Should We Fear Death? Epicurean and Modern Arguments 258 osophical viewpoint. (I will also set aside whether it is rational to fear the process of dying, as opposed to death itself – though there is no doubt that the process is usually painful and nasty.) The locus classicus of the debate is the work of the Hellenistic philosopher Epicurus and his followers, who viewed death in a strikingly modern way, as the end of all sensation or aware- ness. On that assumption, we cannot rationally fear it as a great unknown, or as a prequel to divine judgment and pos- sible punishment. Is there any other rational justification to fear death, or consider it a bad thing? What is so bad about death? ARGUING LIKE AN EPICUREAN In his Letter to Menoeceus, Epicurus argues “all good and evil lie in sensation” [2; pg.149]. Since death is the extinction of sensation, it is “nothing to us”, something that is neither good nor evil. This can be formulated as what I will call The Basic Epicurean Argument: The Basic Epicurean Argument: P1. Nothing is a misfortune unless it includes or causes unpleasant sensations. P2. Death does not include or cause unpleasant sensa- tions. C. Death is not a misfortune. This  argument  is  logically  valid.  More  interestingly,  it  is amenable to significant modification should counterexamples be offered to challenge P1. This premise can be altered in numerous  ways  without  affecting  the  validity  of  the  argu- ment, so long as appropriate alterations are also made to P2.