# Argument from possible simulation

#### Bomb#20

##### Contributor
The information in a simulation is basically created out of nothing... the time in the simulation is created out of nothing.
How are you inferring that? The time in the simulation is created from the time in the simulation author's universe. The information in the simulation is created out of the information in the simulator author and the information in the machine the simulation is running on. Even if the simulation contains true-random bits, that information has to have been mined from true-random bits provided by the physics of the universe the simulation author lives in; the author has no ability to make the simulation create random information out of nothing if his universe doesn't provide the building blocks for it.

(For that matter, the simulation author probably has no ability even to know whether his own universe provides true-random building blocks. What measurement could you do on this world that would tell you whether apparently random processes like QM are true-random or just very good pseudo-random?)

The creator can be omnipotent and omniscient about the simulation. So I think the creator of the simulation could be considered a god.... I mean traditionally there are many gods that aren't omnipotent or omniscient or are a creator, etc. (like most Greek gods)
...
I thought within the simulation you could theoretically be omniscient, omnipotent, give people in it an afterlife, end the universe if you feel like it, etc. So within the simulation you are God.
Well, in the first place, you're making "God" a relational concept rather than an absolute one. To say somebody is a god from one point of view but a non-god from some other point of view is to be not talking about theism -- it's not as though Apollo was a god to humans but just some guy to Hera. In Greek mythology, Apollo was a god, full-stop. So why are you taking theists' word "god" and applying it to something else, instead of coining your own word?

And in the second place, I think you're redefining "omnipotent" and "omniscient" here. I'm omnipotent and omniscient within the simulation only in the meager, stripped-down sense that I can examine and change any bottom-level simulated physics element of the simulated world. That gives me no knowledge or power over what those elements mean within the context of that world. Sure, I can look into the simulated brain of simulated person 668 and observe that gate 1185926 has a 1 on its output; but that tells me exactly jack squat about, say, whether person 668 is praying to me or not. Building a simulation doesn't give me any special insight into the nature of consciousness or the workings of the algorithms that implement it.

To shift things back to theology in our world, let's say I'm a scientist in a higher-level universe and I created your universe and used my power over its physics to appear to Moses in the form of a burning bush. I made a lot of air molecules accelerate in an abnormal way to form sound waves aimed at him, and he made sound waves back at me, and I measured those waves with my complete knowledge of all the air molecules' positions and momenta, and I built a converter that turned the embodied information into a form I could perceive in my higher-level universe. Does that mean I have the power to engage in a conversation with Moses? Hardly -- I still don't speak a word of Hebrew! That's what you'd call "omnipotence and omniscience"?

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
The information in a simulation is basically created out of nothing... the time in the simulation is created out of nothing.
How are you inferring that? The time in the simulation is created from the time in the simulation author's universe. The information in the simulation is created out of the information in the simulator author and the information in the machine the simulation is running on. Even if the simulation contains true-random bits, that information has to have been mined from true-random bits provided by the physics of the universe the simulation author lives in; the author has no ability to make the simulation create random information out of nothing if his universe doesn't provide the building blocks for it.
Excellent points... So I didn't think very deeply about that... this seems to be another difference between the creator of a simulation and the traditional idea of an eternally existing God that creates everything out of nothing.... my point was that I'm trying to say the simulation creation can involve god-like processes...
(For that matter, the simulation author probably has no ability even to know whether his own universe provides true-random building blocks. What measurement could you do on this world that would tell you whether apparently random processes like QM are true-random or just very good pseudo-random?)
Well with my theory of a non-obvious God nudges to intervene with the simulation involve tweaking apparent randomness... and apparent randomness is involved with possible guided evolution during the creation...
The creator can be omnipotent and omniscient about the simulation. So I think the creator of the simulation could be considered a god.... I mean traditionally there are many gods that aren't omnipotent or omniscient or are a creator, etc. (like most Greek gods)
...
I thought within the simulation you could theoretically be omniscient, omnipotent, give people in it an afterlife, end the universe if you feel like it, etc. So within the simulation you are God.
Well, in the first place, you're making "God" a relational concept rather than an absolute one. To say somebody is a god from one point of view but a non-god from some other point of view is to be not talking about theism -- it's not as though Apollo was a god to humans but just some guy to Hera. In Greek mythology, Apollo was a god, full-stop. So why are you taking theists' word "god" and applying it to something else, instead of coining your own word?
"god" isn't just a theist's word... it is also a deist's word and a panentheist's word and Greek mythology's word...
And in the second place, I think you're redefining "omnipotent" and "omniscient" here. I'm omnipotent and omniscient within the simulation only in the meager, stripped-down sense that I can examine and change any bottom-level simulated physics element of the simulated world.
No it is much more than that... for many examples see:

5 minutes in shows the Minecraft world having curvature inwards and then globe-like curvature... and this mod was just made by an ordinary person.
That gives me no knowledge or power over what those elements mean within the context of that world. Sure, I can look into the simulated brain of simulated person 668 and observe that gate 1185926 has a 1 on its output; but that tells me exactly jack squat about, say, whether person 668 is praying to me or not. Building a simulation doesn't give me any special insight into the nature of consciousness or the workings of the algorithms that implement it.
See post #29 where I'm saying that the simulation would be top-down not bottom-up. If it just had bottom-up physics then the 1057 atoms of our Sun would be constantly being simulated.
Also see:
https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...-system-GPT-3-and-generating-images-from-text

To shift things back to theology in our world, let's say I'm a scientist in a higher-level universe and I created your universe and used my power over its physics to appear to Moses in the form of a burning bush. I made a lot of air molecules accelerate in an abnormal way to form sound waves aimed at him, and he made sound waves back at me, and I measured those waves with my complete knowledge of all the air molecules' positions and momenta, and I built a converter that turned the embodied information into a form I could perceive in my higher-level universe. Does that mean I have the power to engage in a conversation with Moses? Hardly -- I still don't speak a word of Hebrew! That's what you'd call "omnipotence and omniscience"?
Let's look at my theory about a non-obvious God:
https://www.lifesplayer.com/bible.php
It says that skeptics would explain this as a coincidence or hallucination.... with coincidence it would involve the particles moving based on apparent chance. I think typical cases of coincidence would just involve special songs playing on the radio, etc. I think the technique that the god would be more likely to use is hallucinations. And if this is a top-down simulation then it could involve intervention to the brain in a higher level way then this is converted to plausible lower level activity...
There is also the possibility of fraud involving magic tricks or technology...

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
So, I have more than a little experience with the metaphysics and logic of "simulation".

Plainly put, there is no real difference between that which exists "as a simulation" or something that exists "on its own".

Really, "simulation" only has meaning when presented with a context, a set of things "around" the subject.

The universe is what it is, regardless of what context drives those relationships. It is simultaneously a simulation, and not-a-simulation, BECAUSE IT IS THE PRODUCT OF ALL EVENTUALITIES THAT PRODUCE IT!

