OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY
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OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 15, 2018 9:08 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Opinionated [NC]) Mar 15, 2018 9:26 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pam [KY]) Mar 15, 2018 9:32 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Roy [AL]) Mar 15, 2018 9:41 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Deanna [TX]) Mar 15, 2018 9:58 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 15, 2018 10:18 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Richard [MI]) Mar 15, 2018 10:27 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 15, 2018 10:44 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 15, 2018 10:45 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Tom [FL]) Mar 15, 2018 10:51 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 15, 2018 10:57 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Mar 15, 2018 11:54 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 15, 2018 12:52 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pat [VA]) Mar 15, 2018 1:35 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BillW [NJ]) Mar 15, 2018 1:57 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Anon [TX]) Mar 15, 2018 2:06 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by AllyM [NJ]) Mar 15, 2018 2:19 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Amy [MO]) Mar 15, 2018 2:23 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ned [MA]) Mar 15, 2018 2:46 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Mar 15, 2018 4:06 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Livethedream [AZ]) Mar 15, 2018 10:08 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by WMH [NC]) Mar 16, 2018 4:00 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Mar 16, 2018 5:01 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Mar 16, 2018 5:12 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by LindaJ [NY]) Mar 16, 2018 5:41 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 16, 2018 5:53 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 16, 2018 6:12 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 16, 2018 6:14 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ned [MA]) Mar 16, 2018 7:42 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Wilma [PA]) Mar 16, 2018 8:22 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Salernitana [CA]) Mar 16, 2018 8:58 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 16, 2018 9:59 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Jo [CT]) Mar 16, 2018 10:55 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 16, 2018 11:16 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by WMH [NC]) Mar 16, 2018 11:19 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 16, 2018 11:29 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 16, 2018 11:37 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 16, 2018 1:31 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ned [MA]) Mar 16, 2018 2:38 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Amy [MO]) Mar 16, 2018 6:03 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by elliot [RI]) Mar 17, 2018 7:26 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Steve [NY]) Mar 17, 2018 4:24 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by RB [MI]) Mar 18, 2018 6:58 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ned [MA]) Mar 18, 2018 11:17 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by elliot [RI]) Mar 18, 2018 2:18 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Steve [NY]) Mar 18, 2018 4:24 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Amy [MO]) Mar 18, 2018 4:45 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 5:47 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Mar 19, 2018 6:18 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by John... [MI]) Mar 19, 2018 8:09 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 8:51 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Mar 19, 2018 9:47 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Mar 19, 2018 10:15 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 10:15 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 10:18 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by John... [MI]) Mar 19, 2018 10:30 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 11:07 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Mar 19, 2018 12:39 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pmh [TX]) Mar 19, 2018 1:22 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 1:34 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by pmh [TX]) Mar 19, 2018 1:53 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by elliot [RI]) Mar 19, 2018 5:07 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Bill [KY]) Mar 20, 2018 3:36 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Bill [KY]) Mar 20, 2018 3:43 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by WMH [NC]) Mar 20, 2018 5:31 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Mar 20, 2018 6:14 AM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pmh [TX]) Mar 20, 2018 3:16 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by WMH [NC]) Mar 20, 2018 5:39 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Bill [KY]) Mar 20, 2018 6:06 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Steve [NY]) Mar 21, 2018 2:35 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pmh [TX]) Mar 22, 2018 2:12 PM
       OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Mar 23, 2018 10:48 PM

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 9:08 AM

This is about as OT to land lording as it gets....sort of. ;-)

I have been a long-time fan of Stephen Hawking's writing on cosmology and physics since first reading "A Brief History of Time." He was brilliant, and probably more so in that he could bring extremely complicated concepts into terms that non-scientists such as I could understand. To be clear, when I say "non-scientist" I mean that I do not professionally work as a scientist. I believe in what science is able to teach us and the scientific method as a valuable tool for inquiry into our universe.

I was reading his bio on Wikipedia and came across a section regarding his personal beliefs. He stated at one point that he is an atheist, which I've known for awhile.

Without trying to stir up a controversy, I was profoundly saddened by this. He is dead now, so per his own belief system, the "best ending" is he went poof....and there's nothing left. In spite of claims that "his legacy will live on" by many in his family and community, odds are he will join the dustbin of history & science textbooks along with Newton and others. Just another name for high school kids to have to memorize and forget after their exams.

I am a life-long follower of the Christian faith. Far from being "religious" (what an odd term THAT is!), it just makes sense on so many levels that there is more to humans than the here and now. I've long believed that if all we have is this life, might as well end it now. I've seen too many people suffer too much, even those who achieve great worldly success, to make all this bother worthwhile.

Maybe it's that I have a sense of purpose that transcends a span of 80ish years.

Anyway, not trying to preach here, but this is a smart group of people, and we often ponder other great mysteries like non-paying tenants and back-flowing toilets, so I thought I'd throw out for respectful discussion among both believers and non-believers....

WHY do YOU bother with life? There's gotta be some good reason(s). For non-believers, I'm hoping to hear some detailed explanations why you put up with all this. I'm hoping to hear more than "survival instinct". To me, that's just as vague an non-verifiable as some who say that God is non-verifiable. Further, it suggests that we're just hard-wired to do what we do and there is no morality: everything is chance, physics and chemistry. If that's the case, how could we ever intelligently discuss concepts like "good" and "evil"...."right" or "wrong"? There is simply the will of the majority: nothing else.

In short, it's downright depressing to me to think there is no reason beyond chemical reactions thrown together by chance that govern everything we do.

Love for my spouse and kids?

Enjoying an amazing piece of music?

Success or failure in business?


Christians have a Bible passage we often go to in times of doubt...."We love, because He first loved us." In other words, we do have an assurance that love is something more than just chemicals responding to other chemicals. There is more to us than some atomic soup cooked up by an uncaring cosmos that goes beyond this life.

Maybe some will call this wishing or fairy tales for the unsophisticated. But doesn't it match what we all WANT to be true, even if we cannot explain why it is true with science? Don't we all want to matter to someone in ways that aren't governed by hydrogen and oxygen atoms bouncing around randomly?

Animals have survival instinct, but that only motivates them to flee from death. We humans seem hard-wired to do more than just fear the Reaper. (cue comment for more cowbell).

Investors often say we need to "Find our 'WHY?'" So here goes....what is--from a lifetime perspective--your WHY?

P.S. I truly hope that Stephen Hawking found his peace with God before his death. My God is rich with mercy and wants all people to be saved, loved, cherished....in short, all people matter to him, amazingly. That goes for me, for Mr. Hawking, for anyone...even tenants who clog our toilets. ;-) --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Opinionated [NC]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 9:26 AM

Those are essentially my sentiments also. Thanks for expressing them. --66.44.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pam [KY]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 9:32 AM

My why is too long-winded to stick here but I will say that I discovered it after reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It completely changed my perspective and everything I thought I knew.

Otherwise, we are living in very exciting times. Scary, but exciting.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 9:41 AM


When the smartest and most brilliant person on the planet is an Atheist,...what does that tell you?

It tells me he knows something that the rest of the world has not figured out yet or just does not want to deal with. --68.63.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 9:58 AM

There's a passage in a very famous 15th c. work. It goes along the lines of--

"As for knowledge, it comes natural to all of us to want it, but what can knowledge do for us, without the fear of God? Give me a plain, unpretentious farm-hand, content to serve God; there is more to be made of him than of some conceited University professor who forgets that he has a soul to save, because he is so busy watching the stars. To know yourself-- that means feeling your own worthlessness, losing all taste for human praise. If my knowledge embraced the whole of creation, what good would it do me in God's sight? It is by my actions that he will judge me."

And a little bit later, it also goes on to say--

"We find no absolute perfection in this world; always there is a background of imperfection behind our achievement; and so it is that our guesses at the truth can never be more than light obscured by shadow. The humble man's knowledge of himself is a surer way to God than any deep researches into truth. No reason why we should quarrel with larning, or with any straightforward pursuit of knowledge; it is all good as far as it goes, and part of God's plan. But always what we should prize most is a clear conscience, and holiness of life. How is it that there are so many people who put knowledge first, instead of conduct? It means that they are constantly at fault, and achieve little-- sometimes next to nothing. If only these people would take as much trouble to weed out their imperfections, and to cultivate good qualities, as they take over the learned theses they propound, we should hear less about sins and scandals, less about lax behavior in religious houses. After all, when the day of judgement comes we shall be examined about what we have done, not about what we have read; whether we have lived conscientiously, not whether we have turned fine phrases. Where are they now, Doctor This and Professor That, whom you used to hear so much about when they were alive, and at the height of their reputation? They have handed over tehir chairs to other men, who probably never waste a thought on them; while they lived, they counted for something, now they are never mentioned..."

