The Chief Rabbi takes on Stephen Hawking


By Simon Rocker
September 2, 2010
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The science v religion debate was in full swing in today’s Times with physicist Stephen Hawking arguing that the universe was capable of “spontaneous creation” and therefore God was redundant.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going,” Hawking declared.

But his argument was attacked as a fallacy by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks who pointed out the limits of scientific explanation. “There is more to wisdom than science. It cannot tell us why we are here or how we should live,” he countered.

Lord Sacks also takes on atheism in his annual Rosh Hashanah broadcast, “The Case for God?” which goes out on BBC1 on Monday night at 11.05 pm.

“With religion coming under increasing attack from atheists and sceptics, The Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, goes into the lion’s den, putting his faith publicly on the line by debating with some of the sharpest critics of his faith,” the pre-publicity says.

“ Howard Jacobson believes ritual demeans religion, Alain de Botton doubts that any one faith has the truth, Professor Colin Blakemore thinks science makes religion redundant, and Professor Lisa Jardine questions why God allows evil and suffering in this world.”

COMMENTS

tonylevene

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 19:23

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Because the Chief Rabbi owes his job to religion, he cannot be expected to do other than defend it. Equally, committed atheists such as Richard Dawking cannot be expected to do other than attack religion. This is all futile as those in the middle - those who might be expected to be swerved one way or another - don't actually care either way and so won't be moved.

What remains is a dialogue of the deaf. It would be better if each side respected the other rather than trying to browbeat.
The tragedy is the seeming imperative of the religious and the militantly anti-religious to attempt to convert.
Leave each other alone.
No one knows - it is all a matter of feeling for some and the way they were brought up for others.


Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 20:53

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"The tragedy is the seeming imperative of the religious and the militantly anti-religious to attempt to convert"

That has to be corrected. Jews have never sought to convert anyone.

Militant atheism and Islamism are the two curses of our time. The Dawkins mob seek to abolish faith schools and they hate Israel because it is grounded in a religion. They are crude, aggressive and rude.


telegramsam

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 21:34

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Jonathan complaining about others being crude, aggressive and rude is a bit like the pope complaining that the Tridentine mass is not catholic enough.


telegramsam

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 21:39

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And he meant convert to the other side's point of view, not religion. Since when have you been a defender of the faith, Jonathan? After all holding demos on shabbat is chilul shabbat greater than anything the atheists do.


DLeigh-Ellis

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 22:03

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Sam, much as I may disagree with Jonathan and agree with you (in your first post anyway,) four posts is maybe a new record for going off-topic.

Not everything needs to return to the Ahava demo.


Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 23:08

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Moderators

T-Scum of the UJIA is a cyberstalker

Ban him


telegramsam

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 07:40

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Moderators, is not having a sense of irony a banning offence?


Joshua18

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 23:44

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"Moderators, is not having a sense of irony a banning offence?"

I really do think that the Almighty should have taken it into account when deciding whether your mother should go to term. Perhaps he did and you managed to squeeze into the Goebbels/Streicher category.


Joshua18

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 23:47

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"Because the Chief Rabbi owes his job to religion, he cannot be expected to do other than defend it."

A mad argument and a dangerous one. All you have to do is judge the arguments on their merits.


Jonathan Hoffman

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 05:30

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"holding demos on shabbat is chilul shabbat"

You are one giant hypocrite, T-Scum of the UJIA - you go to football matches on Shabbat.


DLeigh-Ellis

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 11:04

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Jonathan, why do you keep referring to Sam working for the UJIA as some kind of criticism?

Back to the topic, I'm glad we have somebody as articulate and intelligent as Rabbi Sacks to make the case against Dawkins et al.


Anonymous

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 12:32

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