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All Fear Is The Fear Of Death

 
 
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 04:44 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
I hope you don't think I meant You when I said you. I mean anyone. I don't care if a person is a hundred percent yard bird. Courage is essential. Back bone is essential to any moral choice. The first thing any one must bear is consequences, and what ever one does one has to accept that there will be consequences. That is the point of the examined life. It is not to know what we should do, but so we can be certain of who is making the choice. There is a story in Boswell's life of Johnson where Johnson's mother asked him if he were going to be the sort to take the wall side of the walk, or the open side, my paraphrase. I don't know what it means, but I guess a man who is certain of his moral self takes the wall knowing full well he cannot retreat, and like the wall must stand for something. So if you pass some one as you walk by a wall, do you fear being driven against it, and do you try to keep your moral options open with room to manuver? No man fears death before dishonor. Men, which is to say adult human beings will not be driven by their fear into being puny, or vindictive, or cowardly. They face their fears, and deal with them; and all nothings like death that cannot be helped are soon filed away.


Fido,

:)Yes I did take in personally, you need to be concerned over how you are precieved, and in a medium like this, it is determined by what you write. The above I am sure you have worked out in your own mind, it is however not relevent to the topic. The topic of this thread being, is all fear the fear of death. I restate, all living things are fearful, and that fear is one, the fear of death.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 05:07 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Fido,

:)Yes I did take in personally, you need to be concerned over how you are precieved, and in a medium like this, it is determined by what you write. The above I am sure you have worked out in your own mind, it is however not relevent to the topic. The topic of this thread being, is all fear the fear of death. I restate, all living things are fearful, and that fear is one, the fear of death.

We do not fear death right now or all the time. If people look close at their fears they might find that death is behind it. It certainly might be true of some children. But I think that fear falls into the background, and especially so for adults. First, it is not reasonable to fear what is inevitable, and if one does, the problem is the person, that they are fearful by nature. All people deal with fear enough to get by, and fear is a healthy fear of loss of social standing, dishonor, or fear of not having ones needs met, lonliness, hungar, homelessness. I think the fear of death is common to all living beings. What makes us human is that it does not drive us directly.

And yes, I am concerned about how I am percieved. But how I am percieved is secondary to what I am; and I am a person with moral courage, and I have paid a price for the very thing that most helped me make my living as an Ironworker. And I have seen fear, and known fear, and like most human beings, I discounted it to accomplish my goals. What may have helped, I guess has helped every soldier in every war from the dawn of time. No one thinks it will happen to them. No normal person takes death seriously. We have an instinctual fear of death, but not a rational fear of death. It is because no one can imagine from the point of view of life what death is. So even when people were dropping around them from machine gun fire people would sing: The bells of hell go ting a ling a ling for you but not for me, The bullets they go zing a ling a ling, for you but not for me.

I never die. You never die, and when you do it will be a surprise, something completely new. The stuff of life is in life. That is where the healthy people of life fix their attention. That is where the trouble is. Death is a remote possibility.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 05:16 pm
@Fido,
I'm not sure how "all fear is fear of death". It does seem many of our fears in life could be simplified to a fear of death (someone who is affraid of heights, for example). But to say that all of our fear is really fear of death.... that is fairly extreme.

Consider the student who fears his upcoming math test. If he fails the test, his grades suffer, may not get into his pick of colleges, parents might be upset... we can think of many fears beyond simply the math test that are brought to the front of this student's mind because of the test. But I do not see how being affraid of that math test is really nothing more than fear of death.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 06:22 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I'll bet he is talking about some primal fear. May be all life is living on the edge of fear, a genetically bred quality keeping us on the ledge separating the fearful from the dead. You have to know when to run if your dignity means much to you, and if you see me run, run.
And I agree with you that the primal fear fades normally. There is enough anxiety for any life in every life. Some people are stuck in childhood and the fears of childhood are not grown out of. All else have social targets for our fear. Our fear has been socialized, modified. It could not be left as instinct. We have to endure it, and use it to our advantage. And so we do.
0 Replies
 
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 07:58 pm
@boagie,
I don't think Socrates feared death. He stated that death is what the philosopher longs for.

However, Socrates did fear the living 'death' of a persons soul.

So I ask the question: How far do you extend death? Is it one's own death only, or death as we loosely use the term?
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 08:14 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I'm not sure how "all fear is fear of death". It does seem many of our fears in life could be simplified to a fear of death (someone who is affraid of heights, for example). But to say that all of our fear is really fear of death.... that is fairly extreme.

