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Thread: The theology of a matrix/simulation

  1. Top | #21
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    It’s not a matter of what “can” happen. It’s a matter of what would logically follow. Intelligence mandates logical progression, not irrational whim. If there is no logical reason for a certain action, no AI will choose to perform the irrational action. You’re simply anthropomorphizing.

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    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Btw in a simulation it is possible for the rules to change a lot

  3. Top | #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    Btw in a simulation it is possible for the rules to change a lot
    It doesn't matter how often rules change, you're conflating too distinctly different concepts into one, through projection and anthropomorphism. It's the movie Tron.

    What if the world of a computer was just like our world? Well, that's fun for a flight of fancy, but it's not at all like our world and all the writer did was take our world and an age-old trope (a dystopian/authoritarian world order) and superimpose some computer terms onto it.

    No matter what, any theory of a "simulation" necessarily entails all of us having first been real/actual/objective/whatever you want to call it and then being placed within a simulation (either by force or by choice).

    We--the "self" generated by the brain--is already a simulation. So, yes, theoretically some other alien being could have tapped into our brains and downloaded our "self" (or "selves") algorithm, but it would be like downloading the movie Tron, not anything innate. All they would have is the information stored and maintained up to the point of download, exactly like having a DVD of the movie Tron.

    And, yes, they could base their own characters on our traits, but it wouldn't be "us" living in a computer generated world anymore than the screenplay for Tron is the end result DVD. It's not the animation that matters; it's the mechanism for animation, so those aliens would need to not only figure out how to encode our "self" algorithm, but they'd also have to figure out how our brains animate and maintain that self and that evidently requires a massive infinite universe of energymatter.

    Iow, they'd have to recreate our entire universe exactly as it is. But why would any creature do such a thing? Create an elaborate and pointless zoo? WE create zoos because we're not very intelligent and having even evolved to the point of not killing in order to survive. We're still emotional pre-pubescents in the grand scheme of intellectual evolution.

    But replicating our self at Time T and inserting that replication into a simulation and then animating going forward--even if it were possible to not skip a beat in perspective--is no longer "us."

    Well, to be clear, there is no "us." "Us" is only that which our brains animate as a reflection of the brain/body/experiences unique to our organism. What makes you "you" is ALL of your energymatter combined with the ongoing animation your brain maintains as a reflection of your ALL.

    If I were to come along and somehow take a download of that ALL reflection and put it into a computer and hit "run" it would instantly become a completely different entity, separate from you entirely. It would become "copy of excreationist + koyaanisqatsi computer program" and replicate from there, instead of "continuation of excreationist."

    I think that's the biggest problem you might be having. You seem to think in terms of there being an independent, autonomous entity--like a "soul"--that is transferable; that essentially just rides along inside a body the way we drive cars and thus can simply be transferred (intact) from one car to another car.

    But that's not the case. Consciousness--the "self" or sense of "I"--is generated, not manufactured. Shut the projector down and the movie stops.

    You evidently have direct experience of this in regard to your various brain malfunctions (I mean that clinically, not as an insult). Damage the projector and the movie won't play optimally.

    The illusion of movement we experience when we watch a movie is caused by the process of a light projected through the film that must pass through the gate at 24 frames per second (in standard cases). But if you picked up the film itself and looked at it, you would see no movement. You would just see frame 1. Then frame 2. Then frame 3. Etc.

    You'd be able to see differences in the subjects from frame to frame--the left arm rising up with a cigarette to the mouth, etc--but in order to have the illusion of movement, you have to use process (the projector) working optimally to generate the illusion.

    It is that illusion that is what "we" call "we" (or "I") and it would be that illusion that an alien race would have to not only capture, but figure out how to maintain and update and generate.

    WE can do it with video games because video games--like the movie Tron--are just reflections of our experiences and flights of fancy. Iow, we're simply recreating our own experiences.

    And if we ever develop the technology to download versions of our "selves" we would likewise need to program the simulations to stimulate us in similar fashions, so it's more like that, if we are all in simulations, we are in our own individual ones, not in a shared common space.

    The only reason I can think of to create a shared common digital space would be if we were all long dead and wanted to create a species survival scenario that didn't rely solely on individual experience to drive it.

    But even in that scenario, the "we" that we are talking about isn't the prime "we." It would only be a set of character traits based on us, but not actually us because, again, there really is no actual "us." It's an animation. So you're talking about placing an animation inside an animation. Why? What would be the point?

    Our "self" animation serves our brains/bodies in that it allows us to communicate with each other and strategically navigate through an objectively existing hostile environment. But there would be no need to create a virtual "objectively existing hostile environment" for ourselves.

