A question my son asked....

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Registered: 03-26-2003
A question my son asked....
10
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 2:25pm
My eldest son asks me the hardest questions ever. This weekend he asked me who is the most famous living person in the world and then he asked me who was the most famous person ever in the world?

How would you answer?



Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 2:35pm
Here are my answers....

I am really embarassed that I said the most famous living person was Madonna. Then, I thought some more and said Paul McCartney. My son said he did not know who that was and he had never heard of the Beatles (too much Johnny Cash). I sighed and gave up. Upon further reflection, I think the Pope is the most famous person in the world.

I answered Jesus for the next question. He repliedd that it had to be someone real. Six years of religious education-church and Sunday School-and he doesn't think Jesus Christ is real. I thought about banging my head against the steering wheel repeatedly but I just sighed again.

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 4:14pm
<<> ahhhhh, i think its between michael jackson and the pope!! LOL

who was the most famous person ever in the world? Jesus

imho.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 5:55pm
I think I'd be asking what he meant by famous? Sometime recently, Jennifer Aniston was listed as the most famous person or most popular celebrity in the US, but it was based on how many times she had been featured on magazine covers in the past year. Personally, I don't think that's a good way to measure it.

To me, it's a question of how likely it is that the average person in the street will know who the person is/was. That gets pretty complicated when you are looking at the world at large, particularly when you are talking about entertainers. If the movie or the album does not get distributed in that country, then the person is not well-known.

Then there is the question of whether it is the name or the face or the position that is well-known. For instance, US presidents are almost always recognized by name all over the world, but not always recognized by photo. The Pope is always well known by position, but even among Catholics, his actual name is sometimes a mystery. If you don't know the man's name, is he really famous? My answer in terms of most famous worldwide right now? George W. Bush (... and if I were he, I wouldn't be flattered.)

As to who the most famous person in history was ... is fame limited to one's lifetime? By that, I mean did the person have to be well-known while he/she was still alive in order to count as famous? By that count, I don't think Jesus was very famous at all. In fact, no one was really famous worldwide in his own time until after the invention of movable type. In those terms, I think my answer would be Queen Victoria. If you are going with "what historical figure will the most people worldwide recognize by name?" then my answer is either Jesus or Mohammed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 09-15-2003 - 6:35pm
Seven years ago I would have said Michael Jordan. Because I went to Bali and took a bus up in the remote hills to tour the countryside. During the sales negotiations for a painting, an old man asked me where I was from (in horrible English and pantomime) and I said Chicago, he said, "Oh, Michael Jordan?" I couldn't believe it. By the way, these people certainly didn't have television, they barely had running water.

Most famous person ever in the world? I don't know. I want to say Jesus but since most of the world isn't Christian, that seems like a dim answer.

My seven year old said God until I pointed out that God is not a person. Now he is thinking about it.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-22-2003 - 11:17am
Famous? Is this "area under the curve" famous or "height of the peak" famous? Is it determined by most recognizable face, or most important contribution?

I'm going with area under the curve, and mix of contributions and celebrity.

Current most famous - Nelson Mandella.

Most famous ever - Jesus Christ.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
Mon, 09-22-2003 - 12:34pm
The most famous person ever? Too many. The most famous person living on Earth right now? In my humble opinion .. Pope John.

Linda

 

Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 3:35am
Also, even if Jesus as a factual person were *not* in dispute, wouldn't Moses be more famous? I mean, he gets just about as much press (that whole "ten commmandments" flap) and he's agreed upon as a "real" person for both Xians *and* Jews.

And since Xians, Jews and Islamists *all* agree on the creation story, wouldn't Adam fall in there somewhere? I mean, what adherant to the Judeo/Christian/Islamist mythos doesn't know the creation story?

I'd also, just for the sake of intellectual honesty, consider Confusius - given that he is a cultural icon in Asia (where a large proportion of the world's population lives) and as a historical person, he is not in doubt. Just because *we* don't quote Confusius on a daily basis, doesn't mean he hasn't had an impact on many, many lives.

Firefly

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 8:06am
What creation story do all these people agree on? I was in Catholic school over 30 yrs ago, and they were already passed that as fact.

Jesus Christ is more famous than Moses, because a big part of what Jesus wanted his follwers to do, was make it their job to spread his teachings, and talk about him. Those who were following Moses weren't quite as into that. You were more or less either chosen, or you were not, by virtue of parentage. Which means a world full people have heard of Jesus as whether they accept his teachings, or not, as a very important person, with Moses being somewhere in the historical background.

As it goes for Confusius, Budha and just about everyone else. They really didn't make it their business to spread the information around the way Jesus Christ and his followers did/do.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 1:10pm
Opinion - good name.

Firefly

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-25-2003 - 2:03am
I would first give hime a lecture on the subjectivity of any answer to that question. Then I would give him examples of people who were extremely famous at various times in various places. Then I would discuss with him what at that time in that place made people think of them as famous. Next would be getting him to define for me what factors make someone famous in our time and place. We would also discuss which of these factors might be lasting values that have a chance of transcending our time. We could also look at what these factors say about the values of our society. There is a lot to delve into there. But I probably wouldn't answer his question as stated.