May 19th, 2011
05:43 PM ET

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



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?


Filed under: Religion
May 19th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Is now the time to increase aid to the Middle East?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama had a message for Middle East nations in his much-hyped speech today at the State Department: If you promote reform and choose democracy, we'll help you out financially. That's great. We can borrow some more money from China and give it away to the Middle East. Brilliant.
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In a sweeping speech that applauded reforms and condemned the use of force by Middle East leaders against protesters, the president said this is not just about hand-outs but about encouraging democracy. This, in a part of the world where they can't even spell democracy. He also said, "It's important to focus on trade, not just aid; and investment, not just assistance."

The president announced the United States will give economic aid to Middle Eastern and North African countries that transition to democracy. He also said the U.S. will encourage investment in these regions.

President Obama also said the U.S. will relieve Egypt of up to $1 billion dollars in debt and that we'll help that country regain access to markets, as a democracy, by guaranteeing $1 billion in borrowing. Egypt has an unemployment rate of about 30 percent... and the majority of the population there is under the age of 30.

It's a noble gesture but we've got our own economic problems is this country. High unemployment… mounting debt… the inability of Congress to agree on anything. There are people here in the United States who could use some help.

Here’s my question to you: Is now the time to increase aid to the Middle East?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Middle East