That's definitely not the traditional, orthodox Jewish viewpoint on Sabbath observance. Certain activities are prohibited regardless of their intended purpose. Many Jews today, including the Reform movement, reject that viewpoint. And since this is an interfaith site, you're entitled to your opinion.
I am sure you are aware of the theme that Jews have a mind of their own without contradicting Judaism. In this case, the prohibition of certain activities is akin to fences around the Torah aka the commandment. If you know what I mean, fences are built to keep the transgressor away from breaking the Law.
For instance, a farmer has many fruit trees and, especially during season, he builds fences around the trees to keep robbers away. If one breaks the fence and for some reason changes his mind about approaching the tree any further, he didn't break the commandment.
Ethical people do not need fences to keep away from the fruit trees. Here in Israel thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews do not work at all under the pretext to study Torah and live off the taxes of the Government. Least they know, they have been breaking the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy all their lives as the commandment says, "Thou shall work 6 days and rest on the 7th." If you rest on the 7th but do not work to make your living you are breaking the Law all the same.