Essay on Suffering and Epicurus

1091 Words Aug 31st, 2013 5 Pages
Reading Assignment

Sasha Jade McGinley


(SP2 2013)

Open Universities ID: 516616
Macquarie University ID: 43388965

“Letter to Menoeceus”
Word Count: 963

Reading 1:
Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus,” p. 49-50.
What argument does he provide for why we should not fear death? What is the ethical purpose of this argument for how we should live our lives? Do you agree with Epicurus’s views? Why or why not?

Epicurus was a hedonist, a materialist and a consequentialist who strongly believed that in order to attain the good life one must live a pleasant existence free of worry and pain. Through reflection of the concepts in Epicurus’s Letter to Menoeceus this paper will
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58). Epicurus also believes that the mind has the potential to overwhelm people with fear. The rational mind, however, helps one to overcome anxiety, curing fear. Through rational reflection and evaluation, happiness and, therefore, the good life can be attained.
The fear of death indeed brings an element of worry and anxiety to one’s life at some stage. Those who oppose this notion are perhaps either untruthful or in denial. Fearing death may not be a daily occurrence, however, at some stage throughout life, for different reasons, people fear death and it’s consequences. Psychological pains such as fear have a capacity to persist for lengthy periods, making the intensities of physical pains inferior. Therefore, the alleviation of psychological pain has the ability to enhance the mental wellbeing of one’s life. Epicurean critics argue that his concept of death may appear to be abrupt, inhumane or selfish, however, I believe that his concept is rather logical, rational and somewhat soothing. The simplicity of this concept, along with its application to living does not only defuse anxiety and worry but also brings tranquillity to one’s state of mind. Epicurus believed that what happens in nature is out of our control, such as natural disasters, some

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