Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook, has faced tough questions from Congress recently about data procurement and advertising practices. As a result of this stress, he says he has spent more time thinking about the meaning of life and faith.
“The last few years have been really humbling for me,” he said at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit. “I’ve become more religious.”
Zuckerberg attributed his growth to two factors: The issues his company has faced over the last few years, and the birth of his two daughters, now aged four and two.
“I think there’s a comfort in knowing and having confidence that there are things bigger than you … it’s why I have so much faith in democracy overall, it’s why I care so much about giving people a voice.”
Zuckerberg went on to note that when life gets tough, it makes you wonder whether there is something “bigger than ourselves.”
“We all need to feel like we’re parts of things that are bigger than ourselves,” he said. “Work is important… but at the end of the day we’re all people, and you need your family and friends and communities around you. You have to believe in things that are bigger than yourself.”
Although historically he has defined himself as an atheist, in recent years Zuckerberg has appeared increasingly sympathetic to religion. In 2017, he spent months traveling around the nation to meet with various religious leaders to greater understand the nature of relationships as developed within a community of faith.
“I’m looking at more of the world through the lens of building community these days,” he said at the time, before recalling his meeting with church leaders in Alabama. “In Mobile, we joined a Baptist church for services this morning and saw how the church provides an important social structure for the community.”
“I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things,” Zuckerberg explained in 2016, responding to a direct question about whether he was an atheist. “But now I believe religion is very important.”
The billionaire chief executive grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York in a Jewish household. He only rarely talks about his faith, and in a reply to a Facebook post in 2016 said that after a period of questioning in his life, he no longer considered himself an atheist.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice