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Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says
Stephen Hawking at the World Science Festival in New York in 2010.
May 17th, 2011
01:44 PM ET

Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week.

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail," the physicist said in an interview published Sunday in Britain's Guardian newspaper. "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

Hawking, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - a terminal and debilitating illness that causes loss of mobility and impairs speech - at age 21 and was not expected to live long after, also talked with The Guardian about his own mortality.

"I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years," said Hawking, 69. "I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first."

In a book published last year, Hawking wrote that God did not create the universe, in what he said was an attempt to banish a divine creator from physics.

Hawking says in the book "The Grand Design" that given the existence of gravity, "the universe can and will create itself from nothing."

"Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," he wrote in the introduction of the book, which was published in September.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper (fuse) and set the universe going," Hawking wrote.

CNN's Richard Greene contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Britain • Death • Heaven

soundoff (4,469 Responses)
  1. jesus saves

    STEPHEN HAWKING IS AN IDIOT.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • jesus saves

      he might be part computer, but i'm not, i have a mind and soul.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And the basis for your conclusion is... what? Oh, and what's your expertise in coming to this conclusion? How many PhD's do you have and in which subjects did you write your theses?

      June 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  2. Dr. Ernie Young PhD

    Steven Hawking, God Almighty is, you are wrong and your soul is at stake, talk to Aronald Murry of Shepherds Chapel, you can only gain your soul. By Ernie Paul Young Minister, Call Upon the name of the LORD Jesus Christ and have life ever after REPENT and save your soul Steven.
    Stephen you are wrong please watch this man and his teaching for a month you will understand, if you fear not God Almighty then give this man one month to teach you, please do not die without Jesus Christ in your life. Go to Welcome to Shepherd's Chapel – Broadband Files
    Watch Our Daily Show on Demand: (broadband only) Windows Media – Real Media
    http://www.shepherdschapel.com/broadband.htm – Cached
    Shepherds Chapel – Video Results
    Welcome to Shepherd's Chapel – Broadband Files
    ...
    See More
    Welcome to Shepherd's Chapel – Broadband Files
    http://www.shepherdschapel.com
    – Left Click on the version you want to watch and the file will start to download (3 – 10 minutes depending on your broadband connection).

    June 2, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      NO, DEBATING THE UNDEBATABLE IS WHAT IS WRONG FOR THERE IS NO WAY TO KNOW FOR SURE, NEITHER HIM, NOR YOU NOR i CAN TELL. THE SIMPLE FACT YOU ARE ALIVE AND HAVE NOT DIED MAKES YOUR CLALIMS UNPROVABLE.
      RATHER YOUR CONDEMNING HAWKINS WITH PUNISHMENT IS BASED ON A WISH TO CREATE FEAR BASED ON YOUR GUILT. SHAME ON YOU FOR TRYING TO COW AND PUSH FELLOW HUMANS AGAINST THE WALL. TAKE YOUR FILTHY GUILT AND PUT INSIDE YOUR ASS WHERE IT BELONGS! THE AGE OF RELIGIOUS FEAR IS BORING AND ENDING....THANKFULLY :)))))))))))))))

      June 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Rachire Andel

      Go on believing a religion influenced by Man as a measure of population control. Fear is a tried and true method, of that History has stated as much. But I for one take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for my actions and dont need to beg for forgivness every sunday. I realize that Faith is fine for a person to have, but Religion has to go. Its the cause of wars, What drives our fears, and all in all NO ONE has the right method or answer. The path to your creator is a path that only you as an individual can take.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Curtis Matthews

    Science is real and religion is blind faith. We must open our eyes to facts and this world would be a better place.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:37 am |
    • Curmudgeon1

      "religion is blind faith"? Well, I suppose some religions are and maybe some aspects of all religions are. Atheism for example is blind faith in the extreme. It's claim seems to be that "absence of evidence is evidence of absence" and then goes on to blindly reject all available evidence.

      And in the scientific world, people who rely on string theory as an explanation for the world exhibit blind faith because there is absolutely no evidence for string theory or M-theory or the multiverse. (See the book "Not Even Wrong" and "The Trouble with Physics" for further information.) Rational people rely on evidence rather than theory. (I recognize this is an assertion.) So we should see if there is evidence for God's existence and ask if it's strong enough to believe and therefore guide our actions.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • civiloutside

      Actually, the people who rely on string theory are doing this funny little thing scientists like to do with their theories: designing experiments to see if the predictions the theory makes are true. You know... Developing evidence for or against the theory. Scientists don't just make up a theory and assume "on faith" that it's correct – they actually test it.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Curmudgeon1

      "Actually, the people who rely on string theory are doing this funny little thing scientists like to do with their theories: designing experiments to see if the predictions the theory makes are true."

