Stephen Hawking and atheism: What the famous scientist said about God

Notable British scientist Stephen Hawking, who died at the age of 76 last Wednesday, did not believe in the existence of heaven and had a different view about God.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)Scientist Stephen Hawking does not believe in heaven and God.

In his interviews over the years, the theoretical physicist alluded that men have an "impersonal God" who did not create life and the universe. Hawking also publicly expressed that he was an atheist.

"God is the name people give to the reason we are here," Hawking once told Time, while promoting his book "The Grand Design." "But I think that reason is the laws of physics rather than someone with whom one can have a personal relationship."

Speaking to a Spanish publication in 2014, Hawking also explicitly said that he was an atheist. In 2008, the scientist admitted to Reuters that he was not a religious person.

Hawking also underscored the difference between religion, which is compounded on authority and miracles, and science, which is based on observation and reason. As a man of science, he believed it was far superior to religion.

But for years, people thought Hawking kept his religious beliefs private since he had alluded that "laws may have been decreed by God." He also wrote a book called "God Created Integers."

At 21 years old, Hawking learned he suffered from a debilitating condition called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. He slowly lost control of his muscle movement, which confined him to a wheelchair.

Because ALS also affected his speech, Hawking spoke using a computerized voice device. Doctors told him that his condition would shorten his life expectancy and predicted he might  die young, However, he surprised the world with his genius mind for decades.

Hawking also once said that he did not fear dying but wants to accomplish a lot of things first before his body and brain completely break down like a computer.

"There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," the scientist remarked.