Bill Gates is no great fan of the “almost laughable” idea that America has nowhere to go but down.
“The only definition by which America’s best days are behind it is on a purely relative basis,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “That is, in 1946, when we made up about six percent of humanity, but we dominated everything. But America’s way better today than it’s ever been.”
In the wide-ranging interview, Microsoft’s co-founder and newly minted Product Advisor talked about a number of topics, ranging from government surveillance (not all bad, Gates says) to his charitable work, and everything in between. Throughout the whole piece, he was true to form: blunt and incredibly opinionated.
When asked if the moral nature of his charitable work affected his views on religion, Gates was unequivocal. He said that the moral systems of religion are “superimportant” – pointing to his own family’s attendance of a Catholic church – and seemed to hint at religious tradition as part of the basis of his belief that he needs to fight inequity in the world. As for his own belief in God? While Gates wouldn’t necessarily say one way or another, he said that belief makes sense.
“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.”
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Blair Hanley Frank