Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?

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But_I_Digress

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Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« on: April 08, 2010, 10:15:40 PM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/science/14tier.html

Interesting read. Think about it, we're only about 40 years into the technological age, and we've already accomplished things like The Sims games. Think of what we might be able to do in a couple hundred years, we could possibly make a simulation of life so advanced, that everything in that simulation is completely conscious and self-aware, not knowing that they are just a piece of hardware inside a computer somewhere.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 10:22:07 PM by But_I_Digress »
The only possible explanation for this is that the Earth is generally spherical in shape, otherwise, such a perpetual curvature could not exist

Wilmore is a RE'er in disguise

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Mykael

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 10:24:59 PM »

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Mykael

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2010, 10:36:16 PM »
More eloquently:




Once upon a time, two Serious Minded people were in their local pub, having a few pints, and talking about the nature of the Universe.

Bill pointed out that most of what we consider "matter" is made up of empty space. The distance between a nucleus, its electrons, and the nearest adjacent atom is comparatively large; why, that barstool over there shouldn't even be considered a solid!

Joe responded, "But wait. As far as we can actually prove, that barstool might simply be a hallucination, for we're not actually seeing the barstool, we're processing electric signals in our heads generated by our optic nerves.  And all they are doing is claiming certain wavelengths of light have bounced off an object.  But what if the nerves are misfiring, which we all know happen quite often?  So, we can't really say whether or not the barstool even exists!"

Just then, a man approached them and said, "I couldn't help but overhear you two talking.  If I may, I have an experiment for you.  Purely in the interest of a Deeper Understanding of the Universe."

He then proceeded to pick up the barstool and pummel both Bill and Joe squarely about the head and torso, yelling "I REFUTE IT THUSLY".




Thus endeth the Discordian Parable.

It's possible we live in sort of hyper-advanced computer simulation; it's possible we're just brains in a vat with all the sensory data we perceive being fed to us. The point, though, is that it doesn't matter. These situations are nothing more than philosophical masturbation, as we'd never be able to prove any of these ideas (and if we somehow did, it likely wouldn't matter).

Reality is whatever can raise a lump on your skull.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 10:38:12 PM by Mykael »

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Parsifal

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 12:00:20 AM »
If my life is a computer simulation, it bloody well better be running on free software.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 01:02:24 AM »
I don't believe it's a computer simulation, per se, but rather we have a higher level of being.  I think we are mortal beings asleep somewhere.  Of course, this could all be just my dream, and none of you are real.  I'd feel really dumb after I woke up, lol.
Books don't lie...the people that write them do.

Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2010, 06:48:34 AM »
we've already accomplished things like The Sims games

LOL  ;D

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grogberries

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2010, 03:36:48 PM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/science/14tier.html

Interesting read. Think about it, we're only about 40 years into the technological age, and we've already accomplished things like The Sims games. Think of what we might be able to do in a couple hundred years, we could possibly make a simulation of life so advanced, that everything in that simulation is completely conscious and self-aware, not knowing that they are just a piece of hardware inside a computer somewhere.

Thoughts?

Life doesn't work that way. Computer simulations are made by people. Nature is self-generating. It takes a person to make a person and not a computer. A computer cannot even make a computer. It might be useful to consider life as a computer simulation but they are not the same thing.

If my life is a computer simulation, it bloody well better be running on free software.

I reserve the right to change and redistribute you as I like.

p.s. I'm using your life code to look at you naked right now. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Ode to joy.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 03:44:32 PM by grogberries »
Think hard. Think Flat.

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Lorddave

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 09:17:46 AM »
I've speculated, for no purpose other than amusement, that my life is a simulation at the Lunar Psychosocial Research Center.  There, hundreds of clones of me and others are being run through various simulations to determine the genetic factors in personality traits.
I am a terrible person and I am a typical Blowhard Liberal for being wrong about Bom.

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2010, 05:23:04 PM »
It's possible we live in sort of hyper-advanced computer simulation; it's possible we're just brains in a vat with all the sensory data we perceive being fed to us. The point, though, is that it doesn't matter. These situations are nothing more than philosophical masturbation, as we'd never be able to prove any of these ideas (and if we somehow did, it likely wouldn't matter).

Reality is whatever can raise a lump on your skull.


