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May 19th, 2011
05:43 PM ET

Stephen Hawking calls heaven a "fairy story." Do you agree?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: THINKSTOCK)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If you believe the signs you see in a bus station or on a billboard, you're probably trying to pack a lot into the next few days.

According to a well-publicized campaign by a man named Harold Camping and his group, Family Radio, this Saturday is Judgment Day. On that day, about 200 million people, or just 3% of the world's population, will be taken to heaven, Camping believes. The rest of us will live in a world of chaos and catastrophe before the world comes to a complete end in October. Have a nice weekend.

Most people aren't buying Camping's claims, whether or not they believe in God or the second coming of Jesus or the afterlife. After all, Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer, first predicted the world would end in 1994. Wrong. Now he's saying Saturday.

World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is one person who probably isn't too worried about doomsday predictions. Hawking said in an interview this week that he doesn't believe in an afterlife, and he said the notion of heaven is a "fairy story."

He told the British newspaper, The Guardian: "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."

Hawking has had a lot of time to contemplate life, death and this whole idea of heaven. At 21, he was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. It's a terminal illness that causes loss of mobility, and it severely impairs speech. He wasn't expected to live much past the diagnosis, but 49 years later, he's still here, writing books and going on speaking tours.

Here’s my question to you: British scientist Stephen Hawking says heaven is a “fairy story.” Do you agree?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

P.M.:
I would rather believe in heaven than not believe. If I am right, there are good reasons to care about my behavior and the impact I have on the world around me. If I am wrong, I still will have lived a good life. Someday we'll find out who's right and who's wrong. Until then, I believe.

Jeremy:
Of course Stephen Hawking is going to say that. He's a scientist. Scientist's need "proof" of everything or else it doesn’t exist. But you can’t scientifically prove faith.

David in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:
I tend to agree with Dr. Hawking. There is no evidence beyond the shaky anecdotal "near death" experiences of people. I'll go with the science and say I don't believe in Heaven, although I certainly wish that it was real.

Lisa in Shelton, Connecticut:
Here's proof that knowledge and wisdom are not the same. Hawking cannot prove his assertion and it is un-testable to humans so people will be stuck with accepting it blindly on faith. He asserts the universe was simply created by gravity but can't explain what created gravity. My faith is in God and Heaven, not in this guy.

David in Herndon, Virginia:
Nobody has any evidence one way or another.

Rebecca:
I agree with Stephen Hawking. I think that heaven is a made-up idea, but if the promise of heaven comforts those uncomfortable with death and compels them to lead better lives, then who am I to be against it?

Bizz in Quarryville, Pennsylvania:
Stephen Hawking is a genius with an extremely high IQ. He only believes in things that he can prove. I am a man who does not wear his religion on his sleeve. But I do believe there is a God because I have felt His presence in time of need. If there wasn't a God I do not think people would have a soul or conscience. I hope to get to meet Steven Hawking in the hereafter so I can tell him, "See I knew something that you did not know."


Filed under: Religion
soundoff (975 Responses)
  1. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    No, I do not agree because the Bible plainly testifies of the truth.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  2. Sid

    Heaven is just as real as a private company making us pay income taxes. No reason why, but if don't believe you might not like the outcome

    May 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  3. Aria

    Well like the Monkees thought love was just a fairytale, it was for everyone else but not for them. After the Monkees felt the 'love' they became a believer. If one doesn't have an emotional connection or feeling of higher power, they won't have the belief of God., therefore no heaven. I have that emotional connection with God and a belief of heaven. Hope Mr. Hawkins has that emotional feeling. There is no scientific proof or logic in a heaven existing. It exists in belief.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Jim

    Jack,

    Yes. It's obvious that notions of heaven and hell, gods and devils, angels and demons and predictions of the end of the world in two days are just silliness based on myths from our ancient past. It's way past the time when humankind should have grown beyond such childish ignorance.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    May 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  5. Kevin San Diego Ca

    When science unlocks the serets of absolute zero, then they will see that heaven was the universe before this material universe, not some promised land after we drop this lifes body!

    May 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  6. RB in CA

    I’m agnostic, so yes, Stephen Hawking is correct.

    RB in CA

    May 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  7. Alex in Florida

    No, Jack.
    And one can only imagine what Hawking will say when he meets the Almighty:
    "IIIIIIIIIII WAZZZZZZZZ HHHHHRRRRONNNNNG!"

    May 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  8. james in greenville, NC

    Agree with Stephen Hawking? I think he is smart enough to know that he isn't smart enough to be commenting on heaven. Heaven is in the eye of the beholder. None of us will know the truth about Heaven until Al Gore tells us.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  9. Mike Anderson

    There is a God and there is an afterlife. Of that I have no doubt. Unfortunately, much of religious history was edited, omitted, and rewritten to the point that we can't discern fairytale from spiritual fact.

    Stephen Hawking is a man, albeit a brilliant scientist, but he has no more factual evidence to prove or disprove heaven than does the shouting, end times preacher on your local college campus.

    Thanks,

    Mike Anderson
    Katy, TX

    May 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  10. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack

    Steve should prove his theory. He's just guessing.The more we learn the less we know..................

    May 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  11. Peg in NY

    I have always believed that Heaven, Hell and Purgatory are fairy tales since first grade. Adam and Eve sounds like one, too.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  12. Brad, Portland, OR

    Unless you have scientific proof that it's real, then yes, it's just a fairy story.

    There's no more proof that any religion is true than there is that Santa Claus exists.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  13. TOM TYSKIEWICZ

    Absolutely Jack! The notion of an after-life was created by ruling classes to keep control over their peoples. This was accompanied by the concept of hell or an everlasting damnation. These superstitutions exist today, look around you at all the true-belivers. Human beings need mental health counseling now more than ever.

    tom tyskiewicz, forest hills, pa

    May 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  14. B. J. , Quincy,Ill

    The idea of Heaven is real but Heaven is not real. The idea was developed just like the religions of the world but they are looking to heaven for the wrong reason.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  15. McPresident

    Irony alert. If we were a Godless society like the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, Stephen Hawking would be destroyed like a dog.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Conor in Chicago

    Yes. The sooner humanity realizes that there is no God, there is no heaven and hell, and all we have is this life and each other, I believe humanity will truly evolve to it's peak potential.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  17. Bob in Atlanta

    Absolutely! The mythologies of the day, religions, are no different than when people lived in caves or when they worshipped the sun etc. The myths change but the basic premise of using a folk tale in deference to science to explain the universe is one of the most comical elements of the human experience.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  18. Bob

    Gods, fairies, angels, the bogeyman and the monsters under your bed are ancient campfire stories written in berry juice on goat skins by superstitious cavemen. But it's easier to listen to this nonsense than it is to learn math and science, because those subjects are hard, and most people are intellectually lazy.

    - Bob from Flemington, NJ

    May 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  19. Ron Piner

    I have the greatest respect for Mr. Hawking and his intellect. However, his supposition that heaven is a fairy story is just that, "a supposition. His knowledge of the matter is no greater than mine or anyone else since no living person has ever proved hat heaven exist. Heaven is a belief which you have or don't have.

    So Mr. Hawking, stick to what you do best, for which I admire you greatly.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Of course.

    All modern religion is a man-made contrivance used as a method to influence and control the masses. It has been very effective, over the centuries, but the time has come, to stop living that fantasy, and step into the real world.

    God is NOT going to save this planet. Only humans can stop the destruction they are wreaking on this planet, and if they do not act very soon, they are literally committing suicide of the species.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  21. Aria

    Well like the Monkees thought love was just a fairytale, it was for everyone else but not for them. After the Monkees felt the 'love' they became a believer. If one doesn't have an emotional connection or feeling of higher power, they won't have the belief of God., therefore no heaven. I have that emotional connection with God and a belief of heaven. Hope Mr. Hawking has that emotional feeling. There is no scientific proof or logic in a heaven existing. It exists in belief.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  22. Deb

    He is loony! A man that doesn't beleive in god is a fool! Those that seek him with all their hearts will surely find him.

    Los Angeles, Ca

    May 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  23. Phyllis G Williams

    British scientist Stephen Hawking says heaven is a “fairy story.” Do you agree?

    He will soon find out like the rich man in hell begging for Lazarus to go to earth and help his 5 brethren not to come into the flames-
    Luke 16-27-31.:

    May 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  24. Jayne

    Yes. Until I see proof otherwise, I'm with Hawking. Apparently, many Christians – especially of the political variety – don't believe in heaven, either, judging by their eagerness to give breaks to the wealthy and take away from those most in need.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  25. Chris. Hillsborough, NJ

    Yes. It’s hard not to see religion as it really is: stories created in a primitive time to give humanity some significance and purpose in a world which seemed devoid of any. The data we’re collecting about the universe is dwarfing all presuppositions we’ve previously held about our world which in part have come from religious teachings. We’re finding out our world is a lot smaller and a lot less significant in the grand scheme of things. Given also the fact that the universe contains around 100 billion galaxies each with 100 billion stars, it’s hard to think that the universe was solely created with us in mind. It does remain possible for there to be some higher force out there and even a heaven; however, it’s not the force or heaven depicted in the one story which, out of thousands of other stories which failed to catch on, has been propagated from generation to generation.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  26. David

    Yes, I agree with Mr. Hawking. But, the 'fairy tale' does have many sound concepts that give people comfort and hope to get through difficult days.

    It's terribly unfortunate that variations of this 'tale' cause so much conflict. There's similar guidance from Aesop or Dr. Zeuss without fighting wars.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  27. pygge9

    I think "Fairy Story" is a little generous. Fairy stories actually DO exist. I'm a goddist, probably more out of hope than reason, but as a goddist, I think god is too smart for religion- and the controlling tenets of most religions (excluding Taoism and aspects of Buddhism). This includes Heaven (The carrot) and Hell (the stick)

    May 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  28. Rick, Medina, OH

    Jack,

    Stephen Hawking is a an interesting guy ... a genius in his own right, who sees nothing but facts, and will only include 'evidence' in his analyses. But, one has to ask: Before the 'Big Bang,' what 'was?' And who or what 'pulled the trigger' to cause it? I believe that nature over the millenia takes its course ... (evolution is probably true,) but a 'Higher Power' created nature.

    Rick,
    Medina, OH

    May 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  29. dave in nashville

    Not sure Jack, haven't gotten that far yet and haven't met the first one that did and lived to tell about it. For heaven's sake, what a question.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  30. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Stephen Hawkins is a genius with an extremely high IQ. He only believes in things that he can prove. I am a man who does not wear his religion on his sleeve. But I do believe there is a god because I have felt his presence in time of need. If there wasn't a god I do not think people would have a soul or conscience. I hope to get to meet Steven Hawkins in the hereafter so I can tell him, "see I knew something that you did not know".

    May 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  31. JP68

    The statement from Hawkins lacks merit. He has no basis to say In his 2010 book The Grand Design, Hawking posted that the universe could have sprung into existence spontaneously, without a Creator. What would be the odds of that. What would be the odds of the bang leading to creating Human beings and life? Hawkins theory is flawed as he shows no basis as the creation of the big bang or the particles collision were done spontaneously. How were the particle created that were involved in the collision? To say it just existed? We can say the same about God? Could the collision particles be like seeds? Aren't seeds the basis of life. Also Hawkings cannot explain why only Human Beings the ruling force in the food chain exist on earth. If it were all to chance and selection, wouldn't another life form be as intellectually prevelent on earth as us? Unfortunately, man is still in the dark ages when it comes to creation of the big bang, interstellar travel, 11th dimension and black energy. Hopefully, during Hawkins remaining lifetime he change his opinion again. Scientifically, he cannot disprove the existence of a "creator". Hawkins, believes in Alien life, curious if "aliens" believe in a creator as well. From NYC

    May 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  32. Cathy

    It depends upon how you look at things- when I die, my heaven will be, I can smoke and not get cancer, I can drink and not get drunk, and I can eat and not gain weight

    May 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  33. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Heaven is kind of like believing in God. I'd rather believe in God or Heaven today and die tomorrow and find out there is none than not believe and die and find out there is one.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  34. David from Herndon, VA

    Nobody has any evidence one way or another.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  35. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl i have been an atheist almost all of my life, having family and friends constantly fear for my soul and continually point out I am wrong and that I must be wrong as it's all in the Bible, and that's proof. Those that replace reason and being rational with a cult that professes "a better life" after you die to control the masses with fear of a wrathful god are like our apelike ancestors crouching in a cave afraid of the night's lightening and thunder. These same good Christians have lied, cheated, stolen, bore false witness, and along with murder taken the most precious thing of mine, my daughter. Funny, she was an Evangelical singer and had to find out the hard way her father was right in the end. We are but meat for the worms, and it is how we live now, not the hereafter that makes the measure of a man.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  36. David of Alexandria VA

    Trying to characterize heaven as imaginary by using the word "fairy" is akin to an oxymoron. That notwithstanding, when Hawkings closes his eyes to depart this world, if his final words are, "Aha, I was right" then I guess his theory really was better than anyone else's. But, if his last words are "oh, crap," then we'll know why he became a theoretical astrophysicist and not a priest.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  37. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    Here's proof that knowledge and wisdom are not the same. Hawking cannot prove his assertion and it is untestable to humans so people will be stuck with accepting it blindly on faith. He asserts the universe was simply created by gravity but can't explain what created gravity. My faith is in God and Heaven, not in this guy.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  38. Ed from California

    I'll let you know after Saturday!! I sure hope the Rapture happens after my morning coffee. Without coffee, I'll be a grouch in heaven!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  39. Walt Weintz

    Fairy Story, metaphor or myth all seem to apply to me. To me it is as real as I want it to be. For example I'm not religious but am spiritual and have chosen to live my vision of heaven on earth without expectations that I would have a spiritual life after death.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  40. Jenny from Nanuet, NY

    Yup. I can't believe how so many people;s lives are effectively ruled by a book written by a human being. It is the biggest scam ever built (until/unless proven otherwise).

    May 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  41. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    To the extent that there is no way to use the tools of this world to describe, test or experience it, the answer must be yes. The Near Death Experience stories are explainable by neurobiology. Anything that happens during death won't be remembered, because the organ that remembers isn't working. In the end, one must trust a loving God about this issue, since a merely perfect God would be unendurable out side of time – the human soul would be annihilated as effectively as if it never existed. The ultimate belief is not God, but in the factGod sustains us after death.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  42. Steve in Michigan

    My friend and I have been batting this topic back and forth via email for the past week or so.... -

    I'm starting to lean toward RA the Sun God, myself. That whole pyramid thing was pretty cool. -

    All I know is... IF the Ancient Egyptians were WRONG.... they sure moved a whole lot of really big stones around for no reason. -

    They were probably more bent and broken than Stephan Hawking when they finally died.... after moving all those giant boulders around. –

    So, I'm going with that whole Ancient Egyptian thing just because of the architecture... and the how is shows how seriously committed they were to their religion. -

    Most of the Bible Thumpers I run into, these days, don't look like they ever pushed around some 20 ton block of stone..... - Shut up... go build a pyramid and then maybe we'll talk! -

    So far, the pyramids have outlasted just about every religion man ever invented....

    May 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  43. pat in michigan

    I respect the man as a theorist but I disagree with him on heaven. As a man who deals with parallel dimensions I can't understand why he can't grasp the idea of Heaven.Heaven does not have to have a physical location to exist.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  44. Nathan Breneman

    I absolutely agree. Anyone who has been well educated in understanding both how the scientific method works, as well as how we all so easily rationalize our own beliefs when it suits us and thus ignoring science when convenient, would agree as well. The United States is far, far more religious than our industrial counterparts, indicating most of us do not (or are afraid to admit we do) understand this.

    It has been demonstrated for several years now that it is extremely easy to create amino acids when you merely give the required elements enough time and energy to bond and form the amino acids; in fact, we have created more than required for our own life this way! I distinctly remember my high school biology teacher outright lying to us about this experiment, claiming it did not work.

    And while the origins of the universe are still unproven, science works by not assuming anything is true until there is evidence; so there is no reason to believe in Heaven or God(s). It is unnecessary to "prove" that they do not exist, since one never needs to prove a negative (e.g., proving to me unicorns do not exist is unnecessary. The burden of proof is upon the claim that unicorns do exist.) Mr. Hawking, in his last book, does propose an elegant explanation (which is untested) for how the universe could have originated that is exemplary of how science might eventually answer this question. Until then, we must simply be content with "we don't know," not "there must be heaven, then!"

    From Texas

    May 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  45. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Every civilization has its creation story. The stories we now call myths from Greece and Rome were the religion of the people of that time so who is to say the Garden of Eden is any more valid than the the lotus growing from Vishnu's navel which is believed by a billion Hindus? So Dr. Hawking has a point that the six days of creation by Yahweh is just another creation story told by an ancient desert people.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  46. Donetta Bantle, Dayton, Ohio

    With that belief, his "fairy story" will not have a happy ending.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  47. MNResident

    To Mr. Hawking, heaven is and always will be something he will never see, EVEN IF heaven actually exits. Think about it......

    May 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  48. Ed from MD

    Tell him this; heaven is a mustard seed, the least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the greatest of herbs, it is a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and build in its branches. Matt 13:32 See if that clears it up for him.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  49. EJ in Metro Houston

    hard to say honestly Jack but I really HOPE it's not a fairy tell. But I'll say this like I tell my atheist and agnostic co-workers and friends I know...I would rather beileve in God and heaven and find out there ISN'T one after I die than to not believe and find out there IS one.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  50. Chuck from Maryland

    With all due respect to Professor Hawking, I'd say he knows as much about heaven as the Apostle Paul knew about quantum mechanics.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  51. METALWORKER

    No It is part of the Jewdaio, Christhin Princeaple this country was said to be found on.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  52. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Well Jack there is only one way to find out. Unfortunately it is a one way trip and i am in no hurry to take it. It is not uncommon for scientists to not believe in heaven because they can not taste it, see it, feel it, or touch it or explain it it so to them it simply does not exist. Others that do believe in heaven take it on faith that it exists and since Steven Hawking can not unequivocally disprove it then to him i say that his comment is a "fairy story".

    May 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  53. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    I used to teach a college course in "fairy stories". They are the truest stories I know.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  54. Dennis north carolina

    Hawking is a scientist which only believe in what they can see. He can not see heaven or proof that it exists so he says it can not exist. I would say that any thing or place is possible. when space travel is ever possible, we may find that we are not the only creature with a mind!

    May 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  55. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm entitled to ignore it if I don't agree.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  56. Al from Orlando

    Maybe his alternative is Hell whichn we are currently in.Al in kinda hot FL,

    May 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  57. Steve, Clifton, VA

    I wonder if Stephen Hawking is looking at Heaven and/or Hell from his limited ability to experience life. I wonder if he thinks that his incredible cerebral capacity and his health challenges are also a "Fairy story"?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  58. Bud Rupert

    Of course it is. and it's hard to comprehend how any educated person can buy into the nonsense.
    Jack Kennedy during his 1962 Yale University speech discussed myths and I quote "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie-deliberate, contrived and dishonest -but the myth-persistant, persuasive and unrealistic". He was addressing it from an economic and polical perpspective but it is certainly apropos to religion.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  59. Joe CE

    No way, Hell has been proven – we are living in it.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  60. Al from Orlando

    Most of us are tooling around in our caskets with four or more rubber
    wheels waiting for this birds new destination. Is he tailgating me

    May 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  61. Kathie

    Sadly, Mr Hawking will learn he is wrong when he passes. It is a miracle he is still alive. God is real. Heaven is real.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  62. Loren, Chicago

    As we have no way to know whether heaven exists, any statement about is a matter of opinion. Stephen Hawking, while he may be a genius, has been wrong about matters within his expertise, so what is to say he isn't wrong about something not within his expertise?

    Personally, my view is that heaven is irrelevant to what we do on Earth, the fruits of our labors here should be our reward. The idea of a reward in heaven has been the basis for religious idiocy for centuries, all based on misreadings of scripture. So in a way, his point is right.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Sylvia from San Diego

    Tell Mr. Hawkings to prove that it doesn't exist. And while he at it, tell him to prove that there is no God....

    May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  64. Al from Orlando

    Since we are close to the END, I hope this guy looks into our long and
    miserable past that was created by someone,somewhere,somehow and called it something like BIRDLAND.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  65. Mr. D

    It's all in the eyes of the beholder. Some fairy stories are real-such as Obama's health care plan.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  66. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    the rest of us will live in a world of chaos and catastrophe before the world comes to a complete end :
    That's almost a guarantee!
    Government has screwed this country up so much there's really no way out!; even if there is, it"WILL" include ' chaos and catastrophe '.

    Hawking has had a lot of time to contemplate life, death and this whole idea of heaven. It's a shame his mind is twisted so much from all his suffering, he could have found Jesus Christ the 'savour' and been redeemed of his 'devilish' ways, but then Satan did make an agreement with God to keep him hear on earth to torment 'U'!

    Jack, when this life is done I've got a place in Heaven to spend eternity. Anyone that's close enough to God knows that!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  67. Sandstone.

    "But of course, Jack! Don't you feel it?? This planet is saturated with digital-memories of the dead and those on the threshold! What is an 'Idea' ? it's fuzz of all those who once lived here. This is heaven, Jackj! Right where you're sitting. Zillions of minds once stood on the same spot you're standing in now! Give the Human-Mind a chance Jack. Let no man go, where/wasn't once travelled before!"

    May 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  68. Thinkforyourself, OK

    People like Stephen Hawking are always learning, but never able to see the TRUTH.
    He is only "smart" in his own eyes, he knows nothing.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  69. Bob D Iowa

    When on May 21st when the rapture does not occur again, as predicted by the faithful, maybe a few more will realize that the stories were created only for economic domination of the region in the Mid-East.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  70. Sylvia Thomson

    I find it puzzling and a little disturbing that Stephen Hawking believes in the possibilities of "aliens" that would be superior in knowledge to humans and yet denies the existence of God. The idea of God is that a superior intelligence exists, and that that intelligence has creative power beyond our comprehension. Consider the fact that God as we understand Him could be one of those "alien species, he admits may exist. How can he not at least consider then the possibility that some sort of "space ship as described in the book of Revelation might not some day arrive on this planet to "save" mankind from complete annihilation after some catastrophic even, that Christians call "Armaggedon",possibly a nuclear war or something equally disasterous. A massive alien abduction that Christians have called "the Rapture"? I find it illogical and contradictory to say the least.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  71. Adam

    I don't care if Heaven or Hell exists until God shows me they do. Until then, I'm concentrating on the here and now.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  72. Rob in Brooklyn

    unless you've died and come back nobody knows the answer to that question. He's a scientist and as usual with them they are all Atheists. Nothing wrong with that , but everyone has a different view

    May 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  73. Jeremy

    Of course Stephen Hawking is going to say that. He's a scientist. Scientist's need "proof" of everything or else it doesnt exist. But you cant scientifically prove faith.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  74. David Girardi

    I tend to agree with Dr. Hawking. There is no evidence beyond the shaky anecdotal "near death" experiences of people. I'll go with the science and say I don't believe in Heaven, although I certainly wish that it was real.

    David
    Oklahoma City, OK

    May 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  75. KH in OK

    Of course. Religion is man controlling man.

    1.6 billion aethists in the world.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  76. Don D (Belleville, Canada)

    As brilliant as Mr. Hawking is, his guess is not that much better than my own. His science is vastly superior to mine, but probably not his understanding of good and evil.
    There have been times in my life when I truly believed that there must be a God, not necessarily a caring one, however, but certainly an entity that got the whole universe rolling.
    There have been other times, like right now, when my beliefs parallel those of Mr. Hawking.
    If there is a Heaven, it will likely be some form of life magnet which brings ALL life together somehow. It certainly won't be people sitting around on clouds playing harps.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  77. Prabin Adhikari

    Everyone talks about heaven. But I am not sure if anyone really knows or understands the meaning of the term heaven. If it means a place in a section of the void of the universe where we float and wander freely after our deaths, then I don't believe in it.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  78. Paul P

    I believe he is correct, but people need to believe in something beyond this life in order to not exist in perpetual dread of your own demise. There is a difference between cold, hard logic and hope. Because death is unavoidable and hope is essential in life, and the truth is we will never know for certain what lies beyond.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  79. Kosh

    Yes. I would like nothing more but to see more scientist and atheists come out and explain their views. Plenty of us truly don't believe in souls, and most people find that too strange of a notion to even consider.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  80. pastor mom

    I would rather believe in heaven than not believe. If I am right, there are good reasons to care about my behavior and the impact I have on the world around me. If I am wrong, I still will have lived a good life. Someday we'll find out who's right and who's wrong. Until then, I believe.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  81. eddie

    If there is an after life it must be spiritual – for in a phisical world we
    live in, death is final. Even near death experiances show a world
    of spiritual contacts, sometimes!! not all near death situations
    bring forth a contact.. Some people believe in fairys and flat earth
    earth center univerce etc.. – Get in touch with your own spirit and see
    if there is a strong feeling...

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  82. Jon Fetuseater

    Yes.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  83. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    Yes. I believe that all religion is mythology, and that there is no afterlife. Life here and now is what is important. I have to both laugh at and feel very sorry for those who believe that the world will end this weekend. If they quit their jobs and got rid of their possessions, they are going to be very, very sorry come Monday morning. The poor fools! I hope they will sue Mr. Camping. But he will probably just set a new doomsday date and get away with this again.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  84. Deb

    No, I don't agree. Just because science is unable to explain Heaven, the answer is that it doesn't exist. I am a Christian and I do believe in Heaven. I'm not sure what Hell is like, perhaps we make our own here on earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  85. Rob Lindsey

    Yes, I believe in God and the Second Coming of Jesus. I am not convience that anyone knows the day or the time of the end of the world and I do think that it hurts Christainity when these guesses are made and proclaimed and do not come to pass.
    Dr. Billy Graham said it best when he addressed a letter on the subject of believing in God. He wrote "If you are right and when I die I simply go to sleep for eternity I am perfectly okay with that but, if I am right and there is a heaven and hell then you are in a world of trouble".
    I prefer to be on the side of my beliefs and trust that there is one God and a heaven for me to go to when my days on this earth are finished.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  86. Bill Sharp

    I absolutely agree with Hawking. Religion is just a bunch of fairy tales. There is no after life. So do good things because its the right thing to do. In fact, if you think about it, religion is at the root of more trouble in our world than any other cause.

    Bill from CT

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  87. Richard

    Who am I to argue with the "smartest man" alive?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  88. Shirley

    Wow, Jack, what have you been doing lately? I believe there is a place where our souls (organized energy) goes when we die. We've all heard about what happens when people die and are resuscitated. Should we believe in everything about heaven and hell...................Would you? Organized religion looks a lot like our Washington DC government. 🙂 I think a lot of it is organized fear in order to create jobs. I think some, however, are good honest individuals who need it to get though this everyday 'stuff'.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  89. Citizenny

    I believe in an afterlife, and it has nothing to do with religion: Here me out: Your car runs on electricity. If your car stalls, the battery is jump started by an electrical shock. Our human bodies run on electricity. If we have a heart attack, the heart is "jump staerted" by an electrical shock. We were taught in school that energy (electricity) can neither be created nor destroyed; it goes' some place else. So, with that said, human being run on electricity when our bodies die, our electrical being goes somewhere else (afterlife). So, I believe in an afterlife. I believe heaven, hell, purgatory are just different states of that afterlife. I feel bad for Hawking, because then if what he says is true, then there is no meaning to life or any aspect of it!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  90. H.

    Totally agree with Dr. Hawking, heaven is an invention of man to explain the unknown. We can't just accept that there are some questions we will never learn the answer to.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  91. Michael M

    With all that's happening in the world today- spiking energy and food prices, the war in Libya, natural disasters- why, oh why should we care about one man's opinion on heaven? He doesn't believe in heaven, so what. Many do, many don't. Slow news day, huh?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  92. Dabu

    Duh! Do you mean to tell me that unicorns and the story of the 72 virgins is as real as Santa Claus! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  93. Gerald (Tampa, FL)

    I believe in heaven Jack. I just don't quite know how to get there.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  94. Mike from Vancouver

    Heaven? You mean the place you go after you die where you'll meet your dead loved ones and everything is beautiful and you spend eternity with a god. Doesn't sound made up to me.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  95. james woods

    The pot denies the potter.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  96. Dan

    I agree with Stephen Hawking 100% . . . . and I'm still gonna be around come Sunday too, though not in church

    May 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  97. Patti

    I find it interesting that everyone thinks just beccause the "believe" in something, they're sure it's true. It doesn't make any difference what we "believe." The universe works the way it does and doesn't require our consent to do it.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  98. Rodney Sherman

    Of course it's a myth. Any one with an ounce of common sense who has not been "brainwashed " from birth can see that.
    The evil that has been perpetrated in the name of " name your religion here" is horrific, with each one claiming " God" is on their side.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  99. Pete

    As Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". I haven't seen any evidence nearing the extraordinary realm when talking about heaven or afterlife.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  100. April Terry

    In the legal world, one can decide some legal issues based on a "preponderance of evidence." I can't prove heaven exists beyond the shadow of a doubt, but I think there is evidence pointing toward the existence of it. For instance, I have read many counts of near death experiences, all of which are very similar to each other that tell of a place or afterlife where the spirit travels. Some accounts even speak of the place in intricate detail and often they are eerily similar to the accounts of the "city of gold" written in the bible. These pieces of evidence lead me to believe that there is an afterlife. Whether it's an actual place or simply a state of being, I don't know, but I believe it exists.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  101. Erik Bjornson

    I disagree. I can see why he would think that because that's what science likes to tell us. However, people would just open their minds, they would see that there is a possibility of heaven, a good possability in my opinion. Problem is, many people are too self absorbed to believe that someone has control of their lives, because after all, we like to think that we're in control.

    I also disagree with the statement that may 21 is the rapture. It could happen, but it could also happen at any time. No one but God can predict that.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  102. Robert

    I think people who say things like "heaven is a fairy tale" actually have a very limited view of the enormity and possibilities of the universe. While they often claim that those of a religious bent are small-minded, I think the roles are actually reversed. Now, when you get into defining, or trying to define, what heaven "is" you open up a whole other round of debate. Personally, I believe in heaven but have absolutely no idea what it "is" - and I don't need to know! But I think that all of us – Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and non-believers – will, when we die, become aware of something that our current state of being can't even comprehend. However, if Mr. Hawking is right, then we'll just return to nothingness upon death and never know any different, so what's the harm of believing in something while you're alive if it helps you better grasp the meaning of life and how we are all interconnected? Just one person's opinion from Washington, DC.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  103. Allen

    In a word, yes I agree. In a few more words, I'd say I wouldn't call it a 'fairy story' because it guarantees BILLIONS will be irritated by it. However, I'm hoping that it does ignite a useful discussion about the influence of religion in our lives- good and bad and why we must continue to use it as a crutch today by leaveig everything in 'God's hands'.. "God has a plan". Really? I thought people created their own plans? Its high time we start debating the merits of religion and the impact it has on humanity and personal responsibility. Let the discussions begin!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  104. Bryan B

    Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people, The Question is do you believe in the LAKE of Fire!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  105. Ed Brennan

    I simply can't reconcile the concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe with the way the planet earth was constructed. Why would such a Creator (or God) use tectonic plates that regularly shift abruptly (i.e. earthquakes) leading to the horrble deaths of thousands and sometimes hundreds fo thousands when tsunamis result from the earthquakes. God could easily have been smarter about this. Or perhaps God is actually even more wicked than some believe. How could there possibly be a Heaven when planet earth is such a disaster?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  106. Geoff

    Yep.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  107. BlackDynamite

    The real question is: "What's the argument AGAINST that?"
    BD

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  108. JP

    Yes Jack, I do agree with Dr. Hawking that "heaven" as proselytised by the religious, is a fairy tale, as well as implicitly contradictory. For example, why would a heaven satisfy all material wants if a body-less soul has no material needs. And, frankly, if it did exist, it would be unimaginably boring. What I do believe in is the Law of Conservation of Energy in that Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another. That said, a person's energy likely goes somewhere...but where it goes, I do not know. I'm not going to subscribe to a fairy tale though just to create an answer to that unknown question.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  109. Lisa Bloom

    It is a fairy story...totally agree. See you Sunday🙂

    Lisa M. Bloom
    San Diego, CA.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  110. Jack

    Heaven is as real as life itself. Faith tells me so!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  111. Larry Jacobs

    I don't blame Stephen Hawkings for his belief and this is from his disappointment(s) in life. My son was born with dwarfism but I believe in a heaven and my son who is teen does also, further more.. Everyone who has tried to honestly disprove the resurrection of Christ has failed and most of those people converted to Christianity....so I say there is a heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  112. Eric Colorado

    I agree with Hawkings. Religion has and always will be based on "faith", instead of reality. Camping is just another Jim Jones phenomenon without the juice.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  113. Porter Lancaster

    Ok If I believe in Heaven and there is one I Will live forever in a wonderful place. If there isn't a heaven it wouldn't matter any way. If I don't believe if heaven and don't believe in Hell When I die and find out there is a heaven and hell guess where I will l spend all eternity in Torment!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  114. Ron Pfeifer

    Green Bay, Wisconsin

    I believe he's right - though I reached this conclusion only after a lot of wishful thinking to the contrary.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  115. mikesurf

    Yes of course its a fairy tale. What is interesting about the Camping claim is that yes it is ludicrous and silly, but it is no sillier than any other magical story from the bible. You won't believe Camping but you will believe that a woman had a virgin birth of the son of God who rose from the dead. Hmmm who is crazier..Camping or those who believe that fairy tale.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  116. Floyd Wilson

    No, I respectfully disagree with Dr. Hawking. He speaks of something he knows nothing about. We can see God and heaven exist by all the magnificence surrounding us. All to much for chance to explain.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  117. Thunderf00t

    Hawking is correct friends. There is no heaven, nor is there a hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  118. grist

    Heaven is an invention of powerful men who obtained benefits in exchange for promising a better life. The catch: you only get the better life after you are dead! And then it is too late to complain. What a scam!
    Steve
    Clarksville, MD

    May 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  119. Rebecca

    I agree with Stephen Hawking. I think that heaven is a made-up idea, but if the promise of heaven comforts those uncomfortable with death and compels them to lead better lives, then who am I to be against it?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  120. Warren Parks

    When friends ask me whether I believe in an afterlife, I say the afterlife will be exactly the same as the beforelife- We don't seem to care that we cannot remember an existence before our birth- The good news is that if there is no afterlife, at least you won't be around to care.

    -Warren Parks, Fort Collins, Colorado

    May 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  121. Ed

    I think Heaven is a fairy tale but I do hope to have an afterlife of sorts. I'd like sunny meadows with animals.

    The anti-Heaven would be to spend eternity with an insecure god who demands that I worship him and give praise.

    Ed in Houston, Texas

    May 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  122. Dustin

    Jack,

    I do believe in heaven, but I don't believe it to be a world with golden streets and fountains of wine (or something). I believe it to be more of spiritual unity with God and the universe than anything else. Sure, that probably sounds "new-agey," but if you ask me... I couldn't want for a better heaven than that.

    Dustin, MI

    May 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  123. David

    I agree. There is no evidence for heaven, souls, or hell. None.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  124. not bob levy

    I agree with Stephen Hawkins. Its a fairy tale for those that need some security they will always be to go about their daily lives.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  125. LouAZ

    A mathematician once said "if you do not agree that 1+2=3, then it defies logic to convince you that 3=3". Hawking is correct, but it seems pointless to discuss why.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  126. Allan J. Brandon

    The brain dies and with it one's very being and all memories. We cease to exist as sentient entities.There is no afterlife. Belief in such is a defense mechanism, because we are terrified to contemplate our annihilation.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  127. Former Catholic

    It's a nice fairy story, comforting yes, but still a fairy story.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  128. BobZemko

    If there is a heaven, I hope there is no rap music there.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  129. JL MacDonough

    I don't believe in the supernatural
    .

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  130. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Absolutely not.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  131. Tony

    Believing in something doesn't make it true or false. They believed the world was flat well not true. They believed the the Sun circled the Earth again not true. They believed the Universe was static..Not True. One day we will find out if heaven is real or a fairy story but until then people need realize we are not as smart as we think we are.....

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  132. Ionian

    Yup.
    Hawking is right.
    Heaven, is probably a fairy tale. Hell, is a fairy tale too.
    Science cannot support these fairy tales as existing.
    How can life continue upon death? Life exists.
    Existance is physical.
    Non-physicals "things" don't exist, by the very definition of the word "existance".

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  133. LKJ

    I believe in an afterlife, both heaven and hell. But I would never be so bold as to say who will go where. That's God's decision. I rely on His Mercy.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  134. Ted from Hershey, PA

    No, some believe in Heaven, not as a physical city "Crystal City" or golden, but like a virtual place, and our computer "geeks" can relate to that. Since our satellite has revealed many beautiful & infinite planets, stars, universes, etc., one gets the sense that God knows all about this, since he created the laws of physics, chemistry, and the physical elements, people, and nature. Yes Jack, there is a heaven!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  135. RenaP

    no – i don't agree with him.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  136. Loving life

    "Science types" depend on facts and data. Because there is only faith and no conclusive proof, there is no heaven to these types. Of course their argument that life climbed out of the "primordial soup" is equally weak and only supposition. Something had to put energy into the system to create order.... was it lightning, or God? It is likely that no one really knows....

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  137. Stephen Moorman

    A time will come when the believers and non-believers will stand together before God. I hope the non-believers can handle the disappointment in knowing they were wrong.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  138. Steve

    I do believe in heaven. Indirectly, so does Mr. Hawking. If, in fact our brains are nothing more than computers, Someone had to make those computers. We'll get to meet that Someone in Heaven some day... or, at least some of us will.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  139. Pat

    Hawking is a perfect example of someone who is extremely intelligent but sadly ignorant. Those who hang on Hawking's every word seem to consider him to be a de facto deity. I have a fairly conservative view of God and of Christianity; everyone has his own personal view. I don't accept Hawking's dismissal of God, and I'm pretty sure Hawking would disagree with me on this. So be it. I know where my eternity lies. Sorry about Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  140. Steve

    I don't happen to believe that the entire universe just simply sprang into existence from nothing...something had to set the big bang into motion, right? Use your science and tell me what existed a million years before the big bang, Mr. Hawkings, and what it was that caused an inert mass to suddenly burst into motion on its own...doesn't that contradict one of your basic laws of physics?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  141. bob

    Religion, heaven, hell and all supernatural beliefs are fairy tales.
    They are feel-good beliefs that have no basis in reality, which is much more subtle and complicated.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  142. smuker

    I completely agree that there is "no god". Religions are left over from cave women/man days when a bolt of lightening and thunder and earthquakes, struck fear in those primitives. The cave man's recourse was to look to the heavens for guidance. Religion should be outmoded as unions should be done away with. We no longer have "child laborers". We are the "gods" of this universe. People like Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer create miracles, everyday.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  143. theresa wilson

    yes i believe in heaven. i do not believe that any man can predict when jesus will rapture his church. only god knows when that will be. god will touch his son and declare that its time. we know not when because it is not for us to know. god bless u all

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  144. Tom Des Moines Iowa

    Of course there's a heaven. It's a place where most dogs and some humans go after having led a good life.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  145. John from Alabama

    Jack: Jesus Christ states that no one will know the time or place of his second coming. Harold Camping predictions are just that predictions. Mr. Camping's has made these predictions before and will continue to make them as long as he draws breathe. I wish him well, and I believe his followers should read the new testament more. This is a suggestion, and not a command. God makes commands or commandments.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  146. LK10034

    No, I do not agree. The Bible says no man knows when the end of the world will come, and that includes Mr. Camping. Like so many who have gone before him, his primary agenda is seeking attention.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  147. ROGER IN Va

    No! Heaven is not a fairy story. Hawking needs to stick to debunking the Theory of Relativity and stay out of religion. As for Harold Camping I dont know where he got his information, but the word of God says "NO ONE knows when the end will come.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  148. Dave Underwood

    Heaven, and religion, and a God are all crutches for weak minded people that cannot accept reality. If that is what makes you warm and happy then that is fine with me, just please don’t try to rub your naive beliefs off on me. I am quit secure in my own beliefs, and those are that when you die they put you in a hole and worms eat you. End of story.

    Enjoy this life because it’s the only one you get.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  149. Nino

    No, why people buy those lies??? Scare tactis.....they work!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  150. Lee

    I am a firm believer there is something or someone greater than this universe. After all we were given life, we were given a conscience to know the difference between right and wrong. We were given the feeling of compassion and every kind of emotion. If we were just put together by some natural mistake then why would we care what is right or what is wrong or even how we felt. Yes, nature can create somethings, but originally it had to come from somewhere. I suppose that if there isn't a life after death we will never know, but the non-believers will surely know if there is. As far as a man predicting the rapture, I think that is a little far fetched.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  151. BucketDrop

    Yes, I agree with Hawking. Christian heaven is most assuredly produced by the same part of the imaginative mind as fairies and other lovely works of fiction.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  152. gettys

    Of course it's a fairy story. Anyone who doesn't know that is an idiot.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  153. Stephen Moorman

    A time will come when the believers and non-believers will stand together before God. I hope the non-believers will be able to handle the disappointment in knowing they were wrong.

    Somerset, NJ

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  154. John Johnston - Smithfield, UT

    Hawking is correct as usual. Religion is for people who need the concept of an afterlife to justify the life they have. Perfection is not possible here, yet most caring people aspire to it....in "heaven" all is perfect. We are born, we live, we die and return whatever energy we have to the great cosmic energy pool.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  155. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    Heaven does not exist. Any afterlife is the energy that leaves the body upon death. This energy force may or may not contain the memories that were contained in the brain during life.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  156. Ionian

    ex·ist·ence

    noun /igˈzistəns/ 
    existences, plural

    The fact or state of living or having objective reality

    Heaven has no objective reality.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  157. Joseph Fry

    I do agree. I think the idea of Heaven makes life a little bit more bearable for people. "Heaven" was created by humans as a way to explain the unknown, which in itself it isn't a bad thing. It's ok to have hope that this isn't all there is ... but those that believe in all this human created rhetoric so blindly really do scare me.

    West Des Moines, Iowa

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  158. cj

    well not to offend Mr. Hawking, but he just doesn't know any better....

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  159. Bill

    The key word is "believe". For those for whom facts are important, belief is irrelevant. For those for whom belief is important, facts are irrelevant...unless they are convenient and can be used to bring others to belief. But you can't have a rational discussion on something like "Does heaven exist". You either believe, or you don't.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  160. Brandon

    It seems bizarre for Hawking to regard the brain as just a computer as the brain is what created the computer. If the brain created the computer, what computer created the brain?

    If heaven is a lie, then there is no hope.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  161. Grace

    According to Pascal's wager, what do you have to lose?
    According to the word of God, everything.
    Yes I believe in heaven and the Creator God who created it.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  162. austin

    No. I believe that the average mind finds it hard to believe that there is no heaven. The thought of living this one life is not enough for them. I think that the idea of heaven soothes many because it helps people feel that their life has meaning. From the conversations that I have had with people who believe in heaven, the majority of them don't understand how it is possible to find happiness and meaning without believing in reward (for them this is heaven). But, I do get a reward. I am rewarded every day with life. I am awarded with smiles from others. Also, I am rewarded with the time to think. Believing in heaven and a script that has already been written out is dull to me, and I found this through experience. I find it more exciting to explore this world head on, without a written script.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  163. Andrew Barnaby

    The question of heaven and the question of an afterlife are two very different questions. Heaven is primarily a Christian-Muslim idea (though it is worth noting that the earliest Christians were more concerned with the Kingdom of God on earth). But many cultures and religious traditions believe in some kind of afterlife. Hawking is entitled to his opinion, of course, but he has no special insight here; after all, who's to say that our "existence" is limited to our functioning brain? He seems to be assuming that an afterlife depends on the continuation of something like individualized and individuating brain function after the death of the body. But that's only one of many possibilities. So why privilege it?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  164. Rita Joy

    I agree with Hawking. People are afraid of dying and cling to false hopes of a life hereafter. You live and die and those are the facts. Get over it people and make the best of the time you have.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  165. Phil

    Heaven is a nice idea for people who can't take the idea of nothingness. But I do believe that when we die there is nothing waiting for us. No joy but no suffering either. While I don't relish the idea of dying I don't fear it as much as I used to. Everyone does it eventually. I mean how do you miss something (like life) if there is no conscious mind to anchor it to.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  166. Drew

    Yes I agree with Stephen Hawking even from a common sense standpoint.

    God(s), heaven, afterlife; they're all man made if you actually understand science, physics and if you've actually read that awfully written book called the bible.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  167. Kingofthenet

    Well put it this way, when you REMOVE the chance of Coincidence Prayer NEVER works. Religion is also the LAST socially acceptable form of Magic.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  168. Jeff Houston, Texas

    Sure heaven exists, so does the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, human rights in China, and politicians who don't care about the next election cycle.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  169. Burley Mitchell

    Hawkins has blind faith in "spontaneous creation." How does that differ from faith in God, or Alla or whtever name for the supreme and unknowable? Einstein, a man of faith, said "I have faith because I chyoose to suspend disbelief–just like Hawkins, no.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  170. Theresa Grace

    I would agree with Mr. Hawking, if he can agree with me that a Black Hole is a fairy tale, or that the Infinity is a fairy tale.

    Des Moines, IA

    May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  171. lisa

    I know there is a heaven I have been there

    May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  172. pHILIP

    What Hawking says is perfectly logical. Humans are flawed, we have the irrationality of fear build into our innate nature. Our fear of the unknown, particularly death, is most notable. We are naturally afraid of what we cannot explain or experience, and death is the ultimate uncertainty. Of course it makes sense that someone would, for a lack of a better word, "make up" the idea of heaven, because it comforts us and tries to ease our fear of death and the unknown. Whether you accept it or not, Heaven is a convenient excuse for us to feel better about our inevitable death. Ignorance is bliss.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  173. davidtal

    I do not agree with Hawking. No one can say for a fact that heaven exists or not. I tend to think it does not exist but I certainly can't say for sure.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  174. Peter

    I would expect a scientist who makes a categorical statement as he did to base it on solid scientific evidence. His authority to speak is based on his reputation as one of the brightest scientific minds of our era. Why should I believe what he says if he does not produce definitive evidence. Is he aware that a growing number of scientists are concluding that the only reasonable position to take in light of recent discoveries with regard to origins is intelligent design? All Hawking has given us is an opinion which has no greater value than that of the average man on the street. Why should I take it any more seriously than what Harold Camping says about May 21? Neither makes any real sense.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  175. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Yea, I'm with Stephen Hawking, as dismal as it sounds.
    Religion has a way of using fear to lure people into believing stuff like heaven and hell. I don't need fairy tales or religion to convince me to be a good person or to tell me right from wrong.
    Let me put it this way, if there is a God in heaven and i'm a good person who does not believe in heaven and then there is an evil person who does believe in heaven who do you think would go to heaven?
    And yes, as you know evil people with a strong religious background do exist. You know who they are. They blow themselves up along with children. Are they going to this so called heaven before me.
    Give me a break!!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  176. Jarrod Rager

    To quote a favorite musician, "I'd like to go to Heaven for the weather and Hell for the company."

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  177. Larry Hill

    I don't know for certain that Heaven is real. Dr. Hawking doesn't know for certain that it's not either – no matter how brilliant he is. It's a matter of faith. I have faith in God and I have faith my salvation. You mentioned that Dr. Hawking has had a lot of time to contemplate. If he is wrong, he will have much much more time for contemplation. If I am wrong, I guess I will never know it.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  178. Rene Trinidad

    From San Jose, CA.

    I believe in GOD the Father Almighty......I believe there is Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  179. Cheryl Nation-Crawford Georgia

    Heaven is true. I feel sorry for Mr. Hawking when the gets to the pearly gates and is turned away. I will pray for him and hope he comes to his senses before it is too late.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  180. lc

    heaven is real just as hell is here

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  181. David

    YES, How could you not. It will be too late to see if you don't believe in Jesus Christ. He is the only way you'll ever see heaven and all it's Splender. WOW what a day it's going to be. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  182. Mike K

    regardless of what you believe in, when you get to the point where you find out if there is a heaven or not, you're not going to be able to say "I told you so". What's the big deal, believe whatever makes you sleep better at night and don't pity someone who doesn't believe the same.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  183. ARH

    Of course I agree with Stephen Hawking.

    One way to figure out if something is a fairy story is to consider the difference in the world without it. For example, imagine a world without air, water, atoms, elephants, Chicago – and you'll see why those things are real. Now imagine a world without Narnia, Middle Earth, Batman, or zombies – and you'll see why those things aren't real because *there is no difference*. Same thing with heaven; it doesn't matter to the real world and is only a fairy tale that some people really, really want to exist.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  184. Ken

    Camping's predictions are the fairy story, not the existence of heaven. Come Sunday morning Camping will be saying once again that he miscalculated. I feel very sorry for his deluded followers.

    Hawking is a confused and misguided old man. Even though Hawking is a noted physicist, neither he nor anyone else can explain how the universe was created out of nothing. There probably was a "Big Bang" but where did the stuff for the big bang come from? Energy and matter do not create themselves. One can be converted to the other but neither can't be created out of nothing except by the hand of God.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  185. Phil Waldor

    I have no probelm with people believing in heaven. They are wrong that it exists, but they can believe. Man has made heaven, despite the fiction that a higher being made it and there is no evidence to support the idea of such a construction. I do not support the idea of heaven. Dr Hawking has it correct, Events are random and then you die. The best that can happen is that we can be kind to each other while we are here.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  186. Indu Maiti

    It does not matter much whether Stephen is right or wrong. It is a fact that one fells good believing in-this matters the most. In this world haven or hell is not far from us, it is within ourselves- this is the way it is. Religion will destroy the world.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  187. mari k

    I have a belief there's some type of after life. Too much spiritual evidence suggests it to be so. Whether one refers to God, Allah, Christ or all others there's something there. Hope is eternal.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  188. Reema

    Sure, I believe in heaven, i believe that heaven is a feeling not a physical space, heaven is a peaceful and happy life. Heaven is not a ridiculous physical space somewhere in solar system. This also implies the existence of cycle of birth & death.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  189. Ryan

    i totally agree jack because honestly who are you going to belive a book written which talks about mythal creatures and things tht noone can see or the brilliant scientific mind i dont get why people live their whole life beliving in fantasy. ill just live my life and thats that i was told i was to old for imaginary friends

    May 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  190. Joe

    I do believe in an afterilife.

    In 2002 I was able to communicate with a girls father who passed away when she was younger. I never met the man, nor did she describe him to me.
    I went to sleep and saw a man standing in a light, and he was about mid 30's, dressed in a business suit, and he told me about a pact he and his daughter made.

    The next day I told her about the message I received and she was shocked cause her dad died when he was 35, and they did make a pact.

    Also My aunt Passed away in 2008 and she keeps visiting me in my dreams.

    And in 2009 I had another dream that heaven was a floating city on clouds and the skies were purple, blue and pink. It was a very peaceful city, with a large castle and gates.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  191. Jon T. from Syracuse, NY

    With each passing doomsday scenario (how many have there been now?), people and their beliefs lose credibility. Why is there this "must know and believe" feeling that encompasses people when contemplating a god or afterlife? Enjoy your life, treat people as you would want to be treated and just look forward to finding out the answer when it's time. The unknown can't be prepared for.

    Jon T.

    Syracuse, NY

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  192. N. Peterson

    I believe that the electrical energy of the body, the "soul" if you will, moves on once the body dies. I wouldn't say it goes to Heaven, however energy can't be destroyed so it must go somewhere.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  193. CSnord -- Phoenix

    Before one is born, there is a very long time when one did not exist. When one dies, one will not exist for an infinite amount of time. In between is life. Live it. No Heaven. No Hades. No sky fairies. There is only alive and not alive. After death there is only oblivion and one is reduced to memories within others, and even that is usually fleeting.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  194. oneSTARman

    FAERIE, like Heaven – is a Place where Nothing ever Happens. At lest according to a Talking Heads Song. The Band in heaven Plays my Favorite Song; There is a Party and Everyone is there – When this Party is Over – it will start again. Its Hard to Imagine that Nothing at All – could be this much Fun.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  195. Jim Cook

    Heaven is a matter of faith, Dr. Hawking odviously has his faith placed elsewhere. That's fine for him. I will continue to believe in an afterlife even if I don't understand just what it will be.
    As for Mr. Camping all I can say is Jesus told us even he did not know the date. Only the father did. If he didn't I doubt it was let slip to the writers of the bible. It will come (even if you don't believe in God) as the earth is not eternal any more than anything else in our universe. I will follow Jesus and no fix on the end but on the living.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  196. Ron Canfield

    Jesus may not be your God, but He's the only one there is and if I were you i'd be in a prayerful posture begging(and I do mean begging ) for His mercy. Whether He comes tomorrow or in a hundred years, I'd be concerned about my eternal habitation. Hawking(and any other intelligence) cannot begin to compare or give better consultation to anyone than the Creator of this existence.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  197. Bob

    Of course Heaven exists. Shows like "I survived beyond and back" are the closest thing to a scientific study. Each person has a remarkably similar account. They don't all come from religious backgrounds, either, so it's highly doubtful their brains have been conditioned to manifest Heaven-like experiences.

    When people deny the existence of their soul or the existence of God, the denial usually stems from a preconceived philosophical or ideological notion they've become enamored with. Just because the existence of Heaven can't be tested with modern scientifical methods, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  198. Keith

    I don't believe in an afterlife but I'm going to bring a change of underwear. Thank-you Woody Allen. Think I will skip that next car payment and spend it on beer!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  199. Steve

    For anyone associated with academia to declare what happens after death is pretty arrogant. You can argue against pearly gates, St. Peter behind the check-in counter, etc but to argue against a broad concept like heaven makes Hawking look foolish. If he can't explain the existence of 95% of all matter; or even how many planes of existence there are how can he know whether or not there is a ghost in the machine?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  200. Liberal Episcopal Physician

    Stephen Hawking is unquestionably a genius in his field, but he is no more qualified to make religious pronouncements than any other person. As another brilliant Stephan (Stephan Jay Gould) said very reasonably, science and religion are non-overlapping magisteria. Dr. Hawking has no empiric evidence to back up his claim, so it is purely a statement of faith, just as is my belief in Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  201. Jerry

    Well Jack, the answer to your question lie's on the belief that creation is only a state of mind and its up to the indiviual to interpet, so at the end of the day and in the long run does any of this discussion matter! Until we have evidence beyond what is offered now I do agree!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  202. Brian

    Humans have problems when things end. The thought of your life just being over is hard for the brain to grasp. Heaven (and religion) satisfy the need to "not have to think about it and how sad it is that you won't know what's going on anymore." It is similar to how people assign human characteristics to animals and objects. It is impossible for us to think that something, for example a rock, can just exist and nothing more.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  203. Brad

    I believe any afterlife is a fairy tale, just can't prove it yet, I'll die and let you know.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  204. KEN

    My heart wants 2 believe in heaven, but my mind tells me otherwise! My mama didn't raise no fool, and heaven is the greatest "Con Job" of all time! If there is no heaven, what a bunch of sad fools "We" are!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  205. Will nap for beer

    I agree 100% when you die..your dead...plain and simple there is no..If you were a good person you go to heaven and if you were a bad person you go to hell..you have to be an idiot to think that there is something else after death. thats why religion pushes that notion so much because that is the one thing in life that cannot be proven!!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  206. Freddie G

    Heaven is based on faith...those who have it believe and those who don't, don't! I feel sad that one would think there is nothing but maybe 80 year to your existence. Even a scientist knows that energy remains energy in this universe...if we are indeed energy beings....then we will not dissipate.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  207. hesitant

    Institutionalized religion has really made a mess of faith. The church is in disgrace with hundreds of pedofile claims. War surrounds us. People starve while others living the high life try to rape hotel employees. Perhaps we really do need an apocalype...or more likely, the rapture has already come and gone, we've been living in hell for a long time already. If there is a God, I don't think it matters, nobody left on earth will get to see Him.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  208. Wesley

    Agreed.

    A fairytale for the ages.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  209. K

    Fail... Of course there is a heaven. Jesus Christ died for our sins and then rose to Heaven and is seated with the Father. To deny heaven is to crucify Him again. It is so sad that people choose to misrepresent the Word of God. The fact of the matter is that resurrected Jesus will return to reclaim His bride however we are NOT to be concerned with the hour or the day. No man knows this time only the Father knows. We are to prepare ourselves through repentance, Christ-like love of others and love of Christ... We are too seek the presence and the face of God and to surrender all earthly desires...becoming a bond servant to the Lord where we find freedom in Christ.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  210. Derek

    Consciousness is an emergent property. When the system fails, so does the emergent property. There is no afterlife.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  211. Dorothy Parkinson

    Yes! I believe in Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  212. Adam Nova Scotia Canada

    One should be wise enough to believe only what they see ,the Human brain is a powerfull beautifull thing that is capable of processing many things but maybe some things in the grand scheme of everything are not just to be figured out but more to be experienced, who is to say that your own imagination isnt alot like the size of a pencil tip in a universe a wee bit bigger ,51/49 there is a heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  213. Paul B

    Heaven is a human construct. Just like every deity is a human construct. That is why all deities are considered to look like human beings, albeit with big wings.

    It's cognitive dissonance manifesting when attempting to deal with mortality (thank you Ernest Becker). We're all just too scared to accept that, when we die, it's all over.

    It's too bad we can't see that as motivation to make things better. But at least that disproves the myth that humans are innately good; if we were, we wouldn't NEED a myth about Heaven to motivate us to behave.

    Perhaps we really are an evil species. Then again, maybe the concept of morality is supposed to be something we all have to come together to agree on. What a novel concept that would be!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  214. Ancient Texan

    After surviving all the physical problems he's had, I guess he isn't too concerned with the possibility of a lightning bolt, but I'm sure he's wrong in his rejection. Lamesa, Tx

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  215. Joe

    Yes I do believe in heaven. Why not, faith is sometimes the only thing you have left after the GOP takes everything away

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  216. Jeff In Minnesota

    Our former Governor, Jesse Ventura, famously stated that, "Religion is for the weak minded." It is not that people are weak minded so much as they can dig themselves so deep a hole that they can see no way out and it is only through their faith in their religion that gets them out. Going forward, religion will probably see itself wane as more and more people begin to understand that religion was the world's defacto form of government until around 700 years ago when monarchies began to really assert themselves. As the government, religions had to codify rules for society and that was done through preaching and later on through forms of religious documents such as the Koran, Bible, Torah, etc. This is why religious documents have a basis in fact, but have been reinterpreted over the years to suit the purposes of the religion.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  217. Dom dot com

    I dont believe it at all nor do i believe in heaven, god, or an afterlife

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  218. ChrisHF

    There's no evidence to the contrary, so... Yep.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  219. Joe - Utah

    Is there a heaven? I believe there are many heavens, and that almost everyone will eventually go to "a heaven." Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you." My belief is based on faith which is a hope for something that is true, but the evidence for it is not now seen.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  220. Robert (Troy, MI)

    as much as I respect Steven Hawking and his accomplishments, I have to disagree when it comes to heaven. Yes, Our "computer" will finally fail at some point, but we as humans have one thing that a computer does not have- a spirit that will reign forever.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  221. AM

    Heaven is about the SOUL, not the brain. It is not physical.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  222. Stan Marsh

    I, for one, believe in a ladder to heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  223. Marty G

    fairytale, sorry.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  224. Keith B

    Of course it is a fairy story......Come on, streets of gold, pearl gates, mansions for everyone...... All of it materialistic, which is, I might add, something that Jesus railed against. It's just a phony bribe to make people want to believe and to turn their focus from the all to prevalent evils and suffering here on Earth. One has to disregard all reason and common sense to believe in it. It is sad that some people need to believe is such nonsense to encourage them to do the right thing here.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  225. nate

    No-one likes the thought that when you die – that's it..but until anyone proves the contrary..that it.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  226. John W. from Ottawa Ontario

    I'm not convinced that Stephen Hawking actually still exists or whether the scientific papers attributed him were actually written by him. Anyone who really believes that he survived this long and wrote all of these scientific papers, given the advanced nature of his illness, are believing in a fairy story. Statistically the odds are very much against surviving this long and retaining his mental faculties with this patrticular disease. He has to be about the longest surviving case on the planet. The illness alos causes a damage to cognitive processes. I think it highly likely that the science papers attributed to him are actually written by someone else – a ghost science writer using his name. Has anyone actually seen him recently. All the video fottage on TV looks rather old. Personally I think that Stephen Hawking is a fairy story.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  227. C J D

    Since our memories are stored in our brain and the brain decays when we die, it's not likely those memories are magically reconstructed in some other form. If there is life after death how can it possibly include the survival of individual consciousness (i.e. any of us with the identities we currently have). Ultimately, I agree with Stephen Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  228. John Duke

    Stephen Hawking is a brilliant physicist. However, physics cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. Hawking is entitled to his opinion, but he should call it his personal opinion that God does not exist. He should not speak on this topic AS A PHYSICIST. I do believe that God exists and that heaven exists. I also think that anyone who pretends to know when the world will end is a charlatan.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  229. Ulysses Klaw

    Ghosts have been reported the world over for thousands of years. There is plenty of proof that the soul survives death. Yes, I believe in Heaven, but I doubt that many people will get there immediately after death. Some might be reincarnated, some might go to Purgatory, some might become ghosts and live in a Limbo state, etc. Nevertheless, hopefully most of us will go to Heaven eventually.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  230. Nicholas Rylander

    I agree.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  231. Roger

    Dr. Hawking is right, our brain is a bio-computer and when the power's gone it stops.

    Humans fear the unknown, Religion provides answers, guidance and hope. Regiligion also has developed to control the masses and when the social fabric of society says "believe in a rock" you either go along with the belief or be an outcast. Social acceptance is so strong humans will convince themselves a rock or person (Jesus) is what the leader says it is – Hypnotism of the masses.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  232. mightyfudge

    No one knows what happens when we die, and anyone claiming such knowledge is liar who probably wants your money.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  233. GUEST

    Heaven is a fairy tale. So is God and Jesus.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  234. David in Tampa

    Whether there exists a God or an afterlife, and that Jesus was a wholly God/ wholly man and was the son of that God remains to be seen. Such can be accepted on faith but can not be proved or disproved in this realm. Through critical inquiry and scientific investigation, humanity may eventually come to understand and explain how things operate in the physical universe, but can do nothing about the God question.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  235. Matt Fitzke

    I certainly hope there is a heaven, but do I believe there is one? I don't know. I think it is better to admit you don't know, then to arrogantly say you know all the answers.

    What I do know is, if there is a "God" that is willing just end the world and forsake perfectly good and truly kind people just because they don't believe in him.... then to me that is not a "God" worthy of worshipping.

    Matt Fitzke
    Minneapolis, MN

    May 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  236. Bob Griswold

    Yes, unless someone can offer absolute PROOF to the contrary!

    Sycamore, IL

    May 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  237. Rod

    I would be in a sad state of mind if I felt that I was simply a machine, and my only purpose was to work until I stop working and then be a piece of junk that rusts away to dirt!

    If I have no hope of life after death, then what is the reason that I continue to live. My hope is in the life that I have after death, that being in eternity with the one person who gave his life so that I might have life, Jesus Christ.

    I am thankful that I have been given earthly life so that I could share that life with my wife, see my children born and now see my grandchild, all for whom I give the hope for eternal life in Christ.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  238. Joe Wojciechowski

    I believe heaven is the last few seconds before you die. If you were a good person, you will be happy with your life and embrace death peacefully. If you were not good, they will be agonizing for you, and will be your own hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  239. Kissa

    A man, not god wrote the bible. Show me a poloroid picture of "heaven" and then I will be a believer.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  240. CEL1

    I believe in heaven as a spiritual, not physical place. When we die, we return our spirit to it;s home with the creator from whom we came.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  241. Joe

    I want to believe that there is an amazing life after this mess known as Earth, but with no realistic scientific backing, I just can't believe it. It really does seem as ridiculous as any other fairy tale out there.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  242. Chris from Portland

    Life is heaven...especially true if one lives in the Pacific Northwest. Why would anyone wait for or expect something better? To answer...I most certainly agree with Stephen Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  243. Shawn

    I completely agree with Stephen Hawking. There is no heaven, or hell, or anywhere else we go once we die. It's just another religious myth.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  244. Will Tucker

    Yes Sir. I BELIEVE IN HEAVEN.....AND i have seen it with my own eyes.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  245. NYbywayofTexas

    City: New York, State: New York. I am so sorry for Mr. Hawking to have gone through a situation of dealing with his mortality and come to the conclusion, that heaven does not exist. I know it is his choice to believe in nothing, but I do not share it with him. I believe in God, Jesus and heaven and I believe that it is my eternal home. I think man, in his attempt to control what he did not create, relies to heavy on human logic. There are too many variables to answer all of lifes' mysteries. And we are suppose to believe in the fallible, finite knowledge of man? Some things, Mr. Hawking, the brain cannot compute.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  246. Jon

    Stephen Hawking is full of himself and has been know to equate himself as being greater than other scientist. So it is little surprise that he would choose to dismiss the possibility of there being a God (therefore heaven) which is greater than him.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  247. Gordon NJ

    Hawking is absolutely right. Heaven is as real as NeverNever Land. Both are the inspired creations of that wonderful human art of storytelling. Tragically, religious fairy tales sometimes take over peoples' lives and sense of reason, as with the 9/11 hijackers; and think of all those people anticipating the end-of-times "Rapture" this Saturday night. Aren't the latter going to feel pretty stupid come Sunday morning? We've each got one life, and I intend to live mine until the last word of the last page.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  248. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    Does Mr. Hawking knows how many definitions are for heaven?. I am not going to define all of them for him, but maybe some of them should be of interest to him. Heaven is the sky above, the sun , the moon, and the stars we see from earth and that as for the scientific approach. As for the religious approach heaven is what you make out of your life. I for one live in heaven, Mr. Hawking need to look at the bright side of everything.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  249. Cathy

    I do believe in heaven. I would hate to think we toil, and do all the things we do everyday, and endure all the hardships here, to end up as fertilizer. I don't, however, believe Harold. He must read a different Bible than I do. The Bible says no one will know when the Son of Man returns, not even the angels in heaven. Apparently Harold doesn't believe in what he is saying a whole lot. His website is still accepting donations..... if the world is over in a few days, what is the point??

