Stephen Hawking came out as atheist recently while speaking in an interview with a Spanish newspaper. Even though he himself has refrained from speaking about his religious beliefs all these years, secular people long suspected that the celebrated scientist does not have any faith in God. In a video posted by El Mundo, Hawking not only called himself an atheist, but also argued that science provides a “more convincing explanation” about the origins of the universe and that religious miracles are not compatible with scientific facts.
“Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation. … What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is we would know everything that God would know if there was a God, but there isn't. I'm an atheist,” he declared.
Hawking’s admission came as a response to journalist Pablo Jauregui’s question asking him about his religious preference in the lead-up to last week’s Starmus Festival that was organized in the Canary Islands. The “mind of God” reference was Hawking’s attempt to clarify a passage from his 1988 book titled “A Brief History of Time,” where he wrote that scientists would “know the mind of God” only if a unifying group of scientific principles, known commonly as the “theory of everything,” were to be found.
This is not the first time that Hawking has spoken of his atheist-like views. In 2011, while speaking with The Guardian, he admitted to not believing in an afterlife or heaven, referring to both as a fairy tale for those afraid of the dark. In 2007, he told the BBC that he was not religious in the normal way.
“I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws,” he explained.
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