Is Stephen Hawking Right about Death?

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Santa Clara University


We all have to confront it – that dark specter standing by the door beckoning us to enter . . . what? Every religion worth its salt has to define the “what.” Indeed, some would say religions only exist because we need to find an answer to mortality, that we create an afterlife in order to guarantee justice and to ensure there is place where the mysteries of life are solved.

Stephen Hawking recently said this: “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.”

Is he right? He thinks we have gradually been moving away from a superstitious mindset, a primitive dependence on metaphors, like God, and heaven, and final judgment, and into a mature realization that the reality the five senses give us is the only reality. We have been children; we are now adults and should act and think like adults.