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Scott Adams Suggests Bill Gates For President 1224

Posted by kdawson
from the not-in-it-for-the-money dept.
gerrysteele writes to point out a recent post to the Dilbert blog, in which Scott Adams discusses the atheist ascendancy in America and rationalizes the need for an atheist leader. From the article: "Ask a deeply religious Christian if he'd rather live next to a bearded Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his house. On the scale of prejudice, atheists don't seem so bad lately. I think that in an election cycle or two you will see an atheist business leader emerge as a legitimate candidate for president. And his name will be Bill Gates."
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Scott Adams Suggests Bill Gates For President

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  • God (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wooky_linuxer (685371) on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:41AM (#16912216)
    help us.
    • Re:God (Score:5, Funny)

      by sjwest (948274) on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:57AM (#16912312)
      If i was american i'd not vote for him, but im sure quite a few americians would vote for catbert.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      He'd better help if we're talking about the antichrist for president.
    • Re:God (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Total_Wimp (564548) on Monday November 20, 2006 @08:17AM (#16913258)
      Forget Bill, the rest of article says something even more beautiful than his possible presidency.

      I'm so happy that Atheists might possibly be able to achieve the lofy satus that homosexuals enjoy in our society, and might be even more respected than terrorists. Considering that I've been told by more than one Christian (true story here) that atheists do not have the capacity for morality, I absolutely love the idea that I might be able to catch up with gay people on the social pecking order. Now if only I had the chance of being less of an outcast than blacks in the south, but I'm sure unwed mothers and pickpockets will always beat out the both of us.

      Read the ariticle. It's hope (sniff).

      TW
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FooAtWFU (699187)
        Riiiight. Why doesn't Scott Adams team up with someone like, say, Elton John, and they can advocate banning religion completely [cnn.com] or something like that?

        How very, very droll.

      • Re:God (Score:5, Insightful)

        by markh1967 (315861) on Monday November 20, 2006 @09:08AM (#16913728)
        I've been told by more than one Christian (true story here) that atheists do not have the capacity for morality

        I think this says far more about the lack of morality of the person making this statement than it does about the morality of athiests - they are obviously only held in check by their fear of divine retribution and are incredulous that anybody who is not so constrained would act in a moral manner because they themselves wouldn't if they thought they could get away with it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Associate (317603)
          Noting more pathetic than when an adult fails to ever self actualize. I think it rather bad-joke-and-groaning-about-it that someone determines North on their moral compass from some imaginary man in the sky, but thinks it impossible for someone to come up with their own rules seemingly from out of thin air.
        • Re:God (Score:5, Insightful)

          by COMON$ (806135) on Monday November 20, 2006 @10:42AM (#16915196) Journal
          Interesting indeed. I would assume the Christian in question was referring to some kind of consistent morality. Although most of my fellow Christian are woefully ignorant about their own faith and could not distinguish the difference between Christianity and any other mainstream religion. Chances are someone they respect said the same thing "Atheists have no moral capacity" and thought, hey this person is saying something bad about Atheists, it must be true!

          That aside, in my opinion, the atheist moral issue is more of a concern because it allows the scope of human stupidity larger reign. Regardless of whether a person thinks there is a God or not, there is a certain amount of respect to be paid to moral laws that are 8-10K years old. Humanity has learned certain lessons in the past and we need to heed those lessons. Example, even my atheist friends agree, If humanity would be more careful with its sexuality, (be more picky with partners, or abstain to a bonding relationship), we would be able to make STDs a very manageable problem. Many major religions have included abstinence in their moral law.

          Now from a Theological standpoint, a Christian should not fear breaking the law because God will smite them. The proper fear comes from the human consequences. Eat Pork in 1500BC and you will have issues, weave different kinds of thread, you will have issues, or the bigger laws, Covet and you will pay $5K for a PS3.

          The advantage that a Theistic group has, is it can enforce moral law without explaining it all. But if you delve into each Law it usually has a good, nontheistic, reason for it. The whole Wrath of God idea, just makes it easy to enforce. Whereas an atheist has to rely on his/her own discipline to maintain a moral law. Good luck controlling mass stupidity that way :)

        • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:15AM (#16915858) Homepage Journal
          "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots."

          George H. W. Bush, August 27, 1987.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ndansmith (582590)

          I think this says far more about the lack of morality of the person making this statement than it does about the morality of athiests - they are obviously only held in check by their fear of divine retribution and are incredulous that anybody who is not so constrained would act in a moral manner because they themselves wouldn't if they thought they could get away with it.

