Epicurus, Death, and the Wrongness of Killing

Inquiry 53 (1):68-86 (2010)
Abstract
This article questions the assumption, held by several philosophers, that the Epicurean argument for death's being ?nothing to us? must be fallacious since its acceptance would undermine the principle that killing is (in general) wrong. Two possible strategies are considered, which the Epicurean-sympathizer might deploy in order to show that the non-badness of death (for the person who dies) is compatible with killing's being wrong. One of these is unsuccessful; the other is more promising. It involves arguing that the wrongness of killing is a ?basic moral certainty? and hence requires no underpinning by the judgement that death is bad. Problems for this proposal, and possible responses to those problems, are considered. Though the strategy is not decisive, it is deemed to be one that the Epicurean could plausibly adopt
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    References found in this work BETA
    Mikel Burley (2008). Harry Silverstein's Four-Dimensionalism and the Purported Evil of Death. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):559 – 568.
    Harry Silverstein (2008). 'The Evil of Death' Defended: Reply to Burley. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):569 – 579.

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