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Argument from possible simulation

connick

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excreationist said:
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)
I would say, again, that we can't know anything about an outside world or what it contains.

excreationist said:
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?
Please note that this is not a question of what I believe, but rather, of what your argument entails logically. To be clear, I believe that at least I am experiencing something because I axiomatically reject the possibility of being in a simulation. However, if we accept the first premise of your argument as true, then we cannot be sure of anything at all.

excreationist said:
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....
Pac Man might make any number of assumptions about our world, but none of them would be justifiable because he can't know anything about the outside world from inside of his simulation.

excreationist said:
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.
This is still a fundamentally flawed position. We can know absolutely nothing about an outer world. Even if every man, woman and child was running simulated universes on their cell phones, it would tell us nothing about the likelihood that we are in a simulation ourselves.

As I've said many times now, if we accept your first premise, "it's possible we're in a simulation," as true, then every subsequent premise can be justifiably dismissed. Everything after that could be a delusion resulting from a simulation.
 

excreationist

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.....Even if every man, woman and child was running simulated universes on their cell phones, it would tell us nothing about the likelihood that we are in a simulation ourselves.
If there are trillions of simulations and we appear in a reality by chance then it would be likely that we're in a simulation....
As I've said many times now, if we accept your first premise, "it's possible we're in a simulation," as true, then every subsequent premise can be justifiably dismissed. Everything after that could be a delusion resulting from a simulation.
In post #95 it says that we are "pure awareness".... do you think it is possible that we aren't aware?
 

excreationist

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...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.....
It can take a long time though and bigger structures (like computers or CGoL within CGoL) take even longer to work... Which means optimization can be important.
 

George S

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...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.....
It can take a long time though and bigger structures (like computers or CGoL within CGoL) take even longer to work... Which means optimization can be important.

A long time compared to what?

If the universe were to freeze in place for a million years of real, non-simulated time between each moment in the simulation any denizens of the simulation could not tell.
 

excreationist

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...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.....
It can take a long time though and bigger structures (like computers or CGoL within CGoL) take even longer to work... Which means optimization can be important.

A long time compared to what?

If the universe were to freeze in place for a million years of real, non-simulated time between each moment in the simulation any denizens of the simulation could not tell.
A long time compared to the regular speed of CGoL. I think there is a limit to how short the period of time can be between each step in CGoL.
This shows CGoL running on CGoL:


At some point when having many nested levels of CGoL the time and space requirements would become problematic... or it probably would be in most universes....
 

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A long time compared to what?

If the universe were to freeze in place for a million years of real, non-simulated time between each moment in the simulation any denizens of the simulation could not tell.
A long time compared to the regular speed of CGoL. I think there is a limit to how short the period of time can be between each step in CGoL.
This shows CGoL running on CGoL:


At some point when having many nested levels of CGoL the time and space requirements would become problematic... or it probably would be in most universes....


But we have already discovered smallest time and smallest distance units that have any impact on outcome.

In most universes I have encountered, and this seems no exception, there is a minimal frame, but there is nothing stoping anything from being stopped on frame boundaries anyway.

That said, an interesting experiment to conduct on these lines would be to investigate whether such a "clean frame boundary state" can be found within the planck limits or whether confounding factors exist to the framing of time.

I don't know that they do.
 

connick

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excreationist said:
If there are trillions of simulations and we appear in a reality by chance then it would be likely that we're in a simulation....
Again, I will reiterate that we cannot make any judgements about the probability of us being in a simulation.

Imagine two scenarios. In the first, we are in a simulation, and within our simulation we have a huge number of simulations running. In the second scenario, we are in a simulation, but within our simulation, simulations are forbidden or otherwise do not exist.

Can it be inferred in the first scenario that, because we run many simulations that we are likely to be within a simulation ourselves? Can it be inferred in the second scenario that, because we do not run any simulations that we are not likely to be within a simulation ourselves?

The answer to both questions is no. Nothing within a simulation necessarily tells you anything about the outside world.

excreationist said:
In post #95 it says that we are "pure awareness".... do you think it is possible that we aren't aware?
If it is possible that we are in a simulation then it is also possible that we are not aware. "Awareness" may be as fictitious as the points in Pac Man.

As I mentioned before, an outer world, if one exists, might be absolutely incomprehensible and unintuitive to us, but there's no way to know.

