You have the choice of living in one of two worlds: a world like ours in which science had come into being but religion never appeared, or a world in which religion had appeared but science never did. Which would you choose?I doubt that many people except crackpots would choose the religious world, for in that one they’d die at age 25 of an absessed tooth while praying for recovery. And if you favor the science world, do we really need a philosophical justification? Who benefits from such a justification besides philosophers?
In the end, Hawking is right: Science will win because it works.