Epistemology of Fear

dementia-3051832_1280Fear is a frequent companion in sentient life and so we need elaborate as to what fear is, what purpose it serves functionally speaking and how it is socially constructed in varying cultural and individual contexts.

Fear as other forms of pain is essentially a neurological defense whereby we learn to avoid that which might cause us harm whether temporarily or permanently so. Defense mechanisms are thus not merely psychological but neurological indeed. Neurological defense mechanisms are furthermore not limited to psychological defense mechanisms but furthermore include all neurological defense mechanisms.

While few in past decades have questioned the existence of psychological defense mechanisms have these in strictly scientific terms remained a very strong, yet unproven hypothesis of psychoanalysis. In understanding psychological defense mechanisms as part of neurological defense mechanisms generally can we also learn how to individually relate more constructively and intelligently so towards the phenomenon of defense mechanisms.

We need thus cease thinking of defense mechanisms as a nuisance to be overcome as instead need upbringing, education, rehabilitation and therapy include appropriately neurologically and psychometrically individualized development of defense mechanisms. This means that rather than traumatizing children into avoiding dangerous situations need we redesigns physical environments including homes so as to make theme safe for children. As things are now do parents have little choice but traumatizing children into learning to avoid dangerous situations in the future and this of course causes significant harm to individual emotional development as well as significant permanent psychological suffering.

We need develop Fear Behavioral Training (FBT) for the purpose of individualized fear management. This means that we need recognize fear as a certain “guardian angel”, much like parents (however too often annoying) are for children and so the challenge is to develop rational intuition-based fear, meaning that fear becomes based upon rational intuition (input from the subconscious) rather than on so commonly unreason, prejudice, tragic past trauma and oppressive social constructions of culture.

Fear thus needs be turned from so often irrational oppression on the part of the subconscious into a socially intelligent tool for avoiding personal mistakes, social shortcomings and individual calamities whether minor or major ones.

Fear Behavioral Training (FBT) thus needs be developed for the purpose of allowing individualized harnessing of fears for rational and individually constructive purposes. Rather than being trauma-based should fear thus become intuition-based in order so as intelligently protect and promote the dignity, freedom, well-being and security of the individual person.

Fear is deployed by the brains in cooperation with the nervous system and so this cooperation needs become far more intelligently constructive indeed. We need thus also understand fear in ontological terms, namely what is fear really psychologically speaking? We know that it exists and it is not pleasant, yet what is it really?

Fear is essentially a psychological expression of self-preservation as are in fact all neurological defense mechanisms. The question thus arises whether fear is intrinsically selfish? While fear is certainly self-interested whether directly or indirectly so (e.g. fear of losing a child) can irrational fear become very much reduced by means of abandoning selfish approaches to life. What then does this mean? Self-preservation is not intrinsically unethical yet its practical applications are often selfish in causing needless harm to fellow persons (whether human Animals or non-human persons) as well as to the environment.

The problem is that it may be somewhat conceptually challenging to be unselfish if you are caught in a struggle for your own survival such as is destructively encouraged in capitalist culture. Yet, pursuit of ethico-rational self-interest is important to economy, society and personhood. Ethico-rational self-interest is precisely that which helps an individual person defend her own uniquely idiosyncratic personhood. Ethical empathy means exercising respect for ethico-rational self-interests of fellow persons. Empathy as a projective psychological extension of self-interest is thus neither more ethical nor less ethical than ethico-rational self-interest itself. There is sometimes the idea in moral discourse that ethico-rational empathy is superior to ethico-rational self-interest. These two are distinctive and far from identical in one being an extension of the other and so should the two not be discursively separated from each other.

This means that ethico-rational self-interest needs be delimited from selfish behavior as typically causing harm to others and/or oneself in e.g. perpetuating compulsive fears. If you wish to become liberated from irrational fears terrorizing yourself then you should start by letting go of selfish cognition. Again this does not mean that you should abandon ethico-rational self-interest. The delimitation of rational self-interest to the exclusion of selfish patterns of cognition and thought will probably very much serve to reduce irrational fears literally tormenting you.

To put this is in rabbinical terms, 1) unless you help yourself can you not help others (Hillel the Elder) and the purpose of entrepreneurship is to 2) become able to help others make a living as well as 3) through taxes supporting those who cannot support themselves (Maimonides).

We need thus disconnect ethico-rational self-interest from selfish patterns of cognition and behavior alike and rather connect ethico-rational self-interest with its projective extension, namely ethico-rational empathy. Empathy is in fact an effective mechanism for lessing the torments of irrational fears by sublimating fear of the other into embrace of the other.

Virtue is thus the best guide for intelligently intuitive fear and these virtues include loving kindness, ethico-rational intuition, intelligently emotional empathy, intelligently emotional reason, ethico-aesthetic expression and extending ethico-rational self-interest to the ethico-rational self-interest of others. We need thus learn to reconnect emotion and reason beyond logocentrism, phallogocentrism and carno-phallogocentrism.

The fundamental issue at stake here is essentially how human Animals in their capacity as Herd Animals ought connect themselves with fellow persons. How can we make sure that human herd behavior does not descend into what traditional discourses describe as ‘evil’ namely parasitical interpersonal behaviors as so commonly in socially constructed human cultural behavior?

Traditional cultures offered ready prescriptions for this as usually expressed in so called “religion”. These were partly supplanted by the logocentrism, phallogocentrism and carno-phallogocentrism of typically one-dimensional so called “ideologies”.

First do we need establish a universal cross-cultural polymorphous feminist etiquette for humanity to be developed and legislated as international law through a continuous process of global multilateral intercultural dialogue. Many seemingly irrational fears are simply due to social incompetence and/or intercultural incompetence. Social Behavorial Training (SBT) can, ought and should indeed be deployed for helping human persons ethico-aesthetically develop sociofluidity in thus enabling them to far more ethico-intellligently interact with fellow others.

Second should we continuously establish many new inclusively ethico-aesthetic feminist subcultures with specific ethico-aesthetic subcultural etiquette as part of the global feminist social revolution. Ethnocratic patriarchy is based on oppressive cultural hegemony and so we need supplant this by an intelligently ethico-aesthetic multicultural hegemony in diversity.

Diversity as a virtue needs however be delimited both in terms of its scope and its application. Agents and proponents of totalitarian ideologies (specifically Communism and Islamism) have come to increasingly discursively hijack the paradigm of diversity in turning it into advocacy for imposition of yet further forms of structural oppression, whether economic, social och statist.

We need thus understand that the paradigm of diversity needs be about promotion of noble virtues and noble behaviors. Learning to develop sociofluidity is thus very much essential to successful Fear Behavioral Training as sociofluidity helps us to intelligently channel fear into ethico-rational self-interest rather than physionomism (antibody ideologies) specifically and DOLP (discrimination, oppression, lies and prejudice) generally. Learning to individually develop sociofluidity is thus essential to not only SBT but to FBT as well.