It sounds like you might be advocating Tegmark's .

the physical universe is not merely described by mathematics, but is ... a mathematical structure []. Mathematical existence equals physical existence, and all structures that exist mathematically exist physically as well. Observers, including humans, are "self-aware substructures (SASs)". In any mathematical structure complex enough to contain such substructures, they "will subjectively perceive themselves as existing in a physically 'real' world".

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Mathematics is no more than human manipulation of symbols associated through human defined rules of counting. That the world can be represented in various aspects by mathematics is no more than human attempts to understand the world about her in terms over which she has control.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Mathematics is no more than human manipulation of symbols associated through human defined rules of counting. That the world can be represented in various aspects by mathematics is no more than human attempts to understand the world about her in terms over which she has control.
I'd say it also involves patterns in a stable/coherent reality....

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Mathematics is no more than human manipulation of symbols associated through human defined rules of counting. That the world can be represented in various aspects by mathematics is no more than human attempts to understand the world about her in terms over which she has control.
I'd say it also involves patterns in a stable/coherent reality....

I gotta agree with fromderinside. Mathematics is only a tool that we invented that we use to understand those patterns. Its like we use a meter stick to understand the dimensions of an object but that does not mean that the object is made of meter sticks, or that it wouldn't exist if we had not thought up the idea of a meter as a standard of measurement.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Mathematics is no more than human manipulation of symbols associated through human defined rules of counting. That the world can be represented in various aspects by mathematics is no more than human attempts to understand the world about her in terms over which she has control.

I'd say it also involves patterns in a stable/coherent reality....

You are a human. You said the above.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Mathematics is no more than human manipulation of symbols associated through human defined rules of counting. That the world can be represented in various aspects by mathematics is no more than human attempts to understand the world about her in terms over which she has control.

I'd say it also involves patterns in a stable/coherent reality....

You are a human. You said the above.

No that's the only thoughts I have on the topic at the moment.... well also that it might be similar even if we weren't humans.... e.g. if it involved AI/AGI that also manipulated symbols (partly based on its learnt "intuition")...
BTW in AI they talk about "pattern matching"... our brains can sense how strongly and in what way patterns match - associations can be triggered...

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Mathematics is no more than human manipulation of symbols associated through human defined rules of counting. That the world can be represented in various aspects by mathematics is no more than human attempts to understand the world about her in terms over which she has control.
I'd say it also involves patterns in a stable/coherent reality....

I gotta agree with fromderinside. Mathematics is only a tool that we invented that we use to understand those patterns. Its like we use a meter stick to understand the dimensions of an object but that does not mean that the object is made of meter sticks, or that it wouldn't exist if we had not thought up the idea of a meter as a standard of measurement.

You say that, but then I can point to an entire universe defined and designed and implemented by a mathematical algorithm, whose existence can be expressed by a single, albeit very large, number.

A universe can exist as and be expressed by a mathematical structure.

The biggest problem "argument from simulation" creates is that it still offers no useful argument to inform philosophy, ethics, or morality.

Of you want to point at simulation as being proof of a God, I can just point to a simulation that I created and both god of, and am a complete piece of shit to at the same time, and I can equally point to the fact that if I could have made a more high-fi simulation with more "real", less abstracted people in it, I probably would have.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
I gotta agree with fromderinside. Mathematics is only a tool that we invented that we use to understand those patterns. Its like we use a meter stick to understand the dimensions of an object but that does not mean that the object is made of meter sticks, or that it wouldn't exist if we had not thought up the idea of a meter as a standard of measurement.

You say that, but then I can point to an entire universe defined and designed and implemented by a mathematical algorithm, whose existence can be expressed by a single, albeit very large, number.

A universe can exist as and be expressed by a mathematical structure.

The biggest problem "argument from simulation" creates is that it still offers no useful argument to inform philosophy, ethics, or morality.

Of you want to point at simulation as being proof of a God, I can just point to a simulation that I created and both god of, and am a complete piece of shit to at the same time, and I can equally point to the fact that if I could have made a more high-fi simulation with more "real", less abstracted people in it, I probably would have.

We are obviously using very definitions for; universe, real, structure, etc.... So we aren't actually having a discussion. We are each talking about very different things.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
I gotta agree with fromderinside. Mathematics is only a tool that we invented that we use to understand those patterns. Its like we use a meter stick to understand the dimensions of an object but that does not mean that the object is made of meter sticks, or that it wouldn't exist if we had not thought up the idea of a meter as a standard of measurement.

You say that, but then I can point to an entire universe defined and designed and implemented by a mathematical algorithm, whose existence can be expressed by a single, albeit very large, number.

A universe can exist as and be expressed by a mathematical structure.

The biggest problem "argument from simulation" creates is that it still offers no useful argument to inform philosophy, ethics, or morality.

Of you want to point at simulation as being proof of a God, I can just point to a simulation that I created and both god of, and am a complete piece of shit to at the same time, and I can equally point to the fact that if I could have made a more high-fi simulation with more "real", less abstracted people in it, I probably would have.

We are obviously using very definitions for; universe, real, structure, etc.... So we aren't actually having a discussion. We are each talking about very different things.

We are in a thread talking about arguments that God exists on the basis of the universe being simulated. To then ignore something because you want to play No-True-Scotsman games is asinine.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
You say that, but then I can point to an entire universe defined and designed and implemented by a mathematical algorithm, whose existence can be expressed by a single, albeit very large, number.

A universe can exist as and be expressed by a mathematical structure.
What do you think about post #53?

The biggest problem "argument from simulation" creates is that it still offers no useful argument to inform philosophy, ethics, or morality.
It explains why Yahweh's morality can seem imperfect... See post #4 in the context of the Godhood....
https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...ext-of-Godhood&p=883556&viewfull=1#post883556

Of you want to point at simulation as being proof of a God, I can just point to a simulation that I created and both god of, and am a complete piece of shit to at the same time, and I can equally point to the fact that if I could have made a more high-fi simulation with more "real", less abstracted people in it, I probably would have.
As far as flawed gods go....
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism
"Viewing material existence as flawed or evil, Gnostic cosmogony generally presents a distinction between a supreme, hidden God and a malevolent lesser divinity (sometimes associated with the Yahweh of the Old Testament) who is responsible for creating the material universe"​

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
We are obviously using very definitions for; universe, real, structure, etc.... So we aren't actually having a discussion. We are each talking about very different things.

We are in a thread talking about arguments that God exists on the basis of the universe being simulated. To then ignore something because you want to play No-True-Scotsman games is asinine.

Are you maintaining that the characters in a simulated 'universe' (a computer algorithm) are conscious beings that are as 'real' as humans?

