Is Death Bad?

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Against Feldman’s Argument Kevin Dong Word Count: 1400 In Feldman’s Epicurus and the Evil of Death, the author rejects Epicurus’ argument that one should not fear death. He claimed that a painful sensation was not the only requirement for something to be considered bad. Not being better off than one could have can also be considered bad. The purpose of my paper is to show that Feldman’s definition of what is bad fails. I will first present Epicurus’ argument and Feldman’s counter argument and explain the latter. 1. The Epicurean Argument and Feldman’s Counterargument The Epicurean argument is as follows: A1: You stop existing when you die A2: If so, you don’t feel pain while you are dead A3: If so, then being dead is not bad for you A4: If something is not bad for you, you shouldn’t fear it A5: It is irrational for you to fear death I want to clarify a few things in these arguments. Feldman does not argue against the conclusion A5. He states “So far as I can tell, nothing follows about whether we should fear death” (Feldman 141). Throughout his argument, he does not touch on whether we should “fear” anything. He instead targets A4 intending to disprove Epicurus’ notion of the word “bad”. He does this with the intention to prove that death while might not be an object of fear, is still something bad and evil. His own argument can be broken down: P1: Something is extrinsically bad for a person if and only if he or she would have been intrinsically better off if it had not taken place. P2: You would have been better off if you hadn’t died P3: Therefore, death is bad for you Let me define the word intrinsic in this context. Intrinsic is good or bad in itself. If you eat a large pizza, you feel intrinsically good. In the hedonistic view that the Epicureans support, something is extrinsically bad if it leads to intrinsic bad. So eating

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