Heaven is a fairy tale, says physicist Hawking
LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said in an interview published on Monday.
Hawking, 69, was expected to die within a few years of being diagnosed with degenerative motor neurone disease at the age of 21, but became one of the world's most famous scientists with the publication of his 1988 book "A Brief History of Time."
I usually don't write about religous subjects but Steven hawking is a great scientist who has many followers..
Well, according to that piece, seems Mr. Hawkins is closer to finding out one way or the other. Perhaps he -or any like individual- will have the continued logical approach and sympathetic kindness, when he stops breathing, to send humanity a much needed vulcan-mind-meld-telegram, when and if he arrives. I am certain it would clear up thousands of years of wonder and perhaps open the doors to greater sciences.
I am not a Christian, UW.
What ever gave you that idea?
Of course I have asked the same of religious folk, many times.
Seems my sarcasm is unbiased. Nonetheless, we have to keep it positive attitude and continue on the pursuit of a better humanity, using as much technology and voo-doo woo-doo as possible. Else, Starbucks will be the next space generation --and I don't care for it all that much. I prefer tea.
Sorry, your sarcasm went over my head today.
I'm assuming others will agree with what you said though.
I think I understood where you were (maybe) coming from with regard to the theories Mr Hawking believes in.
I do agree he is an intelligent and gifted man. But even the most gifted person who ever lived is not perfect or ALL knowing.
He was born a man ,and will die a man.
I was born a woman ,and will die a woman.
So all the knowledge in the world won't make us live any longer or necessarily better.
Interestingly naive statement. Especially, more limited than I expected from you.
Naive in what way ?
It is not constructive to critise without explaining what you mean.
It is naive to state that knowledge(all) won't make life better or help us to live longer. Plain and simple. What needs to be explained, except for the fact that YOU made the statement, when all the evidence already in existence, renders that statement meaningless.
As often said, 'knowledge of' is what put man on the (pointless) 'in search of' path. The irony of it, well I cannot express the whole of it in words. What man is 'searching for' he knows --no less than he knows he is a human being. And that is what makes me tilt my head sometimes.
If humans think they were created with any 'lack of', they are fooling themselves. If they think they live just to die, the same effect. If they think they are self contained gods, likewise silly.
Seems mankind's "amnesia" has kept him in the dark for a very long time. This is my position as to why the sciences exist, why religions exist and a whole lot of strange inertia in-between. And also why I believe humanity is soon to get its memory back.
In fact Id go as far as to say our minds are one of the most powerful or destructive forces we know.
Everything that we know (and still undiscovered ,must first filter through someones mind/brain.
For me that has to be the greatest miracle of all.
heh heh James.
I can see it now. A new religion. A bunch of people following some self-proclaimed psychic who claims to have heard from Stephen Hawking after he's dead.
Actually, I read a novel some years back that fits perfectly. The name of it escapes me, but it was based on something like it. A group of children are stranded on a spaceship for generations and end up forming a hybrid religion-science based on some psyche telepathy or message (which I believe turned out to be a satellite radio transmission thousands of years earlier.
Then again, I also liked Ben Bova's Orion series, being the great angel and Ahriman the devil. Orion is manifested to save humanity from Ahriman, who is finally captured after he descends at light speed down the deepest volcano and Orion, who could not be hurt or burned, comes out singed...
Believe it or not, I've always liked science fiction, mostly in books. Without all the visual effects and stuff, for some reason. Guess I like to work my imagination. As far as movies I think Blade Runner was the best.
I just watched Thor. Not too bad. Except the time-travel part where he falls for a 20th century woman......romantic, yes, but somehow it detracts from the exoticness of the whole movie....(dunno if exoticness is a word...)
Ah, but all that is just imagination for fun. At least for me.
Fun when really put in perspective,I too visit my imagination often .......don't think you can be here writing without those visits.
Heaven is a fairy tale if you want it to be, define fairy tale, many views, as in Heaven. This is not my tale, just is.
It's just that, for Christians, the belief is confirmed in our spirits via the Holy Spirit.
If Stephen Hawking were to be confirmed dead and then confirmed to have risen from the dead, I might at least be tempted to take his views seriously.
I don't 'believe' in heaven, but I fear Hawking has overstepped his bounds; unless he has definitive proof of the nature of a spiritual realm. No one knows anything for sure, no matter how many followers they have.
