Mark Zuckerberg says he's not an atheist anymore


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/02/mark-zuckerberg-says-hes-not.html


#2

If there is one thing Zuckerberg is not, it is stupid. The cynic in me is forced to wonder if this new found faith is a reflection of the current swing to the Right in the States with the attendant increased influence of the religious.


#3

While it’s always sad to see people embracing ontologies that aren’t true and run counter to all evidence, Zuckerberg is one turd whose loss to reality isn’t any great tragedy.

Now watch the Alt-Right anti-Semites excoriate him over the Happy Hanukkah.


#4

It’s probably easier to be religious when you are one of the wealthiest people in the world.


#5

I’m not sure I understand your comment. Do you think the world is more hospitable to atheists and agnostics?


#6

I’m wondering, half seriously, if spirituality will be useful in the coming years to sustain and inform dissent. Yeah, it’s cynical. Though if the first amendment rights of Muslims can be crushed, so can humanism.


#7

Possibly offside comment but indulge me: So now when idiots say “Jews run the media”…are they right?

Also I can’t imagine this doesn’t have some kind of agenda, one way or the other…there is no other reason a guy with his kind of bankroll and influence chooses to make this kind of silliness public.


#8

I think it’s a reflection that he sees that Facebook is devolving into a place for middle-aged middle America to echo fake right-wing news at each other. He’s trying to align with his core constituency.


#9

Prosperity Theology is just a capitalist Judeo-Christian interpretation of the Mandate of Heaven.

It’s easier to imagine one has been blessed by the Big Man in the Sky when one’s entire world is surrounded by the supplication of others.


#10

Atheists can celebrate Christmas and wish people a Merry Christmas. I see no contradiction in that. Christmas is largely a secular holiday these days, just like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Of course, it’s possible to celebrate in a religious way, but that’s not what the majority of the Western world does any more.


EDIT: I do realize that Mr. Zuckerberg is saying that he is no longer atheist. I am only annoyed by the comment he is responding to that implies that atheists can’t celebrate Christmas or wish people a merry one.


#11

True. Thanks for clarifying.


#12

God never promised you wealth, health and influence in life if you followed him. You’re probably thinking of Satan.


#13

If the Zuck says it, it must be true…


#14

But he went from a sceptical perspective to a religious one! There’s a special place in hell for people who reject atheism.


#15


#16

I’m not going to get too upset about this or read too much into it. He sent casual holiday greetings that many atheists (myself included) make during December. Someone asked him if that was at odds with his supposed atheism and he responded with a lukewarm answer that was probably vetted by his PR staff before it was sent. The only affirmative statement that he believes in a higher power is the “no” at the beginning of the reply, and that’s also vague and low-cost (corporate America doesn’t care about offending atheists, understandably since a lot of us use phrases like “corporate America”).


#17

I saw it on Facebook.


#18

This doesn’t surprise me. Atheism has lost social cohesive value over time, and attempts to resurrect it from within are failing. It’ll make a comeback, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it decline somewhat. A lot of my Atheist friends who are culturally Jewish, Muslim, or Catholic have been making noises of disaffection. I myself have mulled a change many times.


#19

So far as I’m aware religiosity correlates directly with poverty and education level. Less money and less education = more religious.

Prosperity Gospel is an explicitly Protestant Christian movement. And its pitched rather directly at those who are not rich. Pray this way and god will make you rich. Though there are no end of well off individuals in that movement (and others) who justify and excuse ostentatious wealth and generally greedy behavior as the result of higher personally holiness. Essentially personal wealth is offered as proof that the person in question is a better more Jesusy Christian than those around them. These People are often times the clergy or movement leaders, as prosperity churches are largely structured to drive increased tithing/donations from parishioners. “Send us $100 and God will send it back ten fold!”. The whole thing is a rather large inversion of traditional Christian theology. Which pretty explicitly describes wealth, wealth seeking, money lending, greed etc. as sinful and at odds with a holy life. While pretty much fetishizing poverty. Prosperity Gospel is a scam. A scam that targets the old and people who are struggling.

The upper middle class and wealthy are the home of “spiritual but not religious”. New Age religions like faux religious Yoga and trendy psuedo-religious Kabala Center. Neo-pagan and assorted other new Religions. Incongruous adoption of Eastern or non-theistic religions. Like Steve Jobs and his Buddhism. And like Zuck here “I think religion is very important, but I wont define what religion I’m talking about or discuss it in detail or publicly state an affiliation.”

I don’t ever think it had that. You had “movement” Atheism which was more practically speaking anti-theism. Counter-religion activism. Not inherent to Atheism at all. And excluded a hell of a lot of us. That’s falling apart as so much of it has turned out to be smug grousing based on poor, often bigoted ideas shouted by old white men. You can see that in the sheer number of functionally Athiest people who identify as Agnostic rather than use the term Atheist. Other friendlier approaches to Atheism seem to be thriving. With or without any sort of cohesive “movement” to bind it.


#20

That’s fake news.