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RIP Stephen Hawking

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Very sad news to hear... while I may not have agreed with him on many things, I do acknowledge that he was a brilliant, thoughtful man and an inspiration to many. He was, and still is, the quintessential example that anyone, anywhere, can live their life to the fullest, regardless of any disability you may have. Rest in peace, Mr. Hawking.

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Congratulations to every person on this board, who has moved up one place on the "smartest person alive" list.

 

Hawking was a man with a brilliant and playful mind.  A great loss for the science community.

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All in all, he had a much longer life than anyone could have expected, and despite everything he had to deal with he seems to have enjoyed it much more than I would have thought possible. Reminds me that I've been meaning to re-read A Brief History of Time for quite some (not so brief) time.

 

 

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Hawking's ashes are to be interred in Westminster Abbey. I don't know about him, but if I didn't believe in anything approaching a deity (except, perhaps, for the deification of science, itself), I wouldn't want my final resting place to be a repository of the Christian faith. The C.of E. seems to be setting its sights well and truly low, these days.

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On the one hand, that's true, on the other, he'll be resting there with Newton and Darwin. Looking through the list of people buried there quickly, it seems to me it's an incredible honour to be buried there, and shows how highly the people responsible think of him.

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I take your point, but no matter how "great" someone is (and with a lot of people "greatness" is debatable), why consign their remains to a building, the function of which, is diametrically opposed to their belief-system? It would be like interring Billy Graham's ashes in a mosque. That, simply, wouldn't happen.

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I don't imagine that Hawking would have been particularly bothered by the arrangement. It's not as though the presence of his ashes is likely to give extra credibility to the religious beliefs associated with the venue, and those beliefs won't be causing him any annoyance, what with him being dead and all...

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3 hours ago, Richard said:

I don't know about him, but if I didn't believe in anything approaching a deity (except, perhaps, for the deification of science, itself), I wouldn't want my final resting place to be a repository of the Christian faith.

 

He was an atheist and didn't believe in any kind of life after death. So why would it bother him where they put his remains? And if he did care about it on behalf of his legacy, I imagine being buried close to Newton is ok. ;)

 

Also, considering his illness, I'm sure that if he in any way cared for what they did with his body after death, he noted it years ago.

(Also compare Douglas Adams, a self-described "radical atheist", whose memorial service was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Granted, his death was sudden and unexpected, but I'm sure they wouldn't have held the memorial there if they weren't confident that he would appreciated it)

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