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Stephen Hawking is Wrong. Church is a Defender of Life, Science and the Person
http://www.catholic.or/national/national_story.php?id=36894 ^ | June 10,2010 | Deacon Keith Fournier

Posted on 06/14/2010 6:20:05 PM PDT by stfassisi

Hawkings view of the insignificance of the human person is sad. His error concerning how the Church views the relationship between faith, science and reason is just plain wrong. It is one more example of the continual drumbeat against the Catholic Church in an increasingly hostile culture. What is needed are well formed Catholics who can learn how to defend the truth. Pope Benedict XVI and Stephen Hawkings.

NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking was in New York this past week to be honored by the World Science Festival. He gave an interview to Dianne Sawyer of ABC News. He posited his personal opinions that human life is "insignificant in the universe" and that there is an adversarial relationship between science and religion. He told Sawyer "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."

First out of the gate to defend the Church was New York's "pugilist with words", the President of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue. He responded: "How any rational person could belittle the pivotal role that human life plays in the universe is a wonder, but it is just as silly to say that all religions are marked by the absence of reason. While there are some religions which are devoid of reason, there are others, such as Roman Catholicism, which have long assigned it a special place.

"It was the Catholic Church that created the first universities, and it was the Catholic Church that played a central role in the Scientific Revolution; these two historical contributions made possible Mr. Hawking's career.

"Reason, in pursuit of truth, has been reiterated by the Church fathers for nearly two millennia. That is why Hawking posits a false conflict: in the annals of the Catholic Church, there is no inherent conflict between science and religion. Quite the contrary: science and religion, in Catholic thought, are complementary properties. Ergo, nothing is gained by alleging a "victory" of science over religion.

"Religion without reason, Pope Benedict XVI instructed us in his Regensburg address in 2006, leads to fanaticism. That much Hawking seems to understand. What he doesn't get is its contra: science without faith also leads to disaster-the genocidal regimes in Germany, the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia being Exhibits A, B, C and D."

A Letter of the Venerable John Paul II set forth the proper relationship between Faith and Reason, "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth-in a word, to know himself-so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves." (Fides et Ratio, Faith and Reason)

Hawkings view of the insignificance of the human person is sad. His error concerning how the Church views the relationship between faith, science and reason is just plain wrong. It is one more example of the continual drumbeat against the Catholic Church in an increasingly hostile culture, based on misinformation. One example of this kind of misinformation is the often repeated claim that the Catholic Church opposes "Stem Cell Research." The Church opposes deadly stem cell research such as research done on human embryos which always results in taking the life of the embryonic human person. It is immoral to take innocent human life even if one can then use parts of the human person who has been killed to develop a potential cure for another. The end can never justify the means.

The Church enthusiastically supports research on Adult Stem Cells and cells derived from fetal cord blood. Neither type of stem cell research takes innocent human life. They also show tremendous scientific promise. A spokesman for the Vatican recently made known their strong support for the research being conducted at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine using adult stem cells.

The Catholic Church insists that the human person is indeed significant in the universe. In 2008 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith in the Catholic Church issued an instruction on the "Dignity of the Human Person." It began with these words "The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death. This fundamental principle expresses a great "yes" to human life and must be at the center of ethical reflection on biomedical research, which has an ever greater importance in today's world".

The instruction offered "a word of support and encouragement for the perspective on culture which considers science an invaluable service to the integral good of the life and dignity of every human being. The Church therefore views scientific research with hope and desires that many Christians will dedicate themselves to the progress of biomedicine and will bear witness to their faith in this field. She hopes moreover that the results of such research may also be made available in areas of the world that are poor and afflicted by disease, so that those who are most in need will receive humanitarian assistance".

Following the release of the instruction the Press was filled with reports concerning its content. A few accurately described it and affirmed its significance. Others passed on the caricatures of the Catholic Church such as what Hawkings said to Sawyer in this ABC interview. When I read professor Hawkings comments I felt compelled to again encourage all Catholics to read this teaching document. It is a "doctrinal" statement of the ordinary magisterium (teaching office) and must be given the full assent of our intellect and will. However, it was addressed not only to Catholics, other Christians or even just people of faith, it is addressed to "all who seek the truth". It presents the truth by drawing upon the "light both of reason and faith and seeks to set forth an integral vision of man and his vocation".

