RE: MWH -- a different theological deduction

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Sat Sep 06 2003 - 14:20:33 EDT

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    Hi Blake,

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: Dr. Blake Nelson []
    >Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 6:42 PM

    >Even if I assumed everything you have said is true to
    >this point, this does not follow in any logical sense.
    > The second person of the trinity and his saving
    >action in *any* universe could have a saving action in
    >all universes, even in the universe where you are an
    >atheist, etc., etc.
    >Part of the problem is that the definition of the
    >problem is about as unrigorous as it can be and still
    >generally talk about something. There are at least
    >three MWH views -- Wheelers, Everetts (where anything
    >that can happen will, presumably in a probability
    >distribution consonant with quantum mechanics), and
    >the MWH that is simply concerned about explaining away
    >the apparently finely-tuned initial conditions of the
    >universe. Not all MWHs, even according to your
    >thoughts, are equally inimical to salvation.

    I see no distinguishment of the effects of MWH theories to theology. All are
    equal theologically. Wheeler and Everett's views are almost identical, so I
    wouldn't call it a different view. Wheeler's participatory universe is only
    a slightly different formulation. But there are 3 different types of
    multiverses relevant to our issue. There is

    1. Many worlds by having our universe so big that repetion of matter
    patterns must take place.
    2. MWH by the Everett Wheeler method--the splitting of quantum realities
    3. MWH via the continuous creation of universes via inflation.

    All of these mechanisms could be true simultaneously. They are NOT
    incompatible with each other.

    >Perhaps it would help if we would define things a bit
    >Do you really believe that the "you" -- the person
    >presumably bearing your name, in an infinite number of
    >parallel universes is *you* in this universe? I
    >presume not. Not at least in any meaningful sense I
    >can think of.

    We simply don't know what consciousness is. It is conceivable that universes
    which are quantum mechanically indistinguishable are somehow conjoined. In
    quantum, two particles which are in the same state, are indistinguishable.
    Perchance two universes in the same state are the same. And that then leads
    to the idea that they might somehow be the same, until they split and go in
    two different evolutionary directions.

    >Is your concern that every possible combination of
    >events that can happen to *you* -- again, presumably
    >some person with your name and lineage -- does happen
    >in some universe?

    Define the 'you' in the above? And yes, given enough universes, it will
    repeat, by that I mean the exact same distribution of matter which by the
    way, includes the written languages.

    >It seems to me if this is your concern, this concern
    >is the same concern as the deterministic view of
    >salvation, especially in theologies of double
    >predestination -- in what sense does salvation matter
    >if some are predestined to be saved and others damned.
    > If that is true, how do hardline Calvinists, for
    >example, not recant their Calvinism and double
    >predestination and limited atonement? Isn't the
    >problem at heart the same if this is your concern?

    there are similarities in these two views, but with a difference. But with
    inflationary multiverses, there may very well not be any beginning. In that
    regard, it might very well make the unviverse eternal--meaning no creation
    and thus no creator.

    >I am honestly trying to find what problem due to any
    >version of MWH is any *different* than a variety of
    >problems that christian theology has dealt with for at
    >least two millenia.
    >If you can specify with some logical rigor what the
    >problem is and how it differs from traditional
    >concerns over salvation and damnation, maybe we can
    >talk more fruitfully about this.

    Given our past history, I doubt I could do it with 'logical rigor' which you
    would like. I am not inclined to try, given our past experience. It often
    doesn't seem fruitful time.

    >BTW, as I mentioned in an earlier response to another
    >poster, what, if anything does MWH have to do with
    >salvation or damnation? Is salvation another quantum
    >variable? If you think it is, that would probably
    >undermine any sense of talking about it theologically.

    Given that information is physical--that is, it must be contained and
    represented by physical particles, salvation must therefore also be
    physically represented--in the brain. Thus, the decision to accept or reject
    Christ is a quantum event which would fit within Everett's MWH.

