Perhaps your Christian friend is only thinking of Buddha as an ethical philosopher--I'm a Buddhist, and that's how I like to think of Buddha. Buddha himself said that he didn't want anybody believing in his teachings simply out of respect or veneration for him personally. Actually, the persons whom I would compare to Buddha--whom I wholly like and agree with, without for a minute worshipping them--would be: Voltaire, Mark Twain, Epictetus, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Horace, Albert Camus, Socrates, Marivaux, Chuang-tze, H.D. Thoreau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jean de la Fontaine, Jean Baudrillard, Henry (not William) James, Colette, Gertrude Stein, Gore Vidal, Richard Barnfield, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Love Peacock, Marcel Proust, Ned Rorem, Lucian, Marcus Aurelius, Lucretius, George Meredith, Shakespeare, Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, Anatole France, Juvenal, Kurt Vonnegut, Rabelais, Ovid, Virgil, John Milton, Jean de la Bruyère, Molière, Nicolas Boileau, Charles Nelson, Michel de Montaigne, Francis Bacon, Carlo Goldoni, Lao-tze, Don Basile, Nicolò Machiavelli (the playwright more than the political theorist), and last but not least, Emily Post and Judith Martin (Miss Manners). The only thing about Jesus of Nazareth that I like--and I like it very much--Is the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mountain. But, as you might have guessed, I don't believe in Jesus even a little bit: I agree with him, because we see things just alike.