How Stephen Hawking Got It Right On Religion

    This post by Neil Bamforth originally appeared at MadMikesAmerica.

    (Credit: Shutterstock)

    Professor Stephen Hawking was a remarkable man in so many ways. A brilliant scientist who made theoretical physics almost understandable to everyone. He lived for 50 years after his ALS diagnosis when 3 or 4 years is more usual. He was clearly a great humanitarian as well.

    His view of religion was spot on.

    To paraphrase: “People believe in a God like a fairy tale because they are frightened of the dark” – or something like that.

    It’s understandable really. The idea that, when you die, that’s it. No more consciousness, just eternal darkness that you aren’t even aware of because you have no awareness. You’re dead.

    Not a pleasant thought really is it.

    Much nicer to believe that there is a God and a heaven and that’s where you’ll go – or your spirit will. Up the stairway to heaven.

    Mind you. If Hawking is wrong, and there is a stairway to heaven, given his circumstances confined to a wheelchair, how the hell will he get up them anyway?

    There’s nothing wrong with religion and faith per se. As usual it’s humanities extraordinary skill at corrupting anything and everything it touches.

    Someone wants to believe in God or Allah or whichever deity they like fine. It’s when they try and impose their unshakable beliefs on others there’s a problem. And, boy, if you upset a religious fundamentalist – emphasis on the ‘mentalist’ bit – are you going to get it.

    Rwanda recently banned a mosque from calling Muslims to prayer on the quite reasonable grounds such a racket was disturbing everyone and, after all, Rwanda only has about a 5% Muslim population so, they said, the majority shouldn’t have to put up with all the wailing from the mosque.

    Quite right too.

    In America the Christian ‘mentalists’ are always behaving in a loopy like way. I don’t need to list them. Most readers are American anyway so you already know about them.

    Take ‘mentalist Catholics’ – somebody please take them. Anywhere is fine, preferably some small uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere would do fine.

    Catholicism said their priests were married to God – is that right? I’m no expert. Odd if it is. I thought they were against gay marriage. Still, altar boys across the globe found out in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t just the body of Christ the priests were after.

    Then, of course, you have the relatively smaller religious loop-di-loops. Scientologists, Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses – I wonder what he did to require witnesses? – along with huge religions completely alien to us such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and so on.

    What the hell IS a Presbyterian anyway??

    I strongly suspect the late Professor Hawking got it right. Religious faith is a fairy tale that helps assuage our fear of the dark.

    Harmless in principle but often corrupted by loonies.

    Questioning the universe – Stephen Hawking

    Stephen Hawking There is no God. There is no Fate.

    Stephen Hawking Dismisses God and Calls Heaven a “Fairy Story”

    Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook


    1. My take is simply that we "die" every time we go to sleep, and not only is the prospect of sleep not terrifying, it is something we often look forward to. What does scare people is the chance of being in extreme pain beforehand, or the loss of dignity perhaps after a stroke, and sometimes that makes the prospect of "the final sleep" even more attractive

      • Going to sleep is a kind of death.boom we wake up again . Allan watts says great wonder if it all is to go to sleep and never wake up

    2. Many religious people are not expecting an afterlife. A "Holy Book" like the bible shows much more myths, recommendations, rules, prophetic adhortations, lyrical poetry, parables, about life on earth than writings about an afterlife.

    Leave a Reply to Mary Effler Cancel reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here