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Philosophical Implications of Inflationary Cosmology

Knobe, Joshua and Olum, Ken and Vilenkin, Alexander (2003) Philosophical Implications of Inflationary Cosmology. [Preprint]

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Recent developments in cosmology indicate that every history having a nonzero probability is realized in infinitely many distinct regions of spacetime. Thus, it appears that the universe contains infinitely many civilizations exactly like our own, as well as infinitely many civilizations that differ from our own in any way permitted by physical laws. We explore the implications of this conclusion for ethical theory and for the doomsday argument. In the infinite universe, we find that the doomsday argument applies only to effects which change the average lifetime of all civilizations, and not those which affect our civilization alone.

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Item Type: Preprint
Knobe, Joshua
Olum, Ken
Vilenkin, Alexander
Keywords: Inflation, Cosmology, Philosophy of Physics, Doomsday, Ethics.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Joshua Knobe
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2003
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:11
Item ID: 1149

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