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The Greatest Historical Figure Ever/Up To This Point!

Discussion in 'Fun & Games' started by Superpan, May 9, 2010.

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  1. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Of course, Abraham Lincoln was a liberal Republican, so it's a debate over which party he would be part of today.

    The answer: Whichever party you want him to be.
     
  2. Six Year Man

    Six Year Man Member

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    1. Jesus (Uh....Duh)
    2. Walt Disney (This is an animation site)
    3. Buddah (Had more of an impact on the world than....)
    4. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Also, Cartoon, could you please tell us the other 7 of your top 12 heroes?
     
  3. jph139

    jph139 Immortal

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    Match With Faith!
    1. Jesus ~ As a symbol for Christianity as a whole... he's without a doubt had the most impact out of any of these guys. Not as much as Khan or Alexander, but, y'know, whadaya gonna do?
    2. Martin Luther King Jr. ~ Because if I believe any of these guys were sent by a god... I'd say MLK is probably the most likely.
    3. Buddha ~ But hey, he's Buddha. Give him some credit.
    4. Walt Disney ~ Not even close.
    Match With Blood!
    1. Abraham Lincoln ~ Either second or third on my Presidential list. In a Lincoln mood today.
    2. George Washington ~ But ya can't go wrong with Washington.
    3. Wright Brothers ~ Invented the airplane which was kind of big if I recall correctly.
    4. David Crockett ~ Because I can never remember if he spells his nickname with an "e" or not.
     
  4. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Actually, I highly doubt that Alexander had more impact than Jesus. Biggest religions in the word>conquering some land.

    Also, "Davy".
     
  5. jph139

    jph139 Immortal

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    Alexander spread Greek culture, philosophy, and rational thought to Persia, Egypt, and a helluva lot of other places. This kept Greek ideals thriving and, thus, led to Rome assimilating a lot of Greek culture with their conquests. Rome was pretty much Greece+, and that's one of the many reasons Rome is among the greatest empires in history.

    Greece is perhaps the most important civilization in human history, culturally. And if Alexander hadn't gone on his conquests, it's entirely likely that Greece would have collapsed internally or been picked off by Persia or Egypt or Rome or any number of growing countries.

    Think for a moment - like you said, 7/8 in the final grouping are American. It's entirely possible that Alexander led to the establishment of America by preserving Greek culture. Thus, Alexander made America.

    It's foolproof logic so don't try and pick at it. >.>
     
  6. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Except America was based on Christian pilgrims, plus Jesus indirectly created Christianity and Islam, so...check and mate. Greek culture was lost for centuries yet Jesus has remained a constant.

    Also....CHINA OR ROME, anyone? The Greeks were relatively minor until Rome.
     
  7. jph139

    jph139 Immortal

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    THE PUBLIC was Christian. Jefferson, writer of the constitution, relied heavily on the Greek ideals of democracy and liberty. All of the figures in early American government relied on Greek philosophy as well.

    The Western world exists because of Greece. Christianity itself exists because of persecution in Judea, and who conquered Judea before Rome, set up that persecution, and all that? Alexander.
     
  8. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Yeah, and I'm sure that the Puritan's religious need to be number 1 didn't rub off on the citizens of Boston who started the revolution!

    Greek culture would have died out if it wasn't for the Christian Byzantine Empire and Muslim empire. Christianity and Islam were the only things uniting the various tribes and bound them as nations.

    Also Christianity exists because of Jesus and his followers. There were hundreds of messiahs back then, but they were special.
     
  9. jph139

    jph139 Immortal

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    Not at all. Bostonians started the revolution because of a GREAT smear campaign by Sam Adams, Paul Revere, and the like. The Puritans may as well be a footnote; America was founded by criminals and greedy opportunists, not Puritans.

    I mean, my town's original founders got kicked off of the continent for being drunken murderers. That's a good barometer of the average early American group. :p

    And it would have died out a lot earlier if Alexander hasn't preserved it, giving it the life to last until Rome preserved it, which led to the East Roman Empire and later Byzantine Empire keeping it alive still. It influenced Rome hugely, and Rome influenced virtually all of the empires in Europe which grew in size and influenced pretty much everywhere on the planet. And it also sparked the Age of Reason when philosophers began to revive the practice of classic Greece philosophy.

