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Editorial: Stephen Hawking is Wrong. Church is a Defender of Life, Science and the Person Comments

Hawkings view of the insignificance of the human person is sad. His error concerning how the Church views the relationship between faith, science and reason is just plain wrong. It is one more example of the continual drumbeat against the Catholic Church in an increasingly hostile culture. What is needed are well formed Catholics who can learn how to defend the truth. Continue Reading

31 - 40 of 51 Comments

  1. Bulbajer
    4 years ago

    John, although Dr. L's understanding of faith and history is flawed, I don't think he's trying to say that religion is responsible for all atrocities. Most atheists I know feel that religious people deny that their religion has caused harm. I guess it's the confusion between faith and the people who try to follow it. The Catholic faith is not responsible for the Inquisition; misguided Church officals and misguided common people (those who supported the violent acts the Church sometimes committed). Also, though Dr. L's comment was angry and perhaps bigotted, that doesn't make direct attacks and profanity acceptable.

  2. MFB
    4 years ago

    What Hawking's brilliant mind fails to grasp is that Faith is a gift from God. It's not the role of Science to bestow that gift on him or anyone else.

  3. David Hume
    4 years ago

    Hawking is right. Every single example of a 'miracle' which has been subjected to objective testing has turned out to a be a fraud or a misunderstanding. Eventually you grow up and realize that all the ones that we can't test - including the ones in the bible - are probably also frauds.

  4. Johnny
    4 years ago

    Doctor L, you must understand the need for a First cause and intelligent designer.Every human being in this universe understands that everything in the material universe is explained by a previous cause.Nothing begins to exist without a cause.Every material object is the end product of a long chains of causes.
    Just like every other material object in the universe,matter itself needs a previous cause to explain its existence.Since nothing can cause itself,why does matter exist?The only ansswer is that some power outside the material universe created matter to begin with.That power must be Spirit,because it is outside the material universe.That power must be infinite to create something out of absolutely nothing. The gap between nothing and something,between non-being and actual existence,is infinite.It takes an infinite power to bridge that infinite gao.Only God has infinite power!

  5. Melissa
    4 years ago

    Doctor, Not only, as Kevin pointed out, does your response "betray an absolute ignorance with regards to Catholic teaching" but it also displays ignorance with regard to history. Talk about a tirade, well that's certainly the pot calling the kettle "black". The "scientific method" consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses and YET, you are so certain that there is no God. Such an assumption is hardly scientific, by definition. When scientists insist that the explanation of all things MUST EXCLUDE any reference to God, they make an assumption that cannot be proven, but you claim it as a fact. That is not scientific, by definition, but it doesn't stop you from calling it "science". You assume that Man can explain all things. Such an assumption is not scientific. It is not something that can be observed and tested. And what of indoctrination? I'm sure you are an expert on that, as a "scientist" who no doubt pushes the evolution theory as proven fact, which it is not - but who dare challenge it? The very minute that anyone dare challenge an aspect of the theories of evolutions, teachers and students are quieted, law claims are filed and the independent thinker is labelled as a religious freak or a moron. Discussion is not allowed. And you speak of narrow mindedness? Again, you should be the expert on that. And don't even get me started on the giant leaps of logic that so-called scientists use to claim that a few pieces of evidence "prove" great theories. In my mind, many so-called scientists have zero understanding of the laws of evidence as used in the legal profession and would be well served to do a semester or two in law school to learn them. You seem like a very angry person. Why did you even read the article on a Catholic site if you so obviously hate the Church? If our God doesn't exist and we are so insignificant and pathetic to you, why do you even care what we think? Thank you Deacon Fournier for an excellent and important article.

  6. Barb
    4 years ago

    I dont need a biochemist to tell me what I know is true:

    - The universe was created at some point out of nothing.
    - A power much greater than us created the universe.
    - My faith tells me that the higher power that created the universe is God.

    Obviously, Mr. Hawking is not a person of "faith".

  7. Sara Palen
    4 years ago

    lets pretend for a moment that Einstein never mentioned how the Church was the only defender of Truth in Europe while Hitler established the dark age of science without conscience.

    Lets pretend that there were no universal principles which to follow to condem such crimes against humanity.

    What's wrong with the dark ages if there are no absolutes?
    I am not saying I am anti-gay, but what would be wrong with that? To what standard does one rest that moral observation? What makes those thoughts right and the Church's wrong?

    Maybe Einstein would call separation from God the dark ages.

    It would take great faith to believe a single word the doctor writes. He said there are no absolutes in science. let's see, believing in something with no absolute truth-sounds like faith to me.

