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The faux religion of Steve Jobs
August 17th, 2013
09:00 AM ET

The faux religion of Steve Jobs

Opinion by Brett Robinson, Special to CNN

(CNN)— Forget the forbidden fruit logo and the cult of Apple jokes. The legacy of Steve Jobs is anything but religious.

Apple was conceived in the heady days of the counterculture movement. While Jobs and friend Steve Wozniak were busy hacking into AT&T’s long-distance phone lines from a Berkeley dorm room in the 1970s, the culture was awash in New Age experimentation and social unrest. Traditional institutions were under siege by idealistic youth rejecting what they viewed as mass-marketed delusions.

At the top of the hit list was organized religion. When Jobs and Wozniak got the phone hacking device to work, their first call was to the Vatican. They proceeded to hang up on the pope’s personal secretary before he could connect the call to the Holy Father. Jobs the iconoclast relished the prank.

Apple’s Garden of Eden logo is one of several religious parodies aimed at the establishment. A 2007 iPhone ad with the tagline “Touching is Believing” mocks the Biblical story of the Apostle Thomas, who needed to touch the wounds of Christ in order to believe in the Resurrection. Apparently, the iPhone apostles needed the same reassurance leading up to the launch of what came to be called the “Jesus phone.”

Jobs left the Protestant church as a young man and sought spiritual enlightenment in the East. At a pivotal moment in his career, Jobs’ moral compass led him to a Zen monastery in northern California, where he considered becoming a Buddhist monk rather than continuing with Apple. But his close friend and Zen priest Kobun Chino Otogawa told him he could do both.

Jobs embraced the challenge by combining the physics of computing with the metaphysics of Eastern spirituality. The minimalism and intuitive design of Apple products are material expressions of Jobs’ Zen ideals. When Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid, told Jobs to remain at the intersection of technology and the humanities, Jobs knew he had landed at the nexus of a powerful cultural movement.

When a statue of Steve Jobs was erected in Budapest in 2011, it was one of many tributes to the demiurge of digital culture. But to truly immortalize a media technology hero like Jobs, a movie would need to be made.

The din of digital media has eclipsed the dignity of statues, and the screen has become a sacred means for commemorating cultural heroes. Lincoln, Gandhi and Christ have all had their day in the Hollywood sun.

It is fitting that the new movie about his life, "Jobs," edited on Apple computers and eventually distributed to millions of Apple devices, will proclaim the technological gospel fashioned by its creator.

The medium is the message after all.

But baked into Apple products is a troubling paradox. Like a technological Trojan horse, Apple products assail our senses with sumptuous visuals and rich acoustics while unleashing a bevy of addictive and narcissistic habits. The ‘i’ prefix on Apple devices is a constant reminder that personal technology is ultimately all about us.

In addition to his Zen Buddhist leanings, Jobs claimed that trying LSD was one of the most formative experiences of his life. One occasion sounds like a treatment for an iPod ad. After dropping acid, Jobs found himself in a wheat field and felt as though the crops were pulsating to a Bach symphony. It was a sublime experience for the young seeker who saw drugs as a gateway to expanding consciousness and thinking differently – a theme he would return to years later in Apple’s iconic “Think Different” campaign.

Altered perception has become a hallmark of personal technology. The “Music Every Day” ad for the iPhone 5 is a series of visual snippets of Apple users enjoying their music. The study hall, the dance hall and the city are all transformed by the presence of the musical device. Freed from the humdrum of everyday life by their personal soundtrack, many of the actors appear stoned as they enjoy the heightened pleasure of being plugged in.

The Apple religion is not a religion at all, but a celebration of the self through personalized pleasure.

Reflecting on religion later in life, Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that different religions were all just doors to the same house, “sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t.”

If Jobs had actually spoken to the pope from that Berkeley dorm room years ago, he may have heard something akin to what Pope Leo XIII said in 1885, a century before Macintosh:  “To hold…that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads…to the rejection of all religion. ... And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name.”