          I think that is a pretty reductionist way of looking at things. Most Christians in reality do not think all atheists are immoral by def

      • by guidryp (702488) on Monday November 20, 2006 @09:28AM (#16914016)
        I agree. The point of the article is more about gaining some of the acceptance for atheists that other minorities enjoy. References to Bill Gates are more tangential.

        I think this links with a study a while back that had atheist as the most distrusted minority in America. I doubt there is an out of closet atheist anywhere in US politics.

        I think I have finally getting a handle on the fear/distrust of atheist after watching a few 30 days documentaries (atheist/christians, Pro-choice/pro-life) and the "Root of all evil" documentary with Richard Dawkins, and Jesus Camp. You eventually get the strong sense that it is drummed in from day one that there is nothing worse than being without the word of god. So an atheist is unfathomable.

        If you are taught from day one that the only "righteous" people are those that are steeped in the word of god. How do you understand someone that thinks about each issue independently? How can you know what they will think? Of course the old chestnut of atheist not having morality crops up. Having no authoritative source, how could they?

        Though it is largely inaccurate,I guess I can understand where it comes from. So maybe Scott is correct and we are at least seeing the baby steps of having a very tiny minority of those in the public eye come out on atheism and one or two TV shows with atheists. We may be in the position of starting some very basic education so religious people can eventually get to have some tiny understanding of atheists.
        • by Lysol (11150) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:43AM (#16916328)
          Absolutely! Welcome to the world of indoctrination! People are taught from a very young age their various religious beliefs and morals.

          It's funny tho, the whole 'morals from God ' thing. Any Christian I talk to (including relatives) all believe not only in words written on pages thousands of years ago (written by dudes named John and Paul, which are very Jewish names, and also hand-picked by the Catholic church in later years) but also usually support whatever bloodhsed in any part of the world as long as it's in God's name (the 'extremist' and uneducated Muslims love this too). Whether it's the (re-)invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever their morality points them, they all belive in and break the concepts 'written' down thousands of years ago. How hypocritical, yet, it's God's morals they're following. And they know it .

          I was indoctrinated into Christianity from a young age. Was told all the scary stories of judgement and this and that and in my late teens/early twenties realized that it was all bullshit. All about control, judgement - all negative. I've never met anyone who is Christ-like in the western world. And I've come to realize that Judeo-based/Christian morals are the last thing I'd ever impart on my kids (if I ever have any). They're, in my opinion, totally backwards and have nothing to do with modern living and have nothing to do with living a decent, educated, fair, and compassionate life.

          The best thing that could happen to the future of the world is the advent of a more universal, worldly, consciousness and an ascendency of non-theism. After all, there'd definitely be less or no wars (no God to justify them, no virgins in Heaven), less suffering (no wars plus no religious barriers to medical research), better integration (no separation of the righteous and 'wicked'), and hopefully more compassion (less Godly judgement), and definitely more time spent on learning about science and the natural universe and less about the supernatural, religious texts.

          While I say each to his own, it's clear to me that the Judeo-based religions are fundamentally flawed and have little place in the future of humanity. Some day, they will be realized (hopefully) as the primitive thinking they are just like the Greek and Roman and even Sumerian or Egyptian gods (which we dismiss as ridiculous nowadays). Of course, I won't live to see it, but it will probably happen. It has to, otherwise humanity will destroy itself. You have only to glimpse any religious leader/figure around the world to be sure of that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by msobkow (48369)

        atheists do not have the capacity for morality

        Interesting theory. Apparently the "Christians" you spoke to didn't take any philosophy and morality classes. Most "sinful" activities have logical, non-religious arguments against them, especially when taken in context of the times a religious constraint was enacted by a religion's leadership.

        I suggest the atheist in such cases is actually more moral than the religious faithful. They're consciously thinking about what they're doing, the ramifications and

      • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Monday November 20, 2006 @10:58AM (#16915504)

        Considering that I've been told by more than one Christian (true story here) that atheists do not have the capacity for morality

        I've heard that one too. Always really creeped me out.

        Why? Because you can infer from that statement that the only reason they are moral is because they believe there is an invisible man watching their every move who will drop them in a boiling lake of sulfur if they misbehave. So the other side of that coin is that they would be completely amoral if The Big Guy wasn't watching them. If religion suddenly went away today, first thing these people would do is go berserk and give in to their every urge - since there would be no reason not to.

