With The Rapture a few scant days away, people are understandably concerned about whether or not Heaven exists, and if so, whether or not they’ll gain admittance. Talk of Saturday, May 21, as being the day that the faithful will be called home to Jesus, leaving the rest of us sinners and non-Christians behind to face an eternity of Satanic torment, makes me nervous. I’m an agnostic, and so in this time of great spiritual upheaval, I turned to two of the world’s great thinkers, physicist Stephen Hawking (one of the greatest scientific minds of our or any time, whose theories on quantum gravity as it applies to black holes revolutionized cosmology and the way we think about time and space) and Kirk Cameron (star of TV’s Growing Pains).
Earlier this week, Hawking was asked if he believed in Heaven. The human brain is like a computer, he stated in an interview in The Guardian newspaper. When it breaks down, that’s it. Done. It’s just meat, only good for scientific study. (And, I would argue, zombie snacks.) “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark”, Hawking stated. And indeed, hundreds of years of research, based on scientific principles, does not show any proof of an afterlife.
Kirk Cameron disagrees. On his Facebook page, the star of the movie…hang on while I Google this, as I’m unfamiliar with his post-Growing Pains work…ah, here we go, Fireproof, points out some of the fatal flaws in Hawking’s argument. Drawing on what he learned playing a fireman in the movie Fireproof, Cameron states that Hawking has an “unfair disadvantage” (not sure what that is) and that “to say anything negative about Stephen Hawking is like bullying a blind man.” (Guess he means Hawking’s numerous degrees in mathematic and physics?) Cameron then goes on to talk about the belief that life came from nothing is scientifically impossible. (Unlike, say, a wise old man who lives in a cloud, occasionally popping down to Earth to turn women into pillars of salt, or just flooding the whole damn planet out of spite.) Then he takes a hard look at John Lennon. “John Lennon wasn’t sure. He said to pretend there’s no Heaven. That’s easy if you try. Then he said he hoped that someday we would join him.” He then goes on to say that “John Lennon also said that he was the Egg Man. And then he said he was the Walrus. That’s crazy talk. You can’t be both. Indeed, in Psalms 9:14, it says ‘Neither the large sea-beast nor the man of shell and yolk canst thou be; pick one, and dealeth.’ It’s in the Bible, yo.”
So the End Of Days approaches, and I’m still leaning towards Science. I doubt a few of us are going to be ascending to Heaven this weekend while the vast majority of us face an eternity of Satanic torment. And I’m pretty sure that once you’re dead, you’re dead. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. (And yes, that’s a text-only version of the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s page about what to do in the event of a zombie holocaust. The actual page isn’t loading, I’m guessing due to traffic volume. End Times, y’all.)