The Universe Is Neither Logical nor Illogical

The universe cannot possibly be illogical, because epistemologically it makes no sense to suppose it’s illogical if there’s no way, even in principle, of observing something illogical in the universe.

You cannot possibly observe an illogical event or combination of events. You may think, for example, of observing something violating any rule we know of or intuit about reality (such as two solid things taking up the same space, or maybe the superpositions known to actually occur in quantum mechanics), but any such instance would only necessarily indicate a previously unknown or counterintuitive aspect to the laws of physics.

To observe something that’s actually illogical, you’d have to observe something tantamount to, for example, a square circle. And you can never manifest or observe a square circle by definition. The concept of perceiving a square circle is logically self-contradictory, and hence it can’t happen.

The fact that the universe cannot possibly be illogical, for the above logical reasons, means that the “data” of the fact of the universe’s not being illogical isn’t “out there” in the universe, but necessarily follows from our own epistemology or logic. So, the universe cannot be intrinsically illogical.

If the universe cannot be intrinsically illogical, then it cannot be intrinsically logical either. The opposite of illogical is, of course, logical, and, if the universe could not have been anything but logical, then, again, the “data” of the fact that the universe is logical wouldn’t be “out there” in the universe, but would necessarily follow from our epistemology or logic.

If the universe were logical, then it would be, on some suitably deep metaphysical level, incidental that that it’s logical, so that it could hypothetically have been observed to be some other way. But, as we’ve already demonstrated, it cannot be observed to be any other way. Hence the universe is not, itself, logical.

Logic is therefore only in our minds and how we choose to assimilate, or at least synthesize an understanding/mental model of, the universe. It seems to the semantic organizing principle of our minds, or one important, overarching aspect of it.

Why Are You You and Not Somebody Else?

Do you ever wonder why you’re you rather than somebody else? Maybe your best friend, maybe that person who seems to have it all that you’re painfully envious of? Maybe anybody and everybody? To answer that question philosophically, let me turn it around and say, how do you know you’re not?

For all you know, you could be. Maybe you’re just not aware of being any other given person from the vantage point you call your own mind/body/central nervous system. And likewise, from their vantage point, they’re not aware of being you.

Consider if you cloned yourself, or, say, if you had multiple selves in parallel universes (which you probably do—Many Worlds Theory is the interpretation of quantum mechanics that’s most popular among physicists because it’s the most sensical one), but each instance of you is not aware of being each other instance of you, because your bodies/sensory organs/neural networks, which house your experiences, are physically isolated from each other.

Sure, in the case of the clone or the parallel selves, you happen to more or less share an identity with them (such as your name, memories, etc.), but similarity of identity exists on a spectrum of possibilities, and any place you’d draw the line between an identity being “you” versus “not you” is arbitrary, so the absolute truth is probably that there is no line.

So, to harken back to the start of the essay, you might be inclined to wonder, why weren’t you born as so and so—a completely different person who doesn’t even share an identity with you? Just the fact that you would wonder that means that you have no epistemic problem with the idea that your identity is broad enough to include their identity, or at least that the beingness behind their identity is the beingness behind your identity. And, according to the above reasoning about the relative isolation of bodies—which house your experience, memories, and everything else that gives you your sense of identity and makes you feel distinct—for all you know, you could have been born as them, or even as everyone, in addition to having been born as you, while not realizing it. So there’s no reason to assume a metaphysical separation either.

And, even more importantly, what could be the necessary actual, measurable/experiential difference between it being the case that you are simultaneously the other and that you’re not? If you can’t pin it down to any necessary experiential difference, how can you say there’s any logical/meaningful difference between the two scenarios/viewpoints? And if you can’t say that, it’s necessarily just as true that you are everyone else as it is that you aren’t.

The Paradox of Quantum Immortality

According to the Many Worlds Theory (MWT) interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is the least convoluted and most widely accepted interpretation among quantum physicists, every time a quantum-random event happens—every time the Schrödinger wavefunction collapses—multiple new branches of reality, or timelines, are created in which each possible outcome of the event is realized.

While the chances are unimaginably small for most outcomes, just about anything is possible. For example, there is a vanishingly small but nonzero probability that your head will suddenly turn into a basketball in the next split second. This possibility must therefore be realized in some particular timelines.

This, interestingly, has some logical implications regarding personal immortality.

In the event that you die in certain timelines, in other timelines branching off from just before your death, atoms just happen rearrange themselves in such a manner that you avoid death, or quantum events otherwise lead to that result. You won’t experience those timelines in which you died, because you’ll be nonexistent in those timelines, but in the remaining timelines you’ll experience your continuing to live. This will happen no matter how many times you die in certain realities or how long you happen to live in a minority of them.

Since all of the above timelines are necessarily the causal results of their trunk timelines in the same way we observe causation, or the passage of time, in everyday life, this means that the yous that survive experience a continuity of self progressing from the would-be time of death into the future, at least in the timelines where the quantum events causing the avoidance of your death are not so drastic that the resultant form of “you” has lost its sense of identity.

Since there’s on meaningful way to say that those yous that lived are any less you than those that died, therefore, it’s only logical to say that you will experience life continuing onward into the future indefinitely.

That’s quantum immortality in a nutshell. The paradox comes in when we consider your life from the perspective of outside observers.

From the perspective of the rest of the worlds in the realities in which you continue to live, the frequency at which individuals miraculously avert death N number of times is in perfect accordance with mundane statistical prediction. There will be no flooding in these realities of people who are apparently immortal, because the chances of those particular quantum events in those realities that led to your continuing to live are just as small as the ratio of branching timelines in which you survived is to the ones in which you died. For every centillion realities, there will be like one person who happened to quantum-randomly avert death for, say, 500 years.

So, from the individual’s perspective, his or her chances of quantum immortality are 100%, while from the public’s perspective, they’re virtually zero, and the likelihood matches that predicted according to normal causality.

So there’s the paradox: quantum reality must totally be a real thing for the individual, even though it’s not real, and will never be statistically observed as anything beyond the mundane, from the perspective of the rest of the world and science.

The Purpose of Pain

There’s something very fundamental about the purpose of pain that nobody seems to understand or talk about.

Because of our rationalistic, materialist mindset, we assume the purpose of pain must merely be to cause us to utilize our motor neurons in such way to mechanically fix the problem, and maybe to deter us from doing things that will cause us pain in the future (obviously because pain indicates damage, and damage can be life-threatening and hinders our ability to pass on our genes to further generations).

But this completely ignores the power of the mind over bodily processes that has been scientifically demonstrated in the past, even concerning influence on very specific areas of flesh (of course, not speaking merely of motor control and our muscles).

The main purpose of pain is actually to draw our attention to the affected area, just that. By consciously focusing on the damaged area, we impart more life energy to it and thereby speed up the healing process. Your will for the pain to diminish is probably essential to the process, because, in order for the pain to go away, the site of the pain must be healed, so willing the pain away is implicitly willing the site to be healed.

This explains why evolution would have given us the ability to feel pain in our internal organs, which we could do nothing about on a physical level before the invention of medical science, which is when virtually all of our evolution took place. That is, if we couldn’t possibly do anything to mitigate the damage, then why bother to make us feel it?

So, the next time you experience a physical pain, focus directly on it, absorb into it, instead of trying to ignore it. It’ll heal faster, and hence the pain will go away more quickly.