I didn't realise that. What is the evolutionary reason infinite willpower would be a bad idea then? The character was meant to have infinite willpower, but the plot I had in my mind was that they jump at the chance only to find that it was a bad idea. The character who gains it is too stupid to think of the consequences.

Was it a bad idea for a plot, then? Are there are no downsides?

What is the evolutionary reason infinite willpower would be a bad idea then?

Infinite willpower implies that you don't have to listen to what your body and your subconscious are telling you. Evolutionary speaking it's a bad idea to ignore your body telling you it's damaged and will break down soon while your mind is soaring through n-dimensional algebra.

they jump at the chance only to find that it was a bad idea. The character who gains it is too stupid to think of the consequences.

I'd just call it "stupid" :-) Alternatively you can think a... (read more)

0Protagoras7y"Willpower" is kind of a vague concept. Perhaps being able to always do what you think you ought to do? In that case, the downsides would perhaps involve problems of rationalization, or weaknesses in his reason, creating mismatches between what he thinks he ought to do and what will actually produce the best consequences. Maybe his laziness, squeamishness, and fear actually would prevent him from doing things he thinks he should do, but which actually would produce greater harm that he doesn't anticipate, or his anger, lust, etc. would motivate him to do things with beneificial consequences he doesn't anticipate, and so he ends up worse off when all that gets overridden.

More "Stupid" Questions

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read31st Jul 2013498 comments

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This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.