Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Andy Rooney was an atheist

In this August 1978 file photo, CBS News producer and correspondent Andrew Rooney poses for photos in his New York office. CBS says former "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney died at age 92. (AP Photo/Carlos Rene Perez, File)

I have written several posts about Steve Jobs who many thought was an atheist and I have a lot of links before.

Wikipedia reported:

He claimed on Larry King Live to have a liberal bias, stating, “There is just no question that I, among others, have a liberal bias. I mean, I’m consistently liberal in my opinions.”[30] In a controversial 1999 book Rooney self-identified as agnostic,[31] and in 2008, Rooney said he was an atheist.[32] Over the years, many of his editorials poked fun at the concept of God and organized religion. Increased speculation on this was brought to a head by a series of comments he made regarding Mel Gibson‘s film The Passion of the Christ (2004).[33]

Though Rooney has been called Irish-American, he once said “I’m proud of my Irish heritage, but I’m not Irish. I’m not even Irish-American. I am American, period.”

In 2005, when four people were fired at CBS News perhaps because of the Killian documents controversy, Rooney said, “The people on the front lines got fired while the people most instrumental in getting the broadcast on escaped.” Others at CBS had “kept mum” about the controversy.[34]

Andy Rooney was an agnostic at least although some reports have him claiming to be an atheist.

The only thing that I hide from people, that I have never said so far as being blunt and honest goes, is that I am not a religious person. I’m not sure the American public would accept from me that fact. I don’t think that would please them or that it would attract a lot of people to me. And I take the position that it is sort of a personal matter, so I do not ever make an issue of it.”

Andy Rooney

Trivia
In 2003, an e-mail purporting to be a 60 Minutes Transcript began circulating on the Internet. The e-mail assigns numerous political opinions to Rooney. He has said that the remarks were not his and that he did not agree with many of them.

In an interview segment on the satirical program, Da Ali G Show, Rooney erronously criticized the artist for his use of the word racialist. A relatively unused term in the United States, Rooney, among other criticisms of the artist’s speech, refused to accept Ali G’s use of the term and eventually conceded out of annoyance. In the same interview, Rooney thought he corrected Ali G’s grammar in the sentence “does you think the media has changed?”, by telling him it’s “do you think the media has changed”, overlooking the grammatical error he made himself by using the word “has” instead of “have” for the plural noun, “media”. Also in his anger, Rooney claimed that the press has never printed election results before the election was over, which is contrary to the famous case of the Chicago Daily Tribune printing “Dewey defeats Truman”.

An excerpt from an article on Rooney in the November 19, 2004 edition of The Tufts Daily:

Rooney also attributed voters’ reliance on religion in the recent election to ignorance. “I am an atheist,” Rooney said. “I don’t understand religion at all. I’m sure I’ll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it’s all nonsense.”

He said Christian fundamentalism is a result of “a lack of education. They haven’t been exposed to what the world has to offer.”

via Brian Westley and Michael Silver

_______________________________

Associated Press
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Nov 5, 8:51 AM EDT

Andy Rooney: Each Sunday he looked at the everyday

By FRAZIER MOORE
AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — It would be interesting to know what Andy Rooney would say now about the great beyond.

But if there’s a hereafter for the once lovably cantankerous commentator on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” he, even as a new arrival, would already have some pointed reactions – and some bones to pick.

Sure, it’s Paradise. But who can sleep with all that harp-playing? Maybe he’s still miffed about the long line at the Pearly Gates. And, though he was never a fashion plate, he might have a beef with wearing white after Labor Day.

That was Rooney’s style during his 92-year life and remarkable career. He shrewdly observed the world he shared with the rest of us, and then gave voice to the everyday vexations and conundrums that afflict us all.

“I probably haven’t said anything here that you didn’t already know or have already thought,” he declared in his final “60 Minutes” essay – his 1097th – on Oct. 2, 2011. “That’s what a writer does.”

Despite his decades as a “60 Minutes” fixture, Rooney was a writer, not a talking head. Words, not vamping for the camera, were his stock in trade since his first “60 Minutes” essay in 1978, just as words were his business for more than 30 years before that.

Rooney, who died Friday, had been a champion of words on TV ever since he joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for the red-hot “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.” Within a few years he was also writing for such CBS News public-affairs such as “The Twentieth Century” and “Calendar.”