The Church does not discourage progress in biomedicine, it encourages it. However, the human person is never an "it" - but an "I" - some-one who must never be treated as an object. "The body of a human being, from the very first stages of its existence, can never be reduced merely to a group of cells. The embryonic human body develops progressively according to a well defined program with its proper finality, as is apparent in the birth of every baby."

The insistence upon this framework for evaluating biomedicine is revealed in the Natural Law; the fundamental human right to life and the dignity of human persons. This right is knowable by and binding upon all men and women and is not simply a "religious" construct. Footnote 7 within the document cites Pope Benedict XVI's presentation to the United Nations in April of 2008 which summarizes this point well:

"Human rights.in particular the right to life of every human being "are based on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations. Removing human rights from this context would mean restricting their range and yielding to a relativistic conception, according to which the meaning and interpretation of rights could vary and their universality would be denied in the name of different cultural, political, social and even religious outlooks. This great variety of viewpoints must not be allowed to obscure the fact that not only rights are universal, but so too is the human person, the subject of those rights"

I am deeply grateful for the Catholic Church, Defender of Life and Promoter of Science at the Service of the Person. What is needed are well formed Catholics who can learn how to defend the truth presented by the Church to an age which has lost its common sense, reason and moral compass. We need to read what our Church teaches and be ready to contend for the culture.


TOPICS: Catholic
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What is needed are well formed Catholics who can learn how to defend the truth presented by the Church to an age which has lost its common sense, reason and moral compass. We need to read what our Church teaches and be ready to contend for the culture.
1 posted on 06/14/2010 6:20:05 PM PDT by stfassisi
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To: stfassisi

hugh ross has great creation videos!


2 posted on 06/14/2010 6:21:13 PM PDT by ken21 (i am not voting for a rino-progressive.)
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To: AveMaria1; Friar Roderic Mary; fr maximilian mary; Kolokotronis; Carolina; sandyeggo; Salvation; ...
"Religion without reason, Pope Benedict XVI instructed us in his Regensburg address in 2006, leads to fanaticism. That much Hawking seems to understand. What he doesn't get is its contra: science without faith also leads to disaster-the genocidal regimes in Germany, the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia being Exhibits A, B, C and D."
3 posted on 06/14/2010 6:22:01 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: All
Corrected link to article..
http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=36894&page=2
4 posted on 06/14/2010 6:23:58 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: stfassisi

Hawking is deluded & doesn’t realize that God wins...He created science.


5 posted on 06/14/2010 6:30:39 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: stfassisi

So, you’re another one of those “conservative” Catholics who have eviscerated the Bible because scientists don’t believe in miracles?


6 posted on 06/14/2010 6:33:08 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Veyiqchu 'eleykha farah 'adummah temimah 'asher 'ein-bah mum, 'asher lo'-`alah `aleyha `ol.)
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To: stfassisi

“Hawkings view of the insignificance of the human person is sad. His error concerning how the Church views the relationship between faith, science and reason is just plain wrong. It is one more example of the continual drumbeat against the Catholic Church in an increasingly hostile culture.

“[Hawkins] posited his personal opinions that human life is “insignificant in the universe” and that there is an adversarial relationship between science and religion. He told Sawyer “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”


Alright, what does the author know that he failed document or quote? Or what did I fail to see?

I can’t find any reference Hawkins made to the Catholic Church.

Although Hawkins is wrong, how do his words translate into “one more example of the continual drumbeat against the Catholic Church . . .” ???

Did Hawkins ever refer specifically to the Catholic Church in the interview?


7 posted on 06/14/2010 6:38:41 PM PDT by John Leland 1789 (Grateful)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
So, you’re another one of those “conservative” Catholics who have eviscerated the Bible because scientists don’t believe in miracles?

