• When in the history of the United States did we have consensus heroes. Almost by definition heroes are controversial and are usually recognized as heroes in their lifetimes only by a small minority. Why do you believe it is bad that in our diverse society (with multiple channels of expression) that there is no unanimity of values?

  • Bernardo

    My consensus heroes? Those who perused the religions of the world and decided said religions are all flawed and no longer worthy of our time and money.

    And the number grows daily:


    Religion………………………… Adherents

    Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

    Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion 394 million
    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million

    Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

    Baha’i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000

  • Jack

    That sounds about right, Bill. The only heroes that win unanimous applause are those who have passed on to their reward. When they were alive, they were controversial and divisive — because the very nature of heroism requires taking courageous stands that often go against the grain.

    A possible exception was President Kennedy, who at the time of his assassination was clearly liked by the majority and was on his way to a landslide win had he lived. Yes, he had his share of people who despised him, but the majority of the America people had more than warmed up to him.

    Of course, even with JFK, there were a host of momentous decisions he never had to make due to his assassination, some of which might have ultimately destroyed. Vietnam comes to mind. And of course, his affairs, had they been revealed in his second term, would have harmed him.

    But still, JFK is the closest we have to America’s consensus hero.

  • Jack

    Bernie, shouldn’t you be out on the campaign trail rather than posting on this obscure message board?

    Seriously……Does your post imply you love the Castro brothers and loved Mao and Stalin and Pol Pot and other grisly goons? The point is that the mere fact of being an atheist does not automatically make one a hero (or villain). It obviously depends on the character of the particular person.

  • Bernardo

    Obscure message board? Not when you have Google et al tracing our comments.

    And since we are naming infamous atheists, how about some famous atheists such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

  • Jack

    Bernardo, I never denied that plenty of atheists have done well for humanity. A disproportionate percentage of human rights activists are atheist and as a fellow human being, I’m proud of such people.

    All I’m doing is correcting your lurching to the opposite extreme, which you did by saying, as you did, that to be an atheist is necessarily to be a hero.