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Since death is the cessation of life, it cannot be experienced, nor be a harm, nor a proper object of fear. So, at least, have argued many philosophers, notably Epicurus and Lucretius. A prime consideration has been the symmetry between the state of being dead, and the state of ‘being’ not yet in existence. On the other hand death is feared, and thought of as a harm (even if it is instant: it is not the process of dying that makes the difference). The alternative, immortality, sounds better until the detail is filled in, when it can begin to sound insupportable (see Makropoulos case). The management of death is one of the topics of bioethics.

Subjects: Religion

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