A World War II veteran who reported for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, he came from an ink-on-dead-trees brand of journalism that he never renounced. (During his CBS career, he had a syndicated newspaper column and published 16 books.) So it was logical that he would join “60 Minutes” with its inception in 1968. After all, the legendary creator of “60 Minutes,” Don Hewitt, is well remembered for insisting that, even on the visual medium of TV, the words should come first and the pictures follow. A decade later, Rooney was 59. At an age when many people might be pondering retirement, he took his seat before the camera to deliver his first “60 Minutes” essay.

Beetle-browed and rumpled, he wasn’t telegenic by conventional standards. But nobody minded, or even noticed. Viewers listened to his words and his wry delivery, and he caught on.

One reason is clear: He tapped into experiences common to his audience.

In his opinion pieces, he drew from a wellspring of random nuisances and absurdities, noting how life often doesn’t add up, especially in the modern day. This nettled him mightily, and his essays gave us license to be irked, too, as we tapped into our own inner fuddy-duddy.

One Sunday, for example, Rooney focused on motion-picture credits. There are too many of them. They take too long. Who cares, anyway? Things were better when he was a kid, without all those names cluttering the screen and wasting everybody’s time.

Another week, he marveled that, “If I’m so average American, how come I’ve never heard of most of the musical groups” – such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Usher – “that millions of other Americans apparently are listening to?”

He raised topics on which we all could readily agree: how packages misleadingly are bigger than the volume of product they contain, and how “computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.” Amen!

He validated things in his own wry style that everybody knows: Like, how air travel stinks and how “nothing in fine print is ever good news.”

He took notably bold stands on certain major issues. He was one of television’s few voices to strongly oppose the war in Iraq when it began.

But there were easy targets, too. “There are a lot of know-nothing boobs who don’t appreciate the modern art being put up in public places in all our cities,” he declared peevishly one week. “I know this is true, because I’m one of those know-nothing boobs.”

Then, occasionally, he strayed into areas beyond his understanding. For example, he dismissed Kurt Cobain’s 1994 suicide as, in effect, a selfish act. What did Cobain know about suffering? The 27-year-old rock star hadn’t suffered through a war or the Depression! (The next week, he apologized on the air.)

He could play rough.

“One of my major shortcomings – I’m vindictive,” he pleasantly acknowledged in a 1998 interview with The Associated Press. “I don’t know why that is. Even in petty things in my life I tend to strike back. It’s a lot more pleasurable a sensation than feeling threatened.”

He summed up: “There’s no question I have a negative streak, which has served me well.”

Indeed. But if Rooney sometimes championed a get-off-my-lawn brand of crankiness, there was usually a twinkle in his eye and a “we’re-in-this-together” tone to his writing that gave comfort to his flock.

“I’ve done a lot of complaining here,” he acknowledged in his farewell commentary, and voiced a parting complaint: He doesn’t like being famous, nor does he like being bothered by fans. “I walk down the street now or go to a football game and people shout, `Hey, Andy!’ And I hate that.” No autographs, please.

“But of all the things I’ve complained about, I can’t complain about my life.” Without even being told, his fans always knew that beneath Rooney’s grumbling was gratitude for all the good things – his family, his job, his country – that life had given him. His fans identified with that, too.

Oh, sure, there were viewers who grew weary of his act, of his comments on the fleeting and the mundane (which, in a popular parody of Rooney, would begin as “Didja ever notice …?” – a phrase he insisted he had never used). Detractors thought he had long outstayed his welcome.

Even so, as he delivered his final essay – which he titled “My Lucky Life” – he spoke for much of the “60 Minutes” audience when he said, “This is a moment I have dreaded. I wish I could do this forever. I can’t though.”

Then he insisted he wasn’t retiring: “Writers don’t retire and I’ll always be a writer.”

For Rooney, it all came down to the writing, the words: simple, succinct, sometimes pungent, sometimes funny. And not many of them in a single serving.

His voice is stilled now, but never fear: If there are computers in heaven doing needless tasks, or forms containing fine print, or “the dullest” Olympic sport of curling, odds are Rooney is writing a cantankerous response.

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What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life?

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Steve Jobs depicted at pearly gates with Saint Peter

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Steve Jobs’ last words and his spiritual views

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address Uploaded by StanfordUniversity on Mar 7, 2008 Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death […]

Steve Jobs’ Father

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve Jobs was a Buddhist: What is Buddhism? ,Did Steve Jobs help people even though he did not give away a lot of money? )

Another good article on Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs’ Father Was

On a daily basis, I sit in awe at the amount of nonsense that pervades the world’s media. The latest is the preoccupation with the ethnicity of Steve Jobs’ birth father.

