Should We Fear Death? Epicurean and Modern Arguments 266 To the extent that the Epicurean conception of a happy life asks us to give them up, or to deprecate their importance, that  conception  is  impoverished  and  should  be  rejected. Although there is some wisdom in the Epicurean worldview, it is incomplete at best. It cannot be used to save what I called The Basic Epicurean Argument against fearing death, because there is more to a good life than freedom from pain and anxi- ety – aponia and ataraxia. A good life includes rich kinds of experience and connection that are, by their natures, forward- looking. None of this is to say that there is no force at all in the Epicurean arguments. In his Key Doctrines, Epicurus argues that “the flesh” (p151) wants infinite duration of life, while the intellect knows better. [2] In fact, I left open the question, earlier in this essay, of how much we should fear death, even if we have reasons to avoid and resist it. Perhaps “the flesh” has its own reasons to fear death, reasons that make us fear it more than is good for our happiness. Though it is beyond the scope of this essay to pursue the issue in detail, the equivalent of “the flesh” in contemporary thought  may  be  our  unconscious  genetic  predispositions, some of which may have increased our evolutionary ances- tors’ inclusive fitness, but do not increase our happiness as individuals. It is rational to have projects, relationships, com- mitments, and interests that attach us to life. However, the degree to which we actually fear death – the sense of nagging anxiety or even panic that the thought of death sometimes causes  –  might  not  be  something  we  would  choose  if  we could reach into ourselves and rewrite our own genetic code, in order to harmonize our personalities with our considered ideas of what constitutes a happy life. If my argument so far is correct, it would be rational to fear death less than we do, but it is also rational to want to remain alive, at least for as long as we have projects, relationships,