Would you, as a matter of courtesy, kindly acknowledge, question, or dispute on some grounds, the statements that I've made about the unknowable nature of an outside world from within a simulation? I've repeated it a number of times but you seem to be ignoring it.

Is there something unclear about what I am saying or do you have a reason to disagree? I think if you could either concede this point (in which case the discussion can conclude) or argue against it (in which case we can debate its merits) we might have a more productive exchange.

Thanks!
 

excreationist

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....Would you, as a matter of courtesy, kindly acknowledge, question, or dispute on some grounds, the statements that I've made about the unknowable nature of an outside world from within a simulation? I've repeated it a number of times but you seem to be ignoring it.
So the world outside of a simulation is unknowable but there are still possibilities about it...

If it is possible that we are in a simulation then it is also possible that we are not aware. "Awareness" may be as fictitious as the points in Pac Man.

How can I have the sensation of awareness if I have no awareness? I think simulated awareness is still awareness.

Can it be inferred in the first scenario that, because we run many simulations that we are likely to be within a simulation ourselves? Can it be inferred in the second scenario that, because we do not run any simulations that we are not likely to be within a simulation ourselves?

The answer to both questions is no. Nothing within a simulation necessarily tells you anything about the outside world.
What if we assume that there are other universes besides our own and in those there are trillions of simulations? If we assume that I think it follows that it is likely we are in a simulation. Or at least that's the opinion of Nick Bostrom, etc. I guess you disagree.
 

connick

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excreationist said:
So the world outside of a simulation is unknowable but there are still possibilities about it...
That sounds like a concession to me. It appears that we now agree that the world outside of a simulation is unknowable.

You're right that there are possibilities about it, but they are all equally likely or unlikely. In other words, we could speculate about it but your guess is as good (or bad) as mine. Maybe it's cosmic hyper-turtles, maybe it's in a snow globe a la Saint Elsewhere, maybe it's something completely bonkers that we couldn't even begin to comprehend. So we'll have to be content with not knowing (or at least containing our frustration with this fact).

excreationist said:
How can I have the sensation of awareness if I have no awareness? I think simulated awareness is still awareness.
That's a hard question to grok but maybe I can help you approach an understanding of it, despite there being no way to truly understand it.

If our world is simulated, made up, like Pac Man's, then there's no telling what the real world is like. Beyond the possibilities that we can conceive of, there are limitless possibilities that we couldn't even comprehend or articulate. How, for instance, could you describe a third spatial dimension to Pac Man? It would be impossible for him to even conceptualize. He lives in a two dimensional world, so how could he even begin to imagine a third dimension?

It could very well be the same for us if we were in a simulation. Maybe things like space and time and logic and, yes, even awareness are different, meaningless or even non-existent in an external world. To understand the outer world might be more difficult than trying to explain sight to a totally blind person. At least in the case of a blind person you might be able to explain that you can know things at a distance using some sense that they don't possess. But how would you even begin to explain a world where, for instance, time or logic do not exist or do not operate as we understand them to? It might be impossible to do.

excreationist said:
What if we assume that there are other universes besides our own and in those there are trillions of simulations? If we assume that I think it follows that it is likely we are in a simulation. Or at least that's the opinion of Nick Bostrom, etc. I guess you disagree.
I do disagree and for the same reason I've stated many times now. Nothing within a simulation can necessarily tell you anything about what is outside it. If one of your assumptions or premises is that we could be in a simulation, then you cut yourself off from saying anything else because anything and everything could just be an illusion. Any statement, observation, assumption, anything could be an illusion, so you can't use them to make any further conclusions.
 

excreationist

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....Maybe things like space and time and logic and, yes, even awareness are different, meaningless or even non-existent in an external world.
I was saying that my sensation of awareness involves awareness whether or not I'm in a simulation. I think it is related to Descartes point that we have the sensation of thinking (even if the thinking is controlled by something else). I might create a thread about that topic...
 

