The Death Of An Ancient Greek Philosopher

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Many individuals fear the thought of death given that they feel the uneasiness of not knowing what happens when one is dead. For example, some fear things like a continuation of their sense perception post-death allowing the possibility of being punished for all the bad actions in their lifetime. Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher of the Hellenistic period of 323-31 BCE, believed that death is the end of our existence and thus argued that the act of fearing death is irrational (Letter to Menoeceus, 10.124-125). The Epicurean argument I will discuss in this paper is in support of him claiming the fear of death is irrational is better-titled as the privation of experience argument. In his own words Epicurus claimed that “death is nothing to us” in his Letter to Menoeceus (10.124). It is important to clarify that in the privation of experience argument Epicurus speaks on the state of being dead and not the process of death. So, for the purpose of this essay, like Epicurus, I will accept the notion that death is the end of our existence. In this essay I will present the privation of experience argument in my own words based on my interpretation of his argument. I will also explain how this Epicurean argument is valid given that one can live a happy-comfortable life simply by having the right attitude about the state of being dead. Before I present my interpretation of Epicurus’ privation of experience argument I will state that Epicurus held a hedonistic point of view
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