What part of our psyche stops us living in constant existential terror knowing that our lives are finite and why?


I’ve often wondered why the realisation of a finite existence has never been strong enough for humanity to pour all its scientific endeavors into extending it.

In: Biology

Hm…none. You’re assuming that constant existential terror is a given; evolutionary it’s unproductive.

1: You’re kind of making an assumption. Many people live their lives in the exact existential terror you describe. This is called Thanatophobia or mortality anxiety.

2: In those lucky enough not to, it’s presumably the same mechanism by which emotions in general pass; why you’re not still angry now about something that happened to you years ago, a combination of being desensitised since you’re always aware of it, and like an old pain, you get used to it, and good old fashioned denial.

It’s not immediate or imminent, so we don’t (normally) process it as a threat. It’s not really real, it’s off in the inconceivable future. That might qualify as denial, but I’m not sure it’s even at that level.

It’d be a lie to say the thought never washes over a person from time to time. But for the most part, our minds are taken off this thought by day to day activities. Job, home things, relationships, friends, lot of things keep us from focusing on the quote unquote, dismal end. Life is what you make it.

Focus on the positive, depending on your life style, you have 55+ years!