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....Maybe things like space and time and logic and, yes, even awareness are different, meaningless or even non-existent in an external world.
I was saying that my sensation of awareness involves awareness whether or not I'm in a simulation. I think it is related to Descartes point that we have the sensation of thinking (even if the thinking is controlled by something else). I might create a thread about that topic...
If the 'thinking' is controlled by something else then are you really 'thinking' or just being controlled by the program?
 

excreationist

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....Maybe things like space and time and logic and, yes, even awareness are different, meaningless or even non-existent in an external world.
I was saying that my sensation of awareness involves awareness whether or not I'm in a simulation. I think it is related to Descartes point that we have the sensation of thinking (even if the thinking is controlled by something else). I might create a thread about that topic...
If the 'thinking' is controlled by something else then are you really 'thinking' or just being controlled by the program?
Then it isn't "you" who is responsible for the thinking but my point is that I think I am aware since I have the sensation of being aware. I think having the sensation of anything at all also involves awareness.
 

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If the 'thinking' is controlled by something else then are you really 'thinking' or just being controlled by the program?
Then it isn't "you" who is responsible for the thinking but my point is that I think I am aware since I have the sensation of being aware. I think having the sensation of anything at all also involves awareness.
That only indicates good programming. "You" actually 'think' that you are aware. It only seems reasonable if, as you seem to assume, everything that you can sense is only a simulation, then your 'awareness' could also be a simulation. Maybe Pac-Man could 'think' he is aware if programmed to.
 

excreationist

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That only indicates good programming. "You" actually 'think' that you are aware. It only seems reasonable if, as you seem to assume, everything that you can sense is only a simulation, then your 'awareness' could also be a simulation. Maybe Pac-Man could 'think' he is aware if programmed to.
Even if every aspect of my awareness is simulated I am still aware. The alternative is that I'm a philosophical zombie. From my point of view I think it is clear that I'm not a philosophical zombie. Though from your point of view I could be. And from my point of view you could be a philosophical zombie.
 

abaddon

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Even if every aspect of my awareness is simulated I am still aware. The alternative is that I'm a philosophical zombie. From my point of view I think it is clear that I'm not a philosophical zombie. Though from your point of view I could be. And from my point of view you could be a philosophical zombie.
How's that - the "thusness" of your awareness - not more trustworthy knowledge than a tricky demon or an alluring delusion or a simulation maker?
 

skepticalbip

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That only indicates good programming. "You" actually 'think' that you are aware. It only seems reasonable if, as you seem to assume, everything that you can sense is only a simulation, then your 'awareness' could also be a simulation. Maybe Pac-Man could 'think' he is aware if programmed to.
Even if every aspect of my awareness is simulated I am still aware. The alternative is that I'm a philosophical zombie. From my point of view I think it is clear that I'm not a philosophical zombie. Though from your point of view I could be. And from my point of view you could be a philosophical zombie.

If everything you sense is only a simulation, then where did you and your 'awareness' come from and where are you if not merely part of the simulation?
 

excreationist

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If everything you sense is only a simulation, then where did you and your 'awareness' come from and where are you if not merely part of the simulation?
If materialism/physicalism is true then a simulation of a physical world should allow awareness. Do you agree that the alternative to me being aware is that I am a philosophical zombie? If so, do you think it is possible you are a philosophical zombie?
 

excreationist

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Even if every aspect of my awareness is simulated I am still aware. The alternative is that I'm a philosophical zombie. From my point of view I think it is clear that I'm not a philosophical zombie. Though from your point of view I could be. And from my point of view you could be a philosophical zombie.
How's that - the "thusness" of your awareness - not more trustworthy knowledge than a tricky demon or an alluring delusion or a simulation maker?
Either you're aware or you're a philosophical zombie. It "does not have conscious experience, qualia, or sentience". Otherwise you have the sensation of these things. Whether or not you're in a simulation you still have these sensations and that is known as "awareness".
 

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If everything you sense is only a simulation, then where did you and your 'awareness' come from and where are you if not merely part of the simulation?
If materialism/physicalism is true then a simulation of a physical world should allow awareness. Do you agree that the alternative to me being aware is that I am a philosophical zombie? If so, do you think it is possible you are a philosophical zombie?
It is your fantasy that makes no sense to me. But you didn't answer the question of where did you and your 'awareness' come from (and where are you) if everything you sense is a simulation.... why are you and your 'awareness' not just part of the simulation. If you could explain such gaping holes in your idea then maybe I could give you an answer. As of now I don't see how 'philosophical zombie' has any meaning if you are only a computer algorithm (like a 15th generation version of a Mario Brother) and part of the simulation.
 

