Summary of Theorists' View - Excuse any grammar errors :)

48 views5 pages
Published on 20 Apr 2011
School
Department
Course
Death
1) Lucretius says that we feel fear because we feel that in reality and the stories (the
rock of Tantalus, the birds of Tityos, the furies) discussed are exaggerated reality.
He says even if the story doesnt exist in real life, their fear of negative feelings/experiences
are overextended and projected in these stories. His example is when Carthaginians
attacked the Greeks; the Greeks were unaware of it so the Greeks didnt care. So are the
Greeks harmed? No harm has been done until you experience it and someone to hurt you,
you need to know about it, and therefore person must exist in order for someone to hurt
them. When someone is dead they dont exist, so they cant experience sadness, yearning or
have desires. He believes that it is irrational to fear death since you cant be wrong in any
way when you are dead. Overall, he says dont be afraid of death since you dont exist which
means its not wrong to be dead. What about grieving death? He thinks its useless, dead
person cant suffer so no point of grieving. Since dead person cant suffer, its irrational to
grieve death. Just like when you dont worry about a person before birth, after death, you
shouldnt worry about it either (first assumption). Only kind of harm is experiential harm
(= you have to experience in order to be harmed) according to Lucretius (second
assumption). If there exists unhappiness and suffering, the person must also himself exist
at that same time, for evil to befall him” (Lucretius p.24)
2)Nagel agrees to the Lucretius on how just like we dont feel bad for someone not
existing before birth , we shouldnt feel bad for someone not existing after they die.
However, he adds additional points about negative views of death which are:
Even if he agrees to the quote but he says the existence after death (post mortal) and before
death (prenatal) are two different things because while you cant harm someone who doesnt
exist yet, you can harm someone who did exist through meaningfulness harms. He also says
death could possibly harm us. He believes in that you can experience harms even if you
dont experience it such as meaningfulness harms (= can harm your goals and plans even if
you dont exist to experience them). Examples of this are spreading lies, cheating on you
without you knowing, destroying your work all without your knowledge. Life is the kind
of thing that once you have it, the more you have of it the better. Death is always harming if
it interferes/deprives your plans. Overall, he believes death can harm us by sabotaging our
plans even when you dont experience it. Nagel indicates that one can be harmed by e-
harms in the passive side of their life (what we experience like accidents, medical
www.notesolution.com
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
conditions) but also can be harmed by m-harms in the active side of their life (what we plan
to do like goals, aspirations, duties). Therefore, death is always an m-harm if you have
plans that it interferes with, for example, even if youre 800 years old, death still takes away
the prospect of doing more stuff.
3)Dworkin agrees with Nagel that death can be harm but thinks that death is not
always an m-harm because it matters to people how they die; even if they dont
experience it. Making someone die in a way that others approve, but he believes a
horrifying contradiction of his life, is a devastating, odious form of tyranny. For
example, if what mattered to you most was to live as long as possible, then taking
someone off a life-support machine might be harm to them. Death is part of our life
even if we dont experience it, consistent with the plans on how he wanted to live,
and we have e interests and m interests. E interests are things that people do
because they like the experience of doing it and it is subjective (mind dependent)
because you could live without it (running on the lake, eating bagels). M-interests
are things that people think that make their life better, example: having close
relationships. Its an objective value (mind independent) that without it life would be
worse. Overall, he defines e-harm interferes with e-interest, and m-harm interferes
with m-interest. Dworkin also has the view that whether you have the right m-
interests depends on what stage of your life youre at for example, if you are 10 years
old and you are upset because you are not the universitys chancellor, you have
missed something. The right m-interests are affected by the shape of our biological
lives (helpless when were born, strongest from 20-60 years old). In order for m-
interests to be good, it has to be good and believed to be good by the subject all
things considered, for example, if being doctor is a good idea in general, its not right
to force someone to become a doctor if they dont want to be. The way we die can be of
critical (meaningful) interest to us for example we might have an interest in not
staying alive, even if were unconscious.
Suicide
4)Aquinas (natural law ethics) is against suicide; his view was an extended version of
Aristotle which was how everything has essential nature, what counts as the nature
of a thing is whatever it does mostly, for example nature of fire is to warm, nature of
water is to wet. However, Aquinas added to Aristotles point that God created nature
which becomes an ethical dimension because it is saying that God created things one
www.notesolution.com
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Document Summary

Lucretius says that we feel fear because we feel that in reality and the stories (the rock of tantalus, the birds of tityos, the furies) discussed are exaggerated reality. He says even if the story doesn"t exist in real life, their fear of negative feelings/experiences are overextended and projected in these stories. His example is when carthaginians attacked the greeks; the greeks were unaware of it so the greeks didn"t care. No harm has been done until you experience it and someone to hurt you, you need to know about it, and therefore person must exist in order for someone to hurt them. When someone is dead they don"t exist, so they can"t experience sadness, yearning or have desires. He believes that it is irrational to fear death since you can"t be wrong in any way when you are dead. Overall, he says don"t be afraid of death since you don"t exist which means it"s not wrong to be dead.

Get OneClass Grade+

Unlimited access to all notes and study guides.

YearlyMost Popular
75% OFF
$9.98/m
Monthly
$39.98/m
Single doc
$39.98

or

You will be charged $119.76 upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.