It's true that by saying "Yes" I was also making an effort to establish some common ground. It was live radio, our time slot was 20 minutes and I was there to discuss a just-released book. I didn't want to spend the whole time trying to explain what Buddhists believe. Also, I felt that a more nuanced answer, however I couched it, would have come across as some version of "No." I sensed the need to give a definitive answer. The answer I gave came closest to what was so for me -- understanding that I was not trying to speak for the world's 320 million Buddhists, but only for myself.

The host knew I was a Buddhist; I was on her show to discuss my book, Healing Lazarus: A Buddhist's Journey from Near Death to New Life. I sensed from the way she posed her question that all she really wanted to know was whether I was a person of religious conviction and belief -- a person of faith. And I am. I'm an ordained Buddhist priest -- a religious professional. My daily religious practice is the center of my life. I lead meditation groups, I am training and ordaining other priests. In that context, "Yes" is the best answer.

However, even though most of the world's Buddhists recite the name of Buddha or pray to Buddha, Buddha is not a deity or supreme being in the same way that the Christian God is. A lay minister of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Japanese Buddhism once told me that he tries to explain to his Christian friends that Amida Buddha is a principle, like universal love, rather than a god. Another point worth noting is that there is no word for "Buddhism" in Buddhism -- that "-ism" was an invention of 19th century European translators. Gautama the Buddha called his teaching marga, or the Path.

In that sense, the host's second question -- about how I prayed -- was the more interesting to me. For Buddhists, what and how you practice is more fundamental than what you believe. My teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, used to say that people could practice Zen meditation and also believe in God; that was OK with him. My good friend, Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, practiced meditation with us in the early days of Tassajara Zen monastery. Like many other Catholic priests and monks who have taken up, and even taught, Zen, Brother David did not feel a contradiction between his Catholic contemplative practice and Zen meditation. In fact, he felt that there was an affinity between the two. A Tibetan Buddhist teacher once said, when asked about God, "God and Buddha may appear to be different, but when we speak of the nature of God and the nature of Buddha there may be more closeness." I learned in Christian seminary that St. Anselm's definition of God was "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Shunryu Suzuki often spoke of the inconceivability of Buddha in similar language. In Zen meditation we seek to express and embody this inconceivability.

So when I said to the radio host, "We pray in silence to reach our divine nature," I was not just making that up. I knew that there is a long history in Christianity of the "prayer of silence." In the Eastern Orthodox tradition this is known as hesychasm, which is based on Christ's injunction in the Book of Matthew to "go into your closet to pray." A more modern version of this practice is the so-called "centering prayer," whose ancient origins can be traced to the writings of St. John of the Cross and other early contemplatives.

My colleagues in Zen may object that it is a stretch to call Zen meditation "prayer," or to describe its purpose as a method "to reach our divine nature." I understand; I'm sure this post will receive many critical comments both from the Buddhist and Christian sides. My purpose here is not to defend what I said, as much as describe it, along with the thinking behind it. I think what is most important is that the host and I had a real dialogue. After the show was over, she told me that someone close to her had experienced a traumatic brain injury, as I had done, and she wanted to know more. That was a touching moment, a human connection that was more important, I think, than anything I said or she said on the show.

Interfaith dialogue can sometimes be superficial, but it can also go deep. Dialogue is the universal antidote to misunderstanding and prejudice, especially the religious kind, and I am all for it -- even when it falls short, or seems unfruitful. This week's headlines about Osama bin Laden reminds us all of the terrible cost of misunderstanding, prejudice and hatred. The hatred and the killing will not end -- in fact, given our human propensity for demonizing those who do not believe as we do, such things may always be with us. But we must never stop trying to counter prejudice with efforts to find common ground. That was what I was trying to do on the radio show, and what I am trying to do here by writing about it.


I do not really believe God created the universe, if God really created the universe, why would he create all these humans who have bad attitudes/i.e. bad person? Why would he created the entire solar system with just earth with inhabitants? I mean judging from the shallow knowledge that i have, why create incomplete when the God is deemed to be a complete being.

So then there's this karma explaination of everything that happened was because of the karma of the existence in this universe. One twist leading to another twist, and so on and on... I find this more acceptable although i really wanted to know how did it all began and how did we all started. who was the first being ever to live on earth? All these, i am really very interested to know.

