Epicurus Assignment In his Letter to Menoeceus, Epicurus explains why the fear of death is groundless. He writes: For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly apprehended that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains only in the prospect. Whatsoever causes no annoyance when it is present causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for which the living it is not and the dead exist no longer (p. 50). Key to understanding Epicurus here is the untangling his argument, which has two parts. First is the admission, as seen in the passage we just read, that death is the most awful of evils. Though he himself does not provide us with a demonstration of this claim, we can reasonably construct one on his behalf: 1. The deprivation of any good is an evil 2. But death is the deprivation of the good of life 3. ïœ Death is an evil The second part of Epicurusâ€™ argument is that though death is an awful evil, it is nothing to us. Here again, Epicurus does not provide us with a demonstration for this claim and hence we will have to provide one for him: 1. To suffer an evil, the subject of the evil must be present at the time the evil occurs 2. But when death occurs, the human being is not present 3. ïœ The human being never suffers the evil of death Copy the second syllogism into your paper. For the second syllogism identify where the error(s) in the argument is. Keep in mind that the error could be a faulty premise, or a faulty inference, or both. Explain in your own words what you think the error(s) is/are.
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