Stephen Hawking: Heaven Is a ‘Fairy Story’

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REUTERS/Sheryl Nadler

Stephen Hawking has caused quite a stir after calling heaven a myth.

According to Hawking, a theoretical physicist whose body is paralyzed by motor neurone disease, there is no heaven, and our brain is like a computer that will stop working when its components fail. He told the Guardian, “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

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In his book Grand Design, Hawking caused a revolt when he said that the Big Bang created the world and dismissed the idea of God. In light of numerous studies, which suggest that our emotions and thoughts are underpinned by neuroscience, his beliefs make sense, but that’s not to say there’s no room for further speculation.

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Hawking won the Royal Society’s most prestigious prize for scientific achievement, the same medal given to Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Captain James Cook. His theories are certainly not taken for granted.

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But questions remain unexplained. Hawking said that science predicts that different kinds of universe are created “spontaneously,” and he might have a point. But philosophers would argue that his theory not only undermines religion but also free will, the notion that we are responsible for our actions.

The riddles of our existence still remained unlocked; even Hawking admits that there might not be a final theory to discover all. But we can guess he’ll keep trying. “I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,” he said.

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