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.
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! :)
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
David Attenborough. He says like it is, man. Know what I mean ?

In my response, I use the words "heroes" and "role models" synonymously.  They are two different but similar things, but you can replace "hero" with "role model," and I would still feel the same way.

It's refreshing to find someone else that doesn't have heroes, because it seems everybody does these days.  I don't either, and I think I'm happier without them.  It's not an ego thing; I just tend to think that looking up to somebody else would make me overlook my own qualities and (perhaps most importantly) flaws.  Maybe it's my upbringing, but I've never looked up to anybody.

In fact, quite frankly, having heroes is kind of a turn-off.  I can't help but think to myself, "is your life so empty?"  To me, it's a sign of too much soul-searching perhaps, and not enough acceptance of yourself, warts and all.  Too much of the "power of positive thinking" and not enough realism.  It also strikes me as kind of ... well ... I don't know ... rude?  To focus all that attention (and money) on one person and ignore all those other great thinkers and doers and achievers and *ahem* the girl/boy next door?

I wouldn't say that I have an ideal image, either.  I'm more interested to see how I evolve naturally over my short existence on Earth.  It's the journey that matters to me, not the destination.

He's not my hero, but this quote has stuck with me for many years.  Say what you will about him (some of my harder-core-than-thou friends will call him a poseur), but he's stuck to his guns.

"I don't have any heroes.  They're all useless." - Johnny Rotten

That they are, John.



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