"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Reinventing the Sacred

This week the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking declares that "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing ... It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." This is the publicity machine at work for his latest book, The Grand Design. And I am sure it will sell millions, simply because of who he is, and the "God Factor." In the same way Dawkins' The God Delusion similarly sold millions. But whilst Richard Dawkins' book is written in an easy and lucid style I find Hawking's books rather less easy to follow. Hands up how many of you have read "A Brief History of Time" in full? I bought it in a secondhand book shop but have yet to read it! Whereas reluctantly I have to confess that I found The God Delusion very readable. Use of the English language and matters of style aside, Hawking and Dawkins are both reductionists - all in the universe can be explained - or will be one day - by reducing all matter to the most basic particle and quantum laws of physics.

With wonderful synchronistic irony (?) it so happens that I am reading Reinventing the
Sacred, by Stuart A. Kauffman at the moment. Here is a book by possibly an equally brilliant scientist? (How does one measure brilliance?). Kauffman's thesis is that there is plenty of evidence, which he argues sometimes with clarity, at other times using logic that I find hard to follow, that we cannot reduce everything to the laws of pure physics, to reductionism, where every thing at the end of the day reduces to particles or strings or whatever the physicists say is the ultimate reductionist reality of the moment. But instead of saying per se that there is accordingly no need for a God (or god(s)), Kauffman argues that the God we need and have created in our lives is found in the ceaseless creativity that is all around us and that should command our respect and awe, as being sacred in a new understanding of the term.

I have nearly finished the book and will be posting up a full review soon. Whilst I cannot agree with Kauffman's conclusion as to the nature of God, what I find of greatest interest is the significance, as explained by Kauffman, of his views for the future of our world and how we steer our own evolution for better or worse based on his proposed reinvention of the sacred in our lives. This is an extremely profound book that deserves a wider readership than its Amazon ranking reflects.

I shall doubtless also obtain Hawking's book in due course and report on it. Has any one else beaten me to it - would love to hear views.

No comments:

It's Time you knew - by Transition Rachel at YouTube

Many reasons to love La Gomera



with vapor trails


Total Pageviews