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Thread: Argument from possible simulation

  1. Top | #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist
    Ok if this is a simulation I COULD be wrong about there being a creator, etc, but I think it is quite likely that it would have an intelligent creator and that I am having the sensation of awareness (rather than being a philosophical zombie), etc. If I am experiencing what I am experiencing now and I am in a random reality and it is simulated I think it is quite likely that there is an intelligent creator. That is based on the reasoning that it makes sense for a simulation to have an intelligent creator such as a post-human or an AI, etc, rather than it coming about by chance (like a Boltzmann brain), etc.
    It only seems likely that a simulation would have an intelligent creator in the context of our perceived universe where intelligent beings are the creators of most, if not all, simulations. If we discount our apparent experience - which we must if we assume that we could be in a simulation ourselves - then there's no reason to think an intelligent creator is more or less likely than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhyn
    So, would you not think a brain in a vat composed of neurons made of balanced charges of in semiconductors that generate output potentials is less aware than a brain in a vat composed of neurons of balanced charges that trigger chemical thresholds?

    You experience the same universe regardless of the implementation, and the implementation seems at least plausible as the basic platform of that experience, without special consideration. The simulation is describing the whole brain in a way that brain may be modified, unless you want to claim neurosurgery isn't real.
    Hi Jarhyn, I apologize in advance if I've misunderstood your question so please let me know if that's the case once you've read my response.

    I think you are asking whether I consider a brain or brain-like structure composed of semiconductors as being equally aware as a brain composed of neurons.

    I have to be a little careful in my response here because I want to clarify the difference between my position when we assume that my experience is not simulated and my position when we assume that my experience could be simulated.

    Assuming that we are not utterly decieved by virtue of being in a simulation, I suspect that both a conventional, neuronal brain and a brain composed of semiconductors are equally aware.

    In the absence of that assumption (i.e. allowing for the possibility that we are in a simulation), I can't reasonably justify any belief about what awareness is or how it works or what it might require.

    Assuming that what we experience is, at least to some extent, "real" (which is what I assume) then I am totally behind you in the belief that neuroscience and neurosurgery provide some insight into the nature of awareness.

    Assuming that we could be totally decieved by virtue of being in a simulation (which is what excreationist's first premise entails), then we couldn't say that neurosurgery (or anything really) is real.

    That's really the main sticking point of my disagreement with excreationist. If we discount our apparent experiences by assuming it could all be faked, then we're left with nothing to base any beliefs on.

    I contend that we must assume that our experiences are, by and large, real in order to have any meaningful discussions.

    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist
    connick

    I think I've got a solution to your issues...

    I could modify the first premise:

    It is possible we are in a simulation that has an intelligent creator and limited resources, etc. It could also resemble the physics of our universe.
    I think that helps a little, but mostly by moving the problem to a new place. Ultimately, I think the argument is still a non-starter but, with your modified premise above, for a slightly different reason. In fact, the reason this new premise leads to trouble is because it demands justification for not positing your original premise.

    With your original premise we can know nothing, because it implies that all knowledge within the simulation is suspect at best and everything outside of it is utterly unknowable.

    With your modified premise you confine the nature and origin of a possible simulation to something more limited, but that begs the question "why assume those limitations?"

    So, if we work backwards from your modified premise, to your first premise to my assertion it goes, in my mind, something like this:

    Modified Premise
    "It is possible we are in a simulation that has an intelligent creator and limited resources, etc. It could also resemble the physics of our universe."

    Rebuttal
    Well, it is also possible that we are in a simulation without a creator (intelligent or otherwise) and that an external world has unlimited resources (or that the idea of resources is a meaningless one in the external world) and that the physics of the simulation or the outside world in no way resembles physics as we perceive them. So what justifies these limitations or qualifications placed on the original premise? Why not posit the original?

    Original Premise
    "It's possible we're in a simulation."

    Rebuttal
    This is definitely a possibility. However, if we accept this possibility, we must therefore consider all of our knowledge to be suspect. In other words, we cannot know anything further to be true other than the original premise.

    My Assertion
    We must axiomatically reject your original premise. The sole justification I have for rejecting your premise is that, otherwise, we cannot make any coherent statements about our experiences or the universe at large. In simple terms, the possibility of our being in a simulation is fundamentally undeniable, but the question of whether we really are in a simulation or not is unanswerable. Worse still, accepting the possibility of being in a simulation renders us mute.

    As I've said before, any statement is rendered moot by invoking your first premise.

    While nobody prefaces their statements with "assuming we're not in a simulation", I think that's generally taken for granted. In the case of your arguments here, it's obvious that we need to say so explicitly and I think I've given a reasonable explanation for why we have to make this assumption.

    It's literally for the sake of discussion.

  2. Top | #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by connick View Post
    It only seems likely that a simulation would have an intelligent creator in the context of our perceived universe where intelligent beings are the creators of most, if not all, simulations. If we discount our apparent experience - which we must if we assume that we could be in a simulation ourselves - then there's no reason to think an intelligent creator is more or less likely than anything else.


    Hi Jarhyn, I apologize in advance if I've misunderstood your question so please let me know if that's the case once you've read my response.

