The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

You Should NOT fear Death

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/19/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,946 times Debate No: 28430
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Death should NOT be feared as it is a natural process in life and there is nothing bad about death to fear. Epicurus views death in that it is "nothing" That the fear of death is irrational and should therefore be non-existent. Since death is nothing it doesn"t involve pleasure nor pain. Therefore it cannot be bad since there is no pain involved. The only bad thing for us is pain. We avoid pain as being it being bad. Epicurus even goes to state that terminally ill still enjoy pleasure, such as pleasure of their loved ones" As far as Lucretius, he states that "Therefore death is nothing to us, of no concern whatsoever, once it is appreciated that the mind is mortal" Once you accept your mortality you no longer fear death or the imminence of such. "Hence you may live to see out as many centuries as you like: no less will everlasting death await you. No shorter will be the period of nonexistence for one who has ended his life from today than for one who perished many months or years ago."

The Paradox of life and death is such that if we grasped the concept that death should NOT BE FEARED that we would live a more successful life. Once you are able to grasp the concept that death is nothing to be feared you will be able to live a much more successful and plentiful life.

Socrates believes death is either nothingness, or something involving an afterlife. Both arguments prove that death is not to be feared then. If nothing, it is more like an endless sleep and to many sleep is a state of calmness and serenity " almost dreamlike. Most people associate sleep with a feeling of tranquility if there is feeling at all as it is an unconscious state where Socrates believes there is a lack of awareness therefore a state of nothingness. If it consists of a state of nothingness than conceptually there is NOTHING for someone to fear. To expand on this nothingness he also believed it foolish for someone for to fear something unknown.

Socrates also believed there may be another option that the soul migrated to another place through metaphysics. And if this was the case, then Death truly I not to be feared.

So you see, Death being feared is just silly and a man-made anxiety coming from man"s inability to accept their own mortality and limits.
Death is only feared by those who don"t understand the limits of the themselves who live under a false illusion of control or who believe in the fact that they somehow know something about death that everyone else does not.


Alright to begin with, it seems that your concept of Fear involves a object of attention, meaning one needs to know/aware who or what is out there in order to begin to fear. This means that Fear is learned through our environment. This is my counter argument; That Fear is a instinct we contain that is involves with our "Survival Instinct". Think of it as this, "What is the point of being scare?" "Why do we have fear to begin with?""What is the benefit of having Fear?"

Although many would identified Fear as an product of "man's inability to accept their own mortality and limits", that is not the case. Fear plays a huge role when assisting the organism to survive. When confronting with a bear, Fear is able to warn the organism that the Bear is potentially dangerous to the well-being of the organism whether or not the conscious of the mind is aware of it." Fear needs not a source since True Fear have no source although there are fears that do have sources.

Now you mention pain as something bad without stating the Goodness of pain or what benefits we get for having pains. Pain, besides typically being unpleasant, it a method for our body to notify us that there is something wrong with us whether it is a virus, bug bite, changes in temperature, et cetera. Without pain, we would have trouble in find what is wrong with us and where is the source of pain coming from.

Lastly mentioned "it cannot be bad since there is no pain involved". Is pain a indicator of Good and Bad?" In order to prove this wrong, I have to make a case where Pain does not indicate whether something is good or bad.

Imagine a situation where everyone is being controlled by an individual with the ability to controlled the minds of individual. The purpose of this is to prevent anymore pain that wars and even battles themselves have cause. With this world where essentially everyone in the world is being controlled while living their every-day life without any form of pain or better yet any pain including physical, emotional, and psychological senses of pain except aging, is it Good or Bad? Most would say bad since we are being controlled and lost our sense of freewill. Although no pain was involved, the loss of freewill make this situation a bad one since the life of the individual would be false.

There Pain is not a indicator of Good or Bad
Debate Round No. 1


If we are going to debate the matter or fear as a basis of why death should NOT be feared then I will bring in the words of Lars Svendsen who agrees that Fear is a powerful emotion, and although it can be an emotion that can save lives, from its avoidance of risk taking behavior (or as you stated making us aware of a risk " such as in letting us know that something is "wrong" inside) it also "robs us of our freedom". Betrand Russel has said that "to conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom". This is my point, once we realize that death is not to be feared we open the door to lead a more fulfilling life.