Steve Jobs did some amazing things, but he was not a prophet. And Apple is not a religion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Brett T. Robinson is the author of Appletopia:Media Technology and the Religious Imagination of Steve Jobs . He is a Visiting Professor of Marketing in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. 

The views expressed in this column belong to Brett Robinson.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Buddhism • Media • Meditation • Movies • Opinion • Technology

soundoff (974 Responses)
  1. Vic

    http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/mac-vs-pc-myth-busting-consumer-guide/

    August 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The article was a just an overview of what most people already know. You'd get better information going to your local Best Buy, asking questions and "test driving" both a Mac and a PC. Reading an article is great, but the best way to form opinions is experiencing things for yourself.

      August 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        T13 I thought you liked Apple?

        August 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I like products that work. Apple works for me because of the nature of my job. My sister, on the other hand, is a scientist. One of the labs she worked for as a student only had Macs. She hated it. She is much happier and productive on a PC. It's all about the right tool for the job, and one size does not fit all.

          August 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • Vic

        Firsthand experience with PCs for almost two decades, hardware and s o f t w a r e, I build my own, but this is not the place to discuss that. I chose this link for it is simple to read. I don't expect everyone to be of a technical a p t i t u d e.

        August 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Vic, you are obviously NOT of a technical aptitude lol.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Most people don't care about the technical aspects. What they care about is if the computer does what they want it to in a way that is convenient for them. You won't get that information reading specs. Hands-on is a great way to see what you like before you spend a dime. It's the same principle as test driving a car.

          August 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          That is true T, but I hope you got my tit joke.

          August 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • Athy

          Vic, if you were tech savvy you would easily be able to figure out how to use the word "aptitude" without having to insert spaces. It took me maybe 10 minutes and one test post to do it. And, yes, I have built my own computers too. Anybody with minimal intelligence could do it.

          August 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Vic

          Here is my first try ever:

          Aptitude

          August 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Athy

          Congratulations! Maybe next you can increase your IQ level to where you don't need religion anymore.

          August 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Vic

          Here is my second try for confirmation:

          Constitution

          August 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Athy

          Actually, after I think about it for a while, that can't be Vic. Nice one, Apple. You got me.

          August 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Vic
          August 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Vic

          It is me, Vic.

          August 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I wish I could take credit Athy but it wasn't me. Naturally is could not have been Vic. Funny.

          August 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Will Vic get fucked before he turns 40?

          August 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • Athy

          Will even get to 40?

          August 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Apple: What? His blow up doll doesn't count? 😉

          August 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • skytag

          Easy to read useless fluff.

          August 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • skytag

          @Vic: "Here is my first try ever:"

          I guess you're not exactly a self-motivated person, as it was only after someone challenged you to figure out a way to get past what is surely the dumbest banned-word filter in the world that you took the initiative to figure it out. That, your many posts about Christianity, and even that article whose link you posted point to you being a great sheep. Don't question, don't take the initiative, follow the crowd.

          August 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • Athy

          I still don't think it was Vic. A religie just can't be that smart.

          August 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
        • Lone

          Athy, funny how all it took was a little clique support from Applebush and Skytag to turn a purely tech related article into a petty, personal attack and religious bash. I realize the Belief blog is a just where cynical atheists get cheap thrills, but maybe a little religious betterment would do you all good until maturity catches up, eh?

          August 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • falk1960

      thanks for this link!

      August 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  2. In Santa we trust

    " ... most clearly leads…to the rejection of all religion. ... And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name.”

    I know people who believe in god but reject organized religion; if there were a god the only way it makes sense to me is pre-Big Bang and therefore not the personal god of religions.

    August 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      It's why I identify as an agnostic Atheist. There's zero evidence at this point in our species history to indicate any god but I'm not arrogant enough to think there never will be evidence.

      August 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I agree, but specific versions of god, for instance the Christian one, is so contradictory to the point I don't have a problem declaring it logically false.

        August 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          I am gnostic in my disbelief in the christian god. In that sense I am anti-theist. The evidence contradicting it is rather persuasive.