Vajraprotector

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 04:42:17 AM »
Perhaps the idea of a creator God is simplistic and easy enough method to tell people to 'forget who shot the arrow and just move on and heal your wound'. It seemed to work for many who subscribe to monotheism and 'move on' to become better people. Isn't that what it is all about ultimately?

If it were that simple, that Buddha would have explained it plain and simple, and one of the greatest Buddhist icon in the world would have explained it very well to the media. But it is not, so why not trust in the great masters that it is not that simple. Perhaps it is like a kid in kindergarten trying to understand rocket science, namely aerodynamics, propulsion, avionics, materials science, structural analysis and manufacturing while one is still struggling to get the basic of addition and subtraction.

In this passage from The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality, the Dalai Lama explains some of the text of an ancient text named the Flower Ornament Scripture.
 
"… the text compares the intricate and profoundly interconnected reality of the world to an infinite net of gems called “Indra’s jeweled net,”  which reaches out to infinite space.  At each knot on the net is a crystal gem, which is connected to all the other gems and reflects in itself all the others. On such a net, no jewel is in the center or at the edge.  Each and every jewel is at the center in that it reflects all the other jewels on the net,  At the same time, it is at the edge in that it is itself reflected in all the other jewels.  Given the profound interconnectedness of everything in the universe, it is not possible to have total knowledge of even a single atom unless one is omniscient.  To know even a single atom fully would imply knowledge of its relations to all other phenomena in the infinite universe.

The Kalachakra texts claim that, prior to its formation, any particular universe remains in the state of emptiness, where all its material elements exist in the form of potentiality as "space particles." At a certain point, when the karmic propensities of the sentient beings who are likely to evolve in this particular universe ripen, the "'air particles" begin to aggregate with each other, creating a cosmic wind. Next the "fire particles" aggregate in the same way, creating powerful "thermal" charges that travel through the air. Following this, the "water particles" aggregate to form torrential "rain" accompanied by lightning. Finally, the "earth particles" aggregate and, combined with the other elements, begin to assume the form of solidity.
The fifth element, "space," is thought to pervade all other elements as an immanent force and therefore does not possess a distinct existence. Over a long temporal process, these five elements expand to form the physical universe as we come to know and experience it." (pg 90)


Also,
“From the Buddhist perspective, the idea that there is a single definite beginning is highly problematic. If there were such an absolute beginning, logically speaking, this leaves only two options. One is theism, which proposes that the universe is created by an intelligence… The second option is that the universe came into being from no cause at all. Buddhism rejects both these options.” (pg 82)
 
“…in Buddhism the universe is seen as infinite and beginningless, so I am quite happy to venture beyond the big bang and speculate about possible states of affairs before it.” (pg 93)

fruven

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 07:39:32 AM »
If belief in god put me into thinking: "This is not created by me, I am powerless to change the circumstances, it is destined, I cannot change." Isn't it a form of laziness and pushing responsibility to someone else? Wanting something and wishing things to be 'better' for me, while thinking I cannot affect my current situation. Isn't this similar to thinking and doing something on opposite ends of a rope? Pulling both ends of the rope. Nothing happens. You need to pull one side of a rope, not both sides of a rope.

dsiluvu

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 08:01:49 AM »
Do Buddhists Believe in God?
It's true that by saying "Yes" I was also making an effort to establish some common ground. It was live radio, our time slot was 20 minutes and I was there to discuss a just-released book. I didn't want to spend the whole time trying to explain what Buddhists believe. Also, I felt that a more nuanced answer, however I couched it, would have come across as some version of "No." I sensed the need to give a definitive answer. The answer I gave came closest to what was so for me -- understanding that I was not trying to speak for the world's 320 million Buddhists, but only for myself.

My colleagues in Zen may object that it is a stretch to call Zen meditation "prayer," or to describe its purpose as a method "to reach our divine nature." I understand; I'm sure this post will receive many critical comments both from the Buddhist and Christian sides. My purpose here is not to defend what I said, as much as describe it, along with the thinking behind it. I think what is most important is that the host and I had a real dialogue. After the show was over, she told me that someone close to her had experienced a traumatic brain injury, as I had done, and she wanted to know more. That was a touching moment, a human connection that was more important, I think, than anything I said or she said on the show.

