Sunday, October 09, 2011

Steve Jobs: Secular Prophet for a Secular Age

Writing for the Wall Street Journal online, Andy Crouch says that, "Steve Jobs was extraordinary in countless ways—as a designer, an innovator, a (demanding and occasionally ruthless) leader. But his most singular quality was his ability to articulate a perfectly secular form of hope. Nothing exemplifies that ability more than Apple's early logo, which slapped a rainbow on the very archetype of human fallenness and failure—the bitten fruit—and turned it into a sign of promise and progress.

That bitten apple was just one of Steve Jobs's many touches of genius, capturing the promise of technology in a single glance. The philosopher Albert Borgmann has observed that technology promises to relieve us of the burden of being merely human, of being finite creatures in a harsh and unyielding world. The biblical story of the Fall pronounced a curse upon human work—"cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life." All technology implicitly promises to reverse the curse, easing the burden of creaturely existence. And technology is most celebrated when it is most invisible—when the machinery is completely hidden, combining godlike effortlessness with blissful ignorance about the mechanisms that deliver our disburdened lives....Steve Jobs was the evangelist of this particular kind of progress - and he was the perfect evangelist because he had no competing source of hope.  He believed so sincerely in the "magical, revolutionary" promise of Apple precisely because he believed in no higher power." (See here).

Steve Jobs was indeed a secular prophet for many.  Having converted to Buddhism, which is essentially atheistic*, and believing blindly in the promise of technology, which he referred to as "magical" and "revolutionary," he was indeed the perfect evangelist for the modern fairy tale that man has come of age and technology will save him.

It comes as no surprise that Jobs would be heralded by so many in this country as a secular prophet preaching salvation through technology.  For, as Father Vincent Miceli has explained, "Atheistic humanism is America's brand of atheism.  It teaches that the human race has reached a leap of advancement, a progressive mutation, not in the organic or bodily sense, but psychologically, a mutation of such high caliber that it can no longer count on any outside forces to solve its problems.  Man must only count on himself if he is to achieve the challenge of creating a cosmos of plenty and a utopia of temporal glory.  He may no longer flee for refuge 'under the umbrella' of divine authority.  The state of the world is no longer compatible with 'the idea of an omnipotent, omniscient and all-benevolent God.'  There are no dogmas, no 'static,' permanent truths, no objective principles or fixed concepts that can help explain the mystery of existence in general or the mystery of the spirit in particular.  'Objective truth is rather a function of developing mind and is always marked by historicity,'...'All we can do,' says Sir Julian Huxley, 'is to truly accept facts.'  After all, the old philosophy which held that truth is so objective that it can exist apart from anyone's possession of it, with 'ideas  always up there in Heaven,' was nothing more than a disguised theology.  And for this reason in such a superstition there was no place for a historical dimension of truth, no space for development, no life for growth.  Harvey Cox could write in his Secular City: 'Religion is in a sense the neurosis of culture; secularization corresponds to maturation, for it signifies the emancipation of man first from religion and then from metaphysical control.'  All that we have and all that we need is given to us in technopolis, even if technopolis is not an easy cup to drink..." (Atheistic Humanism in the U.S.A.).

The new humanitarian religion of Antichrist will embrace technology's amazing achievements, achievements which "..have so divinized man's Ego that man's early attitude toward and dependence on God is now regarded to have been an ignorant, superstitious, magico-religious reaction to the wonderful, the unknown - a response normal enough for mankind in its infancy and puberty stage of social-scientific development...The feat of Prometheus challenging and defying the old gods in snatching fiery power and bringing down to man on earth the arts and freedom is still a thrilling and popular scene.  This titan represents 'man come of age,'man emancipated from childish beliefs, liberated from sexual taboos, able to create for himself a world of plenty, a society of peace." (Father Miceli, Atheistic Humanism in the U.S.A.).

Once again man is being tempted by an apple.  Tempted to eat of the "fruit" which will, according to the Evil One, transform us so that we will be like "gods who know what is good and what is bad." (Genesis 3:5).  When the Evil One makes his appearance in the flesh as the Man-God, as Archbishop Fulton Sheen warned us,  "..when the great conflict between the forces of good and evil takes place," he will "appear without the Cross, as the Great Philanthropist and Social Reformer to become the final temptation of mankind."

Ye shall be as gods.  Ye shall build a utopia without Christ.  And I myself will show you the way.

Meditation: John 5:43.

* "Buddhism is in large measure an 'atheistic' system." (Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 82).


Ellen Wironken said...

Our Lady said to Fr. Gobbi that, "Whoever becomes avictim of the seven capital vices is gradually led to take away the worship that is due to God alone, in order to give it to false divinities, who are the very personification of all these vices. And in this consists the greatest and most horrible blasphemy. This is why on every head of the Beast there is written a blasphemous name. Each masonic lodge has the task of making a different divinity adored. The first head bears the blasphemous name of pride, which opposes itself to the virtue of faith and leads one to offer worship to the god of human reason and haughtiness, of technology and progress." - June 3, 1989.

Anonymous said...

Technology itself, not serving God's purposes, can lead to disaster, but here is a passage that is clearly in favor of it:

Derek said...

Not the point. Job's idea of technological progress was atheistic.

Peter said...

Any hope that salvation will come through technology dies every time my ipod batteries die. ;-)

jac said...

The atheistico-buddhist stance of Steve Jobs regarding a purported "salvation" is a nonsense and he himself had to experiment the narrow limits of this concept.
So far as the technology has not yet succeeded in developping an everyoung and immortal species of superman living on a planet protected from all the natural climatic, tectonic, technological, political and astronomic hazards all that is pure absurdity.
Possibly a few wealthy or powerful people throughout the world like Steve may have the illusion that they can have control for short periods on all the threats the common men have to undergo at least more than once in their lives, anyways that is nothing but the fruit of their pride. Pride is rebellion against God and it blinds men.
Of course, what could the most advanced and expensive medical technology do to heal Steve from his deadly illness which brought him into the grave at an early age?
And his worshippers placing the man on a pedestal is another nonsense since Steve is gone, he no longer exists, they have no hope to join him even in a remote future.
"O death where is thy victory? O death where is thy sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Tim said...

If the bitten Apple logo meant anything, it is more likely to be a homage to Alan Turing who committed suicide using an cyanide laced apple because he was gay.

Stewart said...

That's really comforting Tim. Steve Jobs as propagandist for the sodomite lifestyle.

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