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Avatar image for deactivated-5a923fc7099e3
#1 Posted by deactivated-5a923fc7099e3 (534 posts) -

There are more and more people who think there is a big chance we are actually living in a simulation. Their reasoning is that an intelligent civilization has a few possible "end games". We either reach a point were we hit a hard ceiling and further technological development isn't possible anymore. Or we get to a point were we have the technology to make a simulated universe but we choose not to because of ethical reasons. Or we end up actually building a simulated universe.

Given the amount of livable planets in our observable universe, the chance that there are civilizations out there that have reached this point of technological development may well be greater then zero. So a lot of people estimate the chance of us actually living in a simulated universe quite high (their estimations typically can range from a 20% chance to a 80% chance). And theoretical physics might point in that direction as well. The discrete, quantised nature off energy and the possible discrete nature of space itself fits with this assessment of the basic nature of reality.

At this point there are no actual observations that confirm this but people are making serious experimental efforts to test this stuff (like the holometer experiment). So we may yet find out that we actually live in a holographic simulated universe. But as long as the data isn't there we can only speculate. So let's do just that.

I personally hope we don't live in a simulated world because if we find out we do the consequences would be horrible. For one it would mean we are victims of an amoral system that doesn't care about personal suffering. Also it would rule out any chance of us ever finding the true nature of reality. But I can't dismiss the possibility neither. I know this all may seem like a bunch of hippy dippy stoner stuff but I genuinely think this stuff is worth discussing.

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#2 Posted by Rahf (488 posts) -

Maybe.

Here's what I wonder: does it matter? If we lived in a simulation it wouldn't matter until self-awareness of that fact came a'knockin'. We would ostensibly create our own suffering. And it still wouldn't matter, because we'd have no agency or possibility of solving that fundamental issue: we are simulated beings.

Fun philosophy. Is it worth being potentially unhappy about it?

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#3 Edited by deactivated-5a923fc7099e3 (534 posts) -
@rahf said:

Maybe.

Here's what I wonder: does it matter? If we lived in a simulation it wouldn't matter until self-awareness of that fact came a'knockin'. We would ostensibly create our own suffering. And it still wouldn't matter, because we'd have no agency or possibility of solving that fundamental issue: we are simulated beings.

Fun philosophy. Is it worth being potentially unhappy about it?

On a personal level the moral consequences may be trivial. We would find ourselves in fundamentally the same situation as before. Religious people might have to reconsider a lot off things though. If you believe that a higher being made us with a special plan in mind finding out that we are in fact living in a amoral simulation would pose an existential problem. It would confirm that there is in fact a creator but it would negate all our preconceived notions about this creator. It would also potentially mean that we could create our own simulation and thus it would give us a whole bunch of new ethical questions of how we might go about this. It also might put a hard limit on the scientific endeavor. Can we use the empirical method explore things outside our simulation or are we doomed to accept the finite knowledge encoded in our simulation?

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#4 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7830 posts) -

I've come to the conclusion, after seeing this topic brought up for a while off and on, that it's a definite possibility. Despite this I've chosen indifference. If we did confirm it there's not much we could do, so there's no reason to worry about it.

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#5 Edited by sravankb (544 posts) -

I've come to the conclusion, after seeing this topic brought up for a while off and on, that it's a definite possibility. Despite this I've chosen indifference. If we did confirm it there's not much we could do, so there's no reason to worry about it.

Same here. Plus, the problem with the premise is that it is set up in a way that is impossible to prove.

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#6 Posted by paulmako (1958 posts) -

I have heard this before and it always just sounded insane. I guess research what you want and shift the paradigm if you can but it seems like a crazy position. I have no idea how they get a 20-80% chance for something like this.

It sounds more like wishful thinking and denial.

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#7 Edited by deactivated-5a923fc7099e3 (534 posts) -

@sravankb said:
@themanwithnoplan said:

I've come to the conclusion, after seeing this topic brought up for a while off and on, that it's a definite possibility. Despite this I've chosen indifference. If we did confirm it there's not much we could do, so there's no reason to worry about it.