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It is your fantasy that makes no sense to me. But you didn't answer the question of where did you and your 'awareness' come from (and where are you) if everything you sense is a simulation.... why are you and your 'awareness' not just part of the simulation.
Yes it is part of the simulation but it is still awareness. It is simulating the physical world and in physicalism consciousness only has a physical basis. Awareness emerges by copying the processes in brains.
If you could explain such gaping holes in your idea then maybe I could give you an answer. As of now I don't see how 'philosophical zombie' has any meaning if you are only a computer algorithm (like a 15th generation version of a Mario Brother) and part of the simulation.
If a character in a simulation doesn't have a conscious experience then they are a philosophical zombie - otherwise they are conscious. Do you understand what a philosophical zombie is? All characters in current games are philosophical zombies.
 

excreationist

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BTW it would be good if people who think they're definitely aware/conscious (even if they're in a simulation) could explain why....
 

abaddon

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How's that - the "thusness" of your awareness - not more trustworthy knowledge than a tricky demon or an alluring delusion or a simulation maker?
Either you're aware or you're a philosophical zombie. It "does not have conscious experience, qualia, or sentience". Otherwise you have the sensation of these things. Whether or not you're in a simulation you still have these sensations and that is known as "awareness".
Yes, exactly. "Whether or not you're in a simulation". That's what I'm getting at - the "whether or not" there, and how it implies we can find something more real, more fundamental, than the speculated simulation.

Is the world a simulation? Well, they say my brain simulates a world... but that's news that comes to me from inside the simulation. It doesn't change that the one surest thing I know is that same "I'm aware" non-zombie-ness that you've attested to. So, I really don't give a damn what all else than Me (or Awareness or Consciousness) is simulated, because that has no practical consequences whatsoever. Whatever else may lack reality in existence, I know that I don't lack it because of the aforementioned awareness.

BTW it would be good if people who think they're definitely aware/conscious (even if they're in a simulation) could explain why....

Because there's nothing more sure than awareness. It's the one most basic thing within experience that requires no speculation at all. You can only come to doubt awareness/consciousness by mentally abstracting away from the basic fact of experiencing it. But it requires that you have awareness to do that.

-----

ETA: Sorry that I inserted myself during your convo with skepticalbip. His point is different from mine, so now it must be like having 2 convos at the same time... oops.
 

excreationist

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It doesn't change that the one surest thing I know is that same "I'm aware" non-zombie-ness that you've attested to. So, I really don't give a damn what all else than Me (or Awareness or Consciousness) is simulated, because that has no practical consequences whatsoever. Whatever else may lack reality in existence, I know that I don't lack it because of the aforementioned awareness.

BTW it would be good if people who think they're definitely aware/conscious (even if they're in a simulation) could explain why....

Because there's nothing more sure than awareness. It's the one most basic thing within experience that requires no speculation at all. You can only come to doubt awareness/consciousness by mentally abstracting away from the basic fact of experiencing it. But it requires that you have awareness to do that.
Thanks! I've attempted to explain why I think I am aware but this hasn't satisfied connick and skepticalbip... so maybe you could help....
 

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skepticalbip's asking where the awareness comes from in a simulation. You say it's a feature of the simulation. Physicalists think it's a feature of a brain but nobody knows that either.

With the notion that all the known world is a simulation, it's too easy to make assertions. Any problem that comes up for the idea can be asserted away. There's no truth that comes from this. So if you were looking for a ground to stand on, something sure-enough that'd help you decide between what's real and what's delusion, you've obliterated that with the simulation hypothesis.

This "could be" speculating doesn't result in any justifiable beliefs at all. Any communications with your "possible" god might really be your own mind making stuff up. I don't want to only cast doubt on everything though... I wanted to convey that since you're an aware being yourself and you know yourself way better than you'll ever know about any simulation, that you can trust you better than this "possible" god.
 

excreationist

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abaddon:
On the topic of connick and skepticalbip, I just wanted you to continue to say things like "there's nothing more sure than awareness".... i.e. the awareness that I experience... Their rejection of this is just about the only thing I strongly disagree with in their posts....
 

abaddon

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I'm not seeing where they say what you say they're saying.

