With an Evasive Response, Bill Gates Tells Rolling Stone ‘It Makes Sense to Believe in God’

Bill Gates (1995, in an (unconfirmed) PBS interview):

I’m not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I’m a huge believer in. There’s a lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. I think it can have a very very positive impact… In terms of doing things I take a fairly scientific approach to why things happen and how they happen. I don’t know if there’s a god or not, but I think religious principles are quite valid.

Bill Gates (1997, in TIME magazine):

Melinda is Catholic, goes to church and wants to raise Jennifer that way. “But she offered me a deal,” Gates says. “If I start going to church — my family was Congregationalist — then Jennifer could be raised in whatever religion I choose.” Gates admits that he is tempted, because he would prefer she have a religion that “has less theology and all” than Catholicism, but he has not yet taken up the offer. “Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient,” he explains. “There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”

Bill Gates (2010, as seen in Illini Secular Student Alliance’s billboard):

Bill Gates (2014, in Rolling Stone magazine):

The moral systems of religion, I think, are superimportant. We’ve raised our kids in a religious way; they’ve gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in. I’ve been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that’s kind of a religious belief. I mean, it’s at least a moral belief.

I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm — not all — that religion used to fill. But the mystery and the beauty of the world is overwhelmingly amazing, and there’s no scientific explanation of how it came about. To say that it was generated by random numbers, that does seem, you know, sort of an uncharitable view [laughs]. I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don’t know.

So… at some point in the past decade, Bill Gates appears to have found religion. Maybe. He doesn’t outright admit that he believes in God anymore than he ever admitted not believing in God.

However, it sounds like we can no longer include him in the ranks of the non-religious.

(Thanks to Leif for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X