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  250. georgia wilkerson

    There is a heaven with many degrees for the many different levels of good better best and sealed together forever as a family

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  251. PAula

    Yes! there is a Heaven!!! the Bible states no man knows the day or hour that Christ shall appear. it goes on to say that Christ is coming like a thief in the night! question for u? do u know when a thief is gonna come?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  252. leonard shapiro

    jack, i have been dead(during a bypass operation) and did not go anywhere. no warm and fuzzy place just nothing.That we go someplace after death is almost universally hoped for worldwide, but we don't.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  253. pyrrho

    Heaven is a fairy tale just like the Easter bunny is. The concepts of heaven and hell were created by "priests" to gain power by instilling fear into common people who did not adhere to their concepts of moral behavior. Just before last Easter, I heard a mother admonish her misbehaving son "Stop your whining – don't you know the Easter bunny is watching". If heaven exists then so does the Easter bunny.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  254. Pete from Georgia

    Mr. Hawking should stick to what he knows best...........................man's egotistical answers to everthing.
    Somehow I feel more complete and fulfilled believing in Heaven than following the likes of Hawking and that tribe.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  255. Alex

    Is the notion that after a person dies they actually aren't "dead", and their consciousness somehow survives and is able to "go" to some other "place" and continue to "live" in bliss forever a "fairy story"? Sure sounds like one to me.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  256. eddie

    There was also a time when the world was considered flat according to scientists! Just because science has yet to prove an afterlife doesnt mean it does not exist

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  257. Steven Reminick

    Wrong question. First you must believe in God. Since God made the heavens and Earth, I presume he made everything else, including hell.
    Since Satan has beat God at almost every turn, (remember she ate the apple), God must by definition be imperfect.
    You gotta buy the whole stinking package before you even get to believing in heaven.
    God was just a misspelling. Someone said 'Let's be GOOD' and some fool left out an 'O',
    Then the rest of us fools spent the time since fighting about it.
    Hang it up. Worship the only thing that truly brings life, the Earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  258. B J

    Do not know if he is right or wrong..maybe he needs to find the theory that proves our spirits join a larger spirit to experience the cosmos (a la Sagan)..his views are certainly disconcerting but could be influenced by his own physical restrictions in life that caused him to be egocentric..brilliant guy in his own field he should stick to it..

    BJ
    Miami, Florida

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  259. Harry Tomlin - Ladson, SC

    Yes, Hawking has it right. The fear of death and oblivion has inspired the many religious superstitions.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  260. Mark in Las Vegas

    Jack, I believe there is a Heaven and I know I will be going there when I die. I have to doubt. Jesus came here to forgive us for our sins and died and then rose again after three days. Those that believe will be in Heaven after their death on earth. That was his promise.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  261. Clay Erickson

    Heaven is wish fullfillment. People want it to be true so bad they shut off their critical thinking. The evidence for it is very poor.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  262. Jane in Ca

    Yes. God is the remnant of some primitive man trying to answer a child's incessant question "Why?" We don't like to say it is just random chance, and a child won't accept "it just is" as an answer. So God becomes the ultimate answer, a name for what we cannot understand or do not want to face. And once the character is created, he must be given a home. The mythology of human history is full of marvelous Gods created by myriad human cultures. Interesting, but not real.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  263. Mike

    Agreed. Heaven is a fairy tale told to children to try to shield them from the concept of death. When children grow up, you would think they would understand this, but some have a hard time shaking the fairy tale.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  264. PleaseDonotModerateMe

    Funny how a discussion on the existance of God will moderate your comments if you try to use any words related to describing various sins.
    The bible is a collection of various stories and letters written by many men, later rewritten and purged and extended by other men, then interpreted by yet more men. If there is a God, and he did at one time give guidance, it was lost long ago in man's attempts to reinterpret His teachings. The church is a discrace, war,famine and suffereing are so common place that we hardly take notice when something new happens.
    I suspect the rapture has come and gone long ago, and we are all living in h e l l, so it no longer matters if there is a God, nobody left on earth will see him.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  265. Don in SF

    We'll see after May 21st

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  266. Turner Curry

    A wise man once said, "It is impossible to believe that God exists, and equally impossible to believe that he doesn't." Not much help there, but it is a pretty accurate assessment.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  267. Craig Duckett

    I don't believe in Heaven or Hell or life-after-death, etc, since I don't believe in the Soul, that so-called mystical disembodied element that is supposed to leave the body after death and go on to exist elsewhere. How quaint. All these are inventions of the human brain that, able to understand that everything is going to die, has made up a fantasy in order to deny the absolute certainty of death. It's time to grow up, people, and embrace reality. The sooner we acknowledge and accept our own deaths, the sooner we'll strive to get along with each other in the very short here-and-now that we all have left. Whether you're a gung-ho soldier going of to fight for patriotism and liberty, or a suicide bomber striking out for a cause, you might think twice if you came to believe that this is all we get, that there's no after-life, no pearly gates, and no 72 virgins waiting for you in the wings.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  268. Steve

    It is a fairy tale.

    If people quit ruining this place in the name of their gods, then we all would be closer to heaven here.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  269. Travis from North TX

    I agree, but I also understand why it's so important for human's to believe in it. If you are not truly at peace with yourself then the idea of ending completely is too much to handle. Also – if you are the type of person who would do truly evil things on earth if you didn't think there was a heaven -THERE IS A HEAVEN AND HELL. Don't ever think otherwise.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  270. Ted

    Finally – an intelligent person who admits he doesn't believe in fairy tales – Heaven is what you make it here – 1 shot – better make it count.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  271. Lynn from Northern California

    Yes there is an afterlife. No question in my mind what-so-ever. This is from personal events, not religious training.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  272. Mike Peralta

    I personally believe in Heaven and I have a Ph.D. in Physics
    from the University of Arizona (1999).

    As my dad used to say to my smart aleck brother:
    YOU'RE SO SMART, YOU'RE STUPID.

    I respect Stephen as a scientist but not in the matter of spiritual matters.

    God says in the Bible (Psalm 53:1):
    "The fool says in his heart, ' There is no God.' "

    So according to God, Stephen Hawking is a fool.
    Hopefully, he will soon get it right and come to God
    in repentance.

    – Mike Peralta, Phoenix, Arizona

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  273. Rudi

    Heaven is what you make... Rudi

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  274. K.D. Elizabeth Beisinger

    I disagree with Hawking, but then I disagree with Camping, as well. I believe there is a G-d in heaven that is not well represented by mainstream religion. I would also like to offer the perspective that since Stephen Hawking has far outlived the prognosis he was given, perhaps G-d is allowing him more time to come to a different conclusion than he's drawn at this point.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  275. Russ

    Why sure Jack, I'll believe in it if someone could show me where in "hell" it is. Oh, that was sarcasm in case you missed it. If you believe in heaven and the bible stories, then you must believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and even zombies. Sadly enough there are people (not talking about kids here) that probably do still believe in these. If the world comes to an end at any time in the near future it won't be because of Rapture or what ever you want to call it. It will be because, well, the world came to an end. Giant meteor, sun exploded, the earth exploded, whichever, it will have nothing to do with God!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  276. James

    With so much contradiction to the whole bible fairytale, and it being founded on purely arbitrary rules for getting into heaven, it's clear the god of the bible(s) is a human construct. So, if there is a God, we've received no word from him and cannot expect that he has planned some awesome nirvana for us when we die.

    God and Heaven are just the way the the weaker among us choose to cope with their mortality, and the way the stronger and less moral among us choose to cope with their need to control the weaker. i'll see you all come Sunday, but not at Church, thank you very much.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  277. dkhhuey

    I believe the heaven that involves vodka and chocolate! The one that involves a fairly tale invisible man in the sky – absolutely not!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  278. Dom dot com

    The idea of god & heaven & hell is all one huge myth that everyone is supposed to believe in. I think its stupid..its considered wrong if u dont believe the stories of the bible. WHY??

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  279. Scott in Bellingham

    Everybody's brain is different, I guess. Stephen's brain may be like a computer but mine is more like a potato. I don't believe in fairies.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  280. Paul

    Tough question...
    Science attempts to explain things we don't understand yet we rely on religion to appease our curiosity for those things which science cannot explain. Untill the scientific community can prove Mr Hawking's statement, I will remain faithful. Armageddon this Saturday? I doubt it but just in case, I'll say a prayor for you Jack.
    Paul, Montreal Canada.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  281. Rex Savage in Portland, Oregon

    Should we have more faith in Hawkings or in the Bible? Such decisions, as it were, define our national insanity. Count me out.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  282. Daniel Merriman

    steven hawking is a IDIOT!!! Heaven is as real as the fact that he will never be able to use his legs because he is a blasphemous heathen. God will judge all and all the non believers better hope they like it HOT!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  283. Cody From Alabama

    Heaven can be anything you want it to be. No need to voice an opinion eitherway, especially if you use your opinion just for the purpose of hurting someone.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  284. Jikas

    Why should I not believe in heaven? Osama is enjoying with 70 virgins, after leaving behind only three non-virgin virgins. Can't you imagine that and agree that heaven will surely exists and full of virgins.It is not a bad belief at all and a good excuse for many.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  285. Rick

    It's idiots like Camping that give Christians a bad name. "But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." You can't figure this out with any mathematical equation. Bible prophecy is coming true more and more. Time is short, but no way to know the hour.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  286. Harold

    First off if he learns how to read the bible he would believe as well, and also it says in that Great Book that when it's the end No one would no the minutew nor the hour. So I say believe in Jesus not Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  287. Steve from St. Louis

    The sooner people wake up to the fairy tale that is god, the sooner the hypocrisy of religion and the evil it causes can fade away.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  288. Wesley

    "No, I do not agree because the Bible plainly testifies of the truth."

    Do you always believe that the bible is always true?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  289. Adam Morrison

    Of course Heaven's real, just like Thor, Santa, the Easter bunny, Zeus and those blue people from Avatar.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  290. Alex from Raleigh

    The trouble is that Heaven, conceptually, isn't a "place" in the way we traditionally think about places. Nor does it "exist" within the confines of the reason or reality we live in.

    Heaven, like God, is not bound by the rules that govern the universe. It is surely real, it exists, and I have full faith that I will see it when I die, but we will never be able to attach a scientific concept of reality to it.

    The soul isn't made of atoms and particles. Nor is its final destination.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  291. DewdFromNY

    Nope. Look, assume that the bible might be correct. Why would heaven and hell not be mentioned in most of it, why not have it mentioned at all in the Old Testament? Sounds like a new invention by Jesus' public relations team (disciples). Clearly, it's a stick and carrot add-on invented to give a new religion some added benefit.

    As per the 'might not like the outcome' that's Pascal's wager, a failure of logic since believing in the New Testament means that you are not being faithful to the old testament. And it means that you are turning your back on the thousands of other gods. And it means that you are assuming that the ONE god, of the thousands, is depicted correctly.

    Odds are STRONGLY against such a wager.
    It's wiser just to be a good person, for goodness' sake, because it's helpful to everyone.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  292. Dale

    Heaven of the Organized Religious kind is a fairy story. Belief is a way to live in that altered reality. What is real is here now, not a future projection of under developed minds. Please can we move on and get out of this dark age dis-function? There is more but it is not somewhere else, it's here now on this earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  293. Pamela

    A fairy tale indeed.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  294. James Gibson

    Some people will say, "Whoa, if Stephen Hawking says there is no heaven, I guess that's the end of it." As a scientest, I can confirm that science can not prove or disprove if there is an afterlife. That includes Mr.Hawking, by the way. What also rattles me is his terminology saying heaven is a "fairy story." That's insulting to those who happen to believe that there is an afterlife. You are not the final say on this, Mr. Hawking.
    You should read the late scientest Stephen Gould's position on this, by the way.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  295. ailona

    fairy tales indeed. opium to the mass

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  296. Realist

    Heaven's no. I agree with Hawking who's smarter than everyone commenting here combined.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  297. Sara

    What I don't understand is, what the harm is in believing. The worst that can happen is that in the end you will be wrong, and either way you will be dead so will it really matter? I would rather believe in something as inherently good as heaven and risk being wrong, than not believe and risk being wrong. The end result for the latter would be the worse result.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  298. Paul in Dallas

    Believe you me Jack, I believe that people believe what they want to believe.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  299. Ray Couture

    Of course I agree. These stories of heaven, hell and the afterlife are all egoistic concoctions designed to cater to our various vanities.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  300. James Anderson

    I do agree, absolutely. There is no heaven nor is there a hell. They are both superstitions dating back at least to mans tribal days.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  301. MRQ

    Agreed. Afterlife is a fear-soothing fantasy.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  302. Karina

    it is not going to be pearly gates and angels sitting on clouds with harps, but I do believe the soul survives physical death and continues in another dimension. Have had life-long experiences with the paranormal so no doubt for me.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  303. Colin

    The only people who know what happens when you die, are dead, and they aren't telling.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  304. Sam

    Nope I had god pushed down my throat for 18 years as a child and not for one second believed it. People can lead moral lives w/o god. To me church is a crutch – nothing more. Jesus was born from a virgin.......um ok... sure. Wake up people.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  305. john

    Scientist are wrong all the time because they can only understand what they can see or touch. Jesus came to earth, walked the earth and healed people, preached, was crucified, and rose from the dead. Jesus was witnessed on numerous occassions by numerous people as is documented in the Bible with is also a history book. If we choose to not believe the bible, than we cannot believe any history book. Jesus says that the gate to heaven is narrow and few will find it, He knew this in advance. Only those that believe in Jesus and what he came to do, which is die for our sins, can we be with God in Heaven. It's so simple yet so difficult for the world to understand.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  306. Thomas CA

    I couldn't agree more with Hawking. After two years of Theology School I came to the realization that every religion is false. Not only would you be hard pressed to find two people of faith that agree 100% on every aspect of their religion but even writers of the "holy" bible seem to have the same disagreements. For example Some parts of the bible seem to say homosexuality is a sin but the story of King David who was regarded as one of gods favorites seem to suggest that David was gay "...the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  307. tom maclean

    next he will be saying santa claus and the easter bunny arn't real, gee whiz, who does he think he is god ! oh yah he dosen't beleive in him.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  308. Rose

    Yes, I believe in heaven. I do not believe that this world is all there is! I believe in heaven and I also believe in hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  309. Stacy

    YES!!! Religion, and all it's fairy tales, poisons EVERYTHING!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  310. Ryan

    No. Prove that the wind doesn't exist. You can't see it, but you see the affects of it. You also see the affects of heaven and hell being that millions of people on earth have been trying to get to these places for centuries.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  311. Tristan

    Why are you asking us? Stephen Hawking is vastly more intelligent than cnn.com followers. Oh, and, yes. I agree with Dr. Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  312. A

    Yes, I agree.

    Really? The earth is only 10,000 years old and a 600 year old man built a big boat that could hold two of every animal on earth? Had this ridiculous idea not been planted in your mind as an infant, could you really believe a person trying to sell this fable?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  313. darrel in Ephrata Washington State

    Heaven as proposed by christian religion isn't likely. The "computer" that is your brain will download to the cosmic life force as your "components breakdown. Then we can all have real answerss, not wishes.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  314. Russell R. Pankey

    "The bible says no man knows the day or hour that the Lord will
    come back again and I believe that. Why would any reasonable person even think about anything else?"

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  315. Bob from Baltimore

    Heaven is a myth just like Santa. Both for the same purpose. Making us be good, or at least trying.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  316. Robert from Albany, NY

    While I wouldn't couch it in such dismissive terms, Prof. Hawking's basic thesis is, of course, correct.

    Religious canon, as much as anything – if not more – has a relevance and a value that has nothing to do with whether one considers it to be factual.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  317. Jim - Florida

    Anything that can't be proven by science is denounced by the eggheads as a fairy tale. I choose to belive. If I'm wrong, oh well. If Hawking is wrong, oh Hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  318. Justin H

    Yes, I believe Heaven and Hell are fairy tales. They are creations of man to help deal with the unknowns of death. The idea a loved one has gone on to a better place allows people to feel comfort when a loved one dies. But just like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause, there is no reason to believe such a place exists beyond the human imagination.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  319. jeramy from williamsport pennsylvania

    Heaven is a reality for some and not for others...for I believe in a loving creator, whose fingerprint is on every person. Every person creates and every person wants love and heaven is the dwelling place of God's creativity and love...weather that be a physical/spiritual place or an experience when we choose to love and create we are in heaven and or will arrive at heaven

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  320. David Dickson

    Of course he is right. It was invented back in a time when we thought the world was flat. It comes in handy when trying to calm children after they realize we are mortal and like Santa Claus there comes a time to put away childish things. I found the people that fear death the most, believe in Heaven. Co-incidence?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  321. Jane

    Thats more of a reason I lean toward Buddhism.
    Buddhist never try to introduce Buddhism by frightening people with hell-fire or promising people by pointing to heaven. Their main idea is character building and mental training. Buddhists can practise their religion without aiming at heaven or without developing fear of hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  322. Barb Carruth

    I would much rather choose to believe in God and find out he doesn’t exist, as opposed to not believing and find out He does exist.

    I am a believer of Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, who was killed, dead and buried and arose again and ascended into Heaven and is with God. I am waiting for His return either by my death or the Rapture.

    To God be the Glory,
    Barb in Alabama

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  323. ThoughtProcess

    Harold Camping will be there but Steven Hawking won't? If it does exist, I'd probably rather not go. I'd love to think heaven were up there but the idea that I may spend FOREVER in heaven or hell based on the billionth of second we spend on this planet with little other than an ancient and confusing book as guidance leaves me thinking I was ill-fated for hell no matter what. So I'm trusting this weekend isn't the end of the world nor am I heading to hell once my end does come around.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  324. Jason

    Yes, a fairy tale. God, too. I don't need the promise of heaven or the threat of hell to act morally, and I don't base my daily life on words written thousands of years ago by people who could never have fathomed today's world and often prescribed behavior which today would be considered immoral or illogical. We can be good for goodness sake and live for today, dealing with today's problems and solutions. And as for these people who think the rapture will come on the 21st, all I can say is they'll feel pretty sheepish in a couple days and start backpedalling pretty hard.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  325. mrgmorgan56

    I absolutely agree. Religion and God... Santa Claus for adults.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  326. Joe

    I agree. When our physical matter, chemical interactions, and electrical systems disintegrate there is nothing left but components for other processes.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  327. Bill

    Yes, I agree. There is no heaven or hell. Or God. Or Santa Clause or Easter Bunny. Just be the best person you can be day to day and stop worrying about what happens when tomorrow never comes.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  328. Kager01

    No of course not, No intelligent rational human being believes in superstition or myth, made up fairy tales from mankind's past

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  329. Tom H

    Absolutely, I believe in heaven. Dr. Hawking should know a bit more about the subject, given his life of research. I suspect he does, but just can't bring himself to realize it. Very sad.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  330. Duke

    Jack,

    I could care less what Stephen Hawking believes or disbelieves. Personally, I believe there is a heaven and that Jesus will come again
    to take his believers there at some point in time.

    I don't believe in Harold Camping's "prophecy", since contrary to his statements that is no scripture to support his belief that the rapture will occur on May 21st.

    One thing I fail to understand is people accept the writings of Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, etc. which were written in the time period 300-500 B.C., but refuse to accept the writings of the Old Testament Prophets, much of which was written in the same time period just because their writings were contained in the Bible.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  331. Aaron

    Religion is a 2000 year old tool for control. It's inhibiting the mental growth of our society as a whole. If I had a nickel for every time I heard "Jesus made me do it, God works in mysterious ways, or thank god for (such and such natural disaster) I'd have enough money to start my own religion.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  332. karen from calgary, Alberta Canada

    Of course it's a fairy tale. Religion is nothing more than mind control and the stories in the bible have been told over and over using different characters throughout history – watch Zeitgeist and pull your heads out of the sand.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  333. Rene Trinidad

    From San Jose, Ca.

    Mr. Hawking maybe good in Physics & this makes him think he knows everything which of course he does not.

    If he thinks his brain is like a computer, why then has he not added more memory so he can find a remedy to his affliction and also help others who suffer from the same?

    Mr. Hawking believed in a theory in physics which he advocated & defended for years which nobody else in the scientific community agreed with. Mr. Hawking later debunked his own theory.

    Mr. Hawking should best confine his pronouncements to the subject of physics while the rest of us should stop using words from people who have no proven credibility on the subject.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  334. George in PA

    I don't agree with him that heaven is a fairy story. I believe in God and heaven by faith. That means I accept what I cannot prove or reason to by myself. Faith was a heritage I received from my parents.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  335. Matt from Lansing, NC

    Heaven is real I know it is real, because I can feel it in my heart. I don't believe the world is going to end in October just because an old engineer decided for it to. No man know the day or the hour.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  336. mbaya

    I don't know, for I can't prove there is heaven and I can't prove there is no heaven, but one thing for sure though, I'm busy trying to earn a living. The fact is neither me nor Dr. Hawking or anybody else in that matter knows where the universe begins or where it ends. No one in the history of earth has ever reach to our closes galaxy and if such is the case, how the hell should we know that there are no heavens beyond what we currently know?. Dr. Hawking! you are a scientist, stop talking with certainty on things you have no prove about.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  337. joel

    Heaven and God are Santa Claus for adults.. Its a warm fuzzy delusion thinking someone else is in control and you'll spend eternity in some paradise as long as you obey the rules.. Seems more to me the man/men that wrote the bible needed a way to control the masses thousands of years ago and what better way than to threaten your eternal soul with threat of fire and torture.. Now go read your bible and be a good sheep..

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  338. Liz

    I strongly believe in heaven and look forward to someday seeing those family and friends who have departed ahead of me. Honestly I couldn't live in this life if I was to never see those who I have cared so deeply about. The best is yet to come.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  339. Sam from Oklahoma

    Heaven is simply a story people tell themselves so they can face death. You can believe whatever you want, but there is simply no credible evidence for an afterlife (citing your holy book of choice does not count as evidence).

    I'll believe in an afterlife when someone can give me hard, physical, testable evidence of it. Faith simply isn't good enough.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  340. Andrew

    There is no reason to believe that there is a life after death for anyone. However much we would like it to be true, this is a myth based (in this country) on the folklore of the Bible.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  341. Dana from Tulsa

    It's amazing to me that someone who believes in aliens, and up to 11 dimensions would categorically state there could be no creator God and no afterlife. How can he know, unless he's been able to explore and analyze the entire universe?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  342. BP

    Let me see....... only those that believe what I believe can get into heaven ...

    Wait a minute.... that means my God is better than your god !

    So......I better convert you to my beliefs to save you – even if I have to eradicate you and your culture.

    Now I feel better. I just fixed you and your kind!

    ....I MUST BE RIGHT.....or else what's the point in believing what I believe?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  343. J

    Hawkwing's claim stems from the absolute truth that with the existence of gravity comes the possibility for something to be created from nothing. Thus a divine creator is not necessary when creation can be spontaneous and 'unintentional'.

    The issue is that gravity itself is something. This simply returns us to the one everlasting truth that in all scenarios there is uncertainty. Can Heaven exist? Until there is definitive proof otherwise – yes. It in fact can.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  344. Ted

    Finally – an intelligent person who admits he doesn't believe in fairy tales – Heaven is what you make it here – 1 shot – better make it count.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  345. WVLady63

    YES, I BELIEVE! For those who don't, I hope they have an asbestos suit because they are going to need it!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  346. James from Madison, WI

    I do not agree with Hawking, I'd like to think there is an afterlife. I fully admit there is no proof of this, and I'm not a strong supporter of organized religion. But, I do believe in God, and just seems to me that we have a soul/spirit that is independent of our physical beings.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  347. John

    Yes, I believe in heaven, but not the biblical kind. A good, medium rare tenderloin of beef and a baked potato smothered in sour cream and butter, now that's heaven. Cholesteral levels through the roof? Yup, you bet, but we're all going to push daisies some day and even the healthiest have departed earlier than enticipated. Grape Nuts anyone?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  348. Nancy, Longwood, FL

    Isn't that the mystery of it all? We won't know the answer until we die. Even those who say it is a fairy tale really don't know either. I'd like to believe there is Heaven – I've always liked fairy tales with happy endings.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  349. J

    Hawking's claim stems from the absolute truth that with the existence of gravity comes the possibility for something to be created from nothing. Thus a divine creator is not necessary when creation can be spontaneous and 'unintentional'.

    The issue is that gravity itself is something. This simply returns us to the one everlasting truth that in all scenarios there is uncertainty. Can Heaven exist? Until there is definitive proof otherwise – yes. It in fact can.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  350. Cynthia

    I agree that Heaven is nothing more than a fairy tale. All religion and the belief od Heaven is a way for humans to try to compensate for the fact that all we have is this world and in the end there really is nothing. I guess it is the brain's way for some people to comfort this fear of nothing after this one and only life.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  351. kilroy

    Hawkings is saying a lot more than "there is no heaven" he is actually saying there is nothing after you die. The odds are against him, and simply saying there is nothing is arrogant....which has always misled us in science. Even if there are only 10 working hypothesis' of some sort of afterlife this makes the odds of there being nothing a 10% chance.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  352. Zack

    YES I DO. Sooner or later Hawking himself will testify the truth.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  353. Alex from Pasadena, CA

    I hope there is a heaven, but I can't "know" for sure. In a world where so many get taken advantage of and there is so much loss, I hope there is a place where those who mourn will be comforted, and those who hunger and thirst for justice will be satisfied.

    And, as a scientist myself, I'm disappointed that Hawking would speak so definitely about something he has no evidence for or against. As a Christian, I think Camping is in direct opposition to Christ for claiming to know "the hour" when this will occur.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  354. Sonia Prince

    Yup, just like Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny. All stories...bible, along with heaven and hell was copied from an older religion ...the god of sun...look it up....anyway, it was all meant to scare people into behaving and following the more scholastic/educated people. Remember, they also thought the earth was flat!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  355. Ward Phillips

    Balboa,
    What if the Bible is nothing more than a collection of fairy tales?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  356. JLewis4

    Unlikey, you ask 10 people to describe what its like and you'll get 10 different answers. If they can even give you a description. Most of the people I know who believe in it, can't even tell me what you'd actually do in heaven for the rest of eternity.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  357. Tom Maisch

    Asking Steven Hawking about heaven and afterlife is like asking a nuclear physicist about witchcraft. He or she might have an opinion but not have any understanding of the subject matter. It doesn't matter what Steven Hawking thinks about the subject, he has an opinion just like the other 6 billion of us. Per The Bible there is a literal heaven and a literal hell and it matters little what one's opinion of that is.
    Porter, Texas

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  358. humanist

    No. It's a fantasy concoction much like the 72 vestal virgins awaiting the Islamic "martyrs". It's a very tempting fantasy though, especially if your life is not what you would like it to be. It's an religiously endorsed escapism but it's no more real than escaping in a good movie or book.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  359. Mike

    As real as the easter bunny and Santa. As a species, we must be around 6 or 7. Some of us are starting to figure it out.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  360. JL Scott

    Heaven and Hell.
    No
    None
    Nada

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  361. Dick M.

    Yes, I agree. No heaven, neither is there a Hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  362. KO from California

    Yes, I do agree.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  363. Barking Alien

    Most people have a hard time coming to grips with the fact they might not exist forever. What exists beyond no one knows for sure. Many people with near death or beyond death experiences report the state beyond as wonderful and not wanting to return. So if that is the last thing we experience that is ok. If there is something more than even better. The main thing is to live your life to the fullest and live a good clean life. If there is life afterwards great. If not then there is not.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  364. john murphy scobey montana

    No, but i'm trying to believe in hell because Bush, Cheney, et. al. certainly deserve some sort of eternal damnation!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  365. James Corcoran

    I have to agree for the same reasons I do not believe in Asgard or Elysium. I believe it was Richard Dawkins who said "We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."

    San Ramon, Ca

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  366. Tom Jo

    It seems obvious to me that there is no afterlife. I feel kind of sorry for people who are so afraid of that fact that they have to believe in these fantasies. It's quite simple; where were you in 1850? Exactly! After death is exactly like before birth. Simple non-existence.

    I don't care what anyone else believes until they start trying to impose their incorrect superstitions on others. THEN it can become a serious problem for everyone who doesn't believe the same way they do.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  367. keith in ky.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, mine just happens to be different, but one thing is for sure, everyone is going to find out in the end. The consequences for some beliefs will be worse then others.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  368. Reno

    People don't like to face the truth. Heaven is a fairytale.

    People want to convince themselves that there is a place they can go to after life. They're afraid of the unknown. Most of us are the same as children who are afraid to go to bed at night. Life is like driving fast on the freeway. When you crash your car at 70 your in shock by how still everything has become.

    Anyone who has known a family member who has had a stroke knowns there is no soul. People have strokes and half their personality is gone. Half of who they were is lost to the void.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  369. DJ Russell

    Dr. Hawking obviously spends all of his time in his head and not much in his heart. Anyone who has had a spiritual experience knows there is more to life than the computer brain. Those without such an experience have no clue. Just as I cannot prove that a soul or spirituality exists in the physical world, the physical and medical sciences cannot explain the daily experiences that people feel, hear and see in the spiritual dimension. I can see a fish deep in the ocean prove that there is no such thing as rain but then again a fish at the surface would find such an argument silly.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  370. Robert

    I absolutely agree with Mr. Hawking. It's the 21st century, we live in an age of science. People need to stop believing such silly notions of an afterlife or god (or whatever deity people worship). The universe, and our world, is a remarkable place given the chaotic nature how they were created.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  371. Justin

    figuratively yes, heaven exists.
    literally, no, heaven is a fairytale.

    ...would be nice if we could all agree that we should strive to create a heaven on earth.

    Justin
    Denver
    Colorado

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  372. SPA Knight

    I believe that Stephen Hawking's science as a replacement for religion is a fairy tale. Since when does a scientist turn theologian? The media gives this guy way too much credibility but ignores the authentic scholars of both sciense and theology. History will only remember him as a footnote to the atheistic movement of our time. There have been many before him and will be others. Won't he be surprised when he meets his maker!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  373. Ragu V

    I Agree with Stephen Hawking. Those who believe and do not believe in any faith, refuse to accept the fact that Heaven is not after the life, but right here in this life on this earth. To me this is the Heaven. All other heavens are fairy tales, and there is no after life. The only after life is what you leave behind and the world that either remembers you in their heart and mind for what you did right or doesn't. Thats the spiritual presence.

    Simple you ask what is a heaven to 10 different people with in a same faith and take their answer, it wont be same. Its what they were told and they were able to imagine.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  374. Dave

    If there is nothing after death, and no ultimate consequence for anything people do in life, then (1) life ultimately has no meaning, and (2) there is no basis for law, ethics, morals and any other concept of right or wrong. All that is left is the law of the jungle (i.e., it's right if it feels right for me).

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  375. Dave

    It's either a fairy tale or it's nothing like what religion says it is.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  376. Sean in Michigan

    I think Hawkings comments are surprising considering how brilliant of a scientist he is. I can grant that it is possible that everything everyone ever thought about God or the afterlife may be wrong. But the existence of God or the afterlife, although not able to be proven scientifically, can not be scientifically dis proven either. Looking at things scientifically, the "theory" of God and Heaven is just as acceptable as the theory of the Big Bang until proven otherwise.
    See ALL of you on Sunday!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  377. Judi

    Heaven is as real as Santa Clause! As children we were told to be good or Santa wouldn't bring us the cool new toys we had dreamed about all year, if we were bad, we might get a lump of coal if we were lucky! Ironically, that story is strangely similar to the whole concept of heaven and hell!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  378. Tyhouston

    No, I do not agree because the Bible plainly testifies of the truth.

