One of the Most Difficult Philosophical Questions – Vampire Paradox

Certainly one of the most difficult philosophical questions in thought experiments has been that of the “vampire paradox”.  As with every member of the important list of simple paradoxes, this one warrants further discussion.

This is no doubt that part of the overall human condition is to suffer from major blind spots in our personal philosophies. Every single person on the planet possesses this selective mental blindness in our thought processes – although some of us have bigger ones than other people.

Of course, the major cause of this selective omission is the fact that we resist change. It is damn hard and terrifying to move from our comfort zones into unfamiliar territory. None of us like this dilemma, but it is an inevitable aspect of life.

Interesting Short Paradoxes

most difficult philosophical questionsHowever, the very worst part of the change process is the dread itself. This is where we imagine things will be much worse than they ever are. Isn’t it interesting how often times we manage to conjure up the worst fears of life in our own minds?

Emerson was wise enough to not only acknowledge this inclination of a human being but offered up a cause for it as well: “People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.” 

Is This Considered One of the Paradoxes of Everyday Life?

The interesting part of the vampire paradox is that it challenges us to imagine a huge transformation. The only problem is that we are poorly equipped to comprehend or imagine the amplitude of such a transformation. Ironically, we need to keep challenging ourselves to move past the failure of our imagination if we ever hope to benefit from this thought experiment.

The vampire paradox was first initiated by L.A. Paul. Here is the basic line of thinking:

If you have a chance to be transformed into a vampire, and were bestowed with all of the superpowers that vampires have – such as immortality – and you could do it painlessly, would you do it? Of course, such a transformation would mean leaving your human existence, giving up your life, and your loved ones.

L.A. Paul added further in regards to her assessment of the vampire paradox:

“The trouble is, in this situation, how could you possibly make an informed choice? For, after all, you cannot know what it is like to be a vampire until you are one. And if you can’t know what it’s like to be a vampire without becoming one, you can’t compare the character of the lived experience of what it is like to be you, right now, a mere human, to the character of the lived experience of what it would be like to be a vampire. This means that, if you want to make this choice by considering what you want your lived experience to be like in the future, you can’t do it rationally. At least, you can’t do it by weighing the competing options concerning what it would be like and choosing on this basis. And it seems awfully suspect to rely solely on the testimony of your vampire friends to make your choice, because, after all, they aren’t human anymore, so their preferences are the ones vampires have, not the ones humans have.”


When you evaluate the change required for a human to become a vampire, and you consider how strong the human nature is to resist such a change, it is easy to consider the vampire paradox as one of the most difficult philosophical questions.