What on earth are you talking about,dear friend!I receive Christ in the Eucharist practically every day and the Eucharist is a miracle

How have you been ,dear friend? I have not heard for some time .I don't post too much these days and spend more time in prayer

8 posted on 06/14/2010 6:48:35 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: John Leland 1789

he must have meant Jones “Church” riiiight?


9 posted on 06/14/2010 6:49:41 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian (fffffFRrrreeeeepppeeee-ssed!)
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To: John Leland 1789

Hawkings has said all sorts of things against the Church for some time now. Look harder,I’m sure you find them.


10 posted on 06/14/2010 6:55:33 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: stfassisi
What on earth are you talking about,dear friend!I receive Christ in the Eucharist practically every day and the Eucharist is a miracle

Then why are the first eleven chapters of Genesis "mythology?"

11 posted on 06/14/2010 7:02:33 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Veyiqchu 'eleykha farah 'adummah temimah 'asher 'ein-bah mum, 'asher lo'-`alah `aleyha `ol.)
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To: stfassisi

“Hawkings has said all sorts of things against the Church for some time now. Look harder,I’m sure you find them.”


In the posted article? Or do I now have to become a researcher into Steven Hawkins’ background.

Where IN THE ARTICLE did he say anything speciifically about the Catholic Church?

The interview he gave was with Dianne Sawyer, NOT with a Catholic newspaper.


12 posted on 06/14/2010 7:08:46 PM PDT by John Leland 1789 (Grateful)
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To: Leo Carpathian

Who is “Jones,” and what is “Jones Church?”

Hawkins is an idiot. But since this interview was not with a Catholic paper, he could have been talking about Daoism for all anyone knows.


13 posted on 06/14/2010 7:11:23 PM PDT by John Leland 1789 (Grateful)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Then why are the first eleven chapters of Genesis “mythology

they aren’t, but then again, they are not a historical record of what happened.....did God create the universe in 6 of our days, probably not, in six of His days, maybe so....there is little if any comparison.


14 posted on 06/14/2010 7:50:21 PM PDT by terycarl (4)
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To: terycarl
Then why are the first eleven chapters of Genesis “mythology

they aren’t, but then again, they are not a historical record of what happened.....did God create the universe in 6 of our days, probably not, in six of His days, maybe so....there is little if any comparison.

You've just disposed of Chapter 1, but what about Chapters 2-11? Are Cain and Abel mere "religious symbols?" Was Noach's Flood adapted from Enuma Elish? Were all the people mentioned in those chapters mythological or fictional characters?

When I talk about evolutionism I mean a whole lot more than "how long were the six days?"

15 posted on 06/14/2010 8:17:16 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Veyiqchu 'eleykha farah 'adummah temimah 'asher 'ein-bah mum, 'asher lo'-`alah `aleyha `ol.)
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To: ken21
hugh ross has great creation videos!

Hugh Ross is not a Creationist.

OEC is not Creationism. Creationism is belief in the literal six days. OEC is one foot in the world, one foot in the Truth aka "the double minded man", and comes in several flavors of heresy: Day-Age, Progressive, and Gap. In each case, they reject the clear teaching of Scripture, mock God's Glory and deconstruct the Doctines of Redemption by trivializing Sin.

He doesn't believe Genesis 1-11, Nor does he believe the Ten Commandments, particularly Exodus 20:7.

He is a likeable fellow, persuasive, and might very well have entertaining videos, yet he is horribly wrong and is steering people into a path of unwarranted compromise and doctrinal error.

16 posted on 06/14/2010 9:22:56 PM PDT by The Theophilus
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To: The Theophilus

yes.


17 posted on 06/14/2010 9:33:30 PM PDT by ken21 (i am not voting for a rino-progressive.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
So, you’re another one of those “conservative” Catholics who have eviscerated the Bible because scientists don’t believe in miracles?

The more we learn about the universe (or this universe) the more impressive is God's work, the fact that we are here IS a miracle how so many things had to fall in place just right for life to even be possible.

And of course as sfassi wrote, we Catholics witness a miracle at each and every mass, to be in the prescence of the living God Jesus.
18 posted on 06/14/2010 10:22:48 PM PDT by battousai (Conservatives are racist? YES, I hate stupid white liberals.)
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To: battousai
The more we learn about the universe (or this universe) the more impressive is God's work, the fact that we are here IS a miracle how so many things had to fall in place just right for life to even be possible.

