Stephen Hawking has said in an interview that heaven is "a fairy tale for people afraid of the dark."
Renowned Cambridge academic Stephen Hawking claimed that “heaven” is no more than a “fairy story” for “people afraid of the dark.”
Hawking has lived with motor neurone disease for 49 years, an incurable illness which normally has a terminal effect after a few years of the initial symptoms. In an interview with The Guardian last weekend, Hawking said his illness means he’s spent his whole life constantly facing “the prospect of an early death.”
But the physicist said he finds no solace in the thought of an afterlife. In fact, he doesn’t believe in an afterlife at all. He explained that the brain acts like: “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.”
Whilst Hawking has repeatedly denied the need for a grand creator in order to explain the universe, his new statement takes his atheistic beliefs one step further.
However Hawking’s scientific thinking has provoked a backlash from many religious groups, who are angered by his comment that religious belief in the afterlife is based purely on fear. Stephen Green, director of lobby group Christian Voice accused Hawking of “misunderstanding religious thinking.”
Second year veterinary student and practicing Christian Chris Sharman, told The Tab that whilst Hawking: “like everyone, is completely right to have an opinion on the matter, it’s quite a bold statement to make when there is no proof either way.” He added: “the fact that Hawking is a world famous scientist shouldn’t give extra weight to his statement.”
Nevertheless, if Hawking can’t comfort himself with the thought of heaven, at least he can enjoy his title of Britain’s Best Bloke, voted earlier in the year by Nuts readers across the country.