People Share Things That Scare Them To The Core On An Existential Level
People Share Things That Scare Them To The Core On An Existential Level
Phobias are one thing, but existential dread is fear on an entirely different level. From self-consciousness to thinking the Universe has it in for you, subconscious despair has the power to overtake our waking hours.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Memories fade, but how do you know if your memories are even true?
What percentage of my life do I even remember? My childhood is a dim memory, but so are many average days of my adult life.
Think you're small compared to the world? Look through a telescope.
When I'm traveling by plane in a different country and I'm looking down to the ground and see cars, buses and everything driving around on the countryside or a city and I think to myself, down there are people living life exactly like I do and doing their everyday thing. Makes me think how big the world actually is and how tiny you are as a person! That freaks me out a bit.
This is up there on the biggest of existential fears.
I probably won't be remembered.
Entropy will lead to the eventual heat death of the Universe. Shout out to Ludwig Bolzmann.
Everything is disintegrating. Nothing is immortal. The television remote on the coffee table will not be a television remote in enough time, even if that means thousands of years have to pass before it loses its intended form.
How do we know if what we remember is true? Scary indeed.
That whatever I did in the past are now just memories. Even yesterday. Even though sometimes it feels like my childhood just happened, it was 20 years ago and they're memories. Did those actions even happen? It's hard to explain the feeling.
Death is a certainty, so let's make the most of the time we have.
How we could die at any second. Today, tomorrow, in a week, in the next five minutes, and nobody can stop it. Death is one of the true guarantees of life. I'm not sure what's worse: knowing you're dying or dying without knowing it.???????
Does this count as the Butterfly Effect? Tiny decisions can have major consequences. It's only natural to wonder what might have been.
That the tiniest, most inconsequential decision can completely change the entire course of your life.
Nearly 20 years ago, I needed some new shoes for work. As a poor student, I got the cheapest pair I could find.
Two days later, I was supposed to be going straight from work to a club with my friends when, halfway through my shift, the sole half ripped off one of the shoes. I didn't have enough time to get home, change my shoes and get back to work before everyone left for the club, so I just went home and gave it a miss.
That night, I started chatting with someone on a forum, a year later, went to visit them in America. Two years later I moved to America and we got married. Ten years after that we both moved back to the UK.
Had I chosen a different pair of shoes, I'd never met my wife, never moved to America and my life would be completely different now. Because shoes.
We only perceive the past. There is no present.
It takes an [admittedly microscopic] amount of time for your brain to process every stimulus that you receive. This means that you are never perceiving reality in real-time. There's the slightest delay between reality and your perception of it.
Humans and chimpanzees have less than 1 percent genetic difference. Viva l'evolution!
I have never really been able to articulate this as well as I would like, but the existence of chimpanzees is deeply disturbing to me in a very indescribable fashion. They're basically us except for a few very minor and completely random mutations that made us slightly better at analyzing patterns and communicating with each other. Whenever I see a chimpanzee, I'm really confronted with the fact that we humans are just another animal species, mostly controlled by instinct and making our decisions based on an incredibly biased framework of sensory perception and mental processing that was developed to survive a hunter-gatherer lifestyle on the African savannah.
Did you know that to show submission to the leader of their pack, chimpanzees will come before him and bow to show their respect? That blew my mind because humans have been bowing to their leaders since... since we had leaders! And we can invent all kinds of justifications for it. He's descended from the gods, he led our armies to victory over the foreign barbarians, I agree with his views on tax policy... but at the end of the day, we're just apes bowing before another ape who groomed us well enough to become the pack leader.
Do you ever wonder, 'what if I hadn't...?'
How you can trace the whole path of your life to some small, seemingly inconsequential event.
Decades ago, when I was new to this area, I met a guy on the golf course and we became friends. I met others through him, and now 90% of my friends and contacts can be traced back to that meeting. If I had not golfed that day, or got one extra red light on the way to the course, would I have a whole separate set of friends now?
The future will always remain just out of reach.
The fact that I will never know how things turn out. What becomes of the world once I'm gone? I only understand life as the version I've lived. I never get to know the future.
Remembering memories is like making photocopies of photocopies.
Similarly, you'll never truly know what happened in the past.
The more memories we have, the faster time seems to pass.
How much quicker time goes by as you get older. Remember when you were five, and a summer vacation felt like a whole lifetime?
I just wanna be a kid again.
This is a really deep one. Isn't it weird that there are OTHER PEOPLE?!
This is the one that gets me. Sometimes I look at someone and I just come to the realization that they are having thoughts exactly like me and thoughts I could never have. It just trips me out.
Case and point: the Great Pyramids at Giza.