        Maybe religion isn't such a bad idea after all.

      • Re:God (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:19AM (#16915924)
        All truly religious people, being Absolutist Authoritarians, have no capacity for morality by definition. They simply believe and do what they are told by the church authorities without question or conscience.
  • by Bromskloss (750445) <auxiliary DOT ad ... privacy AT gmail> on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:42AM (#16912220)
    Something tells me that government wouldn't switch over to free software too soon.
  • How is this news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:42AM (#16912222)
    I fail to see how this is news. I also fail to see how Scott Adams' opinion on who should be president matters.
    • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:09AM (#16912374) Journal
      And I fail to see your sense of humor.
      • by kripkenstein (913150) on Monday November 20, 2006 @07:49AM (#16913004) Homepage
        Yes, TFA was in humor. But is there no basis in fact? In the US, only the ultra-rich run for (and win) the presidency. Bill Gates in the richest man in the US. Now, it's true not every rich candidate can get elected (as nicely pointed out in the book Freakonomics), but still, the possibility can't be discounted. Like Scott Adams says, give Bill a decade or so of charity work, and his popular image will look pretty voteworthy. A chilling thought.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by utlemming (654269)
      I realize that I will most likely be modded down for this post, but oh well...

      I can think of two reasons why it might be on Slashdot. The first being that Reddit.com cover it yesterday. And as of right now it is holding as 2nd place for the hottest topic.

      The second reason is probably related to online sources from MSNBC, Slashdot, Reddit and other forums, as well as the New York Times best selling list that have included elements of anti-religion and anti-god media. Reading Slashdot's tone on some articles,
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Pfhorrest (545131)
        Does it offend you that certain books and articles express an opinion contrary to the very popular, widespread, and policy-shaping beliefs held by many highly vocal Americans, and that certain communities on the internet are largely populated by people who share such contrary opinions?
      • Re:How is this news? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Beige (81376) on Monday November 20, 2006 @08:14AM (#16913214) Homepage
        Right now, generally speaking those with faith are thought of as uneducated and unenlightened.
        Prejudiced as it may sound, there might be something in this idea:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intel ligence#Religiosity_and_education_in_the_United_St ates [wikipedia.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It would be more accurate to state that there is a strong corrolation between being a fundementalist/zealot (of any kind) and being uneducated. The problem is not with being religious, it is with being uneducated. There are plenty of uneducated atheists in the world. Distribution of intelligence creates a bell curve. There are more uneducated religious people because there are more religious people. If you spliced out the fundementalists, I would expect the bell curve of intelligence within religion to
        • by Mantorp (142371) * <mantorp 'funny A' gmail.com> on Monday November 20, 2006 @09:53AM (#16914406) Homepage Journal
          Can't remember where I saw this so I'll paraphrase: Among highly intelligent people almost everyone is atheist. Not a single member of Congress is atheist. They are either liars or not highly intelligent.
      • Re:How is this news? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@NOSpAm.gmail.com> on Monday November 20, 2006 @08:36AM (#16913408) Homepage
        At least, two books, #7, Richard Dawkins book, and #17, A Letter to a Christian Nation, have atheist overtones.

        You forgot "CULTURE WARRIOR" at #3 by noted atheist Bill O'Reilly, and "THE MYSTICAL LIFE OF JESUS" at #13 by Sylvia Browne. Oh, right - the world is so "anti-religion" nowadays. It's actually news that atheists have books that are selling now, but "Godless" by Ann Coulter and "Deliver Us From Evil" by Sean Hannity are, of course, not any cause for special note.

        Let me just quote Jon Stewart on this one: "Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely, in broad daylight, openly wearing symbols of their religion, perhaps around their necks. And maybe - dare I dream it - maybe one day there could even be an openly Christian president. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gosand (234100)
        I can think of two reasons why it might be on Slashdot. The first being that Reddit.com cover it yesterday. And as of right now it is holding as 2nd place for the hottest topic.

        The second reason is probably related to online sources from MSNBC, Slashdot, Reddit and other forums, as well as the New York Times best selling list that have included elements of anti-religion and anti-god media.

        To answer your question, I believe that the editors included it because, the general tone of Slashdot is anti-relig

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:43AM (#16912224)
    Think about it guys. If you vote for Gates, your country will stop working with the rest of us.
  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:49AM (#16912256) Homepage Journal
    We're a country who has had one Catholic President and one Quaker. Arguably we've had pagans, if you count the deists. But their particular brand of deism was not too far from standard Christianity.

