Epicurus ' Views On Death Essay

Epicurus ' Views On Death Essay

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Epicurus was a philosopher who was born in 341 BC and lasted until 270 BC. He examined the situation of death and came to the conclusion that once one is dead, no harm can be done, due to the fact that they no longer exist. Stephen E. Rosenbaum is a philosophy professor. Rosenbaum wrote the essay “How to Be Dead and Not care”, in which he explains Epicurus’ views and then defends Epicurus’ beliefs about death. The reason why he defends Epicurus, is because he’s being logical. Rosenbaum also believes that we spend too much time thinking about death, which is something we will never have to experience. However, Thomas Nagel who’s a philosophy and law professor, disagrees with both Epicurus and Rosenbaum. Nagel believes that one doesn’t have to experience anything in order to feel harm. Hence, “what a person does not know may well be bad for the person” (Rosenbaum 181), implying not knowing something can still harm you.
Examining the text written by Rosenbaum and considering the arguments made by both Rosenbaum and Nagel, I find myself more on Epicurus’ and Rosenbaum’s side because their conclusions and their facts are logically correct. I believe the following statements: (1) when we are dead we don’t exist. (2) Once you’re dead you can’t get harmed. (3) There’s a difference between something being bad for a person versus someone being scared. In this essay, I wish to prove my statements.
As humans, most of us have the desire/ natural instinct to want to live, which is one of the reasons why we fair death so much and associate being dead with the word bad. Epicurus “Offered a remedy for our attitudes towards our death” (175), because we overthink our death when in reality we aren’t going to feel it, implying being dead isn’t good...


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... you’re dead you can’t get harmed. (3) There’s a difference between something being bad for a person versus someone being scared. I strongly believe that people associate being scared means it’s (that something) bad for you, which isn’t always true. Another reason why I decided to support both Epicurus and Rosenbaum beliefs is because it’s well thought out which is why I believe their arguments are stronger. Nagel’s argument are good, but I feel like Rosenblum’s response overpowers his argument. Writing this essay has taught me to not be scared of being dead, because it’s not going to do no harm. As I look more into this topic, I could finally understand why others are scared of being dead. Before looking into this topic I was scared of entering the unknown, but now I know why other people associate being dead with the word bad (e.g. the loss of something valuable).

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