Epicurus's Letter To Menoeceus: Humans Should Not Fear Death

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The Greek philosopher, Epicurus, says that humans should not fear death. He argues in his “Letter to Menoeceus” that death is not harmful to the nonliving since they no longer exist, assuming no afterlife. He believes that for something to be deemed harmful, it must be able to be experienced. In my judgement, considering there is no afterlife, Epicurus is right. To both him and I, death means nothing to the one who is dead. Epicurus begins his argument by stating, “For all good and bad consists in sense-experience, and death is the privation of sense experience. Hence, a correct knowledge of the fact that death is nothing to us makes the morality of life a matter of contentment, not by adding a limitless time [to life] but by removing the longing of immortality” (Letter to Menoeceus 124). This suggest death is the suspension of sensation. For something to be good and evil, it needs to be able to be sensed.…show more content…
Therefore, death is neither good nor bad. Epicurus argued that people should be content with death and not fear it because it was inevitable, but it is something that will never be experienced. “So death, the most frightening of bad things, is nothing to us; since when we exist, death is not yet present, and when death is present we do not exist” (Letter to Menoeceus 125). By this, Epicurus implies that you and death are never present at the same time. You will experience what may cause death, but once it arrives you are gone. It is further stated in Letter to Menoeceus, “For living Does not offend him, nor does he believe not living to be something bad. And just as he does not unconditionally choose the largest amount of food but the

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