Stephen Hawking thinks the whole idea of an afterlife is a big fairy tale for people afraid of the darkness and death. However, he does believe that the brain can exist independently without the body.
Hawking, speaking at the premiere showing of the documentary of his life, said he thinks that it is “theoretically possible” to put thoughts from our brains onto a computer. He compares our brain – which he says is “like a program in the mind” – with a computer program; and thinks the two will someday merge, making it possible to preserve and provide a “form of life after death.” However, he thinks it is way beyond what we know and can do at the present time.
At the young age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and told he had just two to three years left to live. The 71 year old has proved them wrong by close to 50 years. Because of his own disorder and the short amount of time he was given to live, he is standing up for the right of terminally ill people to end their own lives as long as proper safeguards are in place.
Using the computer-generated voice that he controls with his facial muscles and a blink of one eye, Hawking told the crowd at the premiere, “All my life I have lived with the threat of an early death, so I hate wasting time.” Death waits for us all.
The documentary explores the life of a brilliant schoolboy with handwriting no one could read. Young Hawking enjoyed the life of a dilettante at Oxford University before illness opened his eyes and fired a lifelong love of, and discovery off, the origins of the universe. His journey started when he was a graduate student at Cambridge University and his ideas astounded the whole world.
The documentary and his autobiography, Stephen Hawking:My Brief History, were released in the same year.
Hawkins grew up in a very academic household. In the film his sister Mary says that her brother was highly competitive and curious about the workings of everything in the house. She tells a story of getting a doll house for a gift and her brother, Stephen, immediately added working electricity and plumbing to the little house.
Mary also said that her brother was always engaging, often exciting, and occasionally frustrating. She said there was no sense in arguing with him because he always turned the argument around to win it however he could.
The film takes us through Stephen’s childhood and all of his time as a student. We see the scientist in his wheelchair at home, with one of his many care givers. His first wife, Jane, appears in the film and discusses how hard it was to care for their three children and an ever increasingly disabled husband – especially once nurses moved in and the family lost their privacy.
We hear about Hawking’s marriage (1995-2007) to second wife, Elaine Mason, one of his care givers, through a brief description of their life together, and a few pictures.
Source: The Guardian
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