Same here. Plus, the problem with the premise is that it is set up in a way that is impossible to prove.

It may not be impossible to prove. As I mentioned before people are probing this stuff. It would require a full course on quantum mechanics and the holographic principle to really explain how this would work though. And I'm not a physicist so I would probably wouldn't do a good job explaining it either. I don't think we will get a definitive answer in our lifetime but I'm pretty sure we will be able to make observations that point in one way or another.

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#8 Edited by Christoffer (2373 posts) -

Well, I'm not a math wizard but speaking about "possibilities" when we lack that amount of data is pretty shaky, isn't it? If we don't even know if the technology is possible, how do we deduce the possibillity of it already existing and is in use?

How possible is it that time travelers lives among us right now?

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#9 Posted by Anonymous_Jesse (288 posts) -

Who cares? It wouldn't change anything.

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#10 Posted by Sysyphus (183 posts) -

It's a nerds wet dream. The technology to achieve this doesn't currently exist, what kind of leap in logic does it take to ignore scientific discovery and belief in what we can see and measure and instead believe in something there is no evidence to support?

There are 7 billion people living on the planet (and rising), each human has an estimated 37 trillion cells in their body. You honestly expect me to believe all this is being simulated in real time? Video games don't even render at this granular level of detail, they just use a mesh that looks like a human but without any of the innards. What about the intricate workings of our internal organs and our brains? And that's just humans, what about all the other species of animals, and plants and the geology of the planet all being rendered at the sub atomic level every second of every day? And that's just for this planet, what about the rest of the universe? There are 100-200 billion galaxies in the observable universe, each with hundreds of billions of stars.

I don't see any evidence to support this idea, so I will continue to believe this is the only reality based on scientific observation rather than my feelings on what it might be.

It'd make for a cool sci if story though!

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#11 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (3645 posts) -

@paulmako said:

I have heard this before and it always just sounded insane. I guess research what you want and shift the paradigm if you can but it seems like a crazy position. I have no idea how they get a 20-80% chance for something like this.

It sounds more like wishful thinking and denial.

I would say the opposite is wishful thinking\denial.

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#12 Posted by IVDAMKE (1823 posts) -

I can say with 100% certainty that yes we are in a simulation. Don't ask for an explanation though, it's a secret.

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#13 Edited by MezZa (3038 posts) -

Don't worry about it too much. Ultimately the end result is the same as many philosophies on existence, it doesn't matter. It can't be definitively proved or disproved, and in the end it likely won't change how you live your life unless you just do whatever you want because nothing is real or whatever (please don't). When it comes to theories on existence you basically choose to believe it or you don't and choose something else. It's interesting to talk about but as a society we'll never agree on one belief like this. I wouldn't worry about the world finding out about what the truth may be. At least before you die, but at that point it won't matter anyway. We're equally likely to find out which religion is the true religion, so its a slim to none chance.

Bottom line is pick whatever belief makes you happy when it comes to ideas like this. Determinism, free will, etc. Whatever floats your boat. Everything can be made to sound equally likely for most theories that are well constructed. There's no denial or wishful thinking here because there is no true definitive way to agree upon it until we see it for ourselves. Which would mean stepping out of this existence in some way unless something drastically changes from the way its been.

Edit: and yes, you say many people are conducting experiments to find out. Doesn't matter. Many people used to conduct experiments to prove that you can change matter into gold with the right methods. Many people are trying to find a religious savior every day. Just because people are trying to test an idea doesn't make it any more likely it's true or that we'll find the truth.

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#14 Posted by SloppyDetective (1583 posts) -

I already believe we are living in an amoral universe that doesn't care about our suffering; I'm not sure how I would react to it becoming a fabricated one though. You should watch Rick & Morty, if you haven't already.

