Quantum immortality - why is my conscience the one surviving?


I have recently found out about the quantum immortality theory and the quantum suicide experiment, but there's one thing that I still can't wrap my head around.

Why is it that, if I was to attempt this experiment, exactly me me would survive, and not the other mes?

I don't understand why would the one who is conscious necessarily be the one who is immortal.

Let's say that I'm about to be hit by a car, but Quantum Mechanics kick in and I survive, but another me dies.Why exactly I am the one who survives, why is it not so that the other me could be the one who survives, and I die?


Posted 2015-03-10T21:07:12.687

Reputation: 23

Question was closed 2015-03-18T05:49:40.577

1I would not perform this experiment. What makes you think there's a lick of sense to any of this type of speculation, other than its trendiness. If you killed yourself you'd be dead. You disbelieve that? Where is the evidence that any of this silliness is true, as opposed to being something clever people like to amuse themselves with? – user4894 – 2015-03-10T21:18:24.880

5I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about physics. – None – 2015-03-10T23:36:18.283

@user4894 i don't follow your reasoning – None – 2015-03-11T03:55:27.313

@Keelan if quantum-interpretations is a legitimate tag in this forum then how can this question be off topic? And doesn't this question qualify as metaphysics anyway? – Alexander S King – 2015-03-11T04:05:40.107

@Keelan if it's off-topic, then why do there exist tags for such stuff? – JorensM – 2015-03-11T04:08:51.777

1Tags are broad categories; a topic which falls under a particular category still may not be asked in a manner which makes it a good fit for the site. E.G., "Socrates" is a tag, but asking "What did Socrates eat every day?" and tagging it as such would not necessarily make it a on-topic (philosophical) question. In this case, there are ideas in philosophy (esp. philosophy of mind) which might address quantum physics, but this question does seem to lean a bit more towards the physical than the philosophical aspect. Not my area of expertise, so I will defer to more knowledgeable community voters. – stoicfury – 2015-03-11T05:01:20.180

@MATHEMATICIAN Would you kill yourself based on this theory? If not, then why would anyone believe it? People get on flying machines based on the theory of flight, backed up by evidence that it's true. – user4894 – 2015-03-11T05:42:01.610

er yeah it's pretty easy to understand even if we're sure that we don't die we may not like the rest of the consequences – None – 2015-03-11T13:23:37.463

Quantum mechanics is called quantum mechanics because it works on a quantum level (only) - quantum mechanics does not work on a human level. Your question has no basis in reality. Vote to close. – Swami Vishwananda – 2015-03-15T11:13:43.257



A quantum experiment occurs and one version of you dies while the other survives. The big issue with quantum mechanics is that the outcome does not occur without an observation being performed. And performing an observation requires a conscious observer.

It is necessary for a conscious you ("you you" and not "the other you") to be around to observe the outcome of the experiment. A dead you cannot perform the act of observing, only a living conscious you can do so. So by the very definition of the experiment, no matter how many times the experiment is performed, the conscious you will be the only person remaining to observe the outcome of the experiment. In the other timelines/parallel universes, the experiment is no longer being performed, since the person performing it (you) is dead.

Alexander S King

Posted 2015-03-10T21:07:12.687

Reputation: 25 810

Woah, I never thought about it that way, but it actually makes sense. – JorensM – 2015-03-11T04:07:51.280