Hilarious, it's fine for believers to state emphatically and absolutely a 'spiritual realm' exists even though not a shred of evidence has ever shown it to exist, yet Hawking has 'overstepped his bounds'.
Of course he has no definitive proof a spiritual realm, no one does, that's entirely the point.
I admit that I cannot follow how you drew that conclusion. It appears to be a hasty one. How does my statement imply that I would consider it within bounds for someone who believed in the existence of heaven to state their belief as fact?
But, I would disagree as to what the point is. In the absence of proof we have opinion. I would expect a scientist of Hawking's stature to understand, and be clear, on the difference. His words carry weight.
Because he is held in such high regard, to present an opinion under the guise of fact puts him in the precarious position of being, to the impressionable atheist, little different than the stump preacher is to the religiously gullible. I would prefer that people be left to come to their own conclusions, not led.
Because that's what believers do.
Hence, in the absence of proof for gods, believers have nothing but opinions, yet that's not what they would state. Scientists work with hard evidence, not empty opinions of imaginary super beings. Huge difference.
Unfortunately, religious indoctrination does not allow believers to come to their own conclusions.
Restating your opinion does nothing to answer the question of why you felt the need to share it; as if in rebuttal to my statement. I continue to fail to follow your reasoning. Nowhere did I imply that anyone should state belief as fact.
Scientists do work with hard evidence but, unless I am mistaken, this was not presented as the results of a scientific study. .The opinion of a scientist on anything spiritual is as empty of proof as the opinion of a believer; hence, the need to present any statement on the subject as opinion.
I'm sorry if you don't understand that believers clearly state their beliefs as facts. Read more posts here.
Exactly, a believers opinion on anything spiritual is empty. I agree wholeheartedly.
However, scientists do understand the physical laws of the universe which would show the anything spiritual violating those laws. Hence, a believers opinion not only is empty but also flies in the face of reality.
That's the hard evidence scientists referred.
The physical laws of the universe. You do understand the point you are missing?
I would certainly be more than willing to walk you through it, if I believed it necessary.
No. I took your advice and read some posts throughout this forum. You appear to be a prolific poster. You are not, by any means, uninformed on the topic you requested enlightenment on.
I have deduced that you and I are not involved in a discussion; but more of a game. I believe the name of the game you are engaging in is ‘cat and mouse’. I have no desire to play the part of Jerry.
That's one way of avoiding discussion. You're free to believe that, too.
I would have been free to believe anything I wanted to, even without your most gracious permission; but I don’t believe that I am avoiding discussion, more in the line of avoiding a pointless debate.
To the open minded? It is conceivable that I do.
To the gullible? Most assuredly, but I do my best to avoid them.
To the dogmatically entrenched? No. And I do what I can to steer clear.
Ah, so you only engage those who agree with you. I see.
No, you have put words in my mouth. An exchange of ideas is preferred. You do not appear to respect anything outside of your own way of thinking.
That is a belief you are free to embrace.
I don't have my "own way of thinking" - it is just thinking and nothing more. I don't have to respect bad ideologies, do I? Is that a prerequisite for engagement?
You embrace the word belief too freely, when speaking of me; and anyone breathing on their own is thinking. You are unique. It is your way of thinking.
I would need your definition of 'bad ideology' before I could respond to your question. Our definitions may differ. What if, during the course of a discussion, I determine your ideology to be 'bad'. Would you not prefer respect when I voiced an opinion?
If it helps you, feel free to believe that.
I don't create definitions, I simply follow the accepted ones available, like anyone else.
My ideology? I don't think I embrace ideologies.
You are completely free to disrespect any ideology you want, there is no problem with that whatsoever.
If you are positive that you are not unique, then I am left to assume someone else has given you any opinion you choose to share.
You have created a definition. You have stated that everyone defines ‘bad ideology’ in the same manner. It would require a leap of faith on my part to believe this. I am not prone to that maneuver. If there were universal agreement on that definition, there would be no ‘bad ideologies’.
Stating that you do not embrace an ideology means little more than that you are unfamiliar with the definition of the word; as it applies to the individual. Your lack of knowledge does not equate to the absence of an ideology.
I don't think I'm unique in any way.
No, I didn't, I stated that I use the accepted definitions of "bad" and "ideology".
Of course, ones religion can be considered a bad ideology to some while others live by it.
I didn't say I don't embrace ideologies, but don't seem to recall any ideologies that I do embrace. Can you think of any?
You aren’t unique? There’s more like you?