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#15 Posted by BigSocrates (1961 posts) -

@bdead said:

I personally hope we don't live in a simulated world because if we find out we do the consequences would be horrible. For one it would mean we are victims of an amoral system that doesn't care about personal suffering. Also it would rule out any chance of us ever finding the true nature of reality. But I can't dismiss the possibility neither. I know this all may seem like a bunch of hippy dippy stoner stuff but I genuinely think this stuff is worth discussing.

I don't understand these consequences. First of all, even if there's no simulation, we still could be in an amoral system that doesn't care about our personal suffering. Reality not being a simulation doesn't imply there's some just or caring God, it just means there's reality, which tends to be pretty amoral and uninterested in human suffering. Also there could be a simulation created by someone or something that DOES care about our suffering. The fact that this would be a simulation doesn't imply that it's amoral.

As for us finding out the true nature of reality, which is an amorphous concept at best, there is a vanishingly small chance that anyone reading could do that in their lifetime (unless you're banking on immortality, which seems more likely in a simulation than reality.) Whether a simulation or not we're all going to live out the rest of our lives and die, likely without knowing the true nature of reality, and IMO probably in an amoral uncaring world. The simulation part is independent from those aspects.

I'm not saying this to be dire and negative. It's just that you have to make your life meaningful at a level more granular than "finding out the true nature of reality." Find people you love, experience art you love, pursue the things you're interested in, go see the glories of nature and the world. All that can be done whether or not this is a simulation, so in the end it doesn't really matter.

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#16 Posted by CountDeDeDe (59 posts) -

Well it would be kind of a shitty simulation. World hunger still exist, there are no cures for cancer or Aids. If a civilization would be smart enough to create such a complex sim, why wouldn't they fix these problems. I mean fixing War and Racism would be tough, because you would have to change human nature itself, which would lead to use not being human anymore, at which point why even create this sim anymore. But there is so much chaos in this world, that could easily be fixed. Do you think that scientist create this flawed world, so we would suffer and learn just like them. Why not jump on step ahead and make a world where everyone is one with the world and a peaceful live is guaranteed.

so ehh, I guess the world is real.

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#17 Edited by ehbunner (215 posts) -

I don't think talking about numbers of things simulated is a good argument against this. I'd say 10 years ago something like No Man's Sky would sound crazy, a video game with an astronomical number of explorable planets(however similar they may be). We also have video games in which our simulated characters play video games(The Sims series) and those games are a much lower level than what our video games are, I think it stands to reason that theoretically you could apply the same logic to video games we create being a lower level and much less sophisticated. I mean we can't really say it's impossible without knowing where technology could possibly go...At one time we believed it impossible to create a machine that could fly and then we invented the airplane.

Now personally I'm not saying I 100% believe this but I also have an incredibly open mind, the only thing I know with 100% certainty and the only thing I will ever be 100% certain about is that I think therefore I am. I can't even prove that everything around me is real all I know is that I have conscious thoughts therefore I am something. I also don't think it really matters if we are a simulation, we have lived on this planet for over a hundred thousand years, we go about daily lives and all of that would continue. Religious people would probably just take the creator of the simulation to be our God and probably look at it like he is playing a giant game of Sim City.

I mean even if these experiments come back saying that no our world is not a simulation, who is to say that the technology isn't at a level so high that it can create a perfect replica of what it should be, or that this simulation is programmed so that the results come back proving we are not a simulation.

Personally I just look at it as thought experiment, a way to expand your mind and open it to the endless possibilities of the universe, similar to the idea that if you "zoomed out" far enough our universe is just an atom in another universe.

As a final thought I always find it interesting how we try and figure out how the universe started because when you think of it, it's a never ending question at some point there is nothing, and where did that nothing come from. Whether you look at it from a religious perspective(what created God) or a scientific one as a human it's impossible to not measure things in time, so there had to be something that created something else but that obviously doesn't work...basically I fear that no matter how many answers we get we would never be able to have THE answer.