With that last bit, in my own town, I find myself mentally substituting "if only they put all the energy and enthusiasm they have for drugs and opioids and stuff and put it towards living right--!" :P --96.46.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 10:18 AM

Roy...excellent question. It tells me there are some questions science cannot, by definition, answer and that Mr. Hawkings, in spite of his brilliance, didn't know everything.

Indeed, most scientists do not claim there is no God; rather, they claim that science cannot tell us one way or the other. Therefore, it puzzles me how Hawking could have been so confident in his assertion. The man of science making a claim that cannot be backed up by science. Odd...I would have liked to ask him more about it, but since I cannot, I ask folks here what they think. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 10:27 AM

Seems to me he lost his mind the last few years.

Buying into global warming.

Saying we had to colonize Mars etc without understanding the actual logistics of something like that.

He may have been great at certain ideas but he should have stuck to what he was good at and not ventured into other things. --96.94.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 10:44 AM


I believe God's word when He said we'll have healed bodies in Heaven.

I mourn for Hawking in that his body will finally be healed but it won't be in Heaven.

Just listened to a great John MacArthur lesson where he discussed how science cannot explain miracles that were witnessed by many people but scientists refuse to accept that some things cannot be explained by science.

I always think back to the flat earth and sun revolves around the earth scientists who killed those with other theories.

I also understand why folks like Hawking lean toward aethistic views, based on God's word that the smart will be clouded by their smartness.



OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 10:45 AM

Better phrase: "Science as we know it"

BRAD --68.51.xx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 10:51 AM

The greatest minds and most creative minds have built computers that were housed in a large room, NOW they are held in the palm of our hands. HOWEVER the best computer ever developed is our brain. Some people use it to the fullest and others waste it to the max. I believe God gave us a brain to think things through and to live life to the fullest. That being said, some will do the right things/decisions and other will do the wrong thing/decisions. In the end if we go POOF or go to heaven or purgatory that remains to be seen but I live life to my fullest potential and in the end will answer to my actions over my lifetime. Sometimes the things I have done in my life I think my Guardian Angel has a major sense of humor. I think it takes time for my Guardian Angel to recover from rolling laughing at some of the thing I have done!!!

It's sad to hear someone has taken their own life. What a sad factor they do not realize the pain they have caused the people they left behind the unanswered questions!!! However, mental illness is a demon that will take hold and if not treated; destroys a life. Just as alcohol, drugs: legal and illegal, food, and other addictions are a form of mental illness. UNFORTUNATELY mental illness is a taboo word like cancer was 40 to 50 years ago!!! What makes a person take one drink and be a social drinker, they stop when they know their limits. Plus they know the health risks. They know the dangers of DUI. Their brain and inner strength knows when to stop. HOWEVER, one day a tragedy hits them and the bottle helps to take them to another place, a place of peace in their mind, a place to forget and feel NO PAIN. THAT'S A POWERFUL THING TO OVER TAKE THE MIND. Then they are now considered an alcoholic in the medical world. In time alcohol or whatever the addiction consumes their life. Feeling helpless!!!

Life is great and I want to see what's around the next corner. My belief in God helps me to get around that corner. I am not sure how an atheist does it, like Stephen Hawking's but I would hope there is a celebration going on in heaven and another angel got his wings. --99.56.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 10:57 AM

Brad, I too believe in the bodily resurrection: it's pretty clear in the Bible that's what happens.

The one thing I won't say for certain....is where Hawking is now...today.

This is the season of Lent. We remember the story of the Crucifixion, and one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever head is the thief on the cross crying out to be "Remembered in your kingdom, Lord"...and Jesus' answer, "Today, you will be with me in Paradise."

This gives me hope that any one, when confronted with a life-time of rejecting God, can come to know Christ and be saved by his mercy and grace. I do not know if Mr. Hawking did or did not. But my hope is that he did. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 11:54 AM

In my belief system, all science can explain is how things are formed. It doesn't explain why and by whom it was initially set in motion.

Being able to explain the miracle doesn't make it less of a miracle.

Hawkins was a theoretical scientist, unable to prove his theories through experiment, but having faith that those theories were true. It's not like you can create a black hole in your garage to experiment on. His theories were his god.

I've always found it puzzling that theoretical scientists can have faith in the scientific process of how things happen even though they can't be proven as scientific law, but they look down on the same type of faith regarding the belief in a higher power. Faith in the unproven is faith in the unproven. How is faith in one so different from the faith of the other?


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 12:52 PM

Well said, LLOTF.

By the way, always have intended to tell you that I, as a former high school English teacher, enjoy your choice of "handle" on this site. The humor/irony is wonderful!

I am truly interested to find out what is the WHY behind what we do. I think it has to be more than we'd all like to drive a Porsche or not eat dog food when we retire.

I think when we get down to the root of what it means to be a human, we all want to believe that we MATTER.

In short, I really like Stephen Hawking. Even though I've never met him, I value him as a person for everything that he was and did, but also simply for the fact that he was a creature like me. Amazing and wonderful.

In case anyone is curious, yes I feel that way about the tenants who screw me over and the ding-bats who call me sometimes. It may take me a few minutes, hours, days, or weeks to get back to that state of feeling about folks after they've "done me wrong" (and I'll even rant here about them occasionally), but ultimately I hold no grudges. I just want to be of service to folks, and I want them to abide by our agreements. When they don't, we part ways and I go on with life. I hope they get their issues resolved (and maybe pay me back) and have a great life too.

Waiting patiently so someone who believes differently will chime in. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pat [VA]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 1:35 PM

The story of "Doubting Thomas" tells us a lot. To paraphrase, "Greater is he who believes and has not seen". We are given much credit for faith. I have faith. As a Christian, as a recovering alcoholic, as a mother, wife, grandmother, landlord. I've enjoyed a long and full life. When I fail, and/or stray, I know what pulls me back. We all, as created beings, have a God shaped hole in our hearts that only He can fill.

As for my enjoyment of The Big Bang Theory, I cannot explain. But, I guess the jokes about Stephen Hawking will have to cease! --71.51.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BillW [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 1:57 PM

Good question.

My Dad's 91 with dementia and what comes out of him now are his core values, I think.

He wants to be close to people, he wants to express his love for them, he wants to do for others, he says "praise the lord" a lot and and quotes Psalm 23 a lot to: "i walk through the valley of the shadow of death bible verse

He make me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." - Wikipedia

I'm a few years behind him, but I think I have the same basic drives. I don't believe in life after death as I've never seen anything like it, but I could change my mind. Thanks S I D for bringing it up :-)


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Anon [TX]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 2:06 PM

I personally think that there is more to life than today - love, hope, ethics are driven from that.... however religion in the form the human race practices it and the written religious texts ONLY divides the human race. Doesn't add any value. Religion is not a belief in higher being.... its a way to control sets of people.

I wonder how one can turn a blind eye to what religion has done and is doing to another human being not of the same set.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 2:19 PM

Dr. Hawking is having a big surprise. It's Disneyland over there and many folks choose not to cross and just hang around here. Will he step into a light for which he has no scientific explanation? --69.141.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Amy [MO]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 2:23 PM

If I had not ever felt His presence, I may never have believed. In suffering, I still at times feel abandoned, but I am not. I abandon Him- not the other way around.

I still question why. Some things I won't ever know because we aren't meant to know. That's what faith is- believing even though you do not know for certain intellectually.

I believe He saved my life after the birth of my 4th child. I believe He kept my car going even when I should've run out of gas in the middle of nowhere while on springbreak many many years ago.

So many great things that He has done for me.

There were times when I had turned away, and He brought me back. He reached for *me*! He comforted *me*! I still haven't completely figured out my purpose in this life, but I know I have one. His purpose for my life is what drives me.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ned [MA]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 2:46 PM

I'm not sure I believe in god but to say "I mourn for Hawking in that his body will finally be healed but it won't be in Heaven." Is totally arrogant.