    Iow, if we had the technology, we'd simply each create our own versions of "heaven" and those would be our individual immortality cubes, if you will. And since it's not actually "us"--just a copy of us being used to develop an avatar--"we" wouldn't benefit in any way from doing any of this, as there would be no continuity. It would just be a new animation. Toy Story 89. Yes, same characters + a new one (called excreationist), but different voices and no one inside the film would be sentient.

    Again, one would have to be autonomous from the system--and KNOW it--in order to benefit from entering into the system.

    ETA: Just consider the fact that you created an avatar here called "excreationist." Does it have agency separate from you? Can it post without you posting? Not at all. It's simply a reflection of an objectively existing being, not the being itself. So what would be the point of creating a video game and a character named "excreationist" that looks just like you and has all of your traits and memories and experiences encoded into it? It's still not actually you.
    Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi; 01-13-2020 at 06:21 PM.

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    If it is likely that in the future there will be billions of simulations that are indistinguishable from reality then "it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality (NOT a simulation) is one in billions". Or perhaps advanced civilizations throughout the universe never get to the point of making those simulations.


    I don't know but I'm talking about the supernatural and hell, etc, in the OP quotes.

    People glom onto all sorts of things, like The Matrix, and turn it into something.
    I sometimes talk about the matrix because it has a big fan base.

    'What is reality?' has no meaning. It is unanswerable. philosophy and religion attempt to answer and provide meaning.
    Even if it has no meaning it is asked a lot. And most people would believe they know the Truth, even if it involves conspiracy theories, etc.

    Modern science goes one step further by quantifying observation, measurement, and experiment. But even science can not answer questions about ultimate reality.
    Well in this thread I'm talking about "theology".

    I have been listening to the Coast To Coast late night radio show. Mostly pseudo science and making science mystical. An endless stream of authors writing books on questions like is this all a simulation. A lot of people seem to like it.
    Good because ultimately I'd like to make money out of this.
    You are not talking theology, you sre talking philosophy with a hint of pseudo science and mysticism.

    Did Zion really exist or was it part of the si,ululation to provide a release mechanism for the system?

    Drugs can provide an artificial reality along with religion, entertainment, and religion.

    Was the Matrix metaphor for reality as it is? I think so.

    A scientist in the 60s combined LSD and salt water isolation tanks, John Lilly. He wrote about it in Center Of The Cyclone. I believe it was the inspiration for the movie Altered States.

    The water is at body temperature with high salt content so you float. You wear a mask.

    With the Walking around.

    The question is what is reality and how can you test for it. If you go by relativity which says there is no preferred or absolute reference frame then there is no possible way to know if anything is absolute reality.

  5. Top | #25
    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    About theology:

    In a Christian simulation, the world could be created using AI that can understand voice commands. Anything from the Bible could happen including resurrections, parting of the Red Sea, demon possession, people surviving fire, etc.

    It could also simulate Heaven and Hell for trillions of years. If you had people suffering in Hell by themselves, the AI could work out a simulation of it that doesn't take much CPU power. And the trillions of years could be simulated in a short amount of time, such as a day. Well that's being optimistic - maybe you could only simulate a million of years of Hell in one day.

    The God entity could also go backwards and forwards in time in the simulation...

    Except that the God entity not existing for a literal eternity backward or forward in time, and it having a creator, I think Christianity is compatible with the simulation hypothesis.

    The Christianity I'm talking about either involves every word in the Bible being literal Truth or that some parts might be invented or figurative...

    AI could be used to work out how apparent contradictions in the Bible can be reconciled as "real" history...
    e.g.
    https://uncensored-christmas.sky-wal...t/genealogies/

    it could calculate a possible time line where Jeconiah AND Neri are fathers of Shealtiel - apologists have already worked out some possible explanations. But we wouldn't be aware of these "actual" histories in our modern times.


    The version of Christianity could involve a 6000 year old universe. Perhaps the apparent evidence for evolution involves demonic deception.

    A simulation can explain why skeptics have trouble finding evidence for the angels, demons, heaven, hell, souls, and other supernatural things.

    It can also explain how "God" can be outside of time.

    A simulation allows any amount of ad-hoc tweaks such as hallucinations and delusions whenever necessary.

    It explains how God can seem like a bronze age concept even though he would theoretically be aware of modern technology.

    It can even involve God being a trinity.

    If this isn't a simulation it seems odd to me that God would eternally exist as a Father and Son...

  6. Top | #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    You are not talking theology,
    See my previous post

    you are talking philosophy with a hint of pseudo science and mysticism.
    There's also post #5

    Did Zion really exist or was it part of the simulation to provide a release mechanism for the system?
    I don't think the Matrix movies have just about any relevance to my ideas. I quoted the Matrix in my OP out of interest not because it really fits my ideas.