          I should have clarified that...sorry. 🙂

          August 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          @truthprevails1

          You are gnostic in your disbelief in the Christian god? Wait, what? So you are esoteric in your disbelief? What does that mean, just curious.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Sorry, I mean I can honestly, at least in my mind, that the christian god is impossible to exist.

          August 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          TP1, lol I'm just bustin' your balls

          August 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • sam spade

        I will be an atheist until there is evidence. Then I will be agnostic until god appears in front of me. Then I will be god when I slap him/she/it upside the head and yell, you caused so much pain for so long, all you needed to do was show your face .....

        August 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Such a 'creator' would be so far beyond our perception in anyway shape or form – and we most likely would be as noticeable to this ent ity as our individual cells are to us. If that were the case, then we should continue our own exploration as if there were no creator.

      August 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • drocto

      Think a little more deeply about your "pre-Big Bang" clause. Hint: It doesn't make any sense.

      If there is a God and this god is omnipotent enough to have preceded the Big Bang then this same God would be able to have an active role in the formation of the universe. This would include the creation of the natural laws and an ability to maintain an active presence or not.

      August 19, 2013 at 1:30 am |
  3. In Santa we trust

    " ... most clearly leads…to the rejection of all religion. ... And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name.”"

    I know people who believe in god but reject organized religion; if there were a god the only way it makes sense to me is pre-Big Bang and therefore not the personal god of religions.

    August 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  4. Colin

    I heard Steve Wozniac speak at American Atheists one year. According to him, Jobs considrd Christianity to be a crock of bullsh.it and Christians as simpletons.

    August 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Pretty accurate....most Christians are willfully ignorant. A person might be exceptionally bright, but if they fail to hit the gas at some point then you can hardly fault outside assessments like the above.

      August 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      I heard this famous guy give a speech once, he was really well known. He said Atheists are quite immoral. This must be true because someone famous said it. And I just believe it, so it must, must be true.

      See what I did there?

      August 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      There was a study done recently that shows Atheists are more intelligent.

      "The studies used in Zuckerman's paper included a life-long analysis of the beliefs of a group of 1,500 gifted children – those with IQs over 135 – in a study which began in 1921 and continues today.

      Even at 75 to 91 years of age, the children from Lewis Terman’s study scored lower for religiosity than the general population – contrary to the widely held belief that people turn to God as they age. The researchers noted that data was lacking about religious attitudes in old age and say, “Additional research is needed to resolve this issue.”

      As early as 1958, Michael Argyle concluded, “Although intelligent children grasp religious concepts earlier, they are also the first to doubt the truth of religion, and intelligent students are much less likely to accept orthodox beliefs, and rather less likely to have pro-religious attitudes.”"
      Taken from: http://news.yahoo.com/religious-people-are-less-intelligent-than-atheists–study-finds–113350723.html

      August 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Responding to the Pride

        “The relation between intelligence and religion is negative,” Zuckerman said. “It was very early in the study that we realized that.”

        August 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          There is a huge gap in education levels – people tend lose their religion especially in college.

          Its not that hard really: hard evidence vs ancient mysticism. The only reason it hasn't faded is because it has been a damn good form of social control as well as a proven cash cow.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          RM–education level is quite different than raw intelligence. Higher education is generally ruled by the liberal elite who espouse their hatred for any form of religion–particularly Christianity–so its no surprise that that influence will result in young men and women walking away from their faith. I know this to be true because it is my story. My story is one who when to college and graduate school only to believe the lies of the atheists. I came back to faith not because my mama told me so–I did my own search (intellectual and otherwise) and concluded that the evidence for faith was too prevalent to ignore.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          went, not when–sorry for the typo.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          RM: Absolutely. I don't get how people don't see the reality of this. If you look back over history to when christianity initially took hold and how information was shared, opposed to today..it explains it totally. As we evolved as a species, so has our ability to expand our horizons and explore the world around us....none of that points to a god, what it does point to is more unanswered questions. It would be interesting to see where humanity is 1000 years from now if the future generations have not managed to obliterate us.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • tallulah13

          "Liberal-elite" is one of those terms tossed about by the neocon, tea party crowd - the same crowd that heralds ignorance as a virtue. Of course they fear and vilify education. Education and factual knowledge make it very difficult to maintain faith in stories written thousands of years ago by people with a limited grasp of the natural phenomena that shaped the world around them. It's hard to believe in a myth when you know it's a myth.

