Should We Fear Death? Epicurean and Modern Arguments 260 The  Epicureans  had  such  an  account  and  it  actually  has some  attraction.  Specifically,  they  claimed  that  the  good life consists in living with freedom from pain (aponia) and freedom from anxiety (ataraxia). They believed that achiev- ing aponia and especially ataraxia (which we might translate as  “tranquility”)  for  as  long  as  we  are  alive  and  conscious, is the highest level of human happiness, and that many of our strivings and concerns actually frustrate our happiness. Such propositions can be found in Epicurean documents such as the Letter to Menoeceus and, particularly, the Key Doctrines (149–150). [2] The Roman poet Lucretius, the greatest of Epicurus’ followers, argues in detail in his masterful De Rerum Natura  that our lives are blighted whenever we strive after goals that are inconsistent with ataraxia (p 151–153). [4] If  we  could  accept  these  more  general  Epicurean  views, we  might  well  limit  the  classes  of  genuine  misfortune  and we might conclude that a combination of the strategies that I  explained  above  could  protect  the  spirit  of  The  Basic Epicurean Argument against any possible counterexample to P1. This is because, according to the Epicurean conception of happiness, any genuine misfortune must be something that can interfere with our tranquility while we are alive. Death itself does not do so – though fearing it does – so death itself is not a misfortune. To an Epicurean, then, death is not a bad thing. On the other hand, this analysis suggests that The Basic Epicurean Argument can be successfully defended only if we accept general Epicurean views about the nature of happiness. These would require us to jettison many of our commonsense ideas; such as that it is a misfortune to be despised by others (even if we are blissfully ignorant). It appears to me that there is more truth to the Epicurean view of happiness than is usually acknowledged. There does actually seem to be a limit to our happiness, and we do seem