Is simulism the end of atheism?

heretic5
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Is simulism the end of atheism?

Hello EverybodySmiling

 

The topic of simulism seems large enough to provide a lengthy discussion. For an introduction to the topic of simulism, please see http://www.simulism.org/Simulism

For an interesting varient, please see http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

The latter causes the question: is simulism, ala Bostrom, the end of atheism as we know it?

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Wonderist
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There are good reasons to

There are good reasons to doubt simulism. A sufficiently advanced Sim would be able to discern the presence of the sim-creator/sim-player by examining the underlying laws of the sim-universe, just as we use physics today to do so. There would not be quantum uncertainty, there would be some pattern to quantumness, due to the actions of the player/creator.

Another good reason to doubt it is the idea of Leaky Abstractions. This is something that is probably not familiar to non-computer-scientists, but here are a couple of links to explain it:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/LeakyAbstractions.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaky_abstraction

Essentially, it's like this: There's no practical way to completely isolate a simulation from the underlying simulator. There will always be telltale signs of the abstractions relied upon by the simulator to perform the simulation.

If simulations in our universe have leaky abstractions, then it's likely that if our universe itself was a simulation, then it too would have leaky abstractions. We would see the signature of the creator/player in the underlying quantum effects. 

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Leaky Abstractions

Thanks for the links to excellent information. As to seeing the leaks in this universe, if this universe were to be a simulation, we would only be able to notice the leaks if we were allowed to notice them, yes? Even if we were allowed to notice them, we would only correctly understand them if we were allowed to correctly understand them, yes?

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I personally find the idea

I personally find the idea as absurd as that of a "god". Remember that that which explains everythings explains nothing at all. In other words, you can use the will of the "designer" to explain any phenomenon and therefore it fails to provide a predictive framework (ie a scientific theory). I could also explain the past at any point in time as just a collection of false memories and reality popping into existance one second ago, but it doesn't make it true.


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an explanation of everything

"Remember, that which explains everything, explains nothing." Hm. Don't tell the physicists that, they will be terribly disappointed to learn that their quest for a Theory Of Everything, if successful, will explain nothing Smiling As to the idea of simulations being absurd, when did the absurdity of anything ever prevent us from implimenting an idea? As to the will of the "designer" being an explanation of anything and everything in a simulation, and therefore failing to provide a predictive framework, doesn't that view of the "designer" of a simulation assume that the "designer" is capricious? But in the case that a "designer" of a particular simulation were to be capricious, would the entities in the simulation be able to do anything about it, except appeal to the simulator of the capricious "designer"? But if the capricious "designer" were to be the simulator of the first simulation, the simulation which was the basis of all subsequent simulation, then to whom could an appeal be made? In summary, although the idea that we live in a simulation might be distasteful because it might be absurd (at least, from our point of view), does that distastefullness (or absurdityness) lessen the possibility of it being true? Einstein found quantum mechanics to be distasteful; but does that lessen the possibility that it is true?

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Interestingly enough Iain M

Interestingly enough Iain M Banks has this idea as the basis for the galaxies largest religion in his book the Algebraist. His idea is that of all the space faring cultures that met all of them at one stage in their philsophical development came up with this idea. What if we are a brain in a vat? Or in a computer similulation? This was the one unifying idea of all philsophical traditions from all of the space faring races that inhabit his universe thus it became tha galaxies unifying religion. The notion is that when enough people follow "the way" and understand that reality is just a simulation then the simulation will end and the true nature of the universe will be revealed.

I love Bank's sci fi precicely for shit like this. Anyone who has not checked it out I recomened that you do so.

 


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I read a short story years

I read a short story years ago about this dude who had gotten really close to inventing a force field capable of instantly protecting an entire city from nuclear attack. The thing was, as he got closer and closer to finishing the work, he began having intense suicidal cravings. Not thoughts... cravings. The thing is, he didn't want to die. It was only when he thought about the force field that he went into an almost subconscious state of wanting to kill himself.

