My Quantum Life: Using Beliefs to Limit Outcomes

We’ve talked about how morals help us gain certainty about the future. They help us narrow our path and gain clarity.

If I look at my life as a set of infinite possible outcomes, how do I limit them? Morals for one. Beliefs for another. If I know what I believe, I can start to accurately predict future outcomes.

If you look at now, and where you think you’ll be in 24-hours, it’s helpful. Because of the last post, you probably won’t be divorced, or gay. You probably won’t be climbing Everest naked. But how do you know for sure? Because you know the logic that runs your mind. To make it to Mount Everest, you would have to make a series of decisions to get there. Decisions that you’ve never made before. And to make decisions that you’ve never made before, you need a reason. And it’s hard to imagine a change in logic drastic enough to take you from the beach to mount Everest in 24-hours.

If you dislike something, there are many fewer instances of it in your future. It’s pretty simple, if you dislike coffee, you have no reason to drink it. Unless you read an article that changes your mind about it. Or your doctor tells you that you should start drinking it.

How do we measure the importance of realities? Obviously, the decision of whether to eat breakfast or not is not as important as whether or not to run out in traffic.

The importance of the decision determines how much weight we give to it. It also determines how much stress we derive from it. The distance in quantum space of the two results [that you’re weighing] determines the level of stress over that decision. Our beliefs set our priorities which determines this stress. We can say that we value family above all else, but if the decisions we make don’t mirror that, it’s not true. 

We determine the value of one decision by weighing it against our priorities. When we look at future realities, to determine the probability we have to look at the decisions that got us to that point, and the weight of those decisions.

If scenarios involve changing your mind, your beliefs, or having a gun to your head, or having the President call to motivate you, that are exceedingly unlikely. If my current truth remains, the likelihood of these events is zero. Because they would involve changing that truth. 

If you’re spending your life in prison, there are no realities where you are free. Ok. There are a couple: you escape, the prison is destroyed, etc. There are some very slim possibilities, but not enough to base your life around. That’s why it’s so scary: all future realities involve you there. There is no reason to dream anymore, not about this life.

No one wants to go to prison. But there are infinite ways that you could go to prison today. If you believe in abiding by the law, you are more than likely safe. Unless the law changes or someone changes your mind about the law.

Here’s the trick: the only outcomes that are actually possible have decisions paths based on beliefs that are all true. If it takes one false to get to that point, it’s an impossibility. Therefore, our path is still infinite, but it’s infinitely narrower because of our beliefs. The more conditional our belief system, the more likely a true can become a false, and the path of potential realities widens.

The width of the path is based only on “both true” scenarios. For instance, whether to go to the grocery now or later. Neither is morally wrong, but you still must make a choice. That’s when your priorities come into play. While they are still based on what you believe, they are how we categorize and rank these “both true” scenarios. You set your priorities whether you believe it or not. So at this point you weigh your options based on your priorities.

So how does faith apply here? First, it gives us the guidance to have moral absolutes. It helps us to walk a straighter path. Second, you have to remember that there are literally infinite ways you could die today. That’s a scary thought. But if you believe that death is not the end, that it’s actually a gateway to a better life.

Therefore, we take the worst possible outcome and replace it with a positive one, a very positive one. Our beliefs hone our potential future into only scenarios that are all true. Our faith transforms the most negative outcomes into gains. If you take away death, the expected value of the system skyrockets. There is literally nothing left to fear.

It’s better to be stupid than close-minded

Why? Because there is an exit to stupid.

There is always experience. There is always other people and their experience. There are always books. The information is out there. Especially if you know you’re dense. Like Socrates: I know I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing. 

But if you’re close-minded, there is no hope. You’ve already decided who you are. You have a confirmation bias, so it doesn’t matter what new information you’re presented with, your mind is made up.

And if you’ve made up your mind on things and who you are, and decided that you’ll always be that way, there is no reality where you’re different from the way you are right now. Which is more like the Edge of Tomorrow than reality. 

