Re: FIN too

From: Fred Chen <>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 22:10:44 -0700

Hal, Charles, I think this is an unavoidable part of the QTI or FIN debate.
It seems that with QTI, you could only be entering white rabbit
(magical-type) universes, not continue in probable ones.

But in general I have a more fundamental objection (to quantum immortality).
In QM, not all quantum states are possible for a given situation. For
example, an electron orbiting a proton can only occupy certain energy
states, not arbitrary ones. The energy states in between are forbidden; an
electron cannot be measured and found to be in one of these forbidden
states. So I do not see why immortality is allowed by QM from our universe
if physical mechanisms generally ban it. Survival seems to me (and I guess
most people) a forbidden state in the situations where death is certain.


----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 9:27 PM
Subject: RE: FIN too

> Charles Goodwin, <>, writes:
> > Another question is what happens in cases of very violent death,
> > e.g. beheading. After someone's head is cut off, so they say, it remains
> > conscious for a few seconds (I can't see why it wouldn't). According to
> > QTI it experiences being decapitated but then survives indefinitely -
> > somehow . . . well, I'd like to hear what QTI supporters think happens
> > next (from the pov of the victim). Are they magically translated into
> > a non-decapitated version of themselves, and if so, how? Surely it can't
> > be in the same quantum state that they're in? If not, do they experience
> > indefinitely continued survival as a severed head, or . . . what??? Just
> > curious!
> The answer is very simple. The future that is experienced is the least
> unlikely that allows for continuation of consciousness. (More precisely,
> the probability distribution over those futures where you are still
> alive determines the relative probability of experience given that you
> find yourself alive, a tautology.)
> So, your head has been cut off and clunk, you fall on the ground,
> getting a nasty knock on the head, not to mention the neck soreness and
> missing body. How could you survive? There are several alternatives.
> It is possible that entropy ceases to operate in your brain, and that
> you continue to think despite the loss of blood flow. This however would
> be an astronomically unlikely future.
> More likely, aliens or supernatural intelligences of some sort would
> intervene to keep you alive. Alternatively, it would turn out that
> you were playing a futuristic video game where you had temporarily
> blanked out your memory to make it more realistic. Then next thing
> you see is "Game Over".
> These possibilities makes most sense if you consider the set of all
> physical systems where you have the same mental state, rather than
> just the systems which are part of your corner of the QM multiverse.
> There are universes where aliens are monitoring the earth, unknown to
> its inhabitants, and the mental states of residents of earth in such
> universes will be identical to the states of people in some other
> universes without aliens.
> When you find yourself with head chopped off, you don't know which
> class of universe you are in. I would argue that there is no "fact
> of the matter" about it (this is our old argument about whether
> your consciousness is tied to a specific instance of the many which
> instantiate it). Hence you will experience the most likely continuation
> which is consistent with your mental experiences in any branch of the
> QM universe which could produce that experience.
> I think we all agree with the objective facts of the situation here.
> For any observer moment there exist other observer moments which are
> subjectively in its future (equivalently, for which it is subjectively
> in the past). The question is whether to interpret this fact as meaning
> continued survival. Ultimately that is a matter of definitions.
> Hal Finney
Received on Fri Sep 07 2001 - 22:18:39 PDT

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