May 16, 2011

Stephen Hawking: Heaven a fairy story

Stephen HawkingEnglish theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has described heaven as a “fairy story for people afraid of the dark”.

His comments came in an interview with Ian Sample, science correspondent for the Guardian newspaper in the UK.

Hawking has experienced a number of health scares since being diagnosed with life threatening motor neurone disease when he was 21, the most recent when he was hospitalised in the US in 2009.

When asked in the interview what, if anything he feared about death, Hawking replied:

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

Such as statement is not likely to go down well those who have a belief in God or are swayed by religion. Stephen Hawking ruffled feathers only last year with his book The Grand Design, where he wrote:

“Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God…”

Put in the simplest terms, there is a very high probability that he is right. If he isn’t, then we all win. If he is correct, what does it matter anyway? If, after death, there is simply nothing, we won’t be aware of it so there’s no real reason to fear it. We weren’t aware of the 13 billion years that had already passed before we were born, so the chances are pretty high that the next 13 billion will be exactly the same.

One thing is for certain. Stephen Hawking possesses quite possibly the greatest mind of our times. When he speaks, we should listen.

Filed under: Reality — Tags: , , — Stephen Broadbent @ 9:52 pm


  1. avatar

    I believe in you Stephen.

    – God

    Comment by God — May 17, 2011 @ 12:23 am

  2. avatar

    Oh, were I alive today! Such tales could I tell of the afterlife!

    They have masses of spaghetti and balls of meat which are strewn all over the ether at quite the pace. Rambunctious orgies dance on with the most critical of minds exploring Epicurean standards of sensuality and depravity. The conversations which range from the tiniest of space between the smallest of particles to the grandness and majesty of creation overall echo between Ids and bring a sweet musical resonance to the reverence of universal understanding. It seems the heights of searching for meaning are finally met and looked back upon as a smooth, downward paths ambled as easily as a bump on a carpet. One identity which comprises of the abstract of all shines thoroughly and fiercely, without compromise as the grand clock of existence ticks and tocks along unfettered by supposed individuals or their infinitesimally awkward attempts to comprehend the unknown. Stripped of all and lead by none the idea of the soul lives on as energy and other dimensions breaching the void, and shouting with glee!

    Alas, I fell, as I always did, for my feeble mortality and can only look in on those feasting and making merry as an atheistic ball of nonexistent brilliance lacking any rules or laws. In a stubborn twist of irony – you actually get the religion’s end you thought of upon death and thus I am a eunuch cherub now and have no gaiety left in my existence other than mirth for what would have been, and for how I lived most of my life for, a perfect end.

    Fare thee well traveler of the mortal realm and make not the foolish mistakes of meat and sacrifice but rather look at the stars, and the ground, and set yourself free to see as you only now can.

    Comment by Oscar Wilde — May 17, 2011 @ 2:03 am

  3. avatar

    Yet another perfect example how one can be intellectually brilliant, yet spiritually retarded. Hawking may be the man to go to for astrophysics, but he certainly isn’t the one for spiritual enlightenment– I reserve that job for the big boys: Lao Tzu, Rumi, Shakyamuni Buddha, St. John of the Cross, Carl Jung, HH Dalai Lama, Thomas Merton, Krishnamurti et al…

    Comment by Eric — May 17, 2011 @ 4:25 am

  4. avatar

    Someone should ask him to answer honestly these questions: Does science know what consciousness is, and does science know what matter is? If he were honest he would say that it doesn’t, so then how does he KNOW what the meaning of life and death is, and if there is any conscious continuum?
    His philosophy is very dangerous, his promoting that we are all machines. This belief has had an extremely detrimental effect for animals (Descartes) and as we are seeing for human, and nature–which is also seen by this mindset as mechanical.
    I recommend this video which I only saw very recently:

    Comment by juliano — May 17, 2011 @ 8:02 am

  5. avatar

    There is no GOD but only the GUT.

    Comment by biography of scientists — June 30, 2011 @ 8:46 am

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