      Based on the two books I referenced and other information, my understanding is that string theory has not gone down this path. It is effectively untestable. Thats' the premise of "Not Even Wrong". The theory is so bad, you not only can't know if it's right, you can't even know if it's wrong because it's impossible to design experiements to prove or disprove the theory. Kind of similar to religion, actually.

      But my argument isn't that string theory is wrong or right, my argument is that everybody experiences blind faith and scientists are no exception. Example: It seems that Hubble disputed the open universe to his death despite all evidence to the contrary.

      And David Gross – a string theoretician – admitted in 2005 that string theory is inherently untestable and does not even account for the universe we see. Yet, some people presenti the theory as true without evidence. If you're trying to use string theory etc. to explain the origins of the universe your'e clearly experiencing blind faith rather than evidence.

      Oh, yeah, I am aware of the LHC search for the Higgs Boson. It will be interesting and gets us closer, but it's not the answer either.

      As the saying goes: "The only guy in the room who says he knows the answer is also the only guy in the room who doesn't understand the question."

      June 2, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Stevie7

      Einstein didn't use blind faith when outlining the special and general theories of relativity. At the time, we did not have the technical capability or knowledge to design experiments to test his theory. The same it true at the present for string theory. There are testable hypotheses, but we don't yet have the capability to conduct such experiments. Just as Einstein's relativity wasn't an act of faith, neither is string theory. Theoretical physics requires fantastic mathematical skills, not faith.

      June 2, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Curmudgeon: You said, "And David Gross – a string theoretician – admitted in 2005 that string theory is inherently untestable and does not even account for the universe we see. Yet, some people presenti the theory as true without evidence."

      I know of no one worthwhile that presents theories as proven without evidence. That you've resorted to the "some people" construct leads me to believe that you don't either.

      "If you're trying to use string theory etc. to explain the origins of the universe your'e clearly experiencing blind faith rather than evidence."

      No, it's called "science." What you fail to grasp is even if that's the explanation that fits best at the moment, we'll change it later if proven wrong. Religious people have no such need. They think they already have the answer.

      There's nothing inherently wrong with "we don't know" as an answer.

      June 2, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If a premise has not been repeatedly tested, doc.umented and subjected to peer scrutiny then it is a hypothesis, not a theory.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      I AGREE WITH ALBERT EINSTEIN IN HIS THEORY OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES THAT WE HUMANS CANNOT SEE; OR DIFFERENT LEVELS IN THE UNIVERSE. SADLY THOSE ADVANCED PHYSICIST DISCOVERIES ARE NOT ACCESSIBLE TO RADICAL CONSERVATIVES. UNFORTUNATELY, THE TEA PARTY AND AL QUAIDA RESEMBLE EACH OTHER IN THEIR DESTRUCTIVENESS, HATRED AND NEGATIVISM. TRAGICALLY THE TWO SEEM BENT ON DESTROYING THE U.S. ECONOMY. WE MODERATES AND INDE;ENDENTS NEED TO RE-ELECT [RESIDENT BARRY OBAMA :))))))))))

      June 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  4. HudsonEast

    @Shm writes: God is not a creation. That is too hard for our puny human minds to fathom. Ask and ant about the anatomy of the human body. It cannot and is not even aware of humans or of God.

    If we go with this logic, then why can't the Universe be something that began spontaneously? In purely logical terms, it is surely no more likely that God has always existed than that the Universe came spontaneously into being. One argument cannot win over the other – logically speaking. Both sides must admit the other has a point.

    Of course, outside the purely logical realm, there is a difference. We have scientific evidence of a Big Bang taking place. This evidence based approach is the way most of us live our lives... for example, we would not use a cell phone because we just believe it works, we use it because it actually does work. In contrast to science's evidence-based approach on the Big Bang theory, the religions of the world have a wide variety of creation myths - colorful, interesting, sometimes amusing, and all staggeringly unlikely. You can pick your creation myth from these (the Hindu ones are particularly cool, but I still have a soft spot for Genesis because of the majesty of the language), but all of them are unsupported by anything except faith and wishful thinking. All of them have vigorous believers, but the likelihood of any of them being anywhere close to reality is vanishingly small. If you desire or need that faith, then I fully respect your right to it. But wishing something is true and quoting phrases from old books does not make for a valid argument about how the Universe operates and how it might have come into being. That kind of thinking had some people convinced that the world was going to end on May 21.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      RATHER THE BASIC UNIVERSE FORCE OR ENERGY THAT GENERATED THE PLANETS AND LIFE WAS MISUNDERSTOOD AS A GOD. MANKIND IS TOO SMALL TO UNDERSTAND SUCH HUGE UNIVERSE FORCES, SO IT CONCEIVED WRONGLY OF A HUMAN -LIKE DIVINITY. THAT ASSUMPTION WAS TOTALLY WRONG. A LOVE GOD WHO REALLY CARED FOR MANKIND WOULD NOT ALLOW HUGE CATASTROPHES, SUNAMIS AND EARTHQUAKES, PLUS TERRIBLE PAINFUL PESTS. IF YOUR CAT SLOWLY DIED OF AIDS, WOULD YOU CONDEMN HIM, OR TEND TO HIM? ALL DECENCY HUMAN PRINCIPLES AND FEELING WOULD MAKE YOU TENDERLY TAKE CARE OF THE ANIMAL, RIGHT? INSTEAD GOD LETS IT ALL HAPPEN PLUS CONSERVATIVES NOW GO AFTER FUNDS FOR MEDICARE , HEALTH REFORM AND MEDICAID?

