The emotion called fear

May 2011
Marble, N.C.
I understand the emotion called fear. Been there done that. I recently read where gun owners complain about there fear of being hurt harmed or killed. I have nothing against the second amendment, but Mentally can fear be over rationalized? I've heard instantisis where accidents happen with and without weapons. Guns have never killed anyone, people have.

It's peoples thoughts about their fear that rules them not commom sense. Thoughts please. Paul
Oct 2010
FEAR is one of the least complicated emotions, so much so that it might be almost treated as a negative desire. There is no doubt that most "higher" animals as well as children (and possibly plants, according to some recent theories) can have fear. FEAR can take any object whatsoever - other persons, the sky is falling, the apocalypse, going bald, walking on cracks in the sidewalk, cats, death, higher telephone bills, and another subway strike. FEAR is a family term covering all shades of that impending danger and comparative helplessness: fright, horror, terror, and panic; apprehension, concern, misgivings, "nervousness," distrust, and awe. The more sophisticated versions of FEAR, DREAD, fear of the unknown, ANQUISH, fear of oneself, and ANXIETY, fear of everything, deserve special treatment.

I have broken down the emotion into its thirteen logical parts (as can be done with any emotion) to illustrate its function.

1. Direction: Outer-directed, except for ANGUISH.
2. Scope/Focus: Open
3. Object: Anything.
4. Criteria: Any. Fear of spiders, fear of failure or moral failings, fear of embarrassment.
5. Status: Open. But always with a tinge of at least temporary inferiority. One can be afraid of the resentful sting of an inferior, betrayal by an intimate friend or lover, and berating or punishment by a superior.
6. Evaluations: Strongly negative anticipation of an impending event, state of affairs, etc.
7. Responsibility: Open. It may be fear of retaliation, etc.
8. Intersubjectivity:Extremely defensive.
9. Distance: As far as possible.
10. Mythology: Impending catastrophe. Not a very interesting mythology in itself but often embellished with monsters and paranoid fantasies of considerate creativity.
11. Desire: To get away, to avoid or escape.
12. Power: A sense of helplessness; power to run perhaps but not confident overcoming.
13. Strategy: Self-protection. Perhaps a physical survival but possibly also protection of a self-image, an ambition or career, or protection of a person, situation, or object close to oneself.