    I predict that we'll have a Jewish president before an athiest.

    LK
  • Of course! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Esteanil (710082) on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:51AM (#16912264) Homepage Journal
    I believe him.

    But as to timing, I think it will happen a short while after Microsoft wins the nationwide bid on supplying software for the next generation election machines... ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:52AM (#16912272)
    "Your country has performed an illegal operation."

    Oh, wait............ it already has. Nevermind.
  • M$ jokes aside... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EvilCowzGoMoo (781227) on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:53AM (#16912286) Journal
    Would it really be so bad to have the government run with a more business like model? The current administration has blown away all hope of a balanced budget, would it be so bad if the government actually made a profit?

    Put aside the perceived greed that drives M$ and you see that Bill Gates is actually quite a philanthropist.Would it really be so bad to have the government run with a more business like model? The current administration has blown away all hope of a balanced budget, would it be so bad if the government actually made a profit?

    Put aside the perceived greed that drives M$ and you see that Bill Gates is actually quite a philanthropist. I can see some good things coming from his presidency.

    On the flip side though, it may spell doom for small businesses trying to find a fair playing field against the giant almost monopolistic corporations out there.
    • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:55AM (#16912656) Homepage

      Would it really be so bad to have the government run with a more business like model?


      Are you kidding me? Fuck yes it would!

      What is the one, single thing any business is intent on doing? Making profit. When you have a government operating like a business, what does it do? It tries to make a profit. And governments can only reasonably make a profit in three different ways: 1) tax the bejesus out of the population, 2) actually print money, and 3) take wealth out of other nations without their consent.

      You can not truly 'create wealth'. You can do more with fuel and machines, but commerce and taxation is only shifting wealth around, when you come down to it.
  • Gates (Score:4, Funny)

    by zeromorph (1009305) on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:55AM (#16912296)
    As if US politics hadn't enough *Gates in history.

    But a Iraq SP2 might be useful anyway.
  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:57AM (#16912308) Homepage Journal
    • Ask a deeply religious Christian if he'd rather live next to a bearded Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his house.


    The question presupposes too many things. Namely that muslims are either praying or plotting terror 24/7 and that no athiest ever plans to hurt anyone else.

    Muslims, especially arabs, have become what black people were in the time period between reconstruction and the 1960s. The scapegoat for every one of society's ills and a panic button that people with an agenda know that they can push.

    Today we have sneak and peek warrants because idiots are afraid that "Da Moose-lims" are going to blow things up. Do you know how people succeeded in getting cocaine criminalized? By scaring the white masses by crafting the idea of big black bucks who were out of their mind on the drug rampaging and raping white women.

    Maybe a muslim president would succeed in severing our ubmilical relationship with Israel.

    LK
    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:31AM (#16912518) Homepage Journal
      It is interesting to me that the USA is one of the worlds most influential christian nations, and one of the few countries on earth with a constitutional separation between church and state.

      By comparison my own country (Australia) is almost athiestic, yet our constitution bars anybody who is not a member of the church of england becoming head of state.

      Is it possible that this is a passing phase for the USA? Is the religious right being supported by people who will be dead in 10 years? Or does this run right down through the younger generations?

      I get the impression that religion, like support for guns, is just one of the symbolic markers which politicians use to stake their territory. Perhaps because the language of economics is too complex for most people so they have to base their campaigns on simple things.
      • by brianerst (549609) on Monday November 20, 2006 @08:57AM (#16913606) Homepage
        Is it possible that this is a passing phase for the USA? Is the religious right being supported by people who will be dead in 10 years? Or does this run right down through the younger generations?
        Most likely, it's cyclical. The USA goes through periods of heightened religiosity every 50-70 years or so. They are widely recognized by sociologists as "Great Awakenings". See here [wikipedia.org] for a brief article on the current (fourth) one, and links to previous ones. The Third Great Awakening of the late 1800s was probably the one with the greatest impact, as many important American protestant denominations had their starts during that era. It also had its biggest impact at the opposite side of the political spectrum - for America, the Third Great Awakening provided the moral force for the Progressive movement. Child and woman labor laws, compulsory elementary education for all, prohibition of alcohol and a whole host of other progressive causes were largely the outgrowth of that religious revival.

        Some of this is no doubt due to the separation clause in our Constitution, but probably not in the way you're envisioning. The separation clause, I think, gives both sides enough latitude to swing too far - when the religious frenzy gets to be too much for sensible folk, the pendulum gets pushed back hard the other way. When secular excess seems to go too far (big changes in sexual mores and capitalism run amok), people start streaming back into churches. An establishment church, where everyone is required to give at least lip service to the church, appears to have a societal calming, but enervating to faith, effect. No one gets too worked up about the church (it's at some level compulsory, after all), but its widespread reach allows its hierarchy to speak with some authority long before the "pendulum" starts moving too fast. You end up with societies formed of irreligious believers - which is a nice, cozy place to be.

  • by salparadyse (723684) on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:17AM (#16912424)
    My Oval Office
    My Little Puppy British Prime Minister
    My Electronic Voting Machine - press the button, the screen changes, but nothing else does.
    UN.dll has caused a fatal error.
    Foreign Country Explorer - where do you want to invade today?
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techmuse (160085) on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:18AM (#16912432)
    Why would Gates want to give up so much power to become president? Wouldn't that be a step down?
  • End of faith (Score:5, Interesting)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:26AM (#16912496)
    Anyone interested in the possibilities of a world without faith could so worse than read the book "End of Faith" by Sam Harris. This book puts forward a powerful argument against all religions whilst putting forward insightful ideas for an alternative way to add value to our lives. It also has interesting views on radicalism within religion, primarily that the only true believers of any religion are the fanatics as they take the entire bible/koran/whatever at face value and live it whereas more moderates cherry pick the bits they like and ignore the bits they don't (stoning the neighbour for eating fish on a tuesday, nah, ignore that one. Hate gays? yup, tick) resulting in the vast majority of any given religions followers as basically failing that religons requirements.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by seebs (15766)
      Sam Harris is as much a demagogue as the people he opposes. Dissenters are no safer in his idealized world than they were in Calvin's Geneva. I see no improvement here.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I wouldn't disagree although I suspect his intolerence stems from logical rather than theistic reasons which I feel slightly safer with. On balance, I like his reasoning but not his lack of compassion for those 'blighted' with the God Gene.
  • by Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) <patrik.vanostaey ... .com minus punct> on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:34AM (#16912536) Journal
    I can see this happening.
    - Finland added to list of rogue states.
    - Bin laden looses first place to Torvalds
    - US army invades China in the War Against Piracy.
    - European parliament get accidentaly carpet bombed. Suriving senator drops MS fines.
    - Microsoft tax becomes official and mandatory for everyone.
    - Making MS jokes becomes capital crime. Death sentence reintroduced in all states.
    - Gate-ology becomes state religion. Defines witches as people who use different OS.
    - enviromentalists complain on enviromental effects of witch burnings.
    - Enviromentalists proven to be very flameble.
  • by ortholattice (175065) on Monday November 20, 2006 @07:08AM (#16912738)
    No, I wouldn't like to have Bill Gates for president, not because he's an atheist, but because he's dishonest. From obvious lies he told during the antitrust trial to the one-sided, biased spin he puts on almost anything having to do with Microsoft, I simply cannot trust him. Once a person has lied to me, it is very difficult and often impossible to re-earn my trust. In Bill Gates' case, I think it is impossible. I think this is sad for him, but it is his own doing. He is not someone I admire or respect because of it. At least he has his riches to bask in, but I could never trust him.

    I suppose some will come to his defense and say that he was just defending or promoting his company, and that's the way business works. Well, I don't buy that. Does a person's integrity have a price? This is also why over time I am becoming more and more cynical and distrustful about almost any information provided by corporations - it is almost always one-side, biased in their favor, with any relevant negative aspects suppressed. This unethical behavior is defended, even encouraged, in the name of capitalism, business promotion, salesmanship, and so on as a good, positive thing.

    To be forthcoming, in the past I too have twisted the truth to my employer's customers to please those who signed my paycheck, and I feel terrible about it. But it is unethical and very wrong, and it is wrong for society to encourage it as a positive virture. I have decided that I simply won't do it anymore. Thankfully my life situation permits that the moment. I realize others aren't so fortunate. But that isn't an excuse for Bill Gates.

  • by darekana (205478) on Monday November 20, 2006 @07:15AM (#16912780) Homepage
    We don't need an atheist leader...

    We need an INTELLIGENT leader.

    I propose a community service requirement, simple speech writing, debate, basic geography and IQ tests for potential presidents.

    If we have tests for becoming a lawyer or doctor why isn't there a fricking test to become president.

    Why do applicants to med school need 100 hours of community service and impeccable marks while Bush don't need shit.

    We can't continue having senile or stupid people running America.
  • by Lethyos (408045) on Monday November 20, 2006 @08:16AM (#16913240) Journal

    Sam Harris puts it well in The End of Faith when he points out that the only thing you must be to get elected in the United States is religious. You need no education in political science, economics, resource management, social studies, or any other field that is typically involved in serving as President or most public offices. Instead, you must profess a belief in Christianity. Failing to do this and you stand no chance of becoming elected no matter how well informed or qualified you are otherwise. Now, while a cut-throat business man who heads (or headed) a criminal organization is the last person I would choose for the job, I do agree that it would be nice if we eliminated faith as the basis for electing leaders.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by foniksonik (573572)
      It's not religion stupid, it's representation. Look here at the demographics [wikipedia.org] and you will see that the United States is composed of only 8.4% non-religious people, while the other non-christian religions compose only 3% of the population, so 88.6% Christian (26.8% begin Catholic, 19.8% Baptist).

      So tell me again why being Christian shouldn't be a pre-requisite to being the top political and commander in chief of this nation? 88% is a pretty convincing argument IMHO.
  • what?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oyenstikker (536040) <slashdot&sbyrne,org> on Monday November 20, 2006 @08:21AM (#16913294) Homepage Journal
    What does religion have anything to do with setting up a wireless network?!

    I am a Christian. I work with a Muslim and a Hindu. Any of the three of us will help you set up your wireless network. None of us are planning on blowing anything up, save maybe lightbulbs in our microwave ovens.
  • by meburke (736645) on Monday November 20, 2006 @08:22AM (#16913304)
    Although Scott Adams may be the best political and business parodist/cartoonist since Dave Barry, he hit upon a serious deficiency in American Politics: Most voters don't know what the job qualifications for President are. The President is supposed to be a leader and executive, guide the country in resolving problems (if possible), but his main job is to UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (It's in his oath of office.) This has nothing to do with his religion, gender, party affiliation or appearance, but those are the qualifications upon which the voters seem to select our politicians these days.

    Which brings up problem number two: Most Americans don't know the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America, and are probably not qualified to vote. The Declaration of Independence defines the principles upon which this country was founded and the Constitution defines the process by which we govern ourselves. It is embarrassing that I meet so many foreigners who know all about the Constitution and the Declaration, but I seldom find an American college student who can even tell me what's in the Bill of Rights.

    I hope some of you are feeling guilty... http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/help/constRedir.html [loc.gov] http://www.amazon.com/Hold-These-Truths-Mortimer-A dler/dp/0020641303 [amazon.com]
  • Athiest or Agnostic? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Monday November 20, 2006 @08:53AM (#16913564) Homepage
    I did a Google search for the material claiming that Gates is an athiest and it mostly came back to the following:

    Gates was interviewed November 1995 on PBS by David Frost. Below is the transcript with minor edits.

    Frost: Do you believe in the Sermon on the Mount?

    Gates: I don't. 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.

    Frost: I sometimes say to people, do you believe there is a god, or do you know there is a god? And, you'd say you don't know?

    Gates: 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.


    Now, last I heard an athiest was someone who denies the existance of any god while an agnostic questions God's existance. Unless we plan to redefine these words or there is some more significant quote floating around out there, Gates is an agnostic, not an atheist.
    • by Domomojo (886220) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:06AM (#16915684)
      The definitions of "agnostic" and "atheist" are hotly debated. The common definition of atheism being the denial of the existence of gods is inadequate for most people who call themselves atheists. Basically "atheist" should mean the person is a non-theist. In that sense there is no middle ground. Since Gates doesn't have a belief in a particular deity, by that definition he is an atheist. (It's like being pregnant, you either are or you aren't). "Agnosticism" is about knowledge, not belief, so Gates could be both an agnostic and an atheist, just like you could be an agnostic and a theist. What most people think "atheist" means is actually the definition of "strong atheism." I think most people who call themselves "agnostics" by the common definition, are actually "weak atheists". Wikipedia has plenty of information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism [wikipedia.org]

      And PZ Myers had a good discussion on the issue in a recent blog post: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/11/freetho ught_tagteam_wrestling.php [scienceblogs.com]
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Monday November 20, 2006 @09:14AM (#16913814) Homepage Journal
    ..."Microsoft Office" would take on a while new meaning. [ducks]

    (Or for the humor challenged: /me ducks)

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