Well, actually in your brother's case it's quite a good idea. Not as a savings method, but as what it is - insurance.
As long as he's alive and well he can pay his own debts, they're his problem and it's his responsibility. Once something, god forbid, happens to him - the debts become the problem of his survivors (you, if he doesn't have kids, for example). His life insurance should provide the means to pay off the inherited debts.
So the point of life insurance as insurance is to make sure those who survive you have enough of what they need to continue living as they were with you. Some policies take into account injuries and work disability, so that not only when you die there are benefits, but also when you had an accident and can no longer work. Some policies are basically a combination of savings and insurance - that's the policies discussed in the investing threads.
as clarified in the comments, debts cannot be inherited per se, they will be paid off from the estate before disbursement of such. What it means though is, if the deceased had accrued significant debt, all his assets may go to the creditors leaving survivors with nothing, which may also mean homeless. That was the kind of a problem I was talking about.