That’s not what life’s about. The longer you live, as long as you’re doing it right, the more truth you have. Through experience and sharing. But once you make up your mind that you understand it, you start discrediting other people’s truth, refusing new experiences, stop learning new things.

So don’t be close minded. Remember that no matter how much you know, you know nothing. That way, there’s always hope. 

Truth beyond Beauty

Is beauty true? Yes. But it is fleeting. It’s not much more true than the weather. 

If someone is attractive, most anyone can pick them out of a lineup. It’s a quality that is hard to describe, but we know it when we see it.

So judging someone by their looks is not much different than judging them by the type of car that they drive. The current state is not indicative of the future. And in fact, that’s when beauty starts to fade, and become less true.

Beauty is true, but not for very long. If your confidence comes from your looks, you won’t be confident for very long. If you’re lucky, you’ll exist for a while after your looks fade. Where will your confidence come from?

While you will never be absolutely true, you can be true to yourself. Which is overstated, but never well-defined. Being true to your self is giving weight to the part of you that doesn’t change. The longer qualities have been a part of you, the truer they are. In the same way that time and reality are true to the universe as we know it, these qualities have been true of you. So if you can’t imagine realities without these qualities of yourself, you love them. And if you love the core qualities that make you you, you love yourself.

Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

 

Absolute Truth

Is true in every reality.

Not conditional truth. Like this coffee is good. I look good. I feel good.

What is always true?

Time is true. Reality is true. The past is true, and always true.

But reality had a beginning. Time had a beginning. And if reality began, so did history. Therefore, they are not absolutely true. The only thing that would be true in every reality, even before time and reality is God. So not only is God true, but he is literally the only thing that is absolutely true.

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6

Applying Faith to Love

With our definition of love in the last post, we can make some very interesting applications.

You shouldn’t love anything you can’t take anywhere. But not just anywhere, you also shouldn’t love anything that time could take from you.

But no one can take your memory of things from you. You can take them anywhere. They are a part of you. So while you shouldn’t love golf, you can love your memories of golf. And like golf.

You shouldn’t love coffee. You may be addicted to coffee. You can like coffee, or prefer it over other drinks. But if you love coffee, you literally hate all the time that you don’t have coffee. Which is the same as being addicted to it, or asking God not to be with you when you don’t have coffee.

You shouldn’t hate broccoli. You can dislike broccoli. But to say you hate broccoli is the same as saying you wish that broccoli didn’t exist. And I don’t think that’s what you mean. You may hate eating broccoli, but if you hate eating broccoli, you literally can’t see yourself ever eating it. And if you can’t imagine one reality where you do something, you have no hope of ever doing it.

If you look at porn, you’re literally imagining yourself with other women. By hoping for realities that include these women, you are literally hating your wife, and disconnecting with God.

Can I hate my job? Of course you can. But you shouldn’t. Why? Because by imagining a future without your job, you ask God not to be present in the job you have. Instead of hating your job, dislike your job, be grateful for it, and hope that it will get better. Which literally means to imagine future positive realities.

Love your neighbor as yourself. According to Jesus, it was the second greatest commandment. Its spiritual application is not what it seems. How do we love ourselves? Our self-love is literally not imagining a future without ourselves. Remember? You, by default, love yourself.

That is exactly what Jesus means by this. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you quite literally cannot imagine realities without these people. So we’re called to not imagine realities without anyone. To not hate. Which would be to distance ourselves from God.

So if reality stretches past death, into the afterlife? If love is imagining future realities with someone, and reality exists after death, the only way to imagine future realities with everyone is to show them the Truth, if that is the way to the afterlife. Because if eternity is real, and we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and we want to go to heaven, so we can imagine ourselves in all future realities, that means we are called to spread the Word. Because without that, our neighbors can’t go to heaven, and if heaven exists, they wouldn’t go. And if we can’t imagine them in heaven, we hate them.

