Philosophies – Alternative Beliefs – Simulation Theory
Table of Contents
What is the Simulation Hypothesis – Theory of Simulation
The Simulation Hypothesis is the proposal that all existence or experiences in this reality are based in some type of simulation. A simulation based on a computer or other technological system.
Origin of the Simulation Hypothesis
One of the first known proponents of the simulation hypothesis was Nick Bostrom. Bostrom was a Swedish born philosopher at the university of Oxford known for his work on human enhancements and anthropic principles. He founded Oxford Martin program and the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford. He was included in the Foreign Policies top 100 thinkers list. This has proposed the question, are we living in a simulation, and is reality an illusion.
Simulation Theory Argument
Bostrom argument for his point of view of the simulation theory posits that at least one of the following statements are true:
- 1. The fraction of human level civilizations that reach a post human stage is zero.
- 2. The fraction of post-human civilizations that are interested in creating a simulation that runs a historic type simulated universe is zero.
- 3. The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is 1.
Breaking down the argument
Bostroms argument that one of the above is true intuitively makes sense as we break down and look at each point that is being made. Stating that one of the three points must be true since the other 2 points are derivative or contradict the other.
1. Civilization post human advancement
As we exist and understand civilization’s abilities to advance, we can understand that a post human type of civilization as one that is capable of creating a simulated reality for conscious beings to dwell in. The first point is stating that if we do not live in a simulation, and that advanced civilizations do not create simulations then it remains at the highest possibility that no civilization ever reaches this stage of technological advancement.
Civilizations do not progress past modern advancement
It is worth breaking down point 1 a bit further, since there is an assumption made in this. Since intelligent conscious beings continue towards technological advancements that ultimately lead to creating simulations, it would be inferred that 99%+ of all conscious intelligent beings in all existence (including all simulations) are themselves within a simulation, and only a few conscious beings exist at the base non-simulated level. That would mean we are at the highest probability in a simulation ourselves. The opposite of this inference is that no civilization is capable of creating a simulation to this degree since all intelligent life destroys themselves before accomplishing this feat.
2. Advanced Civilizations do not Create Simulations
Point 2 is the idea that limits advanced civilizations from creating simulations for conscious beings. There could be any number of reasons for this one proposal is the ethics of an advanced society remains contrary to giving a false sense of existence to a conscious being.
3. The Highest Probability Remains that we live in a Simulation
The final point would hold true if the other two points were false. If advanced civilizations do indeed create simulations for conscious beings, who in turn create additional simulations. That those advanced civilizations do not limit their creation of such simulations, and that the majority of all conscious beings that exist are within those simulations. It would seem very probable that we exist in a simulation.
Evidence for the Simulation Theory
Those who contend for the simulation theory or simulation hypothesis point to a number of factors that would count as evidence for a simulation theory.
1. They utilize all the points of intelligent design in their model, and that intelligent design indeed points to a designer, programmer, architect or creator of our universe.
2. Quantum theory has a number of experiments like the double slit experiment that are used to point to the simulation theory. This experiment requires a conscious mind to be present to manifest. This can be used to build the argument that the processing or rending requirement of reality would only be necessary for the conscious person observing it. Similar to what we see with the graphics rendering in video games. A video game or movie only renders the video information that is currently being viewed.
Critical Thinking for the Simulation Theory
Intelligent Designer and Our Reality
First of all it has to be acknowledged, as it already is, that if you believe in the simulation theory that there is an intelligent designer, programmer or creator of the simulation.
This will lead you to two questions:
1. Who is the creator, and can I get to know him?
2. Why did he create me?
These are the questions that every person asks themselves, as intelligent creatures. We were all created or programmed to ask and seek out these questions. The fact these questions were programmed into each of us is obvious as we all seek these answers in every remote part of the world.
1. Did the creator make himself known to us?
Is there a being that has been presenting himself to humanity all throughout all known time and history? Is there a story that tells of humanity’s genesis and why we experience reality the way we do? Very simply yes, if you care to look it’s all in the Bible. In the bible the creator tells us all plainly who he is, how we can get to know Him, and why we are separate from Him. That sin exists in the world and corrupts the universe until he returns to remake everything.
2. Why did the Creator make us?
In answer to the second question, because He wanted to have a relationship with you. That you might know him and be with Him forever in His kingdom, with the reality that he meant for you to live in.
The Intelligent Designer or Creator
The creator tells us He has no equal, that he exists above and beyond the boundaries we experience in our reality. He had no beginning and no end. Think about that from a technological standpoint! Our creator was the originator of all known created things.
Many people still think of gods like they see in films, a being of immense power existing with the universe we live in. The God of the bible exists outside of His creation and is only bound by His own will. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. He exists beyond anything we can conjure in our minds.
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!1 Kings 8.27
One thing that is evident in our own consciousness is that we are all preprogrammed with a conviction of both good and evil. Even tribes born away from society confess their understanding of doing good and not evil to others. We have a sense of judgment and innocence. All these unconscious programs were created for a reason by the creator. This is why he puts in all of us the desire to seek out the answers to those questions.
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse themRomans 2.14-15
Advanced Technology or Spiritual Reality
Perhaps one misinterpretation of this theory is that it isn’t thinking of ‘advanced technology’ far enough. Perhaps our understanding of technology is too limited with the computers we work with every day. We have overlooked the fact that there are mechanisms beyond technology in the universe. That the very nature of consciousness and that the spirit of a person originated from something divine and not mundane.
The spiritual teachings of the Bible portray reality to be so much more than something based in a technological, digital system. That as we receive just a glimpse beyond the boundaries of our material universe. Every precursor to the spiritual that we receive moving up throughout the layers of higher dimensions and reality, beyond the foundations that our physical universe is based on. There are indescribable places, objects, and/or being all historically recorded by countless prophets, seers, and people who have had near death experiences or other encounters. Scientists that experiment at the boundaries of our reality also receive a glimpse of these things that work beyond our world, as mentioned before with quantum physicists.
Criticism comparing the simulation theory to Christianity
Some may not agree with comparing the simulation theory to Christianity, but the points above hold true in regard to intelligent design. Even the apostle Paul used the Greek mythologies to guide the people of that time to the true creator. Simulation theorists may not be that far off if they continue looking for the one that created them.
For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you– Acts 17.23