“A Mind That Held the Stars”

“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; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

— Stephen Hawking’s components failed on March 14, 2018.

Enjoy the stars, Stephen. You will be missed.



29 thoughts on ““A Mind That Held the Stars”

        • If my computer is misbehaving I often find it helpful to pretend I’ve lost interest, leave the office as if I had something much better to do, fall against the wall outside and remain perfectly still for about a minute, not making a noise, not even breathing, then suddenly leap back through the door screaming ancient Viking battle cries. You’d be surprised at how effective this can be.

          I wonder if Stephen ever read Greg Egan and dreamed of uploading himself into a virtual world.

          Liked by 5 people

          • That sounds like an effective strategy for computer problems John. I have also used ancient battle cries and I did not realise I was so fluent in this art until computers came along and coaxed this talent into regular performances.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Yea.
      I shouldn’t have looked, I suppose.
      I definitely should have left the comments well alone.

      From a Mind That Held the Stars to petty, sanctimonious self-righteousness. The best and the worst our race has to offer, on one computer screen.

      The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.

      Liked by 5 people

  1. The brightest most qualified scientists on our planet that included the great Stephen Hawking say there is no gods and all branches of science use peer reviewed evidence as support for what they claim.

    The brightest most qualified Christian creationists on our planet say there is only one God who created everything, and all branches of Christianity find no peer reviewed evidence to support what they claim.

    The gap between fantasy and fact could not be any wider. The book of subjective morals known also as the Bible cannot be relied upon as this reflects its authors who were basically unknown superstitious religious fundamentalists who wrote their scriptures decades after the events and obviously made a hash of it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Question. No disrespect intended toward Steven Hawking. He was a great scientist who overcame great physical difficulties. But to your sentiment, if he doesn’t believe in an after-life, how is he going to enjoy the stars? That sounds contradictory and nonsensical. I would think he’s not going to “enjoy” anything at all.


    • I suppose, Mel, that, as you regard your own personal revealed worldview as literal ….much like a global flood, millions of Hebrews legging it across the desert, and a dead narrative construct coming back to life then floating off to heaven,it is understandable why you might not understand this in a metaphorical sense … or even get the joke.


      • I was simply asking a question because it didn’t make sense to me. “Enjoy the stars. You will be missed” would be incoherent as a metaphor for someone who doesn’t believe in the after-life. Logically, only people who believe in such could make such a sentiment. If it was meant to be a joke, fair enough. But it certainly didn’t come across that way. I’ll just leave it at that. Thanks.


        • Well, maybe you need to loosen up a little and try to develop a sense of humour, Mel? I am sure John Branyan could help in this regard – he even has a Free course that is apparently guaranteed to make you funnier almost immediately.
          He certainly has all of us laughing at him.


          • I enjoy good humor when it is such. I even laugh when Bill Maher makes fun of Christians. And even when atheists say really dumb things, even if they don’t know they are doing it. But thanks for the advice. Have a good day, Ark.


        • I am curious, though. You struggle to make sense of Nan’s post yet, if I may, exactly how does believing that a character from a book being brutally executed for your sins and then coming back to life make sense?
          Could you explain this?


  3. My “sending off” remark was in reference to the late Carl Sagan who believed (and I agree) that “we are all star stuff” and will eventually return to the cosmos.

    The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
    –Carl Sagan, Cosmos

    Further, Steven Hawking made this comment about the meaning of life:

    Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.

    I think you’re well aware by now that I have no belief in any “afterlife.” From all that I’ve seen and read about Steven Hawking, neither did he.

    God is the name people give to the reason we are here. But I think that reason is the laws of physics rather than someone with whom one can have a personal relationship.

    Quite frankly, whether you believe he’s going to “enjoy” anything at all is irrelevant.

    (The post title was a quote that I happened to see on the internet.)

    Liked by 4 people

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