Fear is the most logical, most fundamental, most basic and pervasive instinct you find amongst the entire animal kingdom.
...Well, except for Honey Badger. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit. The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger.
Honey Badger is total Badass. But for the rest of all of us, if you had to pin survival on one single thing, I doubt it would be intelligence. It would be fear. Yea, fear is a rudimentary form of intelligence but not so much, really, because it's simply flight in the face of too much or many unknowns. Prosperity above the evolutionarily given—which applies only to humans, dogs, cats, some birds, little furry animals and aquarium fish—is completely intelligence. Or, is it reasonable to describe intelligence in one respect as fear management?
The ability to quickly perceive great peril that's too perilous is perhaps where human intelligence falls into the evolutionary scheme. There's no doubt to me that our instinctive fear is both a blessing and curse. Without it, we'd be lost. With it, we're now wallowing in it. We're slaves to it.
For example, some of the norms that define fear now:
- Saturated fat
- Letting children out of your sight for a second
- Who's going to rule you next
- Cuts in government entitlements
- Hell and eternal torture at the pleasure of one who "loves you"
- Gays & guns (two sides of the same coin: unfamiliarity)
- Evil corporations
- Profits made by others
- The needy not being helped by others
- That someone, somewhere is happy, content, fulfilled and above all, feeling guiltless
I could go on and on. All of the foregoing constitute irrational fears. But notice the common thread in all of those. Somewhere, someone has been set up as an authority: from priests to politicians to the intelligentsia to various credentialed "experts"...to the major institutionalized media that serves as the grease and ultimate anointer of all such authority.
It used to be that nature was the only authority and in that context, fear is perfectly healthy:
- Heights where a fall could kill you
- Confined spaces where you can be trapped and die
- Water conditions that can drown you
- Snakes & spiders that can bite and poisson you
- Food that can make you sick or kill you
- Animals that can eat you (including other humans: our chief predator)
- Cold that can freeze you
- Fire that can suffocate and burn you
- Weather that can overexpose you
See the vast, vast difference? So with that, I give you The Story of Your Enslavement.
Fee free to add to the lists of rational and irrational fears in comments.