          By the way, I'm just a poor working schlub from blue collar parents, and my politics are moderate, not liberal.

          August 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Athy

          @Responding to the Pride.

          Well, hell yes. There's plenty of evidence for faith. Just watch the sheep being herded into any church on Sunday morning. That's solid evidence for faith. But that's no evidence for the target of that faith, namely a supernatural entity that made the world and us and controls everything. How could anyone believe such nonsense, especially those with higher IQs and advanced education.

          August 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • skytag

          @Responding to the Pride: "My story is one who when to college and graduate school only to believe the lies of the atheists."

          What lies?

          "I did my own search (intellectual and otherwise) and concluded that the evidence for faith was too prevalent to ignore."

          Yeah, sure their is. Care to tell us what it is?

          August 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • skytag

          @tallulah13: "'Liberal-elite' is one of those terms tossed about by the neocon, tea party crowd – the same crowd that heralds ignorance as a virtue."

          So true. We're talking about some seriously brainwashed sheep now.

          "Of course they fear and vilify education. Education and factual knowledge make it very difficult to maintain faith in stories written thousands of years ago by people with a limited grasp of the natural phenomena that shaped the world around them."

          Education and factual knowledge also make it harder for right-wing rabble rousers like Rush Limbaugh to brainwashed people.

          August 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Sky tag–not a neocon, nor a member of the tea party... Generally a moderate (admittedly right leaning, but still more to the center). But thanks for jumping on the assumption train...first stop, non sequitur insults!

          August 18, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • Responding to the Pride

        BTW...your site to Yahoo is laughable...Yahoo routinely misidentifies the true text of an article.

        August 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Your point is?
        Now does this site appease your tiny mind, same study...different site, another opinion: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/14/religious-people-less-intelligent-atheists_n_3750096.html
        Or Maybe this one will work:
        http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/422348/Atheists-are-more-intelligent-than-religious-people-claims-study

        Honestly I don't care what your opinion is. I have no reason to doubt these studies and if you do it is only because you are christian and it goes against what you think.

        August 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Truth (tee hee)...I don't disagree with the studies because I'm a Christian, I disagree with the studies because they are generally inaccurate and wholly misleading. You are not more intelligent simply because you don't believe in God. That is fallacious thinking 101, smeared in pride and hubris, and generally insulting to anyone with half a brain.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          You believe in a god that is shown throughout your bible to be a very vindictive monster. I understand that studies are not always accurate, however this is not the only study ever done on this topic. What we do know is the belief is irrational and quite immoral at its very roots and it doesn't take anyone with half a brain to realize that, that is where intelligence comes in. Your belief can't be taught in any publicly funded school...that should tell you a little something about its validity in the real world.
          So whether you agree with this study or not, it does seem to make sense to those of us who have a different view.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          This is why I hate I.Q. tests, they are very misleading. Some of the questions on them involve raw processing power, but not enough of them, too many of the questions require education levels that that person may not have had.

          truth's study is literally correct...an educated personwith a 120 IQ will out perform a person with a 130 IQ who has no education.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • skytag

          @Responding to the Pride: "I don't disagree with the studies because I'm a Christian, I disagree with the studies because they are generally inaccurate and wholly misleading."

          A claim you make with no supporting evidence.

          "You are not more intelligent simply because you don't believe in God."

          No one suggested that. Is this a deliberate attempt at a straw man argument or are you just not very smart?

