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Thread: Fear

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Fear

    Is fear an innate state of being for humans? Are we genetically predisposed to worry? Anxiety? It seems to me that more and more people are worrying about small stuff. Is that we are inclined to worry/ feel anxious/be afraid of something and a lot of the big things aren't an issue anymore?
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    One with the Force ChainLightning's Avatar
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    Re: Fear

    Honestly, I don't think it's innate at all. From all that I've observed, I think it's a learned behavior, and one that can relatively easily be contagious.

    That's not to be confused with the reptilian level of fight or flight behavior, however. Just the abstract fear that modern humans nourish.

    *shrug




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    Sr. Member Luce's Avatar
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    Re: Fear

    Infants are afraid of sudden, loud noises. Everything else has to be learned.

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    Re: Fear

    As Chain said - it is a great part of human behaviour. The feeling of fear is determined in us since the beginning, but it can work in different situations or not work at all. It often depends on the person.
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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Fear

    Hmm. I guess what I'm getting at is.. if you are in a completely secure environment, everything's as good as it could possibly get, would you still find something to be anxious over? I think a lot of people would. Even if that was some crazy, this is too good to be true, reaction.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

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    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Fear

    I think we're naturally alert, but not anxious or afraid. We learn that.

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Fear

    I think its an evolutionary trait, the capacity for fear. I think the *what* to fear is learned, but there are some things that instinctive, because its an evolutionary adaptation (dark places, deep water, heights). Fear is a tool for survival, its a response and motivator for stress (which can be a good thing). In the absence of stress, I think we would still have fear, because we'd fear the return of stress...we are capable of complex enough thoughts to know that stress will return (and look at prey animals, they know to stay alert for predators, even in their absence).
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    Re: Fear

    What a coincidence -- just a couple of days ago I briefly pondered what a life without fear would look like. Didn't take long for me to answer: "Short."

    "No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical." -- Niels Bohr

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    Re: Fear

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahaku View Post
    Hmm. I guess what I'm getting at is.. if you are in a completely secure environment, everything's as good as it could possibly get, would you still find something to be anxious over? I think a lot of people would. Even if that was some crazy, this is too good to be true, reaction.
    I think that's part of the modern human's problem. In first world countries, we really don't have any natural predators, like lions or tigers or what-have-you (unless you're a jogger in mountain lion territory, or a golfer in Florida). But, our brains are still hard-wired to be alert and sensitive to threats in our environment. In the lack of actual things to be afraid of, actual predators, threats and risks... our brains get bored and invent things to fear. In and of itself, this is an evolutionary tactic to keep us alive - our brain still thinks there are lions lurking in the bushes, and wants us to stay sharp and ready to fight or flee. Some people are more sensitive to their imagination and their imagination's effect on their adrenal system, so they end up with generalized anxiety and panic disorders, along with stress and burn-out and stress-related chronic illness.
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    Eldritch Priestess Willow's Avatar
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    Re: Fear

    In my opinion. Fear itself as a concept is innate, anxiety is more or less learned (unless you're naturally born with some chemical predisposition).

    Although, for the record, I do see anxiety here (the USA) a lot more than I ever saw it in the UK and Slovenia. There's been the speculation that perhaps the US is a fear-based country where the news media hypes up any gruesome story to boost their ratings, that the government keeps their citizens on edge, and that in turn leads to more people owning and carrying firearms, looking sideways at their neighbors and the people they walk by on the street, and generally maintaining a mind of paranoia against any and all who are around them.

    I'm not convinced that's the only reason for the amount of anxiety people have today (for example, I'm pretty sure the job situation-- or lack thereof-- has some pull there), but maybe there's points to be had in combination with other factors.

    Some people do become more anxious than others, for whatever reasons, and that's just how the world is. We're all a little different, have different limits, different factors of resilience, and different situations.

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