Your statement was ‘I don’t have to respect bad ideologies, do I?’
If we ignore the fact that you now insist the words were intended to stand alone; you would still be required to define ‘bad’, as it relates to an ideology; and there would be no universal agreement to that definition.
I doubt you would find anyone that would disagree that religion can often equate to bad ideology, but I fail to see why this has been brought up in the discussion. We were talking about your ideology. Do you not claim to be an atheist?
Your statement was ‘My ideology? I don’t think I embrace ideologies.’ The definition of ideology is: the doctrines, opinions, or way of thinking of an individual, class, etc.;
I have no idea what your ideology is. Nor do you mine. But they exist, whether you chose to admit it or not. It isn’t a bad word, it is a simple fact of life.
Beelzadad, If you know reality, then please enlighten me. You would than be the only human on Earth to know reality. Einstein and Planck believed that reality could not be observed without altering it; thereby, getting a distortion of reality.
Faith supercedes the bounds of our material existence. If you are waiting for a working protege, than you have missed everything.
He isnt held in high regard with everyone and yes I agree he is entitled to his opinion...
He is to those who actually understand his work.
Why is he not held in high regard? His opinion on religion?
I have to agree with Hawking.
Until I get a definition of this god thing that is not just an opinion, I can't consider the "concept" of "it" to be anything but an imagined supernatural entity.
I read about "Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs," Cinderella and the pumpkin that changes into ride fit for a queen, Alice in Wonder land and all the odd creatures she met...ALL part and parcel of fairytales.
I've studied the bible, qur'an, torah and all the stories of innundating floods which killed everyone 'cept a few, about whales swallowing a person, a god that murders innocents by the tens of thousands (withour compunction)etc...etc...all part and parcel of a fairytale.
Heaven IS a fairytale until its ruler, a god thing, can be defined as anything but a fairytale.
Oh, come on, Qwark. It's not hard to get a definition of god - just ask any believer for their definition. Then ask 9,999 more. Then pick and choose whatever fits your fancy from all 10,000 different definitions.
Now YOU have a definition that you can give out as well. Easy, and you will know that you did all the research and found the one definitive answer that is absolutely correct!
Here's an interesting thought. Look through the biographies of those men and women who have changed the world. Most of them believed in a higher being of some sort or another.
Now do we assume they all hold an irrational belief or is it a valid one?? To assume they hold an irrational belief is hard to swallow for then the majority of world changers are insane when they should be shining examples representing the best qualities man has to offer.
Now if it is a valid one, perhaps to do great things a person must rely on that which is greater than himself. It doesn't even have to be god. It can be as simple as how one man cannot do as much work as a community can.
So what? Strawman.
The fact that people have always been indoctrinated into religions does not preclude others who acknowledge their indoctrination and being thinking for themselves.
The fact that one could very well be killed for not believing in those gods had a great effect on ones public statement about their beliefs.
Gaius Julius Ceasar: "I thought you had reservations about the gods."
Caius Sempronius Gracchus: "Privately I believe in none of them. Neither do you. Publicly I believe in them all."
You know I actually believe it's quite harmful to some people who get indoctrinated too deeply by religion. A person has to be able to rightfully decide for him/her self whether or not god exists irregardless of upbringing.
Out of curiosity do you or do you not believe in god?
Well as far as I'm concerned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with fairy tales!
I believe in heaven no matter what.
Call it indoctrination, call it a fairy tale, call it whatever. But that is my hope and the promise from my Savior. I wish Hawking could find the faith to believe it too.
To each their own(choices) I guess.
At work today a perfectly lovely human being came to my office. She told me that I would be the "perfect Christian." She told me I am ethical, I strive to do the right thing in all circumstances, and that it is very obvious I love the people for whom I have responsibilities. The interesting part is that she said essentially the same thing that you did. She told me she hopes I will one day find the faith to believe it too.
I told her that if I have a belief system it is a belief in the power of the scientific method to solve many of our problems in an optimal way. I admit that I was touched by her sincerity and her fear for me. She would prefer me in a heaven that Stephen Hawking does not believe in rather than in hell that she does believe in.
Heaven is a fairy tale says physicist Hawking-
Okay, so what.
Him calling it a fairy tale, simply shows off his atheist belief and not any scientific train of thought.
However, I am of the understanding "heaven" does exist, but not in the manner which religion talks about or describes. So, I would say he is wrong about it.