    Drugs can provide an artificial reality along with religion, entertainment, and religion.
    Though drugs are illegal and can lead to schizophrenia... movies are also a form of artificial reality (and lately I've been watching a lot of simulation related ones)

    The question is what is reality and how can you test for it. If you go by relativity which says there is no preferred or absolute reference frame then there is no possible way to know if anything is absolute reality.
    Yes I don't think we can know we are in absolutely reality. For various reasons I suspect we are not.

  7. Top | #27
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    You are coopting the word simulation to describe Christians. Write a book on it and you might get a following.

    Theology is not a simulation. What you are doing is making a quasi proof of a reality analogous to theist proofs of gods. Both are equally useless. You believe or you do not.

    You are getting too woo for me.

    Do you see 'the matrix' you are plugged into?

  8. Top | #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    In a Christian simulation, the world could be created using AI that can understand voice commands.
    You mean a simulation of a world could be created using AI. And then all the "people" would be likewise created by AI. Iow, they wouldn't be real, so, again, all you're positing is Pong.

    If this isn't a simulation it seems odd to me that God would eternally exist as a Father and Son...
    Well, there's your problem. No such creature exists.

    Yes I don't think we can know we are in absolutely reality. For various reasons I suspect we are not.
    Well, again, it hinges on what you mean by the reference "we." Selves are generated by the brain, so in that sense, they are absolutely in a "virtual" reality as created by the brain. But the brain/body exists in an objective reality.

    Again, you are conflating two disparate concepts.

    One is that everything is simulation (including our brains/bodies) and there is no objective reality. This is the video game scenario, only without any users. This scenario mirrors our own world, where the "characters" evolve and become sentient/self-aware due to an emergent quality we are not yet sure of, based on complexity and process.

    The other is more commonly referred to as the "brain in a vat" scenario (or "matrix"), where an intelligent agent has severed our brains from our bodies and placed it in a vat somewhere with perfectly matched sensory input devices connected to all of our nerves such that we cannot tell the difference from external stimulus whether or not it's a cat rubbing against us or a program of a cat rubbing against us and we don't think we are a disconnected brain in a vat, because of the evil intelligence feeding us that information, etc.

    In that scenario, we all objectively exist but have been forced into a virtual reality.

    This, too, has analogues in our existence, because our brains are in fact in a vat, we just call it a skull. The difference is that, so far as we know, there are no foreign devices attached to our nerve endings that are fooling us into believing that we are walking around in the matrix when in fact we're Keanu Reeves bald in a vat of goo.

    Got it?
    Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi; 01-14-2020 at 12:21 AM.

  9. Top | #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    You are coopting the word simulation to describe Christians. Write a book on it and you might get a following.
    For now I'm creating a thread on a Christian message board. Note that on Google there seem to be a lot of people with similar ideas.

    BTW there is a book I own called Physics of Christianity By Frank J. Tipler
    http://www.franktipler.com/best-revi...frank-j-tipler

    I haven't read much of it but I think it involves "the Omega Point" which is the concept that every person who ever lived is resurrected into a computer simulation that lasts forever while the universe collapses. (which I reject)

    Theology is not a simulation.
    I think it can be.

    What you are doing is making a quasi proof of a reality analogous to theist proofs of gods. Both are equally useless.
    I consider myself to be a very liberal Christian but I believe that much/most of the Bible isn't literally true. My point is that if Christianity is true, I think it makes more sense if it were a simulation - I mean it seems odd to me that God would eternally exist as a Father and Son (in base reality). I think there might be people who set up a simulation that is compatible with the Bible and perhaps watch "history" or travel back - like how there is the Holy Land theme park.

    You believe or you do not
    I think belief isn't necessarily 0% or 100%. I guess above 0% means I do have some belief.

    You are getting too woo for me.

    Do you see 'the matrix' you are plugged into?
    I think the ideas of the Matrix movies have virtually no relevance to my ideas. I am more of a fan about Elon Musk's ideas about being in a game where there are probably billions of computers and set-top boxes.

  10. Top | #30
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    My point is that if Christianity is true, I think it makes more sense if it were a simulation - I mean it seems odd to me that God would eternally exist as a Father and Son (in base reality). I think there might be people who set up a simulation that is compatible with the Bible and perhaps watch "history" or travel back - like how there is the Holy Land theme park.
    Ok, but, again, who would make any such simulation and why? And I assume it must be a matrix-style scenario--where the individuals exist physically in some hooked up state separate from their virtual reality, otherwise you're positing a guy making a video game with characters that only appear to him to be acting autonomously, but he would know they actually aren't.

    it would be like Sim city. Maybe every once in a while one of the characters might do something the guy who created it did't expect, but what difference would it make?

    You'd simply be positing the Bored God scenario. Is God capable of being bored? Seems an incompatible attribute.

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