Consider the student who fears his upcoming math test. If he fails the test, his grades suffer, may not get into his pick of colleges, parents might be upset... we can think of many fears beyond simply the math test that are brought to the front of this student's mind because of the test. But I do not see how being affraid of that math test is really nothing more than fear of death.


Didymos,Smile

:)It is an unusual understanding, to understand our fears as many facets of a singular fear, singular as in a complexity. In nature there is only one fear, and that is the fear of death. The response to that fear in nature is fight or flight. In our modern societies the response to the fear of death is still, fight or flight, but we are often told that our fears are irrational, as there is not the pressing danger before us, fear it would seem today can often not find its object.

:)When trying to understand a fear obscurely connected to the fear of death, there must be a process of linking back to the source. When one is afraid of say public speaking, what is the source of this fear, what will happen if you make a fool of yourself? By the way, the fear of public speaking is often sighted as the most prominent fear with people, before that of the fear death. Unless these fears are linked back in some way to the fear of death, there is no understanding the intensity of the fear of public speaking. Linked back and there are many instances where seemingly irrational fears, suddenly become quite rational. The triggers in our environment are just that triggers and our response to these triggers has not changed, it is fight or flight, but, fight or flight you are told are not proper reactions to the occasion, you can do neither-----thus you are mentally ill.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 08:22 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
I don't think Socrates feared death. He stated that death is what the philosopher longs for.

However, Socrates did fear the living 'death' of a persons soul.

So I ask the question: How far do you extend death? Is it one's own death only, or death as we loosely use the term?

And as they round the turn knowledge slips to second place and death roars into the finish. It has been an exciting race so far, and socrates let the least one win. Why? He knew there were worse ways to die. Every good life is followed by a good death if it is fate. Do I count on fate. No. I know the good death is just another form of knowlege.

It is one's death only. There is only one death. My death. And when I die you die. The world died with Socrates. It will die again with me. And it will die again with you.
0 Replies
 
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 08:33 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
I don't think Socrates feared death. He stated that death is what the philosopher longs for.

However, Socrates did fear the living 'death' of a persons soul.

So I ask the question: How far do you extend death? Is it one's own death only, or death as we loosely use the term?


de Silentio,Smile

:)It is true one can come to terms with one's own mortality, and if tired enough of life look forward to the peace that is to be found in non-existence. For the intention of the thread, the fear being discussed is one's personal mortality. It is a good indication I think, that dispite the fractured nature of one instinctual response, that of fight or flight, it has not changed in our nature to the present, but, we often refuse to listen to it. Refuseing to acknowledge, refuseing to act out our instincts in their proper context, is the source of a tortured psyche, and I believe creates mental illness. I believe this last statement of mine is popularly held.





"It is one's death only. There is only one death. My death. And when I die you die. The world died with Socrates. It will die again with me. And it will die again with you." quote


Fido,

With the closeing of the eyes in death a world ceases to be. Schopenhauer
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 08:38 pm
@boagie,
Quote:
It is one's death only. There is only one death. My death. And when I die you die. The world died with Socrates. It will die again with me. And it will die again with you.


How post-modern of you. Is it the fear of my death that creates the possibility to fear for others death then? Because I can concieve of people who would fear their childrens death and not their own.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 08:56 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
How post-modern of you. Is it the fear of my death that creates the possibility to fear for others death than? Because I can concieve of people who would fear than childrens death and not their own.


de Silentio,Smile

:)On a biological level your children are you, read, "The Selfish Gene," Richard Dawkins. Ponder the concept of the expanded self, whether it is your children or those with whom you identify with and have compassion for. Just as the expression of sexuality is largely involentary, so to are other forms of self-survival, surely fear of non-survival/death is not volentary. We are the vehicles of a deeper source you mignt say, and the orders are, survive!!



I await the second coming of the bosses son!!:p boagie
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 06:39 am
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
de Silentio,Smile

:)It is true one can come to terms with one's own mortality, and if tired enough of life look forward to the peace that is to be found in non-existence. For the intention of the thread, the fear being discussed is one's personal mortality. It is a good indication I think, that dispite the fractured nature of one instinctual response, that of fight or flight, it has not changed in our nature to the present, but, we often refuse to listen to it. Refuseing to acknowledge, refuseing to act out our instincts in their proper context, is the source of a tortured psyche, and I believe creates mental illness. I believe this last statement of mine is popularly held.





