Re: Need Clarification on MW

From: <>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 08:36:37 -0800

Fritz Griffith, <>, asks about the Doomsday
argument. I suggest looking at,
a whole web site on this topic, by Nick Bostrom. We have had some
discussion here, and I think the result was that in an all-universe model
the argument loses its strength because you are more likely to be in a
universe which has an infinite future than one with a limited future,
and this effect exactly counterbalances the reasons the Doomsday argument
gave for believing in a limited future.

> Second question: when people talk about the quantum suicide experiment, they
> talk about it as though only one universe, or only the likely ones, are
> real. For example, some people say that the only thing stopping them from
> committing quantum suicide is that they'll be leaving behind loved ones in
> the universe in which they did die. But if every universe is real, then it
> doesn't matter, because that universe will exist whether they commit quantum
> suicide or not. It sounds like they are assuming that only two worlds are
> real: the one in which they leave behind loved ones, and the one in which
> they still survive. What is the right way to look at this?

In a MW or all-universe model, all your decisions can do is to change
the percentage of people-like-you who do certain things, or equivalently
the percentage of universes in which people-like-you have taken various

If you adopt a policy of quantum suicide, you increase the percentage
of universes in which you have killed yourself. This means that you
increase the percentage of universes in which your loved ones are unhappy
because they are separated from you. I think this is the problem which
prevents some believers in QS from taking action.

Received on Tue Dec 07 1999 - 08:40:15 PST

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