Are you unique? Perhaps there copies of you existing out there, somewhere in the universe? If the universe is infinite then there are infinite copies of you. What is morality if there is an infinity of you?
What is Infinity?
Infinity (∞) is a tough concept to wrap one’s head around. Definitions like “without any limit”, “unbounded”, or “endless” allow labels, but not understanding.
Our mind tends to think of a large number that keeps getting bigger. We can not really imagine infinity directly, only stand close to it and pretend we grasp the immensity.
Is there really such a thing as infinity?
Some say that infinity is only an imaginary idea, like Spock in Star Trek.
Others say a circle is infinitely long, going round and round and round.
No one knows for sure, despite centuries of thought and experiment. We may never be able know if infinity is real or imagined.
We can prove infinity comes in different sizes. Georg Cantor showed how not long after the U.S. Civil War.
|You in a bounded universe.|
We can prove that infinity comes in different shapes. One-third goes 3.33333333... While Pi (Π) starts 3.14159265358… Both infinite, both different.
These thoughts are only logic based on guesses. Tricks our minds can play with symbols. Infinity is an imagined reality. Let us see what other magic our mind can hold.
One thing infinities share is local repetition. If you divide a piece of infinity you’ll find it again and again. In the one-third number this is obvious. There are many, many “3” pieces in 3.33333333...
Repetition is true inside the Pi number too. The pattern “62” is repeated several times in just this short piece of Pi:
If you go far enough, you will find infinite copies of any piece inside an infinity.
The larger the pattern, the rarer our piece becomes. Rare is only a relative thing. Like with the odd numbers and whole numbers, there can be infinite copies of any piece in infinity.
|A big enough universe |
for several copies of you.
We have come to know our universe is very large. Is our universe infinite? Does it have a limit, bound, or end? Some have guessed at the answer, but there is no proof yet. We do know it is much larger than we can directly observe. What facts we do have suggest it's edge would be vast beyond our comprehension.
Atoms and sub-atomic particles can be compared to numbers. There are limited types of these parts, just as there are limited numbers we count with. Both are pieces, divisions of an infinity.
There are only so many ways you can combine particles together. It may be a big number of possible ways particles can be mixed together, but not an infinite numbers of ways.
Particles and numbers are organized into patterns. Bits of matter that form little copies over and over again through out the universe.
If you look far enough you find that patterns repeat. Patterns of matter behave as the “62” in Pi. The larger the pattern, the farther you may have to look, but it will eventually be there.
Copies of You
If the universe is infinite then you are but one of infinite copies of you. Every variation of your life exists repeatedly.
If the universe is large enough, but still has an end, then there may copies of you somewhere far away.
If the universe is small enough, there may be only one you. You may be unique.
|An infinite number of you in an infinite universe.|
A Moral Mess
I am not sure if I like these ideas; one of me, many of me, an infinity of me.
If there are infinite me’s, then I am irrelevant to the universe. Every mistake I could make would be made. Every good thing I could do has been done. My choices then are only my experience of life and have meaning only to me.
If I am the only me, unique and special, then the pressure for morality in the universe overwhelms me. Any mistake I make has consequences on the universe, limiting or expanding its potential. Although my impacts are small, they are permanent and of unimaginable consequence.
Perhaps it is better if there are many copies of me. My mistakes might be overcome by another copy. I may be able to do better than the other copy. There is room to still find the potential of what the universe could be, without the pressure of being it's only hope.
It may be best if I have no meaning at all to the universe. Then one, many or infinity, the universe will go on it's merry way no matter what I do.
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