Perhaps you saw the advertisements leading up to the commencement of Discovery Channel’s latest television series titled, “Curiosity,” in which things that humans are curious about are featured in each week’s new episode. The first show addressed the question, “Did God Create the Universe?” (“Curiosity…,” 2011). Perhaps you, like me, were hopeful that this biased media outlet, a longtime supporter of the liberal agenda, would give the Creation perspective a fair shake. Sadly, hopes were dashed. For one hour, renowned atheist, theoretical physicist, and cosmologist of Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking, was given a platform to spread his atheistic perspective.
Throughout the show, Hawking is the speaker, although the voice switches between his computerized voice and that of a man speaking for him with a British accent. The primary thrust of the show was for Hawking to assert the idea that the reasons many people have had in the past for being theists—namely that there are things we cannot explain in the Universe without a Supernatural cause—are no longer relevant. Though people used to attribute thunder and lightning to gods, we now know, scientifically speaking, what is actually occurring. So, gods are not necessary as an explanation, according to Hawking. He believes that everything can be explained without the need of God. While wrapping up the show, after discussing his theory about the origin of the Universe, he says, “So, what does that mean on our quest to find out if there is a God? It means that…you don’t need a God to create it. The Universe is the ultimate free lunch…” (“Curiosity…”). Though he boldly and presumptuously makes such a claim, he does not even address many of the arguments theists have used for centuries and which still stand as proof positive that God exists (e.g., the Moral Argument, Teleological Argument, Aesthetical Argument, Intuitional Argument, and Ontological Argument). He spends his time addressing only one of the arguments—the Cosmological Argument and the Law of Causality, and his dealings with that argument illuminate the fact that atheism, even in this enlightened age, is still an inadequate worldview.
Much of the first part of the show tap dances around the common logical fallacies known as an “appeal to consequences” and “straw man” (“Appeal to Consequences,” 2009; “Straw Man Fallacy,” 2009). The viewer is subtly encouraged to be an atheist (1) because of the pagan religious beliefs of the Vikings and other religionists of old who erroneously used various gods as a way to explain natural phenomena, and (2) because of the inappropriate behavior of certain Catholic authorities in antiquity who viewed belief in the laws of nature as a heretical concept. The impression is left that such examples exemplify the nature of theism. Such individuals in history, carrying the banner of theism, have been sadly misled, but such examples do not exhibit the nature of true theism. The views and practices of such people should not be a factor in the determination of truth, just as the views of the scientific world in the 1400s that the Earth is flat should not be used as a reason to reject science. Likewise, the behaviors of some atheists throughout history, including Hawking himself, should not be used to dismiss atheism. Truth stands on its own, regardless of those who do or do not espouse it or represent it accurately….
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