Elon Musk’s views and beliefs
One of the most intriguing points regarding Elon is the beliefs and views that he holds – these are often the foundation behind many of his actions, significantly impacting how he thinks, acts, and operates on both a personal and professional level. From his views on science, which have led to pioneering ventures and developments in space, travel, and technology, to political beliefs that have helped to shape the entire nature of the USA, it’s important to understand that there are many deep-rooted beliefs that fuel Elon Musk’s fire! Over time, Musk has come under fire for many of his comments regarding politics and the development of technology, but it’s important that despite all of the money, fame, and notoriety, he is still just a human with thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the views and beliefs Elon holds, and how we can see those being applied in his wider work.
To make things a little easier, we’ll break things down into three sections, political views, scientific views, and then other views/beliefs that are entirely separate from those – by looking at it this way, it becomes a little easier to look at personal matters and professional matters as different things, which is important when focusing on a man who has such a deep history of innovation and intelligence in his many fields of interest. Read on to learn more about Elon Musk’s views and opinions on all things politics, science, religion, and beyond!
Political Views and Opinions
First up, let’s take a look at the political views that Elon Musk holds, which have been a huge source of media attention in recent years, as Musk has become more forward with these views and beliefs through his use of Twitter and his wider platforms for communicating with the public. Politically, Musk states that he does not have a specific political alignment, instead choosing to focus on the matters that he holds closest to himself and offering support and candidates who share those views. In doing this, Elon has stated that he is a significant donor to both the Democrat and Republican parties, offering considerable financial support to campaigns on both sides of the US election. Whilst this may seem like a rather confusing approach to politics for many outsiders, it becomes far easier to understand when you take a moment to see things from Musk’s perspective – by donating to both parties, he’s able to help influence both sides of the election on the matters he holds dear, which is the most effective way to push for change within the establishment.
Musk has often said that he is “socially liberal and fiscally conservative”, which is probably the best way to describe his own views on politics; he recognises the strengths and weaknesses in the manifestos of each party, without taking a tribal approach which would likely be detrimental to his campaign for widespread education and understanding of major issues within the US political landscape. Above all, Musk believes in democracy and sees it as one of the fundamental factors that are necessary in the world; he’s gone as far as to say that the government on Mars (which we’ll touch on later in his scientific beliefs) will be a direct democracy rather than an authoritarian state. In interviews with The Washington Post, where Elon disclosed that he is a donor to both major parties in the US election, he also claimed that being a political donor is the only way to have a voice in the United States government – whilst this may not be a pleasant fact to hear, it’s positive to see that people with the right ideology are trying to become more involved with politics in the USA in an attempt to affect real change on issues that matter.
In the Trump era, Musk’s political alignment did become a little clearer as he took a seat on former-president Trump’s council in a role as a business advisor. In this role, Musk gave advice on the areas where he holds expertise, but he quickly stepped down from these positions in 2017 in protest against the former president’s stance on climate change, where he removed the USA from the Paris Agreement, which aims to fight against the worrying impacts of the rising climate.
During his time as an advisor, Musk had stated, “the more voices of reason that the President hears, the better”, which is perhaps a damning indictment of the President’s own judgement. In response to Trump’s ill-informed decision to remove the US from the Paris Agreement, Musk said, “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world”.
The Trump reign isn’t the only occasion where Musk has had an input into politics, however; he has been a long-time contributor to election campaigns, notably in 2012 where it is estimated that he donated around $250,000 to various candidates and election campaigns. In 2020, Musk declared his support for Kanye West’s independent run for president, which was a short-lived dream that was quickly shut down.
Scientific Beliefs and Opinions
Perhaps the most prominent part of Elon Musk’s life is his experience within scientific discovery and innovation, where his various companies have excelled over the past 20 years, becoming a major forced to be reckoned with in every industry where they hold a presence. Whilst Musk is most notable for his part to play in major companies such as PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla, there are many more businesses where he is an active figure, which shows his deep passion and dedication for scientific and technological advancements. Whilst Musk evidently believes heavily in technology, there are a few areas where he believes there are huge dangers that we must all be aware of – notably AI, or Artificial Intelligence.
