Re: middle way

From: Jacques M. Mallah <>
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 22:11:10 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 22 Nov 1999, Higgo James wrote:
> Calling all everythingers!
> Comments, please, on the following piece for inclusion in the Journal of the
> Buddhist society. Notification of any actual inaccuracies will be especially
> welcome.

        Ok. I'll help point out some errors.
        'Logical positivism' predates Copenhagen.
        Henry Stapp is a crackpot, not a respectable physicist.
        Whether time is an objective feature of reality or not is
debateable; there is no concensus that it isn't.
        Everett's MWI does not imply that nothing is objective; it assumes
an objective reality with a wavefunction that evolves over time.
        Your description of 'decoherence' is a big oversimplification.
        Everett's MWI has nothing to do with Plank times. "Unmoving
snapshot" is an idea from Deutsch, not Everett. Deutsch, in presenting
this idea as "the quantum notion of time", FLAT OUT LIED. It's his notion
of time based on quantum GRAVITY.
        If "various polls of leading physicists have concluded that, when
pressed for an answer, more believe MWI than anything else", I would like
to see the results of those polls myself. Reference, please.
        You say that the MWI gives the same results as Copenhagen. That
has not been proven; as you know my CWIA is an attempt in that direction.
'Not been proven' goes double for saying the AUH gives the same results.
        You need to make a clearer distinction between Everett's MWI and
the AUH of Tegmark et al.
        For that matter, many of us on this list, including me, lay claim
to inventing a version of the AUH. I do not think attributing it to just
Tegmark, Marchal and Schmidhuber is fair.
        The christian god is logically impossible and therefore does not
exist in any universe.
        "Everything is true" is false. 1+1 =/= 3.
        When you say "As the Buddha taught, individual things neither
exist, nor do not exist. The three signs of being, the characteristics
common to all life, are impermanence, suffering, and an absence of a
soul" you've lost me completely. In the AUH, all things do exist, and
don't not exist. And some beings, of course, do not suffer.
        In fact the paper really goes downhill from there. Just about all
the rest of it makes little sense. Consider:
"The absurdity of attachments becomes clear. Ignorance and being are
ended; the events of warmth, loving kindness and compassion exist."
        That makes no sense. "Absurdity", of course, is in the eye of the
beholder; if my utilty function would be high if my computational
continuations observe things that we could describe as "they seem to have
a lot of material possessions", why, the AUH has nothing to say on the
subject. Likewise, there is nothing in it to argue for kindness. And
of course, merely knowing the AUH to be true would hardly make a dent in
one's ignorance.
        "Perhaps Western science could be assimilated by Buddhism, and
Buddhism could be absorbed by science. Such a process would give back to
the West a basis for morality."

                         - - - - - - -
              Jacques Mallah (
       Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
            My URL:
Received on Sat Nov 27 1999 - 19:12:29 PST

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