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In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry Potter plans to use the Philosopher's Stone to guarantee immortality for everyone. (Yes, ambitious goal, dreams are free, etc etc...)

Obviously, things are a bit different from HPMOR to Harry Potter canon, where: Spoiler! If you are planning to read HPMOR (and you should), DO NOT read the spoiler.

Nicholas Flamel is not an immoral transgender liar who claimed that the ancient relic (the Philosopher's Stone) was actually made (not stolen from the previous owner), thus shutting out billions of people from immortality.

In the original Harry Potter universe, why didn't Flamel make more than one stone? He already knew how to do it and he had done it before, why didn't he make more stones so that everyone else could benefit?

Surely a 'good' wizard—companion of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Order of Merlin (first class), Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Grand Sorcerer, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, re-discoverer of the fabled Twelve Uses of Dragon Blood—would be concerned about everyone?


Note: not a duplicate of Why was there only one Sorcerer's Stone?, as that question is asking:

'Why did only Flamel make a Philosopher's Stone' (eg why didn't someone else make one)

while this question is asking:

'Why did Flamel make only one Philosopher's Stone' (eg why didn't Flamel make more than one stone).

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    Maybe he used all the available Unobtainium to make one? (The process of making has to involve a really, really rare substance!) – Ghanima Dec 2 '15 at 22:13
  • Speculation - could be a 'with great power comes great responsibility' kind of thing. The deal with the stone is that it is used to make the Elixir of Life - which he created a ton of apparently (probably gold too). It is shown that only the truly evil seek after immortality (ie Voldemort) – NKCampbell Dec 2 '15 at 22:21
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    As Dumbledore said: "You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them." – Harry Johnston Dec 3 '15 at 0:05
  • Speculation - but it is exceedingly common, that objects of great value have a price attached. Maybe there was a price for anyone using the elixir, like inability to have children (often a price for immortality in stories), or fatal dependency (death of someone doesn't keep taking it, even during their natural lifespan). Maybe there was a price for creating the stone that was unacceptable, people dying either intentionally (human sacrifice, maybe condemned criminals or war prisoners or volunteers if they were moral-for-times) or accidentally (explosion, local crop failures, earthquakes). – Megha Dec 3 '15 at 10:52
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Most people don't think they want to live forever, and don't think that other people really want to live forever.

In most literature (and stories, prior to writing) those who seek immortality find only tragedy. Most people would look at someone seeking the Stone and say, "They're greedy, and not good people."

We don't know why or how Flamel created the Stone, nor do we know if it can heal (as opposed to simply producing an elixir which extends your life). Flamel was obviously (given his agreement to destroy the stone) of the opinion that eternal life was NOT necessarily a good thing.

I, personally, agree with Harry from HPMOR (and the creator of that story, Eliezer Yudkowsky) that eternal life for everyone would be a good thing. Flamel, however, didn't. He thought it was better for people to eventually die than to live.

Presumably, the process to create a stone was one that required great precision and/or expensive/rare materials. I would presume that, were it reasonable to do so, each government would produce at least one Stone for their own use. The fact that no government is known to have done so indicates that the creation process is so difficult that only a scant few people could do it successfully, or that the materials are so rare as to be nigh-impossible to obtain.

So there's a few possible reasons Flamel would have not created more:

  • He's evil. The power MUST be his and his alone.
  • He can't. The process requires ingredients or rare circumstances that can't be brought about again.
  • He doesn't think it's a good idea.
  • The idea never occurred to him.
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    Another possibility would be that he's "good" - and that the ingredients to produce the stone are not rare, but unethical. "Sacrifice your greatest love", "Suck the life out of 100 people", etc (like the immortality elixir in babylon 5). That would also explain why there isn't a recipe: To avoid "evil" wizards to try it / sacrifice others. – Katai Mar 30 '16 at 10:10
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It makes little sense to create more than one

The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Philosopher's Stone, a legendary substance with astonishing powers. The Stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal.

The quote above (emphasis mine) highlights the two properties of the stone, notice that the stone produces the Elixir of Life it does not directly (through ownership) make a person immortal.

He could have easily produced more Elixir than he needed and either given it away or sold it without the need of creating another stone. That way he is in control of the source of the Elixir meaning he is able to:

Stop anyone using immortality for malevolent purposes (through the stopping of production) or he could sell it on whilst still keeping a monopoly.

So the answer to "Why didn't he create more than one stone?" Is that he didn't need to. The answer to "Why didn't he give more people the elixir?" Who knows.

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I actually believe that Flamel could have made another stone, if he chose to do so. As another answer states, he didn't really need to, because he could make as much Elixir as he needed with the one he had.

As for why he didn't widely distribute the Elixir, I have a theory. I believe that he was performing an experiment on himself, determining if longevity was really worthwhile. Instead, he found that he became very reliant on the Elixir; it didn't seem to preserve him in a younger state, or at least not permanently. Note that Dumbledore says "They have enough Elixir stored to set their affairs in order and then, yes, they will die." Had he and his wife stayed in a perpetually middle-aged body (or however old he was when he made the stone) they would have plenty of time to set their affairs in order without the Elixir. Also, I imagine that he had become rather bored with his everlasting life, especially if he was trapped in a body that couldn't fully enjoy it. As Dumbledore says a moment later "to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." There wasn't really much left for the Flamels in the world of the living, and probably hadn't been for a hundred years. It seems that they either didn't have children (perhaps a side effect of the Elixir?) or they didn't share the Elixir with them, or they would have been mentioned as well. They probably found it increasingly difficult to relate to the world around them, since everyone would have seemed like children to them. I almost wonder if they had felt ready to abandon the Elixir before then, but felt obligated to stick with it until finally presented with a better reason to stop taking it. While it may have taken some persuading on Dumbledore's part, he tells Harry that Flamel "agreed it's [destroying the Stone] all for the best." He has seen his experiment through, and determined that the Stone isn't something that the world actually needs.

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Because it would have utterly destroyed the world economy, and he was smart enough to know that:

The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Philosopher's Stone, a legendary substance with astonishing powers. The Stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal.

It might be possible in today's world to release it - we're not quite so tied to gold now - but Flamel was born hundreds of years ago, when gold was a direct currency.

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    Or perhaps the economy would have shifted to something else as a measure of value that cannot be mass-produced, such as art, or intellect... – user32390 Dec 2 '15 at 22:47
  • @MathiasFoster: In time, but the immediate impact would have caused massive death, and would have been fought and opposed by those who were currently in control and valued gold. – Dan Smolinske Dec 2 '15 at 22:53
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    "Economics" as a field of study didn't really exist back then, why should we expect a 14th century wizard would understand the effects on the "world economy" of a sudden influx of gold? – Hypnosifl Dec 3 '15 at 2:28
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    Economics as a field of study may not have existed, but that doesn't prevent someone from coming to rational conclusions about questions of economics. – Matt Gutting Dec 3 '15 at 3:52

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