And of course as sfassi wrote, we Catholics witness a miracle at each and every mass, to be in the prescence of the living God Jesus.

Then why do you Catholics consider the first eleven chapters of Genesis to be mythology?

19 posted on 06/15/2010 6:56:25 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Veyiqchu 'eleykha farah 'adummah temimah 'asher 'ein-bah mum, 'asher lo'-`alah `aleyha `ol.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
Then why do you Catholics consider the first eleven chapters of Genesis to be mythology?

Certainly not mythology, but also not the literal explanation of what happened. Certainly God created the universe(s) and created man, and we are learning just how amazing the methods he used to do so are.

If you wish to truly learn our stance on aspects of Genesis and not just pass judgment, there is plenty to read which clears up our position:

Adam
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01129a.htm

The flood
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04702a.htm

Creation
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04470a.htm
20 posted on 06/15/2010 7:58:13 AM PDT by battousai (Conservatives are racist? YES, I hate stupid white liberals.)
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To: battousai
Certainly not mythology, but also not the literal explanation of what happened. Certainly God created the universe(s) and created man, and we are learning just how amazing the methods he used to do so are.

There you go with "creation" again. I asked about the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

If you wish to truly learn our stance on aspects of Genesis and not just pass judgment, there is plenty to read which clears up our position:

Ah yes, Catholicism's favorite four "saints:" St. J, St. E, St. P, and St. D! What would you have done without those liberal nineteenth century Lutherans who discovered them for you?

Having been Catholic for six years, I know all about your relegation of Genesis to "mythology" and your dedication to the blasphemous "documentary hypothesis."

21 posted on 06/15/2010 8:45:22 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Veyiqchu 'eleykha farah 'adummah temimah 'asher 'ein-bah mum, 'asher lo'-`alah `aleyha `ol.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

“I know all about your relegation of Genesis to “mythology” and your dedication to the blasphemous “documentary hypothesis.”

Well it seems you haven’t taken the trouble to read the links I gave you, do come back once you have and tell me again where we relegate Genesis to mythology?


22 posted on 06/15/2010 8:55:27 AM PDT by battousai (Conservatives are racist? YES, I hate stupid white liberals.)
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To: battousai
Well it seems you haven’t taken the trouble to read the links I gave you, do come back once you have and tell me again where we relegate Genesis to mythology?

Moses used sources to compile the Torah? And this is "conservative?"

23 posted on 06/15/2010 10:23:35 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Veyiqchu 'eleykha farah 'adummah temimah 'asher 'ein-bah mum, 'asher lo'-`alah `aleyha `ol.)
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To: John Leland 1789

Jim Jones in Guyana - koolaid mass suicide


24 posted on 06/15/2010 5:20:47 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian (fffffFRrrreeeeepppeeee-ssed!)
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To: stfassisi

the church can be a bit slow at times. Just ask Galeleo


25 posted on 06/15/2010 5:21:52 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: stfassisi

bump for later read


26 posted on 06/15/2010 6:32:01 PM PDT by Varda
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To: Zionist Conspirator

You’ve just disposed of Chapter 1, but what about Chapters 2-11? Are Cain and Abel mere “religious symbols?” Was Noach’s Flood adapted from Enuma Elish? Were all the people mentioned in those chapters mythological or fictional characters?

Cail and Abel are probably representatives of early humanity....were they called Cail and Abel by their parents...I don’t think so, not important anyway. If Adam, Eve ,Cain and Abel were the only people on earth, other than through incestuous relationships, where did everyone else come from. Why did God mark Cain so that others would not injure him....others?. The flood is probably based on fact, but that Noah put two of every animal on earth into it is probably figurative at best. There are no kangaroos near mount Ararat and Moose are also very rare there. One must understand that the bible is not, nor was it ever intended to be a totally factual historical document.


27 posted on 06/15/2010 6:41:42 PM PDT by terycarl (4)
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