Author Topic: Of Heroes and Saviors  (Read 3519 times)

Of Heroes and Saviors
« on: February 16, 2013, 03:56:44 PM »
I believe one of the most damaging and harmful concept ever developed by man is the concept of the hero and the savior.

The myth of the hero is pandemic, a meme  that has infected the mind of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth and shows no signs of ever stopping.

Why do i believe this meme to be so dangerous? The concept of the hero is pre-rational to say the least and the definition of the hero is very slippery, your concept of what a hero is might very well be my concept of what is villainous and evil.

But what is dangerous is the belief that there is someone special out there who can save us and lead us into a promise land where we the ordinary people can find peace and security all because of these heroes who will look out for us. It is  this belief that we are somehow helpless when it comes to our own fate and destiny and we need someone special and superior to us in order to make things right that has been nothing but a vile evil that has been used to perpetuate and justify every crime against humanity since we learn how to create myths that is dangerous to us.

Yet many of us still cling to these concepts like our life depended upon them, we seek perfection where there is none to be had, we seek ultimate happiness even though we can't find satisfaction with the happiness we already have, we want utopia in a universe that is just not conducive to utopias, we go on a fool's journey and call it a heroic quest for self-realization. and it is exactly these things that infect us with the disease of religion and even the most atheistic of us are still entrapped within this delusion.

I believe we need to finally examine and critique the concept of the hero for what it is a religious concept and we need to do away with it. What say you?

Re: Of Heroes and Saviors
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 07:49:38 PM »
I agree with your thoughts on saviors, but not necessarily on heroes.

I would define a hero as somebody who sacrificed/s themselves for somebody else despite what they feel or what the are odds against them. I see heroism as an appreciation for selfless acts; and i don't know anybody who is necessarily dependent on a hero.

Offline stromboli

Re: Of Heroes and Saviors
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 01:34:48 AM »
It seems to be a human trait to idealize people and turn them into heroes. Just about every instance where somebody steps in in a crisis, they become lionized and held up as some standard of behavior. Whether it be school teachers, service people, rescue workers and so on, seems like we always point to some guy and go all gaga over it. As far as "saviors", meh. You can keep your saviors.

(No subject)
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 01:55:34 AM »
Makes for some good fiction though.

I would imagine in the DC universe that a cult would develop around worshipping superheros and supervillians. They never put that in the movies.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
~ Arthur C. Clarke

Offline PJS

(No subject)
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2013, 11:56:38 AM »
Perhaps we need role-models more than heroes as most people use these terms. Many people have one or two outstanding traits that can inspire others and it seems useful to focus specifically on those traits. We can admire a scientist's or an athlete's perseverance, a poets linguistic skill, or a mother's selflessness for example. All these individuals will also contain numerous flaws, but why not focus on the high quality traits. The "feet of clay" conclusions do not present a problem if we simply assume that all feet are such.

Historical figures, fictional characters, and people you interact with every day can provide models of excellence for specific qualities. Why not look for these-not as crutches to depend upon-but as potential stimulation for our own personal growth. Whether we call people heroes or role-models seems insignificant if they can be catalysts for personal growth and improvement.
The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs.
-John Dewey

Re: Of Heroes and Saviors
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 12:26:38 PM »
I think the idea of a savior can definitely be harmful, but the concept of a hero is more of a double edged sword, rather than completely positive or negative.

The Savior is a dangerous idea, because it allows people to shirk their own personal responsibilities and to settle into complacency.  All because of this thought that "it's ok, I will be saved."  No one will fight against injustice, if they think someone else will do it for them.  That someone else will fix everything for them, and all they have to do is go about their lives just not paying attention because someone will take care of all those issues.

The Hero on the other hand is a concept that I think has just as many positive qualities associated with it as negative ones.  I think Bobby is spot on when he says that a hero can appear to be morally villainous in the eyes of those not supportive of his actions.  And that of course has it's drawbacks.  For example take the past leaders of North Korea.  Kim Jong Un (and previously Kim Jong Il) are revered as almost demigods and most certainly as heroes.  And they have used that status to advance horrible positions, especially for civil liberties in their country.

But then think about Martin Luther King.  Certainly he was a hero, at least one of mine.  He used the status that he had achieved to inspire millions to work hard to achieve equal rights regardless of skin color.

So yeah, in conclusion....saviors I could definitely do without.  As for heros, I think we just gotta take the bad with the good.

Offline Thumpalumpacus

Re: Of Heroes and Saviors
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 01:51:08 PM »
Quote from: "Bobby_Ouroborus"
I believe we need to finally examine and critique the concept of the hero for what it is a religious concept and we need to do away with it. What say you?

I'm not so sure that the Hero a purely religious concept, although it does result in similar behavior (think of  Stalin and Hitler, both of whom milked heroic imagery in order to justify their regimes, and then think of how they were received by the masses).

Myself, I think it's possible that the urge to identify and adulate heroes might lie deep in human psychology, perhaps an evolutionary byproduct of living in small troupes which competed against each other.  Learning to identify and obey  potentially-talented leaders may well have had a survival value that increased a group's odds of survival.

That's all speculation, of course, but it seems as reasonable as attributing it to religion.

Myself, I have no problem with saying that I hold Lincoln and Churchill to be heroes.  That doesn't mean I'm blind to their faults, or want to emulate their deeds.  To me, it simply means that I find their best deeds and words speaking to a deep well of emotion inside me, nothing more.

And yeah, as for saviors, I have no time for that crap.  That which is worth having is worth earning, and the idea that salvation can be meted out by any man -- or deity -- is not worth our attention.  Martin Luther King may have provided a focal point for the civil rights movement, and indeed he deliberately invoked the aura of Moses to better provide that point; but the heavy lifting was done my millions of people marching across the country, braving police dogs and fire hoses in order to speak truth to power.
<insert witty aphorism here>