Societies that existed millennia before ours had incredibly complex social structures, massive infrastructure, built incredible wonders, understood boggling amounts of modern math and did it all in harsher conditions with less technology.
So clearly they were smart and capable, at least some.
Imagine all the great knowledge that they had which we lost. All the theorems or observations they made in societies that lasted ten times as long as many of today's, which disappeared in war or accident.
Knowledge defines man; we are a species of filers, who wish to make a pattern and sense out of chaos. Yet knowledge is so very fragile.
There are things we know we can't know, and things we will never know we can't know.
Not only is knowledge fragile, but in some cases, it may even be unobtainable.
In a trillion years or so, the expansion of the universe will progress to the point where it becomes physically impossible to detect the light from other galaxies. So much of what we know about the history of the universe has come as the result of studying other galaxies, and once they finally disappear beyond the cosmic horizon, all of the insights they carry with them will vanish forever. If any civilization is just emerging at that time, they'll have no way to know that the universe is expanding, or what it was like in the past. They will be completely isolated on a single galactic island, with no hint that a much larger reality lies beyond what they can see. Although they may think they understand the universe they see around them, they'll never truly have a complete picture.
Because we can see this inevitable loss of information coming, it forces us to ask an incredibly uncomfortable question: has fundamental information about the nature of our universe already been lost beyond some unknown cosmic horizon? Could it be that we are fundamentally wrong in our understanding of reality because an important piece of the puzzle has been lost and will never return?
This will make you realize the artificiality of society. Thanks for the late-night Zeitgeist.
That every public institution, every province of government, every law of any nation...it all works because a sufficiently high percentage of people silently assent that it does. It doesn't matter what type of government is in place; if 70% of the population woke up tomorrow and decided that currency has no value and governance is unnecessary, that's exactly what would happen.
Eventually, every earthly trace of humanity will vanish.
Pick a random day on this planet 1 billion years from now. Barren. Baking in the light of an expanding red giant we once called the Sun. None of us here and no trace that we ever were here. All of us lost to time. Our Earth just another void celestial object.
All we have is our perceptions of others, and all others have is their perceptions of ourselves. The true you exists only in your head, and you are constantly changing.
That no matter how much you get to know someone, no matter how much you share your life, learn about them, feel as though you are almost the same person, there will always be an infinite gulf between who you think they are, and who they really are.
You cannot know someone else. You can only know your perception of them. Your experience of that person flows through the filter of your personality, your experiences, and memories, your biases and intuitions. You don't know them, you know your conception of them. The subjectivity of experience makes truly knowing another person completely impossible.
We are all perfectly isolated souls, completely separate from everyone else, desperately reaching out to convince ourselves we aren't really alone.
Give or take a few years, but in about a century, every single person alive today will be dead. Goodnight.
In 125 years, there will be an entirely new set of people on this planet.
Have you ever found yourself in an argument so stupid and/or pointless that you were sure you were being punked? Like you keep looking away from the other person to check your surroundings for places Ashton Kutcher and a camera crew could come popping out of?
You're not the only one.
u/Anti-hollowkid asked: What is the dumbest argument you've ever been in?Brace yourselves, folks. Some of these arguments are breathtakingly bonkers. The sheer number of people who are willing to argue with someone over provable facts and what that other person likes or doesn't like is just ... stunning. It's stunning, you guys. Just not in a good way.
I Know What I LikeGiphy
My wife and I once argued over whether or not I liked mustard on my hot dog. I was for me liking mustard, she was against me liking mustard.
The argument lasted way longer that you could ever imagine it would.
A Stair Step
My brother and I argued if our staircase had 13 or 14 steps, based on an argument about if the floor of the second floor counts as a stair-step or not. We still have no solution.
My dad is a stairbuilder and I spent many summers working at his warehouse, so I can clear this up. 14.
My husband and I have this thing where we only say "I love you" on Saturdays. Every other day it's "I love you, but only on Saturdays." I don't know how it started, but it's been going for 11 years now.
We're both shiftworkers, so sometimes we have to stop and think what day it actually is. We had an argument recently over whether it was Saturday or not. I said it was Saturday, he said it was Friday. It was Monday.
I remember when I was about 13 my parents had an hour-long shouting match that ended with them almost getting divorced. The issue? Whether or not the nation of Iraq has a coastline.
My mother arguing that Iraq had a coastline, while my stepdad argued that it did not. This was back in 2004, and they are still quite happily married to this day. That incident is something they look back on and laugh about, and both of them admit it was really a pretty stupid thing to argue over.
With an ex:
"I owe you $80 for the bills of ours that you pay, and you owe me $40 for the bills of ours that I paid. Here's $40 in cash; we're even."