YOU might believe in the many myths and fairy tails in "the Bible" but many of us don't. I think the concept of hell is totally a man made thing to control things in early Christianity. Believe what you will. Bigfoot, The loch ness monster, the tooth fairy but don't force your beliefs on me.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 4:06 PM

S i d: Thanks for the complement. When chosing a name, LOTF just jumped out at me. I too appreciate the irony, especially regarding feral tenants.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Livethedream [AZ]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 10:08 PM

Why do christians constantly push their lifestyle choices on the rest of us? Demanding we live and believe as they do, on "faith." Do you take your renters promises on faith? Why would you take what a bunch of per dark age charlatans cooked up to extract money from the foolish and superstitiuos.

When the neurons in your body stop firing that's it folks. Lights out. Basic biology.

So live your best while you can. Make every day count - we ain't got that many left. --47.216.xx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 4:00 AM

I totally lack the Believe in God gene. I've tried, attending church, training, studied with priests and pastors as a teenager and young woman and the older I got, the more I realized that I simply do not believe in a benevolent loving God. Period. I was finally able to openly declare myself an atheist when I reached adulthood and realized I was tired of kowtowing to religions that had done more bad than good in the history of the world.

Christians eschew all "other gods" - I simply go one god further.

We live on in our DNA that is passed from generation to generation, that much is clear, and perhaps our "soul" is some sort of energy that might continue on, as energy does, but otherwise, this life is it.

So you better be good! :) --50.82.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 5:01 AM

I 'believe" that TIME never started and time never stops - I "believe" that DISTANCE never started and distance never ends. I " believe there can't be a wall of time or distance on either end because there is always something on the other side of it.

Therefore I can't believe in Hawkins big bang beginning. There could have been a big bang but it can't have been the beginning. --24.34.xx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 5:12 AM

I am not the most religious person in the world, but I am a believer. I have lived in both Europe and and in Asia and have seen some amazing things in both places.

After I pass on, people may remember me for another 20 to 80 years.......that is just about it. You hope your mark on the world is greater than that, but it is rather difficult task.

On the other hand, if you are a believer in Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, or any other icon.......these folks have been gone for thousands of years. People still celebrate these world leaders to this day.

Perhaps, just perhaps - instead of focusing in what makes us different, we should focus more on what makes us the same. I believe almost everyone wants to leave the world a better place for future generations. That is what gives me hope --24.101.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 5:41 AM

I would say I am agnostic, I am not sure if there is a god, but then not sure there isn't. I believe in mother nature at times. I am amazed at the similarities in a lot of religions, and I am appalled at the things that happen because of a religion.

Maybe the "gods" of the past, whatever gods there were or believed in were aliens visiting the planet. Maybe we do come back in another form on another planet. Why is one religion's god the true god and the other's are not? Could there be more than one god or could the god be in different form for different peoples through the ages. If the god is so all forgiving, will he/she care if you were in the wrong religion, but lived a good life? Isn't a good life the most important?

My question is - if you believe in an afterlife, what keeps you alive, would you not want to leave this life that takes so much work and join your god as soon as you can?

What keeps me going? The quest for knowledge, the beauty of all sorts of things, the reward for hard work. To help others that need, want and appreciate the help and the joy of doing that. My family, the next generation. Time with people I like.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 5:53 AM

Good morning,

First....a big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to read and respond. As usual, a wide variety of views. I had to re-read everyone twice to even begin to take it all in. I'll probably re-read it again shortly.

I was hoping for someone not of my view to express a clear-cut WHY... I didn't see it yet. Maybe I missed it. I'm not perfect and the coffee may not have kicked in. So if anyone would care to help me either see what was already written or give another answer, I'll check back later.

A few comments to my specific friends:

@BillW - the testimony of our elders is powerful. I have often wondered about the tendency that as people get older, they tend to look less at things of this world and more at things like legacy. Even those who do not believe in God / afterlife ask themselves questions like "What am I leaving behind?" "Will my spouse / kids / grand kids / people I care about be okay?" I think this is the immortal soul struggling to speak a truth that deep down we all know or at least wish to know...that "there's more too this." Otherwise, why would someone care about what happens to folks that live on after they die? If "lights out" is it, you won't see them, hear about them, etc. If they succeed or struggle, you won't know. Again, I do not possess all wisdom, so if you or anyone else would care to address that issue specifically, I am very interested to know more.

@Anon: I agree that throughout history many religions have been used to control people. So have political ideals, economic ideals, patriotic ideals... "Religion" is not unique in this way. A lot of that control has been very BAD. Christianity was twisted to justify a lot of horrible things: the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem Witch trials....to name a few of more publicly known disgraces. There are more. I think a lot of self-proclaimed Christian co-opted the Gospel message, corrupted it to serve their own self interest on wordily things (power, money, conquest, etc), and used it as a bludgeon. Would it be fair and true to say that those were false representations of the Christian faith? I think of it much as the message of intolerable oppression that Hitler used to corrupt the German people prior to the rise of the 3rd Reich. Many of his grievances against the Geneva Conventions were legitimate, but then he twisted that into a system that put himself into power at the expense of many lives. Indeed, much evil has been done in the name of "religion." I would say, though, that when one brings it down to the individual level, I find that the vast majority of Christian I know are caring, loving, generous people who are actively involved in making their community and world a better place. Maybe your experience with individual people has been different.

@Ned, I see your response to Brad. I hope you got to read my response to him where I mentioned the thief on the cross. We Christians sometime forget with whom we are speaking and use "short cuts" to talk about issues we find troubling, and in that spirit I'm going to think that Brad 20K was referring to the fact that we have no outward evidence that Mr. Hawking had a saving faith and there was some evidence expressed in his earlier life that he did not. That is a pessimistic view that certainly gets the better of us at times. The desire to see all people saved motivates a true believer in the Gospel to share the Good News with everyone, and when we see no outward signs of response, we sometimes get discouraged. I'm of the optimistic view that any person, anywhere, at any time can receive a saving faith in Jesus Christ...even at death's door. I don't know how God "does things" when it comes to the moment of our death. He hasn't told me or anyone else. What I do know is that he is loving, merciful, powerful, and desires all people to be saved. I also know God doesn't force anyone to believe his message or follow him. We are always free to reject the Gospel. Compelling people isn't his style (and that's a good thing to keep in mind when someone claiming to be a Christian tries to "force" anyone to believe what they believe...that is clear false doctrine, pride, etc). Anyway, bottom line is God may have worked thru the people around Mr. Hawking and/or made a direct appeal to him prior to his death, and Stephen may have responded. So I cannot, WILL NOT claim that Stephen Hawking is in Heaven or Hell. I simply...don't...know. No one else does either, except God alone. I will find out, however, when God says it's my time to find out. The only kicker is I won't be able to report back at that point. (wink) So...Good News, friend Ned. I'm not going to force anything on you (as if I could!) or anyone else. If anyone ever tries to force the Gospel on you, just keep in mind they are not following God's Word. Please just ignore them, and tell them S i d [MO] kindly asked them to stop perverting the Gospel for their own selfish ends.

@LTD, see what I wrote to Ned. I think you've been assaulted by many who claim to be witnessing, but in fact are pushing and attempting to force the Gospel. That is an unfortunate and very lamentable side-effect of people who get "on fire"....their zeal goes past common sense and a desire to save to fanaticism. I'll never attempt to force you or anyone else. If you're willing, would you please clarify your comment: "live your best while you can. Make every day count". I am genuinely interested in learning WHY this is your goal/belief that it's important to do so. Thank you in advance, even if you don't wish to clarify. It comes close to the reason why I made this post to begin with, so you've hooked my attention.

