Does my death harm me?

Some people fear flying; some fear buttons; and many, many people fear their own death. We might try to argue a friend out of their fear of flying or their fear of buttons by showing them that the
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Some people fear flying; some fear buttons; and many, many people fear their own death. We might try to argue a friend out of their fear of flying or their fear of buttons by showing them that the fear is irrational. We might point out to the koumpounophobic that buttons cannot harm them; and we might produce flight safety statistics to demonstrate to the aviophobic that, while flying can certainly harm them, it’s much less likely to do so than plenty of other activities that they don’t fear. Can we argue ourselves out of our fear of death by showing that this fear is also irrational? The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 BCE) thought that you could. For Epicurus, the key ingredients in a good life are ataraxia – a peaceful, tranquil state of being in which you have no fears – and aponia – the absence of pain. And he held that our fear of death is the source of all of our other fears. Rid yourself of that, he thought, and you rid yourself of all the others as well,. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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