Stephen Hawking aint afraid of the dark!

Stephen Hawking bashes religion, but what does new paper say about God? David W. Freeman (“CBS News,” August 8, 2011)

USA – Physicist Stephen Hawking has given religion a cosmic thumbs-down, calling the idea of heaven “a fairy story” in a recent interview. But researchers say faith can have measurable psychological benefits.

Case in point: A paper published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology indicates that people who believe in a benevolent God are less bothered by the vagaries of life than those who believe in a deity that is indifferent or punitive.

The paper was based on two recent studies. The first, which involved 332 Christians and Jews, showed that those who trusted in God to look out for them worry less and are more tolerant of uncertainty than those who mistrusted God.

The second study involved 125 Jews who participated in a two-week audio-video program aimed at increasing their trust in God. It showed that those who participated reported significant decreases in worry and psychological stress.

“We found that the positive beliefs of trust in God were associated with less worry and that this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of intolerance of uncertainty,” the authors of the study – including Harvard-affiliated psychologist Dr. David Rosmarin – said in a written statement. “Conversely, the negative beliefs of mistrust in God correlated with higher worry and intolerance.”

The paper noted that studies have shown that 93 percent of people believe in God or a higher power and that 50 percent say that religion is important to them. Hawking, whose long battle with a deadly neurological disease has left him withered and wheelchair-bound, certainly isn’t one of them.

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years,” he told the Guardian, adding, “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.”


30 thoughts on “Stephen Hawking aint afraid of the dark!

  1. He’s right! Heaven and hell are part of the Greek cultural mythology.

    The Orthodox are correct in believing that all goes back to God to be perfected in His refining fire. For some that will be heaven for some that will be hell.

  2. quote-”that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

    So he is not afraid of the dark,but is willing to live eternally in it?

  3. I don’t believe in fairy stories and I’m not afraid of the dark, so that kind of ends Stephen’s theory.

    Bone’s universalism makes a mockery of the cross and resurrection. Because he believes men put words in God’s mouth he associates anything he can’t accept socially or scientifically with myth.

  4. (quote)-He’s right! Heaven and hell are part of the Greek cultural mythology.

    Interesting that in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth.
    Interesting that Zeus is an historically proven Myth.
    And when did the Greek Cultural Disillusionment establish itself as fact?

  5. “Interesting that in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth.”

    Hebrew for heavens הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם = sky/ heaven

    “Interesting that Zeus is an historically proven Myth.”

    As is heaven and hell. Unless heaven is in the fifth dimension/ multiverse.

  6. So,which part of our ugly, deformed so, yet at the same time very plain looking, yet at other times, so rapturously beautiful and sexy,GOD of ours is Stephen Hawking?God has given Stephen a part of HIS brain and thought processes, not given to many of we humans.Why did He give Hawking this brilliance?Did He know that Hawking would reject Him?Will Stephen maintain to his end that there is nothing beyond this life, as did Kerry Packer, was it Voltaire also?Remember, as I said before, WE are all a part or a facet of GOD, as it is said we are all made in GOD’S IMAGE.

  7. Orthodox theology makes a heck of a lot more sense than Evangelical.

    No need for those silly exemptions from hell, like Jesus won’t send dead babies, mentally disabled and people from cultures who never knew about Jesus (eg Aborigines pre-1788) to hell.

    For the Orthodox, Heaven is not a place in the sky, it is being with God. Salvation in the East, is not salvation from the wrath of God, as St Isaac teaches that the Love of God is the Tree of Life. According to Eastern Christianity people are not sent down to Hell by an angry God. Hell as professed in the East is neither the absence of God nor the separation of the soul from the presence of God, but rather the opposite—Heaven and Hell are the divine presence experienced either pleasantly or unpleasantly, depending upon one’s spiritual condition. Finally the theological concept of hell or eternal damnation also via theoria is expressed different in the West, than in the East.

    The Orthodox Church holds that both Heaven and Hell are a condition of relationship with God that is either theosis or perdition, both of which are often spoken of as the effect of being in the presence of God. The Orthodox Church teaches that eternal damnation in the lake of fire and heaven occur within the same realm, which is being with God; God is Heaven, God is the Kingdom of God and Heaven. For one who hates God (as existence, as Life for example called Misotheism) such a place as in the presence of God, will be eternal suffering.

    The Orthodox Church teaches that Heaven and Hell are in the same realm, and that Hell is not separation from God symbolically or physically as there is no place where God is not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Christian_theology

  8. So you are an atheist.(Bones)
    Sorry,just thought that you might have some interest in the Lord.
    And in life and in living.

  9. Not an atheist.

    Unless Orthodox Christians are atheist.

    Someone challenges an Evangelical dogma and the shrill cries of atheist, heretic, God hater fill the air.

  10. I actually enjoy reading Stephen Hawking’s books. As a mathematician and a scientist, he is pretty well spot on the money, but as a theologian he’s “what the?”
    Not a single word he has written about the spiritual realm makes an iota of sense. probably because he is just a pure mathematician and scientist, not a theologian.
    Good article Greg! Thanx heaps.

  11. “probably because he is just a pure mathematician and scientist, not a theologian.”

    Scientists are interested in “How” things happen.

    “Why” things happen is a religious question.

    How the universe was made and why the universe was made are two totally different questions.

    Too often we (ie everyone, Christian and atheist) confuse them.

  12. “You could be a Muslim Christian.”

    Or a Christian Muslim. Or a Christian Jew. Or a Jewish Christian.

    Whatever the hell that means.

    Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

  13. Chasing God

    In times of upheaval, people seek solace in a higher power. Three quarters of the world’s population has faith in a God. If they are right, who is this higher power? This film tackles the eternal question: Why do humans believe? Narrated by Dawn French and starring an Atheist (Australia’s Phillip Adams), a Sikh, a Buddhist, a Pastor, a Scientist, a Muslim, a Rabbi, a Guru, a Sufi, a Researcher, a Spiritual Elder and a Cardinal.

    http://www.smh.com.au/tv/Documentary/Chasing-God-4200503.html

  14. Bones,
    Main Entry: why  [hwahy, wahy] Show IPA
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: reason
    Synonyms: cause, how, motive, mystery, proof

    How is Why a synonym of How?

  15. “How is Why a synonym of How?”

    I didn’t say it was. It isn’t.

    How did I get here? is a totally different question to why am I here?

  16. Bones says:
    Scientists are interested in “How” things happen.

    “Why” things happen is a religious question.

    How the universe was made and why the universe was made are two totally different questions.

    Too often we (ie everyone, Christian and atheist) confuse them.

    Tez replies:
    Both how and why can be used in relation to each other because they are both synonymous to each other.
    The universe was made because God said so.
    That which is lacking in regards to the absolute understanding and knowledge of this,cannot be counted.

  17. How we have sex and why we have sex are not synonymous questions.

    How the universe was made (Big Bang) and why the universe was made (at the behest of the creator God) are not synonymous questions.

  18. How we have sex (Big Bang) and why we have sex (at the behest of the creator God) are not synonymous questions.

  19. @ Bones,

    How and why,can,and may be used in replacement of each other.
    That is,if you are referring to a correct dictionary,but not the diction of Bones without the ary.Or is that just plain airy.
    More like just plain dic.

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