From: Dr. Blake Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Sep 07 2003 - 10:31:24 EDT
--- Glenn Morton <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi Blake, you wrote:
> You are mixing different MWH's. In Everett's
> version, the MWH's become
> immediately distinguishable, being in different
> quantum states. In Inflation
> and in Tegmark's level one, they are
> indistinguishable until something
> happens in their histories which differentiates
Such as you deciding to be a Wiccan or a christian --
assuming that this choice is in any way a quantum
event -- which I think there is very good reason to
believe that it is not.
Here is one of many areas where you are betting sort
of taking credit for the future -- you are assuming
that all phenomena are reducible to quantum phenomena
-- which is very unlikely to be true since the vast
majority of what happens does not have a quantum
component and I doubt whether you are Christian or
Wiccan is a quantum event.
Even if it were, as soon as you make the choice, the
universes are differentiated and the you in one and
the other are not in any classical sense the same you.
> Who is to
> >say that the salvific action of God vis-a-vis one
> >you, when all the infinite "yous" are reconciled
> >not saved by the saving action of Jesus in this
> >universe and your response to it? As I said, you
> >could just as easily, under the Everett MWH, say
> >everyone is saved, because someone gets it right in
> >some universe.
> Then all the atheists in this world are saved by
> their counter selves in
> other universes and thus it really doesn't matter
> what we believe because we
> are all going to be saved. Sarcastic mode on: Yup
> that sounds like classic
> Christianity! Sarcastic mode off.
You have just bundled a bunch of conclusions with
omitting the logical predicates. Assuming that all
yous are entangled and indistinguishable in some way
that has not been specified since once you make a
choice to believe one thing or another you are, even
under these quantum theories *different* people. How
when different outcomes have been realized can you say
that the two yous are the same?
even if they are, how can you assert that the you who
is saved and saves the others then makes salvation
arbitrary. It seems to me that this is analogous the
argument that people make about God knowing the future
making your or my salvation arbitrary. Just because
it is bound to happen in some universe does not make
the fact that it happened arbitrary. Indeed,
salvation if I were to accept your definition is
always arbitrary from any protestant perspective
because it is God's grace that does it, not us. So,
your argument, if I were to accept it, seems to
virtually damn all of protestant theology. Yet,
protestant theology, continues to exist even though
you apparently think it makes salvation arbitrary. As
I have said, you see this most clearly in strong
Calvinism with limited atonement, irresistible grace,
etc. I don't see how, from your standpoint, you can
get any more "arbitrary" in strong Calvinism. My
point is that I don't think Calvinists would view that
saving action as arbitrary, and I don't think you can
claim that MWH would make salvation arbitrary either.
This also gets into theological questions, which you
haven't adequately addressed, about what salvation
means. Salvation is not a physical thing, a quantum
state, etc. unless you have some insight that I don't.
Likewise, as I have noted, you seem to be profligate
with being able to say what salvation is and isn't.
Do you really believe that no atheists who die as
atheists are capable of salvation? What laws of
physics determine that? If there aren't laws of
physics that determing that, what effect does MWH have
I am not making any particular theological assertion
about the mystery of salvation, but it seems to me
that you apparently have some clear cut, "arbitrary",
approach to it that you haven't specified. Certainly,
for example, the Anglicans don't hold as dogma that
all non-Christians are damned. The CofE's The Mystery
of Salvation: The Story of God's Gift: A Report
by Doctrine Commission of the General Synod of the
Church of England, Doctrine Commission of the Church
of England, might be a good place to start for
thinking critically about what salvation means and
*whether* any particular variant of MWH has *any*
bearing on it.
In case you may have missed it, nothing you have said
in any way makes, from my perspective, a logical case
that it does.
> >Now, this certainly does not make anything
> >or random -- it seems to me that it even makes the
> >idea of all the universe being redeemed through
> >even more accurate, because, inter alia, it
> >the old chestnut that atheists and agnostics like
> >throw out about being able to convert to
> >being an accident of birth that has been denied
> >people in history, since everyone does
> >have the opportunity and indeed does become saved
> >under the extremely extravagant claims of a maximal
> >Everett MWH hypothesis.
> Yes, it does that at the expense of any need to
> believe anything. If I am an
> evil cruel rapist, I am still saved in your view
> above. Your view sounds out
> of whack with traditional christianity.