Sorry that was all over the place and probably too unscientifical for most here but once I started going my mind just couldn't stop

TL;DR - Don't Waste Your Time

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#18 Posted by ShaggE (9214 posts) -

On a project as big as "simulate all of everything", somebody on that dev team would want to drop in an easter egg. All we have to do is find it, and we'll know.

Has anybody tried ripping earth.vtf and examining it? Bet there's something there.

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#19 Posted by Zapbrader (201 posts) -

If we find out that this is actually a simulation, with proof, then all the same people, at least, who discredit things like evolution as just a theory will just keep beating that same drum of ignorance. Remember that we live in a time where the Flat Earth theory is making a comeback. I know one thing for sure is that social media is going to be a riot to watch if/when this idea of a simulation is proven correct.

On the other hand, it would answer the meaning of life for us to, wouldn't it?

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#20 Posted by takayamasama (1538 posts) -

So what you are saying is we are just Star Ocean Til the End of Time?

Could be worse, that's a pretty rad game.

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#21 Edited by wolf_blitzer85 (5455 posts) -

@sysyphus said:

each human has an estimated 37 trillion cells in their body. You honestly expect me to believe all this is being simulated in real time? Video games don't even render at this granular level of detail, they just use a mesh that looks like a human but without any of the innards.

You're not wrong to think that with today's standards of computing power, but imagine if we are a simulation, these are computers of a civilization that could be millions of years more advanced where their technology is something we can't even begin to fathom. Ten years ago, a 1gb usb stick was something that dreams where made of, now I can get a 32gb stick from the checkout line at a Walmart for under 10 bucks. Imagine what it would be like 10,000 years from now.

Personally I love this theory. I can't quite remember where the article was from, but I remember reading something about how scientists where finding checksum error code in quantum physics equations. Just straight up binary buried deep within. I don't know how they managed to pull that stuff out, but the thought of it is incredibly intriguing.

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#22 Posted by Triforceowner (26 posts) -

"I personally hope we don't live in a simulated world because if we find out we do the consequences would be horrible.

You listed off two such consequences, that feel more like conclusions to which you have jumped. They are still possible, but not necessary consequences. i.e. There are easy examples of other consequences that do not fall under these conclusions and would deny these conclusions' validity.

"For one it would mean we are victims of an amoral system that doesn't care about personal suffering."

It does not follow that the universe makers or their simulation are amoral and do not care for suffering. For instance, what if along with a universe simulation, there is also a heaven and hell simulation. If you cause harm to other humans in the universe simulation, then you go to the hell simulation for a much longer amount of time. If you suffer in the universe simulation, then you go to heaven. Thus, the system is neither amoral nor uncaring of suffering.

More generally, where does this conclusion come from? Are you posing that if there is suffering in the universe, then the universe maker does not care? Religion and theology have answered this question. You would be right that it is a strong argument that a good God or maker does not exist if the universe allows suffering, but there are many reasons why a good God or maker may have made the universe while allowing suffering. I'd say the same could be said about a good programmer/civilization.

For more info, read this, and replace "god" with whatever you think might have programmed the universe:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil

"Also it would rule out any chance of us ever finding the true nature of reality."

That's an interesting question. I wonder if theoretical computer science has an answer: namely, can a software confined entity gain knowledge of the outside world. I'm thinking stuff like: "Well, we figured out the software logic behind our universe, hence the computer it is running on must have this type of architecture." This would actually be fucking amazing for science. It's like understanding something about what made the big bang and possibly other universes.

Or if we are just interested in concocting one scenario that dismisses this conclusion, then we might consider that in our "heaven and hell" simulation example above, when a human from the universe simulation gets to the heaven simulation they are granted a download of the full schematic of the real universe and the simulations place inside it. So it is not a necessary conclusion that there would be no way of learning of the outside universe.

