General Question

El_Cadejo's avatar

Why do we as humans partake in activities we know are potentially fatal or will kill us over time?

Asked by El_Cadejo (34524points) March 25th, 2008

My guess would be because we enjoy them, but shouldn’t we know not to enjoy something that is killing us?

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9 Answers

Riser's avatar

We have an instinct to destroy ourselves. My guess is it is the same mentality that reduces America to the highest percentage of obese citizens. Another snickers bar anyone?

bulbatron9's avatar

I would rather “Die on my feet, than live on my knees”! If you spend your whole life worrying, then you have never lived.

kevbo's avatar

I would say (in the case of the Snickers bar, for example) that we’ve technologically outpaced our evolutionary instincts.

delirium's avatar

Its called addiction, be it to adrenalin or other substances.

gailcalled's avatar

The best soldiers are 17–18 yr.old males, because they feel invincible. The hunger for risk and danger tends to diminish with age.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@bulbatron9 i understand what your saying about not spending your whole life worrying about things but what i was asking was more along the lines of things we know will kill us. Like cigarettes for instance they will eventually kill you and thats the fact of the matter. Yet people still smoke. I am one of them. Why do i smoke well because i enjoy it. But isnt the human mind programed for self preservation? So why are so many humans myself included so easily able to blatantly disregard this primitive instinct?

trainerboy's avatar

Because cigarettes are here and now and even though you know they will eventually have an affect, eventually can seem a long way off while the pleasure is right now.

johnny0313x's avatar

I Think alot of people assume “oh that won’t happen to me” even after seeing horrible evidence that they are harming themselves. Plus in todays world, who has the quality of life they hope for. Maybe I am pessimistic and speaking for myself, but it seems like many are living life not as they had expected, so think people value life less or atleast until they are in danger of losing it.

Garebo's avatar

When we enjoy something our brain becomes hardwired for more of the same. Our conscious can try and stop the bad behavior for only so long. It is the omnipresent non-conscious that is really in charge, and until it believes, the cycle will continue.

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