Short story shorter: Turns out that humans are a petri dish of sorts, and that nuclear war is the antiseptic in case we get out of hand. The suicidal instincts were hidden in our DNA by our designers so that we wouldn't get out of the petri dish.

Anyway, I always regard this kind of speculation as a "so what" issue. It's no different than Descartes asking if we are dreaming or being deceived, and ends up at the same outcome. If there's nothing we can do to detect the Matrix, the Matrix, for all practical purposes, doesn't exist.

Might as well say that reality is nothing and that we are made up mostly of space. That being the case, we can walk through walls, since they are also mostly made of empty space.

Furthermore, if we are a simulation or experiment or some such weirdness, we are still in exactly the same place. Realizing it won't change the nature of it, and falling from a building will still hurt like hell, and Christianity is still a stupid religion, as is Islam. Buddhism is still a little better, but still kind of wacky. Dualism still doesn't make any sense. Argument from ignorance is still a fallacy.

In other words, if true, it would have absolutely zero effect on anything.

 

 

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Quote: In summary, although

Quote:
In summary, although the idea that we live in a simulation might be distasteful because it might be absurd (at least, from our point of view), does that distastefullness (or absurdityness) lessen the possibility of it being true?

Distasteful?

Nah. 

Absurd?  Maybe a bit.  Just irrelevant.

Possibility of truth?  Who knows...  Without any evidence, it has exactly the same possibility as god.  N/A.

(That's right!  I didn't say zero possibility.  For a thing to even be talked about as possible, it has to be defined in a way that is possible.  Both "god" and "life as simulation" are so poorly defined that their possibility can't be calculated.)

 

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What we have to do to even

What we have to do to even consider this possibility, though, is to completely disregard everything that we think we know to exist aside from the 'I' whch has its existence established through retortion. Once we do this then we have no basis on which to define what a simulation is, or what a designer is, or what an environment is, as these concepts are all based in what we know as reality; the universe in which we exist. Once we do this, we no longer have a basis by which to consider a simulation a possibility. If we can't trust our sense to establish reality, then we basically lose any reliable means or criteria by which to question reality.

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Hambydammit wrote: If

Hambydammit wrote:
If there's nothing we can do to detect the Matrix, the Matrix, for all practical purposes, doesn't exist.
Correct. On the other hand, if there were something we could do to detect the Matrix, and it were to be detected, then for practical purposes, it would exist, yes? Given that were to be the case, then what might we do to detect the Matrix, aside from looking for the tell-tale "Leaks" alluded to by another person? One possible action we might take would be to say (or think), "I see you, Mr. Matrix; so admit that you are the simulator." What would be the basis for such a statement (or thought)? The probabilities which were mentioned by Bostrom is one possible basis for making such a statement (or thought), yes?

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Quote: if there were

Quote:
if there were something we could do to detect the Matrix, and it were to be detected, then for practical purposes, it would exist, yes?

Yes.

But, we might as well talk about the possibility that the earth is actually a single atom within a giant tomato plant growing in Elvis' rooftop mansion on Mars. There's exactly the same amount of evidence for both theories, after all.

Quote:
then what might we do to detect the Matrix, aside from looking for the tell-tale "Leaks" alluded to by another person?

I dunno. Before you can start looking for something, you have to know something about it. This whole theory is just wild speculation. Suppose that one day, physicists notice something "glitchy," for lack of a better word. The first step is to see if the glitch actually fits somewhere in current theory. If there's no way it can fit, the next step is to determine if the glitch really happened, or if it was instrument failure, mistaken observation, etc. Then, you have to try to reproduce it. If you can quantify it, you then have to rework the physics and try to find a model in which the glitch would work.