My main point here is that we can't jump to a lot of conclusion about this stuff. You don't know that everything is futile just because you are in a simulation.

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#23 Edited by wolf_blitzer85 (5455 posts) -

@countdedede said:

Well it would be kind of a shitty simulation. World hunger still exist, there are no cures for cancer or Aids. If a civilization would be smart enough to create such a complex sim, why wouldn't they fix these problems. I mean fixing War and Racism would be tough, because you would have to change human nature itself, which would lead to use not being human anymore, at which point why even create this sim anymore. But there is so much chaos in this world, that could easily be fixed. Do you think that scientist create this flawed world, so we would suffer and learn just like them. Why not jump on step ahead and make a world where everyone is one with the world and a peaceful live is guaranteed.

so ehh, I guess the world is real.

There is one theory where whatever is creating this simulation could potentially be humanity millions of years in the future. Perhaps we lost all semblance of what made us human. Maybe they got tired of being floating balls of consciousness and just wanted back what made us human to begin with no matter how rotten humanity can be. Maybe we are taking what we think being human actually is for granted.

Either way I love talking about this stuff. Yeah it's probably not right, but it could just as much not be wrong.

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#24 Posted by CaLe (4799 posts) -

For some reason I have a much easier time accepting we might be in a simulation than accepting anything that arises from the possibility of an infinite universe. I really just can't wrap my head around the idea of infinity, feels like a man made concept.

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#25 Posted by stordoff (1361 posts) -

It's a fascinating thing to think about, but honestly I don't think it really matters either way. Whether the Universe is an accident of physics, a creation of the Gods, or a simulation, we're pretty much stuck with it :p

@sysyphus said:

It'd make for a cool sci if story though!

I've always enjoyed this short story on this concept.

Well it would be kind of a shitty simulation. World hunger still exist, there are no cures for cancer or Aids. If a civilization would be smart enough to create such a complex sim, why wouldn't they fix these problems.

Unless you know the purpose of the simulation, it's difficult to say. Maybe this simulation is designed to find a solution to those problems, or maybe we're running on a long forgotten server that someone forgot to decommission.

@bdead said:

And theoretical physics might point in that direction as well. The discrete, quantised nature off energy and the possible discrete nature of space itself fits with this assessment of the basic nature of reality.

It's one of the few intuitive explanations for some of the weirdness of quantum mechanics. Why would a state collapse only when observed? Simple: why bother simulating something nobody is looking at...

@sysyphus said:

There are 7 billion people living on the planet (and rising), each human has an estimated 37 trillion cells in their body. You honestly expect me to believe all this is being simulated in real time?

This assumes a lot about the nature of "real reality". If the universe outside the simulation exists in some n-dimensional space (where n is large), our reality could be a gross simplification of that rendering it trivial to simulate.

@shagge said:

Has anybody tried ripping earth.vtf and examining it? Bet there's something there.

No Caption Provided

########### UniSim.py v0.4.2
# TODO: BUGFIX Current simulation can be exposed by inhabitants
# Someone tell Quark to stop hiding his face on Mars!

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#27 Posted by Sysyphus (183 posts) -

@wolf_blitzer85: I understand where you are coming from, given the rate technology is advancing by, and if given enough time, im not denying that it isnt theoretically possible. Sure, It would be a monumental feat to accomplish simulating the vastness of the universe on the sub atomic level, but given 10,000 years perhaps some advanced civilisation could figure it out. I only went in to the specifics as "are living in a simulation?" sounds too airy fairy.

It is an extraordinary claim, which requires extraordinary evidence to validate it. Currently there is just not enough evidence to back up the notion that what we are experiencing as life isn't "real" and is merely a simulation on this theoretical computer system.

It's like asking me to believe in God, I don't see any evidence for it.

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#28 Posted by MVHVTMV (449 posts) -

I'd almost guarantee that we're not. It's been said before, but the technology required to simulate our universe is beyond comprehension. It's not even remotely comparable to how USB thumb drives have gotten bigger and more affordable. To simulate something like this would require resources beyond even the theoretical maximum limits of quantum computing. Just consider, how do you simulate something as complex as the universe, without a machine even more complex than the universe itself?

