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Featured The implications of reality being a simulation

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Eddi, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    Because The Simulation tells me so!

    And no, I don’t expect others to believe me :)

    Also, I believe it would make sense. Consciousness would I believe be a type of resource necessary for The Simulation to function, otherwise it would be unrealistic if the participants were insentient zombies. As such, why would it be destroyed upon the “death” of participant? I believe that ultimately our individual consciousnesses are properties of a wider consciousness, the consciousness of The Simulism.

    I don’t believe that The Simulation would destroy itself, which I believe it what would be doing if it were to snuff us out once we die.
     
  2. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Ok... I guess.

    But why couldn't the simulation keep creating new individual consciousness, rather than reincarnating them ?
     
  3. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    No, as I have noted and demonstrated numerous times on this board, there are objective differences between voluntary acts and involuntary bodily movements.
     
  4. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    Compassion? Because it would be better if that were the case?

    Also, I believe that upon death our consciousness is reabsorbed into a pool of unused consciousness and then at a further point in time this is portioned out into new incarnations. I believe this resource - the resource of consciousness - is finite, and that The Simulation cannot create any more of this resource than it is allowed to or possibly can.

    So that's why I believe in reincarnation and why I don't believe it makes new consciousnesses.
     
    #64 Eddi, Nov 16, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  5. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Can you show with absolute certainty that my post is a voluntary act rather than a simulation of a voluntary act ?
    If you can, I am interested.
     
  6. IsaiahX

    IsaiahX Dreamer and Oneironaut

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    In my opinion, there are no real negative implications to living in a simulation. Being is still being, identity is still identity, I am who I am. Whether a consciousness is in a computer simulation or the "real" world it is still a consciousness, and all consciousness is intrinsically valuable.

    Perhaps my greatest revelation about concioisness and deity in a simulation or "dream" is from the anime Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou:


    "That required thinking about the Law of Identity.

    At face value, that was the undeniable principle that you were yourself.

    The fact that you were the person who was thinking your thoughts could not be shaken and that had already been touched on when it came to proving the existence of the world.

    But what if the world were someone’s dream?

    That answer was also simple.

    The world was created by the storyteller known as the Law of Identity.

    Then what was the world? The world was fiction.

    But at the same time, the world was an absolute truth from inside that fiction.

    From the outside, it was fiction. From the inside, it was truth.

    What if one tried viewing the world as fictional from the outside perspective?

    How did the world come to be?

    Rejecting all but the Law of Identity would leave yourself facing the one Law of Identity all alone. That would be one origin. It was possible the one having the dream lived in a world that was itself the dream of someone in another world that was again someone else’s dream, but even if that chain continued back infinitely, one specific origin could be found by facing that one Law of Identity.

    That one would be the one who had taken in all existence and all life.

    That one would be too lonely to call a god.

    They would be a truly solitary individual.

    Then what was the world?

    All the miscellaneous things added to the Law of Identity would be the world.

    Even if the world was fictional to the Law of Identity, that fiction could be life with a will of its own."
     
  7. dmap

    dmap God is good and beautiful

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    If we are living in a simulation, how do we know that the creatures providing the simulation are not themselves also in someone else's simulation?

    I think we are in a way in a simulation, but it resides outside this universe within the spiritual realm. The spiritual realm is at heart a simulation by the good God.
     
  8. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Obviously that isn't what I said, and I definitely do not have sufficient evidence to establish that you are not an automaton that is unable to choose to engage in voluntary bodily movements.
     
  9. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Then you don't have any disagreement with my post when I said: The funny part is that we can't be absolutely certain that someone else is having experiences or acting willfully.
     
  10. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Both of my statements are true:

    As I have noted and demonstrated numerous times on this board, there are objective differences between voluntary acts and involuntary bodily movements.

    and

    I definitely do not have sufficient evidence to establish that you are not an automaton that is unable to choose to engage in voluntary bodily movements.
     
  11. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    As is my statement. So ?
     
  12. allfoak

    allfoak Alchemist

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    We would be that much closer to fulfilling our purpose.
    We are here to transform matter into spirit.
     
  13. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    I don’t think it has any relevance at all. No matter the actual nature of our existence, it is our only option. We have to function (indeed can only function) in the universe we know.
     
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  14. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Follow-up questions for everyone who has said or otherwise implied that you believe there would be no consequences or implications for a person to believe that the universe is a simulation:

    If you believe the proposition is true that “there would be no consequences or implications for a person to believe that the universe is a simulation,” I assume that you are also a moral nihilist or anti-realist of some stripe (i.e., you do not agree with the thesis of moral realism, the thesis that states that there are objective moral facts), and that you are also an epiphenomenalist at least as it pertains to volition (the ability to choose between possible options; see OP here: Like Epiphenomenalism, Denial of Free Will is Self-Stultifying ) if not an eliminativist or anti-realist about consciousness (including experience) altogether.

    If my assumption is erroneous about you, please explain how one can hold the belief (a) that the universe is a simulation and, without contradiction, simultaneously hold the beliefs (b1) that there are objective moral facts and (b2) that consciousness is causally efficacious or that at least some persons are volitional, i.e., are able to choose between possible options.

    If you believe that a computer simulation (1) can at least theoretically create objective moral facts (e.g., objective moral fact: rape of 2-year-old children is always immoral) and/or (2) can create causally efficacious consciousness for at least some individual entities in the simulation, then please explain what is the factual basis for your belief.

    Thank you.
     
