Stephen Hawking: What the professor said about his own death
Professor Hawking had lived with the expectation of an early death for much of his life. When he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at 21, it was expected to take him in just a few years – but he lived for more than 50, continuing to reveal the universe's darkest secrets and becoming a medical miracle at the same time.
Professor Hawking said that living with the disease and the prognosis that came with it had given him aphilosophical approach to his own death. But there was always plenty more he wanted to get out of the way before it happened.
an opinion, based on medical experience, of the likely development of a disease or an illness（对病情的）预断，预后
1）If you are philosophical in your reaction to something that is not satisfactory, you accept it calmly and without anger, understanding that failure and disappointment are a part of life. 豁达的，达观的；泰然自若的
2）relating to the study or writing of philosophy 哲学的；研究哲学的
"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," he told The Guardian in 2011.
In the same interview, Professor Hawkingdismissed the comforts of belief in the afterlife, and said that he expected nothing to greet him after he died.
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail," he said. "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
But he said that there was no need for there to be life after death to make people behave well while they were alive. "We should seek the greatest value of our action," he said, when asked how we should live.
Just the simple fact of being alive at all was unlikely, given that it relied on tiny changes in the very early universe that spawned the world around us today. "Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in," he said.
spawn：to cause something new, or many new things, to grow or start suddenly （使）产生，（使）突然增长
The new economic freedom has spawned hundreds of new small businesses.
Professor Hawking has long been a critic of ideas of the afterlife or an all-powerful god. He said it was natural to believe in the divine before we understand science – but that science had now provided a better explanation.
Before then, some religious advocates had used his own work as a suggestion of the belief in a god. Professor Hawking closed his famous A Brief History Of Time* by writing "It would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God".
*在1988年出版的畅销书《时间简史》（A Brief History of Time）中，当写到“万有理论”对于科学家来说意味着什么时，“那将是人类理性的终极胜利——因为到那时，我们就能洞晓上帝的思维，”他在书中这样写到。返回搜狐，查看更多