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Does fear of death drive the instinct to survive in animals (and plants)?

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posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:14 PM
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What do they know?



I think we sometimes take for granted, or even outright ignore, the complexity of animal (and even plant) behavior. I think it's because as humans we consider ourselves at the top of the so called food chain and look at animals and plants as lesser more simple organisms than we are, incapable of emotions or thoughts. I don't speak for everyone obviously, but I do think that we are turning the tide and are becoming more conscious of the awareness that animals and plants do in fact possess. And this is a good thing.

But I've always wondered what drives certain emotional responses in animals. Having an emotion towards something indicates a deeper understanding of the surrounding environment. When an animal feels fear, what is it exactly that it's fearful of?

I think the simple answer is that the emotion of fear is a survival instinct. That much is clear. When an animal flees for its safety we can say it does so from danger. But danger from what? Pain? Well, I'm sure that's part of it, but I'm beginning to wonder if an animals extinct to survive runs much deeper than that.

After all when we speak of surviving, and the survival extinct, we are speaking of doing what we have to to continue to exist and live. Not necessarily to protect us from pain. When confronted with the question of what the purpose of life is, generally we say it's to survive and reproduce.

So this begs the questions- Do animals understand the concept of death? Is this what drives the fear based behaviors we see in animals? Why else would animals flee from danger, or stick together?

We might also be able to ask this of the plant kingdom. Even plants are known to protect themselves when they sense danger, and they react to survive.


To survive means not to die.


So, when we speak of behaviors based on survival instinct, how do animals and possibly plants understand what death is?
And even deeper than that, why are they so fearful of it?




posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


If the point of living is not living, what's the point?



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


How do animals and plants know they are alive?



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:29 PM
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PhotonEffect
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


How do animals and plants know they are alive?


You would be surprised what animals and plants know.
edit on 25-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Exactly my point. So how do they understand what death is?



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:36 PM
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PhotonEffect
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Exactly my point. So how do they understand what death is?


Why do they need to? Does one need to understand hate to feel love? Must one experience jealousy in order to exercise compassion?
edit on 25-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:41 PM
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AfterInfinity

PhotonEffect
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


How do animals and plants know they are alive?


You would be surprised what animals and plants know.
edit on 25-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)


How do you know


Some animals seems to be completly fearless, and will dive headfirst in to a situation that is allmost certain death, most of the time cause of hunger or to protect thier next of kin, survival of the fittest is on thier mind.

Though some animals also know when they are not strong enough to survive, and will go other places to die not to endanger thier flock.

I think pain has a lot to say.

Plants are a lot different as they can't allways decide where they wanna grow, a seed could be unlucky to land under a tree so it gets no sunlight, but again they will just wait for that tree to die, and grow big.

It's a though question, i really don't have an answear.

Maybe it's more the will to live, than fear to die.
edit on 25-1-2014 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I don't think you are understanding the question. Either that or you are doing what you do best, which is to play devils advocate. But that's all good..

Let me ask this a different way:

To want to survive is to want to live. Simple. But exhibit fear for one's life is to understand that death is the end of life. If an animal or plant did not possess some concept of what death is then why would they be fearful of danger in the first place? Why react at all if you don't understand that, if the cheetah catches you or the caterpillars eat all of your leaves, death will follow?
edit on 25-1-2014 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:42 PM
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AfterInfinity

PhotonEffect
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Exactly my point. So how do they understand what death is?


Does one need to understand hate to feel love?



Absolutely one must understand. How can you understand what hate is, if one does not know what it is not?
Hmm...



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


I'm not sure if it is fear of death that drives animals and plants as much as it is the desire to live (although one could argue they are the same thing). The best example I can think of is how trees in the shade of bigger trees will grow all twisted and disjointed so it can get out of the shade and into the sunlight. May not be a conscious acknowledgement like humans, but an instinctual response.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


It's not FEAR of death that drives them, it's LOVE of living. There's a whole world of interesting things to smell and eat and hump. Besides, everything would have died out a long time ago if animals had learned to adopt a suicidal approach to life and philosophy. We're all hardwired to sustain our existence because that's the point, isn't it? The moment the Big Bang stopped banging, that was the point. Organization, cohesion, all that good stuff. If everything stopped trying to stick together and make stuff, nothing would exist except the most rudimentary building blocks because those don't break down any further. So if there any sort of principle by which the rudimentary building blocks of the universe might begin to generate new forms of existence, new dances and new designs, it would inevitably happen. And the more stable the pattern, the greater the chances of success. Which is why I don't believe animals fear death. It's a reaction to a set of physical principles. It's an instinct, not an actual emotion. Something moves quickly at your face and you duck. It's that simple.

