A Critique Of Epicurus 's Argument About Death Essay

1440 Words Sep 4th, 2016 6 Pages
A Critique of Epicurus’s Argument about Death
Kejia Jiang
Word count: 1419

As the founder of Epicureanism, Greek philosopher Epicurus presented the view that it is irrational to fear or hate death and death is not a misfortune for one who dies. The main idea he used to defend his argument was that no one will feel painful while dead, therefore death is not a bad thing for people and there is no need to fear it. At the first glance, the argument may seem to be plausible. However, after serious consideration, I find that the argument is not true. In this paper, I will show how the argument fails. First, I will state and explain the argument, along with its premises. Then I will present my disagreement with the argument, especially the premises and assumptions which are used to conduct the conclusion. Finally, I will defend my analysis to the argument against some possible rebuttals.
1. The Epicurus’s argument
The main idea of Epicureanism can be summarized as follows:
(A1) If something is not bad for you, then you should not fear it.
(A2) People stop to exist after they die.
(A3) If so, then no one feels any pain while dead.
(A4) If so, then being dead is not bad for people.
(A5) Therefore, being dead is not a bad thing for people.
(A6) So, people should not fear death.
A1 is trivial: people will not be afraid of things that do not have bad effects on them. A2 is also straightforward and there should be no doubt about it. After someone is dead, both his physical…

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