Interfaith dialogue can sometimes be superficial, but it can also go deep. Dialogue is the universal antidote to misunderstanding and prejudice, especially the religious kind, and I am all for it -- even when it falls short, or seems unfruitful. This week's headlines about Osama bin Laden reminds us all of the terrible cost of misunderstanding, prejudice and hatred. The hatred and the killing will not end -- in fact, given our human propensity for demonizing those who do not believe as we do, such things may always be with us. But we must never stop trying to counter prejudice with efforts to find common ground. That was what I was trying to do on the radio show, and what I am trying to do here by writing about it.

Actually I really like what He said and how he did not imposed his belief and faith on to another but actually thinking more about the receiver and to find COMMON GROUND. I think that is the KEY for religious harmony. Yes we Buddhist may not believe in the CREATOR like the Christians = a GOD. But when speaking with another faith... it is more important instead to try to make the other person understand our beliefs and by that create prejudice, I think it is rather refreshing to take on his angle of connecting with the receiver.

This is how we start dialogue that would transpire to be more then just sharing theories, ideologies and philosophies. I liked that he said "understanding that I was not trying to speak for the world's 320 million Buddhists, but only for myself." Yes and in a way by doing so, he actually gave a very good representation of Buddhist and with that made someone not of Buddhist faith more curious about his faith and wants his advice. I thought tht was rather good and skillful of him because that was probably more important - a connection was hence created.

I like what he is saying and I agree that "Interfaith dialogue can sometimes be superficial, but it can also go deep. Dialogue is the universal antidote to misunderstanding and prejudice, especially the religious kind, and I am all for it -- even when it falls short, or seems unfruitful."
Yes it is some what superficial in the beginning but most importantly what is the end result, positive or negative, in his case it turned out positive and made the radio host open up and seek help. If it He were to start the debate about NO GOD... i think the show and connection would probably not have happened.

I wonder could this ever happened with Shugden practitioners?

Perhaps CTA could learn a thing or two from this article if they wish to have dialogue with China - FIND A COMMON GROUND! - That is a great start to any relationship  ;)


kris

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 09:50:15 PM »
Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous scientists in the last 100 years. If one is asked to name a recent scientists, he is one of the top mentioned name.

Bambi said Stephens karma is "sad". I would like to think that his body condition is just a body condition, it can be good or bad, depends on how he uses it. His condition is tough, no doubt, but may be because of his condition, he has devoted all his time to science, and we will never know what he will do if he has a fit body.

His grand design says there is no need for a creator god, but he never denies a god. This, we must be clear. Many people misunderstood that point. In this, his view is very similar to Buddhism's point of view.

However, his theory evolves around the Big Bang theory, where everything is created during that time. Ever since reading his book "A Brief History of Time", I have been thinking, is there a start of time? In Buddhism, it is believe that there is no beginning and there is no end, but this idea of no beginning is really difficult for me to grasp.. I do understand that, for example our mind is a continuation from previous, but my question is still that, "is there a certain point in time, where the mind is started? If not, where did the mind come from?"

This is the question that has been in my mind for many years now...

ilikeshugden

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 03:43:39 AM »
I found this interesting and true. I believe that god did not create universe but I also think that gods still exist.  God exists as a deity or supernatural being that is more powerful than regular humans. They do not govern or create but they live in a paradise called the god realm in Buddhism. I prefer the Buddhist belief and also Buddhism does not care about a creator god as that was already in the past and it would not be beneficial.

fruven

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 07:47:39 PM »
Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous scientists in the last 100 years. If one is asked to name a recent scientists, he is one of the top mentioned name.

Bambi said Stephens karma is "sad". I would like to think that his body condition is just a body condition, it can be good or bad, depends on how he uses it. His condition is tough, no doubt, but may be because of his condition, he has devoted all his time to science, and we will never know what he will do if he has a fit body.

His grand design says there is no need for a creator god, but he never denies a god. This, we must be clear. Many people misunderstood that point. In this, his view is very similar to Buddhism's point of view.