When it comes to AI, an industry seeing heavy investment from across the globe, Musk believes that we must proceed with caution or else face “the most serious threat to the survival of the human race”. Musk is incredibly confident in this belief, stating it on many occasions, including in an interview at MIT. His belief is that, whilst AI is becoming an increasingly important tool, there will come a time where it progresses beyond this if there is no strict regulation and oversight put into place in the near future. Without this oversight in place, Elon predicts that we could be on the cusp of “doing something very foolish” in terms of artificial intelligence. To really drill home his thoughts on AI, Musk has likened our work around AI to be similar to “summoning the devil”, but only time will tell if this prediction has any merit. Despite his apprehensions when it comes to AI, Musk has dabbled in the field himself as the co-chairman of OpenAI. To help overcome the proposed challenges and dangers that he has outlined regarding AI, he donated $10,000,000 to Future of Life Institue, a nonprofit organisation focused on overcoming the challenges of advanced technology such as artificial intelligence and products like it.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic shook the world to its core, with many still feeling the effects a year on. Businesses were decimated, people forced into poverty, and our entire approach to the world was changed entirely. During this time, there were many expert opinions being put forward in an attempt to find the best way to overcome the virus, but certain notable figures held opposing beliefs to these. One such opposition was Elon Musk, who received a great deal of criticism for his statements regarding the pandemic. Experts have accused Musk of acting dangerously and irresponsibly during the pandemic by spreading false information using his global platform as a source of information and scientific innovation. To see such views coming from a trusted scientific source has been seen as a very dangerous move given the seriousness of the pandemic and the devastating impact that it has had on families across the world. In his misguided outburst, Elon Musk likened the pandemic to the common cold and that “the coronavirus panic is dumb”. Of course, this viewpoint is not shared by experts in virology or the Center of Infection and Immunity.
Aside from his beliefs founded within politics and scientific innovation, there are many more intriguing things that Elon Musk has gone on record to talk about in the past, some of which are way more outlandish than others – here are a few of the things that Musk has spoken about in the past:
We’re just a video game
Elon is a huge fan of thinking beyond our own reality, which is evidenced by his endeavours in space and technology; essentially, Musk is on a mission to learn more about our universe (and any universe that’s beyond that) and is spending incredible amounts of time and resources in pushing towards groundbreaking discoveries. One of the major concepts that Musk has spoken about is the validity of our own universe – there are many theories that look into the possibility of a multiverse, or our own reality not being as it seems, and Musk is very vocal about his beliefs on this matter. Put rather bluntly, Musk stated that there’s a “one in a billion chance that we’re in base reality”, which basically means that the chances of the reality that we all think we’re living within being the true base reality is very slim, or near impossible. As an extension of this, the Tesla billionaire has detailed his reasoning for this, with many conversations regarding our own technological advancements proving that there could potentially be far more intelligent beings in the universe, whose simulations we are all found within. This would have to be an incredibly advanced and intelligent simulation, but there is real potential for this to be the truth. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the level of technology needed to prove or disprove this as of yet, so we’ll all have to just wonder “what if?” until then…
The idea of this kind of pseudo-existence isn’t a new theory – you’ll recognise the main premise in many stories from years gone by, even The Matrix! On The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Musk went on to chat about his views on other intelligent civilisations that may exist within the universe over the course of its 13.8 billion year history. To explain the video game theory Musk said, “If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then games will be indistinguishable from reality, or civilization will end. One of those two things will occur,” Musk said. “Therefore, we are most likely in a simulation, because we exist.” – this translated the complex theory down into simple terms that are slightly easier for us all to understand.
Flying cars: easy to make, but difficult to perfect
As a man who finds himself dragged into any conversation that is anything to do with technological advancement, Musk has been asked about the possibility of flying vehicles on many different occasions. Musk is the head of Tesla, who is regarded as one of, if not THE MOST, technologically advanced vehicle manufacturers on the planet, making him the perfect person to quiz when it comes to the next breed of vehicles for the future. Interestingly, Musk says that building a flying personal vehicle can be done and wouldn’t really be an issue to make – the problems arise when trying to produce them in a way that’s acceptable in society. Namely, Musk states that the two main issues would be the sound and the safety of the flying cars, which would be difficult to manage when given to the driver. Without roads or regulations, flying cars could be a serious hazard, while the noise generated to keep the car airborne would likely mean that they cannot be used in most residential areas.
Although Musk does say that he doubt’s we’ll be seeing fully functional flying cars any time soon, it’s interesting to see that the technology isn’t the boundary that’s stopping us from making them a reality.
Human life should be spread out across multiple planets
Yes, you heard us right – Elon Musk believes that the long term goal for the human race shouldn’t end at inhabiting Mars, but rather the entire solar system when it’s possible to do so! Through his innovative space programmes at SpaceX, Musk has edged us closer to Mars than we’ve ever been before; he even announced that he was planning on sending humans to Mars before 2024, which is way ahead of NASA’s plans to achieve the same feat. Whilst Mars is currently his primary goal, he’s got no plans to stop there – he’s targeting turning the human race into a multi-planet species that space across the entire solar system and, eventually, other star systems in the Galaxy!
For many, the idea of space and solar exploration is something that’s truly terrifying, but for Musk and his team, it’s seen as a necessary next step in our quest to evolve, adapt, and survive and with their mind-bending understanding of the universe, it really does make you wonder what the future may hold for us all.