1) I have not expressed a particular view about
salvation. There are many. You have not provided a
definition of salvation. It is your theological basis
for making assertions about MWH that are lacking.
2) It is traditional christianity that the axe
murderer who repents is saved. If you are the same
you -- as you have profigately posited -- in the
universe where you are an axe murderer and the
universe where you are christian, *you* have repented
and therefore will be saved.
If the two *yous* are different, then you are two
different people and one may be saved and the other
may not. (Again, depending on your theological
understanding of salvation).
3) Can I once again point out that being an axe
murderer or not being an axe murderer are not
different quantum choices and may not be quantum
choices at all?
4) I am amazed that you can differentiate between the
axe murderer you and the christian you when previously
you have suggested that these are indistinguishable
quantum states and God cannot distinguish between such
quantum states which puts limits on God that
apparently you don't have. It seems odd that you
would be more "omnipotent" than God. ;) But, if you
can distinguish between the different yous, God
5) Nothing I have written saves anyone the expense of
dealing with the consequences of their actions or the
nature of their beliefs. I am not sure what you are
trying to say that forward the argument with this. If
you are saying that some versions of MWH create a
deterministic multiverse, then, inter alia, you have
many problems, none of which are a challenge to some
variants of very traditional christian theology. If,
the multi-universe is deterministic:
a) no one has any freewill so being a professing
christian or not (which I take it is what you mean by
salvation) is not a real choice, but arbitrary and
therefore religion is bunk. Congratulations, this
argument has been around since before christianity and
was ascendant through the 19th century. Determinism
is embraced by some protestant theologies, including
variants of Calvinism where it represents God's
sovereignty. No christianity killer.;
b) assuming maximal determinism exists, as CS Lewis,
and non-theists alike, have pointed out, there is no
reason to believe anything we think is true is *in
fact* true, including MWH;
c) grace, in traditional protestant theology, is
never earned or an action on our part, it is God's
action. I guess based on your argument that makes all
of protestantism meaningless because there are no
consequences for our belief, which comes from God. Of
course, this is not true and only in the most facile
understanding of protestant theology can it be true.
6) you still have not addressed even Everett's
limitations that all worlds must be *consistent with
the laws of physics* It may not be consistent that
you can be, given your genetic makeup, an axe murderer
and a professing christian. You don't know. We don't
know. This qualification makes any speculation
complete and utterly impractical because we do not
have an exhaustive description of the laws of physics
and the laws of physics we do have are at best
approximations to the *real* laws of physics. Thus,
to say that you can both be a pagan sacrificer of
babies to Molech and a christian in different parallel
universes is utterly without basis since you don't
know whether your religious choices are limited by the
laws of physics, which takes us to the classical
determinism problem noted above.
7) You confound utterly quantum events with
macroscopic events. You have no basis for asserting
that lots of these things are quantum events. I have
gone around this before, but you seem to ignore the
limiter and will not repeat it here.
8) Even so, even giving you everything you seek to
claim for MWH, you fail to define the theological
problem in a way that tells me that salvation is
random based on *any* traditional christian view of
I think the problem here is not in science but in the
understanding of theology of salvation. If you want
to define your theology of salvation to explain how it
fits into your view on various MWHs, we can perhaps
see if the theologically astute on the list agree with
your premises and conclusions.
So far, I see no reason to agree with either.
> >Please explain to me how your being a Wiccan and
> >being a Christian can be identical quantum states.
> They are not in identical quantum states. Once
> again you are mixing your
Then there is no problem for salvation, you are
> >Please also explain to me how God cannot
> >between the different yous.
> Quantum indeterminancy! If an inflationary pocket
> universe has an identical
> history as ours, then there will be two identical
> me's. But at some point in
> history lets assume that that fellow decides to kill
> a cop on the street
> corner and I, in this universe don't. At that point
> we are distinguishable.
> Up until that point we weren't.
Well, the saved continue to sin after salvation.
But, you have just said the two of you are
distinguishable, assuming salvation or damnation
ultimately come to fruition after this life and the
two of you are now different, there seems to be no
problem for God.
BTW, this also apparently gets into the question of
God's foreknowledge, which has been dealt with widely
by theologians, as I am sure you are aware. Your MWH
possibility does not seem different than that to me.
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