Steve Jobs was adopted at birth. And until his untimely death last week, as far as almost anyone in the world knew, Steve Jobs was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jobs — father Paul and mother Clara.

In fact, as far as Steve Jobs himself was concerned, his only parents were Paul and Clara Jobs. As The New York Times reported nearly 15 years ago (“Creating Jobs,” January 12, 1997), “Jobs holds a firm belief that Paul and Clara Jobs were his true parents. A mention of his ‘adoptive parents’ is quickly cut off. ‘They were my parents,’ he says emphatically.”

But in reading much of the world’s press in the past week, one would be excused if he or she came to think of another man as Steve Jobs’ father.

The amount of attention paid to his birth father, a Syrian-born American named Abdulfattah Jandali, dwarfed the amount of attention paid to Paul (or, for that matter, Clara) Jobs.

By all accounts, Jandali is a fine man, and nothing written here is meant in any way to counter that assessment.

But I have to ask: Given that Jandali and Steve Jobs never once met, and that Steve Jobs thought only of Paul Jobs as his father, why all the attention to Jandali? And why no attention to Jobs’ birth mother?

For example, take this headline in the International Business Times: “Steve Jobs Dies: He Was The Most Famous Arab in the World.” Or the headline of this article in The New York Times: “Steve Jobs, Son of a Syrian, Is Embraced in the Arab World.”

I suspect that there are two unimpressive things going on here: political correctness and a widespread belief that blood is important and therefore adoptive parents aren’t a person’s “real” parents.

First, the political correctness.

The press feels bad for the Arab world in general and for Arab-Americans in particular. The former is almost never in the news for anything positive, and the latter are deemed victims of xenophobia and Islamophobia. So if one of the giants of our age can be declared an Arab and an Arab-American, many in the media are only too delighted to do so.

Though the birth father played no role whatsoever in the life of Steve Jobs, article after article has been written about Jandali. That this has been motivated by a desire to label Steve Jobs an Arab-American is further proven by the fact that we read nothing of the birth mother — which is particularly noteworthy given that those who are preoccupied with blood parents are almost always more preoccupied with the identity of the birth mother than that of the birth father. But the poor woman is merely a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, a member of the only American group that is granted no special status by the Politically Correct.

So a man whose only parents were WASPs and one of whose birth parents was a WASP is now declared an Arab. Google “Steve Jobs Arab” and you’ll get 86 million hits.

The other unfortunate trend is the belief — widely held in the media, academia, the social work community and among the well-educated, generally — that adoptive parents are not one’s “real” parents. Even many adoptive parents have been convinced by social workers and others that their foreign-born sons or daughters must be educated in the language and culture of their birth group. Instead of regarding their Korean- or Chinese- or Honduran-born child as fully American, many American adoptive parents are convinced that they must teach their child Korean, Chinese or Spanish language and culture. And many of the particularly sophisticated are adamant that their children one day go to those countries to find their “birth families.”

Once each year on my radio show, I devote an hour to making the case for how much less blood matters than love and values. And for anyone who disagrees, I offer the following story.

One year, a man called in to tell me that while he nearly always agreed with me, I was simply wrong on this issue. He explained that he was the only child of Jewish Holocaust survivors and that the Nazis had murdered every one of his parents’ relatives. He was literally the only blood relative they had. Now, he asked, can I see how blood can be very important — and that a blood child is different from an adopted one?

I responded by asking this man to ask his parents one question: “Would you rather have a blood child who converted from Judaism to another religion or an adopted child who was a committed Jew?”

That one question changed his mind.

None of this is meant in any way as disrespectful to Arabs or Arab Americans. I would say this if his birth father was Jewish or Albanian or Greek: Steve Jobs was an American, the son of Paul and Clara Jobs. Period.

Steve Jobs depicted at pearly gates with Saint Peter

It is strange that the New Yorker Magazine did no research.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve Jobs was a Buddhist: What is Buddhism? ,Did Steve Jobs help people even though he did not give away a lot of money? )

The New Yorker Disrespects Steve Jobs, Religion

Posted by  | 10/08/2011 | 10 Comments and 6 Reactions

The New Yorker released its tribute cover of Steve Jobs, which will grace the October 17 edition of the magazine. In a blog post, The New Yorker shows that the cover will depict Steve Jobs meeting Saint Peter at the pearly gates. Saint Peter is using an iPad, apparently using it to do a little research before deciding if Jobs will be admitted to heaven or sent to a place with a warmer climate.

There’s only one problem here: Steve Jobs was a Buddhist.