Heaven, as I learned, is a metaphor- Earth IS Heaven, it's the people who make it appear as living in Hell(which is also a metaphor).
I believe that stephen Hawking is a genuis at prescribing form within the context of a 4-vector. The human mind extend beyond four dimensions of nature. Stephen believes in a continuum of space and time, but haven't looked up yet.
Who is drawing the conclusion S. Hawking is an atheist?
There is the first heaven which is immediately above the Earth. The second heaven is one of dynamics where in our minds we struggle, being victorious at times, with adversities, and enjoy accomplishments. This is the heaven that Jesus proclaimed to have overcome. Jesus is our guide to overcome the adversities in the second heaven; this is spiritual battles.
The third heaven is where God lives; there is no struggle only eternal life.
Heaven definitely exist in our spirit. Life is a spirit. Atoms, molecules, and orderly complex systems of molecules support our life.
If you died this minute, the assumption is that if you entered heaven, you would enter with the same crap in your head as you had on earth. Why would it be suddenly removed at death? Therefore, what's the difference? Your perception of either is still going to be colored by the crap in your head. So heaven, even though perfect as it's supposed to be, isn't going to feel quite right because of your perceptions, which proved to be faulty in earth life, as well. (You didn't like earth life and couldn't wait to get to heaven so you didn't have to deal with it.)
What this says, in essence, is that heaven is a state of mind. If you clear your thinking and find your peace, it's heaven. Until you do, it suffering. Hence, the state of earth life now, which could be described as various states of suffering because of unhealthy thinking.
Mr. Hawking may not be so far off, because nearly anywhere can become heaven depending on your thinking. Heaven may not be a destination. It may simply be a condition in one's mind. If your mind is not at peace, it's called earth life. Those who find peace, somehow find a way to "transcend" the clamor of earth life.
I disagree with about half of your comment, and the other half I think is borderline brilliant. Regarding that of which I agree... one entering heaven would take with them a lot of baggage from this lifetime and it boggles the mind. However, the scripture says God wipes away all tears - I assume for us feeble minded faithful that means God will remove our burdens, mental and physical. I find the subject very interesting from both points of view. Good over-all commentary Daniel.
God will remove our mental burdens. Now that's a scary thought - those that get to go to heaven will be changed mentally into something or someone they are not.
The thought of govt. or business brainwashing us (flood of misinformation, subliminal messages, whatever) is bad enough, but that God will wave his wand and remove any burdens such as a mental need for strife, struggle and discord is ugly. These things are a big part of what makes us who we are. To be made into a docile cow does not fit my idea of heaven.
Wilderness, why strife, struggle, and discord? Is this what you enjoy? What are your goals...can you visualize a better life?
Without a challenge to struggle through, life is nearly meaningless. With no challenge we stagnate, becoming that docile cow munching in the field.
This does not mean that I need or want battles with other people with the loser being injured or killed. A good debate, however, is fun even though it is over discord and requires a struggle to present acceptable arguments.
I vastly enjoy learning new things, but it is always a struggle to do so. It requires effort and, sometimes, pain. This, too, is part of life and without it we would be nothing. Without that need to learn and expand I would not be me.
I very much enjoy my painting, but it is always a struggle, and one I can never win as I am never satisfied with my work. Nevertheless I continue to paint and slooowly become better at it. My paintings always show discord; a small mismatch in colors, a poorly placed brush stroke, a deformed tree. It is part of learning and a necessary part of being human. I don't want to be some kind of perfect non-human creature and can't imagine a more boring future.
Wilderness, I agree with you, but I must say that it is a narrow view. Many other things effects our lives. If we accept pain, struggle, and strife as a way of life, than we are collectively heading to destruction. We must have a peaceful goal, and work toward it in order to counter destruction. If you think your painting is sometime painful, than consider adding bombs going off as man struggles and resorts to warfare while you are painting. My Christian faith is that peaceful counter to destruction.
I think we're on the same path, just at different elevations. I do not imply that I need bombs going off to be happy, but a mental (and sometimes physical) struggle is what makes life worth living. I struggled and worked for years (often with pain) to learn to snow ski well. Without that struggle and its accompanying sense of satisfaction, that activity would not be nearly as fun.
Peace does not mean a life without effort and struggle. It does not mean no discord in the world. It does not mean there will be no pain. All of these are necessary to be fully human.
Wilderness, I like your answers and your over-all outlook on debate etc. If you are true to your word, then you seem fair and reasonable.
