Analyzing Epicurus Argument

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Epicurus has a set argument for what he believes death means to us. He makes this argument clear through his two premises and the conclusion that he reaches. What his argument is for what death means to us might possibly change if he were to consider in relation to not only a positive harm, but also a harm of deprivation. In this paper I am going to explain and discuss Epicurus’ argument for what death means to us, explain what positive harms and harms of deprivation are and the difference between the two, and address a way to fix Epicurus’ argument to meet the requirements by adding another premise. The argument that Epicurus poses for what death is to us is “Death, therefore—the most dreadful of evils — is nothing to us, since while we exist, death is not present, and whenever death is present, we do not exist” (Epicurus). The conclusion that …show more content…

A premise Epicurus could possibly add is “we are not aware of any deprivation or loss that death causes.” This would change his argument to “while we exist death is not present, when death is present we do not exist, we are not aware of any deprivation or loss that death causes, therefor death is nothing to us.” By simply adding the premise “we are not aware of any deprivation or loss that death causes” to Epicurus’ argument, it no longer makes death a harm of deprivation. While some might consider a harm to be a harm regardless of whether we are aware of it happening or not, this idea is not true. If a person is not aware of a harm that is happening to them, then it is in no way harming or hurting the person at hand. Therefor, by not being aware of the deprivation and loss of the good things that come from being alive, death ultimately becomes nothing to us. Adding this third premise to Epicurus’ argument allows it to still stand while being considered in respect to both positive harms and harms of

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