    HAHAHA
    Cute a book written far AFTER the rise of man. No the bible gives no truth only faith, which means believe something that is pretty much a lie.

    But only our lies, others lies are lies... but Christians lies are OK!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  379. Joe Garcia

    Listen, Stephen Hawking is one of the most brilliant minds of our lifetime. However, he is too small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. For him to have a definite answer as to whether heaven exists or not, shows ignorance and closed-mindedness more than it does brilliance. I am not positive of what exists beyond this life but with all the wonder of our planet and universe, it would not surprise me at all if an afterlife and heaven did exist. Personally, I think there is something after death. Just not sure what.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  380. Mike in Green Bay WI

    I agree with Stephen Hawking. The concept of heaven is one that placates people who live in fear of the unknown. People want a security blanket - something to assure them nothing bad will happen. And the notion of "heaven" does that. Perhaps that is what is best about heaven - it gives peace of mind to those who are afraid of the unknown. As for me, I enjoy my life and have no need for that reassurance. Heaven isn't necessary for me to know that in living a great life and treating people well is reward enough.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  381. Russ

    Maybe we are all already in Heaven, and just can't appreciate it.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  382. Nate

    I don't believe that heaven exists, but it's a scale of folk lore that surpasses "fairy stories". It isn't nice to scorn something that gives so many people solace.

    Bloomington, IN

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  383. Beth

    Heaven is a place that was invented by human beings. The belief brings comfort to those who fear the unknown after death.

    Lewisburg, TN

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  384. James

    Yes, the heaven exists, that is why the numbers of people who believe in it is more than the numbers of people who don't. Stephen Hawking is one of them. He probably has asked God for help for so long and got no response so far which understandably caused him to pronounce heaven as a "fairy story".

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  385. Bill

    Yes i do, heaven is about as real as everything else we've been told, you know santa claus, the tooth fairy, the boogieman, etc. it's all good fantasy-enjoy! hastings mn

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  386. LDD

    Who knows for sure there's a heaven or a hell for that matter? I guess none of us will know for sure until we die.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  387. Carolle Miskin

    As a child & young person I lived a life filled with physical pain for days on end. During that time I often lay on my bed under the window & felt as though I left my body & traveled to a wonderful place where I was infused with knowledge. It wasn't until years later that I learned about astral travel & realized it was what I was doing. Would I call that place heaven...most definitely. All my life people have been amazed by all that I know about this world & it always takes me back to that wonderful time when I was in the presence of the most beautiful loving energy. I would be willing to sit with Stephen Hawking or any other "expert" anytime & reveal to them what I know about this life & heaven.

    I live in Montreal, Quebec & I am a 60 year old woman who knows the truth about living life because of these experiences.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  388. Eric

    Absolutely not. God makes himself known to those who ask and listen. It is sad that most people stop the search for God because religious leaders fall short or because he can't be scientifically proven. It is a great loss to them when they do not embrace and therefore receive the perfect love of their Father.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  389. Duke

    Correcting the 2nd paragraph of my post.

    I don't believe in Harold Camping's "prophecy", since contrary to his statements there is no scripture to support his belief that the rapture will occur on May 21st. (there not that)

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  390. Tom Leykis

    There is no heaven, there is no "god", jesus never existed and there is no academically accepted, empirical proof that "he" did outside of anecdotal foolishness and the bible. Ergo, there is no such thing as heaven. It's a manmade creation of small minds.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  391. PHIL HUNT

    I believe in heaven just as i believe in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which means i also must believe Hell. Some days I believe in what my Grand mother used to say,"We spend our time in Hell on earth." My faith is what keeps me sane in this world we live in and I will pray for the soul of Mr. Hawking

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  392. Grace

    Heaven is real and so is God.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  393. Mark Johnson

    I absolutely believe in heaven, and I also believe in the second coming. however, to deteremine who has the corret formula of when the rapture is going to start makes it hard to believe people. I think that May 21st is going to be like the Y-2K incident where everyone thought the world was going to end and it only ended up as a hicup. From the way we treat the planet, each other, and ourself most people are disheartened to the point that they are actually wanting the rapture to happen. But when and where it starts is still and will be a mystery until the day it actually happens.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  394. Dean

    We see examples throughout history of humans longing for invincibility or some kind justification for their lives. The creation of heaven and hell provide us with a medium through which we can fulfill a craving of a justification of our simple worldly lives. It's reasonable to see why the idea of heaven was created and while we may never be able to disprove its existence, we certainly have no good evidence to believe it actually exists. Heaven is probably best explained as a figment of our ancient imaginations that has been sustained through the passing down of religious beliefs over generations.

    Dean – Pittsburgh, PA

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  395. Serda07

    I dont think by our standard definetion "heaven" could exist. If it did you would have to be a rebooted version of yourself, otherwise you'd be in "hell" knowing all of the family and friends that didn't make it. You'd look down on your loved ones and future generations and see all the wrong, pain, and suffering in their lives and that doesn't sound like a heavenly existance. If you didnt remember all the pain, suffering and loved ones you got to experience while alive, so that you weren't miseralbe in your heaven, then again "you" would not be...."you". So then what was the point of going to heaven to begin with?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  396. John from Kentucky

    If Stephen Hawking thinks that Heaven is a fairy tale then that is what it will be, to him. Unfortunately, he won't live happily ever after if he holds to this belief. As for me, I do believe.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  397. Sanju from San Francisco

    A simple question, is there air? Yes. We can't see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We can fell the air. Just like that there is Heaven, we can't see thought our eyes but we can sense it's presence thought our heart... and the day our heart stop we will see it...we will see the heaven .

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  398. Ardie Allen Cesario

    It is all good and God is at the end....if you want. If not you choose an eternity apart from God. That would suck!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  399. Brandon

    What about the book 23 minutes in hell? or the book about the guy who died and went to heaven then was revived? how would you lie about that? Heaven and hell are a real thing. Read the bible and go to church. im sure Hawking is saying that because he feels like God has not been good to him but everything God does happens for a reason.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  400. Brian in Mentor, OH

    Jack,
    I agree with Hawkigs 100%. I am an atheist and I repeatedly get judged for my lack of beliefs, yet I never judge a religious person for theirs. I think religion/promise of afterlife was meant to give people morals and a "purpose" for life, when in reality all it does is cause problems because groups have to exploit people for their beliefs. I feel being atheist, I have better moral beliefs and values than many religious people because I realize THIS IS IT!!! and I live every day to its fullest knowing that it could end at anytime.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  401. Shane in FL

    Neither Heaven nor Hell make any sense. To think a soul's eternity could be based upon its encounters and actions within an insignificantly small sliver of time/space... is unfair to say the least. Both the mind and body become and rotten and perverse with age. Reincarnation from a blank slate seems much more refreshing. Greeted by loved ones? I don't even want to see them on Thanksgiving, much less for eternity.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  402. Rick

    Heaven exists or it doesn't. It's existence does not depend on our belief.
    If it does exist we become 'citizens' of heaven on heaven's terms, not our own.

    The benefits of assuming heaven is real (and desireable) outweigh the liabilities of assuming it does not – and being wrong.

    The evidence for a personal, all-powerful and loving God who wants us to voluntarily return God's love is more persuasive than the evidence that everything came from nothing.

    So, I live by faith in something and someone different than Dr. Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  403. Jimbo Marshalltown Iowa

    I agree with Mr. Hawking. I am not a world renowned scientist nor do you need to have an understanding of physics to say. There is no heaven, no god, no hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  404. muzammilullahkhan

    brain is a very complex computer. who designed it? human cell is so complex that we havent still figured it out. we are just at page 1 of the immense book of knowledge. hawkins has given theories and then recanted. so wait till he recants this one too. torah, bible ,koran and the great hindu and buddhist religions all point to some kind of heaven and after life. so till it is proven otherwise ,lets continue to believe in the heavens.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  405. Barking Alien

    Perhaps heaven is just another dimension. Science speculates that there are 10 or 11. We could exist in multiple dimensions at the same time. We could be pleasantly surpised. It is nice to still have some mystery left in the universe.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  406. Dennis

    Since we really need to be dead to find out, I would rather someone else try it first.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  407. Bill Treakle

    Jack,
    I disagree with Mr Hawking, Heaven is a place promised by God for
    those who have faith and truly believe. Non believers have a different
    fate awaiting them!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  408. Dan from Frisco Texas

    If there is no heaven, if there is no supreme being, then I guess we are living a huge Coincidence.
    One coincidence is understandable but look at all the coincidences required to put us where we are today: Birds flying, Bees pollinating, insects, water, sight, sound, smell, taste, endless universe, The Sun, Earth in the perfect position and its ROUND, air, water, soil, Broccoli (now how else could that exist without it being a coincidence?) and the lists goes on and on and on.
    Take away any major part of the ecosystem and you probably don't have life. So this all a Coincidence? I doubt it.

    Dan
    Frisco, Texas

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  409. Fred Goepfert

    For Hawking, when he dies, there probably won't be any Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  410. reddragon11

    Definately don't believe in heaven or any other nonsense that religion dishes out to the sheep. (The bible pretty much said we were sheep.) Heaven is a Friday night with the one I love sitting around the campfire in the back yard and sipping a couple. Enjoy your time here people!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  411. MB2010a

    Some sort of "supreme being or beings" that have been helping us along the way, perhaps. Heaven and hell, probably not...

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  412. Jeremiah

    Heaven is about as real as Santa's workshop, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and the easter bunny.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  413. Joanne

    Jesus is definately coming again, however, He, Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of God right now,making intercession for us- doesn't know WHEN - only Father God knows when. So enjoy your Saturday, and Sunday go to church.🙂

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  414. LC

    Mr. Hawking's view that God and heaven do not exist is the real "fairy story". My faith sustains me; it neither oppresses or controls me nor do I use it to intimidate others. I'm not a physicist but in my work in medicine I see no dichotomy with belief in a higher power and a belief in scientific principles.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  415. Annie, Atlanta

    To all my fellow Americans who know for sure that judgment day is Saturday, since I'll be left behind most assuredly, please send me any cash you haven't spent. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  416. Gina in Killeen, Texas

    IF there were a heaven than good will towards fellow man wouldn't be a fantasy. IF there were a heaven than the struggles that people faced on Earth would be bearable. IF there were a heaven than there would be many questions as to why there was so much suffering for some on Earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  417. Bob in Downsville, NY

    A better question: If there is a heaven...what can you imagine it to be?

    An optimist goes to heaven...A pessimist goes to heaven and runs into the optimist.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  418. Michelle

    Yes, I completely agree. Heaven is a nice idea, and wonderful tool to promote good behavior. But that is as far as it goes in my mind.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  419. casey

    Heaven.....No.

    I don't need to believe in a all powerful magic guy who lives in the clouds who says he loves me, and at the same time lets childeren be raped, to be a good person.

    Treating people the way I want to be treated makes me a good person.

    The sooner we lose the notion of a magic man and a everlasting wonderland, we will stop destroying our planet. In order for us to do that we have to realize that THIS is the only life that matters not the afterlife.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  420. Jeremy

    We are extremely egotistical to believe the only thing that exists are things that we know of or things we can prove. What's the old saying? We only use 10% of our brain. If this is true, we really know nothing about life.

    Jeremy- Lincoln , NE

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  421. Vince from State College, PA

    Stephen Hawking is a brilliant physicist. Physicists do a very nice job of describing HOW things happen, not WHY they happen. For all their accomplishments in describing things at both very small, and very large length (and time) scales, I am not aware of any properties they can measure (or conjure up theoretically) that describe how atoms assemble themselves into what we call "life". Nor do they have models that define or describe what we call "consciousness". The physical sciences are impressive in their accomplishments, but they have a long way to go when it comes to painting a complete picture of the universe. I don't see anything in Stephen Hawking's knowledge base that gives him any special insight into the existence or nonexistence of Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  422. Al

    If you believe in it, it's real...if you don't, it's not real!
    For me, both heaven and hell are right here. On this planet and can be experienced long before we die!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  423. Tony

    All religions are wrong. There is no god. There is no afterlife. This is it. Don't waste your time hoping the next life is better. Get out and enjoy this one!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  424. KateMae

    No, I do not believe in heaven or hell. This is it, folks.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  425. James

    Portland Oregon – The existence of heaven makes no sense. Admission to heaven based on belief in something you can't prove makes no sense. If there's a God, and if he's a truly perfect and good being as his followers claim, all he would care about is if we are good or bad people when considering our eligibility for admission to Heaven. Since the story doesn't read that way, it's easy to infer that there was a less than perfect designer involved in the creation of the bible – that being humans. So heaven is unlikely to exist, other than as a crutch for many to cope with their mortality or to find direction for their otherwise meaningless lives.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  426. Susanne

    Personally, I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt. People like Hawking can believe it's a fairy tale or a lie if they like, but if I'm wrong, what have I to lose? If people like Hawking are wrong, they'll have hell to pay...very literally.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  427. Reese Dorrycott

    In short, No.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  428. GAC

    I agree with Stephen Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  429. Tom Rohe

    I pray that God will have mercy on those who don't believe in Him when judgement day comes for them.......May God Bless You one and all

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  430. Armando

    Yes, but I am sure it is not like we envision it with our religions. I am sure it is something quite different.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  431. francap

    Of course it is a fairy story,

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  432. Jim

    Biblical conceptions of heaven, hell, resurrection, etc. fall in the same class as Roman and Greek myths: efforts of ancient societies to explain the inexplicable. Many of us have come through the dark ages; but some of us cling to ancient fairytales for whatever reason (often, simple fear of death). In any case, I agree with Tom, most human beings need, at least objectively, mental health counseling . . . but because of the pervasiveness of the delusion (however crazy it is on its face) it (religious faith) isn't deemed to be a delusion. And, as many of us realize, the soundness of the logic is irrelevant, because faith always trumps logic.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  433. Ally

    Those who don't believe there's a heaven most likely don't believe there is a God. Hawking's statement, "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail" only proves a believers point even more. Did the computer not have a creator? So why wouldn't the brain? And the brain's Creator did such an excellent job that no other human being can recreate such a complex machine, nor figure it out completely.

    Humans have come such a long way in science since Adam and Eve. We can pursue anything we put our minds to. However, even with all our knowledge and technology combined from now until the end of time, we will never EVER be able to create the likeness of even a fly (i.e. give life to nothing). The God above holds that power.

    The disbelievers are in for a real surprise when they die. Good luck to them.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  434. Karl in Flint

    I'm a Catholic in a very Baptist neighborhood. Of course I believe in heaven as do my neighbors, but they aren't buying farewell gifts at WalMart for the party on Friday night so I guess they don't think they are in the 3% that are leaving Saturday, and you know what good Christians Baptists are. Based on that, I have to say he's wrong.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  435. Rick

    Heaven and hell were created by man, as long as anyone believes they exist then they do exist. That said, unicorns exist, Santa Claus exists and so does the tooth fairy etc..

    May 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  436. Adi

    Jack,
    Any notion of an afterlife for human consciousness is nothing more than wishful thinking. Such ideas are a natural response to the immense stress caused when confronting our mortality. It's that simple. This does not mean, however, that we shouldn't imbue our lives with purpose by taking care of our planet and each other.

    Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    May 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  437. mike

    Well Jack, Mr Hawkins is a great scientist and it ends there. I am sorry for his disease and disability but neither his genius nor disability gives him an inside track on what is and what isn't in the area of faith, hope and heaven. Science and its scientists still haven't answered the question of how and why for the Universe or life so how can they have the answer to heaven. They can't even grasp what is happening in a black hole. You can tell by his statement that Mr. Hawkins is in his own "black hole" when it comes to faith. I hope he finds the answer to the latter sooner.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  438. Tim Hewitt

    I am from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. There is absolutely a heaven and it is the one of the Bible. I once was an atheist but, to keep this short, I now believe in God and the Bible. The more science looks into all aspects of the universe, and life itself, it is becoming harder for scientist to deny that the universe was created, and I believe created by God. I don’t blame people for not believing because I was once there myself but I pray that as many people as possible accept Jesus as their savior because I do believe the rapture is near.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  439. Brian in Rome, Ga

    Yes. Heaven is just a "fairy story", albeit one that I believe a certain segment of the world is predisposed to believe in. All animals are afraid of death, yet most, if not all all animals, other than humans are not aware of their own impending personal demise. It is a very difficult concept to come to grips with, and out of fear, hope, egotism, ignorance and limit-less imagination people comfort themselves with the idea of eternal life. Just because it sounds nice, doesn't mean it's true. There is no evidence, or even a definition, of a heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  440. Rhonda

    I personally believe that Mr. Hawking is LIVING PROOF that Heaven and God DO exist.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  441. Ralph

    I'm of the opinion that there is no Heaven or Hell, but, in the event I'm wrong, I strongly suspect I wouldn't be a candidate for either venue.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  442. QS in Seattle

    I'm an Atheist so of course I agree, but what I find interesting is that a majority of Christians seem to think guys like this give them a bad name, while I believe them saying that makes them look just as foolish because while they laugh at this man's prediction as being nonsense they are still of the same belief that, at some point (many who believe it will be in their lifetime), the world will in fact end and that the rapture will still happen.

    So to me it's Christians arguing semantics over the date, but they all still believe the same rapture story that was the basis for Camping's prediction in the first place.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  443. samantha Roy

    we have both heaven and hell. the haven is Paris/Italy/and Monticarlo
    Hell– Brundy, congo, rowanda.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  444. Nancy In Live Oak TX

    Yes. I believe in a Heaven and Hell. If you do not accept Jesus as the Christ, when you died you will go to Hell. If you have accepted Him you will go to Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  445. Donald in New Mexico

    It depends on what your definition of heaven is. Stephen is welcome in my idea of heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  446. Mike Jamieson

    It is a fairy story, SH has it right in a summary fashion.

    Perhaps this human "need to believe" in a continued existence merely reflects a Darwinian-based species survival mechanism. Consider the ants.

    Five hundred million years from now, before the earth's star goes red-giant and obliterates the earth, what will the living beings present on the earth at that time make of the remaining human fossils?

    Just a question.

    Mike

    May 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  447. Kat

    Hawking is absolutely correct.

    Religion is mankind's first and worst attempt at science and we would all be better off if we used our time and talents to help each other in our societies – real, tangible help. Money, time, talent – not 'prayers' which are just a way of doing absolutely nothing but still feeling good about yourself.

    Beaumont, TX

    May 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  448. Iowa Democrat

    You will never convince a non-believer that heaven exists and you will never convince a believer that it doesn't. I'm glad I believe!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  449. JJtops

    If there is no God, there is no heaven. If there is no heaven, there is no moral code by which we will be judged. Pretty scary if you ask me.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  450. bryan

    i believe there is a God. its better to believe in God than not. if there is in the end, no God, then well at least i have lived a fruitfull and good life. if there is a God then maybe just maybe i will get to live in Heaven as the bible has told. either way i try my best to be the best i can be, for both family and self

    May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  451. Jack

    For me to believe in heaven and be wrong costs me nothing, but if I am right I win everything.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  452. I Am That I Am

    Yes, I agree with Hawking. It's all fantasy that's gained popularity and momentum over the centuries. Most of the stories in the Bible were "borrowed" from other prior historical and religious texts.

    As far as there being one God? The best argument for the non-existence of one God comes from the First Commandment itself: "I am the Lord your God, you will not have other gods before me." He didn't say, "I am the only god that exists." He said (or it's purported that he said) he was their god and not to place any other gods before him. If there weren't other gods to begin with - which the various tribes believed in long before monotheism came around - how could they be placed before him?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  453. Gilbert

    fresno, ca
    Of course there's a heaven. Our beliefs are choices. I choose to believe that all things were created with a purpose by God, as opposed to an accidental and physically impossible bang from nothingness. The confusion is understandable, with people like Camping, who claims Heaven is an exclusive club with a max capacity, and Hawking not wondering why nature is so vibrant and beautiful when science alone should have created a world of machines, not humans and trees.( And Hawkings is kind of both. Now that's a miracle.) Love and hate. Good and bad. Heaven and hell. This world is only a training ground. Make some good choices.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  454. AtheisticallyYours

    I agree with Hawkings. Not only is "Heaven" a "FAIRY STORY", but for those deiusional types who believe in it, they are engaging in futile menal masturbation with a brain that could best be put to OTHER USES!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  455. John from Denver

    Like Hawking, I never used to believe in Heaven – but it looks increasingly like Heaven's counterpart exists in Washington, D.C.; Just as + & – charges counterbalance each other in physics, there must be an opposing place that embodies everything that has virtue – I beleive Heaven is within the soul, and exists for everyone who wishes to find it.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  456. francap

    Of course it is a fairytale. I am waiting for someone to answer one question. If Adam and Eve were the first and only two people on earth, and they had Cain and Abel, who did they begat with?

    Fran
    San Diego

    May 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  457. Brian in Rome, Ga

    Yes. Heaven is just a "fairy story", albeit one that I believe a certain segment of the world is predisposed to believe in. All animals are afraid of death, yet most animals, other than humans, are not aware of their own impending personal demise. It is a very difficult concept to come to grips with, and out of fear, hope, egotism, ignorance and a limit-less imagination people comfort themselves with the idea of eternal life. Just because it sounds nice, doesn't mean it's true. There is no evidence, or even a definition, of a heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  458. David S. in North Carolina

    The problem is the word heaven is being tossed around without even a proper definition. The Judeochristian heaven? Islam heaven? Valhalla?

    Stephen Hawking's opinion is sound. He regards these heavens as inventions, contraptions of humankind to explain the greatest unknown: is there something, anything, after death. I would then agree that anything man has idealized about heaven is just that, an idea.

    But whether there is an actual state of consciousness after death, some form of continued existence, I don't know. It's one of those things that, will likely not real, I really wish were true.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  459. Charlie

    Growing up my parents didn't push church on me but they were both religious and giving thanks to Jesus during pre-dinner prayer was normal during the holidays. When I got to High School I asked my parents what faith am I and they told me that they didn't know, that I had to go out and figure that out for myself. I spent many years trying out different churches and studying different faiths but none of them felt right. It always came down to not being able to make that leap of faith away from reason and logic and accept the supernatural stories as miracles. I finally gave up all belief in faiths and became an Atheist. I've been an Atheist for over 14 years now and my life has been amazing not having to follow all of the silly dogma rules. There is no Heaven or afterlife.
    Charlie Bowen from Statesboro, GA

    May 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  460. Linda J

    Nope. No heaven. No hell.

    I don't know why it's so difficult to accept it. That reality must be terrifying to a lot of people.

    You're born, you live, you die. The end.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  461. JK

    I do not know if there is a Heaven or hell, no one can say for sure, but what I do believe in is the power in believing. if you believe in anything long and hard enough it becomes reality. What happens to our soul after death is questionable. We all have a soul, and what happens to our soul once we die is important.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  462. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    If there was a kind a loving "God", why have so many died trying to prove "their God" is the "one God"? And if their was a God, why hasn't that "God" stopped all the senseless killings in that "God's" name. Hawking is right.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  463. Clint

    Human beings have been searching for the answer of why we are here since the beginning of our existence. The fact that there is no answer to this question has sparked our creation of God and heaven. Heaven and hell are both fairy tales, both used to prey on our fear of death. Earth is our heaven, and the faster we understand this the better off all of us will be.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  464. Cheryl

    Absolutely agree. I like to think of it as similar to when you tell little kids that the family dog didn't die, he just went to live on a great big farm with lots of chickens to chase and isn't it wonderful. Its painful to think about loved ones no longer existing, it is easier to imagine they still exist but just in a different form and location. I could tell it was just a story as a child. I thought that for sure by the time I was an adult the rest of the world would surely have picked up on it too. How disappointing.

    Cheryl
    Vancouver, Canada

    May 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  465. Thom

    Yeah, isn't that where you meet Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny ??

    May 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  466. Bill

    I believe in God, the Father (or non-gender specific version) maker of Heaven and the Earth....after that I faith gets a little shakier. Far too many, for far too long have wrapped themselves as purveyors of "Gods Word" and opted to insert man's will and some sick need to hold dominion over others thus usurping the Devine Spark in all of us that tells us what is good, and right and just.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  467. Dick Conley

    Plenty of heaven and hell right here on earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  468. Dan H

    Yes. When Mr. Hawkins proves it what will everyone say?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  469. Jeff

    If you're talking about all the versions of Heaven written and put into a Bible, Qu'ran etc, then yes probably fairy stories.

    As for the real Heaven, if it does actually exist you won't likely know the nature of it until you actually get there. I hope, and something deep inside my brain tells me if it does exist it's not about judgement based on a set of "rules" some religion made up though.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  470. Curtis Brown

    How can anyone step out their door in the morning and not think that there is a God? The counter balances that exist in this life – the emotions – the beauty that is this World...........well, I just can't understand how anyone can believe that it is all by chance. I believe in a after-life. I believe in God. I believe I have been touched by God in my life. I really fell his presence. I am just so sad to read many of these posts. Fairy tale? Hmmmmmm.......it's funny, when I look around I see God everywhere. I wish more of you did.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  471. Ken in CA

    Stephen Hawking is unquestionably a genius in his field, but he is no more qualified to make religious pronouncements than any other person. As another brilliant Stephan (Stephan Jay Gould) said very reasonably, science and religion are non-overlapping magisteria. Dr. Hawking has no empiric evidence to back up his claim, so it is purely a statement of faith, just as is my belief in Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  472. Ralph Spyer

    Kings and governments need religion, it help them stay in power. If religion would say take your reward now because their is no heaven . or say the rich and powerful have to much . Why do you think Church pay no taxes ? The earth was created in 7 days ? Religion is just literary enterainment .The chosen people ? The Greek Gods had some class.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  473. Geraard in Diablo California

    No. The frauds who invented the concept of heaven thought that it was literally "right there" on the other side of the sky.

    The modern concept of heaven as being in some other dimension or being outside of the universe is a concession to the fact that the original concept was proven wrong.

    Heaven has been too many times redefined for the hypothesis of its existence to have any merit.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  474. Sockratease

    Christianity is a faith based belief.

    A claim remains only a claim until it is justified by logical proof and material evidence, no matter how many hundreds of millions believe it or for how many thousands of years it is believed.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  475. Jeff

    Yes I agree with Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  476. Mike

    I beleive there is a heaven, or should I say everlasting life. How could one deny this? Just because they cannot explain it? There is much to this world that cannont be explained, yet it still exists. As for the rapture on Saturday? The Bible clearly states that only the Father (God) knows. Not even the Son (Jesus) or the Angels. If it does occur; Great! If not, it's only a matter of time. Be ready and not sleeping.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  477. Donaldo in ATL

    It is a matter of faith...you either have faith or not....having seen many acts of God in my life....I choose faith....

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  478. Jim K.

    If heaven was real, you'd already know it and wouldn't have to ask the question.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  479. rames

    No, I do not believe in Heaven, but I was raised without religion. I see so much hypocrisy in those that preach such teachings. Heaven seems to be used to manipulate people through fear that they will be sent to hell or purgatory instead. That is, unless they behave a certain way, give money to religious organizations, and/or convert as many people as possible. It seems like a big scam to me....

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  480. Bob

    Jack,

    The answer to that depends on where you are from on this planet. For example there are more humans that believe in Heaven than Hell. Hell is quite scary you know.

    In a 2000 study on this subject there are some interesting results.
    In predominantly muslim nations, all muslims believe there is a heaven.

    In non-muslim nations surveyed, the poll found that 51 per cent believe that there is an afterlife while 23 per cent believe they will just “cease to exist”. Around a quarter (26 per cent) say they do not know what will happen after death.

    I believe in some form of an afterlife. Yes dust to dust and ashes to ashes but I believe something lives on. What form it takes, what dimension it exits and where it is located, I have no idea other than my religious instruction.

    I would say this to Steven Hawking. Ignorance is bliss. He can define the meaning of that to his liking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  481. Butch in Nashville, TN

    Yes, I agree with Prof. Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  482. tom ashley

    There is nothing more frightening to the human ego than death. The finality of our existence. So the ego created heaven to ease that fear. Heaven is only wishful thinking. Of course we all would want to go to some perfect place after we die, but that does not mean it will happen.

    Another question: we love our pets. Do they go to heaven? I bet they don't worry about it much

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  483. Dave

    Something that's real doesn't need you to believe in it. Reality is there whether you believe in it or not.

    When you have to ask if you believe in something or not, it's undoubtedly just a scam.

    Heaven falls into the latter category.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  484. Jim S

    Jack, this issue is like politics in that you rarely get people to agree and so why try? Truth is, NOBODY knows for certain whether or not heaven or hell exists because NOBODY has ever come back to verify it and probably never will. Houdini tried that. My personal view is that religion has been used since the beginning of time to keep people in line for fear of the buggar man getting you. Now, religion has become one of the most profitable businesses, (yes, it's a tax free business) in this country. No, I haven't answered the question and I don't pretend to know the answer unlike many who make the loudest noise. I guess we'll wait and see.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  485. Cris from Heyworth Illinois

    Jack,
    Thats exactly why science and religion dont mix! Scientist have to have proof. If your religious you just know in your heart and soul!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  486. Alvin

    we'll, I was totally healed from a fatal illness a year ago at the presence of the Holy spirit. I was shown a vision and it all points to life after this. I have always belived in The Father God, The son Jesus in Flesh and the holy Spirit. Now, that and the fact that everything prophecized leading up to the end of times has come to light. So, Praise God Yes, I believe in life after this dump of earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  487. Steve Hoskins

    No, Most scientist tend to explain "everything" with science..
    For example, the big bang theory, in order for scientist to "explain" the big bang theory, they had to create, "9" more dimensions and say the materials all crossed over to this dimension and found each other and then "Bang"...
    So on judgement day, We'll all see if Stephen Hawking gets his "Fairy" wings....which by the way, suppose to be this weekend!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  488. Chris

    No heaven, no hell, just each other.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  489. Cary

    There's no reason to believe in a heaven. A book written hundreds of years ago based on an oral tradition that goes back thousands of years. Why this book and not hundreds of others? Some guy on Sunday morning tells you it's all true. Why exactly do you believe him and not the thousands of other people saying slightly different or radically different things? Faith? Faith is like saying I'm right and you're wrong and you won't ever convince me otherwise so don't bother. I'll stick with the facts. You live, you die and right wing religious types say a lot of whacky things in the meantime.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  490. James C, NC

    Do I agree with Stephen Hawking? No.
    Do I believe there is a heaven? Yes.
    Why? Because we all need a strong reason to find hope in living on this earth where the Golden Rule no longer seems to apply.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  491. Randy Brush

    Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion—several of them.
    Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. journalist, lecturer, author

    May 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  492. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I am a survivor of parochial schooling as a sprout, or whatever. I am still recovering from the experience. I recall more than once a massive nun coming at my outstretched hands with a 12 inch ruler. I was not thinking much about heaven as where I was at that moment. I have more faith in astrophysics now. Go shuttle go! Oh hell...too late even for that now !