      June 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  5. Curmudgeon1

    I haven't had an opportunity to read Hawking's new book, although I've read several of his others. The article states that he says "given gravity...." but does he explain where gravity comes from?

    Or maybe God = Gravity, that would explain it.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Poopie

      Your kidding right? This guy name Einstein explained it like 90 years ago. (FYI its the warping of space time)

      June 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • HudsonEast

      I'll admit that 'given gravity' is on the same logical plane as 'given God'. But that does not mean Gravity = God. We have abundant empirical proof that gravity exists (try to jump ten feet in the air), but we have absolutely none that a god exists.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      SORRY, SO WHAT IS YOUR POINT? NEWTON EXPLAINED THE LAWS OF GRAVITY.NOW THOSE LAWS APPLY ONLY TO THE EARTH, NOT TO THE MOON, MARS AND OTHER PLANETS. SO IF THE CHRISTIAN FANTASY ONLY SEEMS TO WORK HERE ON EARTH, THAT IS NO REASON TO GENERALIZE IT TO A MUCH BIGGER UNIVERSE. RATHER OUR PLANET'S LIMITATIONS ARE CHAINED IN SLAVERY TO THE VULNERABILITY OF THE HUMAN CONDITION. A CHURCH ELITE IMPOSED ITS LIES ON NEEDY SERVANTS AND SEMI-SLAVES. THE ;PRIESTS USED HUMAN FEARS TO KEEP THE COMMON PEOPLE CHAINED. IT WAS A LONG PROCESS. STEVEN HAWKINGS IS RIGHT. 🙂

      June 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  6. Truth

    "The wisdom of men is foolishness to God." Always has been, always will be. No matter how advanced man becomes, he will never come even close to knowing what God knows. People like Hawking have been around for millennia and still haven't learned. But that's OK. He'll eventually see the truth...one way or another.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • TB

      It's called faith because there is no rational reason to believe. The key here is that there is no rationality to faith, and in fact, people's unwavering allegiance to their faiths (and associated conflicts of said faiths) are responsible for more hatred, war and bloodshed than any other single factor. The only place god exists is in your (brainwashed) mind.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      SINCEE IT SOUNDS THATS YOU KNOW YOUR GOD SO WELL, PROVE YOU HAVE MET HIM (OR MET HER) HAHHAHAHAH

      June 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  7. Rico53

    You know ,for a man that is supposed to be so brilliant ,that is a racist comment that i would normally expect form an uneducated ignorant fool . I guess since his theory on black holes and the destruction of all matter within is destroyed has been proven wrong he seems to be lashing out at non believers.
    Small minded comments to be sure.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Like an uneducated, ingorant fool that doesn't understand what "racism" means?

      June 1, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Paul

      Rico, nothing in this article has even a suggestion of racism. Apparently you are incapable of understanding plain written English.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Poopie

      ditto with the other commenters on the "what racism?"
      Regarding him being proven wrong: not only is that completely ad hom, but he proved himself wrong. Thats why he is a scientist and not a theologian. H came to a conclusion based on evidence, and when evidence cam along that contradicted him he corrected himself. You know, instead of talking about his "faith"

      June 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • HudsonEast

      Rico53, I would really like to see you expand upon your ideas.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
  8. Purebredmutt

    Stephen, shame on you! You can lie about as well as you can run. I know your reading these comments and it's time you admit the truth to yourself, G-d exists, always has and always will. You have been given intellect and opportunity to prove your theory but your science has failed you at each attempt. You cannot dismiss the human eye – it did not evolve and the science community has been forced to hang its head in shame. You have found your God particle, yet cannot explain its existence without giving Him glory, so you hesitate. You are correct that G-d did not "light the blue touch paper", don't believe me though, ask Him yourself. We both know you talk.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • Paul

      Purebredmutt, I suggest you try reading some actual scientific websites. Sticking with religious sites will not give you the facts.
      Scientists do in fact know how eyes, including the human eye, evolved. It's a fascinating story. You really should learn about it.
      And you should be ashamed for making unfounded comments about a man who has done more for the advancement of knowledge than any radio pastor or mega-church mogul.
      Now either grow up and face reality, or shut up and go enjoy your baseless fantasies.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Poopie

      1) I doubt Hawking is reading these
      2) My high school bio book explained how the eye, the immune system, and anything else u want evolved.