She did not understand this.
I literally had to go get another $40 out of the ATM, and hand the $80 to her. Then I had her hand me the $40 she owed me.
"Now how much do you have in your hand?"
She still didn't understand.
She somehow has a college degree.
When we were kids my brother and I got in a physical fight because he said I like mini wheats and I insisted I didn't. His argument was that I always sang the mini wheats song and I was deeply offended that he wasn't aware that it was just stuck in my head but I hated the cereal. I actually did like the cereal I'm not sure why I was arguing with him about it but I remember how genuinely angry I was.
I'll tell you about the only legal trouble I've ever been in, the fight that got me arrested. It started over whether we should return a box of crayons or not, and to this day I don't have any idea how it escalated to the point of the cops being called, but they were and I was the one taken in.
My boyfriend insisted that when two people are in an argument and one makes a point so reasonable and logical the other one can't disagree with it - it's unfair. I tried, logically and reasonably, to explain several times why that is just winning the argument, proving your point thoroughly and is completely fair.
His answer was that I was being unfair.
How the ch in masochism is pronounced. My friend caught me saying "masoKism" while he would say "masoSYism."
To be fair, he grew up speaking French, in which the ch in masochism is pronounced in "his" way. But he insisted that I was the wrong one here and that was just infuriating.
A woman was adamant that looking at the big solar eclipse on the television was unsafe unless you were wearing glasses. She wouldn't believe us and insisted on emailing NASA to check.
A Non-Standard Ruler?
I worked for a company that made signs. We had a customer ask for signs that were 7mm wide that were to go on a door. Our sign makers figured the order meant inches because 7mm is pretty small, so made them 7 inches. I got a phone call from the customer who went mad at me for making them the wrong size. So I put a reorder through for 7 mm.
Argued with the sign makers over it but they eventually agreed to do it after I shown them the order in writing. I even had the customer put her complaint in writing, reiterating the size they wanted.
7mm signs went out and a day later I get the customer on the phone literally screaming at me.
Cue the dumb argument - we ended up having an argument over how big a millimetre is, and obviously everyone in the office were laughing, but this customer just wouldn't accept it and said we must be using a non-standard ruler to measure.
Ended up being escalating to the sales department manager who refused to issue a refund. We still don't know what they actually meant.
This Unusual Vegan Argument
Was in a pub with a few friends, and some random Dude dropped an ear, and somehow figured I'm vegan. Well, people like him are the reason I usually avoid mentioning it. He came up to me and insisted on starting a discussion about veganism. He claimed that by the end of it, I would be eating meat again.
He listed some stupid arguments, I told him I was not convinced and then tried to keep on drinking beer with my friends. He followed me, and wanted me to "try to convert him to a vegan." I stupidly listed some of my reasons thinking it would make him go away. He told me he still was not convinced, so I was like whatever. Again, I really just wanted to drink beer with my friends.
That dude followed me all night and expected me to try make him vegan. Doesn't matter what I said, and all the reasons that for me are obviously good enough to be vegan. He'd be just like "No, that doesn't convince me, therefore your argument and how you life is stupid."
Didn't matter how often I told him that I honestly don't care; 5 minutes later he would come up to me again "I'm still not vegan, so veganism is stupid, all your arguments were stupid, now give me a good reason to become vegan!" At one point, I was literally yelling at him that I don't give a single flying f about what he eats and why, that it's in no way my responsibility to "turn somebody vegan" and in no way his business what I eat.
Honestly, for that dude, I would have bought a whole ham, just to shove it up his stupid annoying face.
In college my roommate and I argued about a line in Monty Python & the Holy Grail. The scene with the Black Knight where the line "Alright, we'll call it a draw" is uttered. We argued about who said that line, whether it was King Arthur or the Black Knight.
It went on for hours longer than it should have because I was stubborn and refused to admit I was wrong.
Albert or ArnoldGiphy
Whether Albert Einstein or Arnold Schwarzenegger would be more useful to have around during a Zombie apocalypse. How on earth would Albert Einstein come in handy!?
Below Sea Level
I live on an island and when you go upland and you look out the sea looks like it's higher than or on the same level as the land. It's just a weird perspective thing because of the horizon. One day some kid says that it's because the island is under sea level.
I'm like wtf bro all of us would be with the fishes. He argues that no that's not true and if I just go upland I'll see. We then spend a good 5 minutes of my time arguing about it until I decided to leave this kid in his stupidity. He even said we shouldn't believe everything adults tell us and sometimes we need to think for ourselves.
This kid was older than me and was going to a good school. Lost my respect for him ever since then.