  8. Francis
    4 years ago

    Significance ? If sentient beings did not exist, would the universe ?

  9. Larry
    4 years ago

    The core beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church are not against science but can work with and compliment science and that has generally been our history, not just today. In the past the Roman Catholic Church supported scientific activities and has had a history of these actions. The problems have come in perception and reactions of the Roman Catholic Church at times over time.

    1) The Roman Catholic Church did not condemn Galileo for what he said about the universe and that the earth was not the center of that universe. Yet, that has been what we've been taught in school and many scientific programs on TV, and these are places people get their information about history and facts. The Church mainly told Galileo that since the pervailing thought was that the earth was the center, as has been the thought by many around the world over centuries, he just wait to publish his work for a while until the Church could figure ways to introduce these new concepts to the general public. He did not follow along so the Church reacted in punitive ways. Galileo had a very caustic attitude about being told what to do and though the Church needed time to adjust to these new realities, they did not dismiss them, had funded them, was starting to accept them but needed time to figure ways to fit them into how the Church taught its faith. Yet the Church has the label of being 'anti-science' and it has not corrected it - in public and from the pulpit.

    2) The church was not against people learning to read or reading the bible on their own. The Church has always recognized that reading the word of God can be enlightening to any person but each of us also needs some guidance since we can interpret the word of God in many ways and we can loose our way. It was the church that copied the pages of the Bible and made them available to more people. Of course bibles were tied with chains since it was very laborious to write and illustrate by hand so the church did not want to loose copies of the bible so easily by those who would not respect the Church. When the printing press came, it was those who were against the church for many reasons (Martin Luther, Calivin, kings and princes who did not like the authority of the Church) that used it quickly and condemned the church for not letting the public have access to the Bible - though it was not really true. The Church then took a defensive stance since it was being attacked by some break-away Christians (Protestants) and some rulers who backed the protesters and were against Church authority. Now we are left with the idea that the Roman Catholic Church was against the public having access to the Bible and Martin Luther and his buddys made it happen. (yes, there were abuses such as the sale of indulgences the way they did it and other things, but there was some reforming starting to happen at that time, just not fast enough for Luther and others and they had their own agenda of wanting a different type of practice or church). Look at all the different types of groups or churchs who claim to be Chrisitan we have now - splintering and splintering.

    3) The Enlightenment - The Church was against some ideas that came out of the Enlightment but not the ideas in general. Vatican I is an example of some of this thinking still existing in modern times - against the Modern Age or thinking. It seems we get a seige mentality and hunker down to wall ourselves from everyone else. This existed until Vatical II. It was us vs. them - pagans vs. Chrisitans, etc. The church has used non-christian thinking to help understand the world and our role over time (Aristotle, Darwin, etc.). The last summary of this thinking came with St. Thomas Acquinas. But it is only recently that we've truly addressed some basic thoughts about being human in this world - sex between males and females, marriage, how to live in the secular world, etc. It's only recently with the publication of Pope John Paul II book on the Theology of the Body that we get some balanced glimpse of how our bodies and sex fit into our lives as believers. If being in the world and not being of the world is what we should do, then being in the world needs to be clarified and our role as Catholics along side of other Chrisitans, other Religions, agnostics, atheists, secularists, etc. Science discovers what it does and if its true, then it's part of what we can believe but we need to understand how it fits. We can argue about how to apply what is discovered and some ways are not right and other ways are good. We do use some information we've learned from experiments we all condemn before and during WWII in China and Germany.

    The church and its leaders - Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, lay leaders, nuns/sisters, etc. must be able to explain more what the Church believes and how we can see the world and live in this world. That has not been done for many reasons - lots of experiments after Vatican II, Repairing relations with other faiths, Church sex-scandals, many priests and nuns leaving the church, etc. I think we've badly reacted to changes in the world and we get condemned for our clumsyness and defensive positions. It needs to change now.

  10. Andy Holland
    4 years ago

    Doctor L,

    2000 years ago God became Incarnate in a virgin, as foretold - the eternal Word through whom the entire universe was made became man and was raised from the dead before witnesses and ascended into heaven after being crucified, dead and buried for our sakes.

    The All Good Holy and Life Giving Spirit came to Earth and filled the Apostles with the very spirit of truth. That same Spirit of Truth freely gives Himself today for the asking.

    Religion is the science of sciences - as the ancient Church Fathers taught, the universe if filled with intelligence, simple and compound - it is filled with God who became man so man could become like God. God is Love, God is real, man is sinful, in Church man is redeemed.

    Don't confuse the actions of sinners for the movement of God, or the history of fallen greed men with the pure teachings of the Catholic faith.

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