Spinoza's god synonymous with nature
Spinoza's god synonymous with nature
Erie Times News - 1/14/2009 - original
A letter writer claimed "the greatest minds in science deny that the universe has always existed," citing Stephen Hawking as part of that illustrious list (Erie Times-News, Dec. 27).

Another "greatest mind" that theists often like to cite is Albert Einstein. Einstein was once asked if he believed in God, and his specific response was that he believed in Spinoza's god.

Spinoza's god was, in fact, synonymous with nature, and a thorough review of Hawking's works would indicate likewise.

It's also a fact that among National Academy of Sciences members, who are the premier scientists in the U. S., a mere 7 percent believe in a creator.

Another claim that the "odds are that the universe created itself is infinitesimally small," thus demanding a creator, ignores most of the theoretical advancement over the past 30 years in cosmic and quantum physics of virtual particles, zero-point energy, the String and M theories, multiple universes, etc.

All point toward and support natural mechanisms for the beginning of the universe.

Many religious people continue to cling to the antiquated philosophical concept of Aristotle's "unmoved mover" and Thomas Aquinas' "first cause" argument and/or his "perceived" creator-in-nature arguments.

The circumvention of the scientific process leads the writer to immediately make his third claim supporting creationism. Unfortunately, creationism is the default conclusion for the impatient and the intellectually lazy.

G. Wesley Bennett