"It is one's death only. There is only one death. My death. And when I die you die. The world died with Socrates. It will die again with me. And it will die again with you." quote


Fido,

With the closeing of the eyes in death a world ceases to be. Schopenhauer


He is hardly the exception. I find a lot of dead folks agreeable.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 06:49 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:

Consider the student who fears his upcoming math test. If he fails the test, his grades suffer, may not get into his pick of colleges, parents might be upset... we can think of many fears beyond simply the math test that are brought to the front of this student's mind because of the test. But I do not see how being affraid of that math test is really nothing more than fear of death.


Sure. But that is too commonsensical. My kid is really scared of spiders. But I wouldn't want to say that she is scared to death of spiders.

When a philosopher tells you that all X is Y, you can be pretty sure that some X is not Y.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 11:45 am
@kennethamy,
Boagie, I appreciate your comments, but I'm not sure how they alleviate my concerns with the claim that all fear is really fear of death.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 02:25 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Boagie, I appreciate your comments, but I'm not sure how they alleviate my concerns with the claim that all fear is really fear of death.


Didymos,Smile

:)Admittedly, I am unsure of the absolute nature of this proposition, but, I think it deserves consideration. There are so many instances of supposedly irrational fears expressed by people, meaning the fear is intense and yet cannot find its object to justify itself, the fearful then are considered mentally ill.

SmileI think the fact that in nature there is only one fear and that is the fear of death, of which the rational response to this state in nature is fight or flight. The thought of what happens to the relative simplicity of predator and prey relationship in modern society is intrigueing, the rational response in modern society is still, fight or flight.

SmileI wonder if the intensity of ones fear---whatever the object of fear be----would not be measureable by the individuals perception, on a conscious or subconsious level, of the immediacy of danger/threat. So, in order to link said fears back to their real source it involves a little retrospect. let yourself play with the idea even if it at first it seems an affront to common sense. The most distressing examples of this problem are those people just written off as mentally ill. In such cases there is no apparent danger present to the subject that would justify the intensity of their fear. The intensity of the fear of public speaking is--- if not linked back to its source--- totally irrational in many many people.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 04:14 pm
@boagie,
Quote:
Admittedly, I am unsure of the absolute nature of this proposition, but, I think it deserves consideration. There are so many instances of supposedly irrational fears expressed by people, meaning the fear is intense and yet cannot find its object to justify itself, the fearful then are considered mentally ill.


The student who fears his test has a fear that does not seem to be the fear of death.

Quote:
I think the fact that in nature there is only one fear and that is the fear of death, of which the rational response to this state in nature is fight or flight. The thought of what happens to the relative simplicity of predator and prey relationship in modern society is intrigueing, the rational response in modern society is still, fight or flight.


Why do you say there is only one fear in nature? The ape replying to your post (myself) has been affraid of things other than death, for rational reasons and otherwise.
I dont argue that our responses to fear are 'fight or flight', but I dont think fight or flight is limited to fear of death. At least, I dont see why (unless, of course, you can convince me that all fear is fear of death).

I'm also not sure why the distinction between irrational and rational fears is useful here. If you mean to argue that the only rational fear is the fear of death, I've misunderstood you thus far. But if you stand by the claim that all fear is fear of death I look forward to your reply Smile
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 06:58 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
The student who fears his test has a fear that does not seem to be the fear of death.



Why do you say there is only one fear in nature? The ape replying to your post (myself) has been affraid of things other than death, for rational reasons and otherwise.
I dont argue that our responses to fear are 'fight or flight', but I dont think fight or flight is limited to fear of death. At least, I dont see why (unless, of course, you can convince me that all fear is fear of death).

I'm also not sure why the distinction between irrational and rational fears is useful here. If you mean to argue that the only rational fear is the fear of death, I've misunderstood you thus far. But if you stand by the claim that all fear is fear of death I look forward to your reply Smile


Didymos,Smile

SmileI think you need to ask yourself what the source of the students fear is, does the intensity of his fear seem rational to what is at stake? If indeed it is the case that the fear is warranted, you need look no further.

Smile"Why do you say there is only one fear in nature?" quote Perhaps you could enlighten me here, please enumerate. What example in nature do you see the response to the fear of death to be anything but one of these two. In society indeed, fear is often obscured and it is not considered rational if death is not a hand to chose fight or flight. Rational fear means that fear can identify its object of fear. Irrational of course means, the fear cannot find its object, and thus the individual is often considered mentally ill.

