Legendary Physicist and Atheist Stephen Hawking Has Died – His beliefs on religion and atheism

Stephen Hawking, the renowned, brilliant, theoretical physicist died at age 76. He published wildly popular books exploring and making discoveries and theories as to the mysteries of the universe. Considered as the world’s greatest scientist, Hawking believed that there is a grand design to the universe, but it has nothing to do with God. He was a firm believer in facts and reason and a lifelong atheist.

Hawking’s beliefs on religion and atheism

Hawking, in a 2014 interview with journalist Pablo Jauregui of El Mundo, made the controversial statement “I’m an atheist”. He said that science offers a more convincing explanation that the belief that God created the universe. He continued to say that when he said, “we would know the mind of God” he meant that we would know what God knows if there existed a God, which he believed there isn’t.

Hawking has likely been an atheist from a young age. Although his family was nominally Christian, they were really intellectuals and atheists. During his college study years at Cambridge and Oxford, he was known for his atheism. He made many remarks throughout the years that opposed religious beliefs in his books and addresses. Hawking said, “There is a fundamental difference between religion which is based on authority and science which is based on observation and reason.”

He also commented that each one is free to believe what they want and, in his view, there is no such deity as God; that no one made the universe and nobody can direct fate. He added that with this he came to the realization that there is no heaven or afterlife and therefore we should appreciate the grand design of the universe in this one life. Hawking was a stubborn risk taker who set no limits to defying the odds such as living with ALS for 55 years after being diagnosed at age 21. His passing saddened many and has left an intellectual vacuum.

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