Probably we all agree we're not philosophical zombies, because each of us knows independently that we're not a zombie. To be aware at all is to not be a zombie. I think the purpose of that concept is to wonder about other people, or about robots, whether or not they are aware like us persons. Since you're not a robot, you can wonder about robots.
 

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I'm not seeing where they say what you say they're saying.

.....If it is possible that we are in a simulation then it is also possible that we are not aware. "Awareness" may be as fictitious as the points in Pac Man......
Though you said "there's nothing more sure than awareness". You also said "Probably we all agree we're not philosophical zombies". If it is possible we aren't aware then I think that would mean we're a philosophical zombie...

That only indicates good programming. "You" actually 'think' that you are aware. It only seems reasonable if, as you seem to assume, everything that you can sense is only a simulation, then your 'awareness' could also be a simulation. Maybe Pac-Man could 'think' he is aware if programmed to.
He seems to be saying that I could just "think" I'm aware and I'm not truly aware.... in post #119 he responded to my assertion that either something is aware or they are a philosophical zombie. (or it has no behavior implying awareness) He said:
I don't see how 'philosophical zombie' has any meaning if you are only a computer algorithm (like a 15th generation version of a Mario Brother) and part of the simulation
But actually it is very meaningful - game characters can act like they're conscious yet have no internal sensation of awareness/qualia (the definition of a philosophical zombie).

BTW even if a person is completely deceived or wrong about what they're aware of (like a brain in a vat) they still have the sensation of awareness/qualia.

1367856458.png
 

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excreationist,

My point was basically just that the concern about a simulation is very abstract. But then you wanted me to support your notion that awareness doesn't contradict a simulation, which wasn't anything like my point. I'd say that since you ARE aware, that's a problem for the notion of being simulated.

I wouldn't know what I or anyone could get from being a robot in a simulation. Not when I'm the only center of awareness that I'm very sure of so that all stuff about any gods/programmers who program minds is just blah blah about "could be" abstractions.
 

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excreationist,

My point was basically just that the concern about a simulation is very abstract. But then you wanted me to support your notion that awareness doesn't contradict a simulation, which wasn't anything like my point. I'd say that since you ARE aware, that's a problem for the notion of being simulated.
Do you think our awareness is solely due to "physical" processes? (physicalism/materialism) If so then isn't it possible for a world based on physical processes to be simulated? (and have consciousness within it)
I wouldn't know what I or anyone could get from being a robot in a simulation.
Well Black Mirror has many examples of the uses of having conscious beings inside simulations.
Not when I'm the only center of awareness that I'm very sure of so that all stuff about any gods/programmers who program minds is just blah blah about "could be" abstractions.
I think in our possible simulation we can't really know the details - even if we were told we can't tell that from other delusions/hallucinations....
 

excreationist

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....I wouldn't know what I or anyone could get from being a robot in a simulation.....
I assume you're talking about philosophical zombies. Well they're NPCs... they don't have a conscious experience but on the other hand they aren't capable of genuine suffering...
 

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I think in our possible simulation we can't really know the details - even if we were told we can't tell that from other delusions/hallucinations....

Perhaps it's better when having some awarness and an existence, that one starts forgetting about having any notion of simulations (not you directly ex.), if one can't tell the difference - accepting that THIS is the reality for them, even if this was a simulation
 

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....I wouldn't know what I or anyone could get from being a robot in a simulation.....
I assume you're talking about philosophical zombies. Well they're NPCs... they don't have a conscious experience but on the other hand they aren't capable of genuine suffering...

I am a robot -- a moist robot -- designed by a changing environment for survival. A self-repairing robot living in a soup of bacteria and viruses. A self-directing robot living not only in the original environment for which designed but also many unsuitable environs. Consciousness is what it is like to be a self-aware moist robot whether inside a simulation or not.
 

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I think in our possible simulation we can't really know the details - even if we were told we can't tell that from other delusions/hallucinations....

Perhaps it's better when having some awarness and an existence, that one starts forgetting about having any notion of simulations (not you directly ex.), if one can't tell the difference - accepting that THIS is the reality for them, even if this was a simulation

I should have added...


Unless ... You have that inquisitive mind, for thought-provoking, theory-pondering interest.
 

excreationist

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I think in our possible simulation we can't really know the details - even if we were told we can't tell that from other delusions/hallucinations....

