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Quantum Christology?

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Posted by Harvey on November 16, 2003 05:07:09 UTC

Now and then I see some loose parallels between Christianity and quantum mechanics. It's rather rough parallels that only someone who wants to see parallels would see, but I thought I'd state them anyway, if nothing less than for fun...

1) Judgement and Measurement

In Christianity the Judgement is often seen as what decides what is real in an everlasting sense. Before the Judgement, there are earthly things - or temporary things - that exist, but after Judgement all that exists is eternal.

In one interpretation of quantum mechanics, the measurement is what 'collapses' the wave function to one eigenvalue. Somehow wave functions are routinely collapsed, which is why the natural world is not in superposition and acts classically versus quantum-mechanically.

A judgement is a kind of measurement, and both the Judgement of Christianity and the Measurement of a particular quantum-mechanical interpretation are what 'locks' in reality in some permanent fashion.

2) One in Christ and Entanglement

In Christianity, a Christian is to be one with Christ such that Christ should live his life in that person. The Christian and the Savior become 'one' and the mark of a Christian is to have Christ's spirit in them. This also joins all Christians in the sense that whatever one does to the least of the Jesus' brethren, one does to Jesus also.

In quantum mechanics, separate and independent particles can become entangled such that they no longer act independently, but affecting one particle automatically affects the entangled particle.

Becoming 'one' and entanglement are very similar concepts albeit from two very different subject matters. In fact, one could say that one has should become entangled with Christ, and few theologians would probably disagree with that terminology.

3) Earthly and Heavenly State and Superposition

In Christianity, a Christian has two states. There is the earthly state that is here right now, and there is the heavenly state which is just as real, but also has one's name written in the book of life. God calls those things that will be as though they already are, hence to be born of the Holy Spirit is to be in fact 'born again' in the sense that you have a new spiritual state that sees its full reality in the next world after the Judgement.

In quantum mechanics, a particle can have multiple states at once - called superposition - and each state is just as real as any other prior to a measurement.

Christianity could be seen as teaching a superposition of earthly and heavenly states. After Judgement, the Christian state is decided as a heavenly state.

4) Brought to Heaven and Tunneling

In Christianity, it is considered possible to transfer directly from this earthly position to heaven. The transfer is considered instantaneous.

In quantum mechanics, particles can tunnel instantaneously through a barrier, and arrive at the other side.

I suppose one could say that the commute to and from heaven is a lot like quantum tunneling. The Christian tunnels through this earthly barrier, to arrive 'on the other side'. In fact, death is often seen as a tunneling experience where one in fact arrives 'on the other side'.

5) Light & Darkness and Interference

In Christianity, light is symbol of God and darkness is seen as the symbol of evil and a final end to all those things that are against God. The evil elements cancel themselves out by their deeds, and the good or 'light' is what is left after those impure elements are removed.

Quantum mechanics has interference which cancels the probability amplitudes of those waves that interfere, and the waves that do not interfere (i.e., their probability amplitudes make them exceedingly likely), are what we see.

In the eyes of Christianity, the sorting of good and evil in our world is similar to interference sorting out probability amplitudes. Only good remains, and the dark fringes are where the wave amplitudes were cancelled out.

6) Many Rooms and Many Worlds

Jesus mentioned that in his Father's mansion there are many rooms. Which is meant to say that to live with God there is no shortage of 'worlds' that one can live in God's domain - heaven.

In a certain interpretation of quantum mechanics, there are many worlds which has multiple worlds for every possible eigenvalue obtained in a measurement. So, for every measurement, there is a world that possesses one of the possible measurement values that the eigenfunction allows.

Similar to this interpretation of quantum mechanics, the Judgement allows for many different end states for an individual, and some of those states are the abode of God (i.e., heavenly world), and some of those states are in 'darkness'. Christianity does not go so far as to say that each person has multiple states, rather it stays with the classical conception of one state per individual. But, there are some very loose parallels.

7) Narrow path and the path integral

According to Jesus, the heavenly path is narrow and straight, the majority do not find the right path that leads to heaven. Broad is the way that leads to damnation.

In Feynman's path integral, the path of a particle is very narrow. In fact, there are an infinite number of paths, but the path that a particle actually takes is one very selected pathway. Fortunately for the particle, the actual path is made easy because the amplitudes of the other infinite paths are cancelled out, hence the actual path is the only one that is not cancelled out.

Jesus said woe unto the rich man because it is so difficult for them to be in the kingdom of heaven. When asked about what he meant, he said that with men the correct path is impossible, but with God pursuing the correct path is possible. According to Paul, the correct path is made possible by Jesus who made it possible for all peoples to follow that path that does not lead to darkness. You might say it is the path that is left after all the other paths cancel themselves out.

Well, I doubt quantum mechanics will ever be taught in Sunday school, but it makes for fun speculation if you like to think this way. I see it as more tongue and cheek fun.

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