ETHICS and ATHEISM
I wanted to share with you my response to today’s Wall Street Journal article “Steve Jobs: The Secular Prophet” by Mr. Andy Crouch (the letter was printed in slightly shortened form):
Andy Crouch‘s redoubtable article on Steve Jobs reminds us of the secularism ostensibly typical of our age. But is it really? Socrates, the Buddha and Emerson aside, secularism is a temporal concept denying religion and even spirituality. Few serious thinkers, probably including Mr. Jobs, would deny an element of spirituality in man. The evidence is abundant that we are more than mere physical machines, that there is an aspect of humanity—a vital ingredient—that transcends the temporal in some way. If not some form of spirit, what? It is not necessary to believe in an afterlife to appreciate that such a dimension exists in addition to the four that we can appreciate directly. Because we cannot articulate it fully does not negate it.
We are constantly told that ours is a secular nation, but that does not make it so—neither does saying that our nation is not based in the Judeo-Christian ethic dominant in that place at that time. One may rewrite history, but one cannot change it.
The spiritual dimension of our founders, each to a man an individual with a strong moral base, is palpable in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution written “in order to form a more perfect union.” While not faultless (it was known not to be, hence the modifier more to the absolute perfect), it was a job well done that has served to elevate our nation to the pinnacle of society.
And so has the spirit of Steve Jobs.
This addendum (November 20) concerns Mr Jobs’s sister’s report of Steve’s final six words, reportedly uttered as he stared off into space, to wit: “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.” Could he have seen something that transcends the temporal in some way? Will we ever know?