The New Yorker’s Cover: Apple Co-Founder Meets St. Peter

I’m sure New York means well by devoting a cover to Apple’s co-founder, but this illustration smacks of ignorance. Yes, the New Yorker’s known for satire, but is this really the right way to approach it before his family’s even heldservices for him? How about showing Steve Jobs a little respect by at least depicting him with a religious idol he’s believed in?

Anil Dash, a writer and entrepreneur tweeted the following in reaction to The New Yorker:

Always annoys me when non-Christians are portrayed as reaching a Christian heaven when they die. It’s not a compliment.

Jonah Peretti, replied by tweeting:

@anildash also the depiction is inaccurate since non-Christians go to hell when they die

Each religion has its own theory of what happens to us in the afterlife. Whatever your beliefs (or lack of religios beliefs) are, it’s an ultimate sign of disrespect to be memorialized in a manner which doesn’t reflect how you lived. You wouldn’t place a a cross over a Jew’s grave or hold a Catholic mass for an atheist, would you?  The New Yorker most certainly wouldn’t dare depicting a deceased celebrity in any stage of Islmaic rites unless its editors were 1000% sure he was a Muslim.

It’s wrong for The New Yorker to either assume Steve Jobs was Catholic or simply ignore his religious beliefs and depict him in front of the pearly gates. Why couldn’t The New Yorker do just a little bit of research and maybe depict him interacting with Buddha under a Bodhi tree?

What do you think about The New Yorker’s tribute to Steve Jobs? I think there’s a bit of ignorance on The New Yorker’s part here. The magazine’s publishers should illustrate a more fitting cover if it they hope to honor Steve Jobs.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died Wednesday, just a day after his colleagues introduced the iPhone 4S. He resigned from his role as Apple’s CEO just six weeks ago.

Author Archive: Xavier Lanier

Xavier Lanier is a mobile technology enthusiast and avid photographer. Based in San Francisco, Xavier is the publisher of GottaBeMobile.com and Notebooks.com

Steve Jobs was a Buddhist: What is Buddhism?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs: Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve Jobs was a Buddhist: What is Buddhism? ,Did Steve Jobs help people even though he did not give away a lot of money? )

 
Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011. I personally am very grateful to him for helping the world so much with his ideas and I have written about that before. Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute noted:

He’s built a $360 billion company. That presumably means at least $352 billion of wealth in the hands of people other than himself. And that doesn’t even begin to count how consumers have benefited from his products, the jobs he has created, and the indirect positive impact of his company on suppliers and retailers.

According to published reports Steve Jobs was a Buddhist and he had a very interesting quote on death which I discussed in another post. Back in 1979 I saw the film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? by Francis Schaeffer and I also read the book.

Francis Schaeffer observes in How Should We Then Live: The Rise And Decline Of Western Thought And Culturethat evolutionary theory in the form of humanistic thought has reduced everything to the level of a component in a great universal machine.

Of this outlook, Schaeffer writes, “In one form of reductionism, man is explained by reducing him to the smallest particles which make up his body. Man is seen as being only the molecule or the energy particle, more complex but not intrinsically different (164).”

To prove such an observation is more than Evangelical hyperbole, Schaeffer quotes Harvard University Chemistry Professor George Wald who said, “Four hundred years ago there was a collection of molecules named Shakespeare which produced Hamlet(164).”

In order to remain consistent, those holding to such a perspective have to concede such a masterpiece is not so much the result of creative insight as it is a fortuitous case of gas. And to any naturalist offended by my remarks, they cannot very well complain about them since by their own worldview, I had no control over what I wrote.

(Above remarks taken from blog of  Frederick Meekins)

After I read that I had the opportunity three times in the 1990’s to correspond with Dr. George Wald of Harvard. In one of his letters he suggested that Atheism and Buddhism are the same thing. I tend to agree. Below is a futher discussion of Buddhism.

Buddhism Print E-mail

Patrick Zukeran Written by Pa

For centuries, Buddhism has been the dominant religion of the Eastern world. With the rise of the Asian population in the United States, Buddhism has had a tremendous impact on this country as well. Presently, there are an estimated 300 million Buddhists in the world and 500 thousand in the United States.{1} It remains the dominant religion in the state of Hawaii, and many prominent Americans have accepted this religion, including the former governor of California, Jerry Brown,{2} Tina Turner, Phil Jackson (coach of the Los Angeles Lakers), Richard Gere, and Steven Seagal. The Dalai Lama has become a prominent spiritual figure for many throughout the world.