          August 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Truth...are you really suggesting your smarter than me? Wow! Lets look at your intelligent argument: "Your belief can't be taught in any publicly funded school...that should tell you a little something about its validity in the real world." Really? It didn't occur to you that this might simply be a matter of the Supreme Court interpreting the US Consti.tution? Wow! Thank you for proving my point.

          August 18, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Tony

          "are you really suggesting that your smarter than me". Ha. Ha ha ha.

          That would be a "YES!".

          August 18, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Thanks for clarifying that Tony. With absolutely no evidence before you, except Truth's inability to interpret supreme court opinions, you conclude he is still more intelligent. O.k. You win. It must be true–atheists, after all, are so much smarter that no one should dare question it.

          August 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          rttp, Yet you believe in a god with no evidence for and much evidence against.

          August 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    I am getting married to a hot 19 year old history major who has not had two kids C-section ands thinks I am smart and has never cheated on me This is only a dream of course, but what a dream.

    August 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Trina

      So...you would dump her if she had to have a kid via C-Section?
      My 19 YO is considered "hot". She will stay away from lecherous old men with a God complex (for that is what you have, even if you don't believe in God.) You are unbelievably shallow. You wife saw right through your bullshit, as any self-respecting woman (19 YO or not) would.

      August 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Apple likes to invoke humor in to the blog...if you took him seriously, you have some real issues (and he did say 'DREAM').

        August 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  6. Persecuted Christian

    There takin' our jobs!

    August 17, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Truck Driver

      Thr tiken er jobes!

      August 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • Butcher

        Th tk n r js!

        August 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • UncleBenny

          Tr t r js!

          August 18, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Can I just say this is unacceptable?

      August 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Hill

      Are they taking your Steve Jobs?

      August 18, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  7. tallulah13

    I'm an very happy Mac user. I love my iPad, my iPod, and my Mac Mini. I tried a PC laptop. It was a nice computer, but it didn't really suit my needs. I tried an Android phone, but I don't really care for it. When my contract allows a trade, I'll be getting an iPhone. I find Apple products to be more intuitive than their non-Apple counterparts, and I simply prefer them. It has nothing to do with Steve Jobs, or his marketing plan. It has everything to do with ease of use and my personal satisfaction with the performance of Apple products.

    I suspect the author of this article is just a bitter PC user.

    August 17, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Here are the computer user types:

      1. Graphics professional: Apple
      2. Casual user, no real knowledge: Apple
      3. Wants beauty more than function: Apple
      3. Everyone else: PC

      I am referring to fully functional computers, not the Apple gadgets.

      August 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • Sara

        I would argue there are two types of computer users:

        1. Those that waste time and annoy people arguing over the superiority of one operating system or gadget over another.
        2. Those who get their work done and have friends.

        August 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • tallulah13

          My comments were only to counter the author's premise that Steve Jobs and Apple are a cult. As far as I'm concerned, Apple is a great product. I really don't care about Steve Jobs' personal philosophy, any more than I care about what computers other people use.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Sara, my points are legit based on my experience. That is all. I doubt you work any harder than I do.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I get that T, I was just having some fun.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      I love my PC. I have heard wonderful things about Apple but given that I'd need a tech to repair it, I will stick with what I am qualified to fix myself. To each their own in the end. 🙂

      August 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Absolutely. Macs work best for some jobs, PCs for others. I only wrote my praise of Apple because the author of the story doesn't seem to comprehend that most Mac users couldn't care less about the cult of Steve Jobs. Most of us just like the product.

        The phrase "bitter PC user" came into play because of previous encounters with people like the ironically named Apple Bush, who instead of listing why he/she loves his PC (as you did) decided to insult Mac users instead. I don't know why some people are so defensive about their choice of computer.

        August 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Whoa T13, I LOVE Apple. You need to learn to read.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Aw come on, Apple, you didn't say anything at all to indicate you like any Apple products, at least not in response to me. I can only read what you write.

          August 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        One of MANY potential good points.

        August 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  8. Meatwad

    This reminds me I need to get to my job at the car wash ya'll.

    August 17, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  9. Apple Bush

    Can I just say this?

