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The termination theory versus the deprivation account - Essay Example

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The termination theory versus the deprivation account

The paper tells that all human beings must die. This is the only thing that we know for a fact. The certainty aside, death still presents many questions to the living that make them curious of what exactly it means to die. Some people believe that death is the end of everything and nothing remains except the memory of a person in the ones he leaves behind. A number of philosophers have focused at length on the philosophy of death and have offered contrasting viewpoints on what their take on death is. The question that many people ask is whether death is evil or not. This is where the contrasting viewpoints arise whether the person believes in some form of immortality or not. One school of thought claims that death is an evil simply because it puts an end to all the good things that we experience in life. The benefits that humans accrue from being alive are activities, desires, perception, thought and all aspects that generally constitute the human life. Despite the misery that fills our lives on occasion, we still have the good times that we treasure and that is the greatest thing about being alive. On a scale, there are many experiences that we go through that are positive and fill us with joy, hope, and all other good emotions we experience. On the contrary, there are experiences in our lives including the death of our loved ones that make our lives worse. For this reason therefore, one would assume that life is a neutral as the good cancel out the bad. However, the good usually outweigh the bad and the result is positive meaning that the experiences of life far outweigh its consequences. The other school of thought is regarded as the termination thesis in which philosophers like Epicurus ascribe to. This school says that as long as we are alive, death is not with us but soon as we die, then we do not exist. The philosophers of this school say that there is nothing to fear in death. PART I The termination thesis is false. This is because it purports that when a person dies, there is no change that occurs except that the person has simply ceased to exist. It also claims that the person’s psychological or moral importance is not eroded due to death. Another argument that the termination thesis makes is that when a person dies, he does not continue to exist as a corpse. The existence of a person is the cornerstone of the termination thesis and it states that if a person continues to exist as a corpse, the person continues to exist and is contrary to the thesis. To die is bad, not because of death itself, but because life as we know it is a good experience and the loss of it is a deprivation. It is not bad because of any positive elements that it might have but because it removes what we consider desirable. PART II The termination theory in my account is false. This however does not mean that the arguments by Epicurus are easy. In any case, it makes the termination theory even harder while making those of the deprivation theory look harder too. The termination theory does not purport that there is no life after death. In fact, neither does the deprivation theory. In the opinion of Epicurus and other like-minded philosophers who support the termination theory, there are a number of points that need to be considered. When a person dies, he ceases to exist. That is the consensus between the two theories. However, the termination theory goes ahead to say that that occurrence cannot be considered as being an evil and as such, people should not fear death. When a tree dies, there is a remaining stump that is still firmly rooted to the ground albeit lifeless. Therefore, when a person cuts the tree off and counts the annual rings, then one can tell the age of the tree when it died. When one looks into the field, you see what was once a tree. If this is the case for all organisms, then, we all cease to exist at some point but the signs of our existence are still visible. There is a transition that is involved in the death of ...Show more


This research compares The Termination Theory and The Deprivation Account. The termination thesis states that when a person dies, he ceases to exist which means that he has lost the ability to feel neither pain nor pleasure. The deprivation theory on the other hand states that death is an evil…
Author : zhahn
The termination theory versus the deprivation account essay example
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