In response to my argument that fear is a product of man"s inability to accept their own mortality and limits this is definitely the case. For fear is an emotional reaction based on instinct. It causes a fight-or-flight response to a threat of survival " which is exactly what "man"s inability to accept mortality is". The failure to be able to admit that your survival is in actuality controlled by the fact that you are mortal is the exact cause of the fear response which comes from instinct. This causes a quick, instinctive reaction which paralyzes our ability to think clearly and concisely about what it is we actually fear. If we take the time to analyze the what we are fearing (DEATH) we can deliberate and conclude through clear and concise analytical reasoning that in fact there is nothing to fear.

As far as your hypothetical situation of minds being controlled, I am unsure what point you are attempting to make other than the fact that you are attempting to state that because physical pain is not present that this is the only pain that exists in the world. There are different forms of pain, emotional " which sounds like what you described, as not being able to have your freewill, - this would indicate a form of pain " wouldn"t you think? If my freewill was taken away and I felt as if I lost my sense of freewill I would feel some type of emotional pain. So the scenario does not work, nor make a point.

As far as pain being categorized as good or bad, it is historically and socially the norm for pain to be categorically a "bad" emotion. Just as each emotion has either a positive or negative connotation "pain" remains to be seen as a bad undertone. Just as happy is good, sad is bad, and crying is bad and smiling is good. As with all things there always is an instance of an exception however trying to indicate that because I used pain in my argument and attempting to disqualify it as a bad emotion under the exception that pain alerts us to medical ailments just doesn"t work for the statement that Death is NOT to be feared.


"robs us of our freedom"... Freewill vs. Determinism case
would suggest that Fear is a restriction placed on Humans. Human-beings are known to have limited to begin with since the start of modern humans. Without "this restriction of Fear", are we consider Human? Wouldn't suggest that we would be less human or human-like if we were to break this "restriction"?

Also you haven't stated what freedom does that take if one exist. I would assume that you are an advocate of Free Will but how far? I don't know. You may just simply pick and choose (specified Free Will) what freedom we have or go as far as having complete/full control on our life.

"fear is a product of man"s inability to accept their own mortality and limits"
So you suggest that man should accept their own mortality and limits? What are the consequence of doing so? Here is an example:
A man is camping by himself in the forest. Later at night, he woken up by a sound by a nearby bush. It turn out that a pack of wolfs are invading his camp site. If he was to accept his death and limitations placed beyond him, he would most likely let the wolves devour him.

I would have suggest the man to continue on surviving, whether or it is with fighting or fleeing or an unorthodox method since there is more to life than just being eating by wolves. People would most likely take my suggestion since they have the desire to live to the fullest and would go out of their way(limits). You keep suggesting that we should be rational in term of Death and things that cause us to fear. Although we are rational-beings, we are also emotional ones. Given the example where if one was by his/her -self, walking pass a bridge, and spot on one side 5 babies dying, and on the other side 1 baby where belongs to the person walking by the bridge, although the most rational thing to do is to save the group with 5 babies, the one person would probably save his or her baby instead.

Also in my case with the world where almost everyone is being controlled, although it was implied, I would to be clear that since we are being controlled, it would suggest that we as the individual are "unaware" of the fact that we are being manipulated by something other than oneself.
-No Pain

Now suggesting Pain is Bad simply because majority of the people in history categorized it as "bad" is simply absurd. Simply because Pain is Bad to majority of the people does not make it true. If a world were to exist where there are two type of humans, the "normals and the crazies" between 99% vs 1%. Then there can be two answer:
Either Majority is normal and that 1% is weird/crazy or that 1% is normal and the everyone else (99%) is crazy (weird).
-Pain is not an indicator for what is Good or Bad

Conclusion: You should fear Death since fearing Death would make you Human that possess the capacity to overcome since Fear is an instinct where it does not require a source.
Debate Round No. 2


