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Justin M. Stoddard


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A Life of Good Works
November 2, 2011 — 8:13 pm

Over on Reddit, I stumbled upon this post in the Atheist subreddit:

Idolize Bill Gates, Not Steve Jobs: At the end of his life, Steve Jobs obsessed over his legacy: Apple. Bill Gates stepped away from Microsoft in 2006 and has devoted his genius to solving the world’s biggest problems, despite the fact that solving those problems doesn’t create profit or fame.

I quickly pointed out that it was laughably ironic that this was posted in an atheist forum as it oozes religiosity.

Well, no, actually. This has everything to do with being in the Atheism subreddit because it is religious nonsense. Let me rewrite that for you:

Idolize Bill Gates, Not Steve Jobs: At the end of his life he did not repent his sins and he obsessed over his legacy: Apple. Bill Gates stepped away from sin and is living a life of good works, despite his prior sin.

There are no economic or philosophical arguments here. We are just told whom to admire (idolize) and whom not to admire (idolize) based on a moral judgment, when none is warranted. How many people benefited from the success of Steve Jobs? How many people’s lives are better off because of that success? How many more people have access to free or near free limitless information because of the competitive nature between Apple and Microsoft?

These questions aren’t asked. Don’t admire Steve Jobs because he didn’t rebuke sin on his deathbed. Admire Bill Gates because he has rebuked sin and is now doing good works.

Religiosity is a very hard thing to let go of, apparently.

Edit: It’s not only astounding that this was posted in an Atheist forum without comment on its religious nature, it’s fantastic that my comment is getting down-voted for pointed it out.

I made a few more running comments, but most were down-voted rather quickly.

This is something that has been on my mind for quite a long time, now. That ardent ‘atheists’ recycle this kind of religiosity is amazing to me. The modern atheist movement has developed some of the most effectively devastating rhetorical tools arguing against the case for God that it’s sometimes embarrassing to watch people try to defend against them.

Yet, many are blind to this kind of religious thinking. More ironically, the same arguments are just as effective against it. And still they do not see.

Religiosity and biases are indeed powerful forces in our nature.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (1)

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1 Comment
  1. It has been a few years since Istopped by this site, and this, the first entry on the page, instantly reminded me of what I’ve been missing. I have been gone from this bastion of intellect for too long. I feel like any metaphor that reflects the unexpected sweetness of returning to something long-forgotten. I must read on…

    Comment by Paul — April 24, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

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