In this blog I will be trying to get to the truth about what is really important in life, and to write satirically about what is not - all in my quest for The Stuff Reality is Made of.
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Best of All Possible worlds - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2013.
added another part to this original article of last month (The Perfect World) and
tried to answer the questions the first part of this article begged.
I have added yet another part at the end setting out a scientific
interpretation of the Many Worlds Interpretation concept. (October 2013)
from the idea of The Perfect Storm - which was not so perfect.
If there is something I will definitely not
like, it would be a perfect world. I cannot imagine the boredom and lack of
creativeness that will accompany a perfect world. In a perfect world there will
not be any improvement, development, creative space or new ideas possible,
because by definition it is perfect and cannot be improved.
I shudder at the thought.
And then we want to know why God did not
make the world perfect, being a perfect God. He had no alternative if he wanted
to give us Free Will. In a perfect world Free Will will not mean anything for
anyone. The world was specifically made imperfect by God so that we could
become creators like Him. Wonderful! And what was to be our main praise to God -
for making this world imperfect - has become our main critique of His creation.
We are totally wrong. Sorry God!
And that is also precisely the reason why we
are not perfect. We are given the chance to complete our own creation by
improving and developing ourselves, because one day we will be perfect (but not
on our own) - we were ordained to be perfect ultimately. And if we improve
ourselves to a better model of what we were born as, we will indeed have become
creators in our own right. What a wonderful opportunity.
If we die one day and say that we are returning
to the soil exactly as we came from it, then we have miserably and dismally failed
in our task to create and develop ourselves. And the beauty of it all is that
we can develop ourselves in a mental, emotional and spiritual way, because
those properties in us will last forever. That is why sport is so useless to
us. There is no way we can take our speed, agility and physical strength with
us. That type of thing is for our ego, not for our development.
But our soul and what we have accomplished
meta-physically will never die. And that is why I do not listen to agnostics
and atheists. To kill a spirit like we have when we die, is a waste of time -
and to think that it will just disappear when we die, is a farce. There is
something more to it.
What really fascinates me is that this
world is so exciting, beautiful, wonderful and full of opportunity even in its
imperfect state - or shall I say exactly because of its imperfectness!
I think the two most outstanding features
of God are His free will and His creativeness. And - you guessed it - He has
endowed mankind with the same. He has given us His best characteristics so that
we can be like Him - and that is how I understand how and why we were made in
I previously liked to think that God has
limited our free will and creativeness, so that He can overrule us if He does
not like what we think and what we do and what we make, but, on reflection, I
find that He does not. In fact, when one really thinks about it, He is often
overruled by our free will and our creativeness - well … that is giving us
authority and dominion big time!
On earth, I admit, our resources and
ingenuity and influence is limited - although thinking of the Atomic Bomb and
the fact that we can move mountains with a little faith, I might be wrong. Also,
this is not the end - as it is said - everything will work out in the end - if
it has not worked out, it is not the end. We will one day be endowed with much
more than we have now, without limit, as the parable of the talents tells us.
is then the best imperfect world?
The notion of a perfect world begs the
question: 'If our world is imperfect, then which of the imperfect worlds would
we be in?'
I can conceive of quite a few perfect
worlds, and there may even be an infinite number of perfect worlds, but only
one in which we can live, being this Earth, because there can, by definition,
be only one perfect earth called Planet Earth. However, I can conceive of a billion
different imperfect earths called planet Earth, because of necessity there must
be an infinite number of imperfect Earths, depending, inter alia, of the Earth's
level of imperfection, if such can exist as a concept. In fact, I can even
conceive of this Planet Earth being infinitely imperfect, depending on how you
think, experience and live in it - and that is probably the most insightful
angle to view it from.
And that is why we have a philosophical concept
of 'The Best of All Possible Worlds'. This idea is so excellently expounded by
Leo Tolstoy in his book: 'Candide' - I can never even imagine improving on that
- but I will return to this a bit later.