Someone tried to fight with me over how to spell my name.
Now, my name is in a lot of languages with slightly different spellings. I would have accepted any of those spellings, but this one was just... Not even close. It didn't make any logical sense.
An analogous example is if my name was Thomas and someone was insisting it was spelled Tomash. And not just the name Thomas in general, but that me specifically, on my birth certificate, was named Tomash. I know how to spell my own name.
I swear to god, it went on for like an hour.
Whales Are Mammals
I was in an online chat room one day, and we were talking about whales. I commented on how whales are mammals and the next thing you know, someone was arguing with me and trying to convince me that a whale was a fish.
Stupid microwaves. Having a man child talk down to me about how microwaves work only for him to google it and prove me right. He slept on the sofa that night.
My friend keeps telling me that the norm is that a person should shower once a week. This has been going on for years. I'm almost convinced he's trolling me.
No Balloons For Grandma
My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky.
He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space. Releasing balloons is terrible for the environment and kills/harms so much wildlife.
He got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.
Spontaneous Dolphin ExistenceGiphy
How dolphins reproduced. It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence. The argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures.
Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day.
I repeatedly had the argument with a friend over whether roosters were chickens. She was convinced that only the females were chickens (hens). We were 18 at the time.
Me and my friend were drinking underage, we ended up in an argument of whether lightning McQueen's eyes were blue or green. Somehow throughout the whole thing both of us never thought to straight up google a picture.
But ... Ice Floats
Woman wanted ice on the bottom of her drink.
Now read that sentence again and try to imagine arguing with that particular brand of stupid.
Time Zones Exist
Coworker claimed that it was the same time of day and the same season on the whole globe. Had to get 4 coworkers to confirm to him that time zones do in fact exist.
My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.
"Hey could you hand me that red _____?"
"no, it's red"
"YOU CANT EVEN KNOW"
It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.
I'm late, but I saw this question and instantly remembered that I was booted from a Facebook group because I called someone out on a lie that was not only bull, but extremely pointless. She was friends with the moderator and they made the case that my argument over such a little lie was more of a problem than the lie itself (though they didn't refer to it as a lie.)
The woman said that she used to babysit for Andre 3000 and that his name was Andre 2000 - but he changed it after the year 2000 had passed. This was so easily disproven it was ridiculous. Their debut album came out in 1994 and he was already going by Andre 3000 at that time.
The argument wasn't a huge long drawn out thing, but the fact that either of us were on Facebook at separate times meant that the responses were over a long period of time so this argument lasted a few days.
It was stupid.
Stars Like Our Sun
I was arguing with my grandpa about stars he didn't believe that there are other stars like our sun. Basically he thought there is only the sun, the moon and the earth.
I have a degree in history. I mostly focused on nationalism. Wrote a 50 page paper on it and Richard Nixon with around 50 100 sources. Looked at micro film for hours on end. Part of the paper focused on how Nixon being chair of the house committee of Unamerican Activities was used as a powerful weapon to use against political enemies. It also inspired Joe McCarthy. Have had people tell me I was wrong and Nixon was never elected to a position besides the president and Joe McCarthy came before Nixon. I stopped trying to talk history to people.
I also know quite a bit about the history of the Balkans its amazing how many Serbs refuse to believe Tito did anything wrong.
Wrote 100 page paper on nationalism in Israel. Its frustrating to talk about because for some reason a lot of people think Palestinian firing rockets randomly into Israel is ok but if Israel retaliates the people get up in arms over a targeted air strike that kills 3 people.
Balloon to Heaven
My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky. He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space.
And he got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.
I got into an argument with a co-worker over how we were attaching two pages of a letter together: small binder clips or paper clips.
He felt that paper clips would leave a "dent" in the paper when removed, but binder clips won't. He refused to staple them together. I felt that binder clips would also leave a "dent", so we might as well just use the paper clips.
It ended with him saying: "Do what you want [me], I don't care!" and storming off.
Once got accused of faking being Jewish. Why? I have no clue. We argued over the course of a month, any time I'd bring it up and she heard about it, she'd begin going after me for "faking it".
My mother's side is ethnically Jewish. Grandparents were practicing.
3 friends and I once got into an argument about how to pronounce Nutella. It lasted for about 3-4 months. It was hilarious how serious we took it, it'd get heated but never for real serious.
I think someone even called the company that made it to check, or that may have been for the Cheetos company. We were really bored in high school.
Late to the party, but there it is.
I'm a manager at a small store. We're only 4 working there, so my team and I grew very close and we joke around a lot. Once during a slow shift, my employee and I had an argument because we were looking at the lingerie boxes, and I thought that two specific boxes had the same woman on it, but she was 100% positive they weren't the same person.
