The World Economic Forum did not declare that “God is dead” or that humans would become gods
Social media posts claimed, without evidence, that World Economic Forum (WEF) leaders said “God is dead” and that they would turn humans into gods.
A video shared online shows a woman citing an article published by NewsPunch (here), an outlet that has been debunked by Reuters Fact Check in the past. In the video, a woman claims that Klaus Schwab, leader of the World Economic Forum, said “God is dead” and that “WEF leaders have acquired divine powers to rule over humanity” (here), (here), (here),here).
I read another quote from the article that claims that “Klaus Schwab’s right-hand man, Yuval Noah Harari, has declared that the World Economic Forum has been so successful in its plans that it is ‘gaining divine powers’ in ‘creation and destruction.’” It adds that Harari “promised that the World Economic Forum He will turn humans into gods.”
Neither the World Economic Forum nor Klaus Schwab have ever made such an announcement, said Jan Zopf, a spokesman for the World Economic Forum. Moreover, Zopf said that Yuval Noah Harari does not work at the World Economic Forum and is not “Klaus Schwab’s right-hand man,” adding that the presence of Harari’s biography on the World Economic Forum’s website “simply means that he attended one of our events, but that he does not work at all at the World Economic Forum.” Our organization” (here).
Harari’s public relations team confirmed to Reuters via email that Harari has never worked at the World Economic Forum or met Schwab, but was invited to speak at the World Economic Forum’s Davos conference in 2018 and 2020 (here), (here). The representatives added that Harare never claimed that the World Economic Forum should rule the world or that the organization planned to acquire divine powers.
Harari is a professor and author of the book Sapiens: A Graphic History. The quotes in the social media posts are from a 2020 interview about this book, which the PR team referenced (here) (1:05:29).
In a longer excerpt of his response to one of the interview questions, Harari said: “Now humans are developing greater powers than ever before. We are truly acquiring divine powers of creation and destruction. We are truly elevating humans into gods. We are gaining, for example, the ability to recreate Life engineering.
In a 2017 interview with the Huffington Post about one of his books, Harari said that technology, artificial intelligence, and science give humans divine qualities (here).
A Google search for “Klaus Schwab” and “God is dead” did not yield any reports from reliable news sources of similar statements by Schwab. In his book (here), Schwab discusses the impact of technology on humanity.
Reuters has repeatedly debunked NewsPunch’s claims made without evidence (here), (here), (here).
The current NewsPunch article makes multiple claims beyond the scope of these fact checks. NewsPunch did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
No evidence. The World Economic Forum did not say that “God is dead” or that the organization would turn humans into gods. An author who does not work for the World Economic Forum likened technological progress to humans acquiring divine powers.
This article was produced by the Reuters fact-checking team. Read more about our work to fact check social media posts here.
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