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Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

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Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Old 05-21-11, 09:14 PM
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Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Well I think this settles it.


A belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a "fairy story" for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.

In a dismissal that underlines his firm rejection of religious comforts, Britain's most eminent scientist said there was nothing beyond the moment when the brain flickers for the final time.

Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, shares his thoughts on death, human purpose and our chance existence in an exclusive interview with the Guardian today.

The incurable illness was expected to kill Hawking within a few years of its symptoms arising, an outlook that turned the young scientist to Wagner, but ultimately led him to enjoy life more, he has said, despite the cloud hanging over his future.

"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," he said.

"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," he added.

Hawking's latest comments go beyond those laid out in his 2010 book, The Grand Design, in which he asserted that there is no need for a creator to explain the existence of the universe. The book provoked a backlash from some religious leaders, including the chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, who accused Hawking of committing an "elementary fallacy" of logic.

The 69-year-old physicist fell seriously ill after a lecture tour in the US in 2009 and was taken to Addenbrookes hospital in an episode that sparked grave concerns for his health. He has since returned to his Cambridge department as director of research.

The physicist's remarks draw a stark line between the use of God as a metaphor and the belief in an omniscient creator whose hands guide the workings of the cosmos.

In his bestselling 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking drew on the device so beloved of Einstein, when he described what it would mean for scientists to develop a "theory of everything" a set of equations that described every particle and force in the entire universe. "It would be the ultimate triumph of human reason for then we should know the mind of God," he wrote.

The book sold a reported 9 million copies and propelled the physicist to instant stardom. His fame has led to guest roles in The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Red Dwarf. One of his greatest achievements in physics is a theory that describes how black holes emit radiation.

In the interview, Hawking rejected the notion of life beyond death and emphasised the need to fulfil our potential on Earth by making good use of our lives. In answer to a question on how we should live, he said, simply: "We should seek the greatest value of our action."

In answering another, he wrote of the beauty of science, such as the exquisite double helix of DNA in biology, or the fundamental equations of physics.

Hawking responded to questions posed by the Guardian and a reader in advance of a lecture tomorrow at the Google Zeitgeist meeting in London, in which he will address the question: "Why are we here?

Much more and full interview here....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...e-is-no-heaven
Old 05-21-11, 10:03 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Exactly how I've felt since around the same age as i stopped believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny.
Old 05-21-11, 10:29 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Certainly a touchy subject. I often wonder if the bible is true or just a well written story
Old 05-21-11, 10:32 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Wait, Stephen Hawking is British? How did he lose the accent?
Old 05-21-11, 10:32 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

The belief that there is no afterlife is no more logical than the belief that there is.
Old 05-21-11, 10:38 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

One of his greatest achievements in physics is a theory that describes how black holes emit radiation.
AKA: A wild guess with no proof to back it up.
Old 05-21-11, 10:48 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Wow. He really is a retard.
Old 05-21-11, 11:27 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

What a knowledgeable man, which speaks nothing of his wisdom.
Old 05-21-11, 11:38 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Wow, Macho Man Dead, Black Women proven to be without doubt the Ugliest beings on the planet based on a Blog and some posts on dvtalk, The world kept going after an end time prediction, and now there's no Heaven.

It's been one hell of a fucked up week....
Old 05-21-11, 11:49 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Isn't this "news" like two weeks old?
Old 05-21-11, 11:52 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

He forgot to do the

Old 05-21-11, 11:52 PM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by JumpCutz View Post
"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," he added.
As a physicist, he should also understand that energy cannot either be created, nor destroyed. It can only change form.
Old 05-22-11, 12:00 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

I like Hawking a lot, but his opinion on this may not be his area of expertise, I would think.

Though I have wondered about how some physicists like him view the idea of the afterlife with respect to information theory, or even like the dad in Shit My Dad Says. May make a difference that Hawking was one of the lone physicists who rejected the idea that information is never lost or destroyed, but he seemed to see the error in his thinking on that.
Old 05-22-11, 12:01 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by anomynous View Post
He forgot to do the

That's awesome.
Old 05-22-11, 12:02 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by slcpunk View Post
Certainly a touchy subject. I often wonder if the bible is true or just a well written story
I think many would argue that it's not even "well written."
Old 05-22-11, 12:05 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
I think many would argue that it's not even "well written."
<img src=http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/members/1/431/430462/thumb_620x2000/TrollFaceDancing.gif>
Old 05-22-11, 12:06 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
I think many would argue that it's not even "well written."
lol....I'd like to see a review of the Bible in terms of actual quality as a product.
Old 05-22-11, 12:07 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I like Hawking a lot, but his opinion on this may not be his area of expertise, I would think.
I'm just curious is there anyone who would be qualified enough in this area of expertise?
Old 05-22-11, 12:08 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by maxfisher View Post
The belief that there is no afterlife is no more logical than the belief that there is.
Old 05-22-11, 12:13 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
I'm just curious is there anyone who would be qualified enough in this area of expertise?
Not that we'd all agree on. If we were wondering about medicine, we could come to some sort of agreement on what doctors we'd take an opinion from. If it was physics, we'd find agreement with some physicists to listen to. On relgion, we'd never find agreement because we want to hear someone reaffirm what we already believe.

Well that, or Hawking.
Old 05-22-11, 12:23 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by John Slider View Post
Old 05-22-11, 12:27 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by maxfisher View Post
The belief that there is no afterlife is no more logical than the belief that there is.
Originally Posted by John Slider View Post
Old 05-22-11, 12:35 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Not that we'd all agree on. If we were wondering about medicine, we could come to some sort of agreement on what doctors we'd take an opinion from. If it was physics, we'd find agreement with some physicists to listen to. On relgion, we'd never find agreement because we want to hear someone reaffirm what we already believe.

Well that, or Hawking.
Good point.
Old 05-22-11, 01:09 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

Originally Posted by Solid Snake PAC View Post
lol....I'd like to see a review of the Bible in terms of actual quality as a product.
What the hell does this mean?
Old 05-22-11, 01:18 AM
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Re: Stephen Hawking: "There is no heaven, it's a fairy story"

He's correct, though I don't need a highly-educated physicist to let me know that my brain, which contains everything that I am as far as personality/feelings/thoughts/memories, stops functioning forever once the heart stops supplying blood and oxygen to it and it begins to decompose. It's common sense.

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