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"Afterlife is a fairytale", Hawking says.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Fuzzz, May 17, 2011.

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Do you believe in afterlife

  1. Yes

    25.5%
  2. No

    66.0%
  3. This needs more options

    8.5%
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  1. Fuzzz

    Fuzzz you

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    Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story' (Ian Sample, science correspondent)

    In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the cosmologist shares his thoughts on death, M-theory, human purpose and our chance existence
    Spoiler :

    Stephen Hawking dismisses belief in God in an exclusive interview with the Guardian.

    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?"

    In the talk, he will argue that tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately human life emerged. "Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in," he said.

    Hawking suggests that with modern space-based instruments, such as the European Space Agency's Planck mission, it may be possible to spot ancient fingerprints in the light left over from the earliest moments of the universe and work out how our own place in space came to be.

    His talk will focus on M-theory, a broad mathematical framework that encompasses string theory, which is regarded by many physicists as the best hope yet of developing a theory of everything.

    M-theory demands a universe with 11 dimensions, including a dimension of time and the three familiar spatial dimensions. The rest are curled up too small for us to see.

    Evidence in support of M-theory might also come from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva.

    One possibility predicted by M-theory is supersymmetry, an idea that says fundamental particles have heavy – and as yet undiscovered – twins, with curious names such as selectrons and squarks.

    Confirmation of supersymmetry would be a shot in the arm for M-theory and help physicists explain how each force at work in the universe arose from one super-force at the dawn of time.

    Another potential discovery at the LHC, that of the elusive Higgs boson, which is thought to give mass to elementary particles, might be less welcome to Hawking, who has a long-standing bet that the long-sought entity will never be found at the laboratory.

    Hawking will join other speakers at the London event, including the chancellor, George Osborne, and the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

    Sunday 15 May 2011 22.00 BST


    More on www.guardian.co.uk.

    I've also always believed that there's nothing after death. What are your thoughts on afterlife or lack of afterlife?
     
  2. Lovebird

    Lovebird Warlord

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    BREAKING: Atheist doesnt believe in an afterlife, more as this story develops.
     
  3. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    BREAKING: knowledge is one field does not translate to knowledge in a completely unrelated field, more as this story develops
     
  4. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Insufficient proof for a monkey-eating gorilla living in the centre of the Earth => no belief in a monkey-eating gorilla living in the centre of the Earth

    Insufficient proof for an afterlife or "God" => no belief in an afterlife or "God"

    But everyone is entitled to a wrong opinion.
     
  5. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

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    Hey, he is the smartest man alive. I think it's reasonable he knows everything. ;)
     
  6. Fuzzz

    Fuzzz you

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    That's the thing with scientists: they first look for proof of something, before they assume something.
     
  7. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    Funny how science is all logical like that!

    I'm glad the record is straight with direct quotes, I'd hate for him to die and then have the creationists start trying to claim that he was religious because of some out of context quotes invoking God (as metaphor) like they do with Einstein.
     
  8. Scratch

    Scratch ça ne fait rien

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    You don't give creationist quote miners near enough credit. If they can find something, they'll find it. If you're wholly lacking evidence to support your position, you are well motivated to find whatever you can.
     
  9. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    Maybe so but at least we'll have our own quotes to mine right back at them this time!
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Hard for a scientist to believe in the afterlife when there is no evidence of it at all.. At all! Heck, there's more evidence of extraterrestrial life.
     
  11. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    I can't imagine Einstein playing dice with anybody, much less a creationist.

    The headline in this story is deliberately provocative to try to entice people to read yet another Stephen Hawking health update.
     
  12. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    "Smart person says you're wrong, so you're wrong. Hahaha!"

    I hate this. I don't believe in an afterlife, but it's really annoying.

    And, by the way, while Hawking is a very influencial cosmologist, his overall scientific impact or general smart-ness is regularly exaggerated in popular culture. If he was really that smart, he would shut up about these things, especially considering the field he's working at.
     
  13. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Awake

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    Thank you captain obvious.

    And I approve Leoreth's post.
     
  14. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    So how exactly do you think Hawking should reply to the inevitable question asked by the inevitable reporter assigned to the inevitable task of providing yet another health update: "When you likely die in the near future, do you think you will go to heaven?"

    Too bad Hawking isn't an American who could provide a simple rude response which the question really deserves: "I am an atheist. What do you think I think about that topic?"
     
  15. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Does he know how to beat me in a foot race?
     
  16. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    Does he know how? Yes. Is he physically capable of it? No.
     
  17. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    I dont think he knows that either actually, because he has no idea how to cure his own physical issues, or design a jet wheelchair that zips him around places. You place to much faith in his intelligence without realizing its own limitations.

    Hawking is a smart guy, sure. Does he know everything? Not. Even. Close.
     
  18. NickyJ

    NickyJ Retired Narrator

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    I wish I could "like" this post. :goodjob:
     
  19. PeteAtoms

    PeteAtoms FormulaRandom

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    It's hard to believe in a God that would give you such a debilitating physical disability. Even if he wasn't some renowned cosmologist, and just some dude, I wouldn't blame him for refusing to believe in an omnipotent benevolent deity.
     
  20. NickyJ

    NickyJ Retired Narrator

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    Ever heard of some dude who goes by the name of "Beelzebub"? I heard he does bad things...
     
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