Says Stephen Hawking, who "lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years" and is "not afraid of death, but... in no hurry to die."
Also, from the interview, this question-and-answer that I find quite puzzling:
What is the value in knowing "Why are we here?"What "societies" does he mean? Different categories of animals, so the human beings have the highest value? Or does he mean different societies of human beings? And why is this an answer to the question asked? It has the word "value" in it, but it seems to be used in a completely different way. I'm going to assume that Hawking, one of the smartest individuals in the world, is making sense, so help me out here. What is he saying?
The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can't solve the equations, directly in the abstract. We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those societies most likely to survive. We assign them higher value.
ADDED: Here's my stab at it. Under Darwinism, whatever is here now is what has survived because its ancestral line was able to survive. So we can look around and see all the living things and think of them as really valuable because they are alive. That is what we know: We are here because we survived, and that's impressive. Once we understand this — why we are here — we find value in the knowledge that everyone who has made it is impressive by virtue of having made it. It's the atheist's version of This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.