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  1. #1
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    Default Why do we fear what we don't understand?

    Why do you think we fear what we don't understand?

    Rationally speaking, isn't what is unknown neither more or less likely to be harmful to us?

    Ah, but if survival is the greatest desire, we know what is familiar to us is already safe. You don't need to eat funny looking berries until you're on the brink of starvation.

    However, compared to before we are already relatively safe. Those with an unfair share of negative experiences are even less likely to explore what is unknown because they expect more of the same, which is ironic because that is exactly what they need to do to find the good they have been missing.

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    because we dont know if it will hurt us or not
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Why is this in the relationship forum? Is there something else coming?




    I think we fear the unknown based on our expectations (and thus by previous experiences). I'm not afraid of a lot of physical situations that bring me "the unknown" (job interviews, going on a date, eating berries). I'm also not afraid of the concept of "the unknown".

    I fear the consequences "the unknown" might have (I don't get the job, a relationship break, I die of food poisoning). I am afraid of these things because they will have a negative outcome on the perceived quality of my life. As an INTP I usually think about the consequences before I do/experience/seek out "the unknown".




    I think we are excited by the unknown based on our expectations (and thus by previous experiences). I'm not excited by a lot of physical situations that bring me "the unknown" (job interviews, going on a date, eating berries). I'm also not excited by the concept of "the unknown".

    I am excited by the pleasures "the unknown" might have (I get the job, a relationship works out, I eat delicious berries). I am excited by these things because they will have a positive outcome on the perceived quality of my life. As an INTP I usually think about the pleasures before I do/experience/seek out "the unknown".



    Luckily I'm a natural optimist and the second explanation is usually more true for me.
    (removed)

  4. #4
    movin melodies kiddykat's Avatar
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    .. maybe as an adaptive mechanism, those who do experience negative situations often resort to finding new solutions to explore various options in order to survive?

    I think fear is taught through our environment, and ultimately, what we internalize to be true or not.

    Some kids are fearless, but grow up in environments where they're taught to fear. As a result, they may/may not internalize what they should/shouldn't fear? (Mass media has a high contribution to this I think- in ways in which it sets standards for social mores/for what's 'normal/mainstream'. It effects behavior on both a macro/micro level).

    I tend to embrace what I don't understand. In embracing what is different, I also get a taste what it's like to be in unfamiliar circumstances. Plus it's fun! Would I chose to deal with what I fear? Depends on how much I have to lose.

  5. #5
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    It's probably not:

    A. It's confusing to us.
    B. We hate it.

    It's probably:

    A. We understand something.
    B. We realize that the threat we thought it held for us was all in our heads, i.e. due to false assumptions.

    The connotation of the well-known statement is that that which we can't comprehend feels threatening to us. If this were true, things like awe, curiosity and fascination would not exist. What I think the statement is trying to say is that as we get closer to the objective truth about something, we realize more and more that it is not a threat to us. Obviously, this isn't true of everything, as some things are threats to us, but a lot of threats are in our heads, and I appreciate any statement that seems to imply that.
    They're running just like you
    For you, and I, wooo
    So people, people, need some good ol' love

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circle View Post
    Why do you think we fear what we don't understand?
    Why is the sky blue? Why is the earth round? Why does the sun rise in the east and set in the west?

    The simple answer: because naturally, that's the way it works.

    I'll let others expound upon the deeper intricacies of what has been rudimentary nature since the dawn of man.

  7. #7
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    Because we don't understand it. Once something can be understood and reliably categorized as either more or less harmful to our well-being, it ironically becomes less harmful, because we can develop solutions from there. We know what to gravitate towards, what to avoid. But something which cannot be understood, lacks any sort of recognizable navigational signpost. As a result, it becomes relatively more harmful to our well-being, than something which is understandable.

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Because when you don't understand something, you have no known way of controlling it or adapting to it. It places you completely at the mercy of the situation, of the object.

    It isn't the thing itself you fear, it's the idea of being at the mercy of something rather than having the capacity to control it, or a way to adapt to it well enough to have a good chance of being safe.

    Fear is always about vulnerability to situations that will result in loss of control and adaptability, on some level. If you believe you can either control something or adapt to it (regardless of whether this is true or not), you don't feel much fear. This is one of the reasons religion is valued... it offers the comforting belief that you can influence your own fate even after death.

  9. #9
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Things I don't understand I rarily fear. I enjoy unraveling the unknown. If I feared the unknown, I honestly wouldn't know how to live. :p
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  10. #10
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Thread moved to Philosophy and Spirituality, until such time as it clearly bears relevance to relationships.
    They're running just like you
    For you, and I, wooo
    So people, people, need some good ol' love

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