      June 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • LinCA

      Start by providing some evidence that your g-d exists.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      WHERE DID YOU LEARN WHAT YOU CLAIM? ANY PHOTOS OF YOUR DIVINITY? DOES HE/SHE USE THE TOILET? HAHAHAHAHNHAHSHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!

      June 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  9. Curtis Griffin

    Well, it would appear that Mr. Hawking has forgotten the Law of Conservation and Thermodynamics: Energy can not be created or destroyed. It simply changes forms or mediums. So then, by the very science with which he predicts there can be no God, it can also be said that the energy within every human did not simply "create itself" and does not simply end at death. The energy, according to the Laws of Thermodynamics, must go somewhere else. And though the body and brain may die (as is the fate of all corporeal substances), the soul or "energy" that drives the body cannot die whether one conforms to scientific reasoning or religious reasoning. It seems to me that Mr. Hawking, as brilliant as he is, has failed to fully account for his beloved scientific theorems in stating his opinions, which leads me to believe that, for whatever reason, his non-belief in God is not rooted in a calculated scientific deduction, but rather, something wholly more personal for which he can offer no viable explanation.

    May 31, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Poopie

      lol. You obviously dont understand the things you are invoking. By your articulation, everything with mass or that has energy has a soul. The "energy or 'soul" in the human body, and all animals, is simply chemicals and electrons flowing around in the brain. When an animal dies, the reaction from which we get the energy cease and the matter rleases its matter and engergy via decomp. They dont disapear. They all stay here on earth. (the 21 grams thing has been debunked). My computer has both matter and energy flowing throught it. Heck, the vegtabales on my counter have energy and matter. Do they have souls? But based on your reasoning, where did god come from? and how could maricles happen?

      June 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Poopie

      "A soul must be composed of energy, and energy eventually becomes useless and cannot last for eternity. Hence, a soul is illusory.
      It would also violate the first law. According to major religions God creates a soul for every new born. That would violate the first law, ergo illusory. "

      June 1, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Curtis Griffin Jr

      @ Poopie:
      I won't even try to address most of your second response as I have no idea what you mean by any of it. Illusory? First law? If you respond, I am sure you will enlighten me.

      First off, let me say I know a GREAT deal about everything that I spoke on. Second, allow me to point out that it is individuals such as you that generalize everything that create issues for the rest of us that are able to think abstractly. For instance, I did not state that everything that has energy has a soul, I stated that the soul of a person could be considered energy. Your generous extrapolation of my words does not change what I wrote and does not deter me from reiterating what I said before.

      The Law of Conservation specifically states that in a closed system (and, yes, the entire universe can be thought of as a closed system until or unless we find out otherwise) the amount of energy in that system does not change. Energy may take on another form but it simply does not die. By the same token, energy is not created either as any energy that can be thought of as being "new" has simply presented itself in a new form. To that end, I believe that the soul of a person (which I think can be though of the energy substance of a person) never dies either; it just changes form. The inherently would mean then that the essence of a person never dies and that an “afterlife” in some form must exist. And exactly what is the soul you ask? Well it is question that has dogged science and scientist since the question was first asked. Some think of it as the spirit... others say it is consciousness. Even still, some say it is essence while others say it is the ability to think… others, the ability to dream.

      Oddly enough, the question of whether or not it exists is not as nearly as debated as to what it is. I, for one, believe that it simply must exist. Don't believe me? Do this; sit wherever you are, close your eyes, and let your mind go blank. Now, think of whatever your happiest moment was. Remember how you felt... what your surroundings looked like... the sounds. Now, open your eyes. Still think of your happy moment but observe where you are now. Take in your current environment, the current sights, sounds, and feelings. Now... tell me... how is it that you are able to account for two realities (one real and current and one in memory) at the same time? And yes I understand that the brain is replaying the remembered reality for you... but where?

