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Quantum Immortality and Quantum Suicide: Some Unsettling Implications

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posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 11:17 PM
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So-called quantum suicide is a thought experiment based on the philosophical possibilities presented by quantum mecahnics. A brief summary:


­­A man sits down before a gun, which is pointed at his head. This is no ordinary gun; i­t's rigged to a machine that measures the spin of a quantum particle. Each time the trigger is pulled, the spin of the quantum particle -- or quark -- is measured. Depending on the measurement, the gun will either fire, or it won't. If the quantum particle is measured as spinning in a clockwise motion, the gun will fire. If the quark is spinning counterclockwise, the gun won't go off. There'll only be a click.

Nervously, the man takes a breath and pulls the trigger. The gun clicks. He pulls the trigger again. Click. And again: click. The man will continue to pull the trigger again and again with the same result: The gun won't fire. Although it's functioning properly and loaded with bullets, no matter how many times he pulls the trigger, the gun will never fire. He'll continue this process for eternity, becoming immortal.

Go back in time to the beginning of the experiment. The man pulls the trigger for the very first time, and the quark is now measured as spinning clockwise. The gun fires. The man is dead.

But, wait. The man already pulled the trigger the first time -- and an infinite amount of times following that -- and we already know the gun didn't fire. How can the man be dead? The man is unaware, but he's both alive and dead. Each time he pulls the trigger, the universe is split in two. It will continue to split, again and again, each time the trigger is pulled

Source: How Quantum Suicide Works

One of the more unsettling aspects of this is explored further in a short piece titled "A Pessimisic View of Quantum Immortality":


...death is not binary. You are not either alive or dead, but may exist in various intermediate forms of suffering and reduced cognitive abilities. This means that what actually happens when you play russian roulette is the following:

In those universes in which you win, everything is fine. In those in which you lose, however, you now have a gaping head wound. I assume that this hurts a lot, at least in those instances where you still have enough mental capacity to actually feel anything. Due to some fluke however (remember that absolutely all possible scenarios happen), you may still be alive and in a lot of pain. Most instances of you will then die from bloodloss or something, but for every timestep afterwards there will alway be an infinite number of universes wherein you continue to live, in most of them in complete agony.


I've never really been a fan of the idea of immortality. I've always sort of hoped that what awaits us after this life is simple restful nothingness, although I make no claims to know either way. But this quantum immortality stuff is far more frightening than a single afterlife - it raises the possibility that there are an infinite number of universes already in existence where we are not only alive, but alive and suffering hideous agony. Consider each step you take on a simple walk down the street: At each instance (if the theory is correc), an infinite number of universes branch off with different possible outcomes, and in an infinite number of those, you have slipped and fallen and are in terrible pain, or have had a heart-attack, or had your skull crushed by a falling brick, or...


What does ATS think?

Oh, and by the way, have nice weekend...




posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 11:28 PM
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True as it stands, with the universe splitting at each measured point under certain interpretations of quantum mechanics.

But he will still die of old age. Entropy is still inevitable.



posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 11:41 PM
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Interesting topic, thanks for the share

Regardless how we live we will eventually die while we grow old, Though this topic is looking at immortality from a different perspective, Oh how life is complicated, Topics like these makes me believe in what we call "impossible" possible, in some degree this is an example of finding a method on how immortality works from another perspective, How many different degrees of perspectives of immortality are there in life? what if we found the correct logical method of all sorts of different perspectives of immortality, Mixture of methods resulting in the ultimate immortality without control.



posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 11:51 PM
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I think you could get very lost thinking that way, and there's an equally large wake behind you.

Terrible example to prove a point though, I actually know a dude who tried to shoot himself in the head....twice.
Is face highly disfiured and he has ongoing operations to grow, then repair, as much as they can.

It also reminds me of the movie, The One (Jett Lee), where 'one' of him (from a paralell time) tries to kill the rest to absorb their life 'energies' (?)



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:01 AM
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reply to post by AussieAmandaC
 


I was also thinking of a movie that is symbolic towards this topic, Inception, Like you said topics like these can make you do crazy stuff & forget we survive on reality.