@WMH, you mentioned a list of things you've tried to do in the name of religion. Many folks have tried similar things and found them lacking. I'll say this: what you described are typical "religious" behaviors, and they can be beneficial to those who already have a saving faith. But for many, they are simply empty, man-made rituals that count for nothing. It's funny when I talk to some of my fellow Christians about "going to church." It's almost like a "gotta check this box" thing they do weekly. They put on nice clothes, nice smiles, and go to church...do their thing...then go back to regular life. 6.5 days out of the week they act one way, but for that 1/2 day on Sunday morning, it's all a show. I can't speak for whether or not they are sincere: I don't see inside hearts. There are many writings in the Bible that warn us of following man-made traditions for the sake of tradition alone. It does us no good, and it's actually harmful to think that man-made ritual somehow puts us "right" with God. Those outward signs you mentioned are supposed to be a joyful response to a heart that realizes it is set free from guilt and shame, but I would guess (totally a guess, here) that some folks who go to church on a Sunday morning do so out of rote habit, nothing more. I don't know which ones they are for sure. I say there are some, though, because I've been guilty of it in the past. What I'll end with is....please don't let that be the measure by which you determine the WHY. Empty rituals should be discarded. "Kowtowing" is a sign of a false religion. I think you got bamboozled in your earlier years by false religions pretending to be Christianity. Sure, they had the name, the book(s), the buildings, the rituals, the staff and all the trappings, but ultimately they didn't have the true Gospel. If you'd ever like to know more about a saving faith in Christ Jesus, I'm available. If not, then we will still be friends and I'll keep an eye and ear open in case you change your mind.

To Anyone: Whew, that's a lot, but again I am interested in learning more. Also, I'm interested in sharing the true Gospel with anyone who is interested. Maybe you've been a victim of "religion" in the past. I'd like to show you the Gospel, and it may be the first time you've ever really heard something so wonderful. Let me know if you'd like to hear more and we can take it offline if desired.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 6:12 AM

@LindaJ, your response came in while I was writing my "book"... You did mention a "Why," thank you for doing so!

I have some thoughts to share on many of the questions you asked. One of my favorites is "why is this religion correct and the others aren't." At the risk of being called proud, I'll say that I am convinced that Christianity is the one true way.

I have also endeavored to put myself in the place of folks who believe in other religions. In the end, the three questions all religions must answer come down to these three: "Who/what is God/the gods, who/what is Mankind, and how are Mankind and God/the gods brought into fellowship with each other?"

Christianity is the only religion that says, "God is holy, Mankind is not, and yet because God loves Mankind he did everything that was necessary to create and restore a fellowship between himself and Mankind. Knowing this, we are free to live in joy and peace and look forward to eternal life that is already ours."

That's the full Gospel message in short 'n sweet form. It's a basic paraphrase of John 3:16.

No other religion in the history of the world teaches this. Every other religion I have heard of teaches a God/gods who are either disinterested in Man (i.e. no fellowship is possible) or whom man must appease through works, sacrifices, ceremonies, etc. (i.e. we gotta do "our part" to earn out way into his favor).

There could be some other religion out there that I've not heard of yet, so I'm ready to listen to anyone who knows of one that gives us a more hopeful, joyful, true answer to the "basic 3" questions. But all the ones you listed fall into the above analysis.

Now I'll answer one of your questions: What keeps me alive knowing I have a glorious afterlife? Ah...there's the WHY we've been seeking! I live because God's creation is good! His blessings are good! He wants me to enjoy this life in preparation for what is to come. It is, as Christians throughout the ages have called it, "a foretaste of the feast to come."

God's plan is to live the life I've been given knowing his live and to share the Good News I just shared with you, so that all people come to know the great things God has done for them. If I decided to blow my brains out because I wanted to get to Heaven today, that's not part of God's plan to use me as a witness to others. My time will come, no doubt. Maybe today, many in 40 years. I dunno. Until then, I will live joyfully, sometimes sarcastically (hope not too much!), and always with a grin and a cold beverage for anyone.

Does that help? --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 6:14 AM

@LindaJ, apologies....you didn't "list" any religions. That was Ran-n-Pa. Got my wires crossed. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ned [MA]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 7:42 AM

I was raised in a very religious family. Even studied theology in school. I think Jesus was a very nice man but see no real evidence in that he was god. I don't believe the so called miracles around him in the bible.

That being said,I do believe in a higher power,but not some preacher shaking the bible at me and saying "the baaaable sez,.."and quoting something that he interrupts from it. (how about stuff like stoning a woman, killing a man for "spilling his seed", never suffering a witch to live, ad nausium,

I have met many people in my life, I don't see Christians any more moral or ethical than most non Christians.

Esp if those Christians use phases like "praise the lord and god bless you" etc.

Question of all those Christians that I see commenting all over the web about NOW he is in hell, what about "judge not" as a christian tenet?

And since god is all knowing,..why does he make people that he knows is going to hell? (don't say because he gave then free will,..that's illogical to him being all knowing.)


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 8:22 AM

Well said, Sid(MO)and thought-provoking. I share a faith with you, Brad, and others. But I really appreciated the honest responses of so many here who do not.

The older I get, the better I understand the reactions of some who have been injured by (well-meaning or not) people who claim to follow Jesus. I agree that we are not to judge - John 5:22 tells us that judgment is given to Christ alone. And I am guilty of taking that act of judging upon myself in the past. I strive daily to put that behind me.

If I am deluded, then let it be so. I don't fear death (the dying process, yes - what's beyond, no). When I attend the funerals of those who don't share faith in Christ, I often weep at the bleakness that is usually there. When I attend the funerals of those who claimed to be Christ-followers and acted as such, there is usually a sense of peace and even celebration. (I have told my kids that I want bright colors to be worn, and if they just want to skip the memorial service and have a party, go for it!)

My own Dad was an adamant atheist, and made no bones about telling everyone how he felt about Christians. But when his strength began to fail in his 80's, he was befriended by a neighbor couple in Florida who simply loved him and my mom. They did little things in his yard, helped figure out electrical issues, visited him when he was hospitalized, fed him and Mom when they were both under the weather. When a hospitalization made him fear he wouldn't make it out, he expressed to the wife his fears during a visit. She helped him to understand that peace could be his if he would stop struggling against God and his Son.

I could see a difference in Dad while helping him after Mom passed first. When we talked and I cautiously brought up death, he assured me that his fears were gone. He died shortly after in his sleep - when I notified the now former neighbors by email, the wife immediately responded with the story of that talk that they'd had in the hospital.

So - I believe that I will see Dad again. If that's delusion, let me be deluded.

This conversation was a breath of fresh air - thanks to ALL who contributed. --71.175.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Salernitana [CA]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 8:58 AM

Dear S i d, Thank you for having brought up the topic that concerns you in such an honest way. I understand how you feel. Also, thanks to all who posted since each post is interesting.

I tend to think that some people such as Hawking have tremendous capabiities to understand the world. The way that their brains are wired perhaps doesn't feel or see a need for religion other than something to disprove by logic and physical laws. Perhaps it was how he was raised? I know it's probably fiction, but in the recent Hollywood movie about Hawking and in the scene where Hawking's then grilfriend now ex-wife #1 meets Stephen's family, I recall that she defended herself because she wasn't a scientist. According to one online article, Hawking's parents would have dinner with their kids, each person burying oneself in one's own book. I think that Hawking had his own focused and self-absorbed world that found language through physics to analyze the universe and its forces;people need not apply. I also read that Hawking was way into money which perhaps translated into power which perhaps translated into access and fame which usually brings adulation, attention, and love and acceptance on his terms? So perhaps he found a way to survive in the world, given the gifts he had.

Maybe we too continue to use the tools or gifts that we have to be challenged by tenants, judges, eviction laws, etc;then we develop our own language to navigate through life to reap the benefits to allow us to find our own form of happiness and peace? Maybe by design, people need to be with other people and use their tools or gifts to achieve a certain type of relationship to seek peace or an accord with others?


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 9:59 AM

@Ned, thanks for coming back and sharing some views. I'm 100% aligned with you on all that "religious stuff"... It's mostly show and pomp. Not needed and certainly not what Christ intended if you read his words (not what people have made out of his words).

I'll do my best to explore some of your thoughts as concisely as possible.

There's a lot that could be said about people who claim to be Christians sinning, using "throw away" phrases like "God Bless" to get favors, acting morally superior/judging others, etc. In general, these are all examples of where Christians sin. Suffice it to say that we shouldn't be doing these things, and yet the ultimate joy of Christian isn't that we are morally superior to other people. Rather, our joy is that God's mercy is rich, his love unfailing, and he forgives us. This should free us from guilt and motivate us to stop sinning, stop using throw-away phrases, and to humbly invite others to share in our joy rather than judge them when they fail. We fail too. This should make us merciful toward others.

The last question "why does God create people that go to Hell." I think the answer to this is rooted in a concept as old as humanity, that is, family.

