Bernard Williams has argued that immortality would not be desirable, because the desires that drive us in life would eventually grow old.

However, there are objections. Here are various objections I have found:

  1. Section 5.2 in the SEP entry on Death
  2. Section 5.2 in the SEP entry on Heaven and Hell in Christian Thought
  3. Against the Tedium of Immortality by Brucker
  4. Why Immortality Is Not So Bad by Fischer

While these objections are all fairly similar, do they succeed in disproving Williams's idea? Especially, I don't understand how Williams's identity condition is a problem. The dominant view of personal identity, psychological continuity, suggests that identity is preserved under continuous change, something which occurs even in Williams's supposed scenario arguing against the person surviving change. Another aspect I don't understand is how it is not possible for us to somehow externally obtain motivation, especially knowing that motivation and excitement is a result of dopamine levels in the brain (which could presumably be artificially changed).

So, does Williams succeed in showing that immortality is not desirable despite these objections?

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    I think as worded the question So, does Williams succeed in showing that immortality is not desirable despite these objections? is answerable only at the level of the opinions of the people answering. – virmaior Aug 27 '19 at 2:21
  • In another sense, it's a great and interesting philosophy question (not philosophy.SE question) for looking at a variety of issues related to human nature. My first impression is that (having not recently read the Williams article in question) that he' suggesting something similar to Martha Nussbaum in her understanding of human virtue -- namely that things are exceptional for us precisely because they are difficult and require great exertion whereas they would be trivial for a god and not worthy of any praise. – virmaior Aug 27 '19 at 2:23
  • @virmaior Surely this is not a problem of opinion? If the whole argument rests on unfalsifiable opinions, where the other side's opinions are just as lacking, why is this up to debate? – APCoding Aug 27 '19 at 2:44
  • Swift "argued" the same thing in Gulliver's Travels part III (Laputa) by displaying a society of aging immortals. I guess we won't know until we get a taste of it, with longevity far beyond current limits, for example. Until then, it is all just speculation and play of imagination, where pro and contra can go ad infinitum to no point. – Conifold Aug 27 '19 at 4:10
  • @APCoding I don't understand what you mean. You are asking for our judgments about does Williams succeed in showing that immortality is not desirable despite these objections? which would require us to first (a) grasp Williams' argument, (b) assess the criticisms you point out, (c) imagine how Williams' view responds to them, and (d) decide then whether Williams "succeeds" on an argument whose consequences would falsify a major claim of Christianity (inter alia religions). there's so many places where this asks to go afield of what we can reasonably do in an SE. – virmaior Aug 27 '19 at 7:49

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