On 3/5/07, Danny Mayes <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
>  "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.
>
There is a big difference between an infinite and a merely very large MWI:
for one thing, QTI requires an actual infinity of worlds.

  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'm not opposed to the idea that we may be part of a simulation. The only
way to exclude the possibility is, as you suggest, if there is something
magical about human thought (not just mysterious - we know it's mysterious).
However, it seems you are both agreeing and disagreeing with my statement
that we shouldn't assume we are at the centre of the simulation. There is a
tendency to think that if we are in a simulation someone has painstakingly
hand-coded every aspect of us and our environment, whereas it seems to me
much more likely that our universe is a product of a UD type program. A UD
need only be run once on an infinite computer and it would swamp out any
more deliberate simulations.


>  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.
>
It would be really neat if no physical universe is needed to implement the
simulation. For one thing, it would get around the question of the
contingency of physical existence, a problem even for God.

  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.
>
Right, it's the anthropocentric psychology and programming methods of the
potential simulators that I disagree with.

Stathis Papaioannou

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