257 SHOULD WE FEAR DEATH? EPICUREAN AND MODERN ARGUMENTS Russell Blackford, Ph.D. Most of us fear death, to a greater or lesser extent, though some philosophers believe that we would do well to accept it and to fear any prospect of immortality. Bernard Williams, in particular, has argued that we would eventually suffer unbear- able boredom, and come to welcome death, if we had the abil- ity to live for hundreds of years (p89–98). [1] Though we might die earlier than we would like, he suggests, the fact that we all die is actually a good thing. Many others have argued, ever since antiquity, that death is at least not something to be feared. In this essay, I argue that it is rational to be attached to life and live as long as we can, though not to fear death with the intensity, or nagging anxiety, that human beings often do. Furthermore, our reasons for being attached to life are also reasons why we should want to live indefinitely. In the ancient world, the first philosophical attacks were made on the rationality of fearing death, based on the assumption that there is no afterlife and that death extinguishes all sensa- tion, thought, and awareness. Separate issues arise, if we have religious grounds to believe that there is an afterlife of eternal bliss or punishment. I will set those aside and consider the fear of death and our attachment to life purely from a secular phil-