Parents have kids. We try to keep them out of trouble and help them make wise choices. Sometimes they do dumb stuff anyway. When they are young, we force out kids to some things like make their beds or brush their teeth, the "it's good for you!" stuff. But when it comes to growing up and becoming fully functional adults, parents realize there is only so much we can force. Kids have to learn, grow, and make mistakes. This is healthy family behavior. We still love kids even when they make mistakes. Our hope is that they will learn and grow and ultimately "do the right thing". We will do almost anything to save them when there is great danger, but ultimately, we realize we can't "save" them from truly bad decisions (think alcoholism, drug abuse, , etc) if they don't want to be saved.

An (imperfect) analogy I think of is a father who sets up a $1 million bank account for his son, but the son decides he doesn't believe his father would or could ever be so generous. Or he gets mad that his father didn't set up an account for everyone, so he refuses it. Doesn't matter the reason, really. In the end, the son never receives the benefit of the gift. It doesn't mean the gift is false or that the father has failed to love his son: it simply means the person whom it belongs to rejects it and gets nothing from it.

My God is all-knowing, he is all-powerful, he is all-loving. He has made the gift available for everyone: you, me, Stephen Hawking, WMH, LTD, Brad 20K, Ray-n-Pay...everyone. But some folks refuse to take advantage of the gift. Other people see this and sometimes they get angry at God and also reject the gift. Seems almost...silly...now that we have thought about how healthy family relationships work. We all have the gift of eternal life in Paradise bought for us, provided as a free gift and yet some refuse to take advantage. For this, some people blame God. I say again, this is kind of silly.

Our only choice is to refuse to believe that the gift is ours, in which case the gift does us no good. A loving father doesn't dominate his child's will; he let's him grow up and continues to offer his love, guidance, and gifts. In the end though, he will let us have our way, if we insist on it.

I hope that helps.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Jo [CT]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 10:55 AM

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives, all fear is gone,

Because I know who holds the future,

and, life is worth the living, just because He lives.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 11:16 AM

If this helps, from The Washington Post, from a 2014 interview Mr. Hawking is quoted as stating "...if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”

and this from his book: “I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

His words, not mine.

God was clear: I will deny those who deny me.

BRAD --68.51.xx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 11:19 AM

I just attended a seminar today on the opioid crises, and while it was fascinating and scary in so many ways, one thing stood out to me: Dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure.

Our brains are wired to ensure that we will repeat life-sustaining activities by associating those activities with pleasure or reward. Whenever this reward circuit is activated, the brain notes that something important is happening that needs to be remembered, and teaches us to do it again and again, without thinking about it.

According to the speaker, it is dopamine that makes us get up in the morning, look forward to the day, live our life...In other words, it's the WHY of a human being. --50.82.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 11:29 AM


Back to your original question about our WHY.

My first WHY was FREEDOM!!! Got it.

My next WHY was total financial stability-income without my presence. Got it.

My current WHY is based on the Bible's list of spiritual gifts, skills gifted to us by God and HS. Mine include teaching, administration, and giving. (I DON'T rank very high on other gifts. These are not to be confused with Fruits of the Spirit such are patience, kindness, joy...)

I'm busy teaching LLs and Bible students,

administering my biz, LL Assoc, and some church programs, and

we're having a BALL! giving away money! This may sound crass to some but God DOES equip some to make (extra) money for the purpose of giving it away.

No we're not trying to buy a seat in heaven. Jesus made that clear. We're blessed and being obedient to God's instructions to give.

My children know my wealth is not their wealth. Sure I'll leave them some if there is any left! but not all. It's up to them to build their wealth.

"Daddy, are we rich?"

"Sweetie, Mom and I are rich. You live here."

BRAD --68.51.xx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 11:37 AM

Side note.

Yes Hawking was probably the highest IQ in any room. But that does not make him right on every subject.

It just makes him human like us.

There were plenty of things he was lousy at. That makes him human like us.

Example: he would probably be a lousy LL and would have to learn like all of us did. Just because he WAS the "Smartest Man on Earth" does not mean he could understand every issue.

(WAS is an important word)

BRAD --68.51.xx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 1:31 PM

@Jo, one of my favorite praise songs!

@Brad....brother, good to see you. Yes, you have some amazing gifts. I concur that some are better equipped to be economic powerhouses. And to whom much is given, much is expected.

I still dn't believe we can say for certain what Mr. Hawking's final destination was. Yes, there is every outward sign that would lead us to despair...if we were a people of despair. But we are a people of hope.

As you showed, Mr. Hawking wrote those words you quoted years before his death. Jesus saved a dying thief minutes before his last breaths. Our God doesn't need much time to do his work. Sometimes, it just happens.

The thief on the cross was a rare event: only one like it I can recall from the Bible. I wouldn't tell folks to live a life of rebellion with plans to repent at the last second. That's what they used to call "between the saddle and the ground" repentance in the Old West. Describing a desperado who lived a life of sin, with the claim he would say he was sorry right after the sheriff's bullet hit him in the chest but before he fell dead in the dirt. I wonder sometimes why God included such a dramatic last-minute story of salvation; this thief is one of the few in Scripture we are certain of because Jesus TOLD US where he was going, and he doesn't lie. I think it was to give us hope that, with God, all things are possible.

@WMH....powerful stuff, those scientific discoveries. That speaker would probably agree with my old philosophy prof who claimed, "All we are is star dust and Indian puke." If the whole human race comes down to dopamine highs and lows, I say we just hook everyone up to a bottle of the stuff and keep us all flying high as kites. The move "Inside Out" kind of explored that topic a bit. Anyway, if you'd like to hear a more joyful version of reality, I'm here to help out any time. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ned [MA]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 2:38 PM

"God was clear: I will deny those who deny me"

God was clear? When did GOD say this? Are you referring to 2 Timothy 212? Written by a man?

Probably only Mathew and even John knew Jesus. Paul wrote something similar but never met Jesus. And as said before, YOU can believe Jesus was god.interesting that his mother Mary didn't think so.

The Bible is the word of god? It is full of so many contradictions that god must be confused.

Many errors and problems with interpretations. Many idioms and hyperbole included,IE He wandered for 40 days and 40 nights more likely meant from translation that he wandered for a long time,..not to be taken literally.

So the all knowing god already knows who is going to be good or bad, who will go to heaven or hell. (giving the oft preacher explanation of he gave us free will doesn't work,..)


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Amy [MO]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 6:03 PM

Anyone on a spiritual journey,an enlightening read-The Case for Christ. Written by a former nonbeliever on his quest.

The Bible is the Living Word. It is vital to our understanding of the faith. That said, unless you understand both the history, culture and deep, deep understanding of the original language it can be confusing. Oftentimes, there are no true translation equivalents for the language. Much less, if the translations are of translations and so on. Translated by man. Can't blame God for when man has erred.

Silly example in real life-theres ONE word in Spanish that means "man who wears sandals". To me, a non native speaker, that really has little meaning, except for a very descriptive specific word. But to a native speaker, the slang means," a man who only has daughters" and it is considered a bit derogatory. Go figure. So if I'm translating from Spanish to English only knowing the language, it's a completely different story. Add in translations hundreds of years later, and well, you get the idea.

So, what could The Word have meant to someone living in those times? Not one to condone a stone thrown. It is atrocious. But back then, what she was accused of was considered atrocious, too. --107.77.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Mar 17, 2018 7:26 AM

This might not be what Sid has asked. I encountered Christianity when my older daughter was born and she is in high school now..

I might be those what Sid described "Sunday Christian" (plus 15 minutes of bible reading every morning). I do believe everything in the Bible, but, I am constantly struggling with Matthew 19:16 (the parable about rich young man and his wealth) and Matthew 13:3-8, parable of sower.

Did my seed fall among thorns ? Where is the crop if it fell on good soil?

On top of that, if we truly follow through, why do we worry about financial freedom? didn't He say "do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth" and "do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink.... "

....... --71.232.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Steve [NY]) Posted on: Mar 17, 2018 4:24 PM

Interesting that people will interpret the bible to what suits them,..ie Mother Theresa gave about everything she had to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tender to the sick etc. Other people are SURE that God has TOLD them to prosper wealth wise.

Believe everything in the bible? which bible? Coptic bible alone has some quite different accounts of early Christianity.