:)What makes a man who hates his job get up and go to work everyday, day in day out, year in year out? As I state earlier, all fear being the fear of death might not be absolute, but, it is right up front both inhibiting and modivating life.
ogden
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 09:53 pm
@boagie,
Boagie, greetings,

If a small child who does not comprehend death is afraid, what are they afraid of?

If fear is a response to a condition, real or imaginedand, the causality of the response is not neccissarily a second order thought, i.e. fear of death. Admitedly the fear response, inherent in our nature, is for self preservation (death avoidance), IMHO it would be a tautology to say all fear is fear of death, even if the primary function of the fear response is to prolong life.

Given that the first order knee jerk reaction; fight or flight, is designed to avoid death, it would seem rational that there are other (second order) less severe negative outcomes that could cause fear.

On a personal note, I value death greatly. Even though I avoid it with robust fervor, I am promised death, no one can take it from me, it is what makes life sooo sweet;).
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 11:14 pm
@ogden,
ogden wrote:
Boagie, greetings,

If a small child who does not comprehend death is afraid, what are they afraid of?

If fear is a response to a condition, real or imaginedand, the causality of the response is not neccissarily a second order thought, i.e. fear of death. Admitedly the fear response, inherent in our nature, is for self preservation (death avoidance), IMHO it would be a tautology to say all fear is fear of death, even if the primary function of the fear response is to prolong life.

Given that the first order knee jerk reaction; fight or flight, is designed to avoid death, it would seem rational that there are other (second order) less severe negative outcomes that could cause fear.

On a personal note, I value death greatly. Even though I avoid it with robust fervor, I am promised death, no one can take it from me, it is what makes life sooo sweet;).


ogden,

:)You make some excellent points my friend, the young may feel somewhat immortal on a conscious level, but this thing is a part of the very fabric of being, different things may be life threating at that age, abandonment is number one on the list. Indifference to on the part of the parent is also a form of abandonment, too a dependent, this is a mortal threat. You might have something here, for the natural response of fight or flight seems a futile response to the condition of abandonment.

:)What is this thing you would term the causality of response and what do you mean by saying fight or flight is a secondary thought, or am I misunderstanding you? Fight or flight are instinctual responses and cannot really be considered a common thought process, they are if anything something of the first order, there is no time for abstract thoughts ect.., here, when danger is immediate, so too must the respones be immediate.

:)As far as this premise being a tautology goes, no, it is not, as I have stated that I do not believe it is absolute but something that deserves consideration.

:)Your theory that there should be a second order responses to things of a lesser threat, I could not agree more, that was point of useing the flame of the fire as an analogy, to make people appreciate these things are related and simply hard to precieve when on a scale of diminishing degrees. If one forcees the possiability of being injured, it certainly is a different proposition than faceing certain death, but, it is all in degrees. Here the degrees are striking but across the board they become less pronounced, less distinctive and so enstranged you might say from the mother concept of survival and fear of death.

:)Your praise of death is well founded, without death, this would be a very real hell.
Arjen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Feb, 2008 07:56 am
@boagie,
In my opinion you are going about this in the wrong way. Have you stopped to realise the different parts that humans consist of? Because I think you have not a because of that become a little tied up within yourself.

A quick question to get things started: do you see the difference between what a person is and what a person thinks he is?
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Feb, 2008 08:41 am
@ogden,
ogden wrote:
Boagie, greetings,

If a small child who does not comprehend death is afraid, what are they afraid of?

If fear is a response to a condition, real or imaginedand, the causality of the response is not neccissarily a second order thought, i.e. fear of death. Admitedly the fear response, inherent in our nature, is for self preservation (death avoidance), IMHO it would be a tautology to say all fear is fear of death, even if the primary function of the fear response is to prolong life.

Given that the first order knee jerk reaction; fight or flight, is designed to avoid death, it would seem rational that there are other (second order) less severe negative outcomes that could cause fear.

On a personal note, I value death greatly. Even though I avoid it with robust fervor, I am promised death, no one can take it from me, it is what makes life sooo sweet;).

The kitten turns fight the tom without comprehension of death, out of a sense of its life which carries the instinctual fear of death. As Lincoln put it: an ant holds his life in the same regard as you do yours. Death never comes as death, but in another form with another face. Most of us turn to face it like the kitten, and with as little success.
 

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