If your heroes are celebrities or historical figures, also include whether you personally know (as a friend or just a bystander) anyone you consider a hero.

I realized recently that, while there are people I look up to for any number of reasons, there is not a single person I know who I want to actually model myself after.  I know not one person who lives according to the values I believe are important.  I would not call anyone my "hero."  (If this is your definition of "role model," then feel free to use that term as well.  I'm not sure if everyone thinks of role models as people they would actually model themselves after or just as people with some admirable characteristics.)

I can speculate as to why it is that I don't have any real life heroes, but I don't honestly know.  I wonder how common it is.  Is it universally true?  Is it that every person has a unique ideal image?

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There are a number of historical figures and people alive today I respect, but for someone to be a role model for me I would both have to know him/her personally, and we would have to share some significant commonalities in our backgrounds.

The philospher Epicurus.   From what I have been reading, I perceive him as a twin mind, as if he and I are birds of a feather.   I could imagine him as the right partner to share my life with, unfortunately, he lived 2300 years too early.  


I think I should have one and have started looking.  I don't have the courage to be the only one of my kind, nor do I want to believe that I am the only one, especially as someone whose values often run counter to tradition.  As of now, I'm paving my own way, being a leader to those with even less courage than me.  I'm the one empowering them.  Who's empowering me?  Where's my mentor?  Where's my support?  :\

:/ I know how you feel, I have never had an adult -or anyone- in my life that I've really loved or even looked up to. I am too unique in both good and bad ways for there to be someone I could call a role-model. I am one of a kind, and it's lonely.


But it seems we have a least a few things in common, so I'll support you with what I have, it's not much but I hope the thought counts. : >

Thanks, friend. :)  I have met one person (online) who was the closest to a hero I've ever had, and I considered him a mentor for a short period, although he wasn't comfortable with considering me more than a peer.  The last interaction I had with him ended in a fight, unfortunately, and although I still look up to him more than anyone else I know, he doesn't quite make the hero cut.  My strategy now is to look to academia.

I think that people should not need heroes. The term "Hero" indicates that the person you consider a hero is much more than human, which he is not. The term hero also indicates some level of worship from your side, which is not good, because no amount of worship is good worship. But then I would call it "a source of inspiration" instead of "hero" or "role model". Hitchens is one of my sources of inspiration, because of his rhetorical skills, his excellent way of writing, his wit, his lovable character, his way of not caring about other people opinion of him and his amount of knowledge. I also have Dawkins as an inspiration for his love for biology, evolution, his Anti Religious persona, his Anti Theistic arguments and his lovable character. And then we have Carl Sagan, and you all probably get why. His character sends out some sort of warm feeling that makes me love life even more. He is one of the main reasons I started to love the idea of evolution and he also increased my fascination of science. But everyone has some flaws, so if you model yourself after another person, you may not see the flaws clearly and you make blindly listen to his words and then you may gain his more negative attributes.


So basically no one should model themselves after another person, because then you will not be authentic. You should create your own characteristics, but you could get some inspiration from other people. Also Fidel Castro and Che Guevara has increased my love for Cuba and a lot of other things too.

It's an interesting thought, that out of a world population of 7 billion, you, of all people, have a unique set of values, the best unique set of values.  I don't deny that this is possibly true for everyone, but that was one of my questions in the OP.  Also, by "hero," I imply only what was said in the OP.  It doesn't necessitate worship or superhuman status, although you are probably right that many people define hero in that way.

I realize that no one is perfect, but that doesn't mean people can't share values.  For instance, I think it's very important to be logically justified when making claims.  No one has perfect logic all the time, but when errors in logic are brought to attention, a person who shares my value will admit his/her mistake and correct it, in accordance with the value.  It's that willingness that I look for (as one example).

The problem for me is that I don't know that the inability or unwillingness to see anyone as a hero is not a flaw in itself, possibly along the lines of having unobtainable standards and being unfairly critical of everyone and everything.  In my experience, those are common among atheists.

I mostly agree. I've looked up to several people in my life, but my opinion of them has not held fast through the years. However, the people I've looked down upon have treaded a pretty steady course.

Hero worship is very akin to lust/love relationships, it's an infatuation, an emotion based on a moment more than on reason. People in love (or in hero worship) tend to disregard character faults (relative to each and every one of us as they may be) in whom we love/admire, yet accuse a mere human of such behaviours. Love/adulation/worship are all included in the same 'willful blindness' phenomenon IMO.


Through the years, I've developed my own personal template of what I value in any human

-lack of impact on the planet and fellow humans

-willingness to fight those who do impact the planet and fellow humans.

Because overall, our humanity's impact, as I assess it qualitatively, not quantitatively, as do seeming a majority of atheists, has been a negative one. Overpopulation is due to modern amenities such as medicine and technology, not the lack of. Pollution, depression, poverty, cancers, all are results from a transhumanist (camouflaged as many religions) world view which desires more humans, and longer lived humans. This is not good for our true happiness.

Hero worship throughout history has generally favoured violence and destruction, others find more benign heroes such as Ghandi... but what impact did Ghandi really have in the end? none really. Is India a better country today than it was under British rule? I don't think so.



Okay, I think you've convinced me I'm asking the wrong question.  I'm pretty sure I'm thinking about mentors, not heroes.  I'm also now questioning what my character flaws are.  I usually only consider general flaws, but character flaws...  Thanks for the productive reply! :)
Our son who has type 1 diabetes (an auto-immune disease, totally different animal than type 2) is now 17 and got it when he was 10 is pretty awesome.  He wears an insulin-pump and has to insert a huge needle into his stomach every 3 days in order to place a canula under the skin, and test his blood with a finger-prick about 6 times a day, sometimes in the middle of the night.  He has to test before he drives.  He has to call home at 3 a.m. when he stays overnight @ a friends.  He has to have vials and vials of blood taken every 3 months before going to the endocrinologist, and every 6 months for the nephrologist (to make sure his kidneys aren't affected) and also pee in jugs for 24 hours for that test.  He has a laid-back attitude, says it could be worse, and that it doesn't affect his life that much.  He says he has a great life and family and doesn't dwell on his type 1.  I'd say I admire the hell out of him.
I like to read about the American Founding Fathers. My hero is Alexander Hamilton. Whoops my computer is running out of batteries. Good night! More tomorrow.
Carl Sagan


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