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  • Loke
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jun 2008
    • 3302

    Are we living in a simulation?

    Since I was a kid I have been wondering:

    Are we living in a simulation?

    Interestingly, other people have recently picked up on this:

    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160...may-not-matter

    Apart from some strange things in physics (which of course may be better explained in the future by an improved model) are there other things that could indicate that we are in fact living in a simulation?

    If the guys running the simulation have some ethical standards (perhaps they even had to submit their simulation experiment to an ethics commitee/IRB: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instit...review_board); and if so, what could we potentially assume they would say about termination of simulated beings?

    This brings me to the very interesting topic of near-death-experience; people who have had such experiences say they often see a "bright light" they feel like they are in heaven, etc. Animal research has demonstrated that when rats are killed enourmous amounts of chemical substances are released in the brain, that stimulates a feeling of "happiness"; (e.g. same substances that are released when having sex). Also it is interesting to notice that when oxygen flow to the brain stops, the brain stops the heart!

    Why is this? What is the evolutionary explanation for all of this? I am not able to spot one -- however if we live in a simulation and if the beings that are running it have a certain ethical standard you would expect them to make sure that when concious parts of the simulation is terminated they will be terminated without too much pain and anguish.

    So, what do people think? Do the near-death experiences support the we-live-in-a-simulation hypothesis?


    (Written after a few beers, hopefully not influencing the punctiation or the logic of this post too much)
  • Loke
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jun 2008
    • 3302

    #2
    To expand on this:

    What if a significant number of people on this planet becomes aware of the "simulation hypothesis" and perhaps even start to believe in it? Perhaps that would invalidate one of the basic premises for running the simulation? Perhaps the beings running the simulation will then terminate it? Or perhaps they will decide to keep it running but lift all humans into a "nicer" environment (i.e., "heaven") instead of terminating everybody, for ethical reasons.

    Comment

    • Creaking Door
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Sep 2006
      • 9815

      #3
      If the beings running this simulation have a certain 'ethical standard' how would you explain the millions of people who have died in excruciating agony from a whole range of terminal degenerate disorders; what would be the purpose of that part of the simulation?
      WA$.

      Comment

      • hampden98
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Sep 2009
        • 2523

        #4
        Of course we are living in a Computer Simulation.
        Just depends on your definition of computer and simulation.
        Our brains are complex computers and simulate everything.
        Thus we exist in a computer brain and experience the world around us via that brains simuation of the world via stimulus.
        Consider the following;
        Your bodies reflexes compute at a rate of around 1 second. A baseball pitcher can deliver a baseball in less than one second.
        So in order for the batman to hit the ball his `brain` has to tell `him` where to hit the ball before the batman even knows it's coming.
        Now that's weird.

        Comment

        • snafu
          Senior Member
          • Aug 2013
          • 2825

          #5
          Originally posted by Loke View Post
          (Written after a few beers...)
          Really? So early in the day too.

          Comment

          • Loke
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jun 2008
            • 3302

            #6
            Originally posted by Creaking Door View Post
            If the beings running this simulation have a certain 'ethical standard' how would you explain the millions of people who have died in excruciating agony from a whole range of terminal degenerate disorders; what would be the purpose of that part of the simulation?
            It's impossible to say of course however, one may speculate that the objective of the simulation for some reason requires the individuals within to be able to experience pain. Also consider that whereas a fraction of people experience pain prior to death, everybody in the end experience death, and research seem to indicate that death itself is not painful. Thus, when the "individual" has served it's part of the simulation it is terminated without unecessary pain.

            Another interesting paper: http://www.nickbostrom.com/extraterrestrial.pdf

            The Fermi paradox is indeed an interesting one; however the lack of intelligent life outside of planet earth could easily be explained if we live in a simulation...

            Comment

            • Loke
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jun 2008
              • 3302

              #7
              Originally posted by snafu View Post
              Really? So early in the day too.
              Early in the day? it's past 9pm now (local time)

              Comment

              • snafu
                Senior Member
                • Aug 2013
                • 2825

                #8
                So it was nearly 8pm your time when you posted this, and you've been thinking about it too, maybe for a couple of hours, maybe more?

                So this is a real life Sims, eh?

                Comment

                • Mike meteor
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Sep 2014
                  • 195

                  #9
                  Hmmmm.......Mr D Adams. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. All is explained.

                  Comment

                  • Jonesy
                    Neo-conversative
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 5097

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Mike meteor View Post
                    Hmmmm.......Mr D Adams. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. All is explained.
                    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.
                    Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2)
                    Begs the question of who or what imagined the existence of some of the posters on here! 😂😂😂

                    Comment

                    • Beermat
                      1 Registered Rank Loser
                      • Oct 2009
                      • 3616

                      #11
                      There is no real way in logic to separate 'simulation' from 'reality'. So the question has no real meaning at the same time as being a really good one!

                      As Hampden pointed out, everything we perceive is a construct built from sensory inputs. A virtual model, in our heads.

                      If someone is feeding that model its still a simulation, and its still as real as it gets. If no-one is feeding it and this is all there is, its still a simulation, and still as real as it gets..

                      There are interesting associated philosophical questions of free-will. As we are 'riding' on the functions of our brains, with our perception of our own thoughts actually running several microseconds behind the chemical processes that cause them, this may well be an illusion too, but another one that in effect might as well not be.

