A Note from Our Editor, “Steve Jobs Revisited,” John Warwick Montgomery -- By: John Warwick Montgomery

Journal: Global Journal of Classical Theology
Volume: GJCT 11:3 (Jun 2014)
Article: A Note from Our Editor, “Steve Jobs Revisited,” John Warwick Montgomery
Author: John Warwick Montgomery


A Note from Our Editor, “Steve Jobs Revisited,” John Warwick Montgomery

John Warwick Montgomery

Readers will recall my article that appeared just after the demise of the Apple guru (Global Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3). Now the Mark Hulme/Joshua Michael Stern/Ashton Kutcher film, “Jobs,” has reached movie theatres in Europe (after what, apparently, was a lack of success in the U.S.). I viewed it several weeks ago in Strasbourg, France, in a special showing in the presence of Apple officials and computer geeks.

Jobs grew up in a Lutheran setting, but rejected the Christian faith after posing questions to his pastor about God’s justice and the continuing existence of evil in God’s world. (One wonders whether, had the Lutheran pastor offered an apologetic, and not simply a reiteration of classical Lutheran teaching, the result would have been different. But we shall never know this side of eternity.)

The film makes it crystal clear that Jobs embraced a Buddhist worldview, both before and during his pilgrimage to India. The Buddhist leader to whom Jobs listens tells him that one’s death is determined and that one must achieve whist one lives.

The result is painful to watch. Jobs has a single, overriding goal: to achieve something no one else has accomplished--at whatever cost. He wants to create an aesthetically superb technology of communication that will be usable by the average person and be suitable to every household.

This he certainly achieves. But in the process he reveals that he has absolutely no regard for the people around him. He cheats his childhood friend and fellow inventor of the Apple personal computer Steve Woziak out of a large part of their first royalty; he initially refuses to recognize his paternity of the child born out of wedlock with the woman with whom he (eventually) established a relationship (at that stage the child would have interfered with his work); after his return to Apple, he revengefully eliminates the “angel” (Mark Markkula) who at the beginning of his career gave him the venture capital he desperately needed to move forward; etc. etc.

Not so incidentally, one should certainly view the YouTube interview with “Woz”--who points out some significant historical inaccuracies in the film. Woziak is very attractively portrayed in the film--and he rightly identifies Steve Jobs’ fundamental failing: he cannot distinguish his goals from his success as a person.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that “it doesn’t make any difference what you believe as long as you are sincere” or that “all religions are really saying the same thing.” Jobs illustrates perfectly (and sadly) the Buddhist view: persons are maya (illusion) and must not interfere with higher things. Arthur Koestler, a...

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