Perhaps it's better when having some awarness and an existence, that one starts forgetting about having any notion of simulations (not you directly ex.), if one can't tell the difference - accepting that THIS is the reality for them, even if this was a simulation

I should have added...


Unless ... You have that inquisitive mind, for thought-provoking, theoretical-pondering interest.
Hi what do you mean? That that kind of mind doesn't believe in simulations or they do?
 

excreationist

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i don't believe in simulations as reality. Why do so.
Well there is demand for VR experiences that seem increasingly immersive and "real". Countless TV shows and movies show the demand for even more immersive experiences where the brain interfaces with computers. In simulations you can easily try out different scenarios such as go on a crime spree, participate in a high-class orgy or live out an entire life (Morty playing "Roy")
It takes much effort to do so. Why waste it on simulating something when a material process will do it with least energy dissipation rules. After all there are infinite time and space available.
Let's say the focus is our Sun. It has 1057 atoms. If you approximated it and used Machine Learning to help with the accuracy, you could create a plausible simulation of it with a fraction of the atoms... e.g. 1015 atoms.... plus in a simulation you could instantly change any aspect of the simulated Sun....
 

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excreationist said:
I was saying that my sensation of awareness involves awareness whether or not I'm in a simulation. I think it is related to Descartes point that we have the sensation of thinking (even if the thinking is controlled by something else). I might create a thread about that topic...
I understand where you are coming from. Descartes believed that "cogito ergo sum", "I think, therefore I am", was an undoubtable philosophical principle. However, Descartes' argument tacitly assumes that certain logical axioms and the inferences they entail are true. I think those assumptions hold up if we also assume that we aren't being fundamentally deceived, but in the absence of this assumption, I don't see how logic or our apparent awareness get a pass. Personally, I think that Descartes might not have taken radical skepticism far enough and that the most we might be able to say is "est aliquid", or "there is something". Maybe even that isn't true, as absurd as that may sound.

Certainly, I can't even imagine what it would mean if our apparent experience of being aware was a deception, but if we're entertaining the idea that everything could be a delusion, why not our very experience of awareness? Of course, all of this goes well beyond your original argument, so let's return to that for a moment.

Let's assume that we are in fact aware, whether this is "actual" or simulated awareness (whatever that might mean). This doesn't help the problems with your argument for the likelihood of our being in a simulation or any other assumptions about the nature of what is outside of such a simulation.

As we have now agreed, the world outside of a simulation is unknowable. As such, we can make no reasonable assumptions about the likelihood of our being in one. Certainly, nothing within a simulation necessarily provides any information about an outside world, so no matter how many simulations we perform, regardless of their complexity or difficulty in computation, we can't use that information as a basis for understanding that outside world.

Then, as far as a creator being responsible for a simulation, be it a deity or a side effect of some natural phenomenon, the same limitations hinder your argument. It is quite possible that the rules of logic and physics that we observe are as fictitious as those that exist in Pac-man's universe. Pac-man can't occupy the same space as a ghost, but we could change the simulation to make that possible. He can't pass through walls, but we could make that possible. He can't turn the hands of time backwards, but we could make that possible. With very little effort, we could completely reshape the fabric of his universe in ways that would be unimaginable and indescribable to him (if he were to be aware). For us, notions like time and causality and identity could be artificial constructs as well. In this regard, we are as impotent as Pac-man when it comes to grasping the very nature of an outside world. Even though I hardly begin to articulate a way in which a simulation might be creator-less (in even the broadest sense of the term "creator"), I have to admit that possibility if I accept your first premise.

I'm thankful, therefore, that I am not the one making the argument that we might be in a simulation. The onus would be on you to explain why a simulation could not be creatorless. Knowing an outside world is unknowable, I think that burden is unbearable.

So, to return to what I said at the outset, yes, it is possible that we are in a simulation or otherwise being deceived. However, if we accept that premise, every subsequent premise is unproveable and, therefore, dismissable. While it's an unassailable premise, it's a mute and fruitless position. To escape this fate more impotent than solipsism, to have any discussion about anything at all, we have to reject the premise axiomatically, with the only justification being that otherwise we can't say anything about anything.