    I think you are asking whether I consider a brain or brain-like structure composed of semiconductors as being equally aware as a brain composed of neurons.

    I have to be a little careful in my response here because I want to clarify the difference between my position when we assume that my experience is not simulated and my position when we assume that my experience could be simulated.

    Assuming that we are not utterly decieved by virtue of being in a simulation, I suspect that both a conventional, neuronal brain and a brain composed of semiconductors are equally aware.

    In the absence of that assumption (i.e. allowing for the possibility that we are in a simulation), I can't reasonably justify any belief about what awareness is or how it works or what it might require.

    Assuming that what we experience is, at least to some extent, "real" (which is what I assume) then I am totally behind you in the belief that neuroscience and neurosurgery provide some insight into the nature of awareness.

    Assuming that we could be totally decieved by virtue of being in a simulation (which is what excreationist's first premise entails), then we couldn't say that neurosurgery (or anything really) is real.

    That's really the main sticking point of my disagreement with excreationist. If we discount our apparent experiences by assuming it could all be faked, then we're left with nothing to base any beliefs on.

    I contend that we must assume that our experiences are, by and large, real in order to have any meaningful discussions.

    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist
    connick

    I think I've got a solution to your issues...

    I could modify the first premise:

    It is possible we are in a simulation that has an intelligent creator and limited resources, etc. It could also resemble the physics of our universe.
    I think that helps a little, but mostly by moving the problem to a new place. Ultimately, I think the argument is still a non-starter but, with your modified premise above, for a slightly different reason. In fact, the reason this new premise leads to trouble is because it demands justification for not positing your original premise.

    With your original premise we can know nothing, because it implies that all knowledge within the simulation is suspect at best and everything outside of it is utterly unknowable.

    With your modified premise you confine the nature and origin of a possible simulation to something more limited, but that begs the question "why assume those limitations?"

    So, if we work backwards from your modified premise, to your first premise to my assertion it goes, in my mind, something like this:

    Modified Premise
    "It is possible we are in a simulation that has an intelligent creator and limited resources, etc. It could also resemble the physics of our universe."

    Rebuttal
    Well, it is also possible that we are in a simulation without a creator (intelligent or otherwise) and that an external world has unlimited resources (or that the idea of resources is a meaningless one in the external world) and that the physics of the simulation or the outside world in no way resembles physics as we perceive them. So what justifies these limitations or qualifications placed on the original premise? Why not posit the original?

    Original Premise
    "It's possible we're in a simulation."

    Rebuttal
    This is definitely a possibility. However, if we accept this possibility, we must therefore consider all of our knowledge to be suspect. In other words, we cannot know anything further to be true other than the original premise.

    My Assertion
    We must axiomatically reject your original premise. The sole justification I have for rejecting your premise is that, otherwise, we cannot make any coherent statements about our experiences or the universe at large. In simple terms, the possibility of our being in a simulation is fundamentally undeniable, but the question of whether we really are in a simulation or not is unanswerable. Worse still, accepting the possibility of being in a simulation renders us mute.

    As I've said before, any statement is rendered moot by invoking your first premise.

    While nobody prefaces their statements with "assuming we're not in a simulation", I think that's generally taken for granted. In the case of your arguments here, it's obvious that we need to say so explicitly and I think I've given a reasonable explanation for why we have to make this assumption.

    It's literally for the sake of discussion.
    So to clarify, mostly you have my position, but there is one caveat to this: when the whole relationship is a function of both the client universe and the host universe, it's equally and uniquely in both universes at the same time, including all equal implementations wherein they are native.

    It's a very mind-hurty thing to contemplate, that if your process is implemented equally in two apparently different "whole" universes it's still the same process.

    My question was just to elucidate that I think consciousness is the basic product of such a process happening; that it must be like something to be any given thing and this is just what it is like to be this kind of relationship.

  3. Top | #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by connick View Post
    Modified Premise
    "It is possible we are in a simulation that has an intelligent creator and limited resources, etc. It could also resemble the physics of our universe."

    Rebuttal
    Well, it is also possible that we are in a simulation without a creator (intelligent or otherwise) and that an external world has unlimited resources (or that the idea of resources is a meaningless one in the external world) and that the physics of the simulation or the outside world in no way resembles physics as we perceive them.
    That's like having a premise saying "it's possible I could win the lottery" and countering "it's possible you won't win the lottery".
    So what justifies these limitations or qualifications placed on the original premise? Why not posit the original?
    Because I thought the new premise makes the possibility of an intelligent creator easier to argue than with the original.

    Original Premise
    "It's possible we're in a simulation."

    Rebuttal
    This is definitely a possibility. However, if we accept this possibility, we must therefore consider all of our knowledge to be suspect. In other words, we cannot know [emphasis added] anything further to be true other than the original premise.
    Like I wrote in post #165 "if this is a simulation I COULD be wrong about there being a creator, etc"

    BTW my conclusion is "Therefore there could be a God". You seem to be under the impression that I'm claiming to prove that God exists. Though you also seem to disagree with the premise that "The simulation needs a creator". That could be replaced with "The simulation could have a creator".

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