Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How many universes in a multiverse?

Suppose that all universes, or all universes which are "good enough", exist. For any object x, let Ux be a universe which contains exactly one conscious non-divine being, where this being is an angel who spends most of his time thinking virtuously and pleasurable precisely about x. This kind of world is surely "good enough". Thus, it seems there are at least as many universes in the multiverse as there are sets, since for any set S there is a universe US. That's not a problem yet—after all, maybe the collection of universes is a proper class. But now for any proper class K, we can imagine the universe UK. Now the number of universes is really creeping up on us—it seems that we have at least one universe per set or proper class. Maybe we can introduce some higher order way of counting, beyond sets and proper classes. Sure. But the same problem will occur again.

1 comment:

Vlastimil Vohánka said...

Alex,

This will be a somewhat distant comment.

I've found out that the current issue of Religious Studies contains a paper by Eric Steinhart on the "revision theory of the resurrection". A quote from his site concerning his similar book called "Infinite Flesh":

"We will argue for a plurality of actual physical universes linked by a computational law: for every way to improve any universe, there exists a universe that is improved in exactly that way. Any way to improve the life of any body in a universe is a way to improve that universe. Just as your body is the root of a branching tree of resurrection counterparts, so our universe is the root of a branching tree of resurrection universes.

We refer to the theory of perfection through endless revision as the revision theory of resurrection (the RTR). The RTR involves no miracles. The RTR is consistent with our best science. But it is more than merely scientifically possible. The RTR is supported by empirical arguments. It is scientifically plausible. It has real explanatory power. The RTR is further supported by many arguments from philosophical theology. It is a part of a highly rational theology. At the logical origin of all things, there is a maximally powerful goodness - maximally creative benevolence. At the logical end of all things, there is a maximally perfect being. And between the origin and the end, there is a maximally rich process that actualizes all the positive potentials of all possible things."

http://www.ericsteinhart.com/FLESH/flesh-home.html

Quite bizzare. I wonder about the motivation behind to embrace such a view.