Hey Tammy...sounds like you had a great trip driving across the country. That's on my bucket list.
I did, thanks! Funny that I'm really tired now, but I guess I'm also back to work ;) The only think I would suggest is not having a destination in mind (or time limit), because there are some things I would have loved to check out, but we were on a timetable.
As for the above, not sure who that is directed at…but why would it matter if anyone actually stated that or not?
It was directed to anyone who seemed to be trying to emphasize that Hawking did not believe in God. I stated it because it seemed that I (and Shelby - peace also to you!) were being misunderstood in WHY we interpreted his words as we did. In other words, it seemed as if others thought we only interpreted those words as we did because we believed that Hawking was now becoming a believer (and that somehow that would support theism). So I wanted to clarify that I did not, in any way, think that Hawking was a believer just because his words state that he is not claiming there is no god.
Considering he was offering a public statement for non-belief, I found it lacking and brief.
Well, just reading what he said, it DOES seem as though someone asked him to give us his reasons for believing there is no god... to which he responded, I do not claim that there is no God. (even though he is an atheist... as has been stated before, and atheist does not have to claim there is no god, he just sees no proof of one, and so does not believe in one... right? But by his words in this quote, it seems he does not deny the possibility, no matter how remote he thinks it is. As Gladiator stated above.)
Speaking for myself, if Stephen Hawking came out and declared he found Jesus in his pasta sauce, it wouldn't at all affect my non-belief and non-worship of Yahweh, Allah or Oprah. Would I find it intriguing? For sure, and would want to hear what he had to say.
I didn't think it would change anyone's mind... believer or non-believer alike. Only that atheists who like to call on Hawking (and other scientists/scholars) as a fellow atheist would lose him in their corner, and it didn't seem as though they liked that idea.
Anyway, the only person who knows what Hawking meant for sure is Hawking himself. I just gave my thoughts on what it sounded like - according to just his quote, and the knowledge that he is an atheist.