Friday, August 12, 2011

Post of the Moment: Unfalsifiable Philosophies

Many worlds hypothesis:

The notion that the universe can branch off into separate autonomous universes giving rise to some sort of multiverse. The most common and most plausible variant of this is the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics in which every quantum mechanically possible outcome occurs in its own universe instead of a wavefunction collapse in just a single universe.

The latter of these is probably the most interesting for the rather spectacular way in which it undermines the efforts of antinatalists and other would be good-doers. Implicit in many discussions of morality is an idea of causality that can't be proven. Typically, one thinks in terms of cause and effect but in the MWI case we may have a single cause that can be linked with many mutually exclusive possibilities had these occurred in a single universe. The result of this is that statements like "if I shoot someone, they will die" are no longer meaningful. Rather, it's "if I shoot someone, they will both live and die no matter how good a marksman I am or how I shoot them with what etc." The notion of free will likewise becomes incoherent for then people no longer have the option to choose between two alternatives as both end up occurring regardless.-Suicide Treatise: Unfalsifiable philosophies

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