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Purple Wanderer

Hypothetical - Hero or Horror

Hypothetical - is this person a hero or a horror?  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. Dr Jane Barnes has single handedly discovered the cure for Cancer and has managed to find a workable resolution top world Hunger! Should she be remembered as a Hero of Humanity or as a Horror?

    • Hero! Build statues! Give her a national holiday!
      18
    • Horror! These things are all terrible
      0
    • Hmm, I can't come to a decision.
      5
  2. 2. Same question - however she has publicly being stating the superiority of her race and supporting far right racist groups. Is she a hero of Humanity or a horror?

    • Hero! She's still done so much good for the world! The good outweighs the bad.
      3
    • Horror! We can't praise such a terrible racist. No matter what they've done!
      9
    • I don't think it's so clear cut... It's a bit of a grey area.
      12
  3. 3. Again, cures cancer, solves world hunger but she's fiercely homophobic and trasphobic. Hero or horror?

    • Hero, i disagree with her views but she's still a hero for saving all those lives.
      5
    • Horror - we shouldn't remember or praise her because of her offensive views
      7
    • *sits on fence*
      11
  4. 4. Cures cancer, resolves world hunger as per. But this time it's revealed that she killed her own son, but wasnt prosecuted due to a legal technicality. Hero or Horror?

    • Hero. I don't condone murder. But history should still look at her favourably... She'll save many more lives in the long run.
      6
    • Horror - we should erase her name from the textbooks.
      8
    • I'm not touching this question.
      11
  5. 5. Cures cancer, resolves world hunger - but publically endorses pineapple being put on pizza and she loves Nickelback. Hero or horror?

    • Hero! Future generations will forgive these sins
      18
    • Horror - she's dead to me.
      5
    • But I like Nickelback?
      0
  6. 6. Lastly, she cures Cancer and resolves World hunger but will not reveal the information until is paid an obscene amount of money from all nations. Hero or horror?

    • Hero! She has to get paid right?
      1
    • Horror - she's holding the world to ransom
      17
    • I'd like to pass please.
      5


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Purple Wanderer

I'm not suggesting that if you select "Hero" for any of these that you are condoning or supporting homophobia racism or murder etc... Just that you think that history/society should still view this person in a positive light for what they have done for humanity overall.

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Acerna

First one: I said “Hmm” the neutral option. Great, she found the cure/solution to those, but the scenario never said she shared it or put it into action.

 

Second one: I related this to many “heroes” we may know, say Christopher Columbus, while he did second-hand ‘discover’ North America, he was not a good person and shouldn’t really be praised as such. A gray area.

 

Third and fourth: Both also sitting on a hopefully dull fence. This time she did cure the things, but although she shouldn’t be doomed for a few infractions in herself, she shouldn’t be put in a revered position to boost her unreasonable prejudice. Heroes should have traits that we look up to, and those in my opinion are not.

 

Fifth: Now she’s a hero. She can make pineapple on pizza disappear from every place, and that’s not a big infraction in my book of ethics. 

 

Sixth: Horror. Using something very needed for own personal gain, and the fact that the plan could end up in her being poor and/or dead without the world getting her knowledge and solutions. This time she is not sharing them AND having an infraction, she is demanding for a ransom that could be unreasonable, before she helps. That is not something to look up to, and being faced with indecision to a large world problem as some people would be, is not heroic. 

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Still

I didn't really feel like answering these questions, but my opinion, which is sure to be extremely unpopular, is that all forms of hero worship are bullshit. No human being deserves to be put on a pedestal. Tear all statues and monuments down.

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PanFicto.

Real life isn't like the movies. Even people like Hitler and Pol Pot did do some genuinely good things. People in real life might do great good, but have some really bad aspects to their personality. Or they might do terrible things but have some good aspects to their personality. In real life, 'heroes' are more like the superheroes in 'The Boys' than they are like Marvel heroes. 

 

Edit: but I kind of disagree with automatically dismissing or vilifying people who make great achievements for society just for their personal beliefs. It seems a bit naive. That's just how people are. If she was super pro-LGBT and a transwoman or whatever, then a whole lot of extreme conservatives would probably be making threads just like this one, but suggesting she's a villain for being pro-LGBT. You can't please everyone, no matter what you do.

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PanFicto.
9 minutes ago, Still said:

I didn't really feel like answering these questions, but my opinion, which is sure to be extremely unpopular, is that all forms of hero worship are bullshit. No human being deserves to be put on a pedestal. Tear all statues and monuments down.

Nah people should be recognised for great achievements because it shows kids that such achievements are possible, meaning they're more likely to aspire to excel in their chosen fields. We don't have cellphones and satellite tv and roads and penicillin and airplanes just because everyone sat around on their butts not bothering to achieve anything, and none of these things came out of thin air.

