084f2db8c6 Although they will be both be dead for ever, Keats' death deprived him of many years of life which were allowed to Tolstoy; so in a clear sense Keats' loss was greater (though not in the sense standardly employed in mathematical comparison between infinite quantities). All the questions have something to do with time. This seems to me the most serious difficulty with the view that death is always an evil. If death is the unequivocal and permanent end of our existence, the question arises whether it is a bad thing to die. First, the value of life and its contents does not attach to mere organic survival; almost everyone would be indifferent (other things equal) between immediate death and immediate coma followed by death twenty years later without reawakening. This does not mean that a contented infant is unfortunate.
Mortal Questions (New York: Cambridge U. The point that death is not regarded as an unfortunate state enables us to refute a curious but very common suggestion about the origin of the fear of death. (The latter would represent not a set of different possible lives of one individual, but a set of distinct possible individuals, whose lives have identical conclusions.) Given an identifiable individual, countless possibilities for his continued existence are imaginable, and we can clearly conceive of what it would be for him to go on existing indefinitely. I conclude that something about the future prospect of permanent nothingness is not captured by the analysis in terms of denied possibilities. the third type or difficulty concerns the asymmetry, mentioned above, between out attitudes to posthumous and prenatal nonexistence. If death is an evil at all, it cannot be because of its positive features, but only because of what it deprives us of. If it is good to be alive, that advantage can be attributed to a person at each point of his life. For example, Abraham Lincoln was taller than Louis XIV. Apache Tomcat/6.0.45. As things are, it may just be a more widespread tragedy.