I'm at a loss to think of anything that would indicate such a simulation, but I'm not a physicist. My point, though, is that the evidence of a glitch would be earth shatteringly unusual. It would immediately make the rounds of all the major universities. It would literally be on the lips of every theorist in the world. (Realize, good scientists would not immediately suspect a "glitch in the matrix." They'd just know that something wasn't right, so you can't really say they would cover it up, or some such nonsense.)

 

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Vessel wrote: If we can't

Vessel wrote:
If we can't trust our sense to establish reality, then we basically lose any reliable means or criteria by which to question reality.
Not so. Our mind would remain, yes?

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Hambydammit wrote: This

Hambydammit wrote:
This whole theory is just wild speculation.
Hm. It would be speculation (wild, or otherwise) until and unless somebody reported contact with Mr. Matrix, yes? In that case, other people could try to duplicate the claim, yes? I now report successful contact with Mr. Matrix. So the question becomes: could somebody else do likewise? The answer would be that somebody could; but not everybody. Why not everybody? Because one of the prerequisites to a successful contact is that the person who is attempting to make the contact must have some modicum of certainty that Mr. Matrix exists. Otherwise, Mr. Matrix will decline the request for contact. So those who fail to make contact with Mr. Matrix will probably say that those who claim to have made contact are self-deluded. Mexican stand-off.

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heretic5 wrote: Vessel

heretic5 wrote:
Vessel wrote:
If we can't trust our sense to establish reality, then we basically lose any reliable means or criteria by which to question reality.
Not so. Our mind would remain, yes?

Let me try to make state this another way to see  if my thinking is more clear, and possibly sound.

What I know of reality I only know through my senses. The environment in which the 'I' exists is known only by data gleaned from the environment by the senses, interpreted by the mind. If, at any point, I come to the conclusion that I can not trust my senses to be informing me about my actual environment (in total in this case, as opposed to those who have reason to question certain isolated aspects of their environment), then at that point I become incapable of knowing anything about my environment aside for the necessity that 'I' exist. This would include my ability to reasonably determine that I existed within a simulation as my only understanding of a simulation is the one I have acquired through sensory data from what I now think to be a false reality.

The problem as I see it seems to be much like that raised by the superntural non-cognitivist who would state that to make any reference to the supernatural one must import concepts that are stolen from naturalism which, by definition, can not be relevant to the supernatural. In order for one to question the actuality of the environment (their reality) in which they exist they must import concepts stolen from that environment (reality) in the process of questioning its actuality. But, if their environemt is not actual then they have no reason to believe the stolen concepts by which they are questioning it are reasonable.

 Perhaps this objection does not pertain to the specific argument of existing in a simulation by future post-humans so much as the general concept of the possibility one exists in a reality that is not the reality in which their senses tell them they exist in general. But if one is going to allow for the possibility of such an existence as the simulation then I can not see how they cannot give equal weight to any near infinite amount of other possible deceptive realities and then this objection seems to apply.

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Vessel wrote: heretic5

Vessel wrote:

heretic5 wrote:
Vessel wrote:
If we can't trust our sense to establish reality, then we basically lose any reliable means or criteria by which to question reality.
Not so. Our mind would remain, yes?

Let me try to make state this another way to see  if my thinking is more clear, and possibly sound.

Thanks for your clarification. It nevertheless seems to me that the original question of this thread, "Is simulism the end of atheism as we know it?", has been answered and the answer is in the negative, yes? Given that this is the situation, then this thread has been exhausted, yes?

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I like the digital universe

I like the digital universe theory. The 'it from bit' can give us new insight into the universe.


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heretic5 wrote: Thanks for

heretic5 wrote:
Thanks for your clarification.

No problemo. 

 

Quote:
It nevertheless seems to me that the original question of this thread, "Is simulism the end of atheism as we know it?", has been answered and the answer is in the negative, yes?

 From my perspective, that is the case.

 

Quote:
Given that this is the situation, then this thread has been exhausted, yes?

