Do people fear death?
Each and every single person is programmed to fear death right from their birth. It's the feat of dying which teaches an unborn child how to breathe in the mother's womb. From fear, arises courage. If humans did have a nonchalant attitude towards death,
- Soldiers in the army wouldn't be fighting with all they have to offer, as they could accept death easily which would be a lot less painful in some cases.
- People in war infested countries would easily leap off a building and end their suffering right there. Reality check- Most of them are still struggling for survival as they hope things will get changed for better.
- You wouldn't exist asking this question if people didn't fear death. If the Theory of Evolution holds true, our ancestors evolved due to the development of tools as means of gathering food, building places for residing but primarily to not get preyed upon by predators. We now know that the invention of basic tools was the one of the most important reasons for the development of a logical mind and an efficient body design (Eg. Development of opposable thumbs)
However, I believe if trauma and pain experienced from past overweighs hope for the future, then one stops fearing death and welcomes it instead, which is quite rare however. This induces suicidal tendencies which is very seldom. Eg. In my country India alone, out of every 10,000 people, 1 (0.01%) commits suicide. And the reason that many people seek help in such cases is that because they know it is just not logical to end one's life.
Therefore, according to me, fear of death instills discipline, compassion and empathy in individual as well as a society.
Thank you for this thought provoking question.