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Stephen Hawking is in Hell

stephen hawking is in hell

Warning snark and cursing ahead. You have been warned! Now ignore this warning and read away.

Today, renowned physicist and outspoken atheist Stephen Hawking died at the age of seventy-six. According to Fundamentalist Ken Ham, Stephen Hawking is now in Hell.  While Ham doesn’t explicitly say this, his passive-aggressive statement, “a man passed into eternity without knowledge of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ,” makes it clear that Ham believes Hawking is now being tortured by God in the eternal flames of Hades. Ham mouthpiece Danny Faulkner says pretty much the same thing:

While the world mourns the loss of such a brilliant mind, there is even more to mourn today, as a man passed into eternity without knowledge of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ (although we don’t know what he was thinking concerning his mortality and afterlife in the final days of his life). We at Answers in Genesis mourn the fact that Hawking and many others have decided that science supposedly has proven that there is no God. However, we firmly believe that science, when properly understood, is consistent with the God revealed in the Bible.

Ken Ham’s lackeys also believe that Hawking is now bunking with Christopher Hitchens (Please read Christopher Hitchens is in Hell) in Satan’s Trump Hotel®. Here’s what some of them had to say:

comments about stephen hawking

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Don’t buy for a moment the idea that maybe Hawking on his deathbed reached out and called on Jesus to save him. Evangelicals who say this feel guilty over saying someone is in Hell. They don’t want to be viewed as the judgmental assholes they are. There’s nothing in Hawking’s behavior or words that remotely suggests that Hawking had a change of heart about the existence of any God, let alone the God worshiped by Ham, Faulkner, and a cast of millions.

For readers who may not be familiar with Hawking’s view of life, death, knowledge, and God, let me give you a few of his quotes:

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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. An impersonal God.”

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.”

“Before we understand science, it is 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 were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”

Hawking may have been an atheist, but that doesn’t mean he had no sense of wonder about the universe:

“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. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

Hawking was struck with ALS at the age of twenty-five, yet he thought it important to have a sense of humor. My favorite Hawking comedy bit comes from a discussion between him and “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver:

John Oliver: “You’ve stated that there could be an infinite number of parallel universes. Does that mean there’s a universe out there where I am smarter than you?”

Hawking: “Yes. And also a universe where you’re funny.”

Evangelicals will revel in the death of another enemy of God. We who value knowledge and science will lament the loss of one of the greatest minds of our generation. Hawking was not without fault — no human is, including Jesus. His fifty year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was an inspiration to those of us who struggle with chronic illnesses, and his vocal atheism was a source of encouragement to those who continue to push back against those who wish to pull us back into the Dark Ages.

Evangelicals will continue to remind people that Hawking died without repenting of  his sins, and is now Hell. Many will take the tack of Texas lawmaker Briscoe Cain:

briscoe cain stephen hawking

Unlike Ham who will face no outrage about his comment because he deletes all such comments from his Facebook page, Cain faced the wrath of people outraged over his comment. (Read the comments below his tweet.) Evidently, it got too hot in Cain’s kitchen. Several hours after his “I’m an Asshole for Jesus” tweet, Cain issued a clarification:

Losing a loved one is never easy and I am sympathetic for his family’s loss. My prayers are with them. Stephen Hawking was brilliant, many even called him one of the greatest public intellectuals of the last century, but the fact remains that God exists. My tweet was to show the gravity of the Gospel and what happens when we pass, namely, that we all will one day meet our Creator face to face. Though Hawking has long been a vocal atheist who advocated against and openly mocked God, I hope nothing but the best for his family and pray that he came to know faith before he passed.

In other words, I’m not a heartless prick. I have sympathy for Hawking’s family. I even said a ceiling prayer for them. But, let me be clear, the Evangelical God is the one true God, and since Hawking did not acknowledge Jehovah’s existence, he is now being stretched on Jesus’ torture rack, screaming please, please, please I now believe. Took late, buddy. You made your bed, not lie in it. Ain’t Jesus wonderful!

You ran your race well, Mr. Hawking, now rest in peace. You will be missed, but your work and books live on. Thank you.


I came across the following information after the original post was filed with my editor.

The oh-so-fine Fundamentalist Calvinists at Pulpit & Pen let it be known that Hawking is in Hell:

When Hawking passed away this morning, he discovered that he was not an advanced breed of monkey. He (re)discovered that his body had contained a soul, and that it was in a place of torment awaiting the final judgment of one who made him. There is no more question, for Hawking. There is no more doubt.

The good news is that Hawking, who suffered from ALS, will one day be raised from the dead in a body that cannot die. The bad news is that his body, reunited with his consciousness, will be cast into the Lake of Fire, the Outer Darkness, and a place where the vast void of the Black Holes he studied will pale in comparison to the dark chasm of his new home in the eternal abyss. And that body will not be paralyzed; it will feel every square inch of the pain to which it will be subjected. It is appointed a man once to die, and then the judgment. And the One judging Hawking now will not be of a peer-reviewed panel or congratulatory science-junkies opining on the cogs and wheels that God put into place when He made creation. It will be the One who has been appointed the judge of the quick and the dead.

Coach Dave Daubenmire gleefully rejoiced over Hawking’s demise. (The video will start at the twenty-one minute mark.)

Video Link

Ben, the Baptist went into great detail to describe what Hawking is now experiencing. I detected a smile at one point in his diatribe.

Video Link

And finally, here’s a screenshot of a discussion thread from the Fighting Fundamental Forums — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) group:

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  1. Avatar

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the comments others wrote on Criscoe…….um, I mean Briscoe Cains tweet. He deserves all the hell they are giving him.

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    bwahahahahaah not to worry. there is no god, no heaven no hell and no fairy tale book written by desert dwellers over 2000 years ago is nothing but myth, allegory, metaphor and fairy tales and a way to keep women enslaved

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    Ken Ham and Danny Faulkner are wrong about everything else…why would they be right about Stephen Hawking shoveling coal for Beelzebub?
    They’re like the typical fortune teller that doesn’t even know the present.

    See this for what it is, a defense mechanism. A smart guy is also an atheist the only defense they have is to express with certainty of an afterlife in the lower planes.

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    If I were a fundamentalist I might have written

    ‘Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease when he was age just 21, and given two years to live. In fact, not only did he complete his degree, then a PhD (on a subject that fundamentally changed our understanding of cosmology), he lived for another 55 years, and lived an incredibly meaningful life. He survived by a factor of several any person ever previously diagnosed with the disease, and was instrumental in developing technology which enabled him to continue to function and communicate in a way that is now recognised world wide. He had a sense of humour that might have been entirely unexpected in someone confined in his body the way he was. His mind continued to function in such a way that, up until the time he died, he was still helping reveal the mysteries of the universe, and more, encouraging us to wonder at it.

    I can only assume that God was speaking to us through this genuinely unique individual. It is inconceivable that these remarkable circumstances could have combined in one person without God, and I tell you, God is wanting us to heed very carefully his words, his works and his achievements.”

    To be very clear I don’t believe this, but isn’t it funny how fundamentalists can look at the tiniest coincidence and see God’s hand, when it comports with their beliefs, yet totally ignore the most extraordinary coincidences when it doesn’t.

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    Thank you Bruce for giving us a snapshot of what loupy fundies have written and spoken about wrt the death of a brilliant man, Stephen Hawking.

    There is no hell. There is only this life. Beyond it – the grave. Hawking’s atoms will return to star dust…. that’s all folks!

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    I so admired Stephen Hawking. He was light, wonderful human light. As usual, as I read the Christians above commenting on his loss, I go dark and dismal for us all. Belief ruins…

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    Susan-Anne White

    As a Bible-believing Christian, I think I need to address the lack of compassion toward Stephen Hawking notable in some of the quotes from my fellow Christians. I do not know Stephen Hawking’s final destiny. He may have acknowledged God as His creator before his death and made his peace with him. Ultimately only God knows. However it saddens me that some of my fellow Christians who are so quick to consign him to hell, have little or nothing to say about his terrible suffering on earth. It is amazing that he endured such appalling affliction with a sense of humour and perhaps even an optimistic outlook on life. It is also possible that the fact that he suffered so much turned him against God and led him to reject the very idea of the existence of God, perhaps reasoning that if there was a God, He was cruel and unjust. We Christians have to confront the fact of God’s goodness with His permitting of terrible suffering and evil in this world. We have to hold, in an internal state of tension, an apparently contradictory view of God’s goodness and His (at times) terrible, frowning providences. It is not easy to hold to the view that a man like Stephen Hawking, who suffered so much on earth, is not presently experiencing heavenly peace and bliss in the arms of God but rather torment (if he died unrepentant) but hold it I do and must, if I believe the Bible, and I do, internal tension notwithstanding.