It is common for people who confuse common metaphors for what that metaphor is referencing (like universe as a metaphor for algorithm) to develop rather muddled thinking.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
We are obviously using very definitions for; universe, real, structure, etc.... So we aren't actually having a discussion. We are each talking about very different things.

We are in a thread talking about arguments that God exists on the basis of the universe being simulated. To then ignore something because you want to play No-True-Scotsman games is asinine.

Are you maintaining that the characters in a simulated 'universe' (a computer algorithm) are conscious beings that are as 'real' as humans?

It is common for people who confuse common metaphors for what that metaphor is referencing (like universe as a metaphor for algorithm) to develop rather muddled thinking.

Are you arguing that critters which interact and sexually reproduce and have conversations with each other about their lives, have likes and dislikes, whose experiences impact their existence, teach their children, and then die are not real after exactly the fashion they are extant in? Do you argue that it must not be like anything to "be a rock", or that it must not be like anything to be an atom, that it must not be like anything to be another person? Those things have behavioral shapes in space. And you know what? So do dwarves. And that shape is somehow interesting and absurd, but it most assuredly is. I argue it must be like something to be all those things because all those things are. So but that matter it must be like something to be a dwarf. And they definitely have a structure of feelings that makes them more socially coherent than most insects.

Are you maintaining that the individuals in this universe, were it simulated (a mechanical algorithm, call it a "computer" if you want, but a turing machine could possibly describe it, if slowly; we already describe it, slowly, with turing machines), are not 'conscious' beings that are as real as, well, as we are?

It is common to fail to apply metaphysics consistently.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Are you maintaining that the characters in a simulated 'universe' (a computer algorithm) are conscious beings that are as 'real' as humans?

It is common for people who confuse common metaphors for what that metaphor is referencing (like universe as a metaphor for algorithm) to develop rather muddled thinking.

Are you arguing that critters which interact and sexually reproduce and have conversations with each other about their lives, have likes and dislikes, whose experiences impact their existence, teach their children, and then die are not real after exactly the fashion they are extant in? Do you argue that it must not be like anything to "be a rock", or that it must not be like anything to be an atom, that it must not be like anything to be another person? Those things have behavioral shapes in space. And you know what? So do dwarves. And that shape is somehow interesting and absurd, but it most assuredly is. I argue it must be like something to be all those things because all those things are. So but that matter it must be like something to be a dwarf. And they definitely have a structure of feelings that makes them more socially coherent than most insects.

Are you maintaining that the individuals in this universe, were it simulated (a mechanical algorithm, call it a "computer" if you want, but a turing machine could possibly describe it, if slowly; we already describe it, slowly, with turing machines), are not 'conscious' beings that are as real as, well, as we are?

It is common to fail to apply metaphysics consistently.
As I said, we are not having a discussion. You are apparently talking metaphysics (whatever the hell you personally mean by that, not necessarily what another "metaphysicist' would mean) and I am talking physics. Actual discussions require people to be speaking about the same thing.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Are you maintaining that the characters in a simulated 'universe' (a computer algorithm) are conscious beings that are as 'real' as humans?

It is common for people who confuse common metaphors for what that metaphor is referencing (like universe as a metaphor for algorithm) to develop rather muddled thinking.

Are you arguing that critters which interact and sexually reproduce and have conversations with each other about their lives, have likes and dislikes, whose experiences impact their existence, teach their children, and then die are not real after exactly the fashion they are extant in? Do you argue that it must not be like anything to "be a rock", or that it must not be like anything to be an atom, that it must not be like anything to be another person? Those things have behavioral shapes in space. And you know what? So do dwarves. And that shape is somehow interesting and absurd, but it most assuredly is. I argue it must be like something to be all those things because all those things are. So but that matter it must be like something to be a dwarf. And they definitely have a structure of feelings that makes them more socially coherent than most insects.

Are you maintaining that the individuals in this universe, were it simulated (a mechanical algorithm, call it a "computer" if you want, but a turing machine could possibly describe it, if slowly; we already describe it, slowly, with turing machines), are not 'conscious' beings that are as real as, well, as we are?

It is common to fail to apply metaphysics consistently.
As I said, we are not having a discussion. You are apparently talking metaphysics (whatever the hell you personally mean by that, not necessarily what another "metaphysicist' would mean) and I am talking physics. Actual discussions require people to be speaking about the same thing.

The discussion is specifically not about physics. This is a thread discussing specifically the metaphysical implications that "simulation" has on conceptions of creation and of creator gods.

Are you sure you are in the correct forum?

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
What do you think about post #53?

It explains why Yahweh's morality can seem imperfect... See post #4 in the context of the Godhood....
https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...ext-of-Godhood&p=883556&viewfull=1#post883556

Of you want to point at simulation as being proof of a God, I can just point to a simulation that I created and both god of, and am a complete piece of shit to at the same time, and I can equally point to the fact that if I could have made a more high-fi simulation with more "real", less abstracted people in it, I probably would have.
As far as flawed gods go....
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism
"Viewing material existence as flawed or evil, Gnostic cosmogony generally presents a distinction between a supreme, hidden God and a malevolent lesser divinity (sometimes associated with the Yahweh of the Old Testament) who is responsible for creating the material universe"​

Interestingly, from the Context of Godhood thread, it implies that those two entities could in fact be the same person. I also argue that there is, in most games that don't suck ass, ways of learning the strategies therein of how to succeed.

So too, any existence that has complicated rules will have some correct "ethic" within it that defines best behavior for the fulfillment of a specific goal, and a function of ethics for the fulfillment of any arbitrary goal.

Metaphysically, ethics must exist in any situation where there are rules. And because goals are arbitrary, the goal has to be left as a set rather than a specific value.

So this hidden god of yours wouldn't be a creator of the universe, but rather they are creator of metaphysics and logic. But I do not see how such a thing can be "created". It merely exists independent of time. It is a descriptive framework that is itself emergent.

If you want to call "metaphysics and logic" God himself, I guess you could do that too? But metaphysics are the most impersonal thing that can possibly be.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
.....So this hidden god of yours wouldn't be a creator of the universe, but rather they are creator of metaphysics and logic. But I do not see how such a thing can be "created". It merely exists independent of time. It is a descriptive framework that is itself emergent.
I'm not a believer in gnosticism though just found the "hidden God" part somewhat relevant. I call it an intelligent force that doesn't want to be obvious. I think it does interact with the creation from time to time (in ways that skeptics could explain away with naturalistic explanations). I also think the force ("God") that created our simulation doesn't want to be obvious... so it gave the impression that the universe is 13.8 billion years old and that everything seemed to evolve on its own....
The mechanism that allows it not to be obvious (e.g. generating plausible coincidences or hallucinations) could involve an AI/AGI and it could be guided by a flawed intelligence (like a human or post-human).

I think gnosticism could be relevant to that cartoon about Yahweh though....