But that's just my opinion.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Fear of death feels too slow and requires too much conscious acknowledgment. I would say the same thing about having love for living. Animals and plants have something known as survival instinct.
edit on 25-1-2014 by ExNihiloRed because: typo



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 



Does plant life recognize it exists at all? Surely Nature, is its own religion.
I have never seen scientific studies or otherwise any other research that posits that plant life is embedded with the ability to recognize its existence the way animals do? If one disregards fairies and that sort of thing.
Also, does one have to have a thinking brain to know it exists? Animals have a thought process as humans do. Not as evolved or defined. But a lamb instinctively knows it should not come near a pack of wolves.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:56 PM
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StarlightNine
reply to post by PhotonEffect
 



Does plant life recognize it exists at all? Surely Nature, is its own religion.
I have never seen scientific studies or otherwise any other research that posits that plant life is embedded with the ability to recognize its existence the way animals do? If one disregards fairies and that sort of thing.
Also, does one have to have a thinking brain to know it exists? Animals have a thought process as humans do. Not as evolved or defined. But a lamb instinctively knows it should not come near a pack of wolves.



You should read Lyall Watson's Supernature.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:57 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 





I do think that we are turning the tide and are becoming more conscious of the awareness that animals and plants do in fact possess. And this is a good thing.


I think it will come in time as we have a better understanding of nature's animals and plants. The more we can understand about how other life works etc we then can empathize with it.




When confronted with the question of what the purpose of life is, generally we say it's to survive and reproduce.

I think this is what most people will say ( I too ). BUT as we become attuned to our desires , what we want and how we want it, survive and reproduce takes a back seat for the ride





How do animals and possibly plants understand what death is?


This is a hard one.
Maybe they have to experience near death,close call etc to know its not a good thing to be doing this. Maybe fear it the key to life.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:57 PM
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The need to procreate is what drives animals and plants alike and in dying there is no possibility to procreate and therefore it is not a good idea to die. Not because of the Idea of pain.

All animals have the fight or flight characteristic built into their brain and that is to help them to survive and procreate and help their species to carry on.

Its all about the babies, If you come upon a bear and it is alone more times then not it will run, However that same bear with cubs would have you for breakfast just so the cubs could survive.

Animals do not fear pain although the do feel pain, Look at bears and other animals that stick their heads in beehives to get honey, do you think they do not get stung? yes they do but the reward outweighs the pain.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:01 PM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


It's not FEAR of death that drives them, it's LOVE of living.


So the love of life drives an animal to survive more than the fear of death. This is an interesting idea. What makes you think animals have a love for life?


So if there any sort of principle by which the rudimentary building blocks of the universe might begin to generate new forms of existence, new dances and new designs, it would inevitably happen. And the more stable the pattern, the greater the chances of success. Which is why I don't believe animals fear death.

Would this in anyway violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics?


It's a reaction to a set of physical principles. It's an instinct, not an actual emotion. Something moves quickly at your face and you duck. It's that simple.

I don't think it is that simple. I think it could be more complex than that. An instinct to survive would entail the ability to understand that which can prevent oneself from living. Or in other words, understanding death.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:01 PM
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AfterInfinity

StarlightNine
reply to post by PhotonEffect
 



Does plant life recognize it exists at all? Surely Nature, is its own religion.
I have never seen scientific studies or otherwise any other research that posits that plant life is embedded with the ability to recognize its existence the way animals do? If one disregards fairies and that sort of thing.
Also, does one have to have a thinking brain to know it exists? Animals have a thought process as humans do. Not as evolved or defined. But a lamb instinctively knows it should not come near a pack of wolves.



You should read Lyall Watson's Supernature.



Sounds interesting. I may give that a read. Thanks for the recommendation.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:02 PM
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ExNihiloRed
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Fear of death feels too slow and requires too much conscious acknowledgment. I would say the same thing about having love for living. Animals and plants have something known as survival instinct.
edit on 25-1-2014 by ExNihiloRed because: typo


So when a zebra sees the cheetah coming for it- are you suggesting that the zebras reaction to run is too slow?
Is it running because it fears the death that is eminent or because it loves life so much?



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Always love a good read.
Thanks for the suggestion.



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