Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Friedrich Schlegel, Epicurus and Rahulabhadra

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5 ideas

24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 1. Death
Fearing death is absurd, because we are not present when it occurs [Epicurus]
     Full Idea: Death, the most frightening of bad things, is nothing to us; since when we exist, death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we do not exist.
     From: Epicurus (Letter to Menoeceus [c.291 BCE], 125)
     A reaction: This is a fairly accurate observation. To fear not being in this life is a bit like fearing not being in Vancouver next Tuesday. It also involves the paradox of the present moment. E.g. Idea 1904.
The wisdom that produces a good life also produces a good death [Epicurus]
     Full Idea: The same kind of practice produces a good life and a good death.
     From: Epicurus (Letter to Menoeceus [c.291 BCE], 126)
     A reaction: This is the kind of old fashioned observation which we would do well to hang on to. The ideal of dying well has vanished from our culture.
It is absurd to fear the pain of death when you are not even facing it [Epicurus]
     Full Idea: He is a fool who says that he fears death not because it will be painful when present but because it is painful when it is still to come.
     From: Epicurus (Letter to Menoeceus [c.291 BCE], 125)
     A reaction: Not very plausible, I'm afraid. It provides a good argument in favour of smoking, if the lung cancer is far in the future. Paralysing fear is daft, but some remote fears should be heeded.
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 4. Suicide
It is small-minded to find many good reasons for suicide [Epicurus]
     Full Idea: He is utterly small-minded for whom there are many plausible reasons for committing suicide.
     From: Epicurus (Principle Doctrines ('Kuriai Doxai') (frags) [c.290 BCE], 38)
     A reaction: It is a pity that the insult of 'small-minded' has slipped out of philosophy. The Greeks use it all the time, and know exactly what it means. We all recognise small-mindedness, and it is a great (and subtle) vice.
Wise men should partake of life even if they go blind [Epicurus, by Diog. Laertius]
     Full Idea: Even though he lose his eyes, a wise man should still partake of life.
     From: report of Epicurus (fragments/reports [c.289 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 10.26