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Many Worlds Interpretation justifies Selfishness

  1. Feb 24, 2005 #1
    I wasn't sure where to put this thread because it is about moral philosophy but depends on your understanding of quantum mechanics. I'll try to keep quantum mechanics out of it and just explain what results from the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of what's happening in quantum mechanics (QM).
    I have to admit that I don't know very much about QM or the MWI so if I am wrong about anything I say about them, please correct me.

    MWI states that whenever there are possibilities, all of them happen and the universe branches from it's current one into all possible new ones. We are only in one of these universes. I could say that we're in one where you choose to read this and another one exists where you didn't read this. But it isn't just every choice you make that branches, but every single particle that moves. There are MANY particles with MANY places to move per "frame" of the universe. What I'm trying to say is that every second there are an unimaginable amount of universes which are increasing exponentially. Since the universe started however long ago, there are virtually (if not literally) an infinite amount of universes where everything possible to happen did happen.

    Here's the Value Theory part. Do I care about people in other universes? Let's assume I should. If everything possible to happen, does happen, then if I punch you in the face, I can say that I didn't in other universes. I can't even say that because I punched you in the face in this universe there was one more person punched in the face in all universes combined because I am just following the branch of a universe I chose (if we have choice). So now I can't change the "value of the universe" for the better or worse so I might as well do stuff that benifits me and have no cares whatsoever for anyone else.

    The same thing could be said about an infinitely big universe or with branching universes from time travel.

    I don't really have a question, but am just trying to start conversation, I guess.

    BTW: You could say that morals no longer matter in these cases. If you believe in God you could use His existance to say that He wouldn't create this type of "multiverse" and say MWI, infinitely big universes, and branch-style time travel don't exist. But what if we had evidence for them? Does proving morals don't exist disprove God? I think most athiest still believe in morals, but this might be a direction to look into as proof against the existance of God.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2005 #2
    Why bring many worlds into it? Just say you are in the only world, which is deterministic, and all your actions are determined so you can't change the value of the universe in that case either. Fact is that your choice determines the value of the universe; if you choose to do harm, the value of the universe is worse, and if you choose not to do harm, the value of the universe is better. If everyone adopted your view on things, the universe would take a turn for the worse (as measured by most judgments of human value).
  4. Feb 25, 2005 #3
    I don't know whether MWI is write or wrong or even believe in or am against it. I also didn't bring it in to say that the good in the universe can be changed, but that it couldn't be changed.
  5. Feb 25, 2005 #4
    I know that; I think you have misinterpreted me.
  6. Feb 25, 2005 #5
    You're right, I did misinterpret what you said. I guess you might be able to add a deterministic universe to the other three universes that would have no morals. What I don't understand is when you said:
  7. Feb 25, 2005 #6
    And if I don't punch you in the face, then there is certainly a universe wherein I did. So what? The concept of freedom of choice (which is really just the concept of being held accountable for your actions) already relies on the fact that you could have done such-and-such, but instead did such-and-such.
  8. Feb 25, 2005 #7
    If people adopted your view on things, then they would have no reason not to commit random acts of cruelty, so people would be worse off.
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