Feldman's Argument On Death

846 Words4 Pages
Death is an inevitable topic that at some point in time everyone will experience. Some people spend their lifetime worrying about death and dying, and others rely on their faith and relish in the thought that after fulfilling their life on Earth, they will live eternally in Heaven. Neither Epicurus nor Feldman believe in life after death, but this is where their similarities end, as Epicurus regards that even without an afterlife, death is not something we should worry about, whereas Feldman is concerned with the harm death brings upon us. Epicurus’s argument is that my death is not a harm to me. This argument is based on three criteria. The first criterion is the termination thesis, which states that one ceases to exist at death, this…show more content…
The first of the Epicurean puzzles is how can death be a harm to one if the individual is dead, how can one be harmed by deprivation. Feldman’s response to this puzzle is “a state of affairs can be extrinsically bad for a person whether it occurs before he exists, while he exists, or after he exists. The only requirement is that the value of the life he leads if it occurs is lower than the value of the life he leads I it does not occur.” Feldman further illustrates how life events before one exists can be extrinsically bad by an example of a father losing his job shortly before his baby is born. The loss of work that occurred before the birth of the baby could lead to the value of the baby’s life being less than if the father had not lost his…show more content…
It cannot be after they die because they do not exist and it cannot be before they die because they are not dead. Feldman’s response to this puzzle is that death is a harm to the person that dies eternally. It is always true that a shorter period of life produces less value than a longer period of life. The last of the Epicurean puzzles of the deprivation account is if one’s early death is bad because it deprives them of pleasure, so is one’s late birth. Feldman’s response to this puzzle is what Feldman calls an asymmetry between past and future. If we think about one dying later, we hold their birth date constant, therefore presuming they live longer. Now if we think about one being born earlier, we hold their lifespan constant and adjust their death date, therefore their life results in the same measure of years. If the life results in the same measure of years, it results in the same
Open Document