I think you are profoundly confused the fact that I man needs to accept their mortality and limitation and somehow made that to mean man needs to be a victim. The statement "fear is a product of man"s inability to accept their own mortality and limits"
means that man is in denial that life will end and as a result "fears" this thing we call death for some unknown reason which is absurd because death is unknown and the only thing we know that it actually is for a fact is the absence of life. No where in this sentence does it state, lay down and die, do not fight, do not protect yourself, do not survive, do not live, eat, maintain or strive for more. It simply states that as a result of man"s inability to accept the fact that we will NOT LIVE FOREVER we build a fear of death which is unwarranted. It is not until we accept our immortality and our limitations as human beings that we will live the lives we are intended to live. Evolution is indeed intended to be survival of the fittest so the fact that we would lay down and let wolves eat us is just ridiculous and our species would be extinct, so that just makes no sense. We have an innate sense to eat and drink water to live, we are not suicidal by nature that is not my argument " my argumetb is that death " a natural occurrence for everyone " as natural as birth, as natural as breathing, is not something to be feared.

Your example of being an emotional being I am unsure what the point is here again? That scenario would not work on an Act or Rule Utilitarian Ethical Person however it may work on someone with a different ethical or moral value system " that is an instance in which it would be dependent on the person. I still don"t know how that fits into why one shouldn"t fear death though?

Stoics accept their fate as divine will, neither good nor
bad, so pain wouldn"t even play a factor in this instance and they wouldn"t even need to understand it " they would just accept it and they would NOT fear it they would just FACE IT.

Taoists avoid fear all together by following the natural way or path of the Tao and for them, unlike the Buddhist, it is to harmony with all which is right dependent upon the behavior of the individual.

Many other philosophers will argue that death is simply a natural event that gives life meaning and calls for acceptance of its inevitability. In otherwise, the way of the universe.
Then there is always Epicurus and Lucretius who claim that "we do not fear our past non-existence, we should not fear our future non-existence .. our death."
Bernard Williams claims that Death gives us Meaning to Life " so once we realize that death is not to fear then our life has greater meaning.


It seems you are not sure what you mean when you stated "fear is a product of man's inability to accept their own mortality and limits". What I attempted to explain to you is that if what you say is true, and you are suggesting that we should not be afraid of Death, then we should "accept our own mortality and limits" in order to prevent such product as fear. You merely stated to accept our limitations and the fact that we are subject to die but never mention what to do after accepting that. Similar to "Forgive and Forget", you only mention only one part without explain where to go from there. By merely accepting what you are suggestion, "accept our own mortality and limits", that alone would suggest that we humans have our limits and will eventually die. That's it, nothing else to go by except those I just stated. That alone is not sufficient in order to live a "more fulfilling life" as you suggested. You stated that after we accepted these terms, "we will live the lives we are intended to live" without giving actual reasons to support that claim.

Also, does accepting something means we will not fear it. Like I mention before, we are not simply rational people, meaning that we ourselves does not have to make sense. Even if we were to accept that Death is inevitable, we still want to live, our desire would cause us to favor life over death. This desire would cause us to fear Death since we, while alive, do not want to die, even if it does not matter in the end.

Simply because something is natural, we shouldn't be afraid of it but instead accept it. If a tornado is heading to a person's direction, besides accepting that it is something that occurs naturally, would the person be afraid of it. The running away from the tornado would indicate that the person is indeed afraid. Although that alone is not the only method in dealing with fear, it is one of the most common. For something to occur naturally, does not absolutely indicate that we should not fear it.

In conclusion, naturally occurring events [does not equal] should not fear.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by narmak 5 years ago
Fear is not evil" It tells you what your weakness is. And once you know your weakness, you can become stronger as well as kinder
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: In his opening sentence and all following arguments, PRO commits the naturalistic fallacy and CON rightly calls him on it. It should be noted, however, that CON could have done a much better job; in fact PRO killed his own argument by bringing up that death is the loss of all possible value, and as fear is THE survival instinct, we should rightly fear the end of survival. To not fear the end of survival is to lose all we have. PRO argued against himself. CON, however, had atrocious grammar.