In summary, your original post should have stopped at "It's possible we're in a simulation." Nothing more could be asserted beyond that and the only coherent responses that come to mind are, "yes, it's possible" and "yes, it's possible, but let's assume it's not".
 

excreationist

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.....Certainly, I can't even imagine what it would mean if our apparent experience of being aware was a deception, but if we're entertaining the idea that everything could be a delusion, why not our very experience of awareness? Of course, all of this goes well beyond your original argument, so let's return to that for a moment.

Let's assume that we are in fact aware, whether this is "actual" or simulated awareness (whatever that might mean). This doesn't help the problems with your argument for the likelihood of our being in a simulation or any other assumptions about the nature of what is outside of such a simulation.....
What do you think of my argument that either we are aware or we are a philosophical zombie? Either we experience the sensation of qualia or we don't. Even if the qualia is wrong we would still have the sensation of awareness..... the point of this is that we can know something about our simulation... (that we are aware) (or at least I am aware, I can't prove your awareness)

In summary, your original post should have stopped at "It's possible we're in a simulation." Nothing more could be asserted beyond that and the only coherent responses that come to mind are, "yes, it's possible" and "yes, it's possible, but let's assume it's not".
Maybe it is flawed but so would other existence of God arguments be yet the other arguments still exist. I still think there would be a creator of the simulation - "a person or thing that brings something into existence". Or do you think a simulation can bring itself into existence? Though then it could be said that the simulation is its own creator....
 

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... snip ...
Maybe it is flawed but so would other existence of God arguments be yet the other arguments still exist.
No one that I have seen has claimed that there are not 'existence of god arguments'. The suggestion I see is that they are not logical, rational, or even reasonable. How can anyone logically argue about the nature of something that can not be known, if it does exist?
 

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Let's say the focus is our Sun. It has 1057 atoms. If you approximated it and used Machine Learning to help with the accuracy, you could create a plausible simulation of it with a fraction of the atoms... e.g. 1015 atoms.... plus in a simulation you could instantly change any aspect of the simulated Sun....

OK. Now can you validate whether at -15 simulation will produce usable (real) as would be the -57 real thing? How would you do so? I think all you really get is a nice 'what if' game. Testing SW as I recall is a very labor intensive and time viewing monster. For instance, I understand analysis of experiments using the Hadron Collider requires trillions of 'experiments' because one need at least probabilities in the fraction of billions to one likelihoods to produce a positive result.

Scaling up isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I understand we have a time and space problem being beings that last fewer than 100 years in a world that is billions of light years in extent. Still, are you comfortable with what models suggest? I was extended as a freshman to get good results from a cannon and ball experiment when I estimated to four decimals using an 80 inch equivalent Picket slide rule. Computer back then filled rooms to provide just a few thousand words of processing power.
 

excreationist

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Let's say the focus is our Sun. It has 1057 atoms. If you approximated it and used Machine Learning to help with the accuracy, you could create a plausible simulation of it with a fraction of the atoms... e.g. 1015 atoms.... plus in a simulation you could instantly change any aspect of the simulated Sun....

OK. Now can you validate whether at -15 simulation will produce usable (real) as would be the -57 real thing?
Let's say the Sun was a distant star.... I'd say that a sufficiently trained machine learning simulation would be basically indistinguishable from an emulation involving 1057 atoms.... It would involve a relatively small amount of photons (and whatever else the star emits).

If it involved our Sun it would involve a lot more emitted photons, etc, since it is a lot closer.

https://physics.stackexchange.com/q...-second-when-looking-at-the-blue-sky-on-a-sun
How many photons enter our eyes per second when looking at the blue sky on a sunny day?​
3×1014 photons per eye per second​

I'd say that our everyday experience of the Sun wouldn't make much difference whether those photons were simulated completely faithfully or were approximated...

If the Sun were observed with a more accurate technique the "level of detail" would also increase.

How would you do so? I think all you really get is a nice 'what if' game. Testing SW as I recall is a very labor intensive and time viewing monster.
The testing part seems similar to "Generative Adversarial Networks".... where the one part of the system tries to fool the other... (roughly) like this face generation system: (AI can also generate 3D video versions)

800px-Woman_1.jpg

For instance, I understand analysis of experiments using the Hadron Collider requires trillions of 'experiments' because one need at least probabilities in the fraction of billions to one likelihoods to produce a positive result.
Well more simulation resources could be devoted to this experiment so that the results are more accurate.....

