On Fear

On Fear

 

Everyday, around the world, every human feels fear. Every human experiences fear, as it is an inevitable consequence of human existence. Fear does not have a specific form in which it must come in, instead manifesting itself in a plethora of different forms. Anxiety, terror, horror, worry, all of these are forms of the same thing. Today, I will be talking about fear, and how society has twisted our view of fear into something that should be avoided at all costs.

 

Take, for example, the definition of fear. It is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” Yet is this necessarily true? Does fear have to be something to negative in connotation? Or can we find a way to take fear, and not only normalize it, but reveal it as the positive thing that it really is? This may seem like a large step to take, so let’s start out the process with a simple analogy. Fight or flight, everyone has heard the words, and everyone knows what it means. The feeling of whether or not you should stay and fight to protect yourself and others, or flee for your life. This is a primal instinct, one which we cannot control. This phenomenon is based off of a flood of cortisone entering the body, and overtaking the emotions with a flood of adrenaline, therefore causing the fight or flight response. This is a classical form of fear.

 

In society, we have taken the idea of fight or flight, and applied it to the overall idea of fear, therefore twisting it into a feeling that should be avoided at all costs. When I was younger, I was told that fear was the feeling that kept us from doing things that would make us get hurt. But what about a fear of heights? Or a fear of monsters? Surely someone who is afraid of monsters is not being protected by that fear. Instead, it is better to stand face to face with your fears, and prove to them that they have no power over you. Embracing your fears gives you power over them, and once you have the power, you can use them however you want.

 

It is fear that has propelled us forward throughout history. A fear of the dark was solved with fire. A fear of being attacked was solved with weapons. Fear is not what we say it is. It is not the horrifying thing that we have made it out to be. Instead of seeing it as a roadblock, instead we should see it as a way to push ourselves beyond what we previously thought possible. Take our fear, and convert it into fuel, and we will find ourselves beyond what we thought was possible, and beyond what we could ever imagine.

 

Fear is a constant, something that will persist in your life, regardless of who you are, or what you’ve done. No matter how much we try, we can never get rid of the feeling of fear. What we can do is capitalize on it, and use it as a way to motivate ourselves to an extent that was once unthinkable. We must no longer treat fear as an unwanted guest, but instead an invited friend, one who wishes to help, not hurt. This is the ultimate choice that all humans must make, whether to give in, or push on. In the spite of overwhelming odds, we must make the right choice. To feel fear is the human experience, but to overcome it is the human expertise.

 

~Zane

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Philosophy Rant

Hey guys! I’ve been thinking a lot about philosophy lately, and I wanted to give some of you an idea of what I’ve been pondering.

 

One of my favorite philosophical concepts is that of the “Golden Mean.” This theory was developed by first by Aristotle, who stated an objection to the original idea of good and evil being opposites. In almost every aspect of our culture, it is made apparent that there is good, which is moral and correct, and evil, which is immoral and wrong. Even ancient literature states this, most notably the bible, stating that God and Satan are opposites, one standing for all thing moral, and the other all things immoral, respectively. This is a simple fact of culture, with the only deviation being that of a moral “gray area,” which does not necessarily lean one way or the other.

 

Aristotle decided that he objected to that idea, and instead came up with the Golden Mean. He stated that good and evil were not opposites, but rather a spectrum. If one were to imagine a sandwich (yum), one could picture evil as two pieces of bread on either side, and good being the Golden Mean in the middle. On one side, we have the idea of deficiency, one of the evils of the world. One the other side, we have excess, another one of the evils manifested in the world. Of course, in the center, we have a balance of the two, creating a Golden Mean, which combines both aspects.

 

A way to create an example of this spectrum is to pick a positive, balanced virtue, and scale it accordingly, first to deficiency, then to excess. For this example, we will choose an inherently good virtue: generosity. In a balanced form, generosity includes ideas that pertain to giving to the needy, sharing with others, etc. When one deficient of generosity, they become stingy, and unwilling to share with others. Yet in excess, generosity becomes extravagance, and wastefulness. This is true of any virtue that is moral and righteous. Since good and evil is a subjective ideal, it is impossible to determine a single theory to be true. Such is the nature of philosophy.

 

I hope this at least somewhat interested you guys. This post was really fun to write, so it was pretty easy for me to rant about it, especially with the subject being so interesting. Stay tuned for more philosophy stuff, and maybe I can even make it into a running series.

 

~Zane

Autistic Point Of View – Logical Fallacies

Two posts in one day? Oh heck yeah! One of the most interesting things known to man is the idea of philosophy, and that of logical analysis. As someone who is autistic, it comes naturally to me to think logically, therefore, philosophy is extremely fun! One of my favorite philosophical concepts is that of logical fallacies. There are a ton of logical fallacies, and each one has a unique form. Without further adieu, here are my favorites!

 

The Monte Carlo Fallacy: The “Monte Carlo Fallacy” is a fallacy that is often used in gambling. The idea of the Monte Carlo Fallacy is described in the following story. Joe the gambler has been playing roulette all day, and has had no luck. After 9 spins, Joe realizes that the past 8 have landed on red, so he must be due for a black! Joe, being the incredible logician he is, put everything down on black, only for it to land on red. Too bad Joe didn’t realize that the chances were the same the whole time! Even though the past 8 spins had been on red, that doesn’t change the probability of the next one.

 

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy: The “post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy”, literally means “after, therefore because.” This fallacy is the idea that because something happened after a certain event, it must have been caused by that event. An example is the idea of vaccines causing Autism. Many people assume that since there have been more cases of autism diagnosed after the popularization of vaccinations, some people draw the conclusion that vaccines cause autism. In some cases, this reasoning is not a fallacy, such as the fact that tsunamis often happen after earthquakes. Yet it is usually illogical, like saying that my grandmother died after David Bowie died, so that means her death was caused by David Bowie’s death. Overall, it’s a very common fallacy, but it’s pretty stupid to use it.

 

No True Scotsman Fallacy: The “No True Scotsman” fallacy is one where the user shifts the goalposts every time their opponent tries to rationalize something so it doesn’t apply to a “true” example. Example: Angus said that no scotsman puts sugar in his coffee. Angrily, Roghnall exclaims that he is a scotsman and puts sugar in his coffee. Enraged by his comment, Angus exclaims that no “true” scotsman would put sugar in his coffee. This is my alltime favorite fallacy.

 

Overall, fallacies are gross, and you shouldn’t use them. Avoid them at all costs. See y’all next time!

~Zane