Actually, I think it does matter. It's not so much a question of the need to answer these questions, but the sense of perspective they give you. These days it's something I don't even think about, but when I first encountered such ideas way back, it had a profound effect on the way I viewed the world and 'my place' within it.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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grogberries

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2010, 11:45:35 PM »
Computer simulations are man made. A human being is self-generating. You would have to provide evidence that humans were programed by something first.
Think hard. Think Flat.

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Rob Valensky

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 12:00:58 AM »
We were created by the aliens, who will then exterminate our kind as soon as we pose a threat to them in the future. They're living somewhere on a flat planet with Rowbotham.

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Masterchef

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2010, 08:49:36 PM »
Computer simulations are man made. A human being is self-generating. You would have to provide evidence that humans were programed by something first.
Who said anything about the simulation being made by humans? If our universe and everything in it really is nothing more than a computer program, then surely it was programmed by a race more complex than we are.

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Parsifal

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2010, 08:53:46 PM »
Computer simulations are man made. A human being is self-generating. You would have to provide evidence that humans were programed by something first.
Who said anything about the simulation being made by humans? If our universe and everything in it really is nothing more than a computer program, then surely it was programmed by a race more complex than we are.

This is straying dangerously close to the God Hypothesis.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

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Masterchef

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2010, 09:15:33 PM »
This is straying dangerously close to the God Hypothesis.
I fail to see any similarities.

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Parsifal

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2010, 09:18:08 PM »
I fail to see any similarities.

In both cases, the being that created us is necessarily more complex than we are.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2010, 08:56:53 AM »
If my life is a computer simulation, it bloody well better be running on free software.

I want to sig this, but I still like my current Parsifal sig better.

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Wendy

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2010, 09:40:53 AM »
we've already accomplished things like The Sims games

LOL  ;D

I know, right? Dwarf Fortress is a much more accurate representation of a world simulator.
Here's an explanation for ya. Lurk moar. Every single point you brought up has been posted, reposted, debated and debunked. There is a search function on this forum, and it is very easy to use.

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bullhorn

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2010, 10:16:30 PM »
      I don't think that we will ever know if we are living in a simulation or not.   In all honesty why should we care.  If we are living in a simulation than so be it, we can not change that fact.  I personally don't believe that we are living in a simulation.  I can only use the simulations we have today, not the technological part of it, but the human part.  Our world is progressing at a rate to slow for any possible enjoyment to be held from watching our day to day lives.  Everything that we do as human beings in our lives is so intricate and detailed that they would be watching at the pace we are living now, there is no fast forward being used.  We have to understand that the idea of this simulation only came in the last few years.  There are many things that we do not know about our world to jump to a conclusion about how our life plays out.  People take solace in  the fact that they want to know everything about their world. And if they do not then they try to find meaning behind it.  This is one of those times.  I am under the model that this is life, we are the ones that will create any simulation we would like, and we would be smart enough to ensure that we do not fool with someone's reality, be it on a computer or in a test jar.  As we advance as a people, we will slowly, eventually stop every activity that negatively effects other living things.  This includes those of a simulation.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 10:21:00 PM by bullhorn »

Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2010, 08:00:34 AM »
This is straying dangerously close to the God Hypothesis.
I fail to see any similarities.

You guys are making all these rules for something you must be totally agnostic about.
"So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is peace." -Arundhati Roy

Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2010, 03:39:58 PM »
we've already accomplished things like The Sims games

LOL  ;D

I know, right? Dwarf Fortress is a much more accurate representation of a world simulator.

Dragons, giant cave spiders, elephants, and murderous schools of zombie carp.

Dwarf Fortress FTW.

http://lparchive.org/LetsPlay/Boatmurdered/intro.html
There is evidence for a NASA conspiracy. Please search.

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Parsifal

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Re: Could our life be nothing more than a computer simulation?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2010, 10:33:17 PM »
It is irrelevant whether or not we live in a simulation, and here's why:

"Space", "time", "mass" and a variety of other names are simply placeholders for things which aren't fully understood. If someone asked you to explain what space is, could you really define it? The rest of this argument assumes that the answer is "no"; if you think you can, by all means let me know.

Given that the basic components of the Universe are accepted "as-is" and are not understood, it doesn't matter what is behind them. We know that there is something that exists to make things run the way they do, and therefore any simulation which generates these to the extent that they are observed is, for all intents and purposes, real. Likewise, the "real" Universe obviously follows mathematical rules, making it arguably a giant computer in itself, within which we are but applications.

So the dichotomy of "real" vs. "simulation" is ultimately a false one, since both models are fundamentally equivalent.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.