The Fear Of The Unknown Is Mythical

The Fear Of The Unknown Is Mythical

The fear of the unknown comes from the unwillingness of leaving our comfort zone and being limited.

People fear the unknown because they do not have any experience and are afraid to do new things which they wonder about what can possibly happen. I also believe, alongside with Socrates, that fear of the unknown is a type of ignorance because it causes us to remain clueless about what we are avoiding.

People also fear the unknown because they fear the ability to learn something new by believing everything has not been experienced is not safe and should not be done. We seem to not know that everything was not meant to be learned at once and that learning is an unlimited process. In the Allegory of the Cave, the situation of the prisoners represents the human life in general. The cave represents the opinions, while the outside of the cave represents the knowledge or ideas, and the prisoners are the philosophers. The outside of the cave is better than the inside because it is based on experience not perception. As for the prisoners, they only know what they have experienced inside the cave, so basically all they know include what is around them and nothing else exists to them; so if another prisoner comes to tell them about the outside world which he or she experiences; they would not believe it. Therefore, fear could also describe as an absent of experience or knowledge.

We should not practice what is not a thing. Also think about not having experience of how the sun looks like and one day someone makes you see the sun or even describe it. You would definitely be angry, for you think they are doing you wrong by showing or telling something unpleasant. Fearing the unknown is avoiding to know more than we already know. As an example, when someone does not want to learn something new, they bring out excuses such as I know it and nod at every details just to get over it. Now, if you were to ask for a decent example you would definitely hear “I understand it, but I just do not know how to explain it properly.” I have learned from Albert Einstein, if you are unable to explain, then you are definitely clueless about it.

How many times do we try to avoid something because we fear it as it was the worst thing that ever exists. In agreement with Socrates, I believe death is an unknown since we have not experienced it. We all learn if we die we either go to heaven or hell, so we are afraid to even experience it because we are clueless about where exactly we will go. How do we really know hell is bad? How do we know it belongs to the devil if we have not experienced it, for knowledge comes from experience? Perhaps, we may want to go to heaven, and yet we are still afraid to die. Fearing death is considering ignorant because we also give it a description without any experience. (Apology 29a). Death is just a transition of the soul from a place to another. It is not disappearing or an award to the wrongdoers as we mostly believe.

How many times do we try to avoid something because we fear it, yet we cannot give a decent reason that fear? Taking example of darkness, most of us fear darkness because we cannot clearly see through it. In my opinion, we fear darkness because it is the absent of light which is known as the positive aspect, but not because we know what darkness is in a definition itself. Just like we fear death because we think living is all that matters, so death should be avoided. Therefore, I do not think we fear the unknown, instead we fear the idea of getting to know the difference that exists between them.

Most importantly, the fear of the unknown comes from the unwillingness of leaving our comfort zone and being limited. We fear to believe because we only feel comfortable winning, while failure contains a lot of lesson or experience that could lead us to a better path and since we fear it, we end up doing the limited thing that we already know our whole lives.

Others believe fear of the unknown is not ignorant instead, it is a part of our genes or psychological aspect. Additionally, fear starts from being a baby which is consider to be a normal brain function. As a baby, everyone is afraid of what we call strangers. For example, if a stranger is trying to catch a baby attention, he or she will run to his or her relative. We tend to believe that safety only comes from those we know not only we expect to know everything and to have everything clear, but also we believe it’s not proper so we end up avoiding it. Then again, Socrates believes avoiding something which you do not know can stop us from experiencing new life. We cannot define the unknown if we only know the known, for definition is more accurate with experience. He stated he should not fear the penalty Meletus assessed against him since he does not know whether it is bad or good.

Growing up as a Haitian child, my parents thought me a lot of things which I needed to avoid. For years over years I did not realize they were not dangerous, but instead they were afraid to let me figure it out as a child. My parents thought me that dreams have meaning and help avoid dangers. For example, if one of my parents had a dream which they consider a bad dream, I am completely forbidden to leave the house. In my opinion, I believe all of those norms and customs are due to fear of the unknown. Just because they do not know either the reality behind a dream or what is really going to happen, so they make me stay home. Although this may be true, how do they know the meaning of it? What makes it true? knowing that no one truly knows the interpretation of dreams. They also taught me to not walk alone in darkness, for the wrongdoers stay in the dark; for this reason, I was scared to even walk from one room to another if it is dark.

Courage is coming across fear. Philosophy requires to know something before being able to define it, with that being said, we should know the unknown in other to consider it bad. Thus, if we want to know the classification of an unknown, we definitely need to get rid of the fear and come across the reality of it which is known as courage. In Apology, Socrates asked question about fearing the unknown in which he is referring to having the courage to experience death before he could actually have fear, for he does “not know whether it is good or bad”. (37c) The lack of courage cause us to be ignorant because we do not have the courage to withstand the unknown; we remain in our cave and refuse to learn from others about the outside world. He also stated wherever we take a position that has been placed by our master, or we believe to be the best, then we must have the courage to face the fear without thinking of death or any other unknown, other than dishonor.

To conclude, Philosophy requires courage because being courageous is also being fearless. Knowing that we should not fear the unknown, we must have the courage to experience the unknown and learn what makes it unique. It is not until the experience; we shall know whether the unknown is good or bad, hence the prisoners should not consider the cave good until they have also experienced the outside of the cave.


  • Plato. (2016). Apology. In Plato - five dialogues: Euthyphro, apology, crito, meno, phaedo. New York, NY: LG Classics.
  • Plato, & Jowett, B. (1922). Book VII. In The Republic of Plato (3rd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 193-197). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy


Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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