lecture 10

lecture 10 - Philosophy262 Isdeathbad?Isimmortality good?...

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Philosophy 262 Is death bad?  Is immortality  good?
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Two life-or-death questions (1) Is death bad for the person who dies—and if so, why? (2) Is immortality good for the person who lives— and if so, why?
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Epicurus (BCE 314-270) on death Accustom yourself to believe that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply awareness, and death is the privation of all awareness; therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life an unlimited time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For … whatever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer. (from Letter to Menoeceus)
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Just for the record
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Lucretius (99-55 BCE) on death For if there is going to be unhappiness and suffering, the person must also himself exist at that same time, for the evil to be able to befall him. Since death robs him of this, preventing the existence of the person for the evils to be heaped upon, you can tell that there is
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lecture 10 - Philosophy262 Isdeathbad?Isimmortality good?...

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