It follows logically from the first section
of this article, that the more imperfect this World is, the more space and
scope we will have to improve it, by being creative and so on. So by
definition, we would be the happiest on the Worst of all Possible Worlds - if
we are innovative and creative.
But not all people are like that. Some
would be happy with any kind of world - not wanting to improve it, not wanting
to change it, not wanting to think anything about it. They are the cold and
timid souls Roosevelt talked about; see my earlier article on the Chain Gang.
If you are of that type, this blog is definitely not for you - so knowing that
you are interested in the more complex and rewarding aspects of life, I here
assume that you are of the first kind - and for us the Worst of all possible
Worlds is the one of choice.
And that brings me back to Voltaire.
In 'Candide' a person called 'Candide' grew
up under the tuition of the preceptor named Pangloss, who preached this
philosophy of 'The Best of all Possible Worlds' - listen to the sweetness of
his false theory:
taught the metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology (theory). He could prove to
admiration that there is no effect without a cause; and, that in this best of
all possible worlds, the Baron's castle was the most magnificent of all
castles, and My Lady (his wife) the best of all possible baronesses.
It is demonstrable,
said he, that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things
have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best
end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles (!!!), therefore
we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly we
wear stockings. Stones were made to be hewn and to construct castles, therefore
My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought
to be the best lodged. Swine were intended to be eaten, therefore we eat pork
all the year round; and they, who assert that everything is right, do not
express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is best.
When I read this, I hear the echoes of the
false philosophical teachings of the past two thousand years, and of the
scientific teachings of the scientists of today - what is new?
As you could have guessed, Candide went all
over the world in search of the best of all possible worlds and have, in his
excursions, found only the worst of all possible worlds.
Meanwhile 'back at the ranch', (at the end
of the story) there was a farmer with his family farming and producing food for
the city. They were simple folk, not interested in the Best of all possible
Worlds, and not surprisingly they really lived in it or they lived it, confirming
my notion that the type of world we live in is the one we are living. So of necessity
there must be an infinite number of possible worlds.
Now - this last statement fascinates me the
most. God only created one World - and by giving us Free Will, has in reality
created an infinite number of Worlds. Too wonderful to contemplate.
Section added October 2013
article would not be complete without the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum
mechanics, which so scientifically and ably explains my philosophical interpretation of Free Will.
many-worlds interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that
asserts the objective reality of the universal wave function and denies the
actuality of wave function collapse. Many-worlds implies that all possible
alternative histories and futures are real, each representing an actual "world"
(or "universe"). It is also referred to as MWI, the relative state
formulation, the Everett interpretation, the theory of the universal wave
function, many-universes interpretation, or just many-worlds.
original relative state formulation is due to Hugh Everett in 1957. Later, this
formulation was popularized and renamed many-worlds by Bryce Seligman DeWitt in
the 1960s and 1970s. The de-coherence approaches to interpreting quantum theory
have been further explored and developed, becoming quite popular. MWI is one of
many multiverse hypotheses in physics and philosophy. It is currently
considered a mainstream interpretation along with the other de-coherence
interpretations, the Copenhagen interpretation, and deterministic
interpretations such as the Bohmian mechanics.
many-worlds, reality had always been viewed as a single unfolding history.
Many-worlds, however, views reality as a many-branched tree, wherein every
possible quantum outcome is realised. Many-worlds claims to reconcile the
observation of non-deterministic events, such as the random radioactive decay,
with the fully deterministic equations of quantum physics.
many-worlds, the subjective appearance of wave function collapse is explained
by the mechanism of quantum de-coherence, which resolves all of the correlation
paradoxes of quantum theory, such as the EPR paradox and Schrödinger's cat,
since every possible outcome of every event defines or exists in its own
"history" or "world".
lay terms, the hypothesis states there is a very large–perhaps infinite–number
of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but
did not, has occurred in the past of some other universe or universes.