Today, (or yesterday, actually) The Guardian in England ran a story about an interview with Stephen Hawking, the 69 year-old British physicist who makes it quite plain that he does not believe in any sort of afterlife:
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.1
Now, that may be all well and good, except that Mr. Hawking has absolutely no proof that there isn’t an afterlife. Mr. Hawking hasn’t been out of this life at all – not even for a second. Hence, he isn’t qualified to categorically state anything about the existence or non-existence of life after death.
Actually, there is only one Person who is truly qualified to speak authoritatively on the existence of an afterlife and what it consists of: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Stephen Hawking cannot tell us where he came from, or where he is going. Yet, the Lord Jesus stated plainly:
Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. (John 8:14)
Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. (John 8:21-25)
Even if Mr. Hawking doesn’t want to believe the Bible, how does he propose to explain away the near death experiences of a multitude of individuals? Though their near death experiences are not authoritative concerning what the “afterlife” truly consists of, their experiences are sufficient to establish that some sort of life exists after this one. Instead, Mr. Hawking has become so smart, he is willingly blind to any evidence contrary his narrow point of view. In short, Mr. Hawking is blinded by pride and arrogance.
However, attitudes like Mr. Hawking’s are nothing new. Which is why the Scripture states:
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (I Corinthians 1:18-21)
Nonetheless, I am certain Mr. Hawking would reject any suggestion that he might be wrong. One would think that having spent 69 years on this earth, Stephen Hawking would have learned to not discount any possibility when he has no conclusive evidence one way or the other.
Which is why Mr. Hawking is headed for Hell…
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:1-3)
- Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story’, The Guardian, 5/15/2011 [↩]