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Montevideo, April 19th 2019 - 10:55 UTC

“Heaven is a fairy story, there is no afterlife” says eminent Stephen Hawking

Tuesday, May 17th 2011 - 01:05 UTC
Full article 13 comments
“I’m not afraid of death but I’m not in a hurry to die” “I’m not afraid of death but I’m not in a hurry to die”

Heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said in an interview. Hawking, 69, was expected to die within a few years of being diagnosed with degenerative motor neurone disease at the age of 21, but became one of the world's most famous scientists with the publication of his 1988 book “A Brief History of Time”.

“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 told the Guardian newspaper.

“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.”

When asked how we should live he said: “We should seek the greatest value of our action.”

Hawking gave the interview ahead of the Google Zeitgeist meeting in London where he will join speakers including British Finance minister George Osborne and Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

Addressing the question “Why are we here?” he will argue tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe sowed the seeds of human life.

The former Cambridge University Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a post once also held by Isaac Newton, has a history of drawing criticism for his comments on religion.

His 2010 book “The Grand Design” provoked a backlash among religious leaders, including chief rabbi Lord Sacks, for arguing there was no need for a divine force to explain the creation of the universe.

As a result of his incurable illness Hawking can only speak through a voice synthesiser and is almost completely paralysed.

He sparked serious concerns in 2009 when he was hospitalised after falling seriously ill following a lecture tour in the United States but has since returned to Cambridge University as a director of research.

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  • NicoDin

    There is not heaven for nothing but for computers there is backup systems.
    What makes human being unique like computers is the data stored.
    So we only need to develop a good backup system for our brains and wait until a Chinese factory starts to produce cloned bodies.

    May be in the future we will able to develop working technology to store data in living tissue and fluids on great scale.

    I just wonder what part of our body will be used to restore the data back... umm
    I guess that will hurt so much hah ha ha

    May 17th, 2011 - 11:28 am 0
  • zethe

    Nico, im quite sure that it would be possible to download your entire brain onto a floppy disk.

    May 17th, 2011 - 12:27 pm 0
  • geo

    at the article picture there Stephen Hawking seems as if telling fortune
    for Irish origins who live in Texas !!

    May 17th, 2011 - 01:43 pm 0
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