      The brain, for all intents and purposes, is the DVD player/recorder but to what screen is it hooked up to. You are remembering (and viewing) a whole point and time in your life in almost complete totality... without ever having to close your eyes. If you ( the physical you) are currently sitting at a desk taking part in this exercise that I have demonstrated, then you are seeing the computer screen, your desk, or whatever else you have in your current surroundings. When you remember, your vision is not overwhelmed or clouded by the memory until it is finished, but rather, you are able to simultaneously "see" both the memory and the present reality unobstructed in something I call “duality of perspectives”. And before someone such as yourself yells out that we see this in our brains, keep in mind that science has not determined how we are able to do this and the fact that, again, the brain is more akin to the actual DVD player, not the TV screen. For me, this duality of perspectives can only be explained by the human body encompassing a physical self and spiritual self (or energy self or whatever you want to call it). I believe that the spiritual self is the one that plays recalled memories and gives us the uniquely human trait of thinking. True, computers and animals think but they don't reason which, for humans, is an essential part of thinking. And this is something that can't be completely explained by science as we have no idea how or why all animals that, as you put it, have a chemical and electrons (and I'll throw in brains to boot), are not capable of reason. I think it is because they likely lack the spiritual self or soul that humans have. Can I prove it? Not yet... but I am working on it. And even if I can't prove it, it can't exactly be disproven (at this point) scientifically either, so, what we have is a stalemate. And as for where God came from... He simply was and is. It is my prerogative to believe as such just as it is your prerogative to believe to the contrary. How God came to be (in my mind) is more answerable than how the Big Bang occurred minus and precipitating event or stimulus. But I suppose that bit of missing information regarding the Big Bang is inconsequential to someone such as yourself and you don’t question that event. But, I suppose, we are just two different people searching for different things… all I ask is a sensible debate on the issue rather than throwing out baseless insults or insinuations.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Stevie7

      The energy of a recently deceased person dissipates primarily as heat. This is easily verified and requires absolutely no soul. Attempting to place a "soul" somewhere into the equation is trying to make a correlation where none exists.

      To state that because we cannot fully understand how the physical brain brings about consciousness, therefore the brain is only a recorder, is not an illogical assumption. It's like the ancients saying that since they couldn't understand the tides, then god must have been responsible.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Curtis Is Ignorant

      @Curtis Griffin, with regards to both of your posts: you are ignorant and, though you try to use sophisticated sentence structure and good grammar (you know, to appear smart), you are in fact sort of dumb. Anybody who believes that there is both a metaphysical and a physical component to humans is just crazy...modern brain imaging shows that emotional experiences, learning, thought and any thing else you try to attribute to a "soul" is just the release of neurons and the like in the brain. In other words, the closest analogy you could choose is that the brain is just like a computer. Then, emotions are associated with that brain activity and the humans who are not capable of comprehending what's really happening tend to try to explain it with something nice and warm and fuzzy (such as god). And animals are capable of reasoning, although that term is just a label for something that can not really be contained by one word. Animals are capable of discriminating complicated conditions, responding to those conditions in various ways, and avoiding unpleasant conditions quite adeptly. That's something that dumb humans fail at all the time...probably just like you.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:39 am |
  10. yes_yes_yes

    Do you people know what seeds are? Harvests? Send your seed money and God will send back harvest money. Get it? It's really that simple. duh

    May 31, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • HudsonEast

      I always thought it was about money.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  11. thank_goodness

    Thank goodness for people that seek the truth. They are brave enough to try to see reality as it truthfully is. Religion is most often used by the pompous to pump up their inflated, holier than thou perceptions of themselves, and to escape the reality of the horrible truth of what happens when we die. I only wish that there was a way for them to see after they pass from this earth that what they believed was not the truth, but they will never find out the truth because they just keep believing what they've been told which is that there is a santa claus in the sky that's going to put them in heaven when they pass away. Good luck.

    May 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  12. Muneef

    These words;
    Are there any historical connections between Science Ancient, Modern with the Prophecies Ancient,Recent....?

    May 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  13. Muneef

    The Reality of Death
    By Dr. Saleh As-Saleh
    From Oklahoma & Islam
    © Daar Al-Bukhari 

    Life in this world has an appointed term, and the end of the term will definitely come...
    The righteous will die and the wicked will die...
    The worriers for just causes will die and those who run from death will die
    Those who busy themselves with correct belief will die...
    and those who treat people as their slaves will die...
    The brave who rejects injustice will die, and the coward who seeks to cling on to the life at any price will die...
    The people of great concern and lofty goals will die, and wretched people who live only for cheap enjoyment will die...
    Wherever we will be, in a fortress or in a tent, we will die...
    All will die:
    Allah (God) says:
    Everyone shall taste death...
    [Quraan 3: 185]

    No one will escape death. Allah says:

    Say: Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to (Allah), the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will tell you what you used to do.
    [Quraan 62: 8]

    This life is a period of trials and tests. Allah says:

    He (Allah) has created death and life, that He may test which of you is the best in deed. He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.
    [Quraan 67:2]

    http://www.quraan.com/index.aspx?&tabid=34&artid=61

    -------
     
    Death: An Ultimate Reality
    By Prof. Shahul Hameed
    http://www.islamonline.net/
    Throughout the ages, mankind viewed death as something gruesome and frightening, something that should be postponed indefinitely or abolished if possible, once for all.

