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Death and Philosophy - Essay Example

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Death and Philosophy

Nagel, interestingly, argues that it is not the death that is harm but rather the ending of life. He takes the a bit further by discussing prenatal life and life after death, almost equally qualifying the value of each "state" but fearful to arrive at a conclusion. Should we follow Nagel's premise, then the loss of life is the injury and the earlier loss of life compared to a later loss of life is far more injurious.
Indeed, by way of example he states that a corpse can suffer no injury because the corpse is a dead being. Thus perhaps, in Nagel's world, there should be no such thing as a crime committed against a corpse. For example, because the person is dead, one cannot have violated the law because he desecrated a corpse. One can be found guilty, if he contributed to the cause of death only. Nagel's focal point is time. Thus when a person dies, they have been robbed of the extra time that they would have lived. Thus if a man lived 80 years, the harm is not so bad, but if the man lived only 20, the harm is egregious.
Lacking here, is the discussion of what happens during that time. For example, if a man lives only 20 years, and becomes an astounding man, has he been robbed Nagel would probably argue in the affirmative. Conversely, if a man is 80 and has lived a life of no consequence, has he been harmed by being robbed of extra years Perhaps not. What if the person has spent 10 of those years suffering from a painful disease Has not death then rescued the person
Finally, I am asked to explain which theory I prefer. I do not believe that one suffers by death. I agree with Rosenbaum in that once death has happened, there is no harm. Indeed, it is the path to death in which harm lays in wait. Many religions herald the notion that we choose our own exit from this world by our behavior during the time in it. Rosenbaum however offers an explanation that agrees with my religious values and my basic common sense. Once I am dead, I expect that to be it. Indeed, depending on my condition at death, I may find death to be a ...Show more


Rosenbaum, following Epicurus, argues that death is never a harm to the one who dies. Logically, the statement makes sense. If we are dead, and death means total annihilation, then we are far beyond feeling at the time of death because we have already been annihilated…
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Death and Philosophy essay example
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