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Worldview continued…..

  1. Belief about God.
  2. Belief about the origins of man.
  3. Belief about the afterlife.
  4. Belief about how knowledge is acquired.
  5. Belief about morality.
  6. Belief about what is wrong with mankind.
  7. Belief about the solution for mankind.

Stephen Hawking said we should not try to reach out to aliens because it might be “a little too risky.”

Hawking suggests that we stay away from aliens. Why? Because it will be like Christopher Columbus all over again. He says, “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans,” suggesting humanity is the galactic native.

People have all kinds of theories about aliens. Some think they have big eyes. Some think they are green. Some think they will save us. Some think Elvis is now among them. But Hawking thinks they will ruthlessly steal our resources and leave us to die. I’m not curious about his personal fictitious moorings. What is interesting though is why he thinks about aliens the way he does. Listen to this quote that comes from his Discovery Channel show called “Into the Universe”:

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”

I hereby nominate Stephen Hawking for the Nobel Imagination Prize.

That said, did you notice what Hawking used to gauge alien morality? With the whole universe before him, Hawking used you and me, humanity, to paint alien morality. And it’s not a pretty picture. While I think there is more than a little room to doubt the existence of alien colonies, let us consider what Hawking is saying about humanity. What does he see when he looks at humanity? Apparently he thinks that if we find life on another planet all we would do is dry up their resources and leave them for dead.

Think about what he said: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.” Wait a second. Why did Hawking not take a look at humanity and say something like, “If they are anything like us, I can’t wait to meet them”? Or “I bet aliens are extremely hospitable and want to take us to their homeland where they have all the essentials –  food, shelter, and love”?

I think it is because he sees what everyone knows and the Bible affirms. Derek Webb put it in a song, “Everyone is crooked deep down.” Everyone has a worldview about mankind. But it is ludicrous to have a worldview in which mankind is generally “good”. You are simply thinking of a world other than the one where the question is being asked (otherwise, why even ask the question? The existence of the question gives hint to its answer). We look at the world around us and we see quite easily there is something wrong. There are those who believe that mankind is generally ‘good’. But their argument does not typically last long once you begin trying to define ‘good’ and mention the “H” word (“Hitler”). Then comes modern warfare, sex trafficking, drug trade, global wealth gap …etc, and man begins to generally look other than ‘good’. It must be true then, “There is no one good but God.”

So what does the Bible say about mankind? It agrees with Hawking….kind of. It says the same thing over and over in different ways. From Genesis to Revelation man is not so great. It is summed up best, I think, in Romans 3:10-11. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” You might say, “Aw, Nathan, that’s just Bible mumbo jumbo.” Well, if you disagree with me and the Bible and say man is “good”, you also have to disagree with your atheist friend, Hawking, who can clearly see that mankind is no less than a 15th-century European Native American-conquering explorer. If you cannot admit or see the brokenness of man then you fit Jesus’ description of Hitler in  The Lamb and the Fuhrer (a fictitious dialogue between the two) by Ravi Zacharias, “No, Adolf. That is only part of the story. You lied to those you killed like you lied to yourself.” Don’t lie to yourself about the goodness of man.

The Bible lays out clearly something is wrong with mankind. We have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We were created to reflect God’s glory, his goodness, his holiness, his love, and his righteousness (Gen 1:26). But we have failed, beginning with Adam. Now, through Adam (1 Cor 15), it is our nature to be broken and sinful. We need fixing. I know it, you know it, and Stephen Hawking knows it.

But with what device do we judge that we are broken, and who can we expect to fix us? More on that in the next two weeks.

For His Glory,
Nathan
nathan@ibc.org.hk
www.ibc.org.hk