Responding to the earlier comment:
The discussion is in context of there being a God. If that be the case, then he made us, he can do whatever he wants to us whether we agree or not. If he wants to drag us before his presence and wipe our tears or whatever, so that we may enjoy His paradise, then that is what he will do.
But you make a worthy point that I appreciate. I understand what you mean. Our experiences do make us who we are. I never considered that God would change who we are, and I don't think he will, but you're right, that is an issue worth discussing and pondering.
The Bible says God loves us just the way we are, so that should be a card on this table I think. Beyond that, I don't know what he will do, it just says he will wipe our tears away. How he does that, it does not say, it just says that Heaven is better than anything we are able to understand - God made us that way too.
Our experiences are limited to this life and this earth. When you say a good struggle makes life worth living, well you are exactly correct - for this life and this earth. The simple fact is - we have no idea of the next life and/or the next earth or heaven. What works well here - may not work at all there. I do not know.
Good comment. Grats on the skiing. I grew up on a ski hill, its awesome!
- best wishes
It may be that there are multiple heavens for different types of people. Or that He will indeed change us from human to something else. Or anything in between. I don't know, you don't know, and everybody else seems to have a different opinion.
I have changed over the years; I no longer enjoy skiing the mogul fields so hard any more for instance. That's OK - it is a natural change. To think, however, that God will change me to make me more docile, more happy is abhorrent; I want none of it. If He is out there perhaps He will make a special dispensation for me and those like me. Leave us alone and let us enjoy our suffering!
Daniel, by definition heaven has transcended all unpleasantness in this material existence. Shit on Earth really doesn't have to be. We don't know any better. It's a human fallacy, not a God fallacy.
While heaven is a transcendant place, it makes no sense that you suddenly, magically, have all the nonsense removed from your thinking and being, when you've put no effort into cleansing yourself from it.
The Christian idea of repentance is to cleanse the soul and create a more god-like state in the soul, hence a preparation for heaven. Hence, if you've got crap in your head that you haven't dealt with, it makes no sense that it will magically disappear, just as all your unrepented sins would not disappear, having not repented of them. How can you live in harmony in a place you simply are not prepared for?
You can't have it both ways. You can't assume that you're going to heaven if you haven't completed the whole cleansing process. Otherwise it just isn't consistent. It's willy-nilly yes this, no that thinking, and if there is a god, it negates his/her power, omniscience, etc.
In essence, you can't get to heaven unless you do the work to prepare for it here. And if you find heaven in your soul while you're here in this life, you've achieved the whole point of progress and enlightenment. Heaven, then, is still more a state of mind than it is a location.
And, therefore, I still say that Mr. Hawking can be completely accurate. There are people who have transcended in this life—transcended the hell of their thinking and have achieved a state of peace. There can be no difference in this state than there could be in an actual location of someplace known as "heaven."
Daniel said: "You can't assume that you're going to heaven if you haven't completed the whole cleansing process."
Jesus was crucified with two other guys. One of them mocked him. The other simply said, "Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom." And Jesus replied, You shall be with me in paradise today."
My point is, this guy was hanging there dying for being a thief. He didn't do any work or preparation to cleanse himself or his soul while here on this life, in fact he stole from people for his own personal gain.
How does this scenario fit in? ( The assumption is that this is all true, if not please clarify. I am not trying to tie your hands just understand the context. Thanks.)
Then I ask you, why do Christians need to repent? The unrepentant obviously are not "worthy" to enter heaven, according to scripture. What you're referring to is grace. Grace to those who repent. not those who do not. After everything you've done to repent for your sins and cleanse yourself, it's still not enough, so grace has to enter in the equation. Grace is the bridge.
But in the scenario I'm talking about, it's a lot more pragmatic than religious. I'm looking at this strictly from pragmatic, mostly nonreligious base. If you looked forward for many years to go on paradise vacation, but during those years accumulated a lot of mental baggage, you would take it with you to that paradise vacation. You might have a temporary break from it, but if you had an extended stay, all your messy thinking habits would begin to ruin for you again, because you took all the crap with you. I se the same scenario for getting into heaven.
Why would God suddenly remove all the crap from our lives and brains, and deny us the important lessons of learning how to avoid repeating it all by suddenly making it all magically go away? I'm not buying it.
Shebourgan WI is the largest City per capita for churches and bars in all of the USA.