The Origin of Buddhism

Buddhism began as an offspring of Hinduism in the country of India. The founder was Siddhartha Gautama. It is not easy to give an accurate historical account of the life of Gautama since no biography was recorded until five hundred years after his death. Today, much of his life story is clouded in myths and legends which arose after his death. Even the best historians of our day have several different–and even contradictory–accounts of Gautama’s life.

Siddhartha Gautama was born in approximately 560 B.C. in northern India. His father, Suddhodana, was the ruler over a district near the Himalayas which is today the country of Nepal. Suddhodana sheltered his son from the outside world and confined him to the palace where he surrounded Gautama with pleasures and wealth.

Despite his father’s efforts, however, Gautama one day saw the darker side of life on a trip he took outside the palace walls. He saw four things that forever changed his life: an old man, a sick man, a dead man, and an ascetic. Deeply distressed by the suffering he saw, he decided to leave the luxury of palace life and begin a quest to find the answer to the problem of pain and human suffering.

Gautama left his family and traveled the country seeking wisdom. He studied the Hindu scriptures under Brahmin priests, but became disillusioned with the teachings of Hinduism. He then devoted himself to a life of extreme asceticism in the jungle. He soon concluded, however, that asceticism did not lead to peace and self-realization but merely weakened the mind and body.

Gautama eventually turned to a life of meditation. While deep in meditation under a fig tree known as the Bohdi tree (meaning, “tree of wisdom”), Gautama experienced the highest degree of God-consciousness called nirvana. Gautama then became known as Buddha, the “enlightened one.” He believed he had found the answers to the questions of pain and suffering. His message now needed to be proclaimed to the whole world.

As he began his teaching ministry, he gained a quick audience with the people of India since many had become disillusioned with Hinduism. By the time of his death at age 80, Buddhism had become a major force in India.

Expansion and Development of Buddhism

Buddhism remained mostly in India for three centuries until King Ashoka, who ruled India from 274-232 B.C., converted to Buddhism. Ashoka sent missionaries throughout the world, and Buddhism spread to all of Asia.

Even before its expansion, two distinct branches developed, a conservative and a liberal school of thought. The conservative school is labeled Theravada, and it became the dominant form of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Thus, it is also called Southern Buddhism. Southern Buddhism has remained closer to the original form of Buddhism. This school follows the Pali Canon of scripture, which, although written centuries after Gautamas death, contains the most accurate recording of his teachings.

The liberal school is Mahayana Buddhism, which traveled to the north into China, Japan, Korea, and Tibet, and is also called Northern Buddhism. As it spread north, it adopted and incorporated beliefs and practices from the local religions of the land. The two branches of Buddhism are so different they appear to be two different religions rather than two branches of the same tree. Here are a few differences.

Theravada Buddhism sees Buddha as a man. Gautama never claimed to be deity, but rather a “way shower.” Mahayana Buddhism, however, worships Buddha as a manifestation of the divine Buddha essence. Since Gautama, many other manifestations or bodhisattvas have appeared. An example is Tibetan Buddhism, which worships the spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as a bodhisattva.

Theravada adheres to the Pali Canon and Buddhas earliest teachings. Since Mahayana believes there have been many manifestations, this branch incorporates many other texts written by the bodhisattvas as part of their canon.

Theravada teaches that each person must attain salvation through their own effort, and this requires one to relinquish earthly desires and live a monastic life. Therefore, only those few who have chosen this lifestyle will attain nirvana. Mahayana teaches that salvation comes through the grace of the bodhisattvas and so many may attain salvation.

Divine beings do not have a place in Theravada. The primary focus is on the individual attaining enlightenment, and a divine being, or speculations of such, only hinders the process. Therefore, several sects of this branch are atheistic. Mahayana, on the other hand, has many diverse views of God since this branch is inclusive, and has adopted the beliefs and practices of various religions. Many schools are pantheistic in their worldview while others are animistic. Buddha is worshipped as a divine being. Some schools pay homage to a particular bodhisattva sent to their people. Other schools have a mixture of gods whom they worship. For example, Japanese Buddhism blended with Shintoism and includes worship of the Shinto gods with the teachings and worship of Buddha.

When speaking with a Buddhist, it is important to understand what branch of Buddhism they are talking about. The two branches are dramatically different. Even within Mahayana Buddhism, the sects can be as different as Theravada is to Mahayana.

The Way of Salvation

The main question Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, sought to answer was, “Why is there pain and suffering?” His belief in reincarnation (the belief that after death one returns to earthly life in a higher or lower form of life according to his good or bad deeds) prompted a second question that also needed to be answered: “How does one break this rebirth cycle?” The basic teachings of Buddhism, therefore, focus on what Gautama believed to be the answer to these questions. These basic tenets are found in the Four Noble Truths and in the Eight-fold Path. Let us begin with the Four Noble Truths.

