COMMENTARY | The Associated Press reports that in a recent interview published in the Guardian newspaper, physicist Stephen Hawking declared that there is no afterlife. Hawking said that heaven is basically a “fairytale story” for those who are afraid of death and he does not believe that God keeps the universe working.
There are a lot of things I find interesting about this statement, especially since I am an atheist and do not believe in God as well. I find it interesting that Hawking would use the words “fairytale story” because that is basically how I feel about heaven as well. As a non-religious person, I believe that people use the concept of heaven to feel more comfortable with their ultimate demise, which is also similar to Hawking and his belief. The belief in heaven is similar to a fairytale story because it is akin to saying if you do good things in your life and follow certain guidelines, then you will live happily ever after in another realm of life after death.
I find it odd, however, that Hawking chose to make this statement Sunday which is five days before what some people are calling Judgment Day. Family Radio claims May 21 is supposed to be the second-coming of God for a lot of religious people and will mark the Judgment Day.
I just find it odd that Hawking would come out and talk about his feelings and beliefs of heaven and God during a time when many people are preparing for this big day. As an atheist, I do not believe in the Judgment Day idea, but I do find it curious someone would speak out against God the week this event is supposed to happen.
Hawking’s views on heaven and God in general strike me as reasonable and sensible, especially considering I am an atheist. I look at him and see a physicist, which means he looks at things through science, facts and from a more concrete angle. My take on his feelings and thoughts is that he is looking at things from the scientific and proven point of view instead of based on words written in a book, where there is no science or evidence to back up what is being said.
I think that when Hawking looks at space and matter and everything in the world, he sees it through the eyes of science instead of assumptions; even if his answer is not what people want to hear, it is worth noting and I admire his thoughts. He seems to have a no-nonsense view of life. Whether you agree or not, you have to respect how he views the world and universe as a whole.
Associated Press, “Stephen Hawking says heaven has no place in his view of time and space”, Washington Post
Family Radio Staff, “Judgment Day”, Family Radio