#### atrib

##### Veteran Member
.....So this hidden god of yours wouldn't be a creator of the universe, but rather they are creator of metaphysics and logic. But I do not see how such a thing can be "created". It merely exists independent of time. It is a descriptive framework that is itself emergent.
I'm not a believer in gnosticism though just found the "hidden God" part somewhat relevant. I call it an intelligent force that doesn't want to be obvious. I think it does interact with the creation from time to time (in ways that skeptics could explain away with naturalistic explanations in ways that are indistinguishable from naturalistic processes like chance and human or manufacturing errors, and which are far, far, far more reasonable explanations than the proposition that such occurrences are the handiwork of a mischievous supernatural entity external to our universe).

Reworded for clarity, so everyone understands what we are talking about. The occurrences or alleged interactions in question being (1) a game with an incorrect number of colored pieces, and (2) a book in which some pages were oriented incorrectly. Based on the above occurrences, you concluded that a supernatural entity was trying to send you messages without being obvious about it, and these occurrences were evidence that our universe is a simulation because Elon Musk apparently believes that we may be living in a simulation. And if my memory serves me right, this is the fourth or fifth thread you have started to talk about this subject, perhaps because you did not have the opportunity to fully flesh out your hypothesis in the previous threads . Did I miss something?

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
.....So this hidden god of yours wouldn't be a creator of the universe, but rather they are creator of metaphysics and logic. But I do not see how such a thing can be "created". It merely exists independent of time. It is a descriptive framework that is itself emergent.
I'm not a believer in gnosticism though just found the "hidden God" part somewhat relevant. I call it an intelligent force that doesn't want to be obvious. I think it does interact with the creation from time to time (in ways that skeptics could explain away with naturalistic explanations). I also think the force ("God") that created our simulation doesn't want to be obvious... so it gave the impression that the universe is 13.8 billion years old and that everything seemed to evolve on its own....
The mechanism that allows it not to be obvious (e.g. generating plausible coincidences or hallucinations) could involve an AI/AGI and it could be guided by a flawed intelligence (like a human or post-human).

I think gnosticism could be relevant to that cartoon about Yahweh though....

I doubt it. You can be much dumber than something purpose built to be smart to write a universal simulation.

You just need the algorithms and the hardware that can run it. I have zero faith in any Creator God to be one iota past "just intelligent enough to be making computational hardware and learning enough about physics to feasibly pull it off".

That doesn't speak well for their ethics; ours trail our technological abilities significantly, owning to the fact that despite all the arguments I make about how god, if he exists, is a bastard, went and did it myself anyway knowing full well what I was doing and I already have admitted to considering that I might pull the trigger on one of these, an actual Adult Sized universe, if I had the tooling and the opportunity.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
I'm not a believer in gnosticism though just found the "hidden God" part somewhat relevant. I call it an intelligent force that doesn't want to be obvious. I think it does interact with the creation from time to time (in ways that skeptics could explain away with naturalistic explanations in ways that are indistinguishable from naturalistic processes like chance and human or manufacturing errors, and which are far, far, far more reasonable explanations than the proposition that such occurrences are the handiwork of a mischievous supernatural entity external to our universe).
Reworded for clarity, so everyone understands what we are talking about.
Well that is from the A God without compelling evidence? thread while the focus of this current thread was about arguments that have some evidence. It is based on a quote from Futurama about "God": "people won't be sure you've done anything at all". BTW my usual explanation talks about "coincidence, delusion, hallucinations or fraud" which I think is concise and covers everything.
The occurrences or alleged interactions in question being
These are my main examples.
(1) a game with an incorrect number of colored pieces,
While in a mental ward I realized a "special" number (42) was the same as the number of pieces in their Connect 4 set so I decided to count the pieces (for the first time). There were two extra yellow pieces and two missing red pieces. (making 19 and 23 pieces, which are interestingly prime numbers) I wrote "It seems my life is not as balanced as it should be". I've tried counting many Connect 4 set pieces (and knock-offs/clones) but so far they always have the correct number of pieces (or missing pieces). I was interested that the Connect 4 set from the mental ward looks a lot more expensive than typical sets. I've also never come across a similar looking set on the internet.
From a library:

and (2) a book in which some pages were oriented incorrectly.
It involved a sealed Bible where all of the pages were upside down. This happened in the same hospital visit. It also happened within a couple of days of me trying to curse myself by reading the Gideon's Bible upside down. (it was also a very good translation - NIV 2011 - the same translation used at my church - this translation says clearly when passages were added or changed later on)
Note for me those two examples are related to the meaning of life (joke) and "God's" word....
Based on the above occurrences, you concluded that a supernatural entity was trying to send you messages without being obvious about it,
I think the message basically is "I'm here watching you".
and these occurrences were evidence that our universe is a simulation because Elon Musk apparently believes that we may be living in a simulation
He says "it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality [NOT a simulation] is one in billions"
Well this is my world view and like Christianity it can have quite a lot of implications....
perhaps because you did not have the opportunity to fully flesh out your hypothesis in the previous threads . Did I miss something?
Do you think it is possible that a non-obvious intelligent force could have guided chance so that these events would happen?

I guess there are some main world-views
1. God doesn't exist because there is no evidence
2. God exists because there is evidence
3. In many ways there is no evidence for God but he could still exist (my view)

BTW I've talked to pastors about those two examples but they generally think that it just involved coincidence. I feel like I have a form of hidden "knowledge" (which is the appeal of gnosticism, etc)

BTW I think my non-obvious God theory will stop me from having more very strong delusions.... I mean not insisting that some paranormal beliefs are definitely true... you know in my last hospital visit (partly because of a nurse) I even toyed with the idea that Mormonism was true and that the earth could be flat (since it is possible within a simulation) I think I can think about possible supernatural phenomena more objectively now....
In the hospital I believed in a malicious deceptive force.... so any specifics about the paranormal within a simulation could be a deception.... (more likely to just be a personal delusion)

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
I'm glad that I don't have very good evidence that this could be a simulation....

I mean I already experience the following sometimes:

Derealization is a mental state where you feel detached from your surroundings. People and objects around you may seem unreal.

Depersonalization disorder is marked by periods of feeling disconnected or detached from one's body and thoughts (depersonalization). The disorder is sometimes described as feeling like you are observing yourself from outside your body or like being in a dream.

It could be due to having a limited amount of working memory (chunks) - which got bad after having 6 treatments of ECT (and I could no longer handle a programming job). When it happens I sometimes try to make myself feel some pain. It can also happen when everything is going well and I'm in a big crowd with no thoughts. Or sometimes what I'm saying echoes in my head.

Usually an aim of a simulation is for it to feel immersive and "real".....

The non-obvious intelligent force idea is for it to communicate its possible existence while not significantly affecting the perceived immersiveness or realness of the possible simulation.

When these feelings are happening I try to think things are real rather than encourage the feelings of unreality. I don't want to go to hospital again..

