He often stated that he was an atheist and did not see a reason for a creator. In that, the universe, given the laws of mathematics and gravity, can be explained with the tools of theoretical physics without the need for a divine architect.
In an El Mundo interview, he described science as the tool through which to understand the world with a “more convincing explanation” and before science that God was the natural explanatory filler for the existence of the cosmos. Reiterating, that he was an atheist.
In a Reuters interview from 2007, he said that he was not religious in a regular sense of the term. Hawking was a believer in science as the discoverer of certain laws. Those laws were fixed and found by science.
The laws in nature described the dynamic structure of the universe over time. In those laws and their descriptions, the universe is explained without a God based on the statement of Hawking and the explanatory closure found in the laws of science.
In a book, The Grand Design, co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow, they considered, based on the science, that the big bang in standard Big Bang cosmology was inevitable “because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”
Hawking and Mlodinow continued in the book, by explaining, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing… Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
He did not believe in an afterlife but, rather, in the brain-as-computer model of consciousness and the mind, where computers do not get an afterlife. As he said, “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”
Photo Credits: Quartz