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  15. IsaiahX

    IsaiahX Dreamer and Oneironaut

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    Actually, I am exactly the opposite. I believe that whether our reality is simulated or not, all consciousness must be treated fairly, regardless of what a god-like CPU says. I believe there is a morality even more objective than that of the creators of the simulation.

    I would have to assume that all apparent consciousnesses are self-aware/volitional simply due to the fact that if I'm right, I would have avoided much calamity. Also, if I am indeed conscious, then I would assume other beings in the simulation are, simply because I wouldn't imagine the CPU would waste so much space. There would be no real verifiable way to prove their awareness, but I must assume so just in case they indeed are.
     
  16. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    That’s a lot of “isms” to digest.

    For me personally, I never said that I thought there might not be implications or consequences if the universe were a simulation, only that it doesn’t really matter because this is the only universe we can experience in whatever way we experience it. I highly doubt the universe is a simulation, but 100% certainty is rarely attainable on anything, if at all.

    As to moral objectivity, how are you using the term “objective”? Are you meaning it in the sense that the moral would exist in the absense of anyone having to have thought of it, or of a god of some sort having declared it? In otherwords, it would be like one of the physical laws of the universe?

    I ask, because a moral could be considered objective in relation to a beforehand agreed upon standard. But in the absolute sense, I don’t understand how a moral could be objective.

    In the case of theists, they will claim morality is objective because it emimates from their preferred god. I reject that because it means it is dependent upon their god. For morality to be absolutely objective, it seems to me it would have to,exist independently of anything else. In otherwords, it would exist even if there were no god and no human to consider it.

    You seem to have given this question a lot of thought. I haven’t delved into all the “isms” as you have and don’t clearely understand the implications of each, but I will follow the thread and see where the conversation goes.
     
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  17. Eddi

    Eddi Mark 5:9

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    I don’t really know what to think regarding what would be the human (and specifically moral) implications of a mass belief in the computer simulation hypothesis (hence the creation of this thread - that's what I want to find out!) but I can certainly see why once could argue that it would produce a deep moral crisis.

    I do however have some tentative thoughts to offer on the matter: Basically, I don’t see why the morality and belief systems in existence outside any computer simulation would not apply to within said simulation. And I believe any responsible creator or overseer of a simulation who had any ethical concern at all would be sure that people within a simulation would have access to a moral code and be able to live with moral certainty – such as being able to believe in moral facts, even whilst knowing their dimension of reality is simulated. And if you lived inside a simulation and knew it, you can still use God as a source of morality, if you believed in him. Being in a simulation would not cut you off from God. Neither does it cut you off from ultimate reality and the moral systems that exist there. And I would say, neither does it make you or anyone else any less real and deserving of ethical treatment.

    I would therefore say that any moral crisis caused by knowing we are virtual people in a simulated world could be resolved and would not necessarily be all that huge, and that general moral order as we know it today would eventually be upheld. There'd still be moral influence from both humanism and organised religion. Although granted, many things would change. I think the nature and extent of any moral crisis would be related to how carefully the facts regarding the simulated nature of our reality are presented to the masses. But that’s an entirely different issue.
     
  18. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Well, there seems to be a lot of suffering happening on earth, experienced by both humans and non-human animals. As you probably are aware, the issue of suffering is often brought up by people arguing against the existence of a loving, omnipotent God.

    In any case, for all of the people and other animals who haven't "known" or believed that the universe is (just) a computer simulation, their suffering has presumably seemed quite real to them. So it doesn't seem to that the simulation creator is exactly benevolent.

    But, conversely, for people who believe that the universe is a simulation, it seems to me that they are likely to view the suffering they cause to others as ultimately not "really real".

    Did you say what you meant to say there? If so, I don't seem to grasp your point, or how it would be that you would have avoided more calamity than you have avoided if you had assumed that you were not not self-aware and/or volitional.

    On the other hand, the issue that stands out in my mind is that the conjunction of the propositions "I believe the universe is a computer simulation" and "I believe I am truly volitional and can choose between available alternatives" seems to me to be, at least currently, contradictory. At least currently, we don't have a clue as to how to create a computer program that willfully chooses between available alternatives, much less a program where there are many billions or trillions of separate volitional conscious creatures who are volitional and acting autonomously.
     
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  19. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Moral realism is just the thesis that there are objective moral facts--that it really, objectively, is wrong and immoral to, e.g., intentionally rape a 4-year-old child for one's own momentary pleasure, and that intentionally raping a 4-year-old child for one's own pleasure is morally different than, e.g., teaching that child to read or to tie her shoes.

    I'm sure better explanations of moral realism can be found online than what I just said and am about to say. I'll try to find one. Nevertheless, an objective moral fact is just one that isn't merely relative to a culture (e.g., intentionally raping a 4-year-old child isn't wrong merely because one's society has arbitrary decided to outlaw or disapprove of that act), and that moral facts are essentially like mathematical facts--they don't have any spacetime location, but the propositions are true because there exists something that the facts refer to that makes them true.
     
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  20. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Well, transferring an objective moral fact and/or belief system to a computer simulation seems like a rather magical accomplishment. I definitely don't know how one would accomplish such a feat. I know of no gate or on/off switch by which to accomplish such a transference.

    Of course, given that there is a great deal of suffering that happens among humans and non-human animals alike, one can only wonder the simulation creator is ethically "responsible". Why didn't he or she create a simulation where creatures don't endure such suffering as found among creatures on earth?

    Not to mention the fact that humans don't live with moral certitude. We have lots of questions, discussions and disagreements about what acts are moral or immoral.
     
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