Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nietzsche and Hawking

I saw from a friend on Facebook that Stephen Hawking has a new book out, "The Grand Design" in which he claims that physics proves there is no God and the Universe was created by blah blah blah.

Haven't we seen this all before? Nietzsche let everyone know that there was no God and no need for good and evil and that we should all serve supermen who should rule with an iron fist. Of course, Nietzsche didn't, you know, pick up a gun and do anything, because he was, like, busy at the time and anyway he had a bunch of library books that were overdue and the kitchen was really a mess.

Nietzsche was a wimp advocating mass slaughter.

Nietzsche, right before he picked up a gun and ... oh, wait. Hear that? That sounds like the tea's ready.

Nowadays we have Stephen Hawking telling us all that physics can explain the start of the Universe and religion is a waste of time. Of course, he didn't actually see the start of the Universe the way he can see the start of human life with all its physics and stuff. If there's no sky fairy that made the Universe, then there sure as heck isn't any such thing as Stephen Hawking.

Stephen, of course, knows all of this. Still, he's taking the time to write books to convince arbitrarily connected collections of subatomic particles of this or that. Doesn't that sound a bit Nietzschean? I mean, if you believe in this stuff, shouldn't you live your life based on it? Doesn't writing books seem like a contradiction here? After all, his books are written with the underlying assumption that what all the rest of us think matters. But why does it matter?

Update: I revised this post to remove a lot of sneering at Stephen Hawking. It was unnecessarily unpleasant and Dr. Hawking, unquestionably a brilliant man, doesn't deserve such treatment.


Liberal Stupidity said...

Oh my!! You have poked the libs in the eye now! Two of their heroes in one fell swoop...It takes faith to believe either side, it just takes a whole lot of blind faith to believe that all this was just random chance.


K T Cat said...

Was Nietzsche a liberal? If so, wouldn't he have argued in favor of the superstate instead of the superman?

Liberal Stupidity said...

I'm not real studied on the whack, but I do know he hated God, thought that man was the highest power, and fought against a moral code. Sounds like a liberal to me. Coincidently he was also insane....need any more evidence? lol..

Jedi Knight Ivyan said...

Sounds to me like Hawking is trying to convince himself.

K T Cat said...

Ivyan, in a way, we all write to convince ourselves. I certainly agree that Hawking is doing this.

Anonymous said...

Have you read it?

K T Cat said...

I read "A Brief History of Time" which has much the same premise and read a summary of the argument contained in this one. For the purposes of the question I pose, it is his conclusion that matters and not how he got there.

Anonymous said...

Just a note from someone who HAS studied Nietzsche - he believed that God was dead, not that God never existed. And his major issue with religion is the church (particularly the clergy) and the ethos that leads to what he feels is a nihilist nothingness. He wants his readers to make the most of the lives they are given, instead of living through life just to get to the other side - make the most of living for the future, and live as though you will repeat your life forever - make decisions that will make you proud to live your life again and again. He believes the mark of a true individual is one who questions everything, believes what makes sense, lives without anxiety, and works always towards the betterment of the self.

Also, Nietzsche was not 'Liberal' - he is a German existentialist, while both 'conservative' and 'liberal' are political terms relative to region. He would have been more disposed to go climb a mountain than participate in politics.

K T Cat said...

To say that "God is dead" as if God was alive at one time is to fundamentally misunderstand the concept of God.