Possibly. Some may not agree and for them the answer would probably be no. If you feel it has then from your perspective I would assume the answer is yes. I, for one, would agree with you at this point.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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new insight into the universe

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I like the digital universe theory. The 'it from bit' can give us new insight into the universe.
Well, if it's new insight into the universe that you be wanting, then you might be interested to peruse http://www.metaresearch.org/home.asp or

http://www.binaryresearchinstitute.org/

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Quote: It would be

Quote:
It would be speculation (wild, or otherwise) until and unless somebody reported contact with Mr. Matrix, yes?

Close. It would be speculation until and unless somebody DEMONSTRATED contact with Mr. Matrix. I can claim it all day long, but it has no scientific weight until I can demonstrate it empirically.

Human testimony does not in any way constitute evidence for science. Period.

Quote:
In that case, other people could try to duplicate the claim, yes? I now report successful contact with Mr. Matrix. So the question becomes: could somebody else do likewise?

None of this matters because you haven't demonstrated it. Evidence Evidence Evidence. If you've talked with Mr. Matrix, ask him how he interacts with the universe, then tell the scientists so they'll know what to look for. Get it? Ask him what "glitches" we ought to be keeping an eye out for.

Quote:
The answer would be that somebody could; but not everybody.

You seem to know all about this Matrix somehow. That's really odd, considering you already said there's no evidence of it. How, then, do you know something about it?

Quote:
Why not everybody? Because one of the prerequisites to a successful contact is that the person who is attempting to make the contact must have some modicum of certainty that Mr. Matrix exists.

So much you know about it! And you managed to somehow figure this out with no evidence. Staggering logical abilities you have. Maybe you could show us the proof... I mean the logical proof. Since you have no empirical science, you must be relying on logical deduction After all, that's the only other choice! I'd love to see how you know that this is what the Matrix is like.

Quote:
Otherwise, Mr. Matrix will decline the request for contact. So those who fail to make contact with Mr. Matrix will probably say that those who claim to have made contact are self-deluded. Mexican stand-off.

So, you went all that way to say that anyone who claims to have talked to Mr. Matrix is, by all accounts, delusional, since they can't come up with any proof of their contact.

I agree. People who claim to know things about the Matrix, God, or any other superheroes in the sky appear delusional precisely because they claim to know things without the slightest bit of empirical proof or logical support. That, after all, is exactly what delusional means.

The thing is, delusional people don't think they're delusional, do they? Funny thing about that. Everybody else can see that they're delusional, and they can't, precisely because they're delusional.

You think it's a catch 22, perhaps? Nobody knows if they're delusional or not because we might be deceived, dreaming, or delusional, so anything is possible, right?

Do you think that's the way it is? (I'm really asking you. It's not rhetorical.)

 

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Do you

Hambydammit wrote:

Do you think it's a catch 22, perhaps? Nobody knows if they're delusional or not because we might be deceived, dreaming, or delusional, so anything is possible, right?

Do you think that's the way it is? (I'm really asking you. It's not rhetorical.)

Yes.

As to "objective evidence", that phrase is an oxymoron in a simulation, yes? If I nevertheless made contact with "Mr Matrix", how did I do that, was part of your question. Five years of living out of dumpsters, so-called "Rescue Missions", begging, and some work, most of which was given to me out of pity. I did not say that it was easy, merely that it was possible.

 And by the way, I am not the first to make contact. Noooo, no. SETI is waiting for "first contact". I have news for them; it already happened thousands of years ago. I have some more news for whomever: the mind of "Mr. Matrix" is alien, really alien. I joke you not.

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I noticed that it got

I noticed that it got deathly quiet in this thread after my previous post. One way to understand that silence would be to suppose that everybody in here realized that if we are in a simulation, then we are in the most terrible conceivable predicament. Another way to understand the sudden silence in here would be to suppose that everybody realized that my trolley has run so far off of the track that nothing can be said which would ever get it back on track. The most probable situation is that it is a mixture of the two extremes: some thinking one, some the other. The difficulty is that nobody, not even me, can know for sure which way it is. Everybody better hope that my trolley is completely off the tracks, because if it's not...