Just go into that towns and then go into any bar and wash & cleanse your soul , then you will be clean then forgeeet aboout it
I have no qualms about who I am or what I believe. I'm NOT religious, but I was for 50 years. I've cleansed my soul all I need to. The rest is a journey about awakening, and I'm good with all of that.
I'm meeting believers on their own turf, using their own logic. I kind of enjoy it.
Colt, it the acceptance, not the self cleansing which is impossible.
Daniel, I am not sure what you are saying relative to Christian beliefs because Christianity firmly address crap in mind or sins. We believe that Jesus is our Savior. He gets us successfully thru the second heaven (winning spiritual battle), a state of mind, Yes. Also that we can not do it alone with our sinful nature or pass sins just as you suggested that crap that we repented from is still in our head. This is WHY Jesus! SAVIOR. Heaven is not a desinated location with a cosmic address. Life is a spirit. Jesus came with the pure Spirit of God. Recognize Him, repent of sin, Accept Him as your new state of mind, and be born again. Jesus said, "Heaven is at hand."
These questions will be definitively answered this Saturday at 6 PM Pacific Standard Time, so why not just relax until then.
If I recall, Stephen's last chapter in his book stated "there is no need for a God" describing how big bangs can occur over and over.
Big leap to go from No Need to There is No God.
Hey Peter, I think you're jumping the gun. Leap with fingers and conscious thought, which just ran aground.
There is no need for a god, isn't implying there was no god. He said there is no need for a god. The actual truth is he is right. There actually isn't a need for a god.
Why not? Because-
Life doesn't require any knowledge of any god to be understood.
Life doesn't require any knowledge of any god to be lived.
Fine, but didn't this thread start with Hawking saying heaven is a fairy tale?
Cagsil, living life abundantly with full joy? You bet it requires knowledge of God even unto a Savior.
If you think not, than you have one powerful support group. I hope that they don't let you down because standing on one's own and facing the storms of life alone requires a faith. Believe me, One can easily be wasted while desiring death if caught without a faith in God, a Higher Power.
UNtrue. But, nice try.
Support group? You're kidding right?
Yes, it does require faith. FAITH IN Oneself is all required.
No higher power required. Too bad, you're not wise enough to understand.
Cagsil, not only are your arms too short to box with God, they are too short to box with the world. Faith in oneself is all required? Are you kidding? Don't have a support group? Are you kidding? You live in a small world supported by others. That can change!
You're too funny. You need to live with a crutch and I don't. I have family and friends who accept me as I am and have no need to change me. If that is the support group you are talking about, then sure they are low in number, but more powerful than apparently you can understand.
I live my life based on the love I've learned and feel. You should try the same.
Wow man! Not showing the capacity to understand what I am talking about (support group and frailness of man) frightens me.
It's like telling me there is not a big black bear in my front yard while I am looking at it.
Yup, sounds right. This is why science is what it is today. In order to disprove or prove something, they have to alter it (example: digging up a dead body to understand anatomy; drowning, then slicing open a perfectly happy frog, to understand how it works, fashioning metal to make guns, swords, golden crosses; splitting atoms to make bombs; channeling x~rays to view the human body or frequencies to shake the very bottom of the ocean, to extract liquid fossils to fuel their machines and such. Quite interestingly, religion does precisely the same altering when it come to reality. But instead of using mechanics, they use emotion.
Of course both views would be distorted, since they have bent the laws of reality in themselves. Laws humans think they own or control, when in 'reality' they are only supposed to manage by engagement, not manipulation.
I pretty much agree with Hawking's statement about afterlife. We need to enjoy our lives to the fullest extend. No one knows what happen after death.
I say who cares? Stephen Hawking is a great intellectual man, who came up with a lot of revolutionary scientific theories, but he doesn't know everything. In relation to this specific remark, it just sounds like he's stating an opinion; which he's entitled to. Sure, you don't have to agree with him, but it's still just his opinion.
Besides, his argument works both ways. Sure, there's no definitive proof of a heaven, hell or even a god himself. Yet on the flip side of that argument, there's no definitive proof that they don't exist either. Sure, I know atheists will argue saying that science alone proves these things don't exist, but that's kind of a dogmatic way of looking at things. As one interpretation could be that science is nothing more than a more detailed explanation of how god created everything. Not saying that's the case, but it's a possibility. One that can't be proven of course. Then again, it can't be dis-proven either.
I simply wonder why he would even bother to state the bloomin obvious!
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