The Roman emperor Constantine paid religious leaders of his time to include canon he liked. Then church leaders gathered at the council of Nicacea to vote the "word of god" into existence.Inspected,approved and paid for by Constantine, further refined by the Council of Trent voted by other men.

Actually Hawking seemed to believe in Deism,..anyway to say "he obviously didn't know everything" is of course true. (like he probably wouldn't be a good landlord unless he learned things from guys like us)

But he certainly did spend a LOT more time on pondering god and the universe by far than any of us landlords,..

(If you find peace and comfort in whatever bible you want to believe in, then be happy with that.)


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2018 6:58 AM

Free Will,

and you can believe what you wanna believe. --47.35.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Ned [MA]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2018 11:17 AM

Free Will?


"So the all knowing god already knows that who is created is going to be good or bad, thus who will go to heaven or hell. (giving the oft preacher explanation of he gave us free will doesn't work,..)" --96.236.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2018 2:18 PM

Ned, He knows, but not you or me.. It is free will and good or bad, you won't know until the moment comes.. so, again, you choose what you believe or not..

Sid is stimulating an interesting conversation, chime in how you chose to believe or not to believe, no need to point out why the other's belief is right or wrong.. there is no definitive answer, otherwise, we won't be talking about it. --71.232.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Steve [NY]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2018 4:24 PM

Elloit,.OK we are trying to understand. What good is free will if in the long run if god knows you are going to heaven or hell? This seems totally illogical to me. Why create a Hitler or Stalin or any bad guy knowing what he will do in the future? Yes THEY had free will that ultimately killed 100 million people.

So you believe that if someone rejects god, that person will go to hell to burn in fire for all eternity? We don't have the slightest brain capacity to imagine what eternity is,..(say a billion billion years and you don't put the slightest dent in this sentence) doesn't sound like a compassionate deity to me. (This seemed to be intimated here concerning Mr Hawking)

So babies that are not baptized go where? I believe Limbo has been rescinded, something thought up by man anyway. There has been a lot of talk from a number of top theologians about the existence of a devil.

Seems like some here want you to respect their beliefs, unless that belief includes being an atheist or agnostic.

Just tryin to understand. --66.30.xx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Amy [MO]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2018 4:45 PM

We aren't God, so how can we understand something so complex anyway? Man has muddled this so far as it is, "trying to understand." Scholars, scientists, theologians have spent entire lives searching to understand. Maybe its been completely revealed to us, and we don't know how to interpret it. It could scare us if we were to understand in His infinity...

We are too small. This universe is so vast and wide. How can we dare to say NOTHING created this? We don't even know the extent of our Milky Way and we want to say there is NOTHING? Even Stephen Hawking in his worldly "intelligence" still didn't know for sure. (Rest In Peace) It's his belief, not a truth. --136.32.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 5:47 AM

Hi again....thank you to everyone who participated in this talk. I believe we stayed generally civil, which proves that people of good will CAN discuss religion (not sure about politics) when our desire is to learn and understand.

I learned a lot reading the different responses, and I hope most of you did too. Some of the big questions were raised, discussed, and ultimately I think that's good, even if we didn't "resolve" anything.

One thing I'll add and then I intend to bow out of this conversation... I've thought many times about some of the questions raised here: "why do bad things happen to good people"... "if God is all powerful and all knowing, why is it 'fair' that people go to Hell", etc. All topics that require thoughtful discussion and for which we simply don't have the time/space to get into here.

My original intent was for us all to think about our "WHY." I feel like we succeeded overall. The only ones who may not have succeeded are those who decided not to think about their why but responded with a jab at something they didn't like. I encourage those folks to return to the the OP at the top, read again, and think some more.

Maybe we can "round table" with some folks offline at the Convention, after the "legit" land lord discussion wrap up for the evening. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 6:18 AM

I attend a Freethought church, for atheists and agnostics. Frequent themes of our services are service to others and moral and ethical questions. We attend these services largely because these topics concern our community just as they do Christians...and yet to hear Christians talk about us, we couldn't possibly be interested in these things because we're all about living for ourselves. --75.142.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 8:09 AM

I agree with Ned -- to suggest that God was "clear" about what happens to a person like Hawking is a stretch, at best.

This is especially true with a statement such as "I will deny those who deny me." Many would argue that that sort of concept is referring only to those that have had a sure witness of God and THEN denied him.

It would not apply to someone that just happens to be an atheist and doesn't believe in God. That isn't the "denial" that many would apply to that sort of statement -- because the person never had a real witness of God or "knew" that he existed.

In other words, I think we should be very careful before announcing that God was "clear" about something like this. It is very much NOT "clear" to many what happens to non-believers in the afterlife.

- John...


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 8:51 AM

Well, intentions be darned sometimes!

Kit and John both posted some more interesting information/thoughts, and I am interested in keeping the dialogue going for now...

First to Kit. Thank you for posting. I did not realize there was such a think as an atheist/agnostic "church", so I appreciate you educating me on that. Second, I am sure you are not pleased to be "painted" with a broad brush. You comment "Christians talk about us, we couldn't possibly be interested in these things because we're all about living for ourselves." tells me this is true. May I humbly suggest that not all "Christians" feel this way. I do not believe I have painted you or any other non-Christians this way, for example, and I am friends with many other Christians would likewise would not say that all atheists or agnostics are only interested in themselves. So would it be fair to you and fair to me if we avoid using the phrases "Atheists do this..." and "Christians do that..."? I assure you I dislike the broad brush painting as much as anyone. That's why instead of painting anyone, I asked "What is your WHY?" Why are atheists/agnostics in your church interested in your community? For what reason do you gather to discuss some of the same issues my fellow Christians and I do? What is Kit's WHY? I am sure it is different from other people's WHY. I am eager to learn your reasons for why you do what you do.

John, agreed. There are some teachings in which the Bible is very clear, once you read it all. For example, that man is by nature a fallen, sinful creature who cannot stand in the presence of a Holy God, and that the only reason we can stand is due to the work of Christ Jesus. That much is "clear", and it is the foundation upon which Christianity is based.

Otherwise, in many other circumstances I am sure you will agree that cherry picking verses often leads to wrong conclusions, just like if we picked up a 1000 page technical manual on a nuclear missile, read a half paragraph out of Chapter 23, then used that as a proof text to cite that nuclear missiles are not dangerous at all (or that they are inherently dangerous).

I will take the example you gave about God denying those who deny him. First, I don't KNOW for a fact who had denied God, other than by observation (seeing, hearing). Then again, I also cannot know if someone confesses God except by seeing, hearing, reading their works/words. I also do not know if they are lying. So the "best guess" I have is by looking at their life and seeing if they are living in a way that would lead me to suspect they are genuine in their faith.

Here is a neat thought about denying God. The now often venerated St. Peter "denied" Jesus 3x just before he was crucified. Jesus even predicted the denial. "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times..." So what happened to Peter? He became one of the most staunce Christians ever. Jesus said to him, "You are Peter (Petra, meaning "rock"), and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."

But what about the deny me, I deny you?

Again, this is a rare event. I do not recall anywhere in Scripture beyond this one story of Peter where a denial and reversal came about so dramatically. So it's not something I would tell people to imitate. I believe God's word that there is great danger in denying God, because it is clear there is only one way to be saved (yes, this is a clear teaching), and that is faith in Jesus Christ.

So what about Mr. Hawking? What about Sid[MO]? I don't know if Mr. Hawking didn't change his mind or if he stayed firm in his denial until his last breath. I've already cited a prime example of where--in a rare occurrence--someone did repent at the last possible minute and was saved (the thief on the Cross). While I fully respect my brother Brad and his knowledge of Scripture, I'm not ready to agree with him that we know for certain what happened to Mr. Hawking. The only thing I know for certain is that my God is powerful enough to save him if it was his will to do so. The Bible says God doesn't want anyone to perish, NOT EVEN THE WICKED....

If God wanted Stephen Hawking to be saved, then he wants me too. He wants everyone, and I take him at his word. That, to me, is comforting.

All the Best!

. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 9:47 AM

Sid, I can't speak for every atheist's motivations, but I think it's natural to want to improve the world that we live in. When I don't believe in an afterlife (which is not the same thing as saying that I think it's an impossibility), then it makes this life more precious because it's all I'm likely to get. I don't believe my misdeeds can be washed away in an afterlife by the forgiveness of a deity, so I'm motivated by the expectation that the only part of me that will be left is the effect I have had on others. Even though I don't think my deeds will have any effect on me after death, as I go about this life, I'd prefer to think that my life as a whole has been something positive rather than something negative, and I'd prefer that my life have significance beyond immediate pleasures. Some of my fellow church members have expressed a belief in karma, although I don't believe in it because it seems to me that it requires a supernatural mechanism. However, a friend in the church says it's not so much the universe or a deity punishing or rewarding deeds, as other people recognizing others' deeds and enacting the rewards or punishments of good or bad karma. We also have a number of people interested in philosophy, who may be inspired and motivated that way. --172.56.x.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 10:15 AM

Also, I think people rationally realize that they are more likely to enjoy the benefits of a kind and caring community in their hour of need if they help to create that community. Last August an elderly church member was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and lots of church members stepped forward to visit him and help him, especially since we knew he was estranged from his children. We were his financial and medical POAs, and he had multiple visits daily in hospice. After he died, a veterans group attended his interment, and in spite of being provided the obit that I co-wrote which identified my friend and his community as atheists, their chaplain decided to come up to the podium to talk about him, promote his own beliefs in God, and say my friend just might get into heaven anyhow. It was incredibly offensive for us who were by his side for months to have someone who wasn't there attempt to religify his death to us. --172.56.x.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 10:15 AM

Kit, thanks for taking the time to respond again. I wouldn't want you to speak for every atheist's motivation. I want to know your WHY, no one elses'.

I think much of our life is spent asking "WHY", even when we aren't aware we are asking formally.

I have read your answer twice, thought about it, and I have some follow up questions, if you would be so kind as to indulge my search for understanding.

You have a desire for your life to remembered as a positive. What is your definitions of "as a positive?" Let me give an illustration to frame the context.

In ancient Greece, the height of Spartan society was a man who dedicated his life "to the state" via military service. The upper caste of 10,000 or so citizen/soldiers spent their lives from the age of 7 onward training to die gloriously in battle, after having sired the next generation of warriors. This is why they had compulsory marriage laws. Women existed to bear and raise the next generation of warriors. Amazingly, this granted Spartan women a level of equality with men that would not be approached until much later in most Western civilizations. This militarized culture was celebrated to the nth degree and was the most "positive way" a person could be known in life or the afterlife. To live, bear children, literally bathe in the blood of one's slaughtered, and repeat the cycle. This was the highest positive a person could hope to achieve in ancient Sparta.

They were not unique in their ways: ancient Rome and many ancient Norse cultures also celebrates a life of heroic military venture and service "to the state or tribe" as the ultimate positive. I only pick on the Spartans because theirs was a highly effective but ultimately short-lived society that few modern audiences admire today, other than to study. What was once a very positive image, today is a horror to many.

Now....with that rather un-modern concept of glory and "positive" in the background what do you say about the Spartans? Did they impact people for the positive, the negative, or does it even matter since we "don't do things that way any more" (in early 21st Century North American polite society)?

What I'm getting at is, is there a universal "positive" that applies to all people throughout time? If not, how can you be sure what you do today will be a positive even by the time your life ends, much less 10, 100, or a 1000 years from today?

This is not a trap...merely seeking understanding.

To be fair, I share my view on this topic briefly. I do believe there is a universal, timeless "positive" (or good or morality, however you like to call it). And I believe the Spartans, for all their glory and striving, were absolutely wrong in their acts and cultural norms that exalted a military culture above all else, and further I believe this is wrong for all time and in all places, regardless of culture, society, and norms. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 10:18 AM

I see we posted replies at the same time.... I am glad to hear you have a strong community of support. Such is the goal of our Church too. And I am glad a pastor/minister spoke to you about you friend. I don't seek to "religify" anyone, and my apologies if it comes across this way. I seek to understand as much as possible, which is why I ask a lot of questions. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 10:30 AM

Sid: Agreed regarding most of what you wrote in response to me. My point was simply that many things are not "clear" -- and I would add that that is the case even for scholars and experts that HAVE read the scriptures in their entirety several times.

I think there are some things that we just don't have the answer to. I think what happens when we die is one of those things. Heck, I'm not even convinced that people have to have accepted Jesus before the end of this life. Maybe they get a chance at some point AFTER death here.

I'll go to the easy example: Someone living in a remote tribe somewhere that has never even heard of Jesus Christ. Or, sure, maybe they heard of him once from a Christian Missionary that went hiking through one day, but that was it. They instead believe the words of their fathers that they have been taught their entire lives and deny that the Jesus Christ the Wandering Missionary spoke of even exists.

When they die, I tend to believe that they are not forever "denied" by Christ. I believe that they are given a chance one day -- even after death -- to make a proper decision once they have the same information that others were provided while in this life.

That is why I continue to believe that the "I will deny those who deny me" requires context -- that the concept instead refers to those who accepted Christ with a knowledge that He is their Savior -- and then later denied him (without repenting like Peter).

I would argue that a man like Hawking does not fit that context. That he can't really "deny" Christ because he never had a proper knowledge nor acceptance of Christ.

Peter, on the other hand, KNEW Christ. He denied even with a real knowledge of Christ as his Savior. THAT is denying Christ. I don't think atheists are "denying Christ" in the context required -- because they never had the acceptance to start with.

That's just my opinion, of course.

- John...


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 11:07 AM

Very interesting questions, John, some of which I am not qualified to answer. I agree that clarity sometimes lacks, but this is one area I think we do have to be clear on.

Lack of belief in (saving faith in) Christ Jesus is the one thing that condemns. Jesus says so, "He who doesn't believe is condemned."

This is where I have a hard time understanding people who say "I think Jesus is a nice guy, but I don't believe in Christianity."

Wait....so someone thinks Jesus is a nice guy when he JUST SAID he was actually the Son of the one true (and only) God, and that people who don't believe in him are condemned. WOAH! That makes NO SENSE! He's either the son of God who tells the truth and those who don't believe in him are doomed, or he's wacko who falsely claims to be a god and says people who don't believe in him are destined for destruction when nothing of the sort is really true.

Nice guys don't go around claiming to be deities and condemning people falsely.

In short, I reject the "nice guy, but not god" version of Jesus that some folks try to invent. He doesn't exist anywhere in the Bible. He is abundantly clear that he is the one way to the Father.

So back to your tribesmen in deepest, darkest jungles...what happens to them? That I don't know. What happens to a child in the United States who is raised to believe that Christianity is a bunch of baloney and never hears from anyone to the contrary? These are both good reasons to witness a true faith to the ends of the Earth, inasmuch as everyone is called to be a witness in their daily life and some are called to be missionaries.

I like the way some translations render the Great Commission at the end of Mark; the ISV says it this way, "As you go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to everyone."

That means I am called to proclaim the Gospel to everyone I meet, today, tomorrow, every day. Implicitly by the way I live, for starters, but also explicitly as the opportunity permits. It's my "WHY." --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 12:39 PM

Sid, I don't think a militaristic society such as the Spartans is especially positive, but I am unwilling to view it as strictly negative either. In particular, Spartan women were treated better than in neighboring cultures, being educated and having property rights and not marrying as young. Furthermore, if I lived in circumstances where those I loved were at risk of being killed or hurt by other nation states' militaries, then it would be a positive thing for me to use my capabilities to protect them, even joining my nation's military if need be. I'm unwilling to pass judgement on every Spartan who participated in that society because I have no way of knowing that each one desired personal or patriotic glory over their enemies' bodies more than the security of their own families. Furthermore, our own culture tends to view military service positively as being both selfless and patriotic, and I don't think it's completely fair to condemn another society without examining our own similarities. If I were to view Sparta entirely negatively, then it would feel like a contradiction not to also view all our service members as people who desire to become murderers.

