Who is the most influential person in history?

myp

Site Founder
Jan 14, 2009
5,841
50
#1
Who do you think has had the greatest impact, for better or for worse, on the world?

This just sort of popped into my head and I thought I'd ask everyone here. It is a tough question and I will have to get back to you guys on my answer after I think about it a bit more. Interested in hearing who everyone picks though.
 
Jul 26, 2009
5,666
406
Opa Locka
#2
Who do you think has had the greatest impact, for better or for worse, on the world?

This just sort of popped into my head and I thought I'd ask everyone here. It is a tough question and I will have to get back to you guys on my answer after I think about it a bit more. Interested in hearing who everyone picks though.
They guy that invented farming. :p
 
Mar 15, 2009
369
1
#5
I'd have to say Jesus. Even if it isn't him specifically that had/has the greatest impact, it's the stories about him and the belief in him that did/does.

There was a quote from a geology class I took about a person (whom I can't remember the name of but I'm trying to google it) that basically went "no single organism has had a greater negative impact on the world than this man." I'll look into it.
 

Dirk

Anarchist
Apr 27, 2009
1,943
5
Disunited Queendom
#6
I'd have to say Jesus. Even if it isn't him specifically that had/has the greatest impact, it's the stories about him and the belief in him that did/does.

There was a quote from a geology class I took about a person (whom I can't remember the name of but I'm trying to google it) that basically went "no single organism has had a greater negative impact on the world than this man." I'll look into it.
Might i point out that there is no evidence that Jesus existed?

It's possible - even likely - that it was based on a living person... Possibly along the same lines as King Arthur - he might have been an actual person, but did he fight dragons and befriend warlocks? I think not.

But there are no written contemporary accounts and we have no letters written by him.
 

deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#7
Challenging question, given that all of the influential people had limited lifespans, so probably we need to measure their prominence relative to the time that they had been infuential. So I would venture a guess, Genghis Khan/Hitler/Stalin/Peter the Great?
 

Dirk

Anarchist
Apr 27, 2009
1,943
5
Disunited Queendom
#8
Challenging question, given that all of the influential people had limited lifespans, so probably we need to measure their prominence relative to the time that they had been infuential. So I would venture a guess, Genghis Khan/Hitler/Stalin/Peter the Great?
It's also certain sections of society. Hitler influenced the European left and motivated it against fascism and racism. Stalin showed the left the importance of democracy and the danger of suffocating levels of state control. Peter the Great influenced certain groups of fascists (which are surprisingly progressive and anti-racist).
 
Jul 26, 2009
5,666
406
Opa Locka
#9
It's also certain sections of society. Hitler influenced the European left and motivated it against fascism and racism. Stalin showed the left the importance of democracy and the danger of suffocating levels of state control. Peter the Great influenced certain groups of fascists (which are surprisingly progressive and anti-racist).
Like the Green Nazi Party here in the US? Quite an interesting bunch.
 
Mar 15, 2009
369
1
#10
Might i point out that there is no evidence that Jesus existed?

It's possible - even likely - that it was based on a living person... Possibly along the same lines as King Arthur - he might have been an actual person, but did he fight dragons and befriend warlocks? I think not.

But there are no written contemporary accounts and we have no letters written by him.
Well, being an atheist, I'm aware of this. Regardless of whether he was real or not, I'd say he's still one of the most influential people in history.
 

deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#11
Well, being an atheist, I'm aware of this. Regardless of whether he was real or not, I'd say he's still one of the most influential people in history.
Maybe we could then rather change it to God, whether Christian, Moslem or whatever religion. Religion has to have been the most influential from the beginning of time.
 

Dirk

Anarchist
Apr 27, 2009
1,943
5
Disunited Queendom
#12
Maybe we could then rather change it to God, whether Christian, Moslem or whatever religion. Religion has to have been the most influential from the beginning of time.
Or gods. Don't forget polytheistic religions. :)

I suppose religion was probably almost inevitable. There were always going to be things we didn't understand, eh? Always will, i reckon.
 
Feb 4, 2010
360
0
United Kingdom
#14
It's very difficult to say exactly one person who has been most influential. But I personally believe that Churchill, Reagan and Thatcher are among the people who are most influential in the world. My basis for saying exactly these three are that Churchill turned a naive Britain into a serious Britain, and Churchill knew exactly what he needed to do to prevent Hitler to take over Europe. Same with Reagan and Thatcher, they did what they needed to do to finally stop the Russians after 40 years of an intense and cold war.
 

deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#15
It's very difficult to say exactly one person who has been most influential. But I personally believe that Churchill, Reagan and Thatcher are among the people who are most influential in the world. My basis for saying exactly these three are that Churchill turned a naive Britain into a serious Britain, and Churchill knew exactly what he needed to do to prevent Hitler to take over Europe. Same with Reagan and Thatcher, they did what they needed to do to finally stop the Russians after 40 years of an intense and cold war.
Hmmm .... two out of the three are from Great Britain. Me thinks there has to be some bias here .... ;)

Seriously though. Churchill was good for the UK and for the War effort, I can't say he had much influence after that. In fact after WWII British influence went completely South in a vertical dive. US influence shot up in a vertical projectile. If we are taking people during the War time I would say Roosevelt had lots of influence. While Maggie Thatcher was in power her and Reagan had a good partnership as well as lots of influence, however not as far-reaching as Bush for example, even with him having been as unpopular as he had been.
 
Feb 4, 2010
360
0
United Kingdom
#16
That the US had more influence after WWII, is something I completely with you on. But I wil say the UK definitely has had a lot of power after WWII, most of the British colonies didn't declare themselves independent before the 1960's.
 

deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#17
That the US had more influence after WWII, is something I completely with you on. But I wil say the UK definitely has had a lot of power after WWII, most of the British colonies didn't declare themselves independent before the 1960's.
Technically most of them were independent even before WWII and had some kind of self-Government. The sixties were just formalities and an excuse for beautiful postage stamps.
 
Feb 4, 2010
360
0
United Kingdom
#18
True, but the influence was great. Remember part of the British influence is even something the Americans didn't even manage to defeat.
 
May 29, 2009
225
0
USA
#19
If I could ?see those Ancients, who were most renowned for their Wit and Learning? like Lemuel Gulliver in his account of Glubbdubdrib on his Voyage to Laputa in Gulliver?s Travels, or meet the great personages of history (e.g., Julius Caesar, Jesus Christ, etc.), I would forsake them all for but one hour?s conversation with Samuel Johnson.
 

deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#20
True, but the influence was great. Remember part of the British influence is even something the Americans didn't even manage to defeat.
Perhaps the British thought that, but the rest of the world thought they were on the wane. Took quite a while to sink in! :cry:
 

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