Epicurus famously asserted that death should not be feared, with roughly the following argument:
- When we die, we no longer exist;
- Since we no longer exist, we can feel neither pain nor pleasure. Rather, we simple "are not";
- Therefore, there is nothing to fear in death, as death literally is nothing from our perspective.
Is this argument logically sound, though? In its brevity it seems to be leaving out a plethora of other considerations that can easily make death a very fearsome thing. For example, one may fear leaving behind one's family, being forgotten without a legacy, or one may fear "nothing" itself, as "not existing" is a fairly mysterious - and therefore possibly disturbing - notion itself. Or are the former not directly related to death, and is the latter illogical?
In response to one of the answers below, I thought it would be pertinent to clarify my main concern: assuming that in death there is no perception nor experience, what criticisms of Epicurus' argument remain? I appreciate the answer from the dualist perspective, but I was also hoping for something more scrutinizing of Epicurus' assertion that "if there is no experience in death, it should not be feared."
Have any authors written about this?