    This was because of two reasons. First, death cuts short the life of this world. Second, there was no "proof" about the chance for a new lease of life in a world to come. Death is, as Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns" to tell us their story.

    All the same, there was also the belief among religions that death served as a kind of passage to another more important arena of life.

    From the Islamic point of view, death is a reality of life, a certainty from which no one is exempt. God says in the Quran what means:

    [Every soul shall have a taste of death: and only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved from the fire and admitted to the garden will have attained the object (of life): for the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.] (Aal `Imran3:185)

    As it is mentioned in the verse, there is going to be a Day of Judgment one has to face after death, when each will be paid in full the fruit of what he or she has earned in this life.

    Those who sowed evil will reap evil and those who sowed good will reap good. All the allure and glamour of this world would then prove to be of no real worth; what is of enduring value would be provided in that world to come.

    http://www.islamawareness.net/Death/death_article004.html

    May 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  14. Ted Ward

    As an eminent scientist and theoretician Mr. Hawking could hardly be expected to say anything else. He must and can only describe what he can know based on actual scientific experimental measurement and carefully reasoned theory. To do otherwise would only cast doubt on what he has already accomplished as a scientist. To protect the credibility of his life's work in the science community he must reamain outwardly and avowedly an atheist .

    May 28, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • HudsonEast

      So by your logic, this necessarily means that he really believes in God, right? Despite all the evidence to the contrary? Is this the way that you reason that God exists as well?

      June 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  15. USAvoice

    Professor Hawking has not found the blessing of his condition. Well Stephen, God believes in you and has faith in you, that's why you were chosen to rise above the gravity of your life and enlighten the world with your great mind. Have no fear, God loves you anyway.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      USAvoice wrote: "Have no fear, God loves you anyway."

      Since you appear to be a spokesman for this "god", would you mind identifying which "god" you had in mind, as there have been so many over the years... (By the way, you do have your "god"'s permission to speak on his or her behalf, yes?

      May 28, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Rob

      PraiseTheLard wrote "would you mind identifying which "god" you had in mind".

      There is one God who formed all the other gods. He spread out the heavens with his own hand. No foriegn god was with him. He even formed Yahweh, Jehovah, and Allah. His name is the Lord. He has spoken through the prophets. His name is holy and separate. He hovered over the waters before the earth had form (Genesis 1:2). He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. The Father and Lord of the Jesus the Christ.

      May 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Jerry

      right on rob

      May 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Rob

      Thanks, Jerry.
      I lived sickly for a long time, and one day He just healed me. All those years I spent in bed, and suddenly I felt like doing jumping jacks. I know He could heal Steven too.

      May 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • HudsonEast

      Why not just credit Professor Hawking with the courage to rise above his condition, and make such a difference in the world? No god is necessary here. Human beings can be amazing - is that too difficult to accept?

      This type of 'reasoning' reminds me of a woman who was rescued by firefighters. They risked their lives to extract her from a car she had driven into a frozen river. When the TV cameras came around, she thanked God for having delivered her.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Rob wrote: "There is one God who formed all the other gods. He spread out the heavens with his own hand. "

      And you know this... how? Also, where did this "god" come from?

      June 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Rob

      PraiseTheLard wrote: "Where did this 'god' come from?"

      Well, originally, He proceeded from the Father, when He hovered over the waters in Genesis 1:2. But he also proceeded from the Son (Jesus), when Jesus "breathed" the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. The Father said, "Let there be light", and the Lord "let" the light come into existence. No man comes to the Father in Genesis 1:1, except by Him in Genesis 1:2. He said so right through Jesus lips. He will be who he will be. "I Am that I Am". All nations will gather before him. And your knee will bow too, son of Abraham. Have you forgotten where you came from? Even the hairs on your head are numbered. He formed you in the womb. Only one Spirit can form a baby in the womb. No other god can do that. Certainly neither Yahweh, nor Jehovah would even know where to begin forming a baby in the womb.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Rob

      PraiseTheLard wrote: "And you know this... how?"

      How could anyone know this, if it is actually truth? If it is truth, then there was no one there to witness it except the Lord God. In fact, how could anyone ever "know" anything? Here is how: Because this is MY MIND, and MY BODY, I have chosen to know this as truth. There are many among us who have chosen to know other things as truth. So be it for them. I speak the truth, for me, in accordance with the scriptures.

