Mark Zuckerberg goes from ‘Atheist’ to ‘It’s Complicated’

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and reportedly the fifth richest person in the world, no longer wants to be identified as an ‘atheist’, he said on the social network he created.

“No,” he said, when asked if he was (still) an atheist. “I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.”

Perhaps in keeping with his newfound appreciation for religion, Zuckerberg, who used to list himself as ‘atheist’ on his Facebook profile, no longer does no.

The conversation happened in the context of Zuckerberg wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah”.

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

“I hope you’re surrounded by friends and loved ones, and that you have a chance to reflect on all the meaningful things in your life.

Zuckerberg did not respond to follow-up questions from his ‘friends’ on Facebook about whether he now considers himself a follower of the Jewish religion or not.

Judaism — and the oldest of the three Semitic relgions — is also considered the ‘original’, as it is widely seen as having served as the base, or inspiration, for the top two organized religions in the world today.

Judaism is credited with inventing the concept of ‘exclusivity’ among Gods.

While earlier religions contained many gods who did not have a problem if their followers worshiped other gods, the Jewish religion considers anyone who worships other gods as ‘wrong’.

The exclusivity became a hallmark of the other two Semitic religions as well, and is credited with making them the most successful religions in the history of humankind. Around 56% of humankind is expected to be affiliated to some for or the other of Abrahamic religions.

The Jewish people have undergone several rounds of persecution at the hands of non-believers, an experience that has made them more protective of their identity and culture than many other communities.

Atheism — which believes in no Gods — is also split into various forms and formats, including Buddhism — the biggest atheistic religion with nearly 7% of the world’s population — Confucianism and militant rationalism.

Atheism in the modern context refers to the lack of any religious beliefs, and excludes those who ‘pray’ to any higher power. As such, modern atheism also excludes many forms of Buddhism — whose adherents pray to the Buddha.

Atheists, in this sense, tend to see religions as a negative force — one which has more negative effects on the human personality than positive effects, and therefore must be diluted away for ‘progress’ to occur.

[yop_poll id=”1”]

The modern atheist tends to portray science as in opposition, or even contradiction, to religion.

Zuckerberg’s comment — “I believe religion is very important” — seems to indicate that he has moved from this form of militant atheism to a form of agnosticism or started taking a pragmatic or benign view of religion. Such ‘benign atheists’ do not believe in the existence of gods or heaven, and neither do they share the view that the net impact of religion on human beings is negative.

They, for example, value the contribution that religion makes towards taming the baser instincts of many human beings by instilling the fear of punishment in their hearts. They also appreciate the role played by religion in creating art and culture.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Priscilla, Max, Beast and me! Seeing the moments of joy and family shared on…

تم نشره بواسطة ‏‎Mark Zuckerberg‎‏ في 25 ديسمبر، 2016


Kerala government doctor goes behind the veil to teach Muslim women A government doctor in Kerala has come under criticism on social media for taking a Polio vaccination awareness class for women from behind a veil.According to local media reports, nearly 100 women participated in the thinly veiled awareness drive conducted by a medical super...
Hindu fighting for Muslim rights alleges religious discrimination by orthodox Muslims Sreeja NeyyattinkaraSreeja Neyyattinkara, one of the state secretaries of Welfare Party in Kerala, has set off a storm among Dalit and Minority activist circles in Kerala by heavily criticizing some orthodox practices among the Muslims of the state.The criticism has come...
Muslim Air Force men cannot grow beards – Supreme Court The Supreme Court today upheld service rules and provisions that impose 'clean shaven' rules for the Indian Air Force.Dismissing a petition by a Muslim person, the court said the Air Force was well within its authority to lay down the rule prohibiting the sporting of a beard ...
FULL TEXT: Allahabad High Court order on Triple Talaq Womens' rights and equality activists have welcomed the observations of the Allahabad High Court on the institution of Triple Talaq among Muslims in India.The observations, made while disposing of the petition of a 23-year-old woman and her 53-year-old husband, have also been...
Allahabad High Court says Triple Talaq ‘unconstitutional’ The Allahabad High Court has today said 'triple talaq' or the divorcing of women under Islamic laws -- is unconstitutional in Indian law.The provision "violates women's rights" and no personal law board is above the Indian constitution, the court said while hearing a peti...
Religious man denies breastmilk to newborn for 24 hrs A man from God’s own country has come under social media fire for preventing his wife from feeding their newborn child over religious reasons.The incident took place on Wednesday around 2 PM, at the EMS co-operative hospital in Mukkam in Kozhikode district, Kerala, where 24-y...
Amit Shah wishes ‘Vaman Jayanti’ on Onam It is customary for politicians to wish people on festivities. Doing so is supposed to give the audience a feeling that the politician connects with them and shares in their joy.However, it is also possible for this to have unintended consequences in a different cultural cont...
Kashmiris unfit to be free, says Markandeya Katju Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, known for often mouthing politically incorrect statements, added one more to the long list of controversial statements made on Facebook.This time, Katju has chosen a matter close to his heart, Kashmir.Asserting -- in rather colo...
Myntra distances itself from controversial Krishna poster Online shopping site Myntra.com distanced itself from a controversial poster of Lord Krishna showing him ordering clothes from the retailer as Draupadi was being disrobed.Taking off from the Mahabharata epic, the poster depcits Krishna searching for 'extra long sarees' as Dus...
Kashmir violence: Katju mocks ‘selective outrage’ of Liberals Justice Markandeya Katju (source: Katju's FB page)Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Markandeya Katju mocked liberals and called the current commiserations for Kashmiri Pandits meaningless, given that nobody 'raised a finger' when the community was forced to leave the Kashmi...
Admins of Kerala Facebook group face death threats over anti-religious posts Screenshot source: naradanews.comThe administration panel of Kerala's biggest anti-superstition and rationalist Facebook groups has come under death threats for prompting believers to desert the Islamic faith.The blog, named Mujahir 2015, is written in Malayalam, the lan...
India’s largest parody religion calls ‘believers’ to mega congregation Dinkoism, India's largest parody religion, is holding its first 'mega congregation' this Sunday at Calicut in the southern state of Kerala.The religion was floated after rationalists and science activists -- tired of holding 'logical' arguments with religious fanatics about e...
Christian man who married Hindu girl summoned by Tribunal A Christian man who married a Hindu woman ten years ago has now received a notice from a 'Special Administrative Tribunal' of the Catholic Church seeking an explanation.The letter dated six days ago "requests" the man to appear before the 'tribunal' to discuss how he ende...
MUSLIM PROTESTS: Kerala newspaper apologizes for comment on Prophet Mohammed Mathrubhumi, Kerala's second largest newspaper and one of the top ten in the country, was forced to issue an unconditional apology after religious and political organizations held widespread protests outside its offices for publishing 'blasphemous' content about Prophet Moham...
Supreme Court sends notice to Center on Muslim divorce laws in India The Supreme Court today sent notice to the central government in a case based on a complaint by a Muslim woman that the divorce laws applied to her in India are not in conformity with the concept of gender equality promised by the Indian constitution.The court today sought th...
No plans to forcibly take temple treasure under gold monetization scheme – Govt The government of India clarified that it had no plans to forcibly take gold from religious or other institutions under its recently launched monetization scheme.It came up with the clarification in the wake of media reports to the contrary."Some sections of the media hav...
Six new IITs to be set up in AP, Goa, Jammu, Kerala, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved setting up of six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jammu, Kerala and Karnataka.They will be initially established as societies and later converted to '...
Two-thirds of Indians could see temperature rise by over 2 degrees due to climate change The impact of climate change on India would be more drastic than on many countries, according to a new paper released today by IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Gandhinagar and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).The country would need over $1 trillion from now until 2030 to...
Taslima Nasreen mocks Indian liberals for being complacent about Islamist threat Taslima Nasreen, who was forced to leave Bangladesh after religious fundamentalists there objected to her writings, has accused 'pseudo secular' liberals in her host country India of being complacent about the threat of Islamist fundamentalist in India."ISIS has planned to ta...
Maharashtra Govt to earn Rs 10,000 cr from Kumbh Mela The Maharashtra government may likely to generate over Rs. 10,000 crores (approx) revenues in its coffers due to Kumbh Mela, scheduled after 12 years in Nashik, reveals an ASSOCHAM latest assessment.The Maha Kumbh, starting from 14 July in Nasikh will generate additiona...
Some of us are aging thrice as fast as normal – Study Some people age far faster than others even if they look young, a study of over a thousand people conducted by University of Otago in New Zealand confirmed.The study found that at a real age of 38, some of the participants were showing signs of being much older than they shou...
Swaraj Abhiyan to establish ‘aman committees’ across India to ensure communal harmony Swaraj Abhiyan, the new outfit floated by Aam Aadmi Party leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, said it is planning to establish 'Aman' or peace committees across India to counter religious polarization.The move is a response to attempts by fundamentalist religious and...
India’s Mars Obiter Mission lasts longer than expected India's first interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission, has exhausted its official on-Mars life-span of six months on March 24, but the spacecraft continues to send data back to earth, according to ISRO.The main factor determining how long the craft, which is currentl...
Kiss of Love Calicut – Most political outfits stay away A number of students and young people were arrested by the police for holding Kiss of Love protests in Calicut even as they were opposed by splinter right wing groups.On the face of it, there seemed to be 200 protesters in favor of Kiss of Love in Calicut, more than in Kochi...
Kerala sees decline in Dalit population; Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra lead Kerala is the only state in which the population of scheduled caste sections has fallen in India between 2001 and 2011, according to the latest census numbers.In Kerala, which has arguably the highest living standard in India, scheduled caste population fell by 2.7% in the te...