    > But, as I explained in more detail in that post, I
    >sure don't see how salvation or damnation has anything
    >necessarily to do with quantum or even macro events
    >since those things are ultimately up to God who is
    >presumably "outside" of the multiverse --
    >instantiating it -- in the same way He is "outside"
    >this universe in traditional theological

    Every piece of information you possess is stored in your brain via
    particles. When you make a decision, your brain is changed. Since salvation
    is a decision, when you accept it, your brain is changed. That is a process
    which would split the world in an Everett universe. So, salvation has
    something to do with quantum. Beyond this, I can't explain it. Go read some

    >> I would grant that possibly (and I haven't thought
    >> this through) that
    >> reincarnational religions might survive. Why? They
    >> tend to believe you do
    >> it over and over until you get it right. MWH is
    >> great for them--lots of
    >> chances to do it over. :-)
    >Again, there seems to be the odd notion that someone
    >who has your name, or perhaps your genetics is *you*
    >this is an odd sort of reductionism that is not borne
    >out by most good psychological data.

    We really don't know spit about consciousness. and you simply can't rule out
    quantum indeterminancy haveing a role in that 'me' being me as well. When
    our paths diverge, that 'me' isn't me any longer.

    >Although, if Steven Pinker is right and it is all
    >genetics (oversimplification) Everett is wrong and the
    >genetically identical Glenns will all presumably adopt
    >whatever variant of christianity you have currently
    >adopted and none of them will presumably have anything
    >to worry about vis-a-vis salvation.

    Yes, but we are pretty sure it isn't all genetics. Years ago I posted a
    calculation to this board or to the old evolution list about the amount of
    information required to hardwire the brain. There is not enough information
    in the genome to provide a wiring diagram for your brain. similar genetics
    won't yield identical brains necessarily. Only if you have so many copies of
    our universe that all possibilities are exhausted do you run into this

    >This is one of a dozen areas where this becomes silly
    >and it is not only a question of interpretation but a
    >choice between interpretations. Pinker and Everett,
    >no friends of theism, would either reach different
    >conclusions or one would limit the other. the Everett
    >MWH everything that can possibly happen in accord with
    >the laws of physics happens -- Glenn takes this to
    >mean that he can be Hindu, Bahai, Aesirean, a Greek
    >pagan, a Wiccan, a follower of Ramtha, etc. in all the
    >possible universes. But, if Pinker is right, for
    >example (and there are probably thousands of examples
    >of this) his genetics determine a lot of what he
    >thinks and believes, and thus, a la Pinker Glenn, as
    >long as he is genetically Glenn, will always be
    >whatever the heck Glenn is because it is genetically

    Pinker is wrong. simply put. There isn't enough information to provide a
    wiring diagrem for the brain in the genome. Genetics is not everything.

    >Well, if Pinker is right, Glenn is wrong about an
    >infinite number of Wiccan and atheist Glenns, because
    >Glenn, according to genetic determinism can only be
    >whatever christian denomination Glenn is... If Everett
    >accepts Pinker's genetics to circumscribe the laws of
    >physics, even Everett would have to concede that all
    >Glenns are saved, presuming that this Glenn is saved.
    >Do you see how ludicrous and speculative this is?

    No, I see that you don't understand the issue.

    >Ah, but if the above is true, we are back on the horns
    >of determinism vs. freewill that is the typical
    >theological problem. Indeed, it is exactly that
    >theological problem that the MWH simply recasts and
    >indeed, the MWH that explains quantum indeterminancy
    >by saying that all quantum outcomes are realized
    >(which is different as I understand from Everetts all
    >things consistent wiht the laws of physics will occur
    >since Everett's statement is broader). Then we simply
    >have a classically deterministic multiverse that
    >leaves us explaining how God can have a salvific act
    >in a deterministic universe.
    >Again, if you can define the problem to show me my
    >ignorance (and heaven knows I have a lot of it), I may
    >see your point, but for the life of me, as hard as I
    >try, I cannot see that Glenn's point provides any
    >different problem for theology or is anyway more
    >problematic for the postulate of God.
    >BTW No. 2, neither of the quantum computer experiments
    >that Glenn thinks potentially dispositive of the MWH
    >theory distinguish between Everett's and Wheeler's
    >version of the MWH and even possibly several other MWH
    >possibilities. So, even if Everetts were antithetical
    >to religious belief -- and so far no one has explained
    >to me how it really is -- the quantum computer
    >experiments do not distinguish between the two and one
    >is left with the same problem.

    Once again, Everett's and Wheeler's views are very similar. BTW, Wheeler
    later rejected MWH for having too much metaphysical baggage.

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