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Thread: Argument from possible simulation

  1. Top | #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post

    I think in our possible simulation we can't really know the details - even if we were told we can't tell that from other delusions/hallucinations....
    Perhaps it's better when having some awarness and an existence, that one starts forgetting about having any notion of simulations (not you directly ex.), if one can't tell the difference - accepting that THIS is the reality for them, even if this was a simulation

  2. Top | #132
    Veteran Member George S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    ....I wouldn't know what I or anyone could get from being a robot in a simulation.....
    I assume you're talking about philosophical zombies. Well they're NPCs... they don't have a conscious experience but on the other hand they aren't capable of genuine suffering...
    I am a robot -- a moist robot -- designed by a changing environment for survival. A self-repairing robot living in a soup of bacteria and viruses. A self-directing robot living not only in the original environment for which designed but also many unsuitable environs. Consciousness is what it is like to be a self-aware moist robot whether inside a simulation or not.

  3. Top | #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post

    I think in our possible simulation we can't really know the details - even if we were told we can't tell that from other delusions/hallucinations....
    Perhaps it's better when having some awarness and an existence, that one starts forgetting about having any notion of simulations (not you directly ex.), if one can't tell the difference - accepting that THIS is the reality for them, even if this was a simulation
    I should have added...


    Unless ... You have that inquisitive mind, for thought-provoking, theory-pondering interest.

  4. Top | #134
    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post

    I think in our possible simulation we can't really know the details - even if we were told we can't tell that from other delusions/hallucinations....
    Perhaps it's better when having some awarness and an existence, that one starts forgetting about having any notion of simulations (not you directly ex.), if one can't tell the difference - accepting that THIS is the reality for them, even if this was a simulation
    I should have added...


    Unless ... You have that inquisitive mind, for thought-provoking, theoretical-pondering interest.
    Hi what do you mean? That that kind of mind doesn't believe in simulations or they do?

  5. Top | #135
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    Sorry ex, I mean they do (or, are more likely to, if not all do).

  6. Top | #136
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    i don't believe in simulations as reality. Why do so. It takes much effort to do so. Why waste it on simulating something when a material process will do it with least energy dissipation rules. After all there are infinite time and space available.

  7. Top | #137
    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    i don't believe in simulations as reality. Why do so.
    Well there is demand for VR experiences that seem increasingly immersive and "real". Countless TV shows and movies show the demand for even more immersive experiences where the brain interfaces with computers. In simulations you can easily try out different scenarios such as go on a crime spree, participate in a high-class orgy or live out an entire life (Morty playing "Roy")
    It takes much effort to do so. Why waste it on simulating something when a material process will do it with least energy dissipation rules. After all there are infinite time and space available.
    Let's say the focus is our Sun. It has 1057 atoms. If you approximated it and used Machine Learning to help with the accuracy, you could create a plausible simulation of it with a fraction of the atoms... e.g. 1015 atoms.... plus in a simulation you could instantly change any aspect of the simulated Sun....

  8. Top | #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist
    I was saying that my sensation of awareness involves awareness whether or not I'm in a simulation. I think it is related to Descartes point that we have the sensation of thinking (even if the thinking is controlled by something else). I might create a thread about that topic...
    I understand where you are coming from. Descartes believed that "cogito ergo sum", "I think, therefore I am", was an undoubtable philosophical principle. However, Descartes' argument tacitly assumes that certain logical axioms and the inferences they entail are true. I think those assumptions hold up if we also assume that we aren't being fundamentally deceived, but in the absence of this assumption, I don't see how logic or our apparent awareness get a pass. Personally, I think that Descartes might not have taken radical skepticism far enough and that the most we might be able to say is "est aliquid", or "there is something". Maybe even that isn't true, as absurd as that may sound.

    Certainly, I can't even imagine what it would mean if our apparent experience of being aware was a deception, but if we're entertaining the idea that everything could be a delusion, why not our very experience of awareness? Of course, all of this goes well beyond your original argument, so let's return to that for a moment.

