11-19-2011, 11:11 AM
de mortuis, nihil nisi bonum. and yet I believe he has a point.
Quote:Lord Sacks said that advertising only made shoppers aware of what they did not own, rather than feeling grateful for what they have.
He insisted that a culture in which people cared solely about themselves and their possessions could not last long, and that only faith and spending time with family could bring true happiness.
The Chief Rabbi’s comments are likely to raise eyebrows because he singled out for blame Jobs – the co-founder of Apple who died last month – by likening his iPad tablet computers to the tablets of stone bearing the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses.
Speaking at an interfaith reception attended by the Queen this week, Lord Sacks said: “People are looking for values other than the values of a consumer society. The values of a consumer society really aren’t ones you can live by for terribly long.
“The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i.
“When you’re an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about 'i’, you don’t do terribly well.”
He went on: “What does a consumer ethic do? It makes you aware all the time of the things you don’t have instead of thanking God for all the things you do have.
“If in a consumer society, through all the advertising and subtly seductive approaches to it, you’ve got an iPhone but you haven’t got a fourth generation one, the consumer society is in fact the most efficient mechanism ever devised for the creation and distribution of unhappiness.”
Although religious leaders have in recent years used increasingly strong language to condemn banks and politicians over the financial crisis and the gap between rich and poor, few have directly criticised ordinary people for their materialism.