The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Immortality worse than death.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/26/2011 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,341 times Debate No: 15608
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




We're big on this idea of not dying. We love stories of immortal vampires and invincible superheroes, each of us wishing on some level that was us. If we didn't have to worry about death, we could finally get things done.

But could we? If you take a moment to think about it, you realize immortality is grossly overrated.

First round is acceptance.


I accept DOB's debate. I believe that if I were presented with the option of becoming immortal, it would be rational to accept it. I thought about immortality for a moment and found the idea of it to be quite excellent. Best of luck to Pro; I look forward to seeing his reasons for rejecting immortality and favoring death.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for the debate, Grape

Contention 1: Evolution Will Turn You Into a Freak

Contrary to what many people believe, humans are still evolving.[1] That's not a big deal if you have the kind of immortality that only lasts 1,000 or 2,000 years, but of course real immortality means you'll still be walking the earth, in your current body, a million years from now.
Science has no idea where future mutations might lead us by that point, so it's anyone's guess what your neighbors will look like in the future. You, on the other hand, will be walking around as the future equivalent of an austrolapithacus.

Their bodies and brains are going to continue to adapt to an ever-changing world. Yours won't. Will your digestive system be able to handle the same food they eat? Will your brain enjoy the same entertainment? Will your non-evolved tongue even be able to speak the languages they speak in the year one million AD? Would an unfrozen caveman be able to do all of that now?

One thing I do know: You won't be getting any lovin'. It turns out that mother nature hates inter-species breeding, and is such a big jerk that science had to come up with a name to describe it: Reproductive Isolation. It's the reason there aren't packs of ligers or centaurs roaming around.

Basically, it's nature's complicated "the triangle doesn't go in the square hole" law, with a bunch of subset rules that will kill off your children if you decide to take a hammer to the triangle. Meaning that as that species further evolves, there is no possible chance for you to create a new species closer to your own that you could stand to look at for five minutes.

Of course, that's assuming that you're even safe walking around among the members of this new freak species. Will they treat you like a novelty and cast you in hilarious insurance commercials, like the Geico cavemen? Or will they do to you what current humans would do if they finally caught Sasquatch roaming around through the forests (that is, stick you in a zoo)? Though whatever the freak-species decides to do with you won't be as bad as no sex for the rest of your life. Who knows, maybe someone will decide to make you the donkey in their next show.

And it's probably irrelevant, since your inability to make friends with mortals will go out the window long before then...

Contention 2:Nobody Can Ever Find Out

Let's say some kid goes rummaging around in your basement, finds that witch's old portrait of you and discovers that you are immortal. Word spreads and suddenly you're famous the world over. Sure, a lot of people might not buy the story at first, but folks have become famous for much less.

Sounds pretty sweet, right? Probably get a reality show out of it. But that's just scratching the surface. You're not just going to be famous; you're going to be a god. You have eternal life, which means you must know the secret to eternal life, which means you will immediately be the center of the world's newest and most popular religion. You'll be like a guy revealing himself to be Jesus, and proving it. Why would anyone continue to worship an invisible deity when they have a god walking around amongst them? Each morning your yard will be packed full of several thousand terminally ill people, or parents with their sick kids, asking you to grant them the same immortality you have.

That, of course, is assuming a government or crime syndicate doesn't get to you first. Literally every powerful and wealthy person on Earth will decide that in your veins pumps the one thing they can't buy: freedom from death. They're not going to stop until they've spent every penny they can spare to see if they can turn your blood and organs into unending life for themselves. Think about the wars that are being fought over oil. The secret to eternal life would be worth far, far more.

So I'm not talking about the occasional blood test and urine sample here and there while they let you stay in some five-star facility. It's more like you getting kidnapped and kept in some damp underground shack away from any civilization while they go all out on your organs E.T.-style.

Get comfortable, because since nobody will know where you are, they can keep you there for as long as they want.

Your move, Grape.