#### GenesisNemesis

##### Veteran Member
So it's just the intelligent design argument but with extra steps?

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
So it's just the intelligent design argument but with extra steps?
In the intelligent design argument there is apparent evidence such as "irreducible complexity" while I'm saying I think evolution gives the impression that it evolved completely naturalistically over millions of years though actually had a more recent origin. The evolution would involve a plausible virtual history based on some designs.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
So it's just the intelligent design argument but with extra steps?

I would say it is closer to Last Thursdayism than the traditional intelligent design arguments.

#### Keith&Co.

##### Contributor
In the intelligent design argument there is apparent evidence such as "irreducible complexity"

Heehee. No, there isn't.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
So it's just the intelligent design argument but with extra steps?

I would say it is closer to Last Thursdayism than the traditional intelligent design arguments.
Yes....

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Related thoughts:

Why our simulation will probably end relatively soon...

In the single player Roy game, the simulation would usually end as soon as the player "dies".

In the "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" episode there are nested multiplayer simulations that are three levels deep. These would have ended when the spacecraft that the simulations ran on exploded.

As far as our possible simulation goes, it gives players and NPCs the impression that it is 13.8 billion years old, but like most simulations in fiction, it could have a relatively recent origin. This means that it won’t necessarily exist in the far future.

I think if our simulation continues to exist in many centuries time, it could be billions or trillions times more computationally intensive. It could involve having to simulate billions of simulations that might exist in it by that time. It would also be less immersive to players and NPCs because they would know that simulations are definitely likely - not just theories. Being more computationally intensive means the simulation would become more expensive… though the game's budget might not be able to be increased....

An exception to this is that there could be immortal beings that are simulated forever in the same simulation. Examples of this include eternal heaven and eternal hell. There are problems with an eternal heaven though - people’s personalities would need to be modified to stop boredom. The inhabitants would also eventually run out of memory in their minds… in the show “The Good Place” people in heaven end up having their minds go to mush. In those examples there would still probably be an end to the simulation due to reasons like the outer universe running out of useful energy.

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#### Learner

##### Veteran Member
Hey ex, have you ever seen the movie that came out around 1998 (before the Matrix) called 'Dark City?' Was one of my favs which was well made; an interesting concept I thought at the time. Some of the things you mention in your posts, reminds me of this movie, which had these advance-beings who were regularly changing the realities of humans, inplanting artifical memories of different pasts that never happened. May solve the boredom issue in your simulation.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Hey ex, have you ever seen the movie that came out around 1998 (before the Matrix) called 'Dark City?' Was one of my favs which was well made; an interesting concept I thought at the time. Some of the things you mention in your posts, reminds me of this movie, which had these advance-beings who were regularly changing the realities of humans, implanting artificial memories of different pasts that never happened.
Yeah I was planning to watch it again soon. That sounds like a paranoid conspiracy type idea. I think it is like some of Philip K. Dick's stories. I think memories could be generated when required (e.g. there is a NPC that hadn't had their life fully simulated) - but generally I don't think their memories would be altered. It would have to involve very extreme circumstances..... an easier approach would be to make their apparent experiences involve a plausible case of delusion and hallucinations, etc, and lead them to become mentally ill to support this explanation.
May solve the boredom issue in your simulation.
If there was an eternal heaven simulation the easiest way of eliminating boredom would be to just modify their personalities.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Quoted in Silicon Valley S2E10:

“The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune

And simulations can be deliberately destroyed by intelligent forces.... (in addition to it being created and modified)

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Quoted in Silicon Valley S2E10:

“The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune

And simulations can be deliberately destroyed by intelligent forces.... (in addition to it being created and modified)

I can't destroy PI just by destroying a circle. You can't destroy a point on the number line by burning a piece of paper that it is graphed upon.

You can't destroy a universe just by mashing up a hard drive that instantiates it.

The power to destroy some instantiation of an identity doesn't destroy the identity.

It doesn't destroy the idea because ideas cannot be created or destroyed. At best you can create and destroy an awareness of the idea at some specific time and place. Maybe nobody will ever find the idea ever again.

I don't think that the power to lose track of something is much of anything special though.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
I can't destroy PI just by destroying a circle. You can't destroy a point on the number line by burning a piece of paper that it is graphed upon.

You can't destroy a universe just by mashing up a hard drive that instantiates it.

The power to destroy some instantiation of an identity doesn't destroy the identity.

It doesn't destroy the idea because ideas cannot be created or destroyed. At best you can create and destroy an awareness of the idea at some specific time and place. Maybe nobody will ever find the idea ever again.

I don't think that the power to lose track of something is much of anything special though.
If you can't destroy a simulation does that also mean you can't destroy files on a computer? You seem to believe in the reality of the world of Platonic ideas.... does that also mean that computer files can't be created since they already exist eternally?
A simulation is more than an idea - it also involves behavior....

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
I can't destroy PI just by destroying a circle. You can't destroy a point on the number line by burning a piece of paper that it is graphed upon.

You can't destroy a universe just by mashing up a hard drive that instantiates it.

The power to destroy some instantiation of an identity doesn't destroy the identity.

It doesn't destroy the idea because ideas cannot be created or destroyed. At best you can create and destroy an awareness of the idea at some specific time and place. Maybe nobody will ever find the idea ever again.

I don't think that the power to lose track of something is much of anything special though.
If you can't destroy a simulation does that also mean you can't destroy files on a computer? You seem to believe in the reality of the world of Platonic ideas.... does that also mean that computer files can't be created since they already exist eternally?
A simulation is more than an idea - it also involves behavior....

You are conflating the power to destroy a thing with the ability to destroy a value.

The point I'm making is that ideas are not the sort of things that can be created or destroyed.

#### George S

##### Veteran Member
I can't destroy PI just by destroying a circle. You can't destroy a point on the number line by burning a piece of paper that it is graphed upon.

You can't destroy a universe just by mashing up a hard drive that instantiates it.

The power to destroy some instantiation of an identity doesn't destroy the identity.

It doesn't destroy the idea because ideas cannot be created or destroyed. At best you can create and destroy an awareness of the idea at some specific time and place. Maybe nobody will ever find the idea ever again.

I don't think that the power to lose track of something is much of anything special though.
If you can't destroy a simulation does that also mean you can't destroy files on a computer? You seem to believe in the reality of the world of Platonic ideas.... does that also mean that computer files can't be created since they already exist eternally?
A simulation is more than an idea - it also involves behavior....

You are conflating the power to destroy a thing with the ability to destroy a value.

The point I'm making is that ideas are not the sort of things that can be created or destroyed.
No new ideas? That's a new idea.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
You are conflating the power to destroy a thing with the ability to destroy a value.

The point I'm making is that ideas are not the sort of things that can be created or destroyed.
If you responded to my questions, etc, in post #83 I would have a better understanding of what you're talking about....

