Stephen Hawking is one of the greatest minds to ever have graced humanity. The world-renowned scientist, who died in 2018 at the age of 76, was an expert in theoretical physics and cosmology. He was never short on incredible ideas that not just advanced his field but also gave us all plenty of food for thought. Of course, many people wondered if Stephen Hawking believed in God based on all he knew about the universe.
- Hawking’s health condition made him think more deeply about his belief in a higher power. He was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 21. While he was only expected to have two years to live, he far exceeded doctors’ expectations. He communicated for much of his life via a computerized tablet that responded to his cheek movements.
- He never blamed God for his illness. In fact, he didn’t think religion had anything to do with it. “For centuries, it was believed that disabled people like me were living under a curse that was inflicted by God. Well, I suppose it’s possible that I’ve upset someone up there, but I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way, by the laws of nature,” he wrote in “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.”
- So, did Stephen Hawking believe in God? The answer is a firm no. Further expanding on his thoughts, he wrote: “If you believe in science, like I do, you believe that there are certain laws that are always obeyed. If you like, you can say the laws are the work of God, but that is more a definition of God than a proof of his existence. We are each free to believe what we want and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is there is no God.”
- He also didn’t believe in an afterlife. However, he found comfort in that fact rather than being fearful of it. “No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization, there’s probably no Heaven and no afterlife, either,” he explained. “We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that I am extremely grateful.” He added: “I think belief in an afterlife is just wishful thinking. There is no reliable evidence for it, and it flies in the face of everything we know in science.”