Note: not a theologian

The Instapundit ponders a notion that’s occurred to some of us now and then, though he takes it a step or two farther:

So I’m reading Greg Benford’s Rewrite, and it gave me a thought about the theological implications of the “many worlds” version of quantum theory. Theologians have worked on the problem of evil, but I think the many worlds theory either makes it go away entirely, or maybe makes it worse. On the go away entirely side, under many worlds you don’t have to worry about why God lets evil happen, because God lets absolutely everything happen. And it kind of evens out: Maybe you die of pediatric cancer in one universe, but in another you’re a billionaire rock star who lives to 90, or a saint. (On the other hand, on the “make it worse” side, everybody dies of pediatric cancer, or worse, in some universe or another). Somebody’s probably worked all this out somewhere, but it was a new thought to me.

Then again, if anything that can exist must exist, there ought to be some sort of dark pathway that leads from World #1 to World #280,774,310 — but I suspect the payback for trying to negotiate that pathway is severe and then some.


  1. fillyjonk »

    21 January 2019 · 9:01 pm

    I dunno, but I find the multiverse idea oddly comforting. (No, I don’t think about the many ones in which I died of childhood cancer/infection/car wreck/horrible action by a horrible person). I like the idea that in some non-zero number of universes, I had the chance to be a wife and mother, and in others I was a great artist, and in others a brilliant researcher, and in still others, a spiritual leader. That the mistakes I made in the here and now were not made somewhere else; that there’s a universe where I’m a better person than the “me” I know as “me” in this universe is.

  2. Linda »

    21 January 2019 · 9:06 pm

    Ah the truly unanswerable question, other than to say, ‘pot, how can you criticize the hands that formed you?’

  3. McGehee »

    21 January 2019 · 10:10 pm

    I find the multiple universe thing offensive to the idea of free will. Even if there are all these alternate versions of me, how does it matter to me? What could I do with this knowledge that would change how I live?

    The way I see it, all those other versions of “me,” if they exist, have made different choices than I have, and are therefore not me.

  4. Brett »

    22 January 2019 · 12:01 am

    The Atlantic had an article about this:

  5. hollyh »

    22 January 2019 · 8:08 am

    Other than being fodder for a Rick n Morty episode, I can’t buy into this idea. Just another chapter in human wishful thinking.

    It is fun to contemplate a world in which I get to interact with horses, though. That is my main regret.

  6. jsallison »

    22 January 2019 · 5:12 pm

    In an infinite universe all possibilities are mandatory. I’mna good with that. Now, is the universe infinite? Show your work.

  7. CGHill »

    22 January 2019 · 10:57 pm

    Or as we used to say: “Define the universe. Give three examples.”

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