    Yeah, that's why I give most of the credit for Christianity's extreme influence to the apostles and such; messiahs were a dime a dozen, but Christianity really made it... because they spread the word. Very impressive.
     
  10. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Alexander was just another conquerer. Please note that the Puritan's and other sect's need for religious freedom is what made America feel it was a hotbed of freedom.

    Also, Alexander's achievement s were just dust. He conquered a relatively small part of land, his successors completely failed, and the only reason it rubbed off on Rome is because Italy's next to Greece and they were the first conquered. Also, how many people today live their lives by the motto

    "What Would Alexander do?"

    Conquerers made countries that were great for their time but all eventually crumbled. Religious thought changes throughout the centuries and will always be a major impact on a large group of people's lives and those around them. Who is truly greater: the spoiled prince who just waged war because he was bored or the lowly worker who is chiefly remembered for being the most loving individual of all time? It is the second man who stil ignites a fire of passion in over 2 billion hearts the world over and will continue to do so for possibly all time.
     
  11. Six Year Man

    Six Year Man Member

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    Anyone else notice that while MLK, Buddah, and Walt Disney all had statues for pictures, whille Jesus had a painting?
     
  12. jph139

    jph139 Immortal

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    Alright, I just had a big post but my computer ate it (boohoo), so remember this was much more awesome before.

    Alexander wasn't just a conqueror; he spread Greek culture. That's why we remember him.

    And America felt like a hotbed of freedom because Britain neglected it for a hundred years. Religion had nothing to do with it. Most of the political figures of the time were Deist, if anything. At the start, no one really cared about independence... by the time Sam Adams and friends started kicking things up, they lit the fire and such.

    Alexander's achievements were cultural. Ashes to ashes dust to dust... but we remember him. Why? Because he made his mark. Made him empire. We still remember all the Greek philosophers, all the Roman poets, all the Washingtons and Lincolns... why? Because they CONQUERED. Greece conquered under Alexander. Rome grew wildly. America, well, I don't need to tell you that America was at the top of the world for a while, and in many cases, still is.

    I'll pose the same question I asked Spideyfan a while ago - how many Afghan poets do you know? Gallic authors? Vietnamese holy men? I don't think you could name one. Do you know why? Because they didn't conquer. They were the small men of history. They were invaded, and China or Greece or whatever country wanted to put their cultural stamp down.

    Genghis Khan burned the Great Library. The entire history of the region, all the art and culture... poof. Gone in a flash. Culture is nothing without military might.

    I mean, we think of Shakespeare as the greatest writer of all time, don't we? Think for a moment... humans have been around for THOUSANDS of years. How many other writers just as good, if not better, were there? Where are their novels, their plays, their poems? They're gone. Khan burned them, or Rome censored them, or their people and language were turned to dust. The only reason we remember Shakespeare is because Elizabeth was wise, and got a lucky break when Philip's navy hit a storm. If not, he'd be gone, poof, like the rest of them.

    Also, I'd say anyone with any sort of ambition should look to Alexander. If more politicians learned about him, the USSR would have gotten caught up in Afghanistan and collapsed, and we wouldn't be there right now.

    Christianity is only around today because Rome embraced it. If they had cracked down - and REALLY cracked down - every man, woman, and child who knew of Jesus Christ would be erased from history. He'd be like every other prophet in his time. Why do we believe in him? The emperor said so.

    I mean, think of all the religions in history! Zoroaster, an empty name outside of history books. The Loa are cartoon villains. Zeus is a myth. Because THEIR culture lost, and ANOTHER supplanted them.

    Culture and faith are more important, in the long run, than any political entity. I accept that. But when you think about history... remember it's written by the winners. If - and God forbid - Hitler had succeeded, and eradicated each Jewish individual on the planet... it'd be gone. Like all the others. All of these people voted up - Moses and David and Israel - they would not exist any more. They would be gone, with the gods of Carthage and the religions of Scythia and the rituals of the Iberian Gauls.

