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What if our world was merely a simulation?


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#16    Dragohunter

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:48 PM

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

A similar question has been asked by skeptists in the Brain in a vat theory.

In the field of epistemology, Putnam is known for his "brain in a vat" thought experiment (a modernized version of Descartes' evil demon hypothesis). The argument is that one cannot coherently state that one is a disembodied "brain in a vat" placed there by some "mad scientist".

This follows from the causal theory of reference. Words always refer to the kinds of things they were coined to refer to, thus the kinds of things their user, or her ancestors, experienced. So, if some person, Mary, were a "brain in a vat", whose every experience is received through wiring and other gadgetry created by the "mad scientist", then Mary's idea of a "brain" would not refer to a "real" brain, since she and her linguistic community have never seen such a thing. Rather, she saw something that looked like a brain, but was actually an image fed to her through the wiring. Similarly, her idea of a "vat" would not refer to a "real" vat. So, if, as a "brain in a vat", she were to say "I'm a brain in a vat", she would actually be saying "I'm a brain-image in a vat-image", which is incoherent. On the other hand, if she is not a "brain in a vat", then saying that she is still incoherent, but now because she actually means the opposite. This is a form of epistemological externalism: knowledge or justification depends on factors outside the mind and is not solely determined internally.

Putnam has clarified that his real target in this argument was never skepticism, but metaphysical realism.[34] Since realism of this kind assumes the existence of a gap between how man conceives the world and the way the world really is, skeptical scenarios such as this one (or Descartes' Evil demon) present a formidable challenge. Putnam, by showing that such a scenario is impossible, attempts to show that this notion of a gap between man's concept of the world and the way it is in itself is absurd. Man cannot have a "God's eye" view of reality. He is limited to his conceptual schemes. Metaphysical realism is therefore false, according to Putnam.

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Without time, there can be no change. Time "exists" as an essential property of space, so we must conclude for something to be here there must always have been something. Time is not a property of "nothing" (how could it be?) so 'something' must have existed for the universe to have been 'created' from. It would seem infinite regression indeed exists.

#17    Chasexc

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:23 AM

This reminds of what i think was an episode from the Twilight Zone where we were in a program and someone was controlling us, all i remember though is the ending and it creeped me out

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#18    Sypherius

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:47 PM

Quote

If our existence was some MMO, then what happens when the other entities that play "us" log off? Is that when we sleep? Then why is it that most people only sleep at night? And why would 6 billion aliens play some MMO all day when they could be doing things for real? Maybe I missed the point of this thread, but there are too many questions unanswered by this theory.


If you've ever read the trilogy The Circle, you'd have a clue. Time does not progress the way here it does there. In the 16 hours I am awake a day, someone could be playing me only 5 minutes. Confusingly, though, if you take a look at GTA, the way time there progresses maybe 60x faster than real-time, it wouldn't make sense in our world. It took that kid 5 minutes to play 16 hours of my life away? It took him, what, 68 and a half hours to play 12 minutes of my life the next day? But then, perhaps there's a way to adjust time here.

You just can't answer that question. It's a question of how creative the simulator allows the player to be and how it's programmed, neither of which we may ever be able to find out.

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#19    TheLivingDead

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:01 AM

If this were true, then I feel sorry for the person controlling me.  They have quite a boring and uneventful character, though they do reward me and my husband occassionally with nice trips around the country!   wink2.gif


#20    BabelPlatz

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:28 AM

Oh Nick Bostrom you ka-ray-zay guy you!

I agree with those above me: From an instrumental or operational perspective, it woulndt really matter if this is a simulation or not.
In a sense it is;ready s as we all inhabit a virtual simulation of an "objective world" out there....maybe.....
Either way, doesnt matter....

If it was a simulation and it were turned off (us along with it) the question would be utterly moot.


#21    Oderint

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 01:04 AM

if this is a computer program, it's got loads of bugs and crappy coding.

can't wait for the next patch though, as long as it's not Earth version 21.12.2012 tongue.gif

Edited by Prawus, 16 July 2008 - 01:05 AM.