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heretic5 wrote: I noticed

heretic5 wrote:
I noticed that it got deathly quiet in this thread after my previous post. One way to understand that silence would be to suppose that everybody in here realized that if we are in a simulation, then we are in the most terrible conceivable predicament. Another way to understand the sudden silence in here would be to suppose that everybody realized that my trolley has run so far off of the track that nothing can be said which would ever get it back on track. The most probable situation is that it is a mixture of the two extremes: some thinking one, some the other. The difficulty is that nobody, not even me, can know for sure which way it is. Everybody better hope that my trolley is completely off the tracks, because if it's not...

Personally, I think your trolley went nuclear. My first suggestion to you, all joking aside, would be to have a psychological evaluation. I

t would also only be reasonable for you to question what you think you may know, being as that, as I explained in my above posts, when you think that you have been tricked to the point that what you experience can no longer be trusted to be reality then you no longer have any reason to trust your experiences. For this reason you have no reason to think that the simulation you think you are in is actual as your knowledge of it is based in what you think you have experienced. You have no reason now to believe the simulation is actual reality any more than you would to believe actual reality is actual reality, so you might as well chop off the simulation with Ockham's blade. 

Even if this were a simulation, which it is not (trust me, I am an omniscient unicorn), why would that matter. If life is good, does it matter whether it is good in a simulation or in a reality? If life is not good, wouldn't it be better if it was all just a simulation instead of a bad reality? 

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Quote of Vessel: "Even if

Quote of Vessel: "Even if this were a simulation, which it is not (trust me, I am an omniscient unicorn), why would that matter. " ? Aha! It would matter because we could not get away from Mr. Matrix, not even by dying.

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Quote: As to "objective

Quote:
As to "objective evidence", that phrase is an oxymoron in a simulation, yes?

No.

I already explained this to you.

Quote:
If I nevertheless made contact with "Mr Matrix", how did I do that, was part of your question. Five years of living out of dumpsters, so-called "Rescue Missions", begging, and some work, most of which was given to me out of pity. I did not say that it was easy, merely that it was possible.

Well, to be honest, heretic, you kind of lost it here, and I'm sorry about that.  It's not that I don't have some empathy for what you've been through, but that none of this has anything to do with anything.

You've made a good case for being delusional, in fact.  You've started off talking about evidence, about possible "glitches" and so forth, and been fairly coherent, and now you've just backed off and essentially said, "I heard the voice of god in my head."

Well, heretic, that's exactly the same argument that millions of people have made representing thousands of other gods throughout history, and it's never, ever stood up to science.  Not once.  Neither does your experience.

 

Quote:
And by the way, I am not the first to make contact. Noooo, no. SETI is waiting for "first contact". I have news for them; it already happened thousands of years ago. I have some more news for whomever: the mind of "Mr. Matrix" is alien, really alien. I joke you not.

I'm really sorry that you joke not.  Remember a couple of posts back when I mentioned delusional people not being able to see their own delusions?

Here's the deal.  Existence is axiomatic.  In other words, we cannot deny our own existence without using our own existence to ask the question.  We know this to be certain.  If we're in a simulation, we still exist as something.  Now, as to the question of dreaming or deceived, there are two choices.  First, there is evidence of the dream or the deception.  If this is true, then there are clues to the nature of actual reality, and we can search for them.  Second, if there are no clues, then for all practical and philosophical purposes, the dream or deception is reality, and sanity within this reality is contingent on following the laws of logic and empiricism as they occur within this reality.

Within this reality, dreams and special voices in your head are not empirical evidence.  They are evidence of delusion.  Period.  End of story.

 

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Quote: I noticed that it

Quote:
I noticed that it got deathly quiet in this thread after my previous post.