Overall, it would be nice if everyone in the world saw my life as positive after I was gone, but I'm less concerned with everyone's views on that than if I think I realistically changed the world for the better, and maybe especially in regard to how the world will affect my loved ones. I used to attend Baptist and Methodist churches as a child, and I do think some of the stories we were taught as children were initially responsible for establishing a baseline view of "positive", but in many cases I have come to reject things I were initially told, some sooner than others. Defining what is positive and negative is a lifetime journey, as I continually learn more about the world around me and incorporate it into my understanding. Last year I would have said driving a car was a neutral activity, but this year I drive an all-electric car because I see reduced emissions as more positive. --172.56.x.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 1:22 PM

not sure how a LL personal beliefs are a topic on a LL board (?) --104.218.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 1:34 PM

Kit, thank you for the answers. I believe I understand where you're coming from now, even if we don't see eye-to-eye. You gave the Spartans less criticism than many would, given the historically verifiable history of their aggression toward neighbors, but that's a matter for philosophers to debate. I was curious if you had a universal position on morality/good/what is a positive, and the answer I saw was "not really." If I read you wrong, correct me, please. Btw, I have to thank you for your reduced emissions that help counteract my wife's SUV (Dodge Durango, 8 cylinder hemi, 12 mpg).

Pmh....hence the "OT" warning to save you some time...and yet it's not OT really. What is your "WHY?" --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by pmh [TX]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 1:53 PM

is obvious Sid you have little knowledge of Spartan mores nor of how societies were at that time. irrelevant if “OT”...this is a LL business board. On side note one of our favorite vehicles was 2004 Durango...sold it to get the Juke after kids got kicked out to go to university. lol. --104.218.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 5:07 PM

pmh, sometimes our personal belief might be in clash with landlord business (I am still struggling even between the two). so, it is all good discussing how to fix a furnace/appliance, at the same time, I do appreciate it once a while to have in depth discussion of various subject, including our belief or non-belief. :) --71.232.xxx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Bill [KY]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 3:36 AM

Sid, I struggle with my Christian faith at times...I struggle with the notion that had I been born in a Muslim country I’d be a Muslim...you only know what you know, what you were exposed to by your parents...just like the college football team you root for...if you are born one state over, guess what, youre the #1 fan of that team you currently despise. I am completely blown away by the universe we inhabit....the tide goes in, the tide goes out. The sun goes up, the sun goes down. Rain, sun, bountiful harvests. Yet, I open the Bible and read a Deuteronomy passage about stoning your rebellious child and I question what faith I’m following. Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of the Bible including America’s pastors and they truly don’t know anything more than the rest of us. I struggle with the reality that the Bible is often used to push a loving agenda but the uncomfortable passages are overlooked or disregarded...you can’t just believe the parts only you want to believe or the passages that are convenient to your message. Would love to hear thoughts & comments. Thx for posting Sid --24.26.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Bill [KY]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 3:43 AM

And can I ask what happens in the afterlife with a spouse who remarries after their spouse passes on? You always hear the cliche responses about the afterlife...”they are looking down on us from heaven, I can’t wait to see them again one day, etc.”. I do hope that is true b/c it provides hope for so many that struggle with terrible loss...the parent that loses a child, GOD I hope their is another opportunity for them to reunite. But for those that lose a spouse and remarry, I doubt the loving partner wants to oversee his/her partner with another man/woman...that question has always troubled me. --24.26.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 5:31 AM

Bill/KY, that is what bothers many of us who don't believe that the Bible is the word of God, but only of various men of varying opinions at various times: one MUST cherry-pick what one believes from it, because it is not possible to believe it all, as it contradicts itself over and over.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 6:14 AM

@Bill, I hear what you're saying. There are "difficult passages" when I read and try to use a human understanding of my small slice of all eternity as the filter thru which to process everything. I can tell you a few things that I know which will sound painful to folks who don't believe....

The "harsh" penalties of Deuteronomy: God wanted his people to be "set apart" from the world. This meant repudiation of the common practices in the people around them to a much greater degree than any burden laid on the NT church. These ceremonial and societal laws were for ancient Israel, not the NT church. How can I be so sure?

Remember what happened Good Friday. The curtain in the temple was torn in two pieces....God an Man were reconciled by the blood of Christ. He fulfilled the Law on our behalf. The old ceremonial and social law was repealed in that moment in history. The Law of the Commandments remain. He said so, remember? "For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" Matt 5:18.

I reject, firmly, the "gotta cherry pick to believe it" thought. That is a typical gripe from those who have already decided they aren't going to believe. I have no desire to argue with people who are already convinced it is wrong. If someone is interested in learning and understanding, I will spend however much time and effort is required to help them learn and understand.

Regarding death and re-marriage: read Matthew 22:23-32. Jesus takes care of a faulty understanding that's over 2000 years old.

Marriage is "Until death parts"....once you or your spouse dies, the marriage is done. Remarriage is not only an option, but also it is encouraged. "It is not good for mankind to be alone..." God created for us a community in marriage. It makes me sad to see so many widows/widowers who feel they cannot should not remarry because it would be "unfaithful" to their deceased spouse. Not true. God once again knows what is best for us, and serving one another in the community of a marriage is a wonderful thing. Does everyone "need" to remarry? No, but it's a perfectly awesome option to explore, and I think we'd see a lot fewer problems with lonely/broke senior citizens if more people pursued this.

Regarding people "looking down from heaven." It's a well-meaning thought, but nothing in the Bible says this is how it works or doesn't work. I think some well-meaning people try to use this phase to comfort the living somehow. I find nothing in the Bible to support this view, however. When I know of a person who dies in faith, I am comforted that Christ has taken them away from the cares of this world, and I am comforted that I will see them again, in the body, with my own eyes. Job Chapter 19 reminds us that we will see God "in our own flesh" and our brothers and sisters in the faith as well. No hocus-pocus or ghosts milling around. Actual living bodies, perfected, healed, whole. The way we were created in the beginning.

The bodily resurrection is one of the great comforts and joys that Christians have to look forward to!

@WMH, please let us still be friends, but the Bible is not "full on contradictions." Nor do honest Christians "cherry pick" the Bible so that we can believe the whole thing. That said, I do sometimes struggle with some very difficult teachings. And yet I am hopeful and joyful to say I believe the entire Bible, 100%. The purpose behind this post is discussing your WHY. If you would like to discuss challenging issues offline, I'll happily speak with you offline. You will learn some of the issues I struggle with as well and see how/why it all still makes sense. If not interested, let's still be friends and get back to the topic of what your WHY is. --173.17.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 3:16 PM

I run a rental business Sid. not a touchy feely personal feelings business. As you should. reminds me of the sign “in god we trust. everyone else pays cash” was Hawking a leading light. absolutely. he will be interred near Newton. did he have all the answers ? absolutely not. because there are and will be thinkers who keep pushing what we don’t know about what we are in the bigger scheme of things. there are more stars in the universe than grains of sands on all the beaches in the world. forms of water has been found on the moon, on mars and detected on other celestial bodies. water is what is needed for the form of life we know. but we don’t know yet what other forms of life there are. We are not the only forms of life in the endless universe. regardless of personal beliefs it may be best to keep posts here confined to LL concerns and not espouse personal beliefs..such as yours & mine....we are running a business here on planet earth... --104.218.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 5:39 PM

SID, I'm your friend. I have MANY family and friends who are believers and they are not stupid people so I'm not calling Christians stupid.

I'd love to have a civil, calm, reasoned discussion about this sometime.

One of my dearest friends in life is Mormon, so you KNOW we have some discussion...and yet, 20-30 years later, we are still best friends.

My brother is a TOTALLY commited Catholic.

I regularly have committed Christians come spend some summer time with us here at the beach and let me tell you, the late night on the deck discussions over the water are compelling! None of us are...mean...to each other. I'm not sure any of us have changed anyone's mind, but we have a helluva good time discussing in the meantime.


OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Bill [KY]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 6:06 PM

Thx again for posting and replies. I know the replies steered off topic (mine included) but it was a great thread to ponder. --24.26.xx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Steve [NY]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 2:35 PM

I see that no one has elected to comment on my last post.

"That means I am called to proclaim the Gospel to everyone I meet, today, tomorrow, every day. Implicitly by the way I live, for starters, but also explicitly as the opportunity permits. It's my "WHY."

Isn't that what zelot Muslums say? --66.30.xx.xxx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2018 2:12 PM

exactly Steve... --104.218.xxx.xx

OT:Mr Hawking,Life,WHY (by Kit [TX]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2018 10:48 PM

Sid, I also ought to thank your wife for driving that SUV, because her gas purchases include a load of federal and state taxes which pay for the roads and bridges we drive on. Thanks for covering my share. --208.54.xx.xxx

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