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      First, you’re not the other Susan-Anne White, are you? The one in Northern Ireland whom Bruce has talked about before? SHE would never write about “the lack of compassion”, she would be railing about how Hawking was an “adulterer” (because he was married and divorced twice) and totally putting the boot in. She’d never express herself as you do here.

      That said, it becomes clear in your post that you take the view that Hawking must, post-mortem, be experiencing torment because he didn’t embrace your Evangelical views. “If I believe the Bible” ? Do you believe ALL of it without question? If so, you are abandoning all the reasoning skills that your brain is capable of. No, you are not obliged to accept a cruel message (and it iS cruel): that is a choice you are making.

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        Susan-Anne White

        I don’t know of another Susan-Anne White who has commented on Mr.Gerencser’s blog except me so I am the Susan-Anne White from Northern Ireland. I wrote the comment about Stephen Hawking you are replying to. You seem to think that it is impossible for a hardline Bible fundamentalist such as I to show compassion whilst still holding to my evangelical Christian convictions without wavering. I commented on the post about the death of Stephen Hawking because I am troubled by the callousness and lack of compassion I see in many of my fellow Christians, and I have no difficulty in rebuking them for it. I was addressing the fact that some Christians were quick to consign Mr. Hawking to hell whilst showing no compassion for the suffering he endured on earth and little or no acknowledgement of the fact that only God knows Mr. Hawking’s eternal destiny. I have to admit however that the evidence available does not lead me to believe that he ended his life as a believer in Christ, and, if he is lost, that should lead Christians to mourn not gloat. His marital status was not in my thinking nor have I heard any other Christian bring it up. You brought it up. You ask if I believe all of the Bible without question and my response is to ask you to clarify what you mean. I believe the Bible but there are some verses which are not to be taken literally e.g when the Bible says that God will cover us with His wings, we know that the verse is not teaching us that God is a bird and when Jesus says that He is the door, we know that He does not mean that He is a literal door. Having explained this to you I can answer in the affirmative i.e I believe all the Bible but as I said, there are some teachings/doctrines and Bible events that must be held in tension. The example I gave in my comment was about a good God permitting evil. Another example is the Bible’s (apparently) contradictory teaching on sin in the lives of Christians. Some verses seem to teach that Christians can reach a state of sinless perfection on this earth whilst other verses teach that if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves. These two apparently contradictory verses must be held in tension because truth runs along two parallel lines (like two halves of the same coin.) Using the example I gave of the conflicting verses, I reconcile them by realising that Christians should aspire to sinless living whilst realising that it is impossible in this life i.e we will sin. However sin should not be deliberate but unintentional.

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          John Arthur

          Hi Susan-Anne,

          If you say that you believe the whole bible, but hold apparently contradictory truths in tension how do you reconcile what the OT says about the genocide in Canaan and the later wholesale slaughter of the Amalekites with Jesus’ statement about little children and his command that disciples of Jesus ought to love their enemies and be kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Why aren’t these two approaches actually contradictory?

          Maybe the simpler hypothesis is to see actual contradictions in the bible and to reject the idea that the bible is the Word of God.

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      You have only said, in slightly more nuanced language, what the other Christian posters have said: you think people who haven’t embraced the Lord according to the very specific parameters that you ascribe to are destined for hell which is torment and which lasts forever. If that’s what you really believe, I can’t change that. . .but don’t be surprised when plenty of people hear your views and decide that the God you’re talking about is not a God of love.

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      Hawking disbelieved in God because he saw no evidence for the existence of a God, not because of resentment over his sufferings. This is clear from his writings.

      He never committed any evil deserving of the eternal torment so lasciviously described by the monstrous and sadistic Christians quoted in the post. If you believe that (assuming he died an atheist) he is indeed suffering such tortures forever merely because he didn’t believe something he had no reason to believe, then it’s you who are describing God as cruel and unjust.

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    Stephen Hawking was a great man, and a brilliant scientist. How many given his debilitating condition might have become simply angry, embittered, and given up on life?

    Not Stephen Hawking. We should thank God for him.

    May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.

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    Bruce, thank you for for posting regarding Stephen Hawking’s passing. In my opinion, he was one of the great, brilliant minds of our time. What he contributed to our increasing knowledge of the universe is astounding, and his personal story is intriguing as well. When I heard of his passing, I wondered how long until someone from my fundamentalist evangelical past would post something about his afterlife, and sure enough, some of them did post.

    I don’t know if it’s my projection of my opinion about what fundamentalist evangelical Christians believe, but this was what I was reading into their statements. They generally said things like, “now Stephen Hawking knows the truth”; or they reposted an article with a title about Stephen Hawking believing religion was a “fairy story for those afraid of the dark”. No one that I saw from my past specifically stated that Stephen Hawking was in hell, but that was definitely the unspoken assumption and implication. Here’s my rendition of what I was reading between the lines:

    “Stephen Hawking was considered by The World to be a genius, one of the greatest scientists of our time. I don’t know because I couldn’t understand a thing he wrote. I feel sorry for him that he had ALS for so many years and was confined to a wheelchair. It’s too bad that he was an atheist because maybe God could have used him for good. Maybe God could have healed him from ALS so he could do even greater things for the glory of God in His Name. Now Stephen Hawking knows that he was wrong, that there is a God, and that because he did not accept Jesus as his Personal Lord and Savior, Stephen Hawking is now in hell. Stephen Hawking could have been fitted with a new perfect body and be walking the streets of heaven with Sweet Jesus and the Apostles, no longer trapped in an ALS-ridden body, but instead because he denounced God’s Great Gospel Gift he was fitted with an eternal body in which he is suffering the eternal torture of hell. Stephen Hawking listened to Satan’s deceit and lies instead of giving over his life to the service of Our Lord. I, on the other hand, know The Truth and Fact of God’s Great Gospel Gift, so I will be living in Eternal Glory with Our Savior Jesus Christ. Stephen Hawking is now in hell due to his pride and falling for Satan’s Lies. Therefore, I am smarter than Stephen Hawking. Na na na na boo boo.”

    Or maybe I’m wrong and this is not really the meaning behind their statements.

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    It makes me sad that people would drag this man’s fine name through the muck upon his passing. He was a good and brilliant person who made the world a better place for having been part of it. The hate that people are unleashing, the very hand-rubbing glee that “he’s now suffering in hell” proves to me the falsehood of xtianity.

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    Dr. Hawking was a kind, generous, sweet natured man with an intelligence that rivaled Einstein’s. Just because Dr. Hawking didn’t believe in god(s) or an afterlife does that justify the cruel and idiotic comments made by you socalled believers? It only makes you sound like complete idiots.

    There are many of us atheists who are good, respectable, hard working, loving and honest members of society. Does that mean that your narcissistic, arrogant, close minded, picks-his-favorites god will let all of us decent, loving atheists perish in hell? And the believers in god who inflicted abuse upon humans and animals will be granted an eternity in paradise?

    Sorry folks it doesn’t work that way. Not by a long shot.

    Where is there a logical shred of evidence that god exists? And don’t say the bible. The bible was written by who? Man wrote it. It’s meritless.

    Where is there any logical evidence that there’s an afterlife? There is none. Absolutely NONE.

    Dr. Stephen Hawking leaves a living legacy behind through his immediate survivors, friends, colleagues and his years of mind blowing scientific work.

    The dear man suffered for decades and valiantly fought a crippling disease that most people die of at much younger age.

    Dr. Hawking’s intelligence was monumental. It was legendary. Most people couldn’t even remotely dream of possessing an intelligence that rivals Albert Einstein’s.

