The Guardian has published an article on Stephen Hawking’s belief that an afterlife, what some people call “heaven” does not exist. Yes, you read that correctly, his belief that another plane of existence does not await when the body ceases to function and “dies”.
This is a huge scientifc fail on the part of one of the world’s most celebrated scientists.
Stephen Hawking did not and can not offer any evidence to support his hypothesis and he obviously has no plans for scientific investigation. However, the rest of us are supposed to accept his hypothesis on blind faith because as stated, he has no evidence on which to base his conjecture.
Let us examine Mr. Hawking has offered up as to the reason he believes he can diffinitively state that once the body dies, there is nothing awaiting the deceased.
Hawking was asked what, if anything, does he fear about death.
“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. 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.”
So that is it? His “scientific proof” that an afterlife does not exist is based on a comparison between the human brain and a computer.
While similarities exist between how a brain functions and a computer functions to process information there is a huge difference. A brain is part of a complex living being whereas a computer is an inanimate object. He is correct in stating that there is no afterlife for broken down computers but quite often they can be refurbished or lets say “ressurected”. Computers are not alive so obviously there can be no afterlife for a computer. However, those who believe in an afterlife are not talking about their physical bodies being brought back to life in the same way as a brken computer can be fixed.
Hawking also makes an assumption about why people believe in an afterlife. He simply posists that the belief in an afterlife was made up by people afraid of the dark. However, he can not possibly know that as he would have to be able to speak to those who have created belief systems known as religion, in order to ascertain their motivations. Some may say power or greed, for fame or fortune but to say they were afraid of the dark sounds a bit contemptuous. Since obviously Hawking can not interview those who came up with these very old belief systems, he can not possibly know their motivations so what he is putting forth is only a mocking opinon. As far as those alive today, it could be argued that their belief in an afterlife is the exact reason they do not fear death or the “dark”. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one unless they are born with an imperforate anus.
You would hope that a sciencetist would have more solid evidence to disprove the existence of something he says does not exist. Hawking seems so sure of himself and his intellect, it is highly doubtful that he has spent any time researching an afterlife.
The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Just because you can not see, touch, smell or hear something is not evidence that it does not exist.
A more humbler scientist who isn’t so sure of some thing he can’t possibly prove or disprove might say, we have found no difinitive proof that an afterlife exists after the human body dies. To make a definitive statement about something one has not and can not test comes off as unscientifc. In fact, Hawking is exercising the same faith or belief that an afterlife does not exist as those who exercise faith or a belief that an afterlife does exist. Niether can offer scientific proof in support of their belief and niether can offer scientific proof to disprove the other. This is what makes Hawking’s statement a huge scientific fail as he is engaging in an informal fallacy.