    We don't know what really happened. We only know what the emperors tell us. And that - that power - is the most important in the world.
     
  13. SpideyFan914

    SpideyFan914 Greatest Poster Ever!

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    Ozymandias. ;)

    Okay, I don't really care to get involved in this, but, um.... aren't those guys kind of in Christianity too....?
     
  14. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Yes, but Alexander's empire fell apart after he died. It's like a kid who buys a baseball glove and then it gets stolen by another kid and then a few weeks later, it gets stolen by another kid, and later, it gets stolen by another kid. Then a few weeks later, someone praises the cunning of the third kid who stole the baseball glove.

    Did they all preserve the baseball glove? Yes. Were they able to show independent and ambitious thinking in taking that? Yes, but in the story, the kids don't matter. What matters is the BASEBALL GLOVE. So the most pivotal person in that story is either the person who made the baseball glove or the parents who bought the baseball glove.

    Who has made a bigger impact on people's lives constantly through the centuries? Constantine or Jesus? Elizabeth or Will Shakespeare? Sure, Alexander was big in his day, but now his achievements are dust, Alexandria reduced to ashes.

    I know you haven't read Watchmen and may not be familiar with the ending, so I'll put this in spoiler tags


    See, we humans occupy the unenviable position of being the "betwixt-and-Between" on this planet. We are not as ignorant and short-lived as animals nor as all-knowing or eternal as a god. Thus some of us who are born into power such as Alexander think that they can just control everything, because then everything goes their way. Mind you, he didn't do any actual ruling, he just tried to kill stuff and then make them like him. However, he died. I don't know his opinion, I don't know his philosophy on life, and don't particularly care. Who do I care about? Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

    Despots will always fall. They are immature and greedy. The truly great man renounces power. Remember, they may have had the baseball glove, but it is not for them to have and eventually they will lose it. Washington recognized it. Jesus recognized this. They are the truly great men, the men who trluly understand life. For what is greater to understand than life?

    (Also, Jesus is a painting because I didn't run out of pictures for him and Moses and the Old Testament are Christian, but Hitler only wanted a religion based around him. Naziism is and was doomed to fail because it was based around that clown, and is probably one of the more pathetic empires ever made.)
     
  15. jph139

    jph139 Immortal

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    Just because something LASTS doesn't mean it's by nature better. I mean, Khufu built the pyramids, and they're around to day... but that's all he did. His only accomplishment was building a giant pile of rocks. Should he be remembered for his greatness? No! Rameses should! Hatshepsut! The people who really ruled!

    Think of this for a moment - the Battle of Baghdad. The Mongol Hordes under Genghis Khan invade and sack the city, the capital of the Arab world for hundreds of years. In the city was the Great Library of Baghdad. This is a chunk from Wikipedia on it:

    This was the collection of every ounce of knowledge for centuries. Genghis Khan burned it to the ground. They tossed the books into the river, and the Tigris flowed black with ink - so the story goes, for six months. All of that knowledge, all of those philosophers, all the culture and beauty... gone. Poof. Because Genghis Khan was feeling particularly murderous that day. His empire collapsed, but it made an impact, and that's the important thing.

    These things only exist because emperors let them. Shakespeare flourished on Elizabeth's whims. If she decided this guy was a loser, we wouldn't be talking about him, because he would have died in the muck like 90% of brilliant writers in history. Jesus is an icon because he had the support of kings and emperors, and they said he was the one and only God, and the people said they agreed.

    Why does the United States exist? We conquered the natives. Why does China exist? The dynasties conquered their neighbors.

    Like I said, our history is top-heavy. The people we look up to are only remembered because the REAL strong men of history want them to be. I mean, I can't even CONCEPTUALIZE every lost artist, king, warrior... people swept under the rug because someone just didn't like them.

    What we know about human history is like, less than 1%. The other 99% is gone because warlords destroyed it, and the little we know is because emperors preserved it.
     