    August 17, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • midwest rail

      Obviously....

      August 17, 2013 at 11:56 am |
      • Apple Bush

        damn straight m.r.

        August 17, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  10. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    “To hold…that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads…to the rejection of all religion. ... "

    Yep... sure does. Because the next step is realizing that all religious beliefs are not verifiable...and therefore one is not able to assertain the truth claims of any of them. Which leads to the point that personal religious belief is just accepting those dictates that personally "feel right". Which is essentually the same as making up yourself.

    He uses this quote as if it is a bad thing...

    August 17, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Sara

      I can't myself guess at how he's using any of these quotes since he provides no context to explain their relevance to whatever his mystery point is. Was the quote about the house's existence supposed to be indicating a bad thing? How was it related to the next quote? I should just get away from this story, because I'm just so stunned CNN selected something this poorly written.

      August 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        It is an awful piece. He uses that quote to imply that Jobs was wrong but never actually provides any substance, as if the mere implication makes him right by default.

        August 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  11. bostontola

    How does the afterlife work?

    Who we are is in our physical brain. A stroke or a bullet wound that doesn't kill us changes our brain, and many times who we are. People's personality can be changed depending on where the damage is. Even is there is a soul, what about the overwhelming part of us we are familiar with that is tied completely to our physical brain? When we die, our brain dies, all that part dies with us. What good is a soul without almost everything we call ourselves?

    August 17, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  12. PsiCop

    The only thing Robinson left out of this ridiculous diatribe is the accusation that Jobs and his company were cogs in a vast Satanic-conspiratorial machine insidiously intended to keep millions of people from ever knowing God. I mean, seriously ... people think this way? Still? In the 21st century?

    Let's get out of the Dark Ages, fercryinoutloud, and stop whining and bellyaching that some folks, like Jobs, insolently dare not toe the line of the occidental Abrahamic-religious tradition. There's no law that's been passed ... that I know of ... that forces every American to do so. (Even if, perhaps, Robinson and his co-religionists would like it to be.) Grow up already and get over yourselves. Sheesh.

    August 17, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  13. bostontola

    "rejection of all religion. ... And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name.” Pope.

    Typical arrogance of catholic thinkers of that time. Thomas Jefferson and other highly educated deists would beg to differ with this pope. Religions are all man made, most made when man's understanding of nature was purely intuitive. The result, many ridiculous precepts.rejecting religion is not the same as atheism, it's intelligent. I'm also an atheist, but it's not the same thing.

    August 17, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  14. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    What a load of cr ap. Another delusional sycophant pining for the old days of religious domination, afraid of people who don't conform. I don't own a single Apple product but I can admire Jobs for many reasons, the foremost of which is that he was wise enough to get out of organized religion and found the path to enlightenment.

    August 17, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Surely the 'path to enlightenment' is also in the section of religious cr.ap? All that hippy transcendental meditation BS is just as inane as communion and prayer.

      August 17, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        We have seen evidence of the power of the mind, yet have seen zero evidence of the power in the bible or any religion for that matter.

        August 17, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Meditation is about shutting your mind off. Hitchens said that he once saw a sign in a meditation room which said "leave your shoes and minds at the door". That att.itude inhibits the power of the mind. Buddhism, transcendental meditation, etc. is just something for hippies to do during the day instead of having to face the fact that capitalism won and get a job.

          August 17, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Sara

          Dave, there are a lot of different types of meditation and many of them are entirely secular (and no I don't meditate, but I have tried it and I have read a lot about it). The only relevant unifying factory is that most *temporarily* work to decrease analytic thought, but for many people that is believed to clear the mind so that analytic thought is more effective during the rest of the day. It is commonly held (again, this varies), that meditating will clear the mind of junk. There are a lot of variants on this, but I think you need to be very specific about the meditation claim you are criticising because a good deal is well studied. Transcendental meditation is just one, very specific form with its own claims.

          August 17, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • I'm sorry you're that sorry...

