Death & Morality

The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

Nick Bostrom tells us a philosophical parable about death.

Once upon a time the world was tyrannized by a great dragon. The dragon stood taller than the largest cathedral, and was covered with thick black scales. Its red eyes glowed with hate, and from its terrible jaws flowed an incessant stream of evil-smelling yellowish slime. To satisfy its enormous appetite, ten thousand men and women had to be delivered every evening at the onset of dark to the foot of the mountain where it lived. The misery inflicted by the dragon-tyrant was incalculable.

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