From: Sarah Berel-Harrop (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Sep 06 2003 - 12:58:48 EDT
----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn Morton" <email@example.com>
To: "Howard J. Van Till" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2003 11:30 AM
Subject: RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap
> Hi Howard,
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Howard J. Van Till [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> >Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 7:09 AM
> >Hi Glenn, a couple of comments.
> >1. I would not credit the MWH or any other scientific theory or
> >metascientific world-picture with the ability to be a "religion killer."
> >Such theorizing may affect the way in which we articulate our religious
> >beliefs, but cannot, by itself, annihilate religion categorically.
> As I mentioned to Blake, I do need to modify this claim. Reincarnational
> religions could survive.
How does that work? Sounds like endless samsara. Whereas,
Hinduism and Buddhism generally both postulate an eventual end to
samsara, whether it is a return to oneness or finally becoming "blown-out".
You are not said to just reincarnate forever.
Although strictly speaking, Buddhism is not a reincarnational religion,
most sects. Seems to me if it is a "religion-killer" it is not just
I am inclined to agree with Blake though that whether or not it is
a "religion-killer" depends on the level of determinism accompanying
the approach. (Although I find it really, really hard to believe that
takes a hard-line deterministic approach. I mean, what's the point
of criticizing people for saying you take a position that you didn't
really take.) Aren't quantum processes stochastic, as opposed to
strictly deterministic, just like many biological processes? Or are
you saying with so many worlds, probablility = 1 that there will
be a doppelganger? How can the quantum states be *absolutely*
identical and still yield Howard the athiest in the other universe?
And, I fail to see how the question is substantively different from
people across unnavigable oceans on this earth, & SETI in this
Following up on Blake's comment,
I also think that once you are taking determinism that far, you've
elevated a useful metaphor, a tool, to the level of fact. I don't
think that is supportable. Determinism is a simplifying assumption,
it is not the way the world works. See, for example, _Triple Helix_,
(Lewontin) p.3 - 4 for an articulation of this view:
"Indeed, the entire body of modern science rests on Descarte's metaphor
of the world as a machine ...
"While we cannot dispense with metaphors in thinking about nature, there
is a great risk of confusing the metaphor with the thing of real interest.
cease to see the world _as if_ it were _like_ a machine and take it to _be_
a machine." (emphasis in the original)
> But I see no way christianity could survive such a
> view. Everyone is saved, everyone is lost. Doesn't seem real meaningful to
> do that to Christianity. Remember that objects in identical quantum
> which is what many of these universes would be, are indistinguishable.
> your comment below might be questioned.
> >2. If there is another universe with sentient, morally-conscious
> >in it, _my_ identity would not be affected. Even if there were another
> >creature that was atom for atom identical to me structurally, it would
> >be "me." I have not the slightest concern about there being a duplicate
> >Glenn or Howard in any other universe, certainly not for reasons of
> >confusion about our eternal destinies.
> If there are universes in identical quantum states, they and your identity
> are indistinguishable. Since we have a very poor idea of what
> is, how it arises, or even what its nature is, we couldn't say we aren't
> 'living' in both universes, up till the time of the splitting of the
> universes suggested by Everett which then makes both universes
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