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Thoughts on the Book 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' (Ch. 1)

by Selena Vazquez 3 years ago in book review
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Chapter 1

Front Cover

I believe faith plays a role in this chapter because he is answering the question about whether there is a God or not; evidence is highly important because the author is using scientific evidence to answer the chapter’s question. Imagination is involved because the author asks us to imagine certain situations in order to better understand his answer to the question. Group consensus plays a role because the laws of nature are accepted because of group consensus. Authority is also involved because Hawking is the authority since he is the author of the book; as well as how people see God as an authority figure. Sense perception can also be considered as a way of knowing for this situation because to understand the universe and the laws that govern it we use our different senses. Reason plays a role as well because the author is using logical arguments and scientific laws to answer the question. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with the conclusion he came upon, which is that there is no God. This is because the science Hawking was explaining made sense to me and I agree with the scientific part of it. For example, I believe in evolution even though I was taught that God created all living things. I change my religious beliefs based on new evidence and new proof that we find because I hold science very highly. Thus even though I agree with the science of our universe, I still believe that there is a celestial being out there that is beyond scientific explanation. I believe in this entity not because there is an abundant amount of evidence it does but because I really want it to. I want it to exist because if it does exist then there is high chance heaven and hell exists as well.

The existence of heaven and hell is something I hope is true because of various reasons. First, in perfect heaven I would be able to see my parents, my dogs, and all my family again, which is very comforting to me because I don’t like the idea of never seeing the people (and dogs) I love ever again. As well as the fact that I believe people should get what they deserve. Those who were good in this world deserve to be rewarded and heaven would be that reward. Of course, there is no guarantee heaven is real, but that won’t at all stop me from being a good person and doing the right thing. Just as those that were good deserve a reward, those who were bad deserve to be punished. There are so many disgusting and corrupt people in this world that continuously do bad things and receive no legal punishment, so it is comforting to know that someday they will be punished for the terrible actions they did.

All in all, I still continue to believe in a celestial being and I believe in science just as much. One specific statement that I think is important to note is when Hawking states, “My work is about finding a rational framework to understand the universe around us,” (Hawking 26). This stood out to me because there are certain religious people who believe that finding scientific answers is wrong and that it goes against God, but I do not believe that people should be punished for wanting to find answers using science. Another statement Hawking proclaimed is, “They mean a human-like being, with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe, and how insignificant and accidental human life is in it, that seems most implausible.” These sentences stood out to me as well because people have a very fixed version of what God is and I don’t think they try to look at this being in a different way. As well as how this sentence is another reminder of how insignificant humans really are even though we constantly view ourselves as being the only thing that matters on this planet. Lastly, Hawking clarifies, “Time didn’t exist before the Big Bang so there is no time for God to make the universe in.” This statement stood out to me because it made me questions my beliefs and allowed me to explore another perspective. Overall, I highly enjoyed this chapter and I love to continuously question my beliefs in order to never be ignorant or close-minded.

book review

About the author

Selena Vazquez

She/Her/Hers-Fandoms-Books-Movies-TV shows-Intersectional Feminist-Slytherin-Aquarius- Just an IB student trying to get CAS hours-

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