I might be missing your point but a simulation is more than information ("values") - it also involves behavior and possibly conscious beings....

#### connick

##### Junior Member
Hi excreationist. I've seen your posts in pseudoscience lately regarding the possibility of being in a simulation. It's interesting to me that your musings on that subject extend to an argument for the existence of a god. I'd like to share some of my thoughts with you.

I've argued in the past on these fora that, while it is certainly possible that you or I or we are in a simulation (or any other scenario analogous to the deception of Descartes' Demon), we must axiomatically reject that possibility in order to make meaningful statements about the universe, other than "it may be a deception". If we entertain the possibility of being in a simulation, then any statement or argument is readily countered by that possibility. One could not, for instance, state that they experienced something without admitting that it is equally likely that the experience was a deception. Unfortunately, it means that unless a Descartes' Demon scenario (or any similar variant) is axiomatically rejected, then one is effectively rendered philosophically mute. As an example, each item in your opening post (and, in fact, everything you've ever written) could be appended with the phrase, "or it may be a deception", and thereby rendered practically meaningless.

In addition to the above I think there are some other points that you might find worthy of consideration.

If it were possible to coherently entertain the idea of being in a simulation, one might recognize certain limitations of what might be inferred about the simulation and the external universe in which it operates.

You've made statements regarding the possible origin, complexity, computability and perception of such a simulation that are, as far as I can tell, without a reasonable basis.

There is no reason to suspect that a simulation must have a creator per se. In our experience, simulations are created by people (though arguably this is the result of the behavior of the universe at large), but we can't justifiably expect that an external world in which a simulation operates contains anything like people or conscious entities or that they are required to establish the simulation. An equally likely possibility is that the apparent simulation is the product of some other kind of unguided process. Maybe the simulation is the natural outcome of some ordinary, non-intentional phenomenon in the supra-universe. In any case, it also begs the question of whether there are more creators in layers of simulation above that.

For similar reasons, there is no basis for assumptions about the complexity of such a simulation. Our understanding of complexity (and in fact all of physics and logic) may be entirely divorced from what goes on in the external world in which the simulation operates. As you and others have alluded, a simulation could operate with any rules whatsoever. Time within a simulation could flow backwards, branch or be traversable in multiple directions. Apparent laws of physics could be totally different, non-universal, mutable, or subject-dependent. Logic itself may work differently in the external world than within the simulation. Nothing within the simulation necessarily corresponds to the nature of the external universe.

Computationally, a full scale, high-fidelity simulation of our universe may be trivial to carry out in an outer world. Because one has no insight about what goes on outside of the simulation, one cannot assume the need for any part of our simulation to be abbreviated or for the "rendering" to scale based upon proximity or attention. Maybe simulated universes can be had for a quarter from a candy dispenser at the supra-market.

Lastly, perception within the simulation and the mechanisms that cause it, may render all of the above considerations moot (even if one ignores the epistemological hamstringing caused by entertaining the possibility of a simulation in the first place). As a simulated being, one would not know how or by what means perception occurs. Like Neo in The Matrix having kung fu skills "uploaded" into his brain or editing a save file from a video game, it is entirely possible that experience within the simulation could operate and be organized or manipulated in unknowable ways. Experiences and memories could be implanted or changed before, during or after an event. Elements of perception and knowledge could simply be injected and linked, sort of like in dreams where unfamiliar objects, people and places are readily understood and organized in ways that make no sense in the waking world (e.g. meeting a person in a dream who you immediately recognize as your daughter in a place that you immediately recognize as home, despite having no daughter at all and your house looking nothing like your dream).

In summary, we can't really have a meaningful discussion about whether we are in a simulation and, even if we break some rules of logic to speculate on the subject, it turns out we really have no good way of guessing what a world outside of such a simulation might be like.

Thanks for taking the time to read my take on your ideas and I look forward to any feedback you might have.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
.... snip ....

In summary, we can't really have a meaningful discussion about whether we are in a simulation and, even if we break some rules of logic to speculate on the subject, it turns out we really have no good way of guessing what a world outside of such a simulation might be like.
Exactly.

Any suggestion of a 'reality' that can not be tested is pretty much a waste of time. The suggestion that we are some critter that is asleep and only dreaming that we are a human on a planet we think is Earth and the rest of what we now see as reality is a suggestion that could equally be offered. If two groups of people were arguing with each other over which is of these possibilities was 'true', could either of them support their argument?

But then some people enjoy mental masturbation, as evidenced by a visit to our philosophy forums.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
....Computationally, a full scale, high-fidelity simulation of our universe may be trivial to carry out in an outer world.... Maybe simulated universes can be had for a quarter from a candy dispenser at the supra-market.
That supports my beliefs and my Elon Musk quote that there could be billions of simulations... Having even more simulations would strengthen that argument.

There is no reason to suspect that a simulation must have a creator per se. In our experience, simulations are created by people (though arguably this is the result of the behavior of the universe at large), but we can't justifiably expect that an external world in which a simulation operates contains anything like people or conscious entities or that they are required to establish the simulation. An equally likely possibility is that the apparent simulation is the product of some other kind of unguided process. Maybe the simulation is the natural outcome of some ordinary, non-intentional phenomenon in the supra-universe

BTW creator apparently means "a person or thing that brings something into existence." And some people call a natural force a "god".

The possibility of a completely unguided origin for a simulation seems to me like the Boltzmann brain argument....

....it turns out we really have no good way of guessing what a world outside of such a simulation might be like.
Well my hunch is that they would want to create and run simulations as cheaply as possible by using approximations and level of detail rather than explicitly simulating the 1057 atoms in our Sun and similar stars. That way they can run more simulations... Note I'm not really being very specific about what the outside world might be like....

#### connick

##### Junior Member
Hi excreationist, thanks for the response.

excreationist said:
That supports my beliefs and my Elon Musk quote that there could be billions of simulations... Having even more simulations would strengthen that argument.
No, it doesn't. We have no way of knowing how easy or hard it would be for our universe to be simulated. I remarked that it may be trivial only because you mentioned the apparent size and complexity of our universe and ways the simulation might cut corners to save on computation. We can't know if it's easy or if instead it requires a huge amount of time and resources. My point here is that an outer world may be nothing like the world we know.

excreationist said:
BTW creator apparently means "a person or thing that brings something into existence." And some people call a natural force a "god".

The possibility of a completely unguided origin for a simulation seems to me like the Boltzmann brain argument....
I acknowledge pantheism, but that doesn't seem like what you're arguing for.

The Boltzmann brain argument is contingent on our understanding of the universe being correct. The argument from possible simulation which you are making entails that our understanding of the universe be nonexistent. Put simply, we can know nothing about a higher universe, if one were to exist.

excreationist said:
Well my hunch is that they would want to create and run simulations as cheaply as possible by using approximations and level of detail rather than explicitly simulating the 1057 atoms in our Sun and similar stars. That way they can run more simulations... Note I'm not really being very specific about what the outside world might be like....
The hunch is unfounded. It's no better than a high thought, like those memes of Elon Musk smoking weed.