That being said, if the outside 'reality' was dramatically different to the simulation we live in, then sure you could say it's possible. The most likely case is probably that the simulation only exists in a very small area around me (or you?), and everything else is just a facade. But there's no point even considering something like this when it's utterly unverifiable. You can't hope to even find a glitch in the simulation as evidence, because that glitch would be simply just another facet of our universes' own complex physics.

See Russell's Teapot

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#29 Edited by csl316 (14946 posts) -

No, it would seem like a pretty pointless endeavor.

I'm sitting here eating a Pop Tart posting on a video game website. Who the fuck would care about that?

I remember first hearing about this a few years after The Matrix, and it seemed like a joke until it kept being brought up by rich people.

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#30 Posted by Sysyphus (183 posts) -

@stordoff: you may already know this but scientific observation isn't just "looking at it" like we would say in our day to day life. It's the recording of data via the use of instruments. You're not wrong to say state changes occur when observed on the quantum level but it doent mean when just looked at.

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#31 Posted by Rahf (488 posts) -

@bdead said:
@rahf said:

Maybe.

Here's what I wonder: does it matter? If we lived in a simulation it wouldn't matter until self-awareness of that fact came a'knockin'. We would ostensibly create our own suffering. And it still wouldn't matter, because we'd have no agency or possibility of solving that fundamental issue: we are simulated beings.

Fun philosophy. Is it worth being potentially unhappy about it?

On a personal level the moral consequences may be trivial. We would find ourselves in fundamentally the same situation as before. Religious people might have to reconsider a lot off things though. If you believe that a higher being made us with a special plan in mind finding out that we are in fact living in a amoral simulation would pose an existential problem. It would confirm that there is in fact a creator but it would negate all our preconceived notions about this creator. It would also potentially mean that we could create our own simulation and thus it would give us a whole bunch of new ethical questions of how we might go about this. It also might put a hard limit on the scientific endeavor. Can we use the empirical method explore things outside our simulation or are we doomed to accept the finite knowledge encoded in our simulation?

This is still considering that you could even grasp the vastness of space and time as we understand it. I have trouble actually understanding the concept of how much a million of something is. Can you imagine that? Like, for real? Can you comprehend the fact that the universe we see around us always shows the past, since light has to travel thousands of years until we can see it. Heck, if the sun were to suddenly snuff itself out, it'd take about 8 minutes for us to notice.

It doesn't matter. Whether we are simulations or not changes nothing, apart from probably inciting mass suicides, were it to be found true.

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#32 Edited by Sanj (3247 posts) -

If this is a computer simulation, then someone's subscription to Norton Antivirus expired a loooooong time ago.

But in all seriousness, I don't think it matters. This is our reality, simulation or not.

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#33 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7479 posts) -

@rahf said:

Maybe.

Here's what I wonder: does it matter? If we lived in a simulation it wouldn't matter until self-awareness of that fact came a'knockin'. We would ostensibly create our own suffering. And it still wouldn't matter, because we'd have no agency or possibility of solving that fundamental issue: we are simulated beings.

Fun philosophy. Is it worth being potentially unhappy about it?

I have to agree. Even if reality were the tangible subatomic fluctuation of real matter is that really real? What if in some ancient alien mind that creation of matter itself if actually just them methodology of making simulation? Like the fictional Holodeck for instance, it uses holographic light, simulated/real matter from replicators, and force field generators to move physical what is matter around; but we call that "simulation" despite everything there being tangible light, matter, and energy. So what "is" the simulation on the Holodeck? From our point of view it simulation; i.e. not real just a copy; but from the view of some 9th dimensional creature our reality and simulation are 99.999999999% the same.