The First Noble Truth is that there is pain and suffering in the world. Gautama realized that pain and suffering are omnipresent in all of nature and human life. To exist means to encounter suffering. Birth is painful and so is death. Sickness and old age are painful. Throughout life, all living things encounter suffering.

The Second Noble Truth relates to the cause of suffering. Gautama believed the root cause of suffering is desire. It is the craving for wealth, happiness, and other forms of selfish enjoyment which cause suffering. These cravings can never be satisfied for they are rooted in ignorance.

The Third Noble Truth is the end of all suffering. Suffering will cease when a person can rid himself of all desires.

The Fourth Noble Truth is the extinguishing of all desire by following the Eight-fold path. “The Eight-fold path is a system of therapy designed to develop habits which will release people from the restrictions caused by ignorance and craving.”{3}

Here are the eight steps in following the Eight-fold path. The first is the Right View. One must accept the Four Noble Truths. Step two is the Right Resolve. One must renounce all desires and any thoughts like lust, bitterness, and cruelty, and must harm no living creature. Step three is the Right Speech. One must speak only truth. There can be no lying, slander, or vain talk. Step four is the Right Behavior. One must abstain from sexual immorality, stealing, and all killing.

Step five is the Right Occupation. One must work in an occupation that benefits others and harms no one. Step six is the Right Effort. One must seek to eliminate any evil qualities within and prevent any new ones from arising. One should seek to attain good and moral qualities and develop those already possessed. Seek to grow in maturity and perfection until universal love is attained. Step seven is the Right Contemplation. One must be observant, contemplative, and free of desire and sorrow. The eighth is the Right Meditation. After freeing oneself of all desires and evil, a person must concentrate his efforts in meditation so that he can overcome any sensation of pleasure or pain and enter a state of transcending consciousness and attain a state of perfection. Buddhists believe that through self-effort one can attain the eternal state of nirvana.

In Buddhism, ones path to nirvana relies on the effort and discipline of the individual. By contrast, Jesus taught our goal is not a state of non-conscious being, but an eternal relationship with God. There is nothing one can do to earn a right relationship with God. Instead, we must receive His gift of grace, the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus Christ and this restores our relationship with our creator.

Karma, Samsara, and Nirvana

Three important concepts in understanding Buddhism are karma, samsara, and nirvana.

Karmarefers to the law of cause and effect in a person’s life, reaping what one has sown. Buddhists believe that every person must go through a process of birth and rebirth until he reaches the state of nirvana in which he breaks this cycle. According to the law of karma, “You are what you are and do what you do, as a result of what you were and did in a previous incarnation, which in turn was the inevitable outcome of what you were and did in still earlier incarnations.”{4} For a Buddhist, what one will be in the next life depends on one’s actions in this present life. Unlike Hindus, Buddha believed that a person can break the rebirth cycle no matter what class he is born into.

The second key concept is the law of samsara or transmigration. This is one of the most perplexing and difficult concepts in Buddhism to understand. The law of Samsara holds that everything is in a birth and rebirth cycle. Buddha taught that people do not have individual souls. The existence of an individual self or ego is an illusion. There is no eternal substance of a person, which goes through the rebirth cycle. What is it then that goes through the cycle if not the individual soul? What goes through the rebirth cycle is only a set of feelings, impressions, present moments, and the karma that is passed on. “In other words, as one process leads to another, … so one’s human personality in one existence is the direct cause of the type of individuality which appears in the next.”{5} The new individual in the next life will not be exactly the same person, but there will be several similarities. Just how close in identity they will be is not known.

The third key concept is nirvana. The term means “the blowing out” of existence. Nirvana is very different from the Christian concept of heaven. Nirvana is not a place like heaven, but rather an eternal state of being. It is the state in which the law of karma and the rebirth cycle come to an end. It is the end of suffering; a state where there are no desires and the individual consciousness comes to an end. Although to our Western minds this may sound like annihilation, Buddhists would object to such a notion. Gautama never gave an exact description of nirvana, but his closest reply was this. “There is disciples, a condition, where there is neither earth nor water, neither air nor light, neither limitless space, nor limitless time, neither any kind of being, neither ideation nor non-ideation, neither this world nor that world. There is neither arising nor passing-away, nor dying, neither cause nor effect, neither change nor standstill.”{6}

In contrast to the idea of reincarnation, the Bible teaches in Hebrews 9:27 that “man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment.” A major diverging point between Buddhism and Christianity is that the Bible refutes the idea of reincarnation. The Bible also teaches that in the eternal state, we are fully conscious and glorified individuals whose relationship with God comes to its perfect maturity.

