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If, as Luboš Motl says, Poincaré recurrence is relevant for our universe, does this mean (1) that, after I die, I'll one day live through my life again after the same physical pattern that is currently me reconfigures and (2) that I'm thus immortal because this reconfiguration of my pattern will happen endlessly? (Please see Is Poincare recurrence relevant to our universe?)

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Kyle Kanos, John Rennie, Ryan Unger, gigacyan, Prahar Aug 22 '15 at 4:41

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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This is more a philosophical answer, but it is also more a philosophical question since it is actually the question how you define Immortality.

If you were really reborn after $10^{10^{10^{120}}}$ years, would it still be you? Of course, it will be an identical version of you, but is it really the same you as it was $10^{10^{10^{120}}}$ years ago? This problem has been discussed in philosophy a lot of times, and became known as the Theseus' paradox, but that was about rebuilding a ship rather than a person.

In this case, your reborn is qualitatively identical, but not numerically identical.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your interesting answer. I understand the paradox—but what I really want to know is whether the relevance of Poincaré recurrence for our universe entails that such a qualitatively identical copy of myself will be repeated endlessly or whether I'm misunderstanding the implications of Poincaré recurrence. $\endgroup$ – Horton Hears Aug 16 '15 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ @HortonHears If you read the statement of the Poincaré recurrence theorem, then it actually says that the universe will return in a state very close to the state of the current universe, rather than the same state, so it wouldn't be an identical copy. $\endgroup$ – wythagoras Aug 16 '15 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I think I understand. I can't read the theorem because I'm mathematically illiterate. But does the theorem imply that, even with a future-eternal universe with Poincaré recurrence, the current state of the universe will never be repeated identically? I'm imagining that each time the Poincaré recurrence occurs in the future, the universe is randomly slightly different and thus will happen, eventually, to repeat past states identically. Many thanks. $\endgroup$ – Horton Hears Aug 16 '15 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ To try to make what I just said clearer, let me say it this way: If our universe is in a state 1 and, after the Poincaré recurrence, will be in a state 1a (i.e., 'a state very close to the state of the current universe'), there are still an infinite number of times that Poincaré recurrence will occur, and since there are only a finite number of states for our universe, won't state 1 repeat endlessly even if it does not repeat directly after it experiences its first Poincaré recurrence? $\endgroup$ – Horton Hears Aug 16 '15 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Why are there only finitely many patterns for our universe? Space is continuous, so I think there are infinitely many states, and in fact continuum many. $\endgroup$ – wythagoras Aug 16 '15 at 15:53
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In any number of different types of multiverse, "you" will recur with all possible variations and every path taken. The most familiar is the MWI of QM and things like Quantum Immortality and Quantum Suicide. At least with the latter you may get to subjectively verify its truth.

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In the block time perspective, there is no special status for "now", as the past, future and present are all equally real. Therefore, in case of Poincaré recurrence you are not going to relive your life again, rather you should picture yourself as being in all these possible future and past states simultaneously.

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