That's because everyone here simultaneously realized that you need psychological evaluation because you're massively delusional and possibly schizophrenic. I'm not trying to be mean. I'm just telling you the truth.

Quote:
Another way to understand the sudden silence in here would be to suppose that everybody realized that my trolley has run so far off of the track that nothing can be said which would ever get it back on track.

Give the man a prize.

Quote:
The difficulty is that nobody, not even me, can know for sure which way it is.

I'm not a big fan of medication, but you might need it, and you might be amazed how much easier it is for you to see the difference once a couple of chemicals in your brain balance out. Unfortunately, there's nothing any of us can do except try to talk you into going to a doctor, and the best guess is that you won't do it because you're so convinced of your delusion that you don't want to give it up.

Quote:
Everybody better hope that my trolley is completely off the tracks, because if it's not...

I'll sleep pretty well tonight. Don't worry.

Please, please, please, please go to a doctor.

 

 

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Well, I guess I'll have to

Well, I guess I'll have to dub myself a "nonsimulist."  I could have picked asimulist to show that I don't live my life believing it's a simulation, or I could have just claimed agnosticism to declare that I am unable to know either way.  But "non" is the appropriate prefix for me, in that I neither know, nor care about whether or not this is a simulation.  It doesn't effect me

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Ah, but it would affect you,

Ah, but it would affect you, along with everybody else. Descartes allegedly said (in Latin), "I think, therefore I am." He would have been much more accurate if he had said, "It seems to me that I think, therefore it seems to me that I am." Hoping that this will provide food for thought, bon voyage, heretic5.

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heretic5 wrote: Ah, but it

heretic5 wrote:
Ah, but it would affect you, along with everybody else. Descartes allegedly said (in Latin), "I think, therefore I am." He would have been much more accurate if he had said, "It seems to me that I think, therefore it seems to me that I am." Hoping that this will provide food for thought, bon voyage, heretic5.

Look at what you wrote. "It seems to ME that I think, therefor it seems to ME that I am". You just defended the 'I's existence and therefor don't need the "it seems to me" part.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


Hambydammit
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Quote: Look at what you

Quote:
Look at what you wrote. "It seems to ME that I think, therefor it seems to ME that I am". You just defended the 'I's existence and therefor don't need the "it seems to me" part.

Hmm... It's almost as if everyone has been pointing this out through this entire thread, and heretic5 is not paying any attention to it.

Heretic, do you understand what it means when we say that axioms are defended through retortion?  (Again, that's a real question, not rhetorical.)

 

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Ah yes, the entity exists,

Ah yes, the entity exists, no doubt. That's not the question. The question is: where does the entity exist? In a reality, or in a simulation? Some have opined that it would make no difference at any time. Not so because if the entity, the "I", exists in a simulation, then the entity cannot escape "Mr. Matrix" even by dying. However it may be, let me re-iterate, bon voyage to one an all, heretic5.

Being a heretic is not automatically being wrong.


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*sigh* Fare thee well,

*sigh*

Fare thee well, Hiawatha.

I mean it.  I think you're trolley's a bit off the track, but I do wish you good luck and happiness with whatever reality you end up living in.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Of course I know what

Of course I know what retortion means, that's precisely the reason that I don't do that in this forum. I realize that the reason that non-retortion is advisable for me in this forum is not apparent to you yet. I would elucidate; but you are not yet willing to bend your mind in that manner. So what can I do except what I have done, which is to bid bon voyage to one and all?

Being a heretic is not automatically being wrong.


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Quote: Of course I know

Quote:
Of course I know what retortion means, that's precisely the reason that I don't do that in this forum. I realize that the reason that non-retortion is advisable for me in this forum is not apparent to you yet. I would elucidate; but you are not yet willing to bend your mind in that manner. So what can I do except what I have done, which is to bid bon voyage to one and all?