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Still
11 minutes ago, PanFicto. said:

Nah people should be recognised for great achievements because it shows kids that such achievements are possible, meaning they're more likely to aspire to excel in their chosen fields. We don't have cellphones and satellite tv and roads and penicillin and airplanes just because everyone sat around on their butts not bothering to achieve anything, and none of these things came out of thin air.

We don't need to erect statues or perpetuate bootlicking and largely debunked Great (Wo)Man garbage for that.

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LeChat

Hmm...this topic reminds me of former Vice President, Charles Curtis: he was mixed race, the first VP who was a POC, but, apparently, wasn't talked about much, afterwards, due to enacting laws that didn't help preserve Native American tribal lands, culture, etc., thinking it was a good idea to force Native American kids to assimilate and attend boarding schools, where they wouldn't be allowed to speak their family's native language; allowing Native American lands to be sold to non-native Americans, etc.

 

From what I read, at least one Native American tribe--the Kaw Nation--isn't proud of him, his legacy, etc., and didn't want to talk about him to reporters.

 

Charles Curtis made history, but his legacy remains little known (azcentral.com)

 

Charles Curtis - Wikipedia

 

So, on the one hand, yeah, he was the first VP who was a POC, but the laws he helped pass or encourage weren't helping his own people, at all, where he wanted them to assimilate completely, into white, European culture, and never have or go back to their own, Native American culture (because he thought, like others at the time, that that would be the only way for Native Americans to become successful in life).

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PorcupineOfDoom

I think it depends largely on whether the good outweighs the bad. It's rarely as black and white as the examples given here, but world-changing events like curing cancer or ending world hunger like in this hypothetical quite heavily outweigh having ugly moral standings on issues like race and sexuality in my opinion. If it were instead a totalitarian leader who had theoretically achieved these feats, and by extension also had the ability to act on their viewpoints and detain or even execute people based on their race or sexuality, then the scale starts to skew much more heavily in the opposite direction.

 

There was a similar debate around Winston Churchill during the BLM protests. He's mostly remembered as a hero for leading Britain during World War 2, and is seen as having played a pivotal role in the country's resistance to Hitler while the majority of western Europe was under Nazi occupation, without which the war may have been lost. However on the other side of the coin he also allowed millions of Indians to starve to death by redirecting their rations to Europe, deployed the excessively and often needlessly violent Black and Tans to Ireland to fight the IRA, and was thought to believe in a racial heirarchy with whites at the top.

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E

I didn't vote as I would've picked all the on the fence options. People have a terrible habit of making heroes, martyrs, villians and horrors out of other people. The reality is never so simple. People are complex organisms and systems, composed of faults and strengths. Sometimes their defining traits are their strengths or weaknesses, and they outshine the other qualities completely.

 

I try to live my life by this philosophy. People aren't heroes or horrors. Only aspects of their personalities are. I hate to use him as an example because he's far too easy, but everybody's history monster Hitler. Did atrocious crimes to humanity in general because he was deeply flawed and festered unbelievable sickness within himself. He also loved the shit out of dogs and animals. Probably treated them better than human beings on occassion.

 

His legacy is that of a monster with no redeemable qualities to most people. To me he was a person with monstrous qualities that consumed him, and few redeeming qualities to light his way in the dark. Entirely human to within the boundries that human personalities and traits can manifest.

 

Even Ghandi was like this. He had his own demons and shortcomings, his failures of accurate perception to what reality was. He accomplished the opposite of what Hitler did, and yet he harbored the same potential flaws as Hitler. We're all just people. We should be held accountable for our mistakes. The good we do should be recognized for what it is, but not idolized. We should aim to see all people for whom they are. Light and dark held in balance, and depending on the individual, one wins over the other.

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Abigail Rose

If it is ok with someone to step on one individual to help many, then I hope that one person is not expecting a hand up once they get there. It likely will not be offered. The basic perception of what is heroic or horrific is in the eye of the beholder. I can't see why doing many acts of kindness and one act that is horrible would define this until you knew which side you ended up on. Maybe not even then. Plus, solving cancer or world hunger would ultimately mean that wealth and poverty issues must have been somehow accounted for and good luck getting that to fly with the rich. Keeping people sick and malnourished is literally half of the worlds jobs and economy. That's the true horror of a world mired in complacency.

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Purple Wanderer

I absolutely knew there was no right or wrong answer in this and that questions were in that grey area and that each persons personal beliefs would sway answers. So many factors here.   I just find people's answers interesting I wanted to see if any broad patterns emerged.

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Skycaptain

1,5,6,Hero

 

2,3,4 Horror 

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Homer

I was with you until the p*******e bit. That goes way too far.

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Anarchist Kaos

I mean the main flaw of this premise is that technically speaking we already have a solution to world hunger, it's just being refused because it's not profitable, but disregarding that it doesn't matter, you can do good and still be a horrible person, most historical figures are like that and I believe it's a mistake to glorify them by considering them heroes.

 

Also #6 is basically all modern medicine under capitalism the fact that most people consider that a horror (And they should) is simply evidence of what a horrible piece of shit system Capitalism is.

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