Thoughts on Death

From Depressed Metabolism: "The idea that death gives meaning to life is widespread but does not reflect careful reasoning, and is often a desperate rationalization of human mortality. As a consequence, life extensionists have not been at great pains to defeat 'pro-death' arguments. A (secular) philosophical position that is harder to refute is that we should not fear death because we cannot experience it. This is the classical argument of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus ... the position of Epicurus on death is often misunderstood. Epicurus did not argue that we should not fear the process of dying or the prospect of dying. One can prefer life over death without committing to the view that death is bad for a person. Although our survival instinct usually prevents us from looking at it in such a way, in real life we have an ongoing 'choice' between life or death. Although death cannot be experienced as being bad, we generally have good reason to prefer life over death, provided life is experienced as positive or has the potential to become positive. Although life extensionists would prefer to have stronger arguments against the Epicurean view on death, a preference for good experience over no experience can do the work just fine."


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