That's not what retortion means philosophically.  You were referencing Descartes.  That's philosophy.

If you ask me, I'll tell you what it means.  If you're not interested, it's cool.

Bon voyage, or not.  Whatever.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat.

heretic5 wrote:

Thanks for the links to excellent information. As to seeing the leaks in this universe, if this universe were to be a simulation, we would only be able to notice the leaks if we were allowed to notice them, yes?

No. Just like I can't program my desktop computer to use discreet values for storage (1 and 0), there will always be a "hardware" limit to any program. Even quantum computers obey a kind of discreetness to them given by what we call the Pauli matrices. If we are not at the top level, there will be a point where everything yields specific values (which we already know not to be true via the physical observations of un-sharpness of observable features in various phenomena).

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Even if we were allowed to notice them, we would only correctly understand them if we were allowed to correctly understand them, yes?

This is not a matter of programming. For me to "allow" such a thing in my work I would have to somehow program my computer to supercede the hardware that is its ultimate limit. Even given an accurate simulation of reality I would not be able to observe the whole of my creation directly since there would be too much information - what's the point of writing such a vast simulation if it's going to look like Pong to you?

 

Quote:
Hm. Don't tell the physicists that, they will be terribly disappointed to learn that their quest for a Theory Of Everything, if successful, will explain nothing.

The idea of a physical Theory of Everything is a sort-of joke. It has already been shown many times that the number of unknowable things vastly outnumbers the knowable things. All a TOE does is unite the fundamental physical forces: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force. Nothing more.

Quote:
As to the idea of simulations being absurd, when did the absurdity of anything ever prevent us from implimenting an idea? As to the will of the "designer" being an explanation of anything and everything in a simulation, and therefore failing to provide a predictive framework, doesn't that view of the "designer" of a simulation assume that the "designer" is capricious? But in the case that a "designer" of a particular simulation were to be capricious, would the entities in the simulation be able to do anything about it, except appeal to the simulator of the capricious "designer"? But if the capricious "designer" were to be the simulator of the first simulation, the simulation which was the basis of all subsequent simulation, then to whom could an appeal be made? In summary, although the idea that we live in a simulation might be distasteful because it might be absurd (at least, from our point of view), does that distastefullness (or absurdityness) lessen the possibility of it being true? Einstein found quantum mechanics to be distasteful; but does that lessen the possibility that it is true?

The reason this idea is absurd is that it is unnecessary. By your own definition the universe will act the same way in any case, but this idea adds an additional magnitude of complexity to the situation. Personally, I don't find the idea distasteful in the slightest having investigated the idea at one point myself. It's becoming more and more likely that many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct, and there are a few hypotheses being tested which will eliminate several different versions. If it turns out to be theoretical fact it will actually simplify things by a magnitude (it's more mathematically complicated to come up with a specific universe that turns out a specific way than to have an infinitude of universes with different starting conditions). In physics, simple has won over complicated every time.

Again, where we should have found leaks by now there are none.

Quote:

Vessel wrote:
If we can't trust our sense to establish reality, then we basically lose any reliable means or criteria by which to question reality.

Not so. Our mind would remain, yes?

Yes. Science works off of the idea that the senses are untrustworthy, using logic to work around the places where it matters. Science is hive-minded that way; the individual is irrelevant.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:

Do you think it's a catch 22, perhaps? Nobody knows if they're delusional or not because we might be deceived, dreaming, or delusional, so anything is possible, right?

Do you think that's the way it is? (I'm really asking you. It's not rhetorical.)

Yes.

As to "objective evidence", that phrase is an oxymoron in a simulation, yes? If I nevertheless made contact with "Mr Matrix", how did I do that, was part of your question. Five years of living out of dumpsters, so-called "Rescue Missions", begging, and some work, most of which was given to me out of pity. I did not say that it was easy, merely that it was possible.