    May 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  493. Kingofthenet

    Science flies Men to the Moon, Religion flies Men into buildings.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  494. Orval Hollingsworth

    Jack, I follow no organized faith and do believe in God, but not heaven. I do believe that May, 21, some of the Christians will be taken up out of this hell we live in. The rest of us must wait until our turn comes.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  495. Judi

    Mr. Hawking is right and to prove it, let's all sit around the table on Sunday and talk about it! Maybe then the Doomsday'ers will just shut up already. Why don't they start predicting peace? Oh wait, that's not in "the story book" is it?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  496. Marla

    Yes, I agree with Stephen Hawking.
    We only have one time around in this life. That's why it is important to live life to the fullest, do everything possible to leave this world better than when we came into it, and to teach the next generation to do the same.
    Those of us who do not believe in modern day mythologies do not have to be bullied into being moral beings by the promises of an afterlife. We are moral beings because it's the right thing to do in this life.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  497. Rod from Indy

    Yes, heaven and hell are fairy tales. I would like to think they are harmless fairy tales, but with as much political power that has been granted to religious groups, and with how many millions have been slaughtered in the name of religion, I can't think of religion as anything but dangerous. I would like to see the day when people would let go of such afterlife ideas and therefore try to make this known life the best that they can. Religion is a cop out to explain away why you don't have to live up to your potential.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  498. May

    No, I don't agree with him. After seeing both my parents pass away recently, I know there is a Heaven. We are body AND soul, the soul lives on. When in a room with someone when they pass, the presence of the soul is profoundly felt, there is no mistake. We live on, as the Bible tells us.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  499. Marjorie

    Jack,

    Please ask Mr Hawkins what is a "fairy story"?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  500. James

    Sorry I meant to say "Yes" I beleive there is a HEAVEN!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  501. Brad Charlotte, NC

    Ask a preacher what God is and he will say, "he is the creator, omnipotent and can neither be created or destroyed. He is life. Ask a scientist what energy is and they will say, it is the source of creation and life, it is omnipotent, it can not be created or destroyed. There are no atheist in foxholes and there is no valid evidence for macroevolution.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  502. Graham Jura

    It's hard for people to accept that this is it, Jack. The smugness and self-righteous certitude with which people believe they are "entitled" to something beyond this earth is arrogant, to say it lightly. The true tragedy is that these people also cannot accept the fact that others don't buy into their schtick as well.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  503. Joe

    Heaven, with all the clouds and lights and angels, etc. is a fairytale. But I still believe in God as the motivating force in the universe.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  504. KEVIN DAHLE

    Mankind likes to have things figured out & wants to be at the top of the food chain so to speak. A true God would be beyond our comprehension. Few eyewitness accounts exist today regarding a supreme creator. The bible gives us just enough information to trigor a response and that response does require a lot of faith. I don't know how anyone could say no God exists. How could they be so sure?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  505. Randy Brush

    Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.
    Mark Twain

    May 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  506. Peter

    Yes, I believe in heaven. I also believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and a man with a white beard who lives in the clouds. At least that's where he was supposed to live. I fly through the clouds all the time and he doesn't seem to be anywhere. Oh, wait. He's invisible. OK, that EXPLAINS it! Yeah, uh-huh. I find all this to be very reasonable, yeah. My mind accepts all this stuff without question. If it's written in some scrap book assembled over the eons by any number of story tellers and fear mongers and its called the Bible, I guess it must be true. Let's take everything out of the bible and line it up and I'll bet more than half of it is absurd. Shall we start with killing your neighbor if he woks on a sabath? Heaven and hell are right here. Heaven is listeninng to Eric Clapton, and hell is having to listen to the religious freaks.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  507. harold

    I do not believe in heaven as in the bible, but I do believe in the great spirit, and I don't want to hear some crap about the great pumkin. I have always felt something greater then myself. I am an agnostic which means you believe in god but not the bible. also I hope the rapture does come on saturday, it would be nice if all of them were off the planet.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  508. Otto

    When you die, your soul goes to a garage in Buffalo.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  509. Carl Seaward

    I'm 80 years old and am still having a good life. I don't need a life after life!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  510. Gigi Oregon

    I believe everyday is a judgment day. For someone. I have placed my very being in the belief...that I have a place in heaven. Because I was raised on the scripture, and not the voice of man, my faith is strong. And I know that there are three religions that know, believe,and trust in Abraham's God.

    This life is a test... of faith and obedience , it is not built of fairy tales or dreams.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  511. Ron

    God gave man a soul. It has emotions such as love, compassion and even hate. A computer is just a tool that does quick research, comparison, calulations and is encapable of emotions. God has spoken thru the pro[hets that there is a reward after death and Jesus reaffirmed this when he stated that his father's mansion has many rooms and that he goes to prepares them for the rightous. Also, just think of the diversity of life. It just could not happen without divine intervention. If life was an accident then there would only be a few dominate life forms.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  512. Elaine Connelly

    Yes I believe in Heaven. When I was 18 months old, I died in my father's arms; suffering from a severe case of Whooping Cough. I clearly saw God and he sent me back, because I was too important to my mother and He knew it.
    I feel sorry for those that have no belief system. No one knows the hour nor the day, but it is coming.
    Stephen Hawking had better be ready, because I think his demise is past due. Since he doesn't believe in Heaven.........he will go to the netherworld to roast on the spit of the Devil forever. Purgatory you know!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  513. Jim

    God reveals himself to those who believe. He does not reveal himself to non-believers. When you choose to believe, He comes into your life and things start to happen. You experience His presence, and see what he does in and around you. This is incomprehensible to a non-believer. You have to experience it to understand.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  514. detroitjames

    There may be something out there, but claiming to know the name of the guy who created the universe, where he lived, and what his parent's names were is quite delusional.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  515. Barb Carruth

    I would much rather choose to believe in God and find out he doesn’t exist, as opposed to not believing and find out He does exist. Therefore I believe Heaven is for real.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  516. Linda in Arizona

    Yes, but hell is real enough. Look around you.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  517. Stewart in Portland

    Jack, we're living on a ball floating in outer space. Explain that one to me, and you might be able to disclaim Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  518. Daniel

    There is no factual proof that heaven exists. So my answer is that I do not think there is a heaven. But I respect those who do think that way. We need to respect those who believe and those who do not. I respect people of all faiths and I simply choose to not believe in an afterlife or heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  519. the truth

    Bible also says the wisest person is folly to God so no matter who you are or think you are. .you got God to laugh! Heaven is real. .end of debate

    May 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  520. ken

    Yes, I do believe in Heaven and yes, I do believe in God. I also believe that no one knows, except God, when the final day will be. It is those, who do not believe in God, who have to worry about their being wrong.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  521. george in bronxville

    NO
    but i'll be really pissed of if he's right!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  522. pockets

    Jack, I believe in heaven as much as I believe these words. "I did not have sex with that woman" Ah hum. Well Jack looking at life in the scheme of things, anyone and I mean anyone with one iota of intelligence will tell you its a 'fairy' tale. I'm also convinced that one day science with the aid of Hubble will be able to tell the complete story of how we evolved.
    The god thing will go the way of Jimmy Swaggert, mind you he is making a comeback I hear, so there is hope for the "annointed".
    I totally agree with Mr. Hawkings and also someone called Einstein when asked about and afterlife', I believe his reply was "wishful thinking'.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  523. r perdomo

    I will like to believe that there is something greater than us and the planet Earth; but if there is life in another planers, are those beings going to the same heave we on earth go?.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  524. Chris

    Hi Jack,

    I love science. Lets review. The world was flat – WRONG. The earth was the center of the universe – WRONG. So Hawkings comes out and says there is no heaven. I guess we will all find out someday, but my hunch is we just aren't as smart as we think we are!

    Chris

    May 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  525. Jslam

    The idea that a creator would establish a world where our actions during a finite life are punished or rewarded infinitely while leaving us second-guessing whether this is even true is a sick joke.

    Never heard of Jesus because you were born in 5,000 BC Egypt? Too bad, eternity in hell.

    Lived a good life but didn't believe in God because of a lack of evidence? Hell too!

    Lived a terrible life but found Jesus during your last years of your life? Lucky you! You get to go to heaven.

    -Yeah what a crock.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  526. Orval Hollingsworth

    Mr. Hawkins is mostly correct, but God didn't intend for us to be intelligent. Adam was told not to eat of the eat of knowledge. Our solar system was a science project that didn't work as planned.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  527. Sherri

    There is no way to prove or disprove it. Place your bets! I'm betting on Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  528. John Johnson

    Why don't we just say 'maybe' and leave it at that. If this life on earth is all we really have to look forward to, then what a disappointment.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  529. Ryan

    Believing in something does not make it real. Mr Hawking is correct in saying heaven is a fairy tale. Talk to 20 people and they will give you 20 different versions of heaven. If it makes you feel good while you are alive, great, but when you are gone you won't know you were wrong anyways.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  530. Nauru Weah

    The Bible tells us that no one knows the day and the hour (Matthew 24:36). The Rapture will come at anytime today but not on May 21, 2011.

    The prediction of Harold Camping is not true at all. He might predict again after May 22 but he will continue to be wrong.

    The Bible speaks also false teacher in 2 Peter 2 and I believe that the Rapture of the church is coming which we do not expect the day and the hour.

    I encourage fellow Christians to stick what the Bible has to say and share the gospel to the people.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  531. Andrew Jones

    Jack,

    I absolutely agree with Professor Hawking. The concept of heaven or a god or anything supernatural is beyond absurd and you can realize that too if you learn just a little science. We can't rule out that the universe had a creator, but I believe with absolute certainty that the "gods" we have today are man made and do not exist. If the universe had a creator, it was a physicist and it's tools are the physical forces, not an omnipotent god and his magic. The truth is far more awesome and amazing than any of our fairy tales could ever be. Religion is so prevalent today because it's easy to explain to idiots. Magic always is.

    Regards,
    Andy Jones
    Atlanta, GA

    May 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  532. Tom in Iowa

    There is no concrete evidence for heaven. The bible is so full of mistranslations and inconsistencies it cannot be taken seriously. There is a heaven? Why is isn't heaven mentioned throughout most of the bible? "Sheol" in the tanakh is not "heaven." Heaven is a later invention.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  533. Jeff in Jax

    Opinions are like you-know-whats... everyone has one. Mine is that it's sad that we as a species have not grown beyond believing in adult imaginary friends and "fairy stories". I believe that Hawking is correct and that "heaven" only exists to calm the fears of people who are afraid of the dark.

    But then again, that's just my you-know-what...

    May 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  534. Corey

    The existence or non-existence of an afterlife is an improvable assertion no matter what your personal beliefs. It makes sense to me that a mind like Stephen Hawkings would come to the inevitable conclusion that there is nothing beyond that which is observable and explainable. That being said, I believe it is the height of human arrogance to assert that you have any notion of what happens after death. You don't. Be comfortable in your ignorance and focus on living a good and decent life.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  535. Pat

    In this day and age, I find it hard to believe that intelligent people still have a religious belief. The bible consists or retold stories over thousands of years. The bible as written, has been selective as to what passages the powers that be wanted written. It was used to control and manipulate the people of that time. Honestly, if there was truly a loving God,,, why would so many innocent children be murdered or die from accidental deaths every year..Why would mankind murder millions of fellow human beings.Why would a "God" allow such gruesome deaths for so many. Don't tell me this was a "God's"plan....if it was.. then I would like to pass on being with him after death. I would rather live my life for the moment...... not a believer !! I find it amusing that a professional ball player will thank the sky for a touchdown or a homerun... Crazy How about saving a life instead.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  536. Jacob

    Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  537. Darwin

    The burden of proof is on people who claim something exists. Give me an experiment I can do in the lab that would provide even the smallest evidence that a place called heaven exists. Or that a soul exists. Or God exists. If you can't, then it's very likely that all that stuff is just a very elaborate human-created fantasy, in which humans are VERY talented. I will discuss this with the tree fairy in the silver maple and also with the leprachaun who lives in the shed in the backyard.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  538. Russ

    Bad news, no heaven. Good news, no hell. If people lived their lives not awaiting heaven nor fearing hell they would live a richer, more conscious life. It's an IQ check. So sad, actually. The need for religion to fill in the void left by the fear that we may have a mortality that is final.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  539. Laurie

    Soon after my mom passed away in 2006 she very clearly visited me in spirit. It was only one time and I knew the minute she spoke it would be the last thing she would ever "share" with me while I walked this planet. She simply spoke a brief sentence. It was directly to me and as plain as day. And I knew as she spoke it was the truth...100%. She simply said to me in a very matter-of-fact manner that "this is not all there is, Laurie." It was not a dream. It was my mother. I always had faith, but her message to me has been and remains a great comfort. Alhough her words were few in that 30 seconds, she gave me a brief moment of knowing that Heaven does wait for those who have accepted His standing invite.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  540. DT

    I could get my 2 year old boy to believe that Thomas the Train is real if I wanted.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  541. Veronica

    I can't agree or disagree at this point because all of the data are not in yet. Until I die, I won't know. I'm not worried about it, though. If I live a good life, if there is an afterlife (and somehow entry is merit based), then I'll get in. If there isn't one, people will remember me well at least.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  542. TheTruth72

    I am a Christian and this publicity of Harold Camping's teachings is a disgrace. People now all over the world are generalizing his teachings to all Christians.

    I do not believe there will be a rapture on May 21st. The Bible is clear that specific things must occur before Jesus is to return. Many of these things have not happened. The Bible also states that no one can know the day or the hour of Jesus' return except for God the Father. Camping tries to use a distorted negative reasoning on this saying, "Well, it never said we can't know." If I were to use that type of logic on other parts of the Bible, here is what might happen. One commandment given by God says "No one shall kill". Using Harold Camping's logic, we might get something like, "Well, it never says we can't kill". None of it makes sense.

    So-called Christians need to get back to the Bible, Jesus, and God and stop worrying about denominations and twisting scripture to fit their needs.

    God bless everyone.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  543. jeff

    heaven ? ya there is a heaven most people dont beleive in some thing unless they can see or touch it, so its what you believe in that make it real.
    but if you dont believe i guess i won't see you in the afterlife ..

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  544. PatB

    I heard a wise person once say. "you cannot make a good argument stating that you are an atheist, to do so would be to say you know everything, and nobody including Mr. Hawking knows everything . But you can make a good argument that you're agnostic". I personally have the belief that heaven does in fact exist.......just like hell exists.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  545. Gia in Los Angeles

    It's true that, like broken computers, there is no heaven or afterlife for our brains or physical bodies. Since the spirit or soul (which does not require a physical brain) cannot be seen with physical eyes, I guess Mr. Hawking doesn't believe that exists, either. Until instruments were developed to see atoms or planets in other galaxies, people like Mr. Hawking didn't believe those existed either. My guess is that one day we will be able to prove the existence of spirit apart from physical matter, and then the concept of an afterlife can gain a whole different perspective.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  546. Mike

    Jack – sorry to break anyone's bubble but their is no old grey bearded man sitting on a cloud looking down on planet earth and deciding who, what, where and when. Religion is a business, the sheep pay every Friday, Saturday or Sunday but in the end all the subscribers die and we all end up as smoke or worm feed. Religion is indeed the best business ever created – the money is one way and no warrantee on the promise of "heaven" is required as no one is around to claim fraud. It's ok for all the lemmings to believe just as long as they all know they are supporting the world's oldest fairy story and a truly amazing business model....

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  547. I'm Right

    There is a massive galaxy of free flowing energy...

    ...if you want to call that Heaven, then sure, it exists.

    But if you're talking about a place barred by pearly gates and run by a bearded man in a toga, that's just plain silly.

    Or a fairy tale, like Hawking nicely put it.

    John G.
    Sacramento, CA

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  548. victor

    Of course there isn't. It's crazy that we have to have a survey on it. The only thing crazier is the need people have to impose their religious fantasies on everyone else. The greatest defect in American society is the need to give credence to the desires of the religious right.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  549. JThomas2121

    To all the people who say, without a doubt, that there is no heaven and God is made up by people, where's the proof? That's right ... you can't prove that any more than one could prove that God does indeed exist.

    But what I don't understand is how an atheist can go through life and explain to his children that they should struggle and strive and work hard and live by societies rules and endure pain ... all to have the lights go out when it's over. What's the point?

    Until someone gives me PROOF that God doesn't exist, then I will CHOOSE to believe. Until someone offers me PROOF that evolution is real, I will continue to CHOOSE to believe that it is real. Until someone offers me PROOF that this all started with a Big Bang, I will CHOOSE to believe that it is so. It's so funny when people mock people who believe in God yet believe in THEORIES like evolution and the Big Bang, which are still evolving but yet there is no definitive proof of either. It's all based on ... yep, you guessed it ... FAITH. To each his own.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  550. PDX_Atheist

    I agree with Hawking. There is no god.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  551. David

    Belief in heaven is like belief in an invisble flying alien hippo that rules the world from outer space ... can't disprove either belief, but don't exactly have my hopes up.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  552. tllmae

    Yup there is...just read your bible...which is not a book of fairy tales but the inspired word of God. I would like to revisit those who dispute the truths sometime in the near future I would guess.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  553. Abida Mazin

    I believe in soul and after life, but not in heaven or hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  554. Kevin in Atlanta

    I'm agnostic, and thus very confused. I can never get a straight answer from those on the scientific side nor on the religious side.

    Regardless, I'll continue to live my life the way I do. Being pleasant to others, giving of myself to help the less fortunate, and just generally having a good outlook on life. If God, and heaven, do exist, hopefully I'll make it there one day. If it doesn't exist, then hopefully I've made life here as meaningful and enjoyable as I possibly could have.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  555. Dennis E

    Jack,
    I grew up in the catholic faith. I believe in the idea that if you lived your life according to the gold rule all would be good for me and others I loved. Then came my induction into the US Army and my career. I questioned if there was a god why would he take the lives of so many of my friends and two uncles I loved very much. I really spent time questioning my beliefs in the idea of their being a heaven and a hell. When my physical life is over and I depart this life who knows what follows. I'll just have to wait and see.
    a retired us army veteran from NorCal

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  556. curt

    I do not agree with Hawking... I'm sure that's how the people in power of the world think though because money has made them arrogant.

    Sure heaven or after death cannot be proven.. That's why Hawking is only projecting his opinion. It is not a fact, it is an opinion.

    Can Hawking Understand how a Phcycic can speak to the "dead" or just the fact of ghosts.. And I'm inclined to think those are both real phenomena as my mom has experienced weird things and my grandma could read cards.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  557. Michael

    Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Traveling the speed of light, it would take 15,000,000,000 years to reach the edge of our known universe from Earth. In all of that vast area, we have yet to find any form of intelligent life. Why is it that our planet, orbiting a star of very little significance that is located in a solar system of very little significance, have the only source of life?

    Based on this, I do believe there is a God who created it all. There is too much perfection to be the act of random exploding gases from the Big Bang.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  558. Julius Lariviere, Moose Jaw, SK, Canada

    Yes, to me all religions are just glorified cults... they have their own versions of God's word, and really, what war, including the war on terror, is not connected to religion? ... believing in God (which I do not) does not mean attending church, giving up your hard earned dollars every Sunday... calling yourself an atheist doesn't mean you are a heathen, it just means that you don't buy the snake oil that organized religions are trying to sell you.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  559. Kan

    No, I do not believe in any deities, an afterlife or place where it might be spent. Humans have evolved with explanations for unanswersed questions about the universe, and as science has answered and continues to answer those questions, that need should (and has, for many) die away. However, tradition and culture continue to demand adherence to belief systems like Christianity.

    New Mexico

    May 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  560. Travis Bradshaw

    He's wrong. Splashing magic water on people definitely keeps them from going to hell. Definitely.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  561. David

    Belief in heaven is like belief in an invisible flying alien hippo that rules the world from outer space ... can't disprove either belief, but wouldn't get my hopes up.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  562. Sherri

    "Only 3% of the world's population will be taken to heaven." This is why I first started questioning religion many, many years ago. What about all of the other people who weren't Christians. The answer from the preachers was "some things you just have to believe and accept." I couldn't accept that answer and after many years of contemplating it, I have come to terms with it and agree with Stephen Hawking that heaven is just a fairy tale for people who just can't accept that this is our life and that we really are going to die and that will be all there is to it. It is not a depressing belief, but we should realize that we had better make the most of our current life here on earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  563. HC

    The more intelligent people out there answer this question for themselves. Hawking is altruistic but misguided. If you are an adult who still believes in the invisible man in the sky, then you probably deserve to stay that way.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  564. Marcus Hill

    I'm with Hawkings on this one.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  565. Vince

    It's all mythology. Why anyone would chose to believe any mythology as truth is beyond me. Hawking's right. There is no heaven or hell. The human race has evolved past the need for this fiction.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  566. Megan Claire

    No, of course there is no "heaven." There may be something beyond this plysical life (as a "soul" or "essence" is energy, and energy cannot be destroyed, only changed) but certainly not what is popularly portrayed from various pulpits. So Hawking is essentially correct.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  567. John McLain

    Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  568. Ersula

    Heaven? Hell? I don't believe in either one. I do believe we create whatever is necessary to get us through our lives. Obviously Mr. Hawking has other options!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  569. Janet

    The concepts of heaven/hell (reward/punishment) were created by humans to control others. All religions depend upon this method to control their followers using the scare factor of eternal damnation to keep people ever fearful. Living in fear is intellectually paralyzing and therefore critical thinking falls away. One day our species will have to come to terms with the fallacy that has been perpetuated regarding heaven/hell in order to survive. The sooner the better.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  570. Wendy Pickford

    Of course there is a place that many call heaven – its just not what is portrayed by so many religions. I read what Stephen Hawking said with great sadness because you cannot boil everything down to hard science and mathematics. Can measure or quantify love? Can you explain how a mother can lift a heavy car off her child by herself?
    Heaven is where what is commonly considered our souls go after we shed our heavy earthly bodies. We just move into another dimension.
    And there is no hell as pictured either. Just great sadness when we review the wrongs we have done in our lives and the sadness we have caused others.
    Stephen Hawking, I hope I leave here before you do because its going to give me great pleasure to greet you when you shed your body and realize that you are finally home.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  571. Jack

    what if we are in heaven now?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  572. Branden

    Sure, Jack. I believe in heaven. I'm readying for the doomsday weekend by partying it up with Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny. Care to join us?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  573. Janet

    I never ceased to be amazed at the phantasmagorical nonsense that people believe because their parents handed the whole package down to them. And then they compound the acceptance of their inherited package with a sense of superiority because their system of nonsense is "better" than someone else's. And they're ready to kill for it!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  574. Bruce from Santa Cruz

    I completely agree, Jack.

    Heaven is a concept created by man to explain the unknown and, in some cases, to control people's actions. It's the old carrot and stick..... believe in what I tell you and get the carrot (heaven). Don't believe what I tell you and get the stick (hell). Of course, under certain Popes, one could be as bad as they wanted and buy their way into heaven. They were called Indulgences.

    There is not one shred of evidence that god, heaven, or hell exist. And by the way...... not being able to explain something does not mean that it's gods work.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  575. Nauru Weah

    The Bible speaks of false teacher in 2 Peter 2 and the prediction of Harold Camping is not true at all. He might predict again after May 22 but he will continue to be wrong.

    The Bible tells us that no one knows the day and the hour (Matthew 24:36). The Rapture will come at anytime today but not on May 21, 2011.

    I encourage fellow Christians to stick what the Bible has to say and share the gospel to the people.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  576. Ecce from Raleigh, NC

    Wow so this man has lived beyond his estimated time of death with such a serious disease? No wonder he doesn't believe in Heaven, he's ungrateful! And yes, I do believe in Heaven; there has to be a place for those who live positively in such a negative world.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  577. Matthew Mitchell

    If god took all the believers to heaven, wouldn't everyone left behind realize he is real, become believers and get taken to heaven? lol

    May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  578. John Doe

    Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence. The null hypothesis (no supernatural) is thus assumed until that extraordinary evidence for the alternative hypothesis (the supernatural) is demonstrated. Can't argue with that.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  579. Simmy

    I would not want to be the one who finds out heaven isn't real. Hell is the only other option.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  580. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, people have been told for thousands of years that if they will just subject themselves to whatever abuses their "betters" heap on them (and give away what little money they do have to the people telling them this,) they will find a better place the next time around. Sounds like "Reaganomics" to me.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  581. Still Steve

    Jack, what if you asked this same question in 1951? Do you honestly think the replies would be the same as today's? These comments regarding God, the Bible, heaven and hell are an indictment of where our values have sunk. What do you think Jack?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  582. steve in Hawaii

    Jack, Google up a half dozen Hubble photos. Contemplate what you see. There isn't a human on earth who can explain what he is looking at. Not the Pope, not Billy Grahm, not the Dali Lama. Religion historically is a feeble attempt to explain what man doesn't understand. If anyone can even come close, it would be Stephen Hawkings. I will follow his lead, not any religious leader who doesn't have a clue. I am content to live my live without all the answers. Afterall, I am just a mere human.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  583. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    The image of heaven that I have in mind is attributed by "good deeds yielding good results" and "good results being self-earned." Since these attributes are seen only in fairy stories , the notion of heaven is simply a "fairy story"

    May 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  584. Tanelise - Atlanta, GA

    I absolutely do not believe in Heaven, Hell or God – even didn't from a very early age. I did try to "go along with" and make myself try and believe because that's what my parents taught, but in the back of my mind, it defied logic. It has been very liberating to "come out of the closet". I think most have never even stopped to think about why they believe, but simply continue with the "upbringing" taught from an early age.

    But that's definitely a personal decision and I'm not here to knock anyone elses but simply offer my own.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  585. curt

    What sir Hawking doesn't think about is... How the universe goes on once we die. So the universe lives forever we don't... Who's to say we can't come back.. How'd we get here.. AND if we are NOTHING (an unplugged soul) then time is nothing to us. So we should end up at something no?

    If nothing happens.. Sounds good to me.. doesn't make sense to me though.. Why would we live out our lives in "TIME" if time were not relevant to what we come from.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  586. Clifford Mynatt

    An Elder at the Church of Christ once explained to me that there is the physical world and then there is the spiritual world. In the physical world is indeed no Heaven. In the spiriitual world there is a Heaven.
    I believe that there exists a spirit within us and that at death it returns to the spiritual world. It is all called faith.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  587. jhon

    Believe or not, heaven is real. The more you denied it, the closest the Lord comes to get his people. This guy, sthepen, he is a person with alot of education but, he is lack of love. Even if heaven is not real, sthepen cannot be talking about anyones religion. Dreams, love, and faith is what make us survive against hittlers and osamas.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  588. Susanna from Los Angeles

    It takes just as much faith to believe that heaven is a fairy story as it does to believe that heaven exists.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  589. Ken, Conneaut, Ohio

    If you are able to realize the miracle that is our universe, and that our mere existence is in itself a miracle, then it's easy to imagine another miracle after this life on Earth. But to define it as "heaven" and to put up the hoops that religion says we all must first jump through? Man-made religious nonsense.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  590. t h beyer

    It's astonishing, Jack, that an intelligent broadcaster like you has to even
    bring up this topic. Fortunately, the world is on the brink of turning the
    corner on religious nonsense and relying on our magnificent science
    from which humankind can benefit. But thanks, anyway, for helping us
    on the way to abandoning long outdated religious superstition.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  591. JOHN IN AZ

    Yes, I believe in heaven if it means the spiritual realm where we ascend to after our tenure on Mother Earth. There is not life after so-called death, but life after life. In other words, a continuation of just one life, but in a different form without the physical body. We are not our bodies. We are spiritual beings and always exist in some form.

    What unenlightened people refer to as heaven and hell about states of consciousness which are experienced on Earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  592. Chuck from Alabama

    The world today would call Stephen Hawking a genius. The Bible would call Stephen Hawking a Fool. So, no, his answer doesn't surprise me.

    Intelligence and education does not make a man wise – but, it can produce a fool. The Bible says that "the Fool has said in his heart there is no God." And it also says, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  593. Mark

    I can't reconcile the image of a supposedly loving and caring god who only saves 3% of the humans he created and leaves the other 97% to suffer.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  594. Chrehn

    Stephen Hawking isn't as smart as I thought he was.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  595. Dan in Utah

    every time my wife grabs my hand

    May 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  596. Joshua

    Like Freud said, religion is a mass neurosis. People are afraid of the unknown. Fear is our most powerful emotion; it is not love as so many wishful-thinkers would like to believe. Nobody knows what happens after you die, so people make up whatever pleases them most. I can't wait until May 22.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  597. Martha

    I believe in God and I believe in an afterlife. As for Mr. Hawking – he might benefit from reading some of Marcus Borg's books. As for heaven and hell – I do not know whether there is a real heaven – or if it is metaphorical. Nor, does Mr. Hawking! I kind of think we just need to live our life as best we can – connect with the divine – love our neighbors as much as possible with the spirit of God's help – and then, let God take care of the remainder. There are many religions out there who claim to all be right, so it is pretty hard to say that we have the one true religion and that our beliefs are all correct.

    I think from the beginning of civilization there has been that built in need to have a connection with the divine. It seems to be there in all cultures.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  598. Gina

    I believe there is a heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  599. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    It is everyone's right to interpret the scriptures how they feel.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  600. Paula

    I do not agree with Steve. Heaven is my garden, I hang out there every weekend diggin in the dirt. Just like everything else in this life, its a choice as to what we want to believe. Dig deep, you will find the answer to your questions.

    Jack, hope your haveing a totally awesome day.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  601. Peter

    I believe this is the greatest weakness of the human race. Since we have evolved the ability to question our existence we have been making up vast delusions of whats going to happen after we die. A majority of people can not accept the fact that life ends at death. It terrifies them to think that there not going to the sunny beach in the sky. With this thought they established over time organized religion, one of the most evil establishments ever created with backwards views, race oriented bigotry,
    corrupt leaders, and a vast impact on global politics. To think? people controlling other peoples actions with the rules given to them form a magic man in the sky.

    Peter – West Haven, Connecticut

    May 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  602. Tim Jordan

    Man created god in his own image.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  603. taptrick

    Hi Jack, I do not believe Stephen Hawking is real. I have never seen him in person, never touched or heard him in person. I think Stephen is something that the media, academia & government created. His images & statements are carefully crafted & photo-shopped to make us believe that there are intelligent people in education, science & government. The Hawking project was created to inspire those w/ dis-abilities and the real Stephen Hawking passed away decades ago from ALS. So we can all stop believing & listening to what this illusion & creation has to say! Also, how do I know that there really is a Jack Cafferty?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  604. David Scott Doherty

    Yes he's right, religion is the biggest scam that has ever been perpetrated on mankind. It make Bernie's little hoax look like childs play. How many people have died in the name of religion? (can you say billions) How many wars have been fought over religion, and both sides saying they are on the side of god, well guess what their both wrong, the war won't prove whose right, only whose left, and those that are dead, well that's exactly how they'll stay.
    Dave from peterborough, NH.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  605. Bernie Madoff

    I sure hope there is a Heaven, Prison is hell on earth !

    May 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  606. ThirteenOfTwo

    To those demanding proof: Hawking is not obliged to provide proof. Your demands for proof are akin to saying that if I tell you that there is an invisible microscopic space anteater floating somewhere between Io and Ganymede, you have to prove that it does not exist.

    Burden of proof lies with the affirmative; lay off Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  607. George Jodoin

    You say Heaven is a fairy tale. I don't know but I will tell you one thing for sure I would not bet on it . I know the Bible has been written more or less to control people.because there are a lot of things written that does not make sense. But when I hear or read about some one saying there is no God. I would not take a chance in saying that. After all I don't think we were born under a rock.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  608. Stephen

    Heaven and a supreme being are bunk!

    From the Bible Belt, New Market,TN

    May 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  609. Don Mesa, Arizona

    Of course Hawking is correct! It has always amazed me that the only basis for people who believe that the bible is the word of god is the bible itself.
    The bible is a contradictory bunch of nice fairy tales. Who was the reporter who was in the garden of eden and interviewed adam and eve?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  610. Mr LOC

    Know A lot of openly true believers that spent their entire fortunes
    trying to avoid that place they said they look forward to going someday.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  611. Bradley Martin

    Regardless of your wishful thinking, you have to respect someone who has clearly lived a painfully difficult life and is still unwilling to delude himself of an easy way out. I find Hawkins inspiring.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  612. don moody

    Yes Hawkins and I agree.

    Jerrod Diamond has the best description for God and Heaven. He thinks religion developed in early civilization to provide a reason for a man or woman to fight to defend the flock and not just has immediate family.

    Religion is the primary cause of all wars. Without religion no one will want to fight.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  613. I'm Right

    I have to say it my way...

    Religion is primitive man's way of explain what his primitive knowledge could not.

    It only remains popular today because the question of God is technically unsolvable. Fearful of even the most remote possibility that God does exist, most will follow blindly, swearing their allegiance to their prescribed faith, for little more than fire insurance.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  614. Stephen Austin

    If one believes in heaven, one must believe in a loving God. Would a loving God consign 97% of humanity to an eternity of unimaginable torment for not believing in Him? If so, this God is more evil than the worst humans He's damned forever.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  615. adrifter

    People will believe what they want to believe, so any debate over heaven is pointless. I believe there is no heaven, but is that going to matter to someone who believes in it and rejects science and logic? Heavens no.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  616. George Sales

    2,000 plus years ago some uneducated writers, without any knowledge of science, math or technology, attempted to explain their world using myth and superstition. And now we are expected to except this religious nonsense without question.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  617. BIMM

    Sorry to see you have nothing more important to talk about Jack. When times are rough, bring in religion and cater to the weirdos for ratings hey?

