Metaverse Theory

The Metaphysical System of Metaversalism

1.  Basic Premises of Metaversalism

Following is a list of some of the fundamental premises of universalism.  Others may be added to this list as the religion is further elaborated upon and refined.  

1.1. Situational Premises,
            a.k.a. "Metaverse Theory"

These premises concern our existential situation, or the state of affairs in our existential environment.  These relate to our beliefs about what is true or false about our situation as self-aware sentient beings.  They constitute our religion’s ontology, its philosophy of existence.  These premises are designed not to be arbitrary or ad hoc made-up stories, but, rather, can be considered to be high-quality “educated guesses” that can be well-founded on strictly rationalistic arguments.  These arguments are outlined in another document called The Case for Metaversalism (in progress).

We separate our religion’s situational or metaphysical premises from its moral/ethical premises, which address what is right and wrong.  These are detailed in the next section.

1. All mathematically describable universes exist, in a certain sense, and each to some degree, by logical necessity.  Ultimately, no describable universe is more primary or fundamental than the others.  However, some universes exist more “strongly” than others.  The system of all possible universes is what we call the metauniverse, or the metaverse.

2. A universe's “degree” or “strength” of existence, which is related to its probability, is determined by how often that universe's details are elaborated as part of other universes, whether that elaboration occurs “naturally,” or by the intervention of sentient beings.  We will call this quantity the reality or degree of reality of that universe.  A universe’s reality is based on that of its parent universe(s) in recursive fashion (vaguely reminiscent of how Google's PageRank scores are determined).  Any time we elaborate the details of another universe in complete detail (e.g. in a complete computer simulation of it), we are contributing to that universe’s overall degree of reality.

3. Every universe exists in infinitely many instances, embedded within an infinite variety of other universes.  An observer within a given instance of a universe generally cannot determine which other universe his particular instance is embedded in.  Thus, all mathematically consistent explanations for a given universe that are also consistent with all available data are valid to posit, although some explanations may have a higher probability of being correct than others.

4. We cannot, through any observation, logically exclude the possibility that this particular instance of our universe could have been manifested by a sentient being in another universe.  However, even if that is so, few properties of that being can be validly deduced from the observed data obtained so far from credible sources.  This situation may conceivably change, however, if new evidence becomes available.  (I.e, if there is a God, He could choose to reveal himself someday.)

5. If the human civilization survives the near future, the possibility arises that we ourselves may eventually be able to harness enough of our universe's computational power to create detailed virtual universes, including ones in which other self-aware intelligent beings can evolve.  This would make us "gods" of a sort, in our own right, in terms of our relationship to these "child universes."  Hopefully, by then our ethical sensibilities will have matured to the point where we can handle this situation responsibly, appropriately balancing our desire for the simulated beings not to suffer against our wish to give their world the freedom to evolve on its own.  (If our universe does have a God watching over it, He may find himself in a similar position.)

6. Although any individual instance of a given sentient being may have a finite existence within a given instance of a universe, the general pattern of any being’s consciousness cannot be removed from the metaverse, and has an unbounded existence within the metaverse.  This is because there is always some possible universe within which a given consciousness will continue developing beyond any given point.  Thus, when you die, the instance of you in this universe will cease, but the general pattern that is “you” will continue existing within other universes.  After your death (and really at all times), you will be most likely to find yourself within whichever universe has the greatest degree of reality, out of those in which you continue.

One logical consequence of the above premises is that our universe, out of those universes that contain sentient beings like ourselves, is very likely to be one that, for whatever reason, occurs especially often within the metaverse – the panoply of all possible universes.  That is, we expect to find that our universe is very “real,” in the technical sense of “real” used herein.  It may be that there is some special property of our universe that causes it to arise especially often, i.e., to be more real than others. One possibility is that the underlying laws of our universe are so simple to describe that our universe frequently occurs embedded within others purely by accident. (This relates to the more mainstream, Occam's Razor based view of reality taken by science.) But, another possibility (which does not exclude the first) is that there is something else about our universe, something special, something that just makes it so cool or interesting that it is an especially popular universe to simulate, among the population of sentient beings who have the capability to simulate universes. This leaves open the possibility that there may yet be some "ultimate destiny" or grand purpose to our universe, which may be what makes it so interesting to explore. We don't know what this grand purpose is yet, or even if it exists. One of the moral premises of metaversalism is that figuring out the ultimate destiny or purpose to our universe, if there is one, is an important goal.

1.2. Moral Premises,
          a.k.a., "Metaversal Ethics"

These premises deal with issues of values, i.e., what is deemed good/bad, or desirable/undesirable, from the religion’s perspective.  We separate these from issues of situation, i.e., beliefs about what is true/false.  Effective decision-making requires both beliefs and values. 

Details of Moral/Ethical Premises

2. Great Mysteries Solved by Metaversalism

3. Answers to some Objections to Metaversalism

4. History of Metaversalism