If we accept your first premise as true, that it's possible that we are in a simulation, then we can't accept any further premises as true.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
excreationist said:
Well my hunch is that they would want to create and run simulations as cheaply as possible by using approximations and level of detail rather than explicitly simulating the 1057 atoms in our Sun and similar stars. That way they can run more simulations... Note I'm not really being very specific about what the outside world might be like....
The hunch is unfounded. It's no better than a high thought, like those memes of Elon Musk smoking weed.
You said "Maybe simulated universes can be had for a quarter from a candy dispenser at the supra-market".

Let's say there were some for 25 cents each and others that didn't optimize the performance cost $25 million each.... (and level of detail and Machine Learning can make differences like that). Which ones do you think would sell better? Or let's say one simulation simulated the 1057 atoms in our Sun and another didn't and was able to create many trillions of simulations for a fraction of the cost.... You were the one that said the cost could be 25 cents each and that implies a less efficient simulation would be more expensive. I assume you're not saying that the outside world would have infinite resources making money meaningless.... But even if that is the case that implies there could be trillions of simulations making the odds that we're in a simulation higher.... If we accept your first premise as true, that it's possible that we are in a simulation, then we can't accept any further premises as true. A creator apparently means "a person or thing that brings something into existence." Would you agree that something would have brought a simulation into existence? We have no way of knowing how easy or hard it would be for our universe to be simulated. I think it is reasonable to assume that the worst case scenario is that its computers would be like ours.... and in the coming decades and centuries we would be able to make simulations that seem real.... otherwise please explain why the outside world would not be able to make computers similar to ours.... #### connick ##### Junior Member excreationist said: You said "Maybe simulated universes can be had for a quarter from a candy dispenser at the supra-market". Let's say there were some for 25 cents each and others that didn't optimize the performance cost$25 million each.... (and level of detail and Machine Learning can make differences like that). Which ones do you think would sell better?

Or let's say one simulation simulated the 1057 atoms in our Sun and another didn't and was able to create many trillions of simulations for a fraction of the cost....

You were the one that said the cost could be 25 cents each and that implies a less efficient simulation would be more expensive. I assume you're not saying that the outside world would have infinite resources making money meaningless....

But even if that is the case that implies there could be trillions of simulations making the odds that we're in a simulation higher....
Forgive me if I have not made my point clear. What I'm saying is that we cannot know or even reasonably justify a guess as to what an outside world might be like.

Anything, be it cost or computational complexity or even the physics and logic of an outside world, if they exist at all, is completely unknowable.

Nothing within a simulation necessarily corresponds with the world outside of it. Money, cost and complexity might have no meaning in an outer world. Physics, math and logic as we know them, might have no meaning as well.

We can say nothing about the probability of being in a simulation because nothing within the simulation necessarily provides any evidence about a world outside of it.

Like I said before, if we accept the possibility of being in a simulation, we can make no further statements about anything at all.

excreationist said:
A creator apparently means "a person or thing that brings something into existence."

Would you agree that something would have brought a simulation into existence?
No, I would not agree. Even the concept of "thing" might be a deception caused by the supposed simulation if we accept the first premise of your argument. An outer world may be completely unintuitive and incomprehensible to us.

excreationist said:
I think it is reasonable to assume that the worst case scenario is that its computers would be like ours.... and in the coming decades and centuries we would be able to make simulations that seem real.... otherwise please explain why the outside world would not be able to make computers similar to ours....
We can make no reasonable assumptions about an outer world. Certainly, computers like our own might possibly exist in an outside world, but that possibility is one of an endless set of unprovable possibilities. Outer world computers might not operate anything like the way they do for us. There might be no such thing as computers at all. The very concept of computations and simulation might just be artifacts of a simulation that have no correlate in the outside world.

Arguing for the possibility of being within a simulation is a self-limiting position. Every subsequent premise may be justifiably dismissed as being a potential delusion caused by said simulation.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
.....Nothing within a simulation necessarily corresponds with the world outside of it. Money, cost and complexity might have no meaning in an outer world. Physics, math and logic as we know them, might have no meaning as well.....

If there is no such thing as money or cost and they created our simulation that implies they've created a huge number of simulations. Or do you think ours is the only simulation they've created?

#### connick

##### Junior Member
excreationist said:
If there is no such thing as money or cost and they created our simulation that implies they've created a huge number of simulations. Or do you think ours is the only simulation they've created?
I feel like you're not acknowledging the central point that I've been reiterating.

We cannot know anything about an outer world. Nothing at all. Worse, if you accept the premise that we might be in a simulation, then we cannot even know anything about OUR world.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
excreationist said:
If there is no such thing as money or cost and they created our simulation that implies they've created a huge number of simulations. Or do you think ours is the only simulation they've created?
I feel like you're not acknowledging the central point that I've been reiterating.

We cannot know anything about an outer world. Nothing at all.
Do you think it is reasonable to assume that the processes running our simulation involve causality? In order to have causality, one event must come before another event. I'd say that there is a limit to how small delays in time can be. Or do you think there could be no limit to how tiny a period of time can be? If there is a limit then there is a limit to how fast a simulation can run. There would be a difference between a bottom-up simulation and a top-down simulation that could run a googol times faster. Do you think that the space inside an outer world has to have a limit to how small a distance can be? If time and space have no minimum size then I think the paradox of Achilles and the tortoise applies.

Worse, if you accept the premise that we might be in a simulation, then we cannot even know anything about OUR world.
We can know what we seem to be perceiving... this quote is somewhat relevant... (though I'm not that detached lately)
https://www.lifesplayer.com/happiness.php
"....The screen may be projecting a horrendous movie that is showing all kinds of pain and suffering - on the screen. Or the screen may reflect a happy movie that shows a beautiful sunset, a delightful sexual experience, or an enjoyable meal. But the essential you is the pure awareness that just watches the stuff go by on the screen of your life...."​

#### connick

##### Junior Member
excreationist said:
Do you think it is reasonable to assume that the processes running our simulation involve causality? In order to have causality, one event must come before another event. I'd say that there is a limit to how small delays in time can be. Or do you think there could be no limit to how tiny a period of time can be? If there is a limit then there is a limit to how fast a simulation can run. There would be a difference between a bottom-up simulation and a top-down simulation that could run a googol times faster. Do you think that the space inside an outer world has to have a limit to how small a distance can be? If time and space have no minimum size then I think the paradox of Achilles and the tortoise applies.
It really puzzles me that you would ask me this question.

As I've indicated already, the answer is no. We cannot make any assumptions about what an outer world may be like. Here's an analogy that may help you understand what I've been saying.

