Do We Need Heroes?
A hero is described in Webster’s as ‘mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.’
I wonder if this description is a carry on from Biblical descriptions of the Nephilim giants of old. Half man, half-god people.
These ones are described in the Bible as angels coming down from heaven and taking women for themselves. Their offspring were terrifying and violent superhuman giants known as the Nephilim.
As time passed greek and other religious and non-religious mythology became filled with new heroes. These heroes replaced the one God concept and gave men a superhuman presence to look up to and admire. Even heroes were replaced by a newly created hero.
As time passes mankind has gone back and forth to God and back to heroes. Heroes of stone and wood or heroes of a God in heaven.
Either way, history is littered with heroes of all shapes and sizes.
Some humans even become so obsessed by their heroes they will even violently protest (and kill) in the name of their hero.
But do humans need heroes?
Hero worship today is looked at from the viewpoint of them being seen as warriors, having great qualities or showing more than human courage. Like soldiers in war. And we are seeing this right now with the British NHS service. We also saw that hero-worship during BREXIT and we also saw those heroes fall. We’ve seen that with TRUMP-ism and we will probably see his heroism fall.
And then, of course, the very modern hero or cult of social celebrity. From the rockstars that fall into certain early death to TV presenters like Piers Morgan. A man yet self-proclaimed hero that I doubt will continue to stand. We watch them fall almost daily. That will continue to happen.
In other words, heroes are humans usually doing more than the average human would or could do. Worshippers would love to be where they are so they see them as higher, elevated or untouchable. We are seeing this right now in our hero admiration for health workers stuck in situations where most wouldn’t dare to enter. They face possible death at work. That is heroic but doesn’t make for super-human gods.
In historical times when godly belief is low, that doesn’t mean humans don’t need gods, godly ones or heroes. A lack of faith in a higher God is simply replaced with faith in something that fits humans better in that moment. This is usually something that is more in line with current or modern thinking. This is rarely something that is overly thought through. This is more of an adopted thought being promoted by another human as heroic.
In today’s world, we have mass thought. Mass thought has more viral power than any virus. Mass thought presents itself in simple and easily adoptable ideas that can spread like wildfire through huge online fanbases.
Once we have a community in fear these pushed thoughts are even more easily adopted. There is also the power of the influencer. Most modern-day influencers carry that heroic label from the eyes of their followers. They also have the influence to shift power and worship from one hero to another hero.
In a week (and even a day) the hero power can go from little Greta Thunberg, the superhuman hero that is actively trying to save planet Earth. She was the saviour for a few weeks. Then that hero-worship now shifted to a new hero. That hero is a mass of individuals known as health workers right now. That power can easily shift and will shift once more.
This raises a question.
Do we need heroes?
According to history, it looks like the simple make-up of humans has always been driven to create gods and heroes. It is a deep-set inner part that has never really changed in the history of humankind.
When the use of fear is driven into man’s thoughts and driven hard the masses will search for a hero or saviour.
If the one God has been dismissed heroes are then adopted and created. That can shift back very quickly to gods or God. Our heroes can be killed off fast as they are created. This is the nature of man. This is the nature of the influencer. This is the power of mass thought.
Ultimately humans – all of us – are inherently selfish. Their intuitive sense is always set to self. Humans will worship that which brings them a feeling of safety and the removal of fear. Most humans will always look outside themselves for salvation.
It looks like the answer is yes.
Most of humankind needs heroes.
Modern Philosopher, Alan Forrest Smith