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Thread: Why are we more scared of the end of the world than the end of ourselves?

  1. #1 Why are we more scared of the end of the world than the end of ourselves? 
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
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    People are more scared of the end of the world, than their own death. Why is this?

    If I am sure, without doubt, the world will end in 150 years, I will be horrified. But I know I am not going to live that long. So why do we get sad over things like this?


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    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    Because we fear for the safety and well-being of our future children and grandchildren, and their own children after that.


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    I'm not so sure about the premise. The way most people consume and are reluctant to acknowledge their own added burdens on our future generations, I think there's little if any fear for the "end of the world"; or not enough to propel the developed world into action.
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    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Because we fear for the safety and well-being of our future children and grandchildren, and their own children after that.
    Wouldn't that suggest we're all good people at heart?
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Because we fear for the safety and well-being of our future children and grandchildren, and their own children after that.
    Wouldn't that suggest we're all good people at heart?
    Only those of us who care about the environment and the future. Climate change, renewable resources, etc.

    Then there are the big greedy fatcat businessmen and politicians and such who seem not to care about anyone or anything more than lining their own pockets for the short-term periods of their lifespans. But that's definitely on the cynical side of the idealism scale.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Wouldn't that suggest we're all good people at heart?
    It would suggest that any species that is the product of over three and a half billion years of evolution and is composed of sentient beings, may well have an instinctive drive to look to the future.
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    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Wouldn't that suggest we're all good people at heart?
    It would suggest that any species that is the product of over three and a half billion years of evolution and is composed of sentient beings, may well have an instinctive drive to look to the future.
    Yeah, but to what end considering we won't be part of it?
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Yeah, but to what end considering we won't be part of it?
    As noted it is an instinctive drive that encourages survival of the population and has little or nothing to do with the individual. But instinctive drives are strong, especially when you don't acknowledge them.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    If I am sure, without doubt, the world will end in 150 years, I will be horrified
    So far there have been thousands of mystics, profits and others like them that have said the exact same thing and yet here we are still alive and the earth is moving along. So reflect back on everyone like yourself who also "believed" that the end was near and yet all of them have been wrong. That said what do you "see" that makes you believe that what you think is going to happen will?
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    People are more scared of the end of the world, than their own death. Why is this?

    If I am sure, without doubt, the world will end in 150 years, I will be horrified. But I know I am not going to live that long. So why do we get sad over things like this?
    I am not sure when the world will end or what will become of the human race. There isn't anything I can do about it anyhow, so I feel no need to worry.
    I do know that it is pretty certain that eventually I will die.
    I am not sure when I will die. Sometime in my own lifetime of course, but it could be now or a long time away.
    I have had some awfully close scrapes with death so I never take safety or security as a given.

    I am not afraid of dying, but the fact that it is usually painful, messy, and inconvenient tends to concern me a bit.

    I think that being on this side of the grass instead of the bottom side is great, and that everything extra is gravy no matter how bad things can seem at times.
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  12. #11  
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Yeah, but to what end considering we won't be part of it?
    As noted it is an instinctive drive that encourages survival of the population and has little or nothing to do with the individual. But instinctive drives are strong, especially when you don't acknowledge them.
    Ahh, but if we have an instinct to protect the population how come individual greed is also an instinct. This definitely threatens the population when taken to extreme measures.
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  13. #12  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Ahh, but if we have an instinct to protect the population how come individual greed is also an instinct. This definitely threatens the population when taken to extreme measures.
    Because, contrary to the beliefs of the ID lobby, our instincts are a hodge-podge of characteristics that have fallen out of the random effects of mutations and genetic drift, modified by the filtering controls of natural selection.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic traveller
    So reflect back on everyone like yourself who also "believed" that the end was near and yet all of them have been wrong. That said what do you "see" that makes you believe that what you think is going to happen will?
    Weterman did not say he believed the world would end in 150 years. He said that if he believed it would he would be horrified.
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  14. #13  
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    We are just one species. To be honest, I don't care when the world ends, it's not my problem.
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