What if after I die my life starts all over again? With the same body and the same consciousness! Do you have counterarguments? 😓
In the science fiction novel Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut the entire universe repeats the 10 years from 1991 to 2001. Every event repeats precisely. Everybody knows exactly what is going to happen and is unable to do anything different from what happened the first time.
Vonnegut makes many interesting observations, some of which are very funny and some are quite depressing. But one question he raises is, what exactly is the difference for most people? Most people are just going along. They make very little difference in their own lives. Like being in a canoe and moving the paddle backward at exactly the rate the water is moving, neither slowing the boat nor speeding it up. The 10 years were like that. Everybody simple went along with it because they had no choice.
Arguments against this are certainly possible. All you have to do is something beyond neutral paddling. Look around and see what a nice day it is. Dip your hand in the water and marvel how cold it is and that you can feel it. Splash a little water up and see how the dros sparkle in the sun. Paddle over to the shore and have a look at that interesting rock. Find a pretty beach and get out and have a rest in the sun.
Until the end of the 10-year timequake. Then suddenly your free will is back and you don't remember what is going to happen. And neither does anybody else.
What if after I die my life starts all over again? With the same body and the same consciousness! Do you have counterarguments?
Body and consciousness are starting points. But life is about experiences. You will have different experiences (different parents, friends, education..) it will be a completely different life and you will be a different person.
Wouldn't that be great? And it's gonna happen. Gods created the perfect universe for it. There is an infinity of big bangs following each other up in serially.
Every new universe has its own beginning in time. The clone argument doesn't hold for separate universes. Every time fresh matter particle are sprayed into existence, on two sides of a 4D wormhole, sticking to 3D only. And every time a new you comes into being. But in different circumstances.
"What if a demon crept after thee into thy loneliest loneliness some day or night, and said to thee: "This life, as thou livest it at present, and hast lived it, thou must live it once more, and also innumerable times; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh, and all the unspeakably small and great in thy life must come to thee again, and all in the same series and sequence—and similarly this spider and this moonlight among the trees, and similarly this moment, and I myself. The eternal sand-glass of existence will ever be turned once more, and thou with it, thou speck of dust!"—Wouldst thou not throw thyself down and gnash thy teeth, and curse the demon that so spake? Or hast thou once experienced a tremendous moment in which thou wouldst answer him: "Thou art a God, and never did I hear anything so divine!" If that thought acquired power over thee as thou art, it would transform thee, and perhaps crush thee; the question with regard to all and everything: "Dost thou want this once more, and also for innumerable times?" would lie as the heaviest burden upon thy activity! Or, how wouldst thou have to become favourably inclined to thyself and to life, so as to long for nothing more ardently than for this last eternal sanctioning and sealing?" -Nietzsche,in The Gay Science
I regard what Nietzsche as doing here as offering a gedankenexperiment, a thought-experiment on what a maximal affirmation of life would be, and dispensing with regret.
The Law of Identity would say, either the re-run is exactly the same, and you have no memory of it, and would just make every choice the same, or there is some carry-over some memory or change, and you are a different person. Teletransportation Paradoxes are an established kind of thought-experiment that can help with this. We can look at how an exact copy of you, would be very similar, but increasingly begin to diverge and differentiate. A little like a genetically identical twin, great similarity, but different.
In Buddhist thought there are many descriptions of the kind of endless cycling of lives we are. For instance the exercise to cultivate compassion, of recognising all beings have been your mother and father in past lives. I would argue that if there is some small change or variation between recurrences, those will accumulate, even from somehow exactly the same initial conditions (though, in a non-solipsist picture surely everyone else would have the chance to change a little with each recurrence too), and different 'versions of you're will diverge. So, the better picture becomes the Buddhist one than Nierzsche's trapped replay through the same circumstances. More on this here: Are there specifically Buddhist arguments against the eternal return of the same? A modern picturing of rebirth is the Kurzgesacht video The Egg.
There have been various explorations of what could happen with some freedom to move in time, instead of always moving in one direction. The key thing if this were to apply to humans, would be accounting for what passes from one cycle to another, and it has to account for what we actually experience.
One way to imagine it might be that something from one recurrence, can only change the initial conditions of another, say the genes linked to disposition. In a very real sense if there is a change, the changed is no longer 'you'. But by the same reasoning, we are not completely the same person from day to day. We need to reflect on and consider challenges to our intuitions about identity, and there are tools and thought-experiments like the Ship of Theseus, or Buddhist questions like 'What is your original face from before you were born?'. Only with a picture or definition of identity and continuity, can you explore what recurrence might mean.