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#22    Blue Box

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:00 AM

Prawus on Jul 15 2008, 09:04 PM, said:

if this is a computer program, it's got loads of bugs and crappy coding.

can't wait for the next patch though, as long as it's not Earth version 21.12.2012 tongue.gif



Ehh....you just described EAxis (EA formally Maxis that ran the Sims projects) to a tee.   ohmy.gif Now, I'm really worried that this is all a game though it would explain alot that has went on in my life........it's just kinda creepy to think about.

Edited by Blue Box, 16 July 2008 - 07:50 PM.

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#23    JustNormal

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 06:27 AM

Maybe we are dead, and the "ghosts" we speak of so often are actually alive? Ever think of that? JN unsure.gif


#24    Arcanus.

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 06:53 AM

Wait a minute. If we are only a MMO played by some teenager alien from another universe or another physical existence of being, why would we be talking this? Would "our controller" permit it?

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#25    Oderint

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 05:18 PM

JustNormal on Jul 16 2008, 08:27 AM, said:

Maybe we are dead, and the "ghosts" we speak of so often are actually alive? Ever think of that? JN unsure.gif

Seen "The Others"?
But yeah, who knows, maybe WE are the real ghosts. stuck in time without knowing it's actually someone elses past.

The Arkan L.S on Jul 16 2008, 08:53 AM, said:

Wait a minute. If we are only a MMO played by some teenager alien from another universe or another physical existence of being, why would we be talking this? Would "our controller" permit it?

They would probably have lots of fun reading what their creations talk about tongue.gif

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#26    greggK

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:13 PM

How does a TV work?  The process that splshes the sub-atomic particles onto the back of the TV screen is the same process that the sun goes thru and the screen that causes this world to be is the atmosphere.

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#27    ravergirl

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:35 PM

One of my favorite alternate reality concepts. Matrix-y.

I think if we were a simulation we wouldn't have been allowed to make a movie about simulation. Attached File  red_pill_or_blue_pill.jpg   18.43K   2 downloads


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#28    Orion von Koch

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 04:27 PM

Aero 360 on Jun 19 2008, 10:06 AM, said:

Scientists agree that there is a 20% chance of us living in a simulated reality.  Maybe all of this is just a program running on a super computer ran by post-humans or an advanced alien civilization.  I mean think about it, just think about how Earth is SO "coincidentally" well-fit for life, and how we got here which was completely luck.

I'm a video game fan, and I play games constantly.  There's one quote that really makes me ponder.  It's this:  "Do you ever feel like you're not in charge of your own destiny, like...you're being controlled by an invisible hand?"

That makes me think... How do I know I'm not being controlled, and that all of this isn't some insane MMO played by advanced aliens who get entertainment out of all this, much like we get entertainment out of controlling a character in a game?

There could be a chance also that this is all one massive MMO, sure, it's far-fetched and sounds stupid, but I like thinking about it.  I mean how does my character in a particular game know he's controlled?  What if he thinks everything he does is on his free will, everything he says he just randomly thinks up, and when I log him off he's asleep or in a state of limbo?  I mean someone could be making me type this, but the program is making me believe I'm actually typing this on my free will.

Another fun question is that if our creators in the "physical world", are they REALLY in the real world?  Or yet another simulated reality?  Will we get to the point of running a simulated reality, a universe such as the Sims series, but much more evolved? Yes, actually, we will, very soon we will have computers fast enough to run such a program, and we will be able to see our own little worlds, evolving, growing, and perhaps living long enough to make their own simulated reality.  And then the process repeats.

Simulation-argument.com


Long ago, I was working with the national computer graphic association. I thought about simulation since I wrote on a subject called THE MOIRE MATRIX.

SEE THIS: it is in my blog.

Soulular Travel is the physical leveraging of Time/Space for the benefit of knowledge and wisdom to the spiritual soul, the eternal monad. It can only be accomplished by the higher being existing within and throughout the realm of perceived existences. That higher being is ever changeless yet outwardly changing and monadically multifaceted in expression. It has been said that it is almost holographic in its emulation, what some refer to as holo-spirited. Mankind is the progeny of this multifaceted generator or God. His means will be experienced here:

Upon being projected into the Realms of Time/Space (Meta-Fictional).


