Stephen Hawking and the afterlife: What does he know?

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22In an interview the famed physicist Stephen Hawking expressed his opinion that God and spirituality was a “fairy story”.  I respect Mr. Hawking.  He is a genius.  But on this topic his genius does not necessarily matter.  Here is the article where he states his viewpoint;

Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story’

In it he stated:  “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.

A little controversy is good to bring attention to his book the “The Grand Design”, which I have not read.  But from what I understand, Hawking uses his belief in a Multiverse to explain the existence of life.  In a nutshell, if there are an infinite number of universes with different laws of nature, one of them may produce sentient life, the universe where we currently live.  Perhaps, perhaps not.  It is speculation.

Brilliance as a mathematician does not mean one is brilliant in every aspect of thought.  One can be the greatest physicist in the world but that only scratches the surface of the mystery of existence.  When anyone imagines they understand everything, then they are fooling themselves.  The opinions of even the wisest are still only opinions.

I’d suggest Mr. Hawking branch out away from math and explore other viewpoints.  If I were to give Mr. Hawking advice, I’d suggest he turn his attention to the near-death out-of-body experience.  For those who hold a materialistic worldview this is currently the best evidence that something exists outside of physics.  The problem is math can’t solve this riddle.

The best website I know that explores these topics is Skeptiko 

Unlike much of the paranormal there has been a great deal of research done on the near-death experience.  If one approaches this topic with an open mind, one’s skepticism will be challenged.  There may be a rational answer to the riddle of the near-death experience, but none has been discovered so far. Currently all explanations have been shot down.  If great minds considered it worthy to explore such matters, perhaps they would find a scientific answer to these phenomena.  Or perhaps not.

I knew someone who had the near-death out-of-body experience.  And that is the answer to this riddle.  Talk to those rational individuals who went through it, and judge for your self.  Instead of waving your hands dismissively and pooh pooh the very idea, check it out with an open mind.  We’d discover science is the surface of a deeper reality.

17 Responses to “Stephen Hawking and the afterlife: What does he know?”

  1. Shane Says:

    Perhaps he is the first genius in history to conclusively prove a negative assertion with logic.

    HA

  2. Dave Says:

    >>Brilliance as a mathematician does not mean one is brilliant in every aspect of thought. One can be the greatest physicist in the world but that only scratches the surface of the mystery of existence.<<

    Well said, and completely agree. I find hubris and arrogance of scientism in grandiose concepts such as “the theory of everything” – - – only by virtue of trying to find the unifying equations for the currently known physical fields (weak & strong force, etc.), as if the fundamental assumption of materialist realism is final, no different from the dogmatic tyranny of ideological and religious fundamentalism. The only difference is that no one is getting burned at the stake.

  3. David Says:

    Hi Dave,

    Hawking expressing his opinion about the afterlife is like a movie star expressing his opinion about politics. Who cares! He is entitled to his opinion, but it is no more valid then any other person’s opinion. Even the greatest possible genius is not as smart as he might imagine himself.

    Dave

  4. David (TantraWave) Says:

    Hi Dave,

    >>He is entitled to his opinion<<

    You’re being fair here, I know, but concerning this issue I agree with Harlan Ellison, who said:

    “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

    And this applies equally to Stephen Hawking, whose specialty is his own field of cosmology; to take your example of celebs and politics, have you also noticed that senators and governors have all of a sudden become “experts” in science and evolution? Indeed, your post is timely, because Hawking, as someone in the public eye being touted as a “genius” and so on, has some clout and credibility; he’s shutting down minds and discounting multitudes of people who live in fields of experience beyond the empirically visceral, phenomenal world of rags and bones.

  5. David Says:

    David,
    I agree with you. I really think a lot of controversy is generated simply to get attention and sell books or TV ratings. This desire for attention takes the place of thoughtful discussion. The louder the voice, the more obnoxious, the more money is made! Our society rewards acrimony.
    Dave

  6. Mayank mahajn Says:

    I am not fully agree with u ..
    actually everyone in this universe has different Point – of-view!!
    Some think god has created universe , some say Bigbang created it but ..
    Who knows wat happened ??
    C’mon u said that u talked with someone who has near death xperience..I also heard about this a lot ..but c’mon this can be their unconcious imagination..
    Like u know ..our dreams are made of wat we think just before sleep so its can be like that
    During our whole lifetime we always heard about god & believed about afterlife
    But are u 100% sure about that ..
    Any of the person who died nvr came back just to tell about afterlife xperience..or maybe god DOEsn’t want to reveal this truth:D
    Its not bad to see world as u want but
    Isn’t it fun to see world like u want ..??
    If anyone wanna friend with me or wanted to share his views with me
    Then add me at
    http://www.facebook.com/Mayankista

  7. David Says:

    Hi Mayanik,
    I don’t have any answer. I just get pissed if anyone pretends they have any ultimate answer. Nobody really knows.
    Dave

  8. Yokel Says:

    I actually understand you Dave,I hate it when people disprove there is no afterlife,science can’t really prove or disprove anything,just because there aren’t any flying dinosaurs in this world or galaxy doesn’t mean there isn’t in another.But science is based on observation,and the afterlife-unfortunately- is not observable.

  9. Thomas Stretch Jr. Says:

    Thats the beauty of science ,discovery,science is re inventing itself almost daily many of the laws of physics have changed been altered or evolved with each new discovery from Newton to Einstien so on and so forth you cannot yet prove or disprove these ideas and beliefs as of yet and reality evolves we are just getting started just barely scratching the surface and i believe Hawking,as many other brilliant scientist would agree nothing is set in stone and physics and our understanding of the universe is so juvinile and we are always learning and any real true scientist keeps an open mindknowsthis simple proof although they are very intelligent but to say or believe they have all the answers is so far from the truth and we are all students of this majestic universe and all its possible realities and knowledge and learning is infinite and when we think we got it all figured out ….guess what …..we couldnt be farther from the truth!

  10. doug lunde Says:

    isee hawkings work as brilliant in his field but his trying to use his field to understand consciousness and a possible afterlife like trying to use a pipe wrench to move steam or smoke and put it in a bottle.ore define love with numbers we know it exists but can’t see it.my wife just died and the pain is almost unbearable this is love if hawking tried to define this with numbers he would be stumped

  11. Didier Says:

    If there is nothingness after death why should we worry for ? What should worry us a lot more, is if there is a life after death, we’ll have to face all we have done down here … Sieg Heil !

  12. Shikha Says:

    Scientists are just studying and trying to understand what God has created …they have not themselves created anything, their theories are sometimes right and sometimes wrong….

  13. David Says:

    Hi Shikha,
    Science is great. I love science. But when science wanders into philosphy, then maybe science needs to keep such thoughts alone. It is fine for Hawking to muse, but such muses outside science have no more weight then you or I. But he is entiled to his opinion.
    Dave

  14. Ren? Says:

    Scientists believe what they see and can explain, but we must admit that they don’t see much, that’s why they don’t explain much on univers… €:°D

  15. Blowhorn Says:

    Science only believes what it sees, but it does not see a lot…

  16. David Says:

    Blowhorn,

    I look forward to the day when science actually proves the paranormal is reality. It might happen.

    Dave

  17. David Says:

    Ren,
    I like science. I treasure science. But science has Black Swans, and the paranormal is one of the great Black Swans that science refuses to even acknowledge as a possibility.
    Dave

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