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August 27, 2022 1 min read

epicurus-on-death-quote

 

We first need to understand that Epicurus fundamentally distinguishes actions and experiences by whether they produce pleasure or pain. This question was frequently raised in general by Epicurus, however, here this should solely be related to death.The conclusion here is that death does not fall into either criterion and thus becomes irrelevant to Epicurus. 

The quote shown above is a very famous one from Epicurus. But it is also often not interpreted correctly. Of course, Epicurus was also clear that MY death does not concern ME, but very well relatives and also that this can in no way be an argument for suicide. What Epicurus actually meant is a metaphysical implication. Epicurus believed, on the basis of a radical materialism that renounced transcendent entities such as the Platonic Ideas or Forms, that he could disprove the possibility of the soul's survival after death and thus the prospect of punishment in the afterlife.

This also makes Epicurus an early proponent of atheism, and logical deductions for the impossibility of an omnipotent, omnipresent God have also survived. According to his ethics, life in this world should be fully exhausted, since we have only one certainty about the present existence. 


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