Our reality - matter and energy - just a methodology for simulation...atoms,

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#34 Posted by LeStephan (1214 posts) -

Yup we are all just one big biological simulation, who said simulation only takes place in computers?

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#35 Posted by cikame (2704 posts) -

I don't believe this is a simulation for the same reasons i don't believe in god, i can't see the answer and nobody can give me solid evidence.
We are material, everything is made from the chemicals we are aware of, we'll find more because until we've looked at every centimeter of the universe we'll never know everything, but there's already a hell of a lot we do know, that's not my 'opinion' it's just fact.
Not knowing something doesn't make it magical or extraordinary.

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#36 Posted by Mike (17982 posts) -

Wait, when did this start being a thing that people actually believed?

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#37 Edited by takayamasama (1538 posts) -

@mike: Around the time Elon Musk said he seriously believes we are in a Matrix. Then people started believing what the rich person believed.

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#38 Posted by Sysyphus (183 posts) -

This whole idea seems borne out of an ignorance to the complexity and scope of the universe. It's not just simulating the surface level appearance. you need to render sub atomic behaviours too (something everyone seems to conveniently ignore) otherwise it's not a comprehensive simulation. This would require a computer so powerful we may as well just call it God.

Wether we are in a simulation or not is ultimately irrelevant because it appears to us as indistinguishable from reality. Giving credence to the fantasy that reality is a simulation is a waste of time until there is sufficient evidence to back up such a claim, and science is yet to find any.

Elon musks latest comments about how we have gone from pong to the highly detailed games of today as evidence of a simulation is ridiculous. It's human ingenuity and scientific advancement that has allowed that not a magic all powerful simulator.

The whole idea honestly sounds like a creationist trying to use science they don't understand to back up their pre determined beliefs. There is zero scientific evidence of intelligent design.

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#39 Posted by OneLoneClone (151 posts) -

Shh... Don't let them know we know.

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#40 Posted by Sterling (4134 posts) -

Virtual Insanity, is what we're living in.

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#41 Edited by bybeach (6337 posts) -

Brian Greene discusses simulation as a multi-verse possibility, but it's pretty darn low on his list. He only explores the possibility. My impression with him is that life, and in time intelligent life, occurs because it is allowed by Nature, at least for our kind of life, when enough complexity accrues. In time an intelligence of sorts may develop the wherewithal in skills/knowledge to develop a simulation to a degree we may experience. But not very likely. Other forms of universe/multiverse, say embracing Inflation, have good science behind it. The idea is how to make it testable. My own view of world simulation is that it rates with chem-trails and such. We have a much more plausible answer with the physics of this universe.

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#42 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (3013 posts) -

This idea is ridiculous for a number of reasons, not least of which that the initial premise behind this hypothesis is idiotic. Exactly why are we supposed to accept that the only end game for a technological society is either stagnation or to create a virtual simulation of the universe for everyone to live in?

For one, the idea that scientific advancement will come to a point where we can't go any further is counter to any reasonable logic. There is so much to the universe that we don't know and don't yet understand. Even if there was some hypothetical point where we would know everything, it's thousands of years of advancement ahead of us. Even if there were an "endgame" to scientific advancement, why would it be a build a simulated world in what is essentially the dark ages, thousands of years less advanced than a society would be in order to create this simulated universe?

If humanity had truly become so advanced as to be capable of creating a simulated universe with this much complexity, wouldn't we be exploring space and colonizing other planets? There's no reason to think that as we advance we'll start looking inward to a fantasy instead of looking outward with curiosity as humans have for our entire existence. The idea that as we grow more advanced and learn more about the true nature of the universe we'd choose to bury our heads in the sand in favor of some simulated existence at some point in our developmental past makes no sense at all.

Even setting all of that aside, there's no evident reason to believe this. Like many claims about the nature of the universe and our origins, there's no evidence to even indicate this is a possibility, let alone prove it. Like so many religious explanations of the universe, it's a wild story about the nature of our reality based on nothing but ideas, not facts. It's not a hypothesis that was discovered, it was created by people and propagated by others because they want it to be true, not because there's reason to believe it's true.