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by FeelingPure
reply to post by AussieAmandaC
 


I was also thinking of a movie that is symbolic towards this topic, Inception, Like you said topics like these can make you do crazy stuff & forget we survive on reality.


Eh? No it can't unless you're already off the wall in the first place.

Unless by "do crazy stuff and forget we survive on reality" you mean posting on ATS.

o.O
edit on 3-11-2012 by winofiend because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:13 AM
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Pffft. Prove to me the universe splits into two universes!

You cant.



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Well the concept of infinite parallel universes would have to involve every single outcome of every single event that have various outcomes. Which goes way beyond simply suffering from a gun shot would in every possible way.

It's one of those things that make you think long and hard and still not really comprehend it.

Who is to say that when we die, this thread ends, but who 'we' are simply carries on in another parallel universe that had a different outcome to the event that led to your death.

"whew that was close!" you say as you step back from the oncoming bus after fiddling with your ipod.

Because the truth is, we only ever know other people's death. We will never know our own. So who is to say?

Perhaps we are immortal, and once we reach the end of a thread via old age, we just flip to another one, as a younger self?

It's all impossible yet without reasons to show why. It just is how it is, we're here. No point thinking convoluted theories that end up making you frustrated at the simplicity of it all when observed...

It just is. And as a thought experiment it's kinda morbid. how many ways can you suffer from a gunshot wound to the head if infinity was observable.



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:15 AM
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Originally posted by DaRAGE
Pffft. Prove to me the universe cannot split into two universes!

You cant.


I just did. I went to an alternative universe and saw what you had posted there.. I quoted it above





posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:19 AM
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reply to post by winofiend
 


I mean people that are crazy like use drugs or mentally ill



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by FeelingPure
reply to post by winofiend
 


I mean people that are crazy like use drugs or mentally ill


Oh.. I can't even mention the first thing. I got a warning for it the other day, and I didn't even mention anything.

mentally, well yeah, but someone has to be already unhinged if they're going to do something crazy after thinking about conundrums.



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 02:44 AM
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making such a literal interpretation of quantum uncertainty is a mistake, leading to these types of implausible and unnecessary effects.

this is because, while quantum mechanics most definitely speaks about the probabilities of INDIVIDUAL particle states, the probability function (state function) itself is dictated by the integrated state of the FULL system across ALL time. so, you can't really separate out one instance of the function (aliveness iterated to infinity), and consider it outside the context of the whole function. it is a misapplication of the theoretical model.


it can be entertaining to ponder, tho. I do oftentimes have the sensation of the normal progression of time as "falling" into the type of "hole" that is in the OP image.



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by silent thunder

it raises the possibility that there are an infinite number of universes already in existence where we are not only alive, but alive and suffering hideous agony.


I think it's great!!! No Pain No Gain!!!
As well another you may experience the greatest of life pleasures, over and over!

You can change your pain to gain on your next go around... your mind is like a oscillator! Take notes of your mistakes in this life to correct them in the next. By doing this... billions of thought atoms will vibrate between discrete worldlines of you, creating the direction you wish to travel.


edit: Quantum Thinking:
YoU cAn eveN ChanGe tHe sizE oF YouR PENIS!!! No LIE!!!


edit on 3-11-2012 by imitator because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 03:21 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 

We assue that things appear and disapear at a quantum level because our vision isnt detailed enough.

All of this foolish mental masterbation is a waste of time... even if a million alternate realities are spawned that is useless information.



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
reply to post by silent thunder
 

We assue that things appear and disapear at a quantum level because our vision isnt detailed enough.

All of this foolish mental masterbation is a waste of time... even if a million alternate realities are spawned that is useless information.


Not true at all.... they teach kiddies these days nanotechnology with the use of quantum and solid-state physics, we can observe semiconductors performing Schrödinger's cat at the macro level, one can infer the same at the quantum level! The crazy stuff is on our level, it is where your doppelganger influence the world you live in, and that you influence your doppelganger etc.

I believe the US government is using some type of quantum suicide machine to influence our worldlines. Just look at the clowns who are running for president lol.
Someone flipped the wrong switch and we are witnessing this corporate nightmare lol. They not only want to own this world, they want to own the multiverse!!!
edit on 3-11-2012 by imitator because: (no reason given)
edit on 3-11-2012 by imitator because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I have a wee problem with this particular experiment....



Although it's functioning properly and loaded with bullets, no matter how many times he pulls the trigger, the gun will never fire. He'll continue this process for eternity, becoming immortal.


It leaves out probability. With a functioning loaded gun, the laws of physics are weighted towards the gun firing every trigger pull. The probability factor would be 99.999 % that the gun functions properly, and only a .001 % chance that it doesn't work. Therefore, there would be one split with 99.999 % chance the gun goes off, and one split, very unlikely to ever occur, at .001 %.

Leading me to conclude that quantum immortality is a very unlikely event. It's a matter of casual laws superseding quantum effects.



posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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reply to post by Druid42
 


That's because you're completely mischaracterising the theory. The universal wavefunction splitting into a superposition of |gun fires|gun doesn't fire> doesn't have anything to do with the gun itself, per se. These splits, or decoherence events, happen with every single quantum interaction, down at the electron/subatomic level. So it's not "two different worlds", it's hundreds of trillions of them, one for every possible outcome of every possible interaction of every particle in the system. In most of those worlds, the particles are in the configuration "gun has fired".

It doesn't ignore probability, it _explains_ it. The Many Worlds Interpretation is the only truly sound and internally consistent grounding for understanding probability humans have ever found. It explains the probabilistic nature of quantum interactions and is the only interpretation to take the math at face value. (Thank GOD most of the Copenhagen Interpretation guys are all dead now. "Collapse the wave-function", my hinder. What a joke!)

And yeah, it means that anything that CAN happen, WILL happen. It changes our concepts of "character" and "morality" and identity. There will be some worlds where you will be a murderer. But what matters is their relative scarcity -- that there's only a few of them compared the majority. There will be a you who remembers reading this, who wakes up in a world that could only be called hell. And likewise for heaven. And EVERYTHING in between.

Hell, I wrote a 30 page paper on the subject for my "Philosophy of Physics" course (got an A
and I barely scratched the surface. Quantum suicide/immortality is just the START...



posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by Stunspot
 





But what matters is their relative scarcity -- that there's only a few of them compared the majority.


It's a thought problem, and I'm not necessarily taking the question out of context, I'm just pointing out that probability events are directly tied to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, and our conscious observation of said event. The relative scarcity you mention is because there is no downstream observer, so the event wave collapses back upon itself and becomes decoherant.

I'm a firm believer in the Multiverse Theory of Reality, and quite interested in the suicide/immortality aspect, but if reality is tied to consciousness, then there would need to be an observer downstream in the event to verify it's state, and a dead person can't do that. Therefore, all downstream events that do occur have a much higher probability of an observer.

But none of this relates to quantum events in general, we are only addressing the effects on our own state of consciousness.

I'd be interested to hear more of your position.



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 12:03 AM
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What a fantastic mess this is. If we take any concept of the universe, and mix it with other concepts, we will undoubtedly come across a paradox of problems similar to this. To say that the entire universe works "within" the rules of an intellectualized concept is silly. We can't restrict nature to the in's and out's of these concepts. The most a concept can be, is a shadow of reality. But to confuse a concept with a reality is a mistake. I mean, the man pulling the trigger, in different "cubes" of time, is a monumentally gross interpretation of quantum reality. To be broken down in these simplistic layman-friendly forms is terribly misleading to the public.
edit on 7-11-2012 by Visitor2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 02:26 PM
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what could possibly contain these other universes? as far as taking into account if your finger twitched or not, counting all of the tiniest parts of biology involved in a working body rather than just what we know or happened e.g. i got the job, but in another universe i didnt. also, it wouldnt only apply to humans, would it not also apply to all creatures down to the smallest micro organism and the direction they move or dont? thats a hell of a lot of parallel universes huh? to account for everything ever, that has moved or changed direction while there is always an opposite? unfathomable lol even the direction a dust particle may have taken through the air
p plus the trigger could have snapped in some other dimension due to a manufacturing flaw, who knows, too much to take into account as far as everything ever since "the big bang". this is the first time i have ever thought of it this way. thank you for firing my imagination o.p.





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