Existence After Life?
Fox News Website has quoted Dr. Stephen Hawking as saying, "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," (http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/05/16/physicist-stephen-hawking-says-heaven/). Dr. Hawking uses the analogy of a “broken down computer” as an illustration of what happens to the minds of people when they die. When a computer is no longer capable of processing information it is dead. There is no processing of information by that computer once it has reached that state. Even so, the mind of man being a computer also has no ability to process information once it has died. Once the brain ceases to function the lights go out forever. The individual will never ever think another though either good or bad. His or her consciousness has passed from existence in to utter nothingness.In Dr. Hawking’s view of things the idea of an existence after death is a fairy story that was invented a long time ago when men were not as intelligent and much more superstitious. For modern man it is time to leave these fairy stories in the past and move with enjoying life as long as he can. What a sad statement coming from such a learned man who has influenced the thinking of so many in our world. Yet we expect such an out look from a man who has abandoned the idea of a Creator God for a creator of chance that has worked it work through the evolution of billions of years.
Dr. Hawking’s position reminds of several passages of Scripture. David wrote, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’" Psa. 14:1. Paul picks up this theme in two of his epistles
Rom 1:18-23, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” NKJV
1 Cor 1:18-25, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” NKJV
How foolish a statement for a scientist of Dr. Hawking’s caliber to make. Does he not recognize that the basis of his conclusion rest upon his theory of the Cosmos which can not be substantiated by scientific fact. For example, a part of Dr. Hawking’s theory is the existence of black holes and yet no one has yet been able to observe one. They believe they have seen what may be the effects of black holes in certain stellar phenomena but nothing definitive has yet been discovered. Since he is basing his statement about the existence of man after death on an unproven theory, how can he be so certain that the lights go out when the brain stops functioning? Where is Dr. Hawking’s scientific proof that there is no existence after death? Are not scientists only to declare as fact those things which they can test and measure? It would appear that Dr. Hawking in making this a dogmatic statement based on a unproven theory goes against the very scientific method that he professes to follow.
The problem in all of this is answered in the Scriptures. Because man can only measure and study the physical body of man, man has a tendency to draw conclusions that are not totally accurate. If man is created in the image of God as Genesis 1 declares, then we must accept that man is more than physical matter and his humanity includes spiritual matter as well. Medical science tells us that memory and thinking are completely the product of the brain and yet the Bible states otherwise. In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus declares that Lazarus, the rich man, and Abraham are able not only to think but also to remember their lives when they were still alive. If they have these capacities after their body and mind have passed from existence, then it would put into question what the purpose of the brain is for. It would give the impression that the true mind of man is resident in his soul and that the brain’s function is to enable the soul of man to interact with the physical world through his physical body. Many other passages speak of the dead going on in their existence thinking, communicating, and caring out many functions.
I fell sorry for Dr. Hawking for he has had to deal with a crippling disease most of his life. To think he has given up the hope of being fully restored to live life to its fullest through the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ is a tragedy. At the moment Dr. Hawking dies, he will discover that his theory of the cosmos was flawed and though his body has stopped functioning, he will go on existing, waiting in torment for the day of the great judgment seat of Christ.