Hawking's Straw Man
Have you read Stephen Hawking's last book? The one that was in development at the time of his death, "Brief Answers to the Big Questions"? Chapter One, of course, is "Is There a God?" And, of course, unsurprisingly, Hawking concludes that there is no God. He gets into details about why he concludes this, but his overall thought is: "I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science."
And this is his reasoning:
"As we travel back in time towards the moment of the Big Bang, the universe gets smaller and smaller and smaller, until it finally comes to a point where the whole universe is a space so small that it is in effect a single infinitesimally small, infinitesimally dense black hole. And just as with modern-day black holes, floating around in space, the laws of nature dictate something quite extraordinary. They tell us that here too time itself must come to a stop. You can’t get to a time before the Big Bang because there was no time before the Big Bang. We have finally found something that doesn’t have a cause, because there was no time for a cause to exist in. For me this means that there is no possibility of a creator, because there is no time for a creator to have existed in."
Wow, game, set and match! Or is it?
I guess he's saying that the "cause" couldn't have existed in the universe itself, because for the cause to exist in the universe, it would have needed to cause itself, or in other words, for the Creator to have existed in the creation, he would have needed to create himself! This is absurd, and so Hawking might seem justified in claiming “the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing".
But using this to claim that God doesn’t exist is to try to use a straw man to prove something. It might seem to be an irrefutable slam-dunk, but it isn’t.
In order to make the straw man work, one must make the assumption that the Creator dwells in, or originates in the Creation. But what if the Creator is outside that Creation? Then the straw man indeed falls, but not in the direction intended.
In order for a Creator to have created the Big Bang, he could not possibly have been in the universe He created, because it would have required that He create Himself. Which is an absurdity. So that which is the Cause of the universe had to have caused it from outside that universe -- and thus the argument that "there [was] no time for a creator to have existed in" fails.
Surely Hawking was aware of the concept of the Multiverse? Wherein there are multiple universes, independent of each other, each having its own space and its own time. In such an arrangement, there might be something, a plenum, or a super-universe, within which these multiple universes are contained in. And perhaps it has its own super-time, and each subordinate universe exists from its inception to its end within the super-time.
And could not God the Creator exist within that Super-universe? It’s non-falsifiable, and therefore it is not a question that can be answered via the scientific method. But it can be answered via personal communication with God – or the lack of same. But this holds validity only subjectively. The objective proof for God awaits God’s revealing of Himself. Which will happen in due course; but not now.
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