                      There are fascinating associated mathematical (set theory) and physical (quantum theory/uncertainty principle) proofs of this - read 'The Emperor's New Brain' by Roger Penrose for a lot of this good stuff.

                      Oh, and.. 42.
                      www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                      It's all good. Probably.

                      Comment

                      • Loke
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jun 2008
                        • 3302

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Creaking Door View Post
                        If the beings running this simulation have a certain 'ethical standard' how would you explain the millions of people who have died in excruciating agony from a whole range of terminal degenerate disorders; what would be the purpose of that part of the simulation?
                        I do not know what the purpose would be -- however one may imagine that the purpose of the simulation is such that the pain and suffering you are referring to was deemed necessary to reach the aim of the simulation project.

                        However once the life of an individual in the simulation is being terminated, it no longer plays a role and therefore the pain also plays a role for the outcome and therefore it is removed.

                        What is your explanation?

                        Comment

                        • Moggy C
                          Moderator
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 20534

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Mike meteor View Post
                          Hmmmm.......Mr D Adams. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. All is explained.
                          Scene 1. Int. Slartibartfast’s Office. Magrathea

                          ARTHUR:
                          Mice? What do you mean mice? I think we must be talking at cross purposes. Mice to me mean the little white furry things with the cheese fixation and women standing screaming on tables in early Sixties sitcoms.

                          SLARTIBARTFAST:
                          Earthman, it is sometimes hard to follow your mode of speech. Remember I have been asleep inside this planet of Magrathea for five-million years and know little of these early Sixties sitcoms of which you speak. These creatures you call mice you see are not quite as they appear, they are merely the protrusions into our dimension of vast, hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings. The business with the cheese and squeaking is just a front.

                          ARTHUR:
                          A front?

                          SLARTIBARTFAST:
                          Oh yes, you see the mice set up the whole Earth business, as an epic experiment in behavioural psychology; a ten-million year program -

                          ARTHUR:
                          No, look, you’ve got it the wrong way round. It was us. We used to do the experiments on them.

                          SLARTIBARTFAST:
                          A ten-million year program in which your planet Earth and its people formed the matrix of an organic computer. I gather that the mice did arrange for you humans to conduct some primitively staged experiments on them just to check how much you’d really learned, to give you the odd prod in the right direction, you know the sort of thing: suddenly running down the maze the wrong way; eating the wrong bit of cheese; or suddenly dropping dead of myxomatosis.
                          "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

                          Comment

                          • Loke
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jun 2008
                            • 3302

                            #14
                            I have jst made some observations that strongly makes the case that we are indeed living in a simulation!!!

                            This happened when I was studying some new a

                            Comment

                            • Beermat
                              1 Registered Rank Loser
                              • Oct 2009
                              • 3616

                              #15
                              Oh no, they got him half way through his post!
                              www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                              It's all good. Probably.

                              Comment

                              • snafu
                                Senior Member
                                • Aug 2013
                                • 2825

                                #16
                                How do you know he was half way in?

                                He might have gone on for several paragraphs...



                                And if this is a simulation, what is it we are simulating?

                                Comment

                                • MancFrank
                                  Beer, fags and skittles
                                  • Aug 2008
                                  • 62

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by snafu View Post
                                  And if this is a simulation, what is it we are simulating?
                                  You meant 'what are they simulating?', right? But perhaps clues exist in what and why WE simulate or model.

                                  It's equally valid to suggest that the question is fundamentally impossible to answer, from a 'human' perspective.

                                  Current findings suggest that the visible universe is non - quantised, which, if correct, removes one possible indicator of simulation, although 'digital physics' is a very wide field with, potentially, much yet to learn or discover. As Carl Sagan used to say, 'Somewhere, something wonderful is waiting to be known'.
                                  Last edited by MancFrank; 22nd September 2016, 22:00.

                                  Comment

                                  • Creaking Door
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Sep 2006
                                    • 9815

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Loke View Post
                                    I do not know what the purpose would be -- however one may imagine that the purpose of the simulation is such that the pain and suffering you are referring to was deemed necessary to reach the aim of the simulation project.

                                    However once the life of an individual in the simulation is being terminated, it no longer plays a role and therefore the pain also plays a role for the outcome and therefore it is removed.

                                    What is your explanation?
                                    I don't have an explanation as such but I'm still rather confused by your suggestion that death is preceded by 'removal of pain and suffering'; maybe in the 21st century, and for the lucky few who live in the developed world, and even then in a tiny minority of cases!

                                    Assuming that time in our simulation, and the recorded history, can be taken as fact, how many billions of our ancestors have perished through hunger, disease, cold, injury or thirst? Whatever 'pain' is it seems to be an absolutely essential part of the 'simulation' and therefore I'd argue that the 'absence' of pain is not a very good indicator for the possibility that our lives are part of some elaborate simulation; in fact, quite the opposite!
                                    WA$.

                                    Comment

                                    • hampden98
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Sep 2009
                                      • 2523

                                      #19
                                      Must be Thursday. Never could get the hang of Thursdays.

                                      Comment

                                      • snafu
                                        Senior Member
                                        • Aug 2013
                                        • 2825

                                        #20
                                        Well, I'm simulating someone who is confused.






                                        Or maybe I'm not simulating...?

                                        Comment

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