Like all claims of this magnitude, extraordinary evidence is required to even begin to entertain the idea that it could be true. Saying "Well, we can't really prove it isn't true so maybe it is" is ignorant and intellectually dishonest. By that standard of proof any fantasy story anyone could come up with could potentially be true. The burden of proof falls upon the ones making the claim, and just because an idea is intriguing doesn't give it any merit if there's nothing to back it up.

EDIT: I forget to address the dumbest part of the OP, the completely ass-pulled 20-80% likelihood number. Needless to say, anyone can throw random meaningless numbers around for anything, but saying "the universe is big therefore there's an 80% chance we live in a simulation" is so incredibly stupid it boggles my mind that anyone could even begin to take this idea seriously. This whole idea feels a lot like the fallacious intelligent design arguments. It's the fine tuning fallacy dressed up in a pseudo-scientific shell. The idea that universe is so complex that it has to have been created is the cornerstone of creationist nonsense, here being slightly re-framed but still just as baseless.

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#43 Edited by Cerberus3Dog (1023 posts) -

If we are in a simulation, I want some kid genius to matrix the shit out of it.

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#44 Posted by flasaltine (2544 posts) -

@bdead said:
@sravankb said:
@themanwithnoplan said:

I've come to the conclusion, after seeing this topic brought up for a while off and on, that it's a definite possibility. Despite this I've chosen indifference. If we did confirm it there's not much we could do, so there's no reason to worry about it.

Same here. Plus, the problem with the premise is that it is set up in a way that is impossible to prove.

It may not be impossible to prove. As I mentioned before people are probing this stuff. It would require a full course on quantum mechanics and the holographic principle to really explain how this would work though. And I'm not a physicist so I would probably wouldn't do a good job explaining it either. I don't think we will get a definitive answer in our lifetime but I'm pretty sure we will be able to make observations that point in one way or another.

The holographic principle has nothing to do with our universe being some sort of simulator or not. Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdS/CFT_correspondence

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#45 Posted by shivermetimbers (1682 posts) -

What if the simulation is in itself a simulation? Would we have infinite simulations?

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#46 Posted by cmblasko (2906 posts) -

What if we get to the point where we can run our own simulations? When does the computer executing our simulation run out of memory?

Do the physics in our simulation work the same as the "real" world's? Or are they dumbed down to save processing time?

It really is a fun idea to think about even if I don't think it is real.

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#47 Posted by deactivated-57ec1020ef4eb (47 posts) -

I just wanted to post this:

Loading Video...

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#48 Posted by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

It's an unfalsifiable hypothesis, so arguing it is pointless.

I'd also like to see the numbers for the 20%-80% estimate because it sounds like total BS. Also, how exactly does the quantized nature of energy imply the matrix because that's quite a leap indeed.

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#49 Edited by deactivated-5a923fc7099e3 (534 posts) -
@imsh_pl said:

It's an unfalsifiable hypothesis, so arguing it is pointless.

I'd also like to see the numbers for the 20%-80% estimate because it sounds like total BS. Also, how exactly does the quantized nature of energy imply the matrix because that's quite a leap indeed.

Well the 20% comes from Nick Bostrom himself. He was the one who originaly came up with the argument for the possibility of a simulated universe.

http://www.simulation-argument.com/faq.html

The 80% comes from Elon Musk who is a true believer in the argument.

https://hypebeast.com/2016/6/elon-musk-virtual-reality-simulation.

And sure, these are both estimations based on their personal beliefs. Also I really don't think that this is an unfalsifiable claim. People like Zohreh Davoudi are actually working on how to probe this.

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#50 Posted by PolyesterKyle (194 posts) -

@cerberus3dog: Yours is the most hopeful comment in the entire thread! Bravo! You turned my frown upside down.