Are Eastern and Western beliefs on the importance of human life mutually exclusive?
As a forewarning, I have had very little formal schooling in Eastern religion or philosophy, so my question may seem a bit rudimentary and haphazard. My question has to do with the differences in East vs. West philosophy, which I got to thinking about after reading the Steve Jobs biography and seeing how he seemed to blend both into his life where to me it seems that they cannot exist in tandem.
Please correct me where I am wrong, but in Eastern belief systems, namely Zen Buddhism I think, the value of a human life seems to be essentially null. The goal is surrendering your attachments and desires and so you shed the ego and no longer are able to see life and death as you simply see and know “existence” within the greater cosmic universe.
This is very different than in the West, where the value of life is extremely coveted and protected. It is the “rational” life and philosophy that allows man to attain, achieve. The Bible seems to place a supreme value on life on Earth as well, however often Jesus would talk of renouncing your own life in the pursuit of God, so I am a bit confused on that bit.
So are these belief systems mutually exclusive, or do I not know enough about either to see how one might entertain, encourage, and even live their life by the principles of both cultures?