Thanks to DOB for this debate. I'm going to start off with a brief discussion of what is entailed by immortality. It presumably means that I cannot die as a result of bodily harm, but it seems strange to suggest that it follows that my body is totally immutable. Nothing about immortality necessarily entails that I cannot get my hair cut, for instance. I am going to take immortality to assume that by some fiat I cannot die or sustain equivalent physical harm. For instance, it is not the case that if my head it chopped off I will remain alive; rather, events will somehow always play out so that this does not occur. Perhaps I am impervious to this attack or perhaps Fate dictates that I never end up in such situations.

More importantly, the essential requirement for immortality is that my mind/consciousness will never cease. Bodily death is not possible if it would bring about the end of my mind, but if my mind can survive bodily death due to some miracle of technology than I am free to be rid of it. Uploading my brain to a computer would not cause me to die because from my own subjective point of view I would be quite alive. The mind is clearly more important than the body.

I take this liberal approach because I am of course the one who gets to be immortal and there is no universal agreement on the exact consequences of immortality, which is of course an imaginary state. I will also note that any instance in which immortality would be contradictory or impossible (the end of the universe) is out of the discussion because we have already agreed for the purpose of the debate that immortality must be possible in order for it to be better or worse than death.

CA1: Evolution

This is an interesting point, but it is one that I had anticipated. I am not particularly worried about the problem of other humans out-evolving me because my body can simply be upgraded through technology. Getting an upgrade doesn't violate the requirement that I be immortal any more than eating a sandwich, my physical body need not be immutable. [1]

All of Pro's objections can be answered as simply as that. The technology to upgrade human beings is completely feasible and well within the reach of modern medicine. The supermen of Pro's future will be engineered by science long before they are bred by evolution. In any case, there is no reason to believe that human evolution will be disadvantageous to me. Dysgenic pressure could result in a species of humans far inferior to me. [2]

CA2: Secrecy

I am not terribly worried about the risk of other people messing with me because they cannot do any serious physical harm to me. It will eventually become apparent to people that I am not a god and for the most part they will leave me alone. I will just hire security to deal with the crazies.

I feel much the same way about government authorities. They cannot do me serious harm and they will eventually realize that trying to extract the elixir of eternal life from me is futile. Pro suggests I may be locked up for a while, but I am confident that in a war of attrition the odds are in my favor. I will gnaw my way out of prison eventually.

Humans are a pretty flimsy threat to me anyway considering the fact that I cannot be killed. If I have a gun I will be very hard to stop because shooting me, even with, say, tank rounds, will be useless.

The fact that people will think I am so valuable will probably play in to my favor. I will make billions selling stool samples.

C1: Immortality is Awesome

Immortality is such a good deal on its face that I need very little affirmative. I will continue to upgrade my body and enhance my knowledge over time until I become nearly all-powerful. I will have an eternity to do whatever I want and by the time any serious problems come up I will have had millennia to prepare for them.

Also, Pro's entire argument is plagiarized from [3]

Debate Round No. 2


DOB forfeited this round.


Yawn... Extend everything.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
Lol @ the evolution argument. I would have gone with this for the lulz:
Posted by Grape 7 years ago
Yeah, apparently most of DOB's debates are plagiarized from I recognized the article almost immediately. It didn't immediately occur to me that this debate was in reference to that article because I wasn't aware of DOB's record on plagiarizing until after I accepted the debate.
Posted by BlackVoid 7 years ago
Man I want to debate this so bad, I cant believe I never thought about it before.
Posted by DOB 7 years ago
Sorry guys, I'm fairly certain this grape is squashed even if you did spill the grapes with that secret of yours. I'm putting all my grapes in this debate.
Posted by gizmo1650 7 years ago
Pro probably wont have as hard of a time as you think. With me and everyone i have talked to, there was a simple realization that made it obvious that death is much better than immortality. I won't say it now so as not to spoil the debate.
Posted by Logic_on_rails 7 years ago
Interesting topic, but arguing the Pro position is going to be difficult I think. I'll be watching this closely.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Obvious