Fear

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PostMon Jul 26, 2010 3:33 am » by Arisen


Seeing as fear is a major weapon, both in the hands of the authorities and also religion, I would like to see if we can dissect this notion and find a "cure".

First we should differentiate between fear as a physiological reaction to a stimulus (adrenaline rush, vasoconstriction etc), which (I think) is no point to discuss as it's a primal survival instinct, outside of conscious control)

The fear that I would like to analyze we can also call: "unfounded worry".

IMO we can break this in 3:

1. fear of suffering
2. fear of death
3. fear of god

(please note that if one thinks god will kill him is still fear of death, not fear of god, so do not reduce the 3rd fear to 1 or 2 just based on the presumed acting agent).

Fear 1 and 2 are, to me, unfounded, because the object of these fears is outside of our control, and a natural survival instinct plus common sense are sufficient measures to give one a acceptable degree of confidence. (as an example, driving is an acceptable risk we all take easily, but we also see the other side of it driving phobia)

Fear 3 doesn't necessarily apply only to believers, as it's a fear of "doing something wrong" and it also applies to atheists, but it's called ethics. I think fear 3 is an acceptable part of human condition, and it's a founded fear, as it steams from us being social creatures.


Do you think there is a cure for "unfounded fear"? Of course rational argument, but as we can see people in general do not respond well to that...

I think such a cure, is the cure humanity needs the most.

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PostMon Jul 26, 2010 3:55 am » by Constabul


Fear 3, Of God, or Ethics,
being I think that a fear of god is unfounded, due to being unable to really know, the true concept of "God" we can make labels, and theorize, but that is where it ends. it is only a assumption. Generally based on learned behavior, and group think/reinforcement, basicly keeping one in a perpetual fear cycle. much like Christianity tells you not to judge, but to follow the faith, one falls into the trap of judgment, thus the cycle of needing forgiveness starts anew. if you follow.

Ethics are based on a concept of right and wrong, and only personal honor code, to follow those ethics, so it can be argued. Who is to say what is Good? or what is Evil?
what is evil to you is good to another, a good apples, to oranges example of this, is a terrorist vs a freedom fighter, can you define the two? or tell me the difference?
so i do not believe your assumption that atheist share a level of fear due to a code of ethics.

Agnostic, using Pluto's quote of, I know i Know nothing, really does not have a stance to which fear can be a manifestation due to the position they take, fearing the unknown, is a fallacy. <Tho with our erectile dysfunction society, i do not doubt the fear of the unknown has some medical term, hell obesity is now considered a disease>

I think the 1 and 2 fear can fall into the "physiological reaction to a stimulus" regardless of control circumstances, adrenaline rush etc. can trigger these effects, i think of the sugar pill placebo affect, ones subconscious mind can trick ones conscious mind. Many examples of this exist.

Again, the concept of What is good? and What is evil? is a large part of this. and who makes that decision?
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PostMon Jul 26, 2010 3:58 am » by sockpuppet


arisen wrote:
1. fear of suffering
2. fear of death
3. fear of god


Fear 1 and 2 are, to me, unfounded, because the object of these fears is outside of our control, and a natural survival instinct plus common sense are sufficient measures to give one a acceptable degree of confidence. (as an example, driving is an acceptable risk we all take easily, but we also see the other side of it driving phobia)




Do you believe that a political prisoner has an unfounded fear of suffering?
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PostMon Jul 26, 2010 8:36 am » by Mugenroshi8


sockpuppet wrote:Do you believe that a political prisoner has an unfounded fear of suffering?


Sock makes a valid point, which drives a stake into your "dissection" and calls for more clarification on the definition of "fear."

There exists a difference between "fear," and "anxiety." When you say:
arisen wrote:1. fear of suffering
2. fear of death
3. fear of god


It sounds to me like "fear of suffering," sounds more like "unsound anxiety." You mention a fear of automobiles, but really is it "fear," or is it "common sense," that makes one wary of automobiles? Many have been in automobile collisions, thus grounds enough to make one wary while driving a vehicle. Some may not even want to drive again. That's not unsound at all (as it's based on experience). Most however, weigh the traumatic experience with the need to carry on with their life, based on current needs of money and or substance to continue existing in the life they have built.

Perhaps what you mean, are to point to those who have a fear of sharks, but have never been attacked by sharks, yet are unwilling to swim around them and see if they are as dangerous as others say. This would be unsound, but then again, can you blame them being wary of placing their trust to a predator greater than themselves?

I say, for those who have suffered a negative stimulus, they have justification for specific concern. Fear of death? Again, based on non-experience, but can you blame someone for not wanting to cease the life they have grown attached to? Fear of god? I'm not going to touch that one.

Fear is part and parcel of the "survival mechanism" you mentioned earlier, which coupled with common sense helps one in defining situations. Your concern seems to stem from perceiving other fears you feel, "unsound," (although many raised under certain conditions with definitely interpret them as "sound"), and the irrational anxieties others allow to paralyze them into inaction. You're wanting more action, it sounds like?
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PostMon Jul 26, 2010 8:44 am » by Alphafemale


"Fear of God" I believe is respect, or reverence for God. I revere what I believe to be His Supreme Authority, but not fear like Nightmare On Elm Street fear.

God is a consuming fire. The fire can burn you or as the fire does wood to ash, or purify you as silver to platinum.

Shalom.



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