If, as certain small-minded philosophers believe, I shall feel nothing at all after death, then at least I don’t have to worry that they will be there to mock me after they die!
[Sin mortuus, ut quidam minuti philosophi censent, nihil sentiam, non vereor ne hunc errorem meum philosophi mortui irrideant.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Senectute [Cato Maior; On Old Age], ch. 23 / sec. 85 (23.85) (44 BC) [tr. Freeman (2016)]

Critiquing the Epicurians, who would disagree with his belief in an immortal soul.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

For if aftir this presente life I be dede as wele in soule as in body as that some yong and smale philosophers of whiche men name Epycures that affermyn, Certayne it is that I shall feele nothyng. And also I am not afferde that suche philosophers so ded mockyn me nor of this myne oppinion. Aftir whiche I verily beleve that the soules be undedly.
[tr. Worcester/Worcester/Scrope (1481)]

And if it were not so, that after death I should feel nothing nor have any sense at all (as certain perrifoggers and bastard philosophers hold opinino) I fear not a whit least these lip-labourers and ideitical philosophers, when they themselves be dead, should scoff and make a mocking-stock at this mine assertion and belief, because they themselves shall also be without sense, and like to brute beasts.
[tr. Newton (1569)]

But if when I am dead (as some small Philosophers say) I shall feel nothing, I fear not least the dead Philosophers should laugh at this my error.
[tr. Austin (1648)]

If those who this Opinion have despis'd,
And their whole life to pleasure sacrific'd;
Should feel their error, they when undeceiv'd,
Too late will wish, that me they had believ'd.
[tr. Denham (1669)]

But if after this Life I shall no longer be sensible, as some little Philosophers imagine, then am I in no Fear that dead Philosophers will laugh at my mistaken Opinion.
[tr. J. D. (1744)]

And if, when dead, I should (as some minute Philosophers imagine) be deprived of all further Sense, I am safe at least in this, that those Blades themselves will have no Opportunity beyond the Grave to laugh at me for my Opinion.
[tr. Logan (1744)]

I have the satisfaction in the meantime to be assured that if death should utterly extinguish my existence, as some minute philosophers assert, the groundless hope I entertained of an after-life in some better state cannot expose me to the derision of these wonderful sages, when they and I shall be no more.
[tr. Melmoth (1773)]

But if (as certain super-subtle philosophers conclude) I shall feel nothing, I am not afraid lest these philosophers, when dead, should ridicule this error of mine.
[Cornish Bros. ed. (1847)]

But if I, when dead, shall have no consciousness, as some narrow-minded philosophers imagine, I do not fear lest dead philosophers should ridicule this my delusion.
[tr. Edmonds (1874)]

While if in death, as some paltry philosophers think, I shall have no consciousness, the dead philosophers cannot ridicule this delusion of mine.
[tr. Peabody (1884)]

But if when dead, as some insignificant philosophers think, I am to be without sensation, I am not afraid of dead philosophers deriding my errors.
[tr. Shuckburgh (1895)]

But if when dead;
As some philosophers of little note
Believe, I feel no more, there is no fear
These dead philosophers should mock me there.
[tr. Allison (1916)]

But if when dead I am going to be without sensation (as some petty philosophers think), then I have no fear that these seers, when they are dead, will have the laugh on me!
[tr. Falconer (1923)]

True, certain insignificant philosophers hold that I shall feel nothing after death. If so, then at least I need not fear that after their own deaths they will be able to mock my conviction!
[tr. Grant (1960, 1971 ed.)]

If on the other hand, as certain petty philosophers have held, I shall have no sensation when I am dead, then I need have no fear that deceased philosophers will make fun of this delusion of mine.
[tr. Copley (1967)]

Some second-rate philosophers suggest that when I am dead I will be conscious of nothing. But all that means is that, if I’m wrong, they won't be able to make fun of me after their death.
[tr. Cobbold (2012)]

But anyway, if when I die my spirit also dies, I certainly won't give a flip about the opinions of dead philosophers.
[tr. Gerberding (2014)]

If when I am dead I’ll have no sensation,
As some small philosophers think, I won’t fear
Accents of derision from their graves to hear.
[tr. Bozzi (2015)]

Added on 19-Oct-23 | Last updated 2-Nov-23
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