Re: I am not meant for your religion

From: George Levy <>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 14:57:26 -0800

I am sorry to see Tim leave. We certainly need a multi-sided discussion
and some of his latest post were interesting in his challenge of the
concept of Quantum Suicide. However he did not convince me he was right
- I remain an agnostic - and quitting in the middle of a good discussion
is poor sport.
What he calls a "weird religious cult" may be construed as a logical
extension of Tegmark's experiment. If Quantum Theory and the Many World
Interpretation is to be taken seriously then we must face the issue
raised by Tegmark experiment. In fact this issue and more generally,
Quantum Decision may become one of the most important moral issues of
the 21 Century or even of the third millenium. If he believes that
Tegmark's experiment does not raise any issue, then let's discuss it. He
may be right and if he comes out with a good argument I'll be delighted!
I hope that our continued discussion will help us clarify some of our

Wei has introduced the concept of "utility," "global optimization" and
"local optimization" which I find interesting. These, in a sense,
unifies QS with euthanasia, with normal death by old age and with
continued living. These ways of living and dying are identical except
that they differ by the utility function that we apply to the wave
function. I hope that our discussion will continue along this line and
clarify some of our ideas.


Tim May wrote:

> In looking over the traffic, the archives, and the responses I have
> gotten, it's clear that I mistook this list for a place where some of
> the Healey/Moravec/Egan/Tegmark/etc. ideas of an ensemble view of the
> universe, with "all topologies models" and "all variants of theorems"
> sorts of metamathematics ideas might be discussed. I didn't expect my
> own special interest, which is more along the lines of toposes,
> lattices, logic, and math, would be the mainstream, of course.
> But I also didn't expect to find a weird religious cult, with
> trappings of quantum suicide, roulette ideas takens seriously, and
> acausal notions about how one should act. Not to mention the grab-bag
> of weird cosmologies with no support offered, the theories of physics
> with no backing, the claims that anyone criticizing these models must
> be part of the corrupt establishment, and so on.
> Enough. You folks don't like my stuff and I don't like your religion
> about killing yourself and others in order to "perfect" the
> Multiverse. I learned more about causal decision theory, but then
> learned that it's all wrong, that one should do things which are
> counter to one's own interests so as to perfect the Multiverse.
> And I heard about the suicide machines, the arguments for and against
> euthanasia, and the bizarre ideas about making the Multiverse more
> perfect (for whom?) by taking Moravec's and Tegmark's whimsies seriously.
> I will say this, you guys will make for some great characters in some
> future "Star Trek" movie, the one where a cult of Multiversians is
> setting off special weapons to destroy universes which fail to be
> perfect in various ways.
> I'll miss some tidbits of math I discussed with some of you, but I
> won't miss the rest.
> Until we meet in another reality,
> --Tim May
Received on Wed Jan 15 2003 - 18:00:55 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:08 PST