Let's say Pac Man was questioning whether he was in a simulation. He might wonder things like, "what color ghosts chase the beings in the outer world?", "how many continues do the beings in the outer world have?", "how far do beings in the outer world have to travel before they warp back around to the other side of the screen?", "how many levels are there?", "how many points are cherries worth?", "what is the high score?", etc.

Of course, there are no ghosts chasing us in our world, nobody has any continues, we do not move on screens which warp back around when we reach the edge, there are no levels, there are no points earned by eating fruit and there is no high score.

Nothing in Pac Man's world necessarily tells him anything about our world. Similarly, if we were in a simulation, there are no observations that we could make that would necessarily tell us anything about the outside world.

Causality, time, anything and everything we think we perceive, could just be part of a simulation with no real correlate in an outside world and there is no way of knowing.

excreationist said:
We can know what we seem to be perceiving... this quote is somewhat relevant... (though I'm not that detached lately)
https://www.lifesplayer.com/happiness.php
"....The screen may be projecting a horrendous movie that is showing all kinds of pain and suffering - on the screen. Or the screen may reflect a happy movie that shows a beautiful sunset, a delightful sexual experience, or an enjoyable meal. But the essential you is the pure awareness that just watches the stuff go by on the screen of your life...."
If we reject the notion that we might be in a simulation, sure, we can know something. But, if we don't reject that notion, then we have to admit that anything we think we know or perceive is possibly a total deception or delusion; we could know nothing.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
.....Causality, time, anything and everything we think we perceive, could just be part of a simulation with no real correlate in an outside world and there is no way of knowing.
If there is no causality in the outside world I think there is no "before" or "cause" for the simulation... this possibility sounds a bit like the Christian God - having no time at all then somehow creating our universe.... (though you'd say that the thing that created the universe might not have any intelligence)

If we reject the notion that we might be in a simulation, sure, we can know something. But, if we don't reject that notion, then we have to admit that anything we think we know or perceive is possibly a total deception or delusion; we could know nothing.
That quote was about watching a "screen".... i.e. a simulation. It says "the essential you is the pure awareness that just watches the stuff go by on the screen". Do you think that we don't have awareness?

BTW if PacMan was conscious I thought that he might assume that something outside of the simulation is also conscious (and in our case this is true). Though you'd insist that that doesn't need to be the case....

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
connick:
All of the simulations/games in our world were started by an intelligent force. In the future this would probably also be the case. There would probably be billions or trillions of simulations in the coming years. So it seems likely that the simulation we might be in could have been created by an intelligent force. Perhaps the alternative is a simulation created by a non-intelligent force... chance...? Intelligence is a lot more efficient than unguided chance at creating meaningful complex structures. e.g. chance creating Boltzmann brains vs evolution or technology...
Intelligence being more efficient than chance means intelligence could create more simulations than chance with a given amount of resources - so it would imply that it is more likely we'd be in a simulation created by intelligence than by chance.

#### George S

##### Veteran Member
connick:
All of the simulations/games in our world were started by an intelligent force. In the future this would probably also be the case. There would probably be billions or trillions of simulations in the coming years. So it seems likely that the simulation we might be in could have been created by an intelligent force. Perhaps the alternative is a simulation created by a non-intelligent force... chance...? Intelligence is a lot more efficient than unguided chance at creating meaningful complex structures. e.g. chance creating Boltzmann brains vs evolution or technology...
Intelligence being more efficient than chance means intelligence could create more simulations than chance with a given amount of resources - so it would imply that it is more likely we'd be in a simulation created by intelligence than by chance.

If we are an example of a created universe -- a logical possibility -- we can never know. If we are an example of a non-created universe -- there must be at least 1 -- we can never know. A non-created universe just is. Always has been. If there was a "time" before the universe turned on, then that "time" was meaningless. An empty universe with only time arunning, if there ever was such a state, was apparently unstable.

If we are a dream in the Boltzmann Brain then that was the instability which yielded a BB. If we are the result of the tiniest space that can contain all the energy in our universe -- a Big Bang -- the instability yielded a BB. If we are in a higher-being-created universe -- an artifact in a more fundamental, more real universe as Jewish myth asserts -- then we are in a simulation.

It doesn't matter. Conway's Game of Life is Turing complete. We can generate an artificial intelligence with CGoL. We can mess with the "physics" of the CGoL where that AI lives. We can play god creating and destroying at our whim.

There is no evidence of this. Yes, your logic is correct. If our existence is a simulation then Jewish-Christian myth (or any other) could be correct. The creator of the universe could be a dude named YHWH. He may be able to create backup copies of any individual and only those who worship him restored from backup in an alternate created universe named heaven with all memories intact. Could be. With exactly the same probability as being in a simulation. Just no evidence.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
connick:
All of the simulations/games in our world were started by an intelligent force. In the future this would probably also be the case. There would probably be billions or trillions of simulations in the coming years. So it seems likely that the simulation we might be in could have been created by an intelligent force. Perhaps the alternative is a simulation created by a non-intelligent force... chance...? Intelligence is a lot more efficient than unguided chance at creating meaningful complex structures. e.g. chance creating Boltzmann brains vs evolution or technology...
Intelligence being more efficient than chance means intelligence could create more simulations than chance with a given amount of resources - so it would imply that it is more likely we'd be in a simulation created by intelligence than by chance.

If we are an example of a created universe -- a logical possibility -- we can never know. If we are an example of a non-created universe -- there must be at least 1 -- we can never know. A non-created universe just is. Always has been. If there was a "time" before the universe turned on, then that "time" was meaningless. An empty universe with only time arunning, if there ever was such a state, was apparently unstable.

If we are a dream in the Boltzmann Brain then that was the instability which yielded a BB. If we are the result of the tiniest space that can contain all the energy in our universe -- a Big Bang -- the instability yielded a BB. If we are in a higher-being-created universe -- an artifact in a more fundamental, more real universe as Jewish myth asserts -- then we are in a simulation.

It doesn't matter. Conway's Game of Life is Turing complete. We can generate an artificial intelligence with CGoL. We can mess with the "physics" of the CGoL where that AI lives. We can play god creating and destroying at our whim.

There is no evidence of this. Yes, your logic is correct. If our existence is a simulation then Jewish-Christian myth (or any other) could be correct. The creator of the universe could be a dude named YHWH. He may be able to create backup copies of any individual and only those who worship him restored from backup in an alternate created universe named heaven with all memories intact. Could be. With exactly the same probability as being in a simulation. Just no evidence.

And there we are, back around the horn to the fact that "simulation" is metadata, and we have no "metareality" against which to determine such metadata. There is only the text of what is, for us.

This could get clarified through a clear identification of "a vector of magic", but we have yet to find such a thing, and even then it doesn't say one iota more than "these absurd things happened to happen in this new way we have identified things to be capable of happening."