242 An Introduction to Immortalist Morality VALUING INFINITE LIFETIME The first stage of the argument follows from the fact that the continuation of our lives requires effort, both individually and on the social level. The continuation of human life is not guaranteed. There are basic survival requirements. Humans need air, water, food and shelter at an absolute minimum. We have to take actions on an on-going basis to ensure sur- vival. Staying alive takes work! At any moment sentient beings have choices. Some of the choices we make will harm our chances of survival. Other choices will enhance our survival prospects. Since life is better than death, it follows that the choices that harm survival prospects are bad, and the choices that enhance survival prospects are good. It  is  clear,  however,  that  simply  focusing  on  our  own short-term  survival  hardly  leads  to  other  ethical  behavior. For instance, we could steal someone’s wallet. If there was a lot of money in it, it might enhance our own short-term survival prospects greatly, but few people would regard this as moral behavior. But  why  should  our  goal  simply  be  short-term  survival? For the example of stealing someone’s wallet, such behavior may help the thief in the short-term, but could it be that in the long run such behavior actually reduces survival prospects? Imagine if everyone lived in a barbaric way, trying to take advantage of everyone else. In the distant past social life was closer to this. Small tribes spent their time fighting with other tribes - rape and pillage were the preferred modus operandi. This pre-civilized state has come to be known as ‘Hobbesian’ after the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes. What Hobbes pointed out was that it would actually be to everyone’s  long-term  advantage  to  accept  some  limitations on  their  behavior.  The  idea  was  that  people  could  always hurt each other if they were determined enough. If A hurt B,