      You didn't notice the millions of people over thousands of years that have been transformed by the Bible?

      August 17, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        What about the millions of people transformed by the Spanish influenza?

        August 17, 2013 at 11:17 am |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        You mean the millions of people who have been conned by religion? Of all the help you say they have done, how much could not have been done without them? How much of the good they have spread could have been done just by humans helping other humans without all the dogma and segregation of one human from another based on faith in invisible things? Religion is the disgusting blight on humanity that has hijacked and stolen the real work done by real honest empathetic generous people. It has done nothing of its own accord but relied on hard working but gullible people for its claim to fame.

        August 17, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 17, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsrK6P9QvI&w=640&h=360]

      August 17, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • I'm sorry you're that sorry...

        For those that can't think for themselves there is always video

        August 17, 2013 at 10:50 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGwjp07oO8U&w=640&h=360]

          August 17, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • I'm sorry you're that sorry...

          Game set match .
          Thanks for proving yourself incompetent.

          August 17, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxf5QwExt9Q&w=640&h=360]

          August 17, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • bostontola

          Competence refers to a skill, what skill are you talking about ?

          August 17, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I think that a concise video can be an excellent response/post. I know that some members here feel that they are the work of the devil and nobody should ever post a video, but I disagree.

          August 17, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • I'm sorry you're that sorry...

      Incompetence refers to the lack of skills as in bostonola is incompetent in reading comprehension.

      August 17, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxf5QwExt9Q&w=640&h=360]

        August 17, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • bostontola

        Which skill?

        August 17, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • bostontola

          You accused I'm sorry Dave of incompetence. In which skill?

          August 17, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          C'mon, we'd be here all day listing my incompetences.

          August 17, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • bostontola

          We all have a long list, I'm wondering what skill this person is referring to, or are they just casting empty insults?

          August 17, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • UncleBenny

      Not. Please go away.

      August 18, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • JFM1973

      Prove it.

      August 18, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  16. Vic

    I believe the moral of the story is that Steve Jobs turned away from God and sought spirituality from Zen and material things like LSD and personal technology that showed in Apple's products and became a cultural revolution, a paradigm, but not for him to be confused with a prophetic seer nor for Apple to be confused with religion!

    Furthermore, the revolutionary Apple products come with a price, which is:

    "Apple products assail our senses with sumptuous visuals and rich acoustics while unleashing a bevy of addictive and narcissistic habits."

    August 17, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Which god? Odin?

      August 17, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Polite

      Nicely summarized!

      August 17, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Not sure how you can pin these 'narcissistic habits' on Apple / Jobs.
      Before I had an Ipod ... I had a CD player. I had a walkman. I had a record player
      Before I had an IMovie ... I had a digital camera, I had a film camera, I had a VCR.
      I'm guessing I'm not alone. Is the author saying it is narcissitic to record your life or the lives of your children? I'm sure he has a picture of his wife / partner / kids on his desk.
      All Apple really has done is to re-package technology in a more neat medium and package.

      August 17, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Sara

      Vic,how is that a moral of the story? If something bad resulted from Jobs' turn to Zen (is the author saying this isn't a religion?) that would be a moral, but by any normal standards Jobs had loving parents, a successful business and found a birth mother and sister with whom he could reconnect. He had a good personal life with children who have done well. Where is the moral of this story?

      August 17, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  17. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    August 17, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      The US is a republic, there are no lords.

      August 17, 2013 at 10:38 am |
      • I'm sorry you're that sorry...

        Some believe there are no speed limits on American roads either, but there are those that can make believers of them, very quickly.

        August 17, 2013 at 10:49 am |
        • WhenCowsAttack

          Silly analogy! The fact that speed limits exist is testable and easily verifiable.

          Pick another.

          August 17, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Non sequitur.

          August 17, 2013 at 10:53 am |
      • I'm sorry you're that sorry...

        The fact that Jesus is lord is easily proven.

        August 17, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          It's easy to test? What method? Do I pray really hard and then check to see if my balls are wet?