So as Christians, we cannot love people that are not saved. Not in the same way we love ourselves. Because we have eternity. That’s like saying I can imagine this life with you, but not the next. Which is not far from wishing them to go to the fiery place.

The Purpose of Life

Is to figure out the purpose of life.

How do we do that? We learn to discern right from wrong, establish our truths. Form our beliefs. Write logic based on those beliefs. Develop behaviors based on that logic. Then we compare them with other people’s.

If your truth is different from my truth, how is it different? If I discern that one of your truths is more plausible than one of my truths, I believe you. I inherit your truth. I then form new beliefs based on your truths, write new logic, and develop new behaviors.

Continue this process until you feel like you have something to share. Share that something while continuing to refine your truths, explore new ideas, and write better logic. 

Reality, Truth, and Faith

Reality is now. It’s everything, everywhere, every thought, emotion, or action happening at this moment in time.

Truth is a quality that something is in (or has been in) the set of reality. Anything that is true is part of reality. Anything that is false is not. Truth includes the past and present. The future is only a fear, hope, or expectation, unless you have the gift of prophecy. The future is Shrodinger’s cat. It’s both true and false at the same time, until it happens.

Faith is belief. I have faith that you will ace your test. That means that I believe that you will ace your test. But not out of pure luck, because I know that you know the material. So you cannot have faith in something that you do not believe to be true. Faith is based on knowledge. If what you know rules out said thing from being possibly true, it’s impossible to have faith in that thing. If you are terrible at math and didn’t study or do any homework, how can I have faith that you will do well on your test? I can’t. Faith does not exist outside of truth.

For instance, if you think that science is true, and you think that faith is a set of things that are also true, but that are outside the set of science, that’s not possibly the case. Two things that contradict each other could not possibly be true at the same time. It’s like saying I am wearing a yellow jacket that is red. I believe that if we unravel the shortcomings of science, we could see a happy marriage of faith and science. With the jacket comparison, I’d be wearing a yellow jacket with red stripes.

A brief critique of science

Science is a very useful tool that has lead us to some wonderful discoveries. Here’s how it can lead us astray:

Just because the data collected in the experiment is as predicted, doesn’t make the theory in question right. The scientific theory is simple and powerful, and it’s been used correctly for thousands of years to help us discover some amazing things. But consider for a moment that the hypothesis is wrong, and the experiment verifies it. Other scientists check the logic by repeating the experiment, and if it checks out, it must be correct. Then the next guy comes along and expands on that theory with a new idea, and a new experiment to verify it. 

Before long, there’s so much information that could be a left turn from the truth. The craziest part of all of it, no one will ever believe me. Science is written as truth, [and in most fields it is] so anyone that questions it must be wrong.

The idea that all the science leading up to this point is right, makes it where we can’t really have any more big discoveries. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Science fills in gaps with theories, without saying they’re theories. “I don’t know” are the most powerful three words for new developments. Speculation masked as fact just muddies the waters for new research.

Science is not clear on what is still a mystery. The unknowns in medicine would terrify you, so we pretend like the aren’t unknowns.

So how did I come up with my theories? I looked at only data. I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I didn’t have any major background that made my theories fit with ten other ones. I was only looking for the truth. Not something that sounded good when your doctor said it.

How can I question science?

I have a background in hard science, so I know how it works. The science of vision is not hard science. Psychiatry is not hard science. Genetics is not hard science. That lead me to one more question: why? The answer to that is that we don’t understand how the human brain works.

Really smart people can conduct really interesting studies and completely miss the point if they have the wrong assumptions, and it happens more often than you would think.

So why do I think I’m right? Because all I did was use the data already gathered in other studies, I just made the right assumptions, and things started to fall into place.

I don’t ignore case studies that don’t fit the model. I try to explain them. My theories are not bigger than the truth. I made a model to fit the facts, instead of cherry picking facts to fit a theory.