      Many think that in the beginning, God and I were one. They do not understand that even though I came from the Father, it was the Holy Spirit that created the first tree for my enjoyment, before I was ever concieved of. The Holy Spirit created my Mother, whose womb I was born of. Even I cannot return to the Father, except by the Holy Spirit, whom I am one with.

      And you do not know when it is that Jesus is speaking. If you deny my words, whom are you denying?

      June 2, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Rob

      Hudson East wrote : "No god is necessary here. "

      That's what Lucifer said just before his battle with Saint Michael. God kicked him out of heaven.

      By the words we use, we are all slowly becoming someone else. I know who you quoted when you wrote, "No god is necessary here.". If I am wise enough to know this about you, who your influence is, why can't you figure it out?

      Now, I want you to acknowledge that your reasoning here is not new, but came from somewhere else first. And then, if you are wise, you may realize that it came from some one. Did you "let" him influence you, or did you not have any control at all, because of your ignorance?

      You write, "Is that so hard to accept?". The answer can be found when you can tell the difference between an angel and a devil. The ones who became devils found it easy to accept what you pedal.

      There are sides, whether you like it or not. If you are not with the angels (i.e.saint Michael), then perhaps you will have some luck explaining to Lucifer that you don't belong to him. You just "happened" to think exactly like him, and further his filth.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Rob: I hate to tell you this, but you appear to be totally brainwashed and living in a fairy-tale world... As long as you're happy deluding yourself, it's fine with me... When you go off spouting your legends, pretending as if they're anything but fiction, then that's when the problems occur...

      June 5, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Rob

      PraiseTheLard wrote: "you appear to be totally brainwashed"

      This is a compliment. For Luke has written, a knife will go through her soul so that the thoughts of many will be laid bare. My thoughts are laid bare to the Holy Virgin. In short, my Holy mother "knows" me. She knows how I think, my thoughts. And She has authority over any filthy thoughts I might have, and the ability to "wash my brain", so to speak, so that I don't get caught up in this filth you pedal (the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit).

      There is a difference between fairys and angels. A difference between magic and miracles. Can you tell me the difference? You seem to know the difference between fiction and reality, by your remarks. So what's the difference?

      Those who can't tell the difference probably think that BOTH magic and miracles are fairy tales.

      Rob.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  16. Christian ross

    Talk to a child of 3 mr Hawkins even for an hour Tellme god doesnt exsist..Yes and after billions of years this brain just magically became like a computer?? I don't know why people give Stephen Hawkins so much credit.. Why? .. I mean .. He thinks f the human mind as a computer that just came from nothing? Cmon man .. Seriously did you know that not one peice of technology can. Reproduce a replica of the human eye?!?!?! Hello????? Mr smarty pants.. All this tech even in 2011 can't even make an eye... With all it's nerve ending and optics ... Thatcame from what hmm? You make a lot of absolute statements when you should because what an absolute statement is.. Is saying something you know that is for sure.. An you would have to know everything about verything to make a statement like there is no heaven blah blah it's the same as me saying there isnt any gold in china .. When I would have to dig in every peice of dirt in china to be able to make that statement .. Woe to you mr Hawkins .. Do not continue on this path of leading others astray... And to you who automatically believe him without any study yourselfs .. Gullible hypocrites! If you want to know if there is a God or not .. Search!!! Find out! He is real!! And don't just take my word for it.. Ask Jesus to come into your life! Woe to this generation! I used to be a satanist an I know the devil is real.. So to is God .. And he you should fear .. Not the weak pathetic filth of evil . Wake up!!!! Wake up!!!!! Wake up!!!!!

    May 27, 2011 at 5:48 am |
    • tymxposure

      The brain didn't suddenly appear after billions of years. The eye didn't suddenly sprout out of a hominid's head. These conglomerations of cells evolved (yes, it's that nasty word- EVOLVED) step by step, incrementally, over hundreds of millions of years. Absurdist reductions do nothing to disprove evolution. Believe what you need to find peace in this life, but for the love of christ, give the rest of us a break from any 'ONE TRUE BELIEF'-ism

      June 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • HudsonEast

      Why should we fear your god? Is he angry and vengeful just because someone doesn't believe in him? That does not sound a very pleasant sort of god.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  17. Ronald Regan

    Well now, I am happy that those whom believe have elequently expressed themselves without dicord or sarcastic expressions toward those that believe in worms, dirt, and emptyness. I commend each and everyone of you for expressing your beliefs especially in a world that is slowly changing into one without a heart and soul but rather flesh and power. Hawking is a brilliant man. Simply a man with a nack for numbers much like the baker and the mechanic whom is a master of his craft. But to hold his words so true in itself would that not be classified as a "Belief" would not the Athiest or agnostic hold what he says absolute then in that belief. So I would agree it is safe to say Athiesm and Other Non beliefs are infact Religions in themselves.

