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God revisited

india Updated: Nov 29, 2010 23:55 IST
Hindustan Times
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I don’t know how many of you have read The Grand Design --- the latest book by renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. If you have not read it, cheers! We are in the same boat.

I was very eager to read it in one go on a Sunday recently but could not buy it from the bookshop I frequent. My curiosity to read it was so strong that I checked up all possible sites that could feed me enough to make my excitement calm down. Of course, I had read about it in piecemeal in the print media.

The only reason for my heightened curiosity about the book was all that I had read in the print media that Hawking trashes the very idea of the existence of God and that he does not believe in anything that does not stand the test of seeing, touching etc., etc.

After a quick online research, I came to understand that Hawking, like any other sensible person, never claimed that God does not exist. God, according to him,”is the name people give to the reason we are here.

And he thinks that the reason is the laws of physics rather than someone with whom one can have a personal relationship. An impersonal God.”

Besides God, Hawking writes on life, consciousness and death too. On consciousness, he says the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer programme. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. But he believes that, theoretically, it could be recreated on a neural network. But that could be an impossible task as one would require all one’s memories.

In plain words, Hawking, like many of us, feels that on issues like God, it is better to be on the safer side of the fence. It costs one nothing to say: I don’t know. If you ask me, I too would say the same in my saner moments.