Looking back, I don't know why it was such a big deal to us at the time, but we even called another employee who lives across the street to come and tell us what the heck was up with that. Turns out I was right, and she was pretty salty about it. It was a great night.
Wicked Witch of the West
I almost got into an argument with an old girlfriend over Glinda the good witch from Oz. She insisted that Glinda was manipulating Dorothy to assassinate the Wicked Witch of the West and convince the Wizard to leave to create a political void she could fill.
I conceded the issue when I heard the whole premise because I thought it was too damn stupid to get worked up over.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Just the other day I legit got in an argument with my co-workers on why I don't like my butt being grabbed by anyone (I'm a guy). Seriously.
They went on about "I don't mind it. Mike and I do it all the time and we don't care." Yeah, that's nice dude, but I'm not you, and there's something called "Keep your hands to yourself" (which was taught to a good portion of us growing up). Just like how Karen wouldn't like it if I touched her boobs or her grabbing your crotch or frankly ANY area you wouldn't like being grabbed, keep away. In general, you should not be touching me in any areas after I've told you not to several times before.
So unless you're sleeping me or dating me, keep your damn hands off my toosh.
My best friend and I argued over whether or not telekinesis was possible. Her argument was that humans don't yet know what the human brain at 100% usage was capable of, and that telekinesis was inside the possibilities.
I said the brain does use 100%, just at different times.
We didn't speak to each other for four days.
How dolphins reproduced and whether or not ghost existed (back to back with the same person). It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence (the argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures).
How it shifted to the existence of ghosts is a solid and reasonable question to ask (I don't remember why). I had to then proceed to tell her that ghost hunting TV shows do not constitute as undeniable evidence.
Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day. This was in high school SO... hopefully she was kidding.
Dogs and ChocolateGiphy
I told this stupid woman that chocolate is toxic to dogs. She went on to tell me how a little bit will just make them hyper and then they will calm down. I told her to google it. Her and her bf shut right up. Now they have a kid. Good luck, Jeremy and Andrea. morons.
I should also add that this argument started because Jeremy was giving his tiny dog chocolate and I told him it was toxic.
Is water wet?
My roommate and I have a recurring argument over whether or not water is wet l, and whether or not a person is considered wet underwater.
For the record, it is no to both questions.
A kid a church telling me about the mission trip I went on. Not only was I not on that trip, but I had never been on any mission trip. We were good friends, so it's not like he would've mistaken someone else for me.
He insisted I was there as if an entire week long trip would just fall out of my memory. He even had stories of things we'd done together. I'm not sure if he thought I was lying, joking, stupid, or crazy, but I was pretty sure he was some combination thereof.
One time I got into a shouting match with my mom and little brother in the car. The issue? The names of the two-headed dragon from the PBS kids afternoon show Dragon Tales. I swore it was Zack and Macie.
It was actually Zak and Wheezie. I don't even remember why we were yelling about it.
Green Or Yellow?
When I was about 15 or so my mother and I spent about 20-30 minutes arguing about the color of a shirt. We agreed it was blue/green, but to me it was just a shade more blue, while to her it was just a bit more green.
Turns out, your eyeballs yellow as you age and hers were 24 years yellower than mine, so I think that skewed her color vision.
Stars In Their MultitudeGiphy
I once got in an argument over whether or not a line from the song "Stars" in Les Mis says "...but mine is the way of the lord" or "mine is the way of the law".
I didn't even really care what he thought but he was so adamant and cocky that it got me heated. By the end of it we were shouting at each other and I had to apologize, which I think is what he wanted the whole time.
My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.
"Hey could you hand me that red _____?" "that's orange" "no, it's red" "orange" "YOU CANT EVEN KNOW".
It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.
About five years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) once had a very intense argument about whether or not hot water cleaned things better than cold water.
She genuinely believed that water temperature didn't matter. This is someone who has not one, but two masters degrees.
We argued for something like 2 hours, and we seriously almost broke up over the whole thing.
I had an argument with a girl IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIOLOGY CLASS in high school about how humans are not mammals. She thought a human was a human and we are not mammals because "mammals are animals and humans are not animals"
I tried explaining to her the difference between reptiles and mammals and how humans fall under the mammal category to try and educate her... but she just wouldn't listen.
I still have no idea why the BIOLOGY teacher did not get involved...
Solid Or Liquid?
Some classmates and I got into a heated debate as to whether or not the human body could count as a soup, salad, or sandwich. The teacher got mad at us, but hey! All we were doing was watching a movie.
For the record, my logic lays with soup- Liquid contained within a solid, at a hot temperature.