    To not believe in anything better is to deny youself the ability to strive for more than you will ever be and simply die on the vine.

    Thank You.
    Mr. Regan

    May 27, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Jerry

      poser

      May 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • HudsonEast

      I guess asking for some evidence before you believe in something is a bit too radical for you, Ronald. Personally, if someone comes up to me and says that there are unicorns on the moon, or that it took an infinitely powerful god six days to make the Universe I ask them to back that sort of statement up. If this is truly the way you live your life, please always go outside accompanied by a responsible adult.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  18. Jeff Bertram

    Stephen Hawking speaks the truth! No heaven, no hell, only our natural earth. The end is the end and nothing more. This is why we must cherish life and not waste it as fundies would have us do. EVOLVE!

    May 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  19. Muneef

    They will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [2:37] Then, Adam received from his Lord words, whereby He redeemed him. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

    [2:38] We said, "Go down therefrom, all of you. When guidance comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
    --–

    [2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    --–

    [2:112] Indeed, those who submit themselves absolutely to GOD alone, while leading a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    -----

    [2:262] Those who spend their money in the cause of GOD, then do not follow their charity with insult or harm, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [2:263] Kind words and compassion are better than a charity that is followed by insult. GOD is Rich, Clement.

    ----–

    [2:274] Those who give to charity night and day, secretly and publicly, receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ------

    [2:277] Those who believe and lead a righteous life, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), they receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    -----

    [3:169] Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of GOD are dead; they are alive at their Lord, enjoying His provisions.

    [3:170] They are rejoicing in GOD's grace, and they have good news for their comrades who did not die with them, that they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [3:171] They have good news of GOD's blessings and grace, and that GOD never fails to reward the believers.
    ----–

    [5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in GOD and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a righteous life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ---–

    [6:48] We do not send the messengers except as deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who believe and reform have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ---–

    [7:35] O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----

    [10:62] Absolutely, GOD's allies have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----

    [39:61] And GOD will save those who have maintained righteousness; He will reward them. No harm will touch them, nor will they have any grief.
    -----

    [46:13] Surely, those who say, "Our Lord is GOD," then lead a righteous life, will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----–

    Is that too much for us to do? Or is that too wrong to listen to?

    May 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Jeff Bertram

      Muneef = fundy

      Everything you refer to is nonesense. Fictional dialog in a fictional novel about a mythical being. May as well be "Lord of the Rings"

      May 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      Jeff B.

      As you like it to be any way times becoming harder for believers by the deprogramed robots who live among them with emptiness...

      Holding a Burning Ember

      Anas bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There shall come upon the people a time in which the one who is steadfast upon his religion will be like the one holding onto a burning ember.” (Hasan) [Chapters on Al-Fitan: Jami At-Tirmidhi]

      This hadith informs us that the Muslim Ummah shall pass through periods when wickedness, lewdness and sinfulness will hold sway in society, and the believers shall find it extremely difficult to preserve their faith, and swim against the surging tide of worldly benefits and gains. Holding onto one’s faith under these conditions will in fact be like holding on to a live coal in the palm of one’s hand, which will be a highly challenging and trying task.

      http://dailyhadith.adaptivesolutionsinc.com/hadith/Holding-a-Burning-Ember.htm

      May 26, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • HudsonEast

      Assembling large numbers of quotes is not the same as assembling evidence.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  20. savant

    I think Mr. Hawking is presenting his own opinion regarding the existence of heaven. But the fact remain that Jesus Christ himself who said to his disciples, "Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also in me, in my Father's house are many mansions, if were not so, I would have told you that I would go in order to prepare a place for you and then I will come back again to take you to be with me...." This promise will never change no matter what others people say. Mathematical formulas will eventually vanish but heaven and earth will not pass away until what the Lord Jesus Christ promised come true.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • tymxposure

      Yes I'm sure beleivers in Baal believed the same thing, more or less. And I'm sure the spheric nature of earth will eventually vanish and we will all once again live on the one, true plane of earth.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • HudsonEast

      You know, part of me wants to believe this is true, and I do not dispute your right to believe it if you want to. But just because someone says heaven is real is absolutely no indication or proof that it is. For example, someone may insist that fairies exist, but there is very little or no evidence to support this, so it is extremely unlikely that they do. I don't claim to know everything, but I think it is better not to tell someone something is 'true' unless you have some solid evidence to support it.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.