Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stephen Hawking Imagines No Heaven for Computers

Religious people are running around whining and complaining, which seems to be what they do best, this time about statements by Stephen Hawking, in a recent interview, where he opines that heaven is a "fairy story for people afraid of the dark". Of course, they are forever insisting that others take the Bible "out of context", so it would seem that they would heed their own advice and at least look at a few sentences surrounding his statement. He actually 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." A literal reading of his statement, and you know how much Bible fans love literalism, is that computers don't go to heaven. He also says that the brain is a computer, but if you don't believe that your soul resides in the brain then it still doesn't rule out a heaven for these undetectable, immaterial souls.

However, this does raise some interesting questions. For one thing, why does God hate computers so much that he won't provide them with a special heaven. For example, I have previously hypostatized (look it up) a Land of Lost Electronics Accessories (tm), to explain the almost supernatural disappearance of various electronic chargers, adapters, etc whenever people need them most. Anyway, didn't Jesus unplug himself for computers too, or do we need a special messiah made out of silicon to accomplish that? I'm surprised that we don't see more computer scientists up in arms about the way that Hawking is callously consigning used computers to oblivion. I mean what will motivate them or their computer chips to keep on cranking out algorithms and computations if they can't expect some final reward for all their hard labor? By standard theological arguments, this proves that the existence of computers is completely pointless because they don't get to go to heaven. Oh, poor computers. The only person who seems to hate them more than God is Stephen Hawking.

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