"I've no idea why we might be being simulated if we are being simulated. It
is actually very arrogant to assume that we are somehow the centre of the
simulation at all, like bacteria in my gut assuming that the universe, the
solar sysstem, humans were made for their benefit. "

 

Stathis Papaioannou

 

I have a problem with the very premise of asking why we are being simulated.
Having been a member of this list for years, I have seen objections to the
simulation argument raised repeatedly that are along the lines of "it is
presumptuous to assume anyone would want to simulate us," or "it is entirely
speculative and not based in science", etc.  I have also seen a fair amount
of discussion about how the simulation could be done.

 

To me, the logical chain is straightforward.  If you accept a MWI
interpretation or some other ensemble theory, then everything that can
happen does happen.  There is maybe a little wiggle room here, as perhaps
you can have a MWI with an enormous number of universes versus and infinite
number, depending on the nature of the underlying implementation, but as I
understand it from earlier discussions and from my reading, most interpret
MWI as requiring an actual infinity.

 

Now, after you have the MWI as the underlying foundation, there is really
only one additional question that needs to be answered.  Is there something
fundamentally primitively "physical" and non-reproducible about my existence
that would forever prohibit any attempt at reproduction?  When I say "my
existence" you have to include two possibilities.  First, if you want to
hold onto the "primitive physical" viewpoint you have to assume that there
is something about the nature of our apparent reality in the third person
that is simply not capable of emulation or simulation.  Second, you ALSO
have to assume there is something about our first person experience that is
also not capable of emulation or simulation.  This is where the "primitive
physical" proponents lose me.  I have thought about this a great deal, and
just can't figure out why I should assume there is something so special
about my experiences, memories, and thought process that it under no
circumstances could ever be capable of reproduction anywhere else in
existence (other than the "naturally" occurring copies of myself in other
parts of the multiverse, which are of course under this line of thinking
occurring at a "primitive physical" level).  

 

I am an attorney, so I guess I look at this at a little different
perspective than most on here with science related backgrounds.  I think
once you get to a certain level, whether it be with MWI, or string theory or
any other concept that can not be directly tested or observed, science loses
its ability to take you further and you have to look into other areas such
as logic and philosophy to finish the journey.  However, there is a
circumstantial case to be made for things even beyond strict science.  For
instance, I believe the circumstantial case for our universe being emulable
or simulable is strong given what we know about how our universe works so
far.  The reasons for this have probably been discussed around here
extensively, for instance the close relationship between math and physics,
and our ability to describe the things we observe in mathematical terms.  

 

To my way of thinking, the opponents to a simulation viewpoint are basically
left arguing a concept that there is something "magical" or "spiritual"
about human thought.  That it is a supernatural function that is forever
beyond the realm of science.  Either that or they do not accept an ensemble
theory.    I could not disagree more with your statement that it is
"arrogant to assume that we are somehow the center of the simulation."  On
the contrary, what is arrogant is to assume that in a universe in which it
is possible to simulate environments and universes (and this we know, just
check out a Playstation 3 game I will say only partially tongue in cheek),
is that we occupy a special location at the very top (or bottom depending on
how you look at it) of this hierarchy of natural and artificial creations.

 

I think one thing that hangs a lot of people up on this concept is the idea
that somewhere there IS a primitive, physical universe, and that we are just
a digital simulation being run in that "more real" universe.  This is NOT
necessary nor is it part of my thinking on the subject.  Maybe there is some
"more real" or "primitive physical" reality out there that is simulating our
entire quantum mechanical multiverse, but this is entirely speculative and
presumably beyond the realm of any potential scientific discussion.  When I
refer to our being simulated, I am assuming the simulation is occurring in
every way that is logically and physically possible in the multiverse, just
as every other part of the multiverse is being likewise simulated in every
way that is logically and physically possible in some other part.  This is
required, in fact is logically necessary if you assume it is capable of
simulation.

 

That is as far as I think logic can take us.  All the different theoretical
ways that we can be emulated or simulated or of course interesting
discussion.  Why some intelligent beings in some other part of the
multiverse may want to simulate or emulate our part of the multiverse is
interesting as well, but is entirely unrelated to the logic of whether the
entire entity is at least in part a simulation as set forth above.  

 

Danny Mayes

 

 


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