Jesus and Gautama

There is much I admire in the life and teachings of Gautama. Being raised in the Japanese Buddhist culture, I appreciate the ethical teachings, the arts, and architecture influenced by Buddhism. As I studied the life and teachings of Gautama and of Jesus, I discovered some dramatic differences.

First, Buddha did not claim to be divine. Theravada remains true to his teaching that he was just a man. The idea that he was divine was developed in Mahayana Buddhism 700 years after his death. Furthermore, Northern Buddhism teaches that there have been other manifestations of the Buddha or bodhisattvas and some believe Jesus to be one as well. However, Jesus did not claim to be one of many manifestations of God; He claimed to be the one and only Son of God. This teaching was not the creation of his followers but a principle He taught from the beginning of His ministry. In fact, the salvation He preached was dependent on understanding His divine nature.

Second, Buddha claimed to be a way shower. He showed the way to nirvana, but it was up to each follower to find his or her own path. Christ did not come to show the way; He claimed to be the way. While Buddhism teaches that salvation comes through Buddhas teachings, Christ taught salvation is found in Him. When Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life” (John 14:6), He was saying He alone is the one who can give eternal life, for He is the source of truth and life. Not only did He make the way possible, He promises to forever be with and empower all who follow Him to live the life that pleases God.

Third, Buddha taught that the way to eliminate suffering and attain enlightenment was to eliminate all desire. Christ taught that one should not eliminate all desire but that one must have the right desire. He stated, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.” Christ taught that we should desire to know Him above all other wants.

Fourth, Buddha performed no miracles in his lifetime. Christ affirmed His claims to be divine through the miracles He performed. He demonstrated authority over every realm of creation: the spiritual realm, nature, sickness, and death. These miracles confirmed the claims that He was more than a good teacher, but God incarnate.

Finally, Buddha is buried in a grave in Kusinara at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains. Christ, however, is alive. He alone conquered sin and the grave. His death paid the price for sin, and His resurrection makes it possible for all people to enter into a personal and eternal relationship with God.

After a comparative study, I came to realize Buddha was a great teacher who lived a noble life, but Christ is the unique revelation of God who is to be worshipped as our eternal Lord and Savior.

Notes

1. Isamu Yamamoto, Buddhism, Taoism and Other Eastern Religions, (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing, 1998), p. 23.

2. Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults (Minneapolis: Bethany House 1985), p. 261.

3. Kenneth Boa, Cults, World Religions, and the Occult (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, (1977) p. 35

4. Davis Taylor and Clark Offner, The World’s Religions, Norman Anderson, ed. (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1975), p. 174.

5. John Noss, Man’s Religions (New York: Macmillan Company, 1968), p. 182.

6. Taylor and Offner, The World’s Religions, p. 177.

©1994 Probe Ministries.


About the Author

Patrick ZukeranPatrick Zukeran is a Hawaii-based research associate with Probe Ministries. He has a B.A. in Religion from Point Loma Nazarene University, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. from Southern Evangelical Seminary. He is an author, radio talk show host, and a national and international speaker on apologetics, cults, world religions, Bible, theology, and current issues. His nationally syndicated radio talk show “Evidence and Answers” is broadcast on the KTLW Network (covering the West Coast), through all of Asia (through World Harvest Radio), and on the web at evidenceandanswers.org. Before joining Probe, Pat served for twelve years as an Associate Pastor. He can be reached at pzukeran@probe.org.

Earlier I mentioned another post I wrote about Steve Jobs, but I mentioned Francis Schaeffer above and here are some links to posts about his film series.

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices”

E P I S O D E 1 0 How Should We Then Live 10#1 FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be led by an elite: John Kenneth […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”

E P I S O D E 9 How Should We Then Live 9#1 T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads to Pessimism Regarding a Meaning for Life and for Fixed […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”

E P I S O D E 8 How Should We Then Live 8#1 I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas) and Post-Impressionism (Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason”

E P I S O D E 7 How Should We Then Live 7#1 I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act on his belief that we live […]

 

Did Steve Jobs help people even though he did not give away a lot of money?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

 

Did Steve Jobs help people even though he did not give away a lot of money? (I just finished a post concerning Steve’s religious beliefs and a post about 8 things you may not know about Steve Jobs)

Uploaded by  on Sep 16, 2010

clip from The First Round Up *1934* ~~enjoy!!

