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← Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story'

Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story' - Comments

Saerain's Avatar Comment 1 by Saerain

Reason be yours, Stephen.

Mon, 16 May 2011 03:14:17 UTC | #627240

Pitchguest's Avatar Comment 2 by Pitchguest

Ohhhhhh friction!

Mon, 16 May 2011 03:14:23 UTC | #627241

thatgingerscouser's Avatar Comment 3 by thatgingerscouser

The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can't solve the equations, directly in the abstract. We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those societies most likely to survive. We assign them higher value.

Can anybody translate this for me? My brain isn't working today...

Mon, 16 May 2011 03:17:34 UTC | #627242

noahidios's Avatar Comment 4 by noahidios

I feel so sad for Hawkins, so many great ideas in his mind and they can only trickle out on character at the time. given that there are some many people whose silence on any matter would benefit mankind, here is a man who could help our species advance if he could only communicate like most of us do.

Mon, 16 May 2011 03:18:52 UTC | #627243

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 5 by MilitantNonStampCollector

I think it is sad that we look to this man for confirmation on things we already know.

Mon, 16 May 2011 03:33:54 UTC | #627244

PhilipK's Avatar Comment 6 by PhilipK

Comment 4 by noahidios :

I feel so sad for Hawkins, so many great ideas in his mind and they can only trickle out on character at the time. given that there are some many people whose silence on any matter would benefit mankind, here is a man who could help our species advance if he could only communicate like most of us do.

Hawkins?! Some sort of superbeing that can put all religions in their place whilst doing all the working in his head?

Mon, 16 May 2011 03:47:44 UTC | #627245

Michael Austin's Avatar Comment 7 by Michael Austin

I think he means something equivalent to: Know why we are here(Darwinism) is important to the decisions the leaders of societies make. We have to use our knowledge of Darwinism to make decisions, rather than relying on our own intuition about what is right. And then he goes on to say something which I cannot read in other way except for to support eugenics.

I may have also misunderstood him. In fact, that is probably the case.

Comment 3 by thatgingerscouser :

The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can't solve the equations, directly in the abstract. We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those societies most likely to survive. We assign them higher value. Can anybody translate this for me? My brain isn't working today...

Mon, 16 May 2011 03:55:15 UTC | #627246

ewaldrep's Avatar Comment 8 by ewaldrep

I don't know exactly, but he could be referring to using the model of natural selection to evaluate which societies are most well suited for human flourishing. It's late here but it seems as though it may be akin to Sam's concept of societies that promote human flourishing. It is quite ambiguous though. I could be way off base.

Mon, 16 May 2011 04:01:12 UTC | #627247

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 9 by Agrajag

Comment 6 by PhilipK

Comment 4 by noahidios :

I feel so sad for Hawkins, so many great ideas in his mind and they

can only trickle out on character at the time. given that there are some many people whose silence on any matter would benefit mankind, here is a man who could help our species advance if he could only communicate like most of us do.

Hawkins?! Some sort of superbeing that can put all religions in their place whilst doing all the working in his head?

HAWKING
Hawk-ing
Beastly spasm over; but get the guy's name right for goodness' sake!
Steve

Mon, 16 May 2011 04:13:16 UTC | #627249

skiles1's Avatar Comment 10 by skiles1

Re: "We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those societies most likely to survive."

Societies that allow for the most variance are more likely to survive, which in sociological jargon, I think, is "equality". Equality is freedom and it's upheld by natural rights and justice. Revolution is sort of like selection. I suppose to avoid a violent coup type of revolution, one needs democracy. Likewise, socialism helps avoid one type of natural selection. Immigration rate might express a sort of sexual selection.

Obviously that's a not fully developed explanation of the idea, but I think that's the basics of it.

Mon, 16 May 2011 04:27:49 UTC | #627251

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 11 by Premiseless

"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.

Perfect analysis of subjective human emotion, which is why they have invented so many 'gods' during their time on Earth. In spite of this they still blind themselves with the same overpowering emotion to simply 'invent' their own 'true version' of all the falsehoods humanity has failed and fallen upon as if they, somehow, have the true version. This very cycle is revealing in itself, but a 'believer' is ill to it! They even use it to promote hatreds and all manner of human sufferings and magnified negative desires. Some god? Some pervert of claimed human intellect - but forgive them for they cannot see what they follow in the footsteps of or from where such ideas truly stem and have been blinded to the reason that surrounds them!!

Such are their hatreds and such are their desires that they would be consumed by the 'feelings' of all their ancestors before they take up a gram of reason!

Touche Stephen.

Mon, 16 May 2011 04:32:22 UTC | #627252

Munski's Avatar Comment 12 by Munski

Nice to hear that 'God' theory put to rest from Hawking himself which had previous interviews of his quoted out of context by those thinking to enhance faith with science. Truth is, many close to death do reconcile themselves with mortality, and with the concept that death will be no different than the time before life. Even as a child, I often wondered 'Where was I before I was a baby?', and most children do often wonder that. They are usually told that fairy tale, and comfort themselves with the fact that adults know everything, so it must be true. Problem is, as we get older and as long as we're not indoctrinated by force into some faith, we see just how wrong that is.

I'm intrigued by the work of scientists that have isolated various genes, have worked on the concept of prolonging life, and I'm convinced that someday, we will likely postpone death indefinitely based on the works of people that have come before us, and are with us today, and those of the future (barring some accident or as of yet unsolved disease). The trouble is, we face the greatest challenge on acheiving that from people that, as Hawking put it, 'afraid of the dark' . . . something they've done with conviction for centuries, often brutally, and as of late, a mix of violence and the creation of laws based on nothing more than superstitious fears. Someday, I have no doubt we will even acheive the ability to 'terra-form' other uninhabitable planets, and it's a shame that I won't be there to see it given the fact that we have lost so much time due to the control wielded by those that have supported and maintained a fear in mankind's most ultimate boogy-man.

Mon, 16 May 2011 05:06:01 UTC | #627256

Daniel Berlin's Avatar Comment 13 by Daniel Berlin

And let's not forget Hawking's great swipe at religion in a US TV interview:

"science will win because it works"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LrrpIDXuw4

Mon, 16 May 2011 05:19:30 UTC | #627258

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 14 by Vicktor

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.

What's that? Beauty? Exquisite double helix of DNA? This from Stephen Hawking? He must be a latent [insert your religion here]!

Mon, 16 May 2011 06:02:58 UTC | #627266

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 15 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment 4 by noahidios :

I feel so sad for Hawkins, so many great ideas in his mind and they can only trickle out on character at the time. given that there are some many people whose silence on any matter would benefit mankind, here is a man who could help our species advance if he could only communicate like most of us do.

Crippled as he is, I think that if Hawking wanted pity he would have managed to ask for it by now.

Mon, 16 May 2011 06:41:20 UTC | #627270

ridelo's Avatar Comment 16 by ridelo

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

Hell on the contrary... Look at the picture behind him.

Mon, 16 May 2011 06:52:20 UTC | #627272

superbeanson's Avatar Comment 17 by superbeanson

It amuses me that people are still so swayed by free floating pronouncements from authority figures.

'Darwin had a conversion on deathbed', 'Einstein believed', 'Darwin was never a believer', 'Hawking believes', 'Hawking doesn't believe'.

Ha ha- who gives a shit, truth and falsity has no necessary connection with celebrity

And why oh why is a picture of the distinguished astrophysicist never complete without it appearing that he can float through space and time in his f---ing wheelchair-
Don't you find that to be somewhat patronising- although the great man is crippled he can travel the universe in his mind (isn't that nice for him)

What's wrong for once of having a straight photograph of a man in a wheelchair- or is that too terrifying?

Mon, 16 May 2011 07:04:34 UTC | #627273

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 18 by Peter Grant

"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.

LOL :D Reminds me of Holly and Kryten from Red Dwarf, "No silicon heaven? But where do all the calculators go?"

Mon, 16 May 2011 07:10:01 UTC | #627275

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 19 by Stevehill

Hawkins is presumably the atheist messiah who is yet to come: half Hawking, half Dawkins.

That would be quite a combination.

Mon, 16 May 2011 07:46:57 UTC | #627282

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 20 by Cartomancer

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

So the line-up includes a world-renowned physicist, a nobel prize-winning economist who understands implicitly the dangers of market fundamentalism, and the cosseted idiot-child of dangerous right-wing economic ignorance who is currently trying his level best to ruin Britain's economy and crush the poor. That's a very strange line-up indeed.

Mon, 16 May 2011 08:19:24 UTC | #627286

jez999's Avatar Comment 21 by jez999

Comment 9 by Agrajag :

Comment 6 by PhilipK

Comment 4 by noahidios :

I feel so sad for Hawkins, so many great ideas in his mind and they can only trickle out on character at the time. given that there are some many people whose silence on any matter would benefit mankind, here is a man who could help our species advance if he could only communicate like most of us do.

Hawkins?! Some sort of superbeing that can put all religions in their place whilst doing all the working in his head?

HAWKING

Hawk-ing

Beastly spasm over; but get the guy's name right for goodness' sake!

My fave one is 'Dawkings'. :-)

Mon, 16 May 2011 08:49:26 UTC | #627293

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 22 by debonnesnouvelles

Comment 4 by noahidios :

I feel so sad for Hawkins, so many great ideas in his mind and they can only trickle out on character at the time. given that there are some many people whose silence on any matter would benefit mankind, here is a man who could help our species advance if he could only communicate like most of us do.

Have you read this?

http://www.hawking.org.uk/index.php/disability/disabilityadvice

When confronted with disability, your sadness is very unlikely to be helpful. (I speak from experience from caretaking.) It is simply amazing how well Hawking has been able to survive and work. The speed of his writing need not be of any concern to his audience.

The atheist bus compaign springs to mind. With slight alterations... "There's probably no cure for ALS. Now stop worrying and let me get on with my work."

Mon, 16 May 2011 09:26:38 UTC | #627297

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 23 by SaganTheCat

loving some of the comments (presimubly by posters who are afraid of the dark)

responding to a question about ones lack of faith counts as evangelical atheism now. please will all atheists keep schtum? how can religions expect to be treated fairly if those opposed to them are allowed to speak?

Mon, 16 May 2011 11:56:11 UTC | #627300

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 24 by Peter Grant

Comment 3 by thatgingerscouser

Yeah I'm also not digging that bit much, sounds too much like eugenics.

In reference to my earlier post though, any Red Dwarf fans here? Here's the bit I found really funny:

Equipment going to Silicon heaven include robots, calculators, toasters and hairdryers. Cheap robots such as skutters are sometimes not fitted with a belief chip due to cost, but Holly and Kryten hang on to the belief. In the books it is revealed that when Holly's intelligence was at its peak he didn't believe in Silicon Heaven, but as his IQ slowly declined his faith became "unshakable".

Mon, 16 May 2011 12:05:20 UTC | #627302

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 25 by TheRationalizer

It's about bloody time too! I wish more clever people would speak out and say they do NOT believe in an after life. I am sick of hearing people quote people like Hawking whenever he uses the word "God."

That is a practise that really must stop, but I doubt it will. I myself have reserved its use solely for dropping fragile objects and having sex.

Mon, 16 May 2011 12:08:38 UTC | #627303

robaylesbury's Avatar Comment 26 by robaylesbury

Hawking nails it, whereas Jesus just got nailed.

Ok, cheap shot. Good to hear the intellectual elite come out and say what many near to hear.

http://robaylesbury.blogspot.com/2011/05/time-to-die.html

Mon, 16 May 2011 12:39:40 UTC | #627309

Tim VI's Avatar Comment 27 by Tim VI

Comment 4 by noahidios

if he could only communicate like most of us do.

Um, I believe he communicates better than most of us do. He has written a multitude of books and has arguably advanced science understanding to the layman more so than any other scientist in the past few decades.

Mon, 16 May 2011 13:14:39 UTC | #627318

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 28 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 9 by Agrajag :

It no longer matters:-

There used to be that awful fellow Dawkins (at Oxford) who dished religion, and that nice chap Hawking (at Cambridge, in the wheelchair), who talked about "god". People got them confused. No one liked the nasty Dawking atheist in a wheelchair.

Now they will merge forever in the minds of the dense as the epitome of evil.

But seriously, I'm pleased Hawking has cleared up the ambiguity:-

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.

Mon, 16 May 2011 13:31:49 UTC | #627320

archdeacon pluto's Avatar Comment 29 by archdeacon pluto

Nice one Stephen. As Hitch said "That which makes claims without evidence,can be dismissed without evidence. Reason 1.... superstition 0.

Mon, 16 May 2011 13:44:18 UTC | #627321

Nordic11's Avatar Comment 30 by Nordic11

@stevehill

Hawkins is presumably the atheist messiah who is yet to come: half Hawking, half Dawkins.

Interesting concept. What would that look that?

Mon, 16 May 2011 14:20:52 UTC | #627325