Scaling up isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I understand we have a time and space problem being beings that last fewer than 100 years in a world that is billions of light years in extent. Still, are you comfortable with what models suggest? I was extended as a freshman to get good results from a cannon and ball experiment when I estimated to four decimals using an 80 inch equivalent Picket slide rule. Computer back then filled rooms to provide just a few thousand words of processing power.
I think simulations will use more and more machine learning though rather than traditional math.... (like Flight Simulator 2020)
 

Shake

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I believe in a kind of God...

More persuasive argument:
1. It's possible we're in a simulation
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore there could be a God.

My personal reasoning:
1. It is likely we're in a simulation (according to Elon Musk's reasoning)
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore it is likely there is a God.

My apologies if this has already been covered — I skimmed over a few pages of the thread, but by no means read it all in depth — but in both #3s above, I have to take issue with the phrase "could be". This equally means this creator might simply be some advanced alien being. Quoting sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Such magical powers might appear to be god-like to the lesser civilization.

That said, I don't see much problem with your argument, except that it's not really very useful. Point #1 from your first list also leaves the possibility that we're not in a simulation. I'll have to check out Musk's reasoning to see if I find his argument compelling enough to suggest it's likely we're in a simulation. Some atheists such as myself take a humble approach, realizing we not only do not, but can not know everything about the universe and thus are open to the possibility of the existence of a god. Having seen no compelling arguments or evidence for such a being's existence though, we cannot believe in any. Ergo, I would call myself an agnostic atheist. I also have to remain agnostic at this time, to the idea we're in a simulation.
 

excreationist

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I believe in a kind of God...

More persuasive argument:
1. It's possible we're in a simulation
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore there could be a God.

My personal reasoning:
1. It is likely we're in a simulation (according to Elon Musk's reasoning)
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore it is likely there is a God.

My apologies if this has already been covered — I skimmed over a few pages of the thread, but by no means read it all in depth — but in both #3s above, I have to take issue with the phrase "could be". This equally means this creator might simply be some advanced alien being. Quoting sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Such magical powers might appear to be god-like to the lesser civilization.
Do you mean the alien created the simulation? I think that quote refers to a being who only uses the physics of the world to do limited magic tricks. But a being who created the simulation could do just about anything including having a certain degree of omnipotence and omniscience...
That said, I don't see much problem with your argument, except that it's not really very useful.
I find it interesting how video games are becoming more and more realistic leading to the predicted situation that a world like ours could be a simulation. And the short cuts used in video games can explain why the 1057 atoms in our Sun (and similar stars) don't need to be explicitly simulated....
Point #1 from your first list also leaves the possibility that we're not in a simulation.....
Yes even Elon Musk believes in the possibility ("one in billions") that we aren't in a simulation.
 

excreationist

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none

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About "base reality".... there could be many nested levels of simulations but I think ultimately there is a mechanistic physical universe.

Max Tegmark's Mathematical universe hypothesis is a possibility though I'm not a fan.

Donald Hoffman believes "consciousness is the primary reality and the physical world emerges from that".

Or base reality could start with a God....

I think all of those possibilities are compatible with the idea that we might be in a simulation....

 

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"This is Icelandic reporter Alf Peershon standing here at the entrance of Noah's Arc in Buckerse KY next to Area 51 NM Studio from the mockup of 'Moon Landing' with Lt. Bettermun Bettermun standing by his projector."

Sir, you claim to be the the man responsible for the latest UFFFOE report. Can you verify this video."

"Yes. I projected it from Pussy Flats in at test of the USSF's new feer system."

"So there you have it audience, confirmation the video is of an actual sky projection from GAWD Central."

"Gawd Damn!! Support your Space Force. Kill Pence!"
 

Jimmy Higgins

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About "base reality".... there could be many nested levels of simulations but I think ultimately there is a mechanistic physical universe.

Max Tegmark's Mathematical universe hypothesis is a possibility though I'm not a fan.

Donald Hoffman believes "consciousness is the primary reality and the physical world emerges from that".

Or base reality could start with a God....

I think all of those possibilities are compatible with the idea that we might be in a simulation....


At seven seconds you can see the triangle images repeating on the left (same orientation), indicating to me we are probably in a simulation.
 
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