          August 17, 2013 at 10:59 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz6tc9hG9AU&w=640&h=360]

          August 17, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Who hasn't prayed for wet balls?

          August 17, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          I'm sorry that you can't support your comment with evidence.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  18. Sara

    Was anyone able to derive any sort of argument or thesis from this story? Is he talking about Steve's own religious beliefs or people worshipping him and Apple? I tried looking up the author to see if that would help me make sense of it and he seems to be a PR specialist which didn't clarify anything, i ncluding why he'd be writing on this topic.

    August 17, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Totally agree -
      I have Apple products, because they work. I'm not really all that big fan of Jobs either, more of a Wosniak ( sp? ) guy.
      But the author seems to be ripping on Jobs / Apple just to pontificate.
      I wonder if he has a large amount of stock in Windows.

      August 17, 2013 at 10:21 am |
      • Sara

        It almost feels like this was written in response to something that claimed Jobs left a religious legacy, but without that context we have no idea what he's talking about. Did the original claim Apple was a church with worshipers? Did it claim Jobs own religion was a legacy? The author never explains and then mixes a lot of unrelated ideas about Jobs past, his religion, unrelated stories of college era drug use and pranks and the business legacy. What the heck is this guy talking about?

        August 17, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Nope, the article lacks direction and a point. If the author has one it's completely lost in his own self-aggrandizing flowery language.

      Totally scattered, I kind of regret re-reading it to try to make better sense of it. Waste of time.

      August 17, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • Sara

        I also read it twice and still co uldn't find a point.

        August 17, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • WhenCowsAttack

          I'm sure he *thinks* he has one. Too bad he didn't re-read his own article and realize how all over the place it is. I would like to know exactly what it is he's getting at, and what his opinion on it is (other than that Steve Jobs isn't a religion)

          August 17, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • tallulah13

      It just sounded like an Anti-Steve Jobs bitchfest to me. As far as I can tell, this is one of the most ridiculous opinion pieces ever to show up on this blog. And that's saying something.

      August 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  19. Reality

    "Steve Jobs did some amazing things, but he was not a prophet." Nor were any of the hundred or so "prophets" listed at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophets_of_Christianity.

    "And Apple is not a religion. " Nor are any of the cons listed below:

    http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    Religion………………………… Adherents

    Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

    Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

    Hinduism 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion 394 million
    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million

    Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000

    August 17, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      How are they not religions?

      August 17, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • Reality

        Only for the new members of this blog:

        Putting the kibosh on all religions in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

        • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

        • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e. the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

        • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

        • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

        • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

        • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

        • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

        • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

        Added details available upon written request.

        August 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  20. Zen

    Ed Snowden is an atheist just like Jobs.
    And Apple is a religion to some!

    August 17, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I don't see what Edward Snowden's religion has to do with anything but you're right about Apple. The dogmatic adherence to the brand shown by some is frightening.

      August 17, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Know & No

      And no, the first fruit bitten in Eden was not an apple 😉

      August 17, 2013 at 9:11 am |
      • aldewacs

        Are you calling Adam a 'fruit'?

        August 17, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Yin and Yang

      The only enlightenment for Jobs was his 'Apple', that enlightenment turned to obsession for others!

      August 17, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • Zing & Zang

        More like 'Enlightenment' turned to 'entertainment' for some others?!?!

        August 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I work in a creative field, so about 90% of the people I know are Apple uses. Apple is not a religion to any of them (or myself). It is just a product line that features very intuitive operating systems. It appeals to those of us who want a product that works with the way our own mind works.

      Most of the PC users I know are in fields where crunching numbers is vital, so the more regimented nature (my description, for want of a better) of PCs appeals to them.

      Different mind-sets, different tools, but no religion, at least for most people.

      August 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Gibson

      "Steve Jobs did some amazing things, but he was not a prophet. And Apple is not a religion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite."

      –Agreed, he did some amazing things with his innovative technology, he sure is not a prophet but made a lot of profit, Apple might not be his religion, it is for million others.

      August 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.