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Asked • 05/10/19

What are some criticisms of Epicurus' "death is nothing to us"?

Epicurus famously asserted that death should not be feared, with roughly the following argument: 1. When we die, we no longer exist; 2. Since we no longer exist, we can feel neither pain nor pleasure. Rather, we simple "are not"; 3. Therefore, there is nothing to fear in death, as death literally *is* nothing from our perspective. Is this argument logically sound, though? In its brevity it seems to be leaving out a plethora of other considerations that can easily make death a very fearsome thing. For example, one may fear leaving behind one's family, being forgotten without a legacy, or one may fear "nothing" *itself*, as "not existing" is a fairly mysterious - and therefore possibly disturbing - notion itself. Or are the former not *directly* related to death, and is the latter illogical? In response to one of the answers below, I thought it would be pertinent to clarify my main concern: assuming that in death there is no perception nor experience, what criticisms of Epicurus' argument remain? I appreciate the answer from the dualist perspective, but I was also hoping for something more scrutinizing of Epicurus' assertion that "if there is no experience in death, it should not be feared." Have any authors written about this?

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