    Let's assume that we are in fact aware, whether this is "actual" or simulated awareness (whatever that might mean). This doesn't help the problems with your argument for the likelihood of our being in a simulation or any other assumptions about the nature of what is outside of such a simulation.

    As we have now agreed, the world outside of a simulation is unknowable. As such, we can make no reasonable assumptions about the likelihood of our being in one. Certainly, nothing within a simulation necessarily provides any information about an outside world, so no matter how many simulations we perform, regardless of their complexity or difficulty in computation, we can't use that information as a basis for understanding that outside world.

    Then, as far as a creator being responsible for a simulation, be it a deity or a side effect of some natural phenomenon, the same limitations hinder your argument. It is quite possible that the rules of logic and physics that we observe are as fictitious as those that exist in Pac-man's universe. Pac-man can't occupy the same space as a ghost, but we could change the simulation to make that possible. He can't pass through walls, but we could make that possible. He can't turn the hands of time backwards, but we could make that possible. With very little effort, we could completely reshape the fabric of his universe in ways that would be unimaginable and indescribable to him (if he were to be aware). For us, notions like time and causality and identity could be artificial constructs as well. In this regard, we are as impotent as Pac-man when it comes to grasping the very nature of an outside world. Even though I hardly begin to articulate a way in which a simulation might be creator-less (in even the broadest sense of the term "creator"), I have to admit that possibility if I accept your first premise.

    I'm thankful, therefore, that I am not the one making the argument that we might be in a simulation. The onus would be on you to explain why a simulation could not be creatorless. Knowing an outside world is unknowable, I think that burden is unbearable.

    So, to return to what I said at the outset, yes, it is possible that we are in a simulation or otherwise being deceived. However, if we accept that premise, every subsequent premise is unproveable and, therefore, dismissable. While it's an unassailable premise, it's a mute and fruitless position. To escape this fate more impotent than solipsism, to have any discussion about anything at all, we have to reject the premise axiomatically, with the only justification being that otherwise we can't say anything about anything.

    In summary, your original post should have stopped at "It's possible we're in a simulation." Nothing more could be asserted beyond that and the only coherent responses that come to mind are, "yes, it's possible" and "yes, it's possible, but let's assume it's not".

  9. Top | #139
    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by connick View Post
    .....Certainly, I can't even imagine what it would mean if our apparent experience of being aware was a deception, but if we're entertaining the idea that everything could be a delusion, why not our very experience of awareness? Of course, all of this goes well beyond your original argument, so let's return to that for a moment.

    Let's assume that we are in fact aware, whether this is "actual" or simulated awareness (whatever that might mean). This doesn't help the problems with your argument for the likelihood of our being in a simulation or any other assumptions about the nature of what is outside of such a simulation.....
    What do you think of my argument that either we are aware or we are a philosophical zombie? Either we experience the sensation of qualia or we don't. Even if the qualia is wrong we would still have the sensation of awareness..... the point of this is that we can know something about our simulation... (that we are aware) (or at least I am aware, I can't prove your awareness)

    In summary, your original post should have stopped at "It's possible we're in a simulation." Nothing more could be asserted beyond that and the only coherent responses that come to mind are, "yes, it's possible" and "yes, it's possible, but let's assume it's not".
    Maybe it is flawed but so would other existence of God arguments be yet the other arguments still exist. I still think there would be a creator of the simulation - "a person or thing that brings something into existence". Or do you think a simulation can bring itself into existence? Though then it could be said that the simulation is its own creator....

  10. Top | #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    ... snip ...
    Maybe it is flawed but so would other existence of God arguments be yet the other arguments still exist.
    No one that I have seen has claimed that there are not 'existence of god arguments'. The suggestion I see is that they are not logical, rational, or even reasonable. How can anyone logically argue about the nature of something that can not be known, if it does exist?

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