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Every man must do two things alone he must do his own believing and his own dying -Martin Luther Death is the inevitable and permanent cessation of life and everything associated with it Whenever something is inescapable it presents a certain apprehension and anxiety and in order to achieve happiness in life one must rid the mind of such apprehension and anxiety Whether the fear of death is long lasting or short-lived it is almost definitely present among the beliefs of all people and any fear regardless of its basis causes disturbance and stress Epicurus however feels that happiness can be achieved for this particular fear can be overcome simply by using reason He argues that it is foolish to fear death and he feels that the common goal of all should be to rid the mind of not only the fear of death but rather fear in general His arguments are logical and reasonable but the fear of death is incredibly resistant to eradication In Epicuruss Letter to Menoeceus found in The Epicurus Reader he states 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 29 Clearly enough to anyone who has little or no religious beliefs having no dread of any supernatural power this statement makes perfect sense and can be freely accepted however this reason alone is not capable of changing beliefs The fear of death is not something that can just be forgotten in a moment The aforementioned reference to inevitability causing fear holds true in all situations especially in this case since it is unsure what the inevitable is As Socrates once said Death is one of two things Either it is annihilation and the dead have no consciousness of anything or as we are told it is really a change a
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