Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Waiting for 2010 #103: You Are a Ship of Theseus in the Fourth Dimension

Yesterday's rant (the one before my photo blog) had me thinking about linking. (Appropriately enough, my example in yesterday's entry involved linking Lincoln.) If some sort of fifth dimensional "soul" ties all the yous across all time possibilities, then a fourth dimensional "soul" ties all the yous across all space possibilities, that is to say, along a single line of time.

This pretty much answers the Ship of Theseus paradox, and who we are in relation to that. As time goes on, a body will replace its cells, and yet, an individual remains that same individual. A "soul" (for lack of a better word) - or better yet, a life - exists for a certain length along the line of fourth dimensional time. That life is the link that connects all possible body formations (old and new cells alike) as one individual.

Quoting Wikipedia:

The Ship of Theseus, also known as Theseus's paradox, is a paradox that raises the question of whether an object which has had all its component parts replaced remains fundamentally the same object.
And apparently, I am not alone in this line of thinking about linking:
One solution to this paradox may come from the concept of four dimensionalism. Ted Sider and others have proposed that these problems can be solved by considering all things as 4-dimensional objects. An object is a spatially extended three-dimensional thing that also extends across the 4th dimension of time. This 4-dimensional object is made up of 3-dimensional time-slices. These are spatially extended things that exist only at individual points in time. An object is made up of a series of causally related time-slices. All time-slices are numerically identical to themselves. And the whole aggregate of time-slices, namely the 4-dimensional object, is also numerically identical with itself. But the individual time-slices can have qualities that differ from each other.
A life in the fourth dimension links all versions of a body as one individual; a soul (for lack of a more coherent term) in the fifth dimension hypothetically links all possible diverging lives of the same individual. In the sixth (or higher!) dimension, does something or someone link all persons, places, things, and ideas - and all possibilities thereof - as one? Is this the realm of the supernatural, the realm of the divine, and the realm of forms?

No one (who's stuck in the fourth dimension) truly knows.

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