Hawking, 69, discussed facing death over time and pooh-poohed the notion that human souls go on to something bigger and better after death, and said the beliefs were borne of a desire to avoid a painful reality:
“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,” he said.
“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,” he added.
On the meaning of life, Hawking elaborated:
Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in.
Hawking said humans should seek the “greatest value of [their] action.”