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In the short film above you can see that it was the kindness of the two “haves” to the other “havenots” that allowed everyone to eat. However, the article below shows that the best way to help people is give them a job instead of a one time gift.

Rich People Should Help the Poor by…Making Smart Investments and Earning Big Profits

Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

There’s a very provocative article on the New York Times website that criticizes Steve Jobs for his supposed lack of charitable giving:

Surprisingly, there is one thing that Mr. Jobs is not, at least not yet: a prominent philanthropist. Despite accumulating an estimated $8.3 billion fortune through his holdings in Apple and a 7.4 percent stake in Disney (through the sale of Pixar), there is no public record of Mr. Jobs giving money to charity. He is not a member of the Giving Pledge, the organization founded by Warren E. Buffett and Bill Gates to persuade the nation’s wealthiest families to pledge to give away at least half their fortunes. (He declined to participate, according to people briefed on the matter.) Nor is there a hospital wing or an academic building with his name on it. …the lack of public philanthropy by Mr. Jobs — long whispered about, but rarely said aloud — raises some important questions about the way the public views business and business people at a time when some “millionaires and billionaires” are criticized for not giving back enough… In 2006, in a scathing column in Wired, Leander Kahney, author of “Inside Steve’s Brain,” wrote: “Yes, he has great charisma and his presentations are good theater. But his absence from public discourse makes him a cipher. People project their values onto him, and he skates away from the responsibilities that come with great wealth and power.”

But why, to address Leander Kahney’s criticism, should we assume that Mr. Jobs has done nothing for the poor? He’s built a $360 billion company. That presumably means at least $352 billion of wealth in the hands of people other than himself. And that doesn’t even begin to count how consumers have benefited from his products, the jobs he has created, and the indirect positive impact of his company on suppliers and retailers.

To give credit where credit is due, the article does present this counterargument. It reports that Mr. Jobs told friends, “that he could do more good focusing his energy on continuing to expand Apple than on philanthropy.”

This is a critical point. Do we want highly talented entrepreneurs and investors dropping out of the private sector and giving their money away after they’ve reached a certain point, say $5 billion? Or do we want them to focus on creating more wealth and prosperity?

Interestingly, Warren Buffett used to understand this point (before he started arguing that politicians could more effectively spend his money). And Carlos Slim Helu still does:

Mr. Jobs, 56 years old, is not alone in his single-minded focus on work over philanthropy. It wasn’t until Mr. Buffett turned 75 that he turned his attention to charity, saying that he was better off spending his time allocating capital at Berkshire Hathaway — where he believed he could create even greater wealth to give away — than he would ever be at devoting his energies toward running a foundation. And last year, Carlos Slim Helú, the Mexican telecommunications billionaire, defended his lack of charity and his refusal to sign the Giving Pledge. “What we need to do as businessmen is to help to solve the problems, the social problems,” he said in an interview on CNBC. “To fight poverty, but not by charity.”

None of this is to say that charitable giving is wrong. I’m proud to say that my employer, the Cato Institute, refuses to accept money from government. This means we are completely dependent on private philanthropy.

But those of us who work at Cato understand that creating wealth—maximizing the size of the economic pie—is the most important priority. And if the pie is big, generous people then have more ability to make contributions to worthy causes such as school choice scholarship funds, the Salvation Army, or (ahem) America’s best think tank.

Related posts:

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs: Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve Jobs was a Buddhist: What is Buddhism? ,Did Steve Jobs help people even though he did not give away a lot of money? )

Related posts:

Steve Jobs left conservative Lutheran upbringing behind

Steve Jobs was raised as a conservative Lutheran but he chose to leave those beliefs behind. Below is a very good article on his life. COVER STORY ARTICLE | Issue: “Steve Jobs 1955-2011″ October 22, 2011 A god of our age Who was Steve Jobs? A revered technology pioneer and a relentless innovator, the Apple […]

Occupy Wall Street vs. Steve Jobs

COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION: At Kappa Sigma house in Fayetteville. The Drew Wilson photo above went viral last night — at least in Arkansas e-mail and social media users — after the Fayetteville Flyer posted it in coverage of an Occupy Northwest Arkansas demonstration in Fayetteville. The 1 percent banner was unfurled briefly on the Kappa Sigma frat […]

Steve Jobs’ Father

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

Steve Jobs at Stanford

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

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It is strange that the New Yorker Magazine did no research. (If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible […]