Mark Fancey writes:
> Did accepting and understanding the MWI drastically alter your
> philosophical worldview? If so, how?
I don't know if I would describe it as a drastic alteration, but I do
tend to think of my actions as provoking a continuum of results rather
than a single result. For example, sometimes when I drive too fast and
nothing happens, I think about how I have fractionally killed people by
my actions. Somewhere in the multiverse, kids ran out in front of my
car and I was not able to stop due to my speed. Even though I didn't see
it, I killed those people just as surely as a pilot who drops a bomb and
doesn't stick around to see the results. My decision to take that risky
action reduced the measure of those people's existence in the multiverse.
This has made me a little more careful; I no longer think back to all
the times when nothing happened and assume that the same will hold true
in the future. I know that even though I SAW nothing happen, bad things
did happen as a result of my actions. They were out of sight but they
happened anyway. My actions have consequences even beyond those that
Another way it has influenced my thinking is about future indeterminacy.
I now believe, for example, that there is no meaning to certain questions
that people ask about future conditions. For example, who will be the
next president? I don't think this question is meaningful. Many people
will be the next president. My consciousness spans multiple universes
where different people will be president.
Any question like this which presupposes only one future has a similar
problem. Another one we often hear is, are we in a speculative bubble
in real estate (or stocks, or whatever). That's a meaningless question.
Bubbles can only be defined retrospectively. If prices fall, then we
were in a bubble; if they don't, then we weren't. But both futures exist.
I live in worlds where we are in a bubble and worlds where we are not in
a bubble. The question has no answer.