Apeirophobia is Apparently the Fear of Living Forever
Some people are just as afraid of eternal life as non-existence.
It's probably a similar memory from most of us: You're a child lying in bed at night, and you suddenly find yourself trying to wrap your mind around eternity — the room begins spinning and keeps going until you can get the idea out of your head. For many of us, it's about trying to comprehend how death means not existing any more. Forever. If you believe in an afterlife like heaven, it's about being there forever.
It may simply be beyond our capacity to grasp the concept of infinity, whether that's infinite time or space. If you Google “understand infinity" you'll find a lot of people asking if we can understand it, and if not, why? George Mason University's Martin Weiner told The Atlantic that it may be that it's because the frontal lobe responsible for long-term thinking is one of the last to develop as we mature. And, of course, being able to plan beyond one's lifespan may not be much of an evolutionary advantage.
There's a fascinating wrinkle on top of this. For many, the idea of not being, and forever, is absolutely terrifying. For some who don't believe in death, the thought of living forever is equally so. The latter even has a name: apeirophobia. And they may really be opposite sides of the same coin, says Wiener: “I suspect that, in apeirophobia, one comes to the 'realization' that after death you will live forever (if you believe this), and in simulating that experience in your mind, one realizes that there is no way to project ahead to 'forever' — and that experience is, inherently, anxiety-provoking. As such, the anxiety that these folks are feeling may not be much different than the fear of growing up, getting old, or death."
Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.
- The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
- Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
- Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.