 And by the way, I am not the first to make contact. Noooo, no. SETI is waiting for "first contact". I have news for them; it already happened thousands of years ago. I have some more news for whomever: the mind of "Mr. Matrix" is alien, really alien. I joke you not.

. . .

I noticed that it got deathly quiet in this thread after my previous post. One way to understand that silence would be to suppose that everybody in here realized that if we are in a simulation, then we are in the most terrible conceivable predicament. Another way to understand the sudden silence in here would be to suppose that everybody realized that my trolley has run so far off of the track that nothing can be said which would ever get it back on track. The most probable situation is that it is a mixture of the two extremes: some thinking one, some the other. The difficulty is that nobody, not even me, can know for sure which way it is. Everybody better hope that my trolley is completely off the tracks, because if it's not...

*Tinfoil hat time* As I've already mentioned, there are telltale logical rules which a computer has no choice but to obey and become clear when any philosophical being in a thought experiment goes looking for them. In our adventures in physics we have found none of them. This is precisely why we set the bar of evidence above anecdotal, when it really matters such as when money is involved or worse, in court. There are no heresies here, only epistemologically groundless and logically unsound ideas.

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Vessel wrote:
Even if this were a simulation, which it is not (trust me, I am an omniscient unicorn), why would that matter.

Aha! It would matter because we could not get away from Mr. Matrix, not even by dying.

*sigh* If I still exist after I die it would be a blessing. Since I am currently free to do as I please, I cannot see the all-pervasive programmer you're positing as a bad thing just as I wish that there was an all-powerful god that would allow me to continue doing whatever I want after I'm dead. But wishing will not make it so; this is the best of all games, and I will continue playing until my quarters run out.

 


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Hambydammit wrote:I read a

Hambydammit wrote:

I read a short story years ago about this dude who had gotten really close to inventing a force field capable of instantly protecting an entire city from nuclear attack. The thing was, as he got closer and closer to finishing the work, he began having intense suicidal cravings. Not thoughts... cravings. The thing is, he didn't want to die. It was only when he thought about the force field that he went into an almost subconscious state of wanting to kill himself.

 

Reminds me of this actual event:

"When the first chain reaction was started, in a squash court in Stagg Field, Chicago, physicists were still evenly divided by opinion on whether the experiment would bring about the immediate destruction of the world or not. Even without consensus approval, the experiment went ahead."
 

The fact that the world did not end, is this evidence for or against simulism? I'm not sure.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Quote:The fact that the

Quote:
The fact that the world did not end, is this evidence for or against simulism? I'm not sure.

Neither; this was known as Hempel's paradox. Using only inductive reasoning it can be shown that this is both evidence for and evidence against simulism. The paradox is fairly well outlined here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_paradox

In order to get at the truth we have to use more logic, Bayesian Inference. The theorem shows that just as seeing a green thing is not evidence for all ravens being black neither is the lack of an end to the world evidence for a controlled setting. Rather, as we now know, there are good reasons why the world didn't end that were indirectly observed long before the first chain reaction was attempted - we just didn't know it at the time.

One could say that this ultimate programmer retroactively changes things in the past to make it appear that way, but such a change would violate the reasoning we use to arrive at that conclusion thereby betraying the programmer's presence.


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evidence for virtual reality

The idea, that we are in a virtual reality, has been spreading more quickly since 1993.
On the off-chance that this idea has not yet come to your attention, the details of it can be found at:
Wikipedia, overview
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulism
Nick Bostrom, 2002
http://www.simulation-argument.com/
Brian Whitworth, 2007
http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technology/2008/01/vr-hypothesis.html?DCMP=NLC-nletterbanner&nsref=blogtech
 
In addition to those arguments, one way to understand the apparent fact that space and time and mass and energy are quantized would be to say that their quantization is a result of the fact that the 3-D monitor in which our virtual reality is displayed has a finite spatial screen resolution, and a finite repetition rate.

Being a heretic is not automatically being wrong.