  16. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Yes, but that doesn't make the warlords important. Go down the street and ask anyone what they know about Alexander. Then ask them about Jesus and see what you get. Thinkers are the pencil and the conquerers are the eraser. You'll always need a pencil, but you're in trouble if you only have an eraser.

    Shakespeare survived because his work made such an impact on his friends that they HAD to preserve it. Same thing with Jesus. These people have survived in our memory and continue to have an impact because they touched a chord deep in the human psyche, regardless of whether or not the people in power belived in them. The fact they were not erased is a testament to their power rather than King what's his name. They even inspire Kings.

    Alexander would not have conquered the known world if Aristotle hadn't used him as a vehicle of vengance for Plato and Socrates, It could have been any Prince of Macedonia.

    Conquerers and rulers are a dime a dozen. It is the thinkers who are unique and still continue to make an impact, long after Alexander and Khan have been reduced to dust. It's the baseball glove people are after, not the kid.
     
  17. jph139

    jph139 Immortal

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    But... see, "thinkers" aren't important. Artists aren't important. In basic human levels, stuff like art and philosophy aren't important at all. They're window dressing. Once you have food, once you have land, once you have shelter and power, THEN you can grow your culture. If Greece didn't have its warlords, its philosophers couldn't have done a damn thing because they'd be too worried about not dying to wonder about the universe. We wouldn't have the time to debate things like this if America didn't have the military might to push across the continent and remain stable.

    Culture does not exist without military might behind it. A good head isn't worth a thing without a body to protect it. Christianity is dominant because the nations that accepted Christ were the strongest. That's why paganism died out - organized religion had the power. They won.

    History is written by the winners. Our world isn't just shaped by conquest, our very concept of the world is. Or do you really think that art and culture can flourish in the middle of warfare and chaos?
     
  18. Six Year Man

    Six Year Man Member

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    How about you two agree to dissagree and let's get on with the final four?
     
  19. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Isn't some art & culture created by war? Didn't the troops in World War II survive psychologically by reading comics, watiching movies, and reading letters from their loved ones? Weren't the Crusades fought over religion?

    Again, Alexander fought for mainly bragging rights. All people are mainly storytelling creatures. What is Alexander without Aristotle? Elizabeth without Shakespeare? Harun al-Rashid without Mohammad? Jefferson without the Declaration? Alexander built an empire for glory and to be remembered because his teacher influenced him that way to get revenge for a possibly fictional teacher. How much more "story" can you get?

    Also Six Year Man, I hope these conversations come up more often. My greatest threads will hopefully be more thought-provoking than the usual and have very interesting conversations.
     
  20. Superpan

    Superpan Member

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    Alright time for an update

    Jesus- 10
    Walt Disney- 8
    Martin Luther King Jr.- 8
    Buddha- 7

    Jesus moves on and Disney and King have an tie.

    Abraham Lincoln- 14
    George Washington- 10
    Wright Brothers- 9
    Davy Crockett- 5

    Lincoln and Washington move on.

    Alright two matches today.

    Martin Luther King Jr. vs. Walt Disney
    [​IMG]
    vs.
    [​IMG]


    Also, I've noticed in past Greatest contests that after the final four there's a contest to see who get's 3rd and 4th place. Do you guys want to do that or do you want to just have the person who comes in third get third place and the person who comes in foruth get fourth place?


    Walt Disney- One of the biggest impacts on my life, and if you're on this forum, probably your life as well. The greatest entertainer of all time and a person who I would like to be able to say that I could become and be personally satisfied with my life. Nothing against King, though he did do some things I would disapprove of but nobody is perfect, it's just I feel I could become Walt Disney more in this life, and he connects with me on a primal level.

    Also, I'll probably let you guys decide whether you want a 3rd place match or just let it be, so PASS for now.

    For those keeping track
    6th place: Wilbur & Orville Wright
    7th place: Siddartha Gautama (Buddha)
    8th place: David "Davy" Crockett
    9th place: Theodore Roosevelt
    10th place: Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi
     
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