James Stacey Taylor is an Epicurean who argues that death cannot be bad for the person who dies. He is also a Hedonist and believes that “everything good or bad lies in sensation, and death is to be deprived of sensation.” (Taylor 179). Assuming death results in the cessation of experience, it follows that death has no value at all (it can neither be bad or good for the person who dies). By contrast, Neil Feit defends Deprivationism, which is the view that death is bad for the person who dies because it deprives him/her of intrinsic goods that he/she would have experienced had death not occurred. In this paper, I will argue against Feit’s Deprivationism and in favor of Epicureanism. I will first review how Feit’s view depends on a notion where the value (goodness and badness) of death is relative to other events that can affect the state of well-being of the person who dies. I will argue that the considerations in favor of Epicureanism reveal this assumption about death to be limited. Additionally, I will argue that recognizing the limitation of this claim and the soundness of Taylor’s arguments for Epicureanism show that death cannot be bad for the person who dies. Finally, I will evaluate both arguments in the context of hypothetical real-life scenarios.
"Why Death is Not Bad,"
Locus: The Seton Hall Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 4, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarship.shu.edu/locus/vol4/iss1/2