Learners, I am going to insert you into this program for extracting incremental worth from and to the Monadic Soul. It is a program not unlike a simulation utilizing holographic virtual elements. It will appear as real as existence can possibly be yet it is a device for learning. For each of you it will initially seem strange because you will experience event sequences via a framework or vehicle that will exist within the Zeta program only. Its parameters are set to various conditions and means of solving vehicular problems within that environment. It is not unlike what you have here in this realm but you will be able to be subjected to existences that you never imagined before and you will not recognize yourself in that realm. It is indeed a very advanced RPG or Role Playing Game.

What is great about this experiment is that you are at present highly advanced in all that you know which seems like everything. But, when you enter this realm, you will be highly unfamiliar with the apparatus of motivation. There will be much learning that will be somewhat frustrating in the beginning. You will be highly clumsy and make many mistakes. There are others of us already in the program that will help you move through all the timely challenges. You will grow to admire many of those who are already moving up the chain of the gambital learning site. Their expertise in this highly challenging environ will aid you in your periodic movement through the various tests.

The program is written to allow you to grow in knowledge and it is the very same for everyone who is in the virtual realm. It rewards and punishes you vehicularly by taking away certain aspects of power and leveraging for movement in the realm. The program is highly robust with the laws of consequence and if one makes too many mistakes you will have need to opt out of the program and start over.

Your vehicle will have an onboard computer that must record every aspect of every event that takes place in this world or realm. It is like a server that keeps everything headed in the right direction automatically. You will have some leeway for creative efforts in the realm but pretty much the program has you by the lifeline when it come to working the challenges that will fly at you from the beginning.

The controls you have for movement in this realm are hair trigger and extremely deft. Of course you are highly advanced as a thinker, and extremely creative, but in the early stages it is mostly learning how to leverage the projected challenges to just sustaining some kind of composure that allows life in this environ. You may find it hard to stand and deliver.

Your other facets of being will join you and become players in the gambit. Some will be ahead and others behind but time will seem the same for all of you. You will play this game through to the end though you will be able to slip out when the vehicle itself crashes on a cyclic basis. When this happens you will return here for a debriefing and briefing with your colleagues where you will try to work out the next sequences of events in this realm and perhaps revisit the same gambit from a different perspective.

I must warn you. In the early stages of this simulated vehicular role playing, you will remember your advanced stages of being here in Timelessness, but as you learn the physical apparatus you will suffer immersion with the vehicle and begin to buy into the gambit. Unless you meditate and seek to maintain your present knowledge of the Eternal Monadic Realm, you will lose all contact with us. I know it seems strange being as intelligent as you are, but the program is good.

Of course, this event of being in the program is almost instantaneous for us, it will seem to you as a lifetime, because everything is on a different sequence coupled to events that are fired at you as potential to leverage.

Good luck, this thing is much better than ZBOX 137. It is holographic and extremely high resolution. It is better than a ride at Atlantis’ best theme park, and some of you will think this is the only realm of existence. This will be due to the fact that you have put too much emphasis on the self. Remember — Not that one is, but that whereby Is, is. Our charge is to overcome selfish desires. Learning will amplify with those of you who SEEK.

This program is extremely difficult and will require much of you. Do not let it defeat you, for you will have to do it over until it is understood. Try to maintain contact with meditation and prayer. This is your charge. GB.

__________________________________________

Suggested Reading: Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ — A gnostic Christian Kabbalah by Tau Malachi also Michael Talbot's Holographic Universe. (Many of David Bohm's works also have references that may assist someone who can see what this little Opening Piece is about.  



#29    Nessieman23

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:48 PM

Ahh, simulated reality, a topic of great controversy. What if we don't really exist? Would we be talking about this now? Why would we be wondering if we exist if we didn't? Then again, maybe our "programmers" are making us talk about this. Why, though? What would be the point of discussing reality in a game? I mean, if you were playing the Sims, would you make your character sit on the computer all day? No, the Sims is a bit easier than real life, though, after playing it for a whole day, I was wondering, but then, I wondered, why would my player make me think this?

TL;DR:
Why would our "players" make us think if we exist or not?


#30    ShadowsAndDust

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 11:22 PM

Often wondered this myself, but I spose we will never really know.





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