    Pity

    May 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  618. David in Chicago

    in matters of physical existence, I'll take the side of science every time

    there's absolutely no objective basis for believing in non-physical realms, anyone who pretends otherwise is either a fool or a liar

    why aren't more people suspicious that, without any legitimate basis, all 'spiritual' philosophies bootstrap their adherents into some superior position over others?

    as always, people believe what they want to believe... they believe what makes them feel best

    the real problem comes when religious adherents attempt to disseminate these self-serving beliefs as knowledge

    they need to get out of our schools and out of our politics

    May 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  619. Scott Addison

    Yes I do agree with Mr. Hawking. There is no God nor Heaven or Hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  620. Casey Morris

    There is proof in the non-existence of god. Look around you. Do you really think a god would give people free choice and an average IQ of 100? Not much choice when you don't have the capacity to make one.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  621. Dez

    Yes I agree. No, I do not care if other people believe. If it gives them a sense of purpose then more power to them. To each their own.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  622. Dan Horgan

    Dear Jack,
    This idea of heaven is laughable. Eternal salvation, happiness, you name it as long as I have faith and follow the rules set forth in versions of the Bible/Koran/other is like dealing with a terrorist who is holding hostages.
    Believe in this or you will burn, burn, burn. Nah, I'm gonna try to make the best of each and every day and if I go to hell for that, so be it.
    Cheers,
    Danny H – Huntington Beach

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  623. Greg DeRush

    I believe that there is something more to life once we die because it seems to good to be true that we all exist because of all the planets colliding. Also, I think that with the occurence of spirits being seen throughout the world must mean there is something going on once we die. It would be interesting to know the truth but we will probbaly have to wait and see what happens when we all pass away.

    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  624. Colin

    Hawking is absolutely right. Most people who are commenting here saying that they disagree don't even know the reasons why he says what he says. If you disagree with him then at least do us all a favor and at least TRY to read his latest book. Even better, read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. There is a whole realm of people who don't know whether to try and speak out against religion and piss off it's adherents or to just laugh deep down inside at the silliness of what religions claim. I dare any religious person to read the bible (or other religious text) and put the words "flying spaghetti monster" in the place of every time the book says "God". I guarantee you will think to yourself afterwards, "Wow, I can't believe I thought this book proved God was real."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  625. Adam Call in Raleigh, NC

    Of course. In order to truly believe in a god or afterlife, you must essentially blindfold yourself from ever present evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately too many people are really good at this. There is nothing wrong with spirituality, but religion is a detriment to society.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  626. Lyndele von Schill

    I was raised in the Catholic church; it took decades for me to eradicate the brainwashing. My children were raised without exposure to the idea of god or heaven or hell – without the early indoctrination, they can clearly see the nuttiness of religious beliefs. Seriously, most of the world's religions are utterly delusional. The idea of heaven (or hell) is absurd.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  627. Liz Johnson

    I personally believe in a heaven and a God not because someone told me so, but based on my own experiences and understanding of the world. Everyone has the right to believe what they will regarding an afterlife or lack thereof, but to often people believe something just because someone of something tells them to. My personal thoughts are, "If God gave us a brain, we should use it."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  628. jhon New Iberia, Louisiana

    Believe it or not, heaven is real. The more you denied it, the closest the Lord comes get his people. This guy, sthepen, he is a guy with alot of education and knowledge but, he is lack of love. Even if heaven is not real, sthepen cannot be talking about anyones religion. Dreams, Love, and Faith is what make us survive against hittlers and osamas

    May 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  629. Douglas Grossman

    Hawking is a physicist calculating what knows in a materiel way. He has no other choice than to express his findings based on his limited experience in such matters related to what exists in a non materiel world. The bible itself bears this out if you look at what jesus said at his trial. "My kingdom is not of this world." If you want to discuss the existence of heaven You have to use Quantum Physics and go to where nothing (no thing) exists and examine that area. Something that Hawking may not have any experience in.
    Asking Stephen Hawking about the existence of heaven is like asking an ant if it believes in a human being.
    IM sure Stephen Hawking would agree with that. He is a pretty smart guy........

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  630. Charles in Colo

    Total agreement! Tales dreamed up by a group of desert mystics sitting around a small fire drinking mind altering coffee and smoking some industrial strength Afganni hashesh must have put together the whole 'heaven and hell' myth. I personally find it much easier to believe in flying saucers from another planet than a fairy tale land in the clouds. Besides, heaven and hell are what we make of our own lives right here right now. Enjoy it! ... Or not!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  631. Cee, La

    Yes Heaven is in the same category as "Santa".... Tooth Fairy.... Easter Bunny.......etc.....I cannot believe there are so many people who are beholden to a book of stories that pay homage to a sky god.....that originated in the Middle east.....but if it melts your butter its okay by me.......

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  632. B

    Mr. Hawking is simply arguing that it is more reasonable to assume the nonexistence of heaven. Unfortunately, proving the negative is impossible in this and any other instance. It is the extraordinary claim of the existence of an ethereal place where human (dogs too?) souls are permitted to reside for eternity that should have to be proved.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  633. Justin

    Heaven is a completely human-made idea that exists only in our minds and only while we are here, alive, on this planet. So yeah, heaven does exist, but they're called neurons and there are trillions of them inside your brain...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  634. Erik

    Yes, it's a fairy tale albeit a nice one I wished I believed. The supporting evidence is thin at best.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  635. i2h

    it's so odd to hear how incredulous people get when others DON'T believe in a sky wizard, burning pits of fire, and a magical land of happiness alongside the ascended zombie jew that is his own dad.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  636. win

    at best it is wishful thinking , at worst it is a psychotic delusion. Ill pass on both.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  637. goo6er

    It's impossible to debate with people who use scripture as facts.

    Please, everyone, stop living out your lives in fear.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  638. rpco

    The ancient tradition of teaching fairy tales to the spiritually immature of all ages will never die. Neither will the delusion that what we reason about is all that there is.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  639. Corwin7 in Lakeland Florida

    Wouldn't it be funny if we found out that heaven and hell are both right here and right now and we live in one or the other by the decisions we make?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  640. Brian

    My question for him would be this, why does the body tend to twitch like nerves are still living after someone passed away, if not the brain died as said doesn't the space occupied still hold the truth of a soul? Because you soul still maintains the same space for a period of time after, because the mass of the being still holds strong onto the center for time until left; which is the dream sections of the brain which succeeds the relevance of death. To say there is no afterlife is to forget many people had experienced it for what reasons they had. Those who probably don't have one are people who deny all religions. Because the persons doubt would have weighed enough to hold him down with judgments. Like a soul which never left a space, because trapped by own debts of the afterlife.
    Follow this man and you"ll all be considered chess pieces.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  641. Bill the Science Guy

    I believe in heaven because there is evidence of the supernatural. The evidence is human free will. Stephen Hawking rejects the existence of free will and heaven because he ASSUMES the only things that exist are the things that scientists can explain as natural phenomenon. See his book A Brief History of Time in which he rejects human free will. If you believe humans are not computer controlled robots, then you can believe in human free will and the logical conclusion of souls. See the book The Science of the Soul. Then it is logical and reasonable that there is a God and heaven. If you reject a belief in souls and heaven, then you must logically conclude humans are robots and no one is a free thinker as some atheists claim they are.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  642. jean2009

    I've always thought we have heaven. Earth is that heaven, we just need to pull the weeds and do some tending to make it paradise again.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  643. Jamie

    There is only the material world. Sorry. Heaven is a lie.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  644. Ron Wetherington

    I believe in death after life, not in life after death. But that's just a belief. Hawking, too, is asserting just a belief–and his great intellect doesn't make his belief any more or less valid than that of anyone else; it just makes his knowledge more valid.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  645. Troy

    It's pointless to argue. Reason will never defeat delusion.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  646. jeff

    I tend to believe Hawking, but not just because he says so. I have witnessed death firsthand in 2 capacities. A coworker died right in front of me{natural causes} and I felt no divine intervention relating to a heaven during that coworkers death. 2nd I was clinically dead during a dentist visit. During such time I do not recall any divine intervention on my own death. Is this proof? No but I tend to believe based on those facts that when your body just quits then thats it.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  647. Kurt in Winter Park, FL

    Like a lot of scientist and evolutionary theorists, Mr. Hawking may be educated beyond his level of intelligence. A lot of people believe what is comfortable to them in the Bible. With God, it's either black or white, there is no middle ground and the Bible clearly states that there is a heaven and a hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  648. mara

    I really don't know if heavens real but I like to think it is. I doubt he knows either but considering the crappy hand he got dealt with ALS I'm sure faith is hard to come by for him. People lose faith all the time in times of trial.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  649. Clint

    Will all due respect to Mr. Hawking, he is wrong on this one. Heaven in there, of course i only believe because of faith, I have no proof. Of course, Mr. Hawing has no proof there isn't. I don't believe the world will end on the 21st, But I pray Mr. Hawking see's one day he is wrong and let's God in his life.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  650. Corwin7 in Lakeland Florida

    How real can heaven be if believing in it makes you act like a Republican?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  651. Eric Tomikel

    I totally disagree. With all of the wonders of the universe and on Earth, there MUST be a superior being or God. Therefore, there is a heaven. Hawkings may be skeptical, given his scientific outlook, but he's missing the obvious. Just because you can't prove or disprove something, doesn't mean it does not exist. It's called faith.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  652. Bill

    The bible is a nice story and I have taught my children that the lessons within the bible are good lessons to live life by. However, the bible is the creation of man's mind and his inability to comprehend that the short time we breath, bleed and breed and see the sunshine, is really all there is. I believe it was created by the first caveman trying to help ease a badly injured child, as they lay dying. There will be no more cold times, there will be no more hunger times, there will be only good and peace, so go.... it will be better, don't be afraid. That's my belief. We are just biological entities, nothing more, nothing less and once we are able to journey beyond our earth far enough to encounter other life forms, man's realization of that will gel.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  653. AustinTony

    The bible is a book written by men with agenda's. I don't believe in heaven anymore than I believe in Valhalla. "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  654. calaurore9

    There's a theory that we are wired to protect us from our finite reality, a 'God' part of the brain that keeps hope alive for an after life. Seeing my son graduate magna from NYU yesterday was heaven on earth. That's enough for me.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    May 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  655. Joe

    Holy jackaroni! I'm sure that if most believer's were put under hypnosis and asked to draw what heaven looks like it would look much like a Maxfield Parrish painting. (puffy clouds, babbling brooks, friendly fury bunnies, and don't forget everyone dressed in white robes)
    The one thing that really separates us from animals is arrogance.
    If heaven were to be real it would be way beyond the comprehension of our earthly, mortal pea brains.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  656. ron

    I believe he is right but I hope I'm wrong.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  657. Glenn

    People have always lied to their children. White lies, perhaps, but lies none the less.
    We lie about Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the bogeyman, Elijah, the stork, leprechauns, etc.
    We lie for many reasons: To give our children a magical holiday and a sense of wonder, to distract them from things we are embarrassed to tell them about, to shut them up when they ask too many questions, to keep them safe from things they are too young to understand.
    God and Heaven are just the answers to questions that children asked thousands of years ago. It may have seemed plausible at the time, but most of those questions have since been answered by experimentation, exploration, and analysis.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  658. Troy

    I hope there is a heaven and I hope all of the Christians go there on Saturday so we won't have to listen to country music anymore.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  659. Doyle, A

    There are two sides to every situation. You need both to make an informed choice. I would like to know the purpose for sending more money to our enimies. We can't buy friendship or peace, it comes from the heart. It appearse most of the Arab population doesn't have it, want it, so doesn't teach it. Their youth have never learned it so can't live it or share it. How will we benefit from this. This is something that must be considered since our economy is in the sewer.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  660. Terry

    I Don't believe in God, or an Afterlife. I don't see why humans would be the only ones expected to attain this once they die. While every other creature simply feeds the planet once it dies. We have so many different theories on what the afterlife is, people have their own beliefs and yet within Science most theories are proved, or based on some previous knowledge with a bit of "Creative" thinking. Eventually science will prove more then the Idea of religion ever can. Remember when earth was flat and the sun rotated around the earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  661. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    Will Rogers, Einstein or somebody clever said, "We're all ignorant, ... just on different subjects. I bet Dr. Hawking did not major in Theology.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  662. Joe

    Holy jackaroni! I'm sure that if most believer's were put under hypnosis and asked to draw what heaven looks like it would look much like a Maxfield Parrish painting. (puffy clouds, babbling brooks, friendly fury bunnies, and don't forget everyone dressed in white robes)
    The one thing that really separates us from animals is arrogance.
    If heaven were to be real it would be way beyond the comprehension of our earthly, mortal pea brains.

    Nashville, TN

    May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  663. Jay

    I'd like to, but can't make myself believe in something there is no rational evidence for. Heaven has long been a carrot dangled in front of the faithful and another of the many tools of control religious authorities have wielded. We are blessed to live in an age where that control is waning.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  664. billy bob------------seattle

    stephen hawkins is a living hell. who casts a spell ,to ignorant tell, the uneducated, a fill in the blank story from his mastabatorial tutorial, spewed from jealous hate for being full of you know what.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  665. Michael Shea Albuquerque,NM

    I want to believe there is an"afterlife". I have heard of out of body experiences that verify the existance of heaven. I even read a couple of books about it.

    I really don't think there is a "hell". We currently have that on Earth. I believe that God is all-knowing and all loving. If not why did he sacrifice the life of his son.

    I consider myself a "God-Loving Man," "not a God-Fearing Man."

    I am a practicing Evangelical Lutheran and a former Roman Catholic. I like to think of myself as spiritual and non-religious. Religions are man made "Baloney" so they have control over us. I paractice Lutheranism mre for my wife than for me.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  666. joe

    I am an atheist. However, I undewrstand why the judeo christian muslim religions have lasted so long in the face of their troublesomeness. It is because we die. Other animals may understand when death happens, but they don't live everyday anticipating its certainlty. That difference required us to formuate a balm that can get us through the mental pain (planted in us over countless evolutionary generations) associated with losing a person close to us. Religion is mythology, but it is also a placebo. and it will die when we conquer death. Then the need for religion will dissipate and humans will at last be free not only of the need for succor but also of death itself. Hawkings is right this time.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  667. J in TN

    Energy can neither be created or destroyed...so where does it go?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  668. Scott

    Yes. Consider this: a fairy tale is a story that is passed from one generation to the next, with characters that often have super-human powers but who possess human-like emotions and values. It occurs "a long time ago, in a land far-far away", and is thus un-testable and un-measurable. A person grows up learning fairy-tales that are shaped by their culture and community, and often help to teach morals and lessons to be applied to the real world.

    Tell me how "heaven" is any different...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  669. Eric

    there is no proof either way that god and heaven is real or not. no one can say that there is or is not a god or heaven as a fact, as some of the commentators seem to be doing. you have no proof either way, only opinion, mine is they are not real, and and will be my opinion until proof either way is presented.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  670. Jeremy

    I am a scientist and I do believe in an afterlife of some kind. I think that it's very important, when we discuss these things, to remember that notions of the existence of heaven, God, etc., are unfalsifiable. Science has, quite literally, nothing to say about them as ideas writ large. This is why intelligent design should *not* be taught in schools and it is also why Stephen Hawking's answer to this question is the conceptual equivalent of a fundamentalist religious person expressing his beliefs.

    I find it troubling that an academic should usurp the authority of his position as a thinker to dispense wisdom on a topic for which empiricism has little value.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  671. RIck in Boise

    Agree totally. Heaven is a fairy tale. So is Hell, God, Jesus as Lord, Mohammed as the one true prophet, etc, etc.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  672. Wayne in Missouri

    Since I do not believe that "something" can come from "nothing", the existence of this world–the stars, the planets, etc. is a mystery. And, the perfection of the human body, for example, cannot be explained by evolution–not to my satisfaction. I do not believe that man simply evolved, and it is hard to believe that all we experience is the result of "intelligent design"–not sure, but think that all of this may be an illusion–but how can that be? I doubt that anyone can explain it–something beyond logic is required, perhaps. After we die, we may find out–hard to believe there will be no world then. If there is another world for us to experience, my hope is that it will involve many of the challenges of this world.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  673. Dave, Texas

    Hawking is correct. Religion in all its many forms, is a total scam, and in the USA at least, is nothing more than a for profit business often exploited by unscrupulous charlatons. No other evolved culture in the world believes to the extent that Americans do; it's time we wised up.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  674. Ryan

    There is no god. And for the people who believe there is, the onus is on them to "PROVE" there is one, not for me to discredit one.

    As Dawkins says, "You already know what its like to not believe in a god, assuming you are a christian, you already do not believe in Thor, Zue, Krishna...ect. You dismiss all of these other gods, I just dismiss one more than you".

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  675. Professor G Hawkins - Princeton, NJ

    St. Thomas Aquinas was a brilliant man gifted in the ways of Philosophy, Theology, Science and Mathematics. He used the laws of motion ( Sir Isaac Newtwon ) to prove that God exists. There had to be a first force that began all motion in the universe according to underlying scientific principles. Now while each religion will argue about their version of the ultimate creator ( Christian, Judaic, Islam etc ), I think we can all agree that someone, something, some higher being is responsible for the fact that we live on the perfect planet, with the perfect compostion of elements, minerals, crops and sunlight to sustain life. On top of that – we have intelligent life. Why don't birds, cats, dogs, squirrels, sharks and monkeys operate like human beings ? Because of the human brain, and there is no scientific explanation to date ( yes, go study some genetics at MIT if you disagree ) to explain how or why our brain is so big and magnificent relative to animals or why our body knows how to turn food into energy etc. Please Mr Hawking, I I know you are angry because you are ill, but that is no reason to say that no heaven exists. An afterlife does exist – call it what you want according to your beliefs, but make no doubt that it is the miracle of God that we exist as intelligent beings here on this most perfect planet. Amen

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  676. matt

    i don't think there is but i sure hope i'm wrong

    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  677. Marleen

    I agree with professor Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  678. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    If there is no heaven then there is no hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  679. Brad

    Yes, of course it's a fairy tale.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  680. J Gallagher

    Hawking must be right. If you hear a voice in your head you're considered mad. But if you claim that voice is God's you;re a person of faith. What's the difference?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  681. David in Salem Oregon

    You know Jack...I don't know know whether Heaven exists of not, but we will all find out in due time, won't we?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  682. Larry L, Torrance, CA

    If heaven is a fairy story, then it may be good to be gay these days.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  683. Jake Neuman

    I do believe in heaven; however I do not believe the world will end any time soon. Some random person deciding when the "rapture" is going to happen seems like a load of nonsense to me, but if it does end I will happily apologize to him, providing we both wind up in the same place.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  684. Pendleton

    He needs to read the little book, "Heaven is for REAL".

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  685. GeorgeW

    I absolutely agree!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  686. serenity0202

    Father God, can I be one of the "200 million people, or just 3% of the world's population, will be taken to heaven" on May 21, 2011 at 6:00 p.m., I want to go home to my real daddy.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  687. Michael Linden

    Good God, yes... I agree totally with Mr Hawking...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  688. Wesley Pittman

    "The fool has set in his heart, there is no God." The Devils even belief there is a God and Heaven. Why can't we as mere mortals also believe? This Camping person is wrong. Even Jesus does not know when He is going to come down and take us away to be with Him in Heaven. Jesus is coming again, we just do not know when. He will come and take those who have called upon the name of the Lord to be their Savior. This is not a fairy tale. This is real, folks. Jesus loves you and wants you to be a Christian. Repent and be ye saved all ye ends of the earth. I am not a doom and gloom preacher. I am a preacher that wants you to know there is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun. Come to Jesus today.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  689. Melissa

    God, and anything in the bible, is mythology with no more truth to them than to Zeus and Odin.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  690. Barbara Leighton

    YES...There is a God & there is a Heaven. Although the Atheist & others insist that there is no God, one day they too will be praying for forgiveness!
    Sci-Fi Fantasy, but these writings were done by MAN & from very OLD times. These men-women all had the view of their world as THEY understood it, & were influenced by the worlds view at the time of their writings!

    GOD only wrote the ten commandments & man managed to screw that up...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  691. Paul Shelton

    Well, one thing is certain: it won't be very long before Hawking finds out with ultimate finality.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  692. Suhneedaze

    Yep...he is correct.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  693. city of atlantis

    Mr. Cafferty,

    If there is a god when I die then surely I will try my best to sucker
    punch him/her/it upside the head (before I start my journey to erternal damnation) for letting such a beautiful planet be abused just so he/she/it can play chess with the devil. The only heaven that exists
    is in the believers head. The same thing happens to that belief as
    does all the other beliefs when one dies...they cease to exist.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  694. BillCode

    Absolutely. There is no concrete proof of an afterlife or a god for that matter. There is a much better chance of alien life....

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  695. Eli Hickox

    Jack, this is an outrage! This is just another case of an over-intelligent person thinking that he knows everything. Hawking has gotten so much acclaim that it has gone to his head. Get over yourself and I hope you have fun in hell, seeing as how you don't believe in heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  696. Sean

    No, I don't agree.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  697. craig lamendola

    I agree....heaven is a fairy tale

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  698. Chad

    Of course it isn't a myth – and I can't wait to meet Zeus when I get there!!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  699. Steven Bennett

    And on the 6th day God made pancakes. I truly hope this Camping guy is right and the Rapture comes this Saturday so all the superstitious morons will disappear and we won't have to listen to their fairy tale crap any more.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  700. Amanda

    Yes, I agree heaven is a fairy story.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  701. Verna

    Absolutely there is a heaven...and there is a hell. I feel sorry for those who do not believe in God. After all, He sent His only son, Jesus who took away the sins of the world to those who believe. I do. I'm saved.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  702. William

    Of course it's a fairy tale. I can't imagine anything more arrogant and self agrandizing as the notion that we were created in "God's image" and heaven is a place reserved just for those that buy that fairy story... and if you don't, you'll be tortured in hell. Sounds more like an authoritarian dictatorship.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  703. kovy

    You all will be DEAD in 80 years. There are 2 possibilities:
    #1. There is no afterlife.
    #2. There is an afterlife.
    If #1 is true we're talking 80 or so years.
    If #2 is true we're talking billions of years (well, at least more than 80.)
    There's a 50-50 chance.
    Seems to be a very easy choice to make (to believe.) What do you have to lose?
    Nothing for #1, an eternity for #2.
    The more you know the less you know. It's that simple.
    Duh!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  704. Nancy

    I would rather be me, and firmly believe what the Bible says about heaven, that to be Steven Hawking or so many on this comments section who do not believe. Heaven is God's gift to me, free and clear. I am amazed at the number of people who know nothing and pontificate endlessly about their ignorance.

    If someone gave me a free ticket to Australia, for instance, would I say, " I have never seen it so I don't believe it's there. So no thanks, I don't want the ticket. Never mind that there are maps and pictures, etc. I don't believe it is there. It's a fairy tale.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  705. Joe Donnelly

    Who doesn't want to believe there's a heaven? It allows humans to live forever in a cloudy utopia, but why, with no evidence, do we feel that it exists? Moreover, why do we feel that we deserve it? It is rude to beg the invisible for more, we won the birth lottery and were formed into a person, now just enjoy your ~100 years on this planet and stop complaining that it comes to an end.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  706. Carl

    No sir. I do not believe in heaven or hell. I am honestly shocked that people still believe in any of the religious mumbo jumbo in this day and age.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  707. Cathy Dadson

    To completely refute the possibility that Heaven exists is not very scientific in itself. Science knows that just because something can't be proven, does not mean it's existence is futile. I am very disappointed that an intelligent man like Stephen Hawking can make a claim like this without evidence (either for...or agains)

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  708. Vance

    Yes, I agree with Hawking. God and heaven are made-up fantasies.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  709. Henry

    Heaven is a comforting idea for those who live a good life, but that's all it is, a comforting idea.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  710. Rob W.

    The "scientific method is a neat tool...but looks a lot like reverse engineering. When a Hawking experiment succeeds in creating something even closely resembling our world (from nothing), I'll stop questioning whether he's not the one who believes in fairy tales.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  711. Bill Kilpatrick

    Heaven is, of course, a fairy story. Every attempt to describe the afterlife is made up by human beings who are guessing, at best. It doesn't take long to sift through the details to see the human hand in all of these tales. Still, that doesn't mean there isn't something to hope for. it just means that all of our stories are projections of a human yearning – and what's so bad about that?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  712. rossfm

    I find anyone who acts like they have it "all figured out" annoying.

    That includes scientists and the religious nutcases.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  713. mark

    Hawking is wrong! There is a Heaven! (I also believe in santa claus, the tooth fairy, and the easter bunny).

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  714. Matt

    Ehh, who cares. As Paul McCartney says, "live and let die." That's just what I'll do.

    Manassas, VA
    Matt

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  715. RICHARD CAHALL

    I agree with Dr. Hawking!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  716. Shauna

    Heaven is a legend created by goat herders from the Iron Age. If you believe ancient goat herders know more about the world than an educated, brilliant man with modern science at his disposal, so be it. I for one know heaven isn't real and I'm ok with that reality. I make the most of life because I know this is it!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  717. Wendell

    Hawking is a far left idiot that does not believe in God nor Heaven. I believe in both!!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  718. David

    About stephen hawkins, he says there is no after life for broken computers, fine, but does he believe that there is a "manufacture" for the so called "human computer" brain ?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  719. Bryant

    I agree 100%

    It's amazing how the fallacies around religion get passed on from one generation to the next despite the remarkable advances that are made and learned. Once people ascend from hope to reality, the better off we'll all be.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  720. Lisa

    Heaven/Hell is not a place on earth, it is a state of mind. Right now with the economy is as bad as it is, i'd say its HELL.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  721. Doug Jackson

    Dr. Hawking is clearly using the term derisively, so no, I don't agree. But I want to have another argument: if Heaven is a fairy tale, is that a bad thing? Fairy tales have endured for centuries because they tell us truths that, say, books on physics don't. That's why more people read the Brothers Grimm than Stephen Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  722. Bryan

    Of course Heaven is real! People don't believe in Heaven because they don't have faith. Faith is the central element to the Christian faith. Without faith, it is impossible to enter Heaven, so ironically enough, not believing in Heaven will be the very reason the vast majority won't see Heaven. I pray that people will not be lead astray by Mr. Camping or Mr. Hawking, Jesus loves and died for all!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  723. Dr. Michael Silverman

    As I teach to the medical students here in NYC, "No good comes from removing people's hope."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  724. John Schaeffer

    Heaven is a fairy story for Mr. Hawking. He won't be there. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." Take care Stevie boy.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  725. Sean Ball

    Yes, It is all a fairy story! There is no afterlife and there is no god!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  726. SpaceColonizer

    yes. and it can be a very harmful fairy tale. people shouldn't base their morality decisions on what their "community leaders" say will be the final judgement of those moral decisions after they die. we need to live together in the real world and make that life a good one.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  727. PJ

    as a realist, Big Claims require Big Proof.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  728. Shane Bianchini

    I've got faith that there is an afterlife, or maybe I just hope so. What I firmly believe in though is that people, whether Harold Camping or the Pope, need to stop taking religion, which is such a personal thing whether you're a Christian, a Muslim, or an Atheist, and using it to further their agendas, gain power, and wage war!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  729. Drusilla Galicia

    No heaven, no hell just be here now! And if someone says a book or a crazy bunch of "priests?", "pastors?" try to tell you what a god says, run away, they are parasites. If a force exists you can touch it all by yourself.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  730. John Mundinger

    Jack – science and religion are two different disciplines. Using the tenets of one to prove/disprove the tenets of the other is a bit like trying to calculate the square root of a dangling participle.

    And, as far as judgement day coming on Saturday, I agree with Martin Luther. He said that even if he knew the world were going to pieces tomorrow, he would plant an apple tree.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  731. David McMann White

    I admire Stephen Hawking for his ability to see what I cannot when it comes to things at the atomic level. I pity him for his lack of faith.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  732. Philip Cabibi

    Heaven is a state of mind. If you have never felt this state of mind before, you should watch Jack Cafferty on CNN.

    Draper, Utah

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  733. Patricia,Grass Valley, CA

    When I was 7 I sat at the breakfast table crying because some nut said the world was coming to an end at 7:30. I've never paid attention to this crap since. I do believe in an after life, but of the spirit. No gold roads or palaces!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  734. Wendell

    No, I do not agree! The Bible is very clear on this...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  735. Amazing Steve

    Stephen Hawking is an extremely intelligent man and, like you said, he has had a lot of time to think about this. I think whatever your personal beliefs are, the fact that Mr. Hawking doesn't believe in heaven should be a pretty strong mark against it.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  736. R J Reynolds AIA

    Hawking is absolutely right

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  737. Beth

    Humankind likes to tell stories, and here's another one.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  738. Geoff Caven

    Just because a large majority believe in something doesn't mean it is true. Stephen Hawking is one of the minority (which is larger than you might think) That has taken the time to question and reflect upon the beliefs he was forced into and discovered that there is no evidence to support them. Faith is not a virtue, but willful ignorance.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  739. Water

    Heaven? By whose definition? If you mean the conventional story of God, white robes, etc., then no. However, if you define heaven as an existences beyond this one we experience while inhabiting this body, then I say yes. Why? Only through my own experience. I watched as at the funeral of my father as I saw a his translucent shape leave his body and dissipate seconds later. What did I witness? You could say I was hysterical, confused, aggrieved - although I wasn't. His release from his 6 month vegetative state, I viewed as a relief.

    I say this to convince no one. Merely to suggest that the fanciful notions of heaven polarize us in our thinking. I suggest our *limited * understanding of physics doesn't allow for Mr. Hawkings to draw such authoritative conclusions. "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosphy". Keep an open mind.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  740. Jim Davis

    John,
    There was a time in my life that I did believe in heaven, that I was heading there, and that those who did not believe as I, were not. That was some 20 odd years ago. Now, I;m not so sure. What changed my mind you ask? Look around! Would you really want to spend eternity with all those people who claim that heaven and hell are real places? No thank you.

    Jim
    Luray, VA

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  741. Bob Candido

    I strongly disagree. But I wish that everyone that do not believe in heaven was right. If you don't believe it... YOU BETTER BE RIGHT!!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  742. Carl

    Jack,

    For those you believe, no explanation is necessary, for those who don't believe, no explanation is possible.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  743. Arvind

    A hopeful fairy Story nevertheless. If it does come true then you would have enjoyed the belief and the reality

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  744. Phil

    Yes. I have struggled with this since my childhood, and have come to the realization that, while I won't call it a "fairy tale", I do think that it is symbolism at best. If God knows everything, past, present and future, and he knew that creating this world would be a total mess.........then why did he do it???? I don't criticize people for believing what they want, but don't push their beliefs on others.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  745. Williams

    No. There is no heaven and there is no hell. Sincerely Phil.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  746. Dariel, Santa Rosa, CA.

    It's very hard to believe that a physicist doesn't understand the concept of dimensional theory. There are physicists that have recognized 11 different dimensions. Maybe number 12 is reserved for GOD.

    If our scientists don't understand the concept of dimensional theory, how can they tell us what is and what isn't, when it comes to an afterlife.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  747. Bobby V.

    As usual, Hawking is right. Heaven is just a small part of a larger yarn spun to control the masses. The idea of a boundless, wonderful existence gives people something to focus on when they have a terrible existence. Religion is indeed the opiate of the masses.

    Bobby V.
    Houston, TX.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  748. Peggy

    I don't believe in Stephen Hawking....

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  749. Charmie91752

    I hold high regard for Mr. Hawking, but despite his incredible knowledge and creative vision, I suspect the MS thing has made it easier to feel there is not a central force of which we could tap if we choose to believe it and seek it. I have had two completely unexplainable experiences in my life that proved to me I am more than my physical and mental states.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  750. Greg

    I guess there are a lot of people that believe in fairy tales.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  751. Mark

    Hawking is right, heaven is absolutely a fairy story. And the idea of hell just occurs because if there is a heaven, then must be its opposite. Its interesting that once you accept a faulty primise as fact, all reason that follows seems logical, even though it is completely irrational. Belief in dieties is an antiquated idea held over from the stone age. We humans would be much better off without "fairy stories". We have lost so much time, wealth and blood in the study of and defense of our imaginary friends.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  752. John

    Jack, there has to be something better than the hell this world is in now. So if I go through life having faith in heaven and some gimp in a wheelchair tells me I'm wrong, I say to him, "Have fun in pergatory when your time is up."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  753. Cam

    I cannot walk into a bank with a check I wrote to myself for a million dollars and call myself a millionaire, but that is what christians are doing. They think that a story forced on them as children must be true, in spite of zero evidence, because there is so many of them who believe something similar or a variation of what they were told.