    Dr. Hawking is not in any afterlife. The great man is dead. He’s in a permanent state of nothingness. A place that we all succumb to. And there’s no denying it.

    So instead of making absurd comments about one of the world’s greatest physists of all time, either write something praising the man’s wondrous works or just shut up.

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    Kenneth Smith

    God is an asshole if he exists in a universe where all of the evidence points to him not existing. Then, still having the audacity to send you to hell for being intelligent…

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    Hawking in Hell? For sure? I checked Ticketmaster and the place is SOLD OUT as of this morning. Anybody got a ticket they would be willing to give up?

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    James Pope

    You are a clueless asshat. No christian is happy about someone dying that is lost to God.

    I find it amusing that nobody can explain how the Bog Bang occurred, but nobody like you wants to consider the universe could have a creator. You can’t prove there isn’t a God anymore than I can prove God does exists. It just require to much faith for me to think there is not a God.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Aw, you hurt my feelings.

      This post shows that Christians can and do revel in the death notable people they deem “lost.” What better justification of one’s beliefs than an enemy of said beliefs dies and goes to “hell.”

      There may have been a creator, but it sure as hell wasn’t your God.

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      Even asking the question ‘how the Big Bang occurred’ is pointless. The best we can hope to do is to look and observe the evidence, then try and make sense of it. That’s why scientists consider that the best explanation of the available evidence is the Big Bang, insofar as it pertains to the origin of the universe. How and why it came about may, eventually, be answered but only by following the evidence as and when it becomes available. If god were relevant to the evidence then be sure he will be built in to it, but so far there is no evidence of any such intervention. No faith required.

      Incidentally I don’t need to prove a creator; the burden of proof is entirely yours. You suggest that there’s a creator and I say where’s your evidence? And please, don’t ask me to look around and I’ll see it, because that is observation and not evidence.

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        Bruce Gerencser

        The “first cause” question doesn’t really interest me that much. It’s Christians who are obsessed with the question. Without the answer being “Jesus,” their entire worldview collapses. I am satisfied with believing that science will continue to explain our universe, and maybe, just maybe, they might answer the “first cause” question someday. If not, that’s okay. I am an old man. I no longer have to have the answers to every question. My present needs and desires are much more personal. 🙂

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      We don’t have to prove that gods don’t exist, James. We just have to be sufficiently unconvinced that they do.

      Your argument for a god-created universe suffers from the flaw of special-pleading fallacy: Why does the universe have be explained via a sentient creator, while your alleged god is allowed to just be there with no explanation whatsoever?

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      Oh wow. Bet you’ve never been called a “clueless asshat” before Bruce.

      Get in line James Pope. Others have been here before you.

      I can’t explain the Bog Bang. Correct. I’m a nobody like Bruce and I have no problem considering the possibility of a creator. Thing is, like you said, I can’t prove a God does exist either. It requires too much faith for me to believe there is one.

      Maybe we could just leave it at that and Bruce and I aren’t really clueless asshats after all?

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        Becky Wiren

        I told a creationist friend that there is more evidence of a Big Bang* than of Creation. Oh! He didn’t like that too much. But the fact is, there is an all pervasive radiation that comes from everywhere in the universe, and it is consistent with the Big Bang. CMB or cosmic microwave background. Not a scientist but my husband and I like to watch a lot of Youtube science channels on our internet TV.

        *Even the Big Bang theory has subtheories, variances based on what science continues to find. And the nice thing about science is it changes as new facts come to light.

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      John Arthur

      Hi James,

      No-one can prove that non existence of an invisible being, but that doesn’t mean that this invisible being exists? Can you disprove the existence of fairies, leprechauns, goblins or unicorns? Does this mean that you can conclude that any of these exist because you can’t disprove their existence? The same goes for angels, demons and gods. Why waste time trying to do the impossible? It is incumbent upon anyone claiming the existence of any of these invisible beings to provide evidence for their existence.

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      John Arthur

      Hi James,

      Of the thousands of gods that people have had “faith” in, why choose to have “faith” in the specific one that you believe in? How do you know that your God exists and the others do not? How can “faith” tell you whether you are correct or not?

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