THE MAKROPULOS CASE:REFLECTIONS ON THE TEDIUMOF IMMORTALITYBernardWilliams
Is Immortality an AttractiveOption?Benefits of Immortality Negatives of Immortality We get to spend eternity withclose friends and loved ones A wealth of differentexperiences are open tous, we can learn all manner ofnew skills. Death is bad, and immortalitymeans we never die, so wenever experience the badnessof death. Unless others are alsoimmortal, we’ll outlive allof our friends and lovedones; a solitary immortalitywould be lonely Reduces the meaning andsignificance of ouraccomplishments We would get bored
Three Claims WilliamsDefends1. It is rational to fear death.2. A longer life is better than a shorter one.3. Immortality would not be a good thing forus.?-How can all three of these claims be true?
What’s Really Wrong with theStoic View Stoics neglect what actually makes our livesbetter. Our lives are better to the extent that weexperience more of life’s benefits, and worse tothe extent that we experience less of them. Thus, death is an evil, generally speaking, andlonger lives are better than shorter ones.
Why it’s Rational to Fear Death1. If I desire something, then I prefer a state ofaffairs in which I get it over one in which I donot.2. To desire something is to have a reason forresisting what excludes having that thing.3. Death is a state of affairs in which none of mydesires are satisfied.4. Therefore, desiring something gives one areason to resist death.5. Thus, it is rational to fear death.