Saturday, July 05, 2014

The More You Know, The Less You Fear

This is an aphorism that I think I made up today.

It is a derived from a longer one that also came to me today:  the better your sociology, the more you trust strangers. This is because you have a better idea of which categories of people are dangerous.

I have been studying social trust, which I think is the crucial glue of the happy society.  Fear is the enemy of the happy society.

More educated people are generally less fearful.  I think this is because they have a more realistic sense of how likely any of the dangers they can imagine really are.  They are also more likely to research potential dangers, rather than rely on gut instinct or fears promoted by others.

2 comments:

Sister Edith Bogue said...

Do You sufgest any readings in particular?

gruntled said...

I would start with Barry Glasner's The Culture of Fear. Frank Furedi has a decent book of the same name. There is also a documentary, available online, on the same subject.

I have written here several times about fear, and about the world getting better, which have some less expected citations. In particular, I think my post on 'fighting fear as THE centrist issue' is central to my thinking on the issue.