    Christians, you are maybe 2 billion people, that means the other 5 billion think you are wrong. If your only proof you have for your beliefs is the weight of numbers, then even that is not in your favor since the majority on earth think you are idiots.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  754. Dara dunn

    The bible says so! That's funny – the Bible is the fairy story. Do you believe that little red riding hood really went for a walk in the woods?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  755. Lilly

    Jack, when you kill the fly does it goes to hell or heaven?
    We are just one of the species of the universe. I agree with Stephen Hawking – everything lives and die and evolve – no magical places.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  756. Michael Eden-Walker

    Of course heaven is a fairy tale.
    That doesn't mean that to believe in this tale is not important. Obviously a majority of people in this world have a very profound need for this belief.
    The question becomes what is so important about this belief that men and women are willing to die for it?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  757. Pam Woodley

    Yes, I agree with Hawking but I don't want to live in a world where everybody agrees with him. For some people, a belief in the afterlife might be keeping them from killing me or stealing my stuff.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  758. Michael Gerson

    I'll go with the man of science allways. God and Heaven exist only because man is affraid of the dark. Don't be affraid. Life is all you get. Find a good partner, a nice dog, and a good meal and enjoy.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  759. D. A. de Wolf

    Yes. 'True believers' seem to be impervious to the lack of credible evidence for this concept.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  760. Paul

    Yes, I do agree with Hawkings comment.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  761. G in DC

    Unfortunate that one of the smartest men alive can't just accept something on faith. To me, a big part of intelligence is accepting the fact that you don't have all the answers. Reminds me of an old Arabian proverb..."Hubris diminishes wisdom."

    I believe that there's gotta be something... maybe not anything resembling some of the fairy tales we were told as children – but I believe our earth and the life on it are just too dynamic, diverse and complex to have just be cosmic happenstance of one in a trillion proportions. One thing I know for sure, we'll all find out sooner than we'd like.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  762. robin

    well, it depands on the moment. When i'm in a scince class or a museam, no i don't belive in it. however, the idea of heaven keeps my fear of death away. It depands which situation you are in.

    robin, from illinois

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  763. Michael

    I agree, It's high time people of this world understand what religion is and why it was created. It is a controlling mechanism plain and simple. There is no God.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  764. Troy

    My Grandfather used always tell me no matter what when your dead your dead. Now that didn't travel well within his local communities and the like but i can tell you this the last time i visited where we laid him to rest I think he was right. What the human race needs to do is accept it. Life truly is a gift. That's it.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  765. mellie

    Hawking is right

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  766. Skeptical One

    Hawking simply has the guts to tell it like it is. Privately, there are many more skeptics/atheists than most would glean from the absurd religious jabber we are bombarded with day in and day out. We need and deserve more open admission by non-believers in order to truly have a balanced discussion about the problems religions of all types cause around the globe.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  767. Jim

    Yes I agree. Why people in this day and age continue to believe in such things is amazing. Religion has been the single most popular reason for war since the belief in "Gods". God will save us.... yeah right...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  768. karen

    i feel sorry for his soul. his days are numbered before he dies and finds out about afterlife.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  769. Greg Shaw

    He'd better hope that he's not wrong.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  770. Michael in Charlotte

    Jack,

    Heaven and religion in general are concepts devised by early man to try to make sense of a world they could not understand, and to make people less fearful of death.

    Of course it's a fairy tale.

    Michael

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  771. Sarah

    Absolutely. Personally, I believe that in the absence of any concrete proof, I couldn't possibly take an idea as fanciful as heaven as fact. I don't claim to know what actually does happen when people die, but the most logical and simple answer is "nothing", just as Hawking said. I'm going to do my best to achieve personal success in my life and to help others, and when it's all over, I'll find out for sure. Doing anything else seems like overkill in light of how little actual knowledge we have about these things and how much conflicting evidence there is.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  772. Michelle

    Smart men go to hell just as easily as the ignorant.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  773. Richard

    I have much respect for Dr. Hawking, however, he knows as well as we all know that just because you cannot see something does not mean it does not exist.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  774. Ryan

    Unless Dr. Hawking has empirical proof that there is no afterlife or god it simply just his opinion. As for me I would say that its possible and I hope there is one, because if there is no afterlife then should be out seeing the world instead of watching Wolf Blitzer have a staring contest with America!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  775. Joe

    Without evidence, all things supernatural are fairy tales. Stephen Hawking is correct.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  776. Sean

    Why must everything be so black and white? It's like choosing sides. We either believe or we don't believe in an afterlife/higher power. What happened to people checking the "I don't know" box. Plus I hardly think Stephen Hawking is qualified to answer such a question. Let's remember that the purpose of science is to answer the "how" and doesn't ever provide answers to the "why".

    Sean, Toronto

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  777. Pilar Saavedra

    Hawking is obviously not aware of several studies which have proven that, after the brain has been artificially put on "off," the patient has been able to describe to the doctors all that was said and went on during the procedure. There is a life of the soul that goes on beyond life on this plane. Many have had near-death experiences that contradict Hawkins. But he will one day see whether he is right or wrong. That he is alive today is nothing short of a miracle but I bet he doesn't believe in those either.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  778. Chris in WI

    I agree with him.

    However, I really wonder why people think someone like him is 'so smart' one minute and then say he is 'clueless' the next, just because you disagree?!?!

    What is it about human nature that makes us call a person, who is no doubt smarter then 95% of us alive at this moment, "clueless"?

    Truth isn't based in popular belief. If it was then the Earth would still be the center of the universe.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  779. Charley Burch

    I am a person of science and faith. Dr. Hawking is one of the great secular minds of our millennium and should be respected for that. There are other scientists and physicists out there that show evidence of a prime mover and I side with them. We must always go by multiple sources and use varied data to draw the best conclusions.

    Charley Burch
    Memphis, Tn

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  780. Wipster

    While I agree with his computer analogy, I think the electricity that powers our brain is in fact our soul, which while it may not go to a heaven, it does not disappear... that is the part of us that remains and is part of the universe. I guess we'll know when we get there!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  781. Clinton Ortiz

    Hawking could be more wrong, and from jack's description of him, just because he's well loved and we should listen to him because he's a "genius" doesn't deter me in the slightest. After all,

    1. I've seen Heaven and Christ during a near death experience.
    2. During my unsaved years, I used to engage in detailed conversations with "spirit entities" via the Ouija board, and even they, at a time I was unsaved, all agreed that Christ exists as God's Son in Heaven, and that there IS an afterlife, Satan exists, earth is a battleground for souls, etc, etc, etc.
    3. God is much more intelligent than you fools give him credit for.
    4. Human logic, reason, and initelligence will never get even close to who created it all. We are mere relfections of the Being who made us.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  782. Jim S from Milford, MI

    I would have thought a man whose mental gymnastics can imagine and comprehend such exotic concepts as parallel universes would be past the point of putting our world in a box, and allow for the possibility that the fairies could be telling the truth.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  783. Carlos from Oklahoma

    yes, i believe in heaven but why is this even a question?? i thought we were one nation under God so if this is true, then why does the words of Mr. Hawking matters? it's clear he doesn't believe in God

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  784. Ilspartano

    Lou, I agree that there is no heaven or after life. The folks who do should take a hike to their "heaven" and free our world of their stupidity. Such "believers" are continue to support the very religious institutions that use "god" to oppress others, cause war and keep some in the dark ages.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  785. akhennessey

    Yes, I agree that heaven is a fairy story, akin to other "stories" that people around the world have made up to convince themselves that there's something for them after their lfe ends. How selfish!

    Having grown up among native Americans, I find their stories of the Great Spirit and spirits of their ancestors just as entertaining and interesting as Europeans' stories about heaven, hell, and everything in between. But real...hell, no!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  786. Ben

    Jack,.
    Those of us who are enlightened scientists know the difference between religion (what we have been taught since the first century). In fact there are older civilizations that date back to 12,000 before the birth of Jesus.
    Let the scientist make these major decision, not the self taught religious zealots lie to the world. And there is more Jack, ask someone who is enlightened about the Ancient Alien Theory.
    Ben

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  787. Logic

    Yes. I believe religion is just a synthetic man made story to try to control the masses by brain washing. Religion tries to justify its existence, and the bible is a great fiction story. As rational adults, need to know that the bible, Peter Pan and Santa are fictional characters and stories.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  788. Evan

    Religion is only there to make you feel comfortable with the "unknown", if one wants to believe wild ideas so it makes them comfortable with death then so be it....all religion is really good for is control and war.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  789. Tony Egler

    Jack,

    I totally agree Steven on this. I grew up Roman Catholic, but sorted that out before I was out of High School. I just can not wait until all of the "True Christians" are called to heaven. It will be so much more peaceful and we will all be better off with out them. Good riddance!

    Amen

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  790. Joseph Leff

    Let's keep it simple, Jack. Those people who think they'll be going to Heaven on May 21 should max out their credit cards. After all, they won't have to pay for whatever they buy. On the other hand, if they're wrong...

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  791. Autumn Meadows

    No, I do not believe in "fairy stories" like heaven. Heaven is a "coping" skill of frightened people who fear unknown and have to have an answer for everything even if that idea is completely made up from a 2,000 year old book written by people we cannot verify the credibility of. There is a higher chance of aliens existing than magik sky fairies. I stop believing in imaginary friends when I was 14. We came from star dust and thats exactly where we will return to.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  792. jon

    it would be great if it were true. Sad to say, I got rid of my invisible friend when I was 5 (his name was "Steve").

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  793. Chuck Keyser

    After the Big Bang, God smoked a cigarette, rolled over, went to sleep, and hasn't been heard from since...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  794. Amplified Life

    Of course it's a fairy tale. Religion is archaic & the fact that so many still believe this stuff is an embarrassment to the human race. But I won't lie, I wish there was an after life, mostly so I could look down on earth in the distant future & see the human race evolve to a point where religion is extinct.
    Thank you so much for asking this question. It's a conversation most people are afraid to have but it's imperative that we do. Let's see more coverage of this on CNN, minus the doomsday prophets, I mean con-artists.
    Peace,
    Larry from Minnesota

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  795. Dennis

    Yes, I whole heartedly agree with Hawking. I believe that our existence in the physical realm is just a dream anyway. When we awake, we will be back with our creator. And as in the story of the Prodigal Son, we will be welcomed back by God from our dream without condemnation, ridicule or judgment. All of this Judgment Day mumbo jumbo is just a continuation of most fear based religions. It’s all a bunch of hog-wash! Study A Course In Miracles and you may see I am correct.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  796. Samuel Minneapolis, MN

    Yeah Jack, of course Mr. Hawking is right. Heaven is a construct of the human imagination. If you have any REAL proof otherwise I'd love to hear it on your show, but I know you won't be able to come up with anything.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  797. James Merendino

    Well, it is true that Hawking is a very smart man when it comes to physics. But he is the wrong person to go to with questions relating to theology. It is a common mistake. And in the end... how could he possibly know what happens when we die. There can be much theological debate on this issue. But I think the people who really know if there is an afterlife are dead people.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  798. Lotus

    Stephen Hawking may know a lot about some things, but this is one thing he does not know about. I KNOW Heaven is not a fairy tale... I have had some pretty incredible experiences that defies 'logic'. No one could say what Hawking has said after experiencing what I have experienced. Believe me, science is a different thing than spirituality.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  799. Kim Smith

    I believe the Bible, and the Bible says Heaven is real. The Bible also says that ALL will declare that Jesus Christ is Lord; Stephen Hawking is no exception.

    Kim – Gap, Pennsylvania

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  800. Joe

    God and the devil are just Santa Claus and the bogyman for adults. Once they realize Dr. Hawking is correct we will all be better off.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  801. Joan Hendricks

    I agree 100% with Stephen Hawking. There is no heaven. All of us are born atheists and some of us stick to that truth during our entire lives.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  802. Bill Moore

    I used to believe in fairy tales, but then I grew up. Isn't it about time that we understand that our time on Earth is limited and we have to make the best of it. Regarding the coming Apocalypse, I hope CNN covers it. And I'm not going to worry about you and Wolf being raptured away so you can't cover the action.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  803. Norma Ingalls

    Anyone not brain-washed by churches all their lives would have to agree with Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  804. Cole Morris - Conway, AR

    Jack,
    There is absolutely zero scientific evidence for a god and therefor no logical and rational person should believe in these fairy tales. All scientific evidence points against the argument. One day, we humans will cease being so credulous and actually begin to analyze things for ourselves. I commend Hawkins for his open atheism and willingness to state the facts.
    Cole

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  805. Mark Hot Spring's AR

    Jack .I gess when you have been threw what he has you lose your fath,but I belive there is a heaven and a hell,good and evil,god and the devil.If that is what he think's then he will get a big surprise in the end.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  806. Joyce Karlsson

    Yes, I do not believe in heaven or hell.. If you
    watch scientific programs about the universe, you realize
    how insignificant we really are. It's a violent universe out
    there, hardly a place for a heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  807. Jose Rivera-Hernandez

    I do agree, since the word 'heaven' was created by humans, it has been a justification for humanity to live their lives either good or bad, ignoring the reality that no matter how we behave now and the choices we make today constantly creates our own 'heaven' or 'hell' while living on this planet.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  808. Lola HC

    I find it interesting that a scientist would make such a comment without disproving it scientifically. The size of the universe is beyond our present exploration capabilities. He has contradicted who he is suppose to be.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  809. Donna Thompson

    Heaven and hell are right here, it's what you create, when you die, you die but your memories live on, creating either heaven like memories or hell like ones.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  810. jpc

    sure there's a heaven...and Mary was really a virgin

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  811. James Aiken

    Yes I agree. Just as religions were invented so have the soul and heaven been invented all on "faith." Mencken defined faith as."an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  812. Anthony

    Yes! Because the notion of heaven has as much evidence as... well... fairies. In the words of Christopher Hitchens: "Religion is a relic from the infancy of our species."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  813. Dr. Geza Papp-Vid

    It is my choice to believe in matters I cannot sense visually, by palpitation, by smell.......you know the other two.

    Nobody has a knowledge to say that God does not exist. Even my admired Stephen Hawking has the same sensory organs that every other human being.

    If he claims, God does not exist, his opinion is as valid as if he said God exists. He has no proof for either.

    When you cannot explain something and that something would require some explanation, that is when you start thinking of God.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  814. TC

    Mr. Stephen Hawking maybe is an observer of the univerce but not a representative of it. He can also claim that the brain is "just" a computer but he is not axplaining to us who put together such a computer! This is a classic case of all bark and no bite.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  815. JP

    Do I agree? The question should be, do I believe in an imaginary man in the sky that says I can't do these 10 things or I'll burn in Hell for eternity? But he loves me! Give me a break. Religion is just another way for corporate america, I'm sorry, thieves to make more and more money, untaxed, leaving the hardworking man behind in poverty. Don't get me started.
    JP – Richmond, VA

    May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  816. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    No one knows of the Day or the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and I personally think he is a false prophet. The other individual is going to know when they die if there is a heaven or a hell with a perfect knowledge. Everyone will.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  817. Luis Lopez

    A big fairy tale. Life ends for you the moment you die and thats it. Learn to live with this.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  818. Mark P

    of course Hawking is correct . Man created so many Gods over our human history. Each eon believed that the gods were true. Heaven was created as the pay off for a life completely surrendered to wise tricksters who learned early how to scare fellow man into dong their bidding .. Fairy tales work if you keep the flock from asking questions and securing an education ...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  819. eyeinthesky

    Of course he's right jack. It's amazing today that some people still believe in Heaven (in which they can not see), but to think there could be life somewhere out there in the Universe is too far fetched to them. It's time we start believing in reality instead of God or God's. Try telling a child that losing their mom or dad at age five was for the better and will only make them stronger. BS. Some things in life are just too harsh for one to deal with and not something a loving and caring God would put one through. Heaven is indeed a Fairy tale.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  820. Dennis Lucas

    No, we do not agree. Heaven is a real place that, after this life, we hope to attain! Peace and Serenity is as Peace and Sernity is! See you there....

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  821. Lynda Smith

    These two are both wrong. I believe in an after life which we personally choose for our own self by the decisions we make now. The Bible clearly says (Matt. 24:36) no man knows the day or the hour when the end will come. It will come but if we are right with God it only means we will finally reach the perfection we all strive so hard to get here.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  822. Lloyd

    Yes I agree and its too bad that more people don't see the obvious reality that religions such as Christianity and Islam and Judaism are pure fiction and do much more harm than good.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  823. Janet

    No, Mr. Hawkins is a brilliant scientist, but I couldn't disagree more with him. My faith is based on the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

    Janet
    Plano, TX

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  824. Ben

    I 100% Agree.

    Heaven is a lie we tell ourselves to make us feel more comfortable about death. We fear death so much that at some point we invented a fairy tale land to help us embrace our ultimate end. This invention led to other questions like "Who runs heaven". Enter the notion of "God". What are the rules? Enter religion. What if I break the rules? Enter the idea of "Hell".

    All you need is one generation to belive the theory of heaven and pass it on to their offspring and then the offspring grow up beliving it as fact and pass it on to their offspring and so on and so forth. Then you are born, your parents spoon feed the idea to you as a child and you grow up beliving the fairy tale.

    Thinking of death saddens us, but to live with a false promise, in my opinion, is even sadder.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  825. karen mcmullen

    As an atheist of course I don't believe there is a heaven., but love to hear that Hawkin's agree's. When I was little our sunday school made a heaven, white clouds with Jesus on a throne and two angels on each side. the street was paved with gold wrapping paper. they had a small choir singing also. I remember thinking , if this is heaven I don't want to go, how boring and I was only 8.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  826. Henri D. Kahn

    Of course there is a heaven. Where else will we go when we die after living a life of respect and love for people?
    Heaven represents hope, serenity and a great journey filled with happiness and the opportunity to meet deceased friends or family members.
    People that believe in heaven always strive to do the best they can.
    I believe in God and just know that my death will simply be a rebirth to a fantastic life.
    Henri D. Kahn
    Laredo, Texas

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  827. Herb

    I would hope for Hawking's sake that hell is a 'fairy story', perhaps moreso. God help his soul.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  828. Hiro

    I agree with Hawking. Heaven is a concept dreamed up for convenience by men.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  829. Emilio

    I do not believe there is a heaven. In all my life I have never seen any indication that it exists. The whole belief system of Christianity asks you to have faith and believe in God without any evidence and that is something I can't do.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  830. Sandy Smith

    Physicist Hawking would enjoy knowing that, yes there is an afterlife, that it is a spiritual not a physical one and we will be learning in ages to come. Unfortunately, he has not been exposed to the True Gospel which is easily proved by evidence to be true so that he could believe. We would love to teach him this knowledge if he wishes. Christianity is not teaching the truth about Yahshua the Messiah whose name is not Jesus. For starts he could go to soundingthetrumpet.com and read various topics that give the basics of the TRUTH.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  831. Jed

    Yes, I agree with Stephen Hawking. Carl Sagan would have agreed with him too. If we have absolutely no evidence of something's existence, there's no reason to believe it exists.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  832. Jeff

    Yes I agree, unfortunately I have educated myself just enough to find relegion nothing more than a feel good story, and to hell for anyone that dares question!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  833. Rick

    Mr. Hawkings may not be 100% correct, time will tell. However, he is far more correct than most. I am in utter disbelief that such a majority of the population still believes in the various entites described in organized, or dis-organized for that matter, religions. Steven Hawkings has spent a lifetime in very intense, intelligent study of the universe and almost every religious person blindly follows a regious leader or two and a book. Who is apt to have a better answer.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  834. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    It matters not whether I agree with Stephen Hawking or not. His beliefs and faith is his personal business. I only wish he would leave it that way and is how I will leave it, personal. He remains an exceptional mind who does admit there is an energy in the universe greater than ourselves which we are all connected to, one man's God – one man's theory.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  835. tomicT

    Hawking has delved into the unknown. His opinions are his and here for you to dissolve & analyze. Do not hate the man. Respect his opinions & his thoughts. Much respect to you, Mr. Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  836. chip woods

    Hawking is absolutely right. The concept of Heaven fits into the same category that promotes the tooth-fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and president Donald Trump!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  837. Bill Kilpatrick

    All attempts to explain what happens when we die are "fairy stories." Nobody alive enough to write about death was ever dead enough to quality, and nobody dead enough to qualify ever did much writing. These are stories that express our hopes and yearnings – or, in some cases, our paranoia and fear. They neither prove nor disprove anything. They're what we whistle when we pass the graveyard.

    Bill Kilpatrick, Lakeland, Florida

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  838. Verma

    It is true that there is no heaven or hell after death, every thing is here on the earth. Man created God, heaven and hell just to satisfy his own anxiety about death. (see the book by Chandler Smith- Man Created God)

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  839. Erich Faver

    When you are a child you figure out that the easter bunny wasn't real, what a bummer. Then it is Santa Clause, even bigger bummer. The problem is people stop there and don't realize the fairly simple notion that an invisible man watching us in the sky is absurd.

    How come god watching us all the time is a common idea but Santa Clause watching us is crazy for an adult to believe? It is the same thing. Both abstract ideas to make humans feel like they are special even though we are clearly not ( just look at the way we treat each other).

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  840. Ruthie CW

    I've always admired Hawking. To be honest I admire his brilliance and his strength as he faces his disease. Hawking is brilliant in a way we haven't seen since Einstein. And we remember how brilliantly fallible he was! While we all have a right to our beliefs, it was the hand of God that created this wonderful Universe that has given Hawking his job! I, for one, look forward to spending eternity with Hawking's Employer.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  841. David

    John Lennon had it right!...It is a very controversial topic,however i believe when you are dead,life is over and to believe there is an after-life is comforting for some,if not the majority....but Hawkins also has it right!So "Love" those closest to you and provide help to the less fortunate as a 'Humanist" it is the right thing to do.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  842. K.D., Ohio

    Absolutely. Throughout history religion has successfully been used to control the masses and has given nothing more than a false sense of security. Stephen Hawking is a brilliant man with brilliant ideas and views. The world would be a much better place if we listened to him.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  843. Sam from Tennessee

    Heaven is real. It is a place inside of us that brings us peace, warmth, and love.

    Hell is also real. It is a place inside of us that brings us hostility, cold-heartedness, and hate.

    Any church that preaches inequality against anyone will find no Heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  844. Tony - Atlanta

    Yes of course it is. Like the other feel good stories it was created when our species was in our infancy and didnt have any answers about most things. We have a innate fear of our own mortality and wish that there is something more despite the evidence that shows there isnt.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  845. Jiminy C

    In this day of scientific discovery, black holes, protons, quarks, bosons, et cetera, why is it that the majority of humans on this planet continue to cling so fiercely to their antiquated religions (and their guns).
    Jiminy C.
    Idaho

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  846. Dean

    If we want to save humanity and civilization we are going to need to stop believing in fairy stories and God is one of worst.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  847. Ken Gresk

    Absolutely agree. Heaven is a fairy tale, angles are fairy tales, and god is a fairy tale too. Belief is between your own two ears, and defies reason, logic and common sense. Think about taking responsibility for your actions, because that's all you really have.

    Ken G
    Manchester CT

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  848. James

    Yeah. Heaven is a fantasy. As a matter of fact, the Bible never implicitly states that we go into Heaven when we die. It is merely where God and his angels reside.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  849. Raptor

    Wow so many assumptions but no evidence

    Man exists because Nature had a niche for us to fill

    There is no heaven, no hell no god ect...

    What happens after we die I dont know but I do know ALL the religions are wrong

    I say enjoy life and stop worrying about death

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  850. Drew M

    I agree with Dr. Hawking. I noticed how you poked fun at the May 21st rapturists. To us atheists, 'regular' christians (and other religious people) are as much a joke as the rapturist.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  851. Clint White

    Until Hawkins travels to the uttermost reaches of this universe and beyond, then how does he know? Got Jesus? It's hell without Him.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  852. Martin Linskey

    Fiat Lux
    Prof. Hawking has penetrated some of the most complex problems in astrophysics such as the role of gravity in a black hole. That is a rational problem. Hawking's proteges in the world of astrophysics recently postulated that the universe is infinite. Considering the possibility that the universe is infinite, one ought not be so definitive regarding the existence of heaven as Prof. Hawking is. In our universe today, thanks to science, just about anything is possible, including a fairy tale story such as heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  853. Dr. Zom

    Of course I agree with Hawking. Any thinking person should. The Judeao Christian mythology is no different than any other mythology, except that it is the one that this culture believes at this point in history. There is no objective reason to give more credence to this myth than any other. I will be pleasantly surprised if I am wrong, but if I am right I never get to say, "I told you so".

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  854. Zack from NC

    Yes, it's an absolute fairy story. Anyone with a proper understanding of history, psychology and physical sciences can understand that. But those who are still locked inside an antiquated understanding of how our universe works will always rely on a more simplistic explanation. Truth be told, religion has suffered several enormous death nails recently such as sub-atomic chemistry and the Hubble Deep Field. But sadly, as long as people continue to fear death, no amount of logic or reason will ever stop them from believing in complete nonsense.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  855. Michael

    I have to agree with Mr. Hawking. We're beyond the age of Fairy Tales.
    The opium for the masses hasn't worked for me, for many decades.
    Religion is institutionalized hearsay.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  856. Sean

    Stephen Hawking's word is gospel when it comes to everything else, so why not listen to what he has to say about religion? It's no coincidence that some of the most prominent atheists like Hawking and Richard Dawkins also happen to be some of the smartest people in the world, and it's no coincidence that the most modern, educated nations in the world like Holland, Denmark, and Sweden are the least religious countries in the world.

    Sean, Ohio

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  857. Joe Gehl

    My father died in 1975 after a 4 year battle with ALS. I sure hope there is a heaven and I'll see him again if I get there. There's only one problem, I agree with Professor Hawking 100%. Intelligent, rational, thinking people can only conclude that all the religious mumbo jumbo we've been fed over the years really does amount to just another fairy tale. But I hope I'm wrong.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  858. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    Stephen should dig a little deeper into the field of physics and apply concepts found there to help him define where heaven is. Heaven is all around us, it is not a physical place that has a zip code. Our creator is living beyond time. We are trapped in a three dimensional world that has a clock ticking. God is not limited to the world he created since he was outside of our world when he created it. Stephen knows that there can be a physical universe that is beyond the limits of the seed of light. God can cover the whole universe since he knows no limitations even the one imagined by E=MC2. Stephen, think beyond do not think within.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  859. A. McCoy

    Absolutely NOT!! Heaven is a place where the one true God resides and where the most credible man to ever walk the face of this earth(Jesus Christ) lives. I am a proud follower of Christ and his word says No man knows the day nor the hour of his second advent. It is this event and this event alone will bring about the end of this word.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  860. Americanshark

    There is a distinct difference between "smart" and "intelligence." I am continually astounded that so many people think Hawking is either.He is bright, understands physics and that does NOT give him credence in the area of theology or my beliefs.

    I believe in God and thus in heaven. Period.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  861. james

    Heaven and Hell are both states which the soul experiences after death but before being born into a new body. They are parts of the review of the life just completed. They are not places, nor is Satan any sort of being.
    God is everything........ The Creator, The Preserver and the Destroyer. We are simply too ignorant to possibly comprehend his plan, although everything which happens to us is for our long term good because God loves all of creation.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  862. John Lines

    Of course peoples"notions" about heaven are fairt tales!People's notions about science have led to beliefs like the earth is flat or leeching blood is good for people.These notions became the datum points of profound stupidity and ignorance.So wwhen you start telling an evolved scientist like Hawking about Pearly Gaates,and people flying around in robes with halos,he's going to look at you like I looked at"grownups" when I was a kid!
    One spiritual writer refers to God as the "infinite organizing intelligence of the universe" and I not only like that but I bet Mr Hawking could accept that concept wwith the understanding that "infinite" means God isn't some "Grand Old Sire"but in fact something we can't conceive from the perspective of mortality.So trying to imagine where that essence dwells is nothing more than a child attempting to grasp physics.Only worse,so I'm with Hawking people have pent a lot of energy trying to understand something beyond our mortal ken.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  863. Adam Crook

    Although I have a high degree of respect of Stephen Hawking and his amazing theories of the universe, I have to remind him that Thomas Paine, a famous America back in the colonial age of America, said that "my mind is my own church". Even if heaven doesn't exist to him or that he is not the son of Jesus, it is his fundamental right to believe in that manner since science is his church in which he prays upon. However, despite how many idiots exist in the Christian religion, he cannot deny it to those who believe in Christ and to those who believe it in peaceful means. Religious faith and science can parallel and co-exist with each other other in this great country of America because our Constitution permits it. However, when either science or religious in the name of evil, then it is our Constitutional duty to quarantine the evil when it harms human lives.

    Adam C.

    Madison, WI

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  864. Amy from Honolulu

    We have no reason to believe there is a 'Heaven' nor any proof. Many early religions believed in multiple gods. Many of today's religious believe in one god. (I acknowledge Hinduism as an exception, but none of the hindus I know could tell me the difference between Shiva and Ganesh outside of appearance) Hopefully we're evolving to phase out gods and realizing the truth. Hawking is ahead of the curve. He's already there in understanding physics ahead of most. Einstein also said the God he believed in was the order of nature and science. I have to agree. Let's hope mankind finds this new belief system sooner as opposed to later. Suicide bombers come in the form of religious folk. There aren't Einsteins and Hawkings out there who do any damage to fellow human beings. Instead, they contribute to scientific understandings.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  865. AL-B

    Jack,
    I would believe more that our brain is a computer and when we die we die! But to say there is a god and we will go to heaven? That’s kind of hard to believe!

    Los Angeles

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  866. John Krikorian

    Jack,
    I agree with Stephen Hawking. And what if the bible stories were written hundreds of years ago by a bunch of stoners wanting to play a huge practical joke? What a disaster if true! What would holy folk like priests and bishops do? Find a respectable job? Be retrained as web designers or pest control technicans? Is there a program to remove faith and belief and pedophila like there is to turn a gay guy straight? Heaven and religion are big business. It's also the biggest snow job since the Great Blizzard of 1888! It's just a darn shame more people don't think like Stephen Hawking .. what a better place we would be in today. So get real folks.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  867. Joyce

    I do not believe in heaven or hell. Watching scientific programs
    such as "The Universe" and others, you come to realize how
    insignificant we really are. It's a violent universe out there,
    hardly a place for a heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  868. Jenny A

    Jack,

    Yes, I believe in heaven. While living in Texas I recieved a 10 second peek. I saw a street that was gold. It was one of the revelations the Holy Spirit gave me because I was going through an unusually difficult time. It is funny once you see a manifestation of Christ or God, you will never be the same again. I am praying that many more people will see these manifestations. If one keeps asking Jack, I believe the Holy Spirit will show it if we are sincere in our asking.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  869. Pat

    I strongly disagree with Mr. Hawking. Ofcourse, since he is a scientist he can explain how events occurred. My question is, who set those events into motion? Who place the planet Earth at just the right distance from the sun? Who, put all that ability into your brain? God Did! There is a Heaven for our spirit, not for our worn out body! Just think Mr. Hawking, if you were to accept Jesus into your heart RIGHT NOW, when you got to Heaven, you would have a perfect body...with NO disease. Thats the "Fairy Tale" I LOVE to believe in!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  870. Chuck Keyser

    The Bible got it wrong:

    On the sixth day, God invented beer and pizza, and all was good.

    On the seventh day, while God rested and watched television, Satan snuck in and created aerobics classes and Republicans....

    May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  871. Jake

    There is no life, no existence, following death. The concept of heaven is a panacea for those who fear dying.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  872. Jeremy D from Michigan

    I am very devout in my belief in Jesus Christ. I am not religious though, and I don't believe going to church or good deeds has anything to do with whether one will go to heaven or not. I respect Stephen Hawking's personal opinion, and respect his theory's on black holes and physics. I will write that if there is no God, and therefor, no after-life, then that is pretty depressing Jack. If one doesn't believe in such things, then what exactly is the point of morality? Why not murder anyone you want if you can get away with it? If we are just space dust that accidentally formed into life over billions of year, then why not? I'm sure no one will read this, but it is an interesting concept for the person who moderates these to read.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  873. Martin

    Is this question different than let say: " Do you believe in Santa Claus", or "The Easter Bunny" ?
    Indeed, heaven is a product of our imagination, a wishful thinking imbeded in our tendency to resist growing up and acepting the world the way it is, along with its responsibilities.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  874. Adam

    Yes I agree with Hawkings that Heaven is a fairy tale. Religion was a necessity. And to participate in religion one needed faith. From religion, Science was born to replace the old system of answers to the great questions. Faith is not needed for science. Science cannot prove if there is or is not an afterlife. Although science has successfully disproved enough of the religious precepts; like the garden of Eden, Adam and eve, Noah and the ark, etc... that the question of an afterlife is just an afterthought. No there is not afterlife. That is what makes this life we have so precious.

    Adam
    Washington, D.C.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  875. Vanessa

    Hawkings has a right to his beliefs. He never had the chance to see the vision I saw in 1987 of another world or the "afterlife" as I am now positive exists. We may differ, but I was also diagnosed with ALS six years ago which caused me to have an even stronger faith. I believe Mr. Hawkings will someday be pleasantly surprised that an afterlife does indeed exist..

