Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Crucifixion and MultiverseTheory

Having moved to Brooklyn, I now need to find a new church. And Brooklyn being the "Borough of Churches" I have plenty of choices -- there must be 6 Catholic churches within walking distance of our new apartment.

So I choose Saint Saviour, I will admit, mostly because the Mass was most convenient to when I woke up.

The Homily was about the Crucifixion and the importance of it to Catholic belief. Yet, it also has been very sanitized. The crucifix we see at home or in church is nice and clean, it cannot convey the horror and suffering Jesus endured.

But one thing the priest said was quite interesting. It was not important to the homily, to be sure, but raised my interest. Namely, if multiverse theory is correct, would the Crucifixion be the one common event in all multiverses.

In a nutshell, multiverse theory is that there exist an infinite number of alternative universes. In each, history takes a slightly different turn. For example, in one universe, the US Navy may have received the "war warning" in time to win the battle of Pearl Harbor. In another, you did not stub your toe on the bedpost this morning.

The homilist wondered if in each multiverse, the crucifixion would have been the one common event. He used the term "Omega Point" which I think was somewhat unfortunate. The term has something of a loaded meaning, under a very controversial theory of Catholic theology as the point to which all human consciousness is evolving.

Questions of terminology aside, it does make for an interesting thought experiment. I will admit that I always though a bit differently, that I could imagine a multiverse under which humanity accepted Christ's mission, making the Crucifixion unnecessary. But when you think about that, would you still have Christianity. For as the homilist today noted, without Good Friday, you cannot have Easter Sunday.


Rodak said...

The crucifix we see at home or in church is nice and clean, it cannot convey the horror and suffering Jesus endured.

You remember, I guess, the reaction when Mel Gibson depicted the actual horror of it in "The Passion of the Christ".

In an alternate universe where all men were good from the git-go and sin did not happen, there could be no Christ, since a Christ would have to bring sin into the world himself, in order to have any unique role. Religion would have no meaning in a perfect world.

universal said...

Discussing a very dubious theory that is a possible interpretation of certain mathematics in quantum physics is hardly a topic for a homily! You cannot know actuality from mathematics because it describes certain aspects of anything that is possible. Nor do we know whether the mathematics is correct in the first place.

I do not think the Multiverse is a theory compatible with wider reason either. For instance the Soul is not a quantum entity it can't split off like material theoretically could. Then there is a question of personal identity, no one would have a definite identity since we'd constantly be splitting off into separate realities. And those are just a couple I can think of off the top of my head.