However, his theory evolves around the Big Bang theory, where everything is created during that time. Ever since reading his book "A Brief History of Time", I have been thinking, is there a start of time? In Buddhism, it is believe that there is no beginning and there is no end, but this idea of no beginning is really difficult for me to grasp.. I do understand that, for example our mind is a continuation from previous, but my question is still that, "is there a certain point in time, where the mind is started? If not, where did the mind come from?"

This is the question that has been in my mind for many years now...

In a space, our 3 dimensional world, own planet, the Earth, is a sphere. Where does it start and where does it end? How do we know it? We learn about it from school, and we believe it because there is explanation on it. It wasn't until recent time that most people think the world, our planet, is round. Prior to this, people don't go to school, because education is not widespread. Most of the people think it is flat because we see it with our eyes and concluded without much thinking.

By changing our point of reference, which the observer is outside of the planet, we can see with photos as proof that the planet is indeed round, and now where do the dot or point can be placed as marker to indicate a start and end on a round shape planet? Infinite numberless ways.

On the same note, by learning from the teaching of Buddha as in studying in school, I believe this what the 'beginningless time' meant, by changing our point of reference we see that there is no start and end. Can I conclude there is infinite numberless ways to mark a dot or point to indicate start and end of time?

Daily whatever activity we do has a start and end time. We have been used to thinking in this way. How do we go outerspace and look down below and see that the time is timeless?

buddhalovely

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2012, 07:45:23 AM »
Britain's most famous scientist has declared God redundant. In a provocative book, Professor Stephen Hawking said modern physics left no room for a Creator - and that science could explain the origins of the universe.
In The Grand Design, the best-selling author concludes: 'Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.

'Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.
'It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper and set the universe going.'
The book, co-written by American physicist Leonard Mlodinow and published on September 9, sets out to contest Sir Isaac Newton's belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have created out of chaos.
He cites the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting a star other than our Sun.

'That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions - the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass - far less remarkable, and far less compelling as evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings.'
Prof Hawking had previously appeared to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe, writing in A Brief History Of Time in 1988: 'If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1308278/Stephen-Hawking-God-did-create-Universe.html#ixzz22T0xsyXs

brian

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2012, 02:00:17 PM »
I do not believe in GOD created the world or human. I was rather feeling amused by claims of Adam and Eve as the very first human in the world created by GOD. That did not manage to force it into my mind when i was a Christian, but eventually i found answers which is logically answered by the Buddha. Our very existence of universe and especially mankind is because of the existence of Karma. While i am not surprised that there are a lot more life forms in the universe. More an more evidence shows upon one after another that GOD did not created human or universe as explained by Stephen Hawking. I salute this guy for having the courage to voice out his theory...

WisdomBeing

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 12:27:56 AM »
I had an interesting chat with a friend from Hong Kong over dinner earlier. Joe was astounded to hear that I do not believe in God. He was an agnostic who did not know much about Buddhism but he had assumed that Buddhists believed in a creator. I explained about the concept of gods and demi-gods within the 6 realms of samsara but that we do not believe in the creator God as in the Abrahamic faiths. I remember a popular story about HH the 14th Dalai Lama telling the Pope that the only difference between the two of them was that the Pope believed in God and the Dalai Lama did not.

Before I became a Buddhist, I was a good little Methodist girl. But I always had questions why God was so unfair. How could this all loving God allow babies to be born with terminal illnesses? How could the creator of mankind have such disparity among his creations? It just didn’t make sense on that factor alone.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Klein

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Re: Stephen Hawking :Why God Did Not Create the Universe
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 08:00:48 PM »
This is a documentary by Stephen Hawking titled, "Did God create the universe?". He talks about what's written in the article and more.

Curiosity with Stephen Hawking, Did God Create the Universe?


It makes sense to me that there is no CREATOR for the Universe, Because if the CREATOR does exist, then why so much disparity amongst the human population? There are people who have almost everything and people who are born in such destitute conditions. Why did the CREATOR create the universe?

The documentary explains about beginningless time which I never understood. After watching the video, I think I understand more and how it correlates with Buddha's teaching on not having a beginning and end to our existence.