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  876. bobcat

    "Imagine there's no heaven, it"s easy if you try,
    No hell below us, above us only sky"
    -John Lennon

    No one has ever found any evidence of a heaven, and no one can prove a negative, so Stephen is correct until proven wrong.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  877. Tintin

    Concept of heaven is the best example of brainwashing. This is the most effective way of controlling others. If you do bad you go to hell. If you do good you go to heaven. If you keep telling the same lie over and over there is a tendency for people to believe that this must be true because it has been said by many for so long.

    But watch out Darwin has only been here for 150 years. Heaven and hell will be a thing in the past soon.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  878. Ryan Reed

    Religion is just man inability to deal with his own mortality. There is no here after or final judgment at the end of our lives. Unfortunately people cant deal with evil people getting off scot-free or that good people will disappear forever into nothingness so we invent a here after so that the evil are punished and so we can see our loved ones again. These are nice thoughts that give us comfort but so was the idea of a night light keeping the monsters at bay as children.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  879. Iva

    Yes, I agree. Religion is easier than thinking. Wake up everyone, to the truth even if it hurts.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  880. Sandy Duncan

    Heaven is real. Hawkings is a very intelligent human... but he is only to reason with HUMAN intelligence. The smartest ant in the hill can figure out a lot, but he will never understand the mechanics of something as simple as the shoes that humans wear. the same is true with Mr. Hawkings. All of us ants down here in this tiny hill, trying to figure out things that humans cannot comprehend.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  881. michael in irvine, ca

    The hands of man created man
    His mind created god
    And not even this will matter
    When you're buried 'neath the sod.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  882. Bruce

    Heaven and Hell are obviously bronze age fairy tales. Most of the seven billion people on earth are NOT Christians. Yet according to Christians, only those who worship their invisible Jesus God will fly off to eternal bliss. According to Christians, everyone else, including millions of scientists who don't believe in any Gods, will burn in Hell forever. Do Christians actually believe this nonsense? Sadly, many do. Shame on all you priests and pastors for brainwashing millions of people with superstitious garbage.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  883. Jason

    The people suggesting that there is a heaven often require proof from folks like Hawkins.... that's the most outrageous viewpoint to take!

    Prove to me there's no cookie monster that lives in a cave on Mars! Impossible...

    Try looking at what can be proven or explained instead of telling us your convinced because "you just know it" because the bible says so.. This is the same book that list out the Ten Commandments in one breath and in the next chapter explains the proper way to trade slaves and to sell your daughter.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  884. Nicole A.

    I believe that there is a heaven. How is it possible that we just live and die? We have a sense of what is right and wrong. We care about other people and make sacrifices for those we love. How can any of our feelings, our thoughts, the essence of who we are just stop existing? Whether the world really ends in October, I have my doubts. There are always people that try to predict when the world will end.
    Just because there is no tangible evidence that there is no heaven does not mean that it does not exist. What Stephen Hawking does not realize is that sometimes you just have to have faith in something. He also doesn't realize that the fact he is still alive after being diagnosed with ALS is a miracle. He lived for 49 years after the diagnosis, if that's possible, then can't heaven exist?

    -Fairfield, CA

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  885. Steve Lady

    If the choice is believing the law of gravity is eternal or God is eternal, I must believe in God. I've seen too much science revised in my lifetime with the words, "we now know", to blindly believe in science.

    I just don't have enough faith to be an atheist.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  886. Carol

    Mr. Hawking has been living a fairy tale the past 40 some years, that is as far as fairy tales go. I feel sorry for his thinking and cannot understand where he comes up with those ideas. If he is a Christian (which he obviously is not), but if he is, what kind of hallucination is he going through!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  887. Justice Dominic

    Yes Stephen, there is a God. Just as sure as you can think yourself to the edge of the universe, some of us can think beyond the universe. This Power of Thought has helped create a better world here through a more civil, and ever improving, world society. Because you live in a more caring world you have lived longer to share your immense but self limited perception of the world.

    J D

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  888. Ray Florida

    Just as Santa and the Easter Bunny, the stories of the bible are based on tales by second hand witnesses and copiled by the ruler Constantine. A loving god would not allow the Holocost or the genocide of Darfur or Cambodia.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  889. J. REYES

    " A creation can not explain the creator or a higher realm of existence. Hawkins is a brilliant mind, he said that the universe is infinite and it's constantly expanding. Can he explain to me how come something infinite can be expanding? To where?..,Soon enough him and all of us will find out if heaven is a fairly tale or not. If he is wrong he is in trouble...If I'm wrong will it matters?
    God bless, America
    jer

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  890. Dan Levey (Los Angeles, CA)

    Scientists throughout the ages like Galileo and Darwin have stated controversial facts that challenge religious doctrine and have all been proven right. In a few hundred years, Hawkings will be believed as well.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  891. cj

    Yes I agree with him. Honestly... Just think about what the dream of heaven is suppose to be and anyone with half a brain would see its a fantasy for desperate people trying to justify their existence being any more important then what it is.

    As for the bible. Try telling a story to one of your friends, then have them tell one of theirs and so on and so on over a 20 year time period. Then try asking the person who was last told the story and see how incorrect and how the facts have changed and been exaggerated. Now multiply that by 1000 times and you have the so called facts made up in the bible, not to mention all the facts lost through translation. "A man living inside a giant fish"? Come on!! Sheeessshhhh

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  892. Gary G., Wasco CA

    Sure, I believe in heaven. As far as the date and time all of the excitement is to happen, nobody knows. One thing is for sure...when that time comes, old Hawking's little speaker box will be sounding like R2D2 beeping and bopping with a quick melt down- as sure as there is a Heaven, there is a Hell.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  893. Gregg Davis

    I am amazed that someone so smart cannot see that our amazing universe (both outerspace and innerspace) and our own amazing bodies with such compexity and order could have been formed simply by chance from the chaos of a big bang explosion. There has to be a creator God behind it all and since he says there is a heaven then I believe Him.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  894. Bob Fritsch

    Jack,

    Of course I agree with Dr. Hawkings. Heaven is a creation of humans,just as all religions are creations of humans. If you were able to do a statistical analysis I belief you would have to conclude that religions have caused much more suffering and strife than good. The belief in oblivion is not only rational, but liberating as well! Indeed, have a nice weekend.

    Bob Fritsch
    Marshall, WI

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  895. Larry Cassano III

    Not only do I agree with what Dr. Hawking said, but I am glad that somebody is finally calling religion in general what it is, fantasy. I went to catholic school my whole life, and I am working on my PHD in history right now, and I can tell you without any hesitation that religion is used to pray upon our most vulnerable part of our being.

    Answer me this, if there are 1.7 billion Muslims in the world, and 1.5 billion Catholics, and 1.3 billion Hindu's and they all believe in three separate deity's, who is right?

    All religion has ever brought us is every "ism" in the world, and every war ever fought. It's time for America to wake up and agree that religion is the greatest trick man ever pulled on man. And until we agree that it belongs in the same realm as Star Wars, none of us are safe.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  896. Rick

    Professor Hawking is not just brilliant, he's right. Religious myths are useless to intelligent, well-adjusted humans. That leaves room for billions of believers.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  897. Carl

    Yes, the sooner religion is removed from the world the better, it is no longer a force binding man together, but has become a wedge dividing humanity into petty groups.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  898. Bobby

    It's a myth. No one still believes in Zeus, Thor, Apollo, or Ra do they? People also don't believe a stork brings baby. It's preposterous to think there is a perfect physicist mathematician psychic sitting out in space somewhere on a cloud waiting to judge you. If he created us in his image, he must love gays, as he keeps making them. It's a control ploy to control people who are afraid of the dark and think they are too special to just be born, live, grow old, and die. Life is precious, and you only get one....so maybe if we live in harmony you could create a heaven on earth....but ya know....man being man and all and god not existing and timeless battle of my imaginary friend is better than yours, it's not going to happen.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  899. Shad - Oklahoma City

    Heaven, as many people envision it, may well be a "fairy story," e.g. harps, halos, etc. But God is real...and so is the place where he dwells, i.e. Heaven. Whatever Heaven's appearance may be, it's reality is undeniable to those who have earnestly sought to know of its existence. "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  900. Southernthoughts

    It really doesn't matter what any of us believe. There is or there is not an afterlife; it's not a matter of opinion. I suspect that everyone who has registered a comment, including myself, will be quite surprised at what the lifted curtain at the moment of death reveals.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  901. James

    I grew up in a religious family. As an adult, I took the time and effort to honestly examine the beliefs of my family and the concept of religion in general. My conclusions are much the same as Dr. Hawking's.

    While I cannot say for a 100% certainty that there is no god or afterlife, given the lack of evidence for either I choose to live my life as if neither exists.

    I truly believe that I am a better person since I realized that only those I have wronged can ever forgive me my trespasses.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  902. Shane

    Heaven and hell are fantasies created by man to convince people that if they do right they live eternally in bliss and if they do wrong, they live eternally in misery. There is no evidence to back up either but since most people think they are "good", it makes them feel more than dust in the wind which is what we are after we die.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  903. Melanie

    God has given us what we need to know through His Son, Jesus, the Messiah. God also graciously gave us a historical record of Jesus and His life and words. If a person is truly seeking God through their questions and explorations, etc. they will find Him.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  904. Don

    Yes, he is correct. This minority opinion though results in condemnation by most people who challenge the prevailing view. It takes courage to hold unpopular views. To be sure, we will ultimately find out this answer for ourselves. Nobody living knows the answer to the age old question.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  905. Nana

    I understand Hawking's position clearly. But let's get real here, what else should a believer in God's and heavens existence expect from an atheist like Hawking? Admitting to the existence of heaven is a firm approach to admitting to God's existence. Therefore an atheist position like Hawking shouldn't be a surprise at all.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  906. Mike

    Absolutely. There is nothing in this world that divides usw more than religion and nothing that is more dangerous to our very existence. It is way past time for us to shed these archaic beliefs and evolve. I'm proud to say that I'm a rational, practical minded athiest who loves and enjoys adn worries about THIS life, not the nest one..

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  907. Jacqueline Mongeot

    No Heaven = no Hell
    Whom to believe? The Bible? Mr. Hawkin?
    The Bible is a series of stories transmitted from mouth to ear, repeated zillion times very creatively, until King James I declared his version the official one.
    Mr. Hawkin bases his conclusion on science and the Big Bang theory.
    No one will ever know the truth. Human beings make the choice for themselves according to their conscience. Botton line: we are all responsible for our actions, no one else.
    Jacqueline
    San Diego

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  908. Mark Kruse

    Jack,
    The concepts of heaven and an afterlife allow us to live in denial.
    It is instinctual to want to survive, so with our unique ability to forecast
    our own mortality, we create and even require these concepts.

    Mark,
    Durham, NC

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  909. BigEyeseesall

    So God created a Heaven but it thought it would be neat if we lived in a Hell on Earth before we got to go there? Also, if he makes no mistakes and everyone is perfect, then how do we explain wars, violence, and evil? Oh, right, that's the Devil's work. So who creates people God or the Devil. I'm already confused. Sorry folks, Hawking is right.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  910. manuel pagan

    I believe in Jesus Christ, but not even heaven's Angels will know the time of his 2nd comming to earth.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  911. Joe

    The notion of there being a heaven is ridiculous. The bible has been used as a tool to control the likes of the common man for centuries all the while the church gets healthy rich. The 15% of money earned by a member has to go to the church. I call it buying your way in to a fairy tale story with an exciting ending. Religion is nothing more than the programming of ones mind to think as they do and to not allow an individual an objective opinion. Christians breed Christians. Its why abortion is still a social issue. So objectively i would have to say that heaven is a sick joke that has gotten to many killed.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  912. Clinton Ortiz

    Steven Hawking ought to be utterly ashamed of himself, for to deny something you've never seen before simply because you believe it not to be there will prove man's ulitmate hubris, spoken out of sheer pride (of himself), and complete ignorance (of his Maker).

    May 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  913. ScoEis

    I retain a healthy skepticism about the existence of a supreme being and an afterlife. I'd like to believe but have issues with the things that this supreme being lets transpire in it's name. Bottom line, religion is a creation of man. If god exists, it shouldn't let ignorant humans use belief as a tool for hate.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  914. Kristine in British Columbia

    I believe there is a place of learning once we leave this life – a place of great love. We are but forms of energy, each vibrating and evolving at different rates. I guess you could call it heaven if you were to give it a name.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  915. Allen

    People are scared of dying before they are ready. Religions give us comfort by saying we have immortal souls. Sorry, when your brain fails all thoughts and emotions die with it.keep believing you poor "souls.'

    May 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  916. Tom from Arlington, Texas

    I have far more reasons to believe in God and Heaven than not to, simply because I have hope of a future here... now and forever. I would rather die and believe in God and thus Heaven and find out it was all wrong... than to die and not believe and find out I was wrong. Perhaps it is a persons lack of believe that allows for so much abuse and violence in the world... so in the end I choose to believe - Tom

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  917. JD

    Hi Jack,

    I agree with Dr. Hawking. The idea of heaven and hell is an important piece of many peoples belief system. I respect other people's rights to express their beliefs and to live by a chosen set of values. I do not respect other people when they take it upon themselves to take charge how the rest of us choose to live. We have enough extremes of intolerance in the world. I think the extremist Muslims have a sound argument against Christian crusaders occupying their land and influencing their way of life. There is a lesson here to instruct our foreign and domestic policies.

    very respectfully,
    JD
    San Diego

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  918. JesusMyLove

    I'm a Christian therefore I believe in God and I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins.
    Yes,I believe in heaven.
    As for Steven Hawking,he too will believe in heaven after he dies.
    About Harold Camping and his followers: they should read the Bible because Jesus said that no one knows the day nor the hour of His Second Coming.
    When we accept the Lord as Our Savior,we are always ready if we walk in obedience to His Word.
    Like the Bible says:"Let God be true and every man a liar."

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  919. Elizabeth

    "There is none so blind as he who will not see." God is real and we can see and hear Him with our souls and hearts. But some choose to close their hearts and souls off to Him. Heaven is where God is. To be with God our Creator, our Father, our Savior for eternity, is to be in Heaven.

    But God will not force Mr. Hawkings to believe or go to Heaven, if he chooses to not believe.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  920. Jason

    Jack,

    People created Heaven and Hell and Purgatory to give them a sense of non-ending when they die and everyone who claims that 'they know they have a place by God's side at the end' are just furthering that point. People are innately and understandingly afraid of the dark end when we die, but that's exactly what it is. It's very hard for us to contemplate or imagine something like the very very end, when it's black. No dreams, no waking up. When we die, it is indeed a long sleep, a sleep where we never awake, and we cease to exist.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  921. john

    jack,

    is it not ironic that stephen hawkins is in the situation he is. he comes from the same group of scientist's that can't predict tomorrows weather. yet, he wants to tell us how the universe was created.
    if he is so brillant....why cant he find a cure for his illness ?
    he knows how to create a universe !
    i will be praying for you before sat ....judgement day.
    believe me.....you don't want to be left behind.

    John

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  922. Christine Cramton

    Has S. Hawkings died to verify the non-existence of Heaven?
    I wouldn't know I am still living.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  923. Rev Ed

    I think it sad that Hawking can think so poorly of fairy tales. One might think he was implying that fairy tales only teach lies, not truth in metaphor. I may never expect to meet a talking wolf in the forest, but certainly I should be wary of strangers ... Oh, one more thing. When I was a baby in my mothers womb, I never expected a world beyond it.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  924. mike

    If a person does not believe in the after life, they must also believe there is no God. I believe God exists by all the miracles and help He has given to so many people all through time. His Son preached life-everlasting. I came to know this to be true when I held my new-born daughter for the first time. I feel sorry for Mr. Hawking.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  925. Spencer

    The honest answer is "I don't know." I hope there is, but there probably isn't.

    If that makes me an Agnostic, so be it.

    Guess now I won't be able to run for any public office.

    – Spencer
    Philadelphia, PA

    May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  926. Frieda Hill

    I agree with you Jack! All living things, which includes human beings, are biological and when the systems in a biological being cease, the organisim dies and is consumed by other living things such as bacteria. When one understands life it becomes clear that heaven is a figment of someones imagination. Humans have wonderful imaginations, but should learn the difference between reality and imangined scenarios.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  927. gerald

    Fairy tale? Belief in the afterlife is a triumph of the human imagination. We are inclined to believe in anything that purports to extend our existence on this planet. Nothing wrong with that but are there many who understand that we as a species are subject to the same life cycle that prevails over all the other species inhabiting this Earth. The core principles that prevail here are those of ecology and mortality; those that are inherent in and determine the existence of each and every living thing.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  928. Jonathan

    Yes, Hawking is most likely correct but the belief in God or other almighty beings is probably part of the evolution of an intelligent life form just like we put animals in different categories based on whether or not they perceive their reflection in a mirror as themselves or not.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  929. bonnie

    Since the higher IQ, the less likely a belief in god, I agree with him.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  930. KingForADay

    Of course heaven is a fairy story. I find it amazing that people believe that Jesus had super powers and dead people get to hang out with him in his fortress of solitude in the sky! They believe where there is no proof and call an entire field of science where the proof is overwhelming (biology/evolution) a fairy story! God help them! They need it more than I do!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  931. Evan

    I don't think Heaven is real and neither is God. The world and everything in it is ruled by physics, not some mystical man in the sky. The idea of Heaven is one made by man to cope with the fear of death. The idea of nothing after death is frightening and people invented Heaven, God and religion to deal with that fear. People often mistake the coincidence of life for the "miracle of the creator".

    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  932. dalecia

    The time is at hand so I guess peple need to realise there's a living god and he died for us and he's coming again. No one knows the time nor the hour.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  933. richard texido

    I agree totally with Steven hawkins and also think it's some fable that someone made . If the only proof we have is the Bible tells us so, then we haven't evolved since it was written way back then. No one has come back to tell us that they were in heaven and it was just like they said,, streets paved with gold , heavenly choir, and no one is sick or old. OH yeah, that's because why would you want to come back?

    richard buffalo new york

    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  934. Ira

    He's British?

    Yes, I agree. I tend to go with the scientific facts as they can be proven and make sense to me. Living life now is something I am doing and I am convinced it is real. Heaven is obviously a fairy story, didn't people believe in sea monsters, the Earth being flat and the sun traveling around the Earth, witches, etc. back then? We seemed to have figured out that most of it didn't exist or make sense. I think many hang on to things like the belief in "heaven" because it makes them feel like they have a purpose here now. I think the whole thought of it is childish and silly.

    Chatsworth, CA

    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  935. xnay

    Nothing new here.People have been questioning since time began.

    But a cat could not comprehend nuclear physics why should we think we have the faintest hope of comprehending God.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  936. MA

    Stephen Hawking has been wrong before on assumptions hd made in his chosen field. Why would he be correct about anything in the spiritual world? He's free to say what he wants bit he's a classic scientific Humanist qnd not someone I'd want to discuss the divine with much less take advice from. I don't need his opinion to light the blue touch paper of faith.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  937. Bev from Georgia

    I agree with Professor Hawking. There is no scientific evidence for a god (of any ilk) or an afterlife – good or bad. God is truly the opiate of the masses, a soft pillow to land on when life gets tough. Don't like the idea of dying (which is a necessary evolutionary trait)? Don't worry, your god will take you into his arms on your death and give you the afterlife you feel you deserve. And, as an added bonus, he will punish anyone who ever slighted you in this life. (The zero-sum game is also an evolutionary trait.) Do you see Jesus in the grilled cheese sandwich? The brain is wired to seek out patterns in nonsensical images – this trait helped the hunter in prehistoric society pick out game in the forest. Sorry, folks, science might not have all the answers right now, but I find more answers in science than I ever did in your collection of pieced-together manuscripts. Darwin bless you all!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  938. Steven

    Yes, I agree with Hawking. Humans, for some reason or another, tend to have a yearning for some afterlife where everything will be “perfect” and then delude themselves in to believe that it exist. If more people would examine the world in depth and examine their own mind, they would realize that the mind is probably nothing more than a complex neural network that will die like everything else in the universe will.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  939. Trog

    Jack,

    Its a sad statement regarding newsworthy items when you need to ask "do you believe what one of the most preemininent thinkers of our time believes" Most people beleive what they believe out of habit and the social constructs they were born and raised into. No one wants to die and the concept of "an end" is difficult for most people to grasp.

    The concepts of heaven and hell are nice psychological cushions that help us deal with the daily grind because without them, that grind would be unbearable for most people. I, and a growing number of others, no longer have a need for such a belief to find joy and value in day-to-day life. I, in fact, find life much more precious and enjoyable knowing that this is all there is. The knowledge that there is nothing beyond this life encourages me to take risks, relish each moment and make my time here count.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  940. dave_in_altmar

    Count me with Hawking.

    "Heaven" and "Hell" are constructs created by charlatans to control the masses of humanity – the religious equivalent to the carrot and the stick.

    Organized religion has caused so much pain, death and destruction since its inception. There's no way any all-powerful "God" would allow all this, hence, there's no "God", and logically, there's no "Heaven" or "Hell".

    End o' Fable. Sorry...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  941. Adam Peake

    The bible predicts the rapture to last for 7 years, not a few months. Camping's facts are wrong.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  942. Fred in San Mateo

    Whether heaven exists is not really a matter of proof, it's a matter the preponderance of evidence. If it's out there, then how come the Hubble can't find it? Wishful thinking about an afterlife has been central to religion since its earliest times. That's why the Neanderthals buried their dead with spears. There's plenty of evidence like that, and it's all you need to explain the belief in heaven.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  943. Raoul Stetson

    I absolutely agree with Hawking...most of the problems in the world are a result of religious beliefs...If Osama was so convinced about the afterlife and those '72 virgins' why didn't he become a suicide bomber...

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  944. Loch David Crane

    Heaven IS a fairy tale, taught to children to control them. You grow up and out out of your beliefs as you mature. like belief in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  945. Larry in Onalaska, WI

    I believe heaven is a hope more than an actual place. With self-awareness comes the reality of limited existence. Heaven allows us to dream of a life beyond this life and that we will once again be reunited with our loved ones. Who wouldn't want to believe in that! I sure would, so I'm not ruling it out.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  946. Jeffery

    I understand Hawking's position clearly. But let's get real here, what else should a believer in God's and heavens existence expect from an atheist like Hawking? Admitting to the existence of heaven is a firm approach to admitting to God's existence. Therefore an atheist position like Hawking shouldn't be a surprise at all.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  947. Anthony

    When you look at today's society, its hard to miss the influence of satanic imagery in music and movies. Many artists, (Kanye West, Katy Petty to name two), have openly stated that they sold their soul to Satan. Looking at some of the political leaders in charge, its hard to imagine that they got where they are by any other means than bargaining with their own souls as well. While this proves nothing more than that the people in power will only share power with those who agree to acknowledge worship of the evil side of spirituality, it does prove that earthly power comes from the realm of Lucifer, be it actual power or power that comes only from those with the money. The reason why I can not deny the existence of an all powerful creator is simply study of the Fibonacci numbers. These numbers, when charted, create a spiral pattern that is found in shells, the shape of the human ear, all over earth all the way up to the Milky Way galaxy itself. These numbers also represent the Golden ratio, found in the human bone structure, namely the fingers up through the arm. This is the fingerprint of God. Sodom and Gomorrah is a real place, burnt to a crisp, found today with balls of sulfur still all over the ruins. Sulfur is defined as the fuel of brimstone. The base of the Tower of Babel is still in Saudi Arabia. Infants not capable of speech literally "babble" (I wonder where that word came from) in every language on earth. God has judged man before, and it will happen again, whether we want to accept that fact or not.

    But it won't happen on Saturday.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  948. Anna48

    Pearly gates? St. Peter with a key? Streets paved in gold? All a myth, but many Christians believe those are myths too. "Bang" is Godspeak for "Let there be Light" – prove me wrong, Stephen!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  949. Leslie

    The Bible is not a book to take for granted in that it says no one knows when the end of time will be, not even Jesus. God is the only one. Is there God? More and more researchers are proving the Bible with archilogical digs.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  950. GB in Heber, UT

    Heaven is a nice fairytale and it makes people feel good and also superior to others, so it perpetuates itself.
    GB

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  951. Vtcyclist

    Heaven and hell?! as P.T. Barnum once said "There's a sucker born every minute." Wave a flag or quote the Bible and suckers are born every second!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  952. Janet

    What a shame for Mr. Hawking believing that there is no God and no Heaven. The fact that he has lived for so long and has beaten all odds in his own life; what a surprise it willl be when he meets his Creator. There is a God and there is a Heaven and we'll all meet our Father upon death from this world/life. Perhaps he'll ask us what have we done to serve Him on this planet & what we've done with His name. I wonder what Hawking's briliand mind will have to say then.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  953. Jesus

    What Hawking forget to mention is that even computers have their own creator who gave them artificial intelligent. If we take in consideration the theory of relativity, so do we.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  954. Drew

    @Susanne,

    You said, "Personally, I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt. People like Hawking can believe it's a fairy tale or a lie if they like, but if I'm wrong, what have I to lose? If people like Hawking are wrong, they'll have hell to pay...very literally."

    So Pascals Wager it is for you then. So your betting if there is a god and you have to face him after you die, he's not gonna know already that you did it just for the ticket past the gates? That's what you're admitting basically. If you read the bible, that's not gonna fly with such a egotistical and insecure god. You got to really believe or you'll be in hell yourself.😉

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  955. Cowboy2

    A brilliant, arrogant man that can't see beyond his own understanding

    May 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  956. Chris

    Yes, I do agree with Mr. Hawking as do I would assume most people who think for themselves. Those of you who do believe in heaven and God, ask yourselves this, What has organized religion done for the world in the last 2000 years since Jesus died for you. Really think about it! I mean besides repress civilization, kill countless people who don't see things your way. I could go on for a while about that. Oh, yeah, I guess the Devil Made people do all those things.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  957. Esther

    First, I don't believe that Saturday is the coming of Jesus, because He said "no man knoweth the day nor the hour except my Father in Heaven." I don't agree with Stephen Hawkin even though he is a very bright man. I believe the Bible from cover to cover, including the 6 day literal creation in Genesis and the Saturday Sabbath which is a memorial of creation. I also believe that Jesus is coming back to receive those that obey His commands and have the faith of Jesus, and are waiting for his return. He calls upon us to "worhip him who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:7. Exodus 20:8-11 also states: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." I don't believe that sinners burn eternally in hell either. The Bible says the earth will be destroyed by an everlasting fire, such as rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah, but they're not burning today. So, one can conclude that the results of the fire are everlasting. Everything in the Bible points to a loving and merciful God and Savior who are allowing Satan to wreak havoc on this earth until Jesus' return. He is giving humanity a chance to turn to Him. He paid the price on Calvary. Think of the magnitude of a creator dying for His creation. We can't even comprehend such love.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  958. Ken

    Stephen Hawking was a prophet....dum dum dum dum dum.....

    I was out in the woods the other night and an angel came to me and said that if I look under this rock he would show me some golden tablets....dum dum dum dum dum dum

    I looked under the rock and found the golden tablets along with a stone that could help translate the tablets.....dum dum dum dum dum dum

    Even South Park has it right..............

    May 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  959. Mamrtat

    Aria, in one of the comments above, said it right – "There is no scientific proof or logic in a heaven existing. It exists in belief."

    Knowing that she still believe in heaven – because we as a species have evolved for a long time surviving through a long dark age of ignorance – and idea of god/heaven are very comforting to deal with ignorance & the fear of unknown.

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."

    - Steven Weinberg

    May 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  960. Deb

    There is nothing more amazing than faith. Faith has carried millions of people through their lives, difficulties, joy, struggles and triumphs. Faith sustains us and faith endures. I have faith .... I believe we are not simply physical beings – we are also spiritual. The physical 'computer' may die, but our spirit will live on. If ultimately the spirit resides with God, that is heaven in whatever manifestation it presents. If ultimately the spirit is separated from God, that is hell. I believe it's a relationship of spirit.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  961. Greg

    Of course I agree with him. People who believe in heaven are just afraid of death. Even more, they fear the concept of nothingness. There is no greater point to our lives on Earth, we exist just as every other living creature on Earth exists for a period of time. All we can do is try to accomplish something positive for those that will come after us.

    Greg
    Nashville, TN

    May 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  962. Tom

    His theories wern't right in the past why would I belive this one is?

    May 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  963. mark egan

    the reason the pharoe believed is the reason steven does not..........................................................................fear of death...........if you fear death in this sick world and sneek behind the back of the god of the afterworld to do your bussiness ............you get flowers......not pyramids

    May 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  964. Sarah

    I believe that if more people would understand and read philosophy and science, then it would become substantively clearer to them that Mr. Hawking is probably correct. There is no room for a God in a modern world view.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  965. Al Hein

    I don't agree with him because there must be something causing our existence the universe must have have some creator..I believe in God.

    But our Christians in this country think he is a Rebublican. But is he a Democrat or Republican? He must be a Republican.

    The religious Christians state he is a republican. I.E Falwell
    Huckleberry even said God didn't want him to run this time so there must be some Republican messiah out there who created this mess.

    He is a Republican isn't he? Is it the Speaker of the house. I bet it is Mitch McConnell.

    Then again I think he laughing his whatever off at us talking about this.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  966. zak

    Stephens right, there is no such thing as heaven, nor is there hell, these stories that the bible preaches are imaginative, there made for people who need to have someone to "guide" them through life because of either the way their raised or their natural followers, the real problem is not that people like Stephen Hawking are questioning the beliefs but that the beliefs of the bible are being so largely misinterpreted, why is it that all these Christian leaders like Bush, Obama, Stephen Harper in Canada, all waging war on the middle east when christianity is, was and will always be about peace. Im 16, live in Canada and have christian background and its obvious there is no heaven or hell.

    Zak, Maple Ridge, B.C. Canada

    May 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  967. Samuel Collins

    It's difficult to comprehand when people with great minds such as Stephen Hawking whose ideas and innovations have meant so much in the world of science. Any findings or conclusion should remain private,

    You can't be a living person and conclusively knows what's on the otherside. Period!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  968. Clint

    Jack, Stephen Hawking said in his interview, "Broken down computers don't go to heaven". That may be true but, when did computers become self aware? When did they choose to subscribe to virtues based solely on their moral compass? If you go out on a clear night and look at the vast universe, to assume our species is an anomaly of nature, with no purpose would lead an objective mind to ask, "What's the point if nothing matters?" I think our consciousness has a purpose beyond a temporary physical connection. Do any of us hold the answer? No but, we should hold hope and belief because without it, there truly is nothingness

    May 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  969. Iva

    Yes, I agree. Religion is easier than thinking. Wake up everyone, to the truth, even if it hurts.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  970. Ben

    No, I don't believe in Heaven. I don't believe in Santa Claus either, but sadly, many people can't seem to see the correlation between the two myths.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  971. Eddie

    Clearly this is a place for non believers. Do some soul searching before it's too late. You are being talked to but you just won't listen. Listen for people and you will hear. Then you will believe.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  972. Adam Crook

    Although I have a high degree of respect of Stephen Hawking and his amazing theories of the universe, I have to remind him that Thomas Paine, a famous American back in the colonial age of America, said that "my mind is my own church". Even if heaven doesn't exist to him or that he is not the son of Jesus, it is his fundamental right to believe in that manner since science is his church in which he prays upon. However, despite how many idiots exist in the Christian religion, he cannot deny it to those who believe in Christ and to those who believe it in peaceful means. Religious faith and science can parallel and co-exist with each other other in this great country of America because our Constitution permits it. However, when either science or religious interference in the name of evil, then it is our Constitutional duty to quarantine the evil when it harms human lives.

    Adam C.

    Madison, WI

    This is a corrected posting...sorry.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  973. Donald in CA

    Hawkings could be right, seeing is believeing. I'm still looking.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  974. David from So Cali

    Heaven and hell are the same as faries, ghosts, trolls, boggie men, and Santa Claus. They exist in one place and one place only, the human mind.

    In order for heaven (or hell) to have any meaning, we must first determine what would "go" there, or how that is possible, otherwise the question is totally meaningless. Where exactly during the course of biological evolution did a soul come into being? Is it in dogs? Snails? Bacteria?

    Heaven and hell are said to be final resting places of the soul. Yet we have absolutely no reason, evidence, or logic to tell us that a soul even exists. What people use to call the soul is now recognized by science to be internal workings of the brain and other bodily reactions (chemical, mental, etc).

    As time passes, we can hope that religion will become a part of history as a defining element of early human civilization that, as we latter came to learn, we were well rid of.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  975. David

    Heaven is a human term, not sure one can make too much of it outside of human experiences and definitions. Surprised that Hawking would go urinating in everyone's lawn in these waning years of his life and have to wonder what for... furthermore, given his broken down computer analogy, I have to wonder why after spending much of his career investigating the mysterious way in which information escapes black holes why he'd think the universe really ISN'T storing broken down computers.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm |