The Beliefs of the Richest People

I had a rather bizarre claim levelled at me today, that the majority of the top twenty richest people in the world were atheist. I thought this sounded like bullshit, so me being me, I checked.

Now, atheism is correlated with intelligence and education, so you would expect the number of atheists to be higher amongst the most successful people in the world. Of course, wealth isn’t entirely analogous to talent, since a lot of it is inherited or ‘old money’, but still with a (rough) world figure of 15% atheistic you might expect two or more of the top 20 to be atheists.

1. Carlos Slim Helu – Christian
2. Bill Gates – Atheist
3. Amancio Ortega – Christian
4. Warren Buffet – Agnostic
5. Larry Ellison – Agnostic Jew
6. Charles Koch – Christian
7. David Koch – Christian
8. Li Ka-Shing – Buddhist
9. Liliane Bettincourt – Jewish (by marriage)
10. Bernard Arnault – Catholic
11. Christy Walton – Christian
12. Stefan Persson – Christian
13. Michael Bloomberg – Jewish
14. Jim Walton – Unknown
15. Sheldon Adelson – Jewish
16. Alice Walton – Christian
17. S. Robson Walton – Christian
18. Karl Albrecht – Christian
19. Jeff Bezos – Christian
20. Larry Page – Atheist

If we count agnostics, that only 4/20, nowhere near 17/20 and of those I know Gates and Buffet have been extremely philanthropic via the Gates foundation, tackling genuine global issues of poverty, starvation and disease. While checking on the religions of the others in this list I found little outside religious donations, Christian summer camps and the like.

In short, religion seems to be no particular guide to someone’s charitable status or generosity and if you are religious, much of your effort seems to be diverted into the pockets of religion and perpetuating that faith.


7 responses to “The Beliefs of the Richest People

  1. “Religion seems to be no particular guide to someone’s charitable status” – this is one I agree with, it’s reality. I’d hope everyone would be super charitable no matter if we’re religious or not!

  2. Ego and self-idolization probably have a lot more to do with charitable status. When you realize the power, money, and fame don’t satisfy.

  3. Bill Gates grew up in Catholic family, went to Catholic schools as a child, and now participates in a Catholic Church where he educated all of his children in their Catholic schools. – Bill Gates – Catholic/Christian

  4. What kind of Christian when asked to donate $100,000 to support gay marriage would instead donate $2.5 million? Jeff Bezos did. So…specifically what New Age denomination do be and his wife belong to?

    • the info robot sold by Amazon, too, originally said that JESUS CHRIST is a fictional character, and nothing more was said, but of Muhammad it claimed he is specifically wise, and a prophet, among other details.
      Amazon stopped books telling historical details about islam from selling, but still sold anti-Jewish, anti-Christian books by atheists and muslim terrorists.

  5. “religion seems to be no particular guide to someone’s charitable status or generosity” is a false statement; jews are inherently more greedy than catholics. You’re full of shit.

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