So heaven is a ‘fairy story’, declares Stephen Hawking in an interview with The Guardian newspaper. In the interview he relates how he regards the brain as merely a ‘computer’ that stops working when its parts break down, and that belief in heaven is a comfort for people afraid of the dark.
I can hardly wait for the mumblings, accusations and attacks to begin. Although this particular viewpoint has been stated many times in the past by many people (including myself), the fact that someone as high profile as Stephen Hawking IS saying it will no doubt have every religious extremist and nut-bag ‘alternative living’ zealot in the world up in arms.
I remember discussing religion with a devout Muslim, during which I was asked what I believed in and answered simply “nothing”. My acquaintance indicated disbelief at this and suggested I must believe in Christianity or a number of other religious possibilities. I then explained that, as far as I was concerned, anyone who believed in such things was clearly both delusional and insane – “you’re all mad”.
I knew the person well enough to know that they were a gentle person and would not get upset by the expression of my opinion; though I would have said much the same even if I didn’t know that.
When I was younger I read a lot of books about myth and legend from multiple sources – Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Scandinavian, Indian, North American and more. They were always interesting and often had a lot in common with each other.
One of the things that struck me, even at such a young age, was that almost all of these tales were, at one time believed to be real; people actually worshipped, gave sacrifice, planned their lives on the basis of these screwy tales of god, giants, flying horses etc. and again which were clearly pure unadulterated rubbish.
So then when I looked at the ‘modern’ religions, it was clear that this was just more of the same. If these ancient legends were all wrong, how could the modern versions be any truer? Again it’s just nonsense of the highest order.
Apparently we are pre-disposed to believe in god and the afterlife, but I guess in my case the brain-washing didn’t take. Though, as the person leading that research describes himself as an ‘observant Christian’ and believes that God is ‘all-knowing, all powerful’, he can hardly be classed as an impartial observer. 🙂
Let the mud-slinging commence!