A simulator could make a universe like ours.
Debate Rounds (3)
So, here goes. The simulator described would have advanced enough technology to control our brains, and, as such, what we think, believe and feel. They may even be able to redesign or even overhaul the human brain to make a brain that's more efficient and compact, and less data intensive and power hungry. They would be able to fool our brains into thinking it sees and recognises things it doesn't, like details in a dream or memory. But as we look closer, in those examples, the illusion collapses. That is because areas of our brains can work to examine things and find faults. However, in a simulation, our brains and brain activity could be controlled and monitored in real time or the simulation's time. Like getting a lobotomy removes advanced reasoning, those areas of the brain that specialise in fault-finding could be suppressed, switched off, require approval before affecting the rest of the brain or simply removed or not installed in the first place.
The simulator described could fool us into believing we're in the real world and make us not able to fault that illusion. But what about quantum mechanics? Couldn't the whole of civilisation pull their efforts to make computations greater than the simulator alone could afford? Wouldn't that prove our universe is not a simulation? Even if it would, we still need to get to that stage. The simulator could, hypothetically, switch us off before then or leave us running and fail to simulate our calculations accurately. Our present universe still seems the same as a universe the described simulator could make. But even in such a future, how do we know that we actually proved the universe is not a simulation? How do we know we actually experienced a genuine universe that's impossible to simulate when we can't even trust our own brains? Even an infallible and all knowing creature could be simulated. It would just be a brain that's fooled into believing it's infallible and all knowing. So what chance do we have? The described simulator could make us believe our universe is not a simulation just by getting the virtual neural connections and interactions right, and as they would be so advanced, they would be able to do that. We can't know our calculations or reality are not just illusory.
1. All we experience could be just a simulation.
2. And that all you think you know might be a giant illusion.
Well this is a bit basic. Let me elaborate. You might have heard of a philosopher called Rene Descartes. He had been pondering on a similar concept, he wanted to know what exactly can we know about anything. He was sure that anything known through experience could not be known, as you cannot trust your senses. He also came into a conclusion about what you can know and created a statement from that thought. "Cogito ergo sum." which translates into "I think, therefore I am." This statement is always true and all other knowledge (accept for mathematics) is not a given certainty. So to answer your question yes the world could be a simulation, but however how could you know this world even exists? In my opinion there only two truths that are valid and applicable in all versions of perception, maths and Cogito ergo sum. all others are merely just a passing flow of empty knowledge which has no inherent meaning nor valid truth to it.
So knowing this let me ask you a question. If all life is only a simulation, could the entities that run the system also be in a simulation? Yes they could. Well if that could be what says that even the people running the people that run us couldn't be inside a simulation. And what's more wicked the fact that you could just be ones and zeros going all 1000101 again and again, or the fact that you truly can't know anything, except your own thoughts and maths? So because this was in philosophy I'm going to give you an answer fit for the category. No because making the assumption that there might be a reality that is simulated can't be proven, because your concept of reality can't be proven to be correct.
Yes, I'm familiar with Descartes and his thoughts on reality. He dropped all of his beliefs except for those he was certain of, then used the beliefs that were left to justify all his prior beliefs, which he then reacquired. To clear things up, I don't, at present, disagree with the hypothesis that we cannot know if a simulation even exists. However, my argument wasn't about that. My argument (please see the first paragraph of my first argument; the introduction) says that if, and the if is pertinent, there is a simulator, with incredibly more advanced technology than ours, who wanted to simulate a universe that appears like it's ours, then they could do that. In all probability, I think they could. I'm sorry for any confusion. My aim, through this argument, is to let people decide for themselves if they can know they're not in a simulation or even that the proposal they're in a simulation is unlikely.
My guess is we can't know our simulator's world exists. Maths may be correct, however a simulator could fake, in theory, correct maths. If it were me, I'd make "42" sometimes be the new pseudo correct answer for "What is 2 + 2?". Maybe our simulator, if they exist, did that with "2 + 2 = 4". Maybe, with "I think, therefore I am", instead of trying to make something true appear to be false, our simulator chose something that's false and made it appear to be true, making it the "I think, therefore I am" that we know. But regardless of whether these things are true or not, they can be used to navigate reality in the same way as they would if they were true, so it's best to act as if they are true. To do otherwise may be irrational.
Yes, the entities that run the simulation, if they exist, could be in a simulation, as well. Maybe the simulation they're in contains the illusion of an infinite regress, the same as a simulation I would make would contain the illusion of an infinite regress.
I didn't make the assumption we're in a simulation. If I did, I would have been proven to have been in error, but I wasn't assuming that at all. Again, I'm sorry for any confusion. The thing I think you interpreted as an assumption in my argument ("I'm here to argue that a simulator, if they exist[...]") is actually an if statement; it's a philosophy of "what if", not "what is".
I would state that both of these versions of information are but which of them take place is just a matter of your perseption, and that we can not draw any conclusions of this information because we have no way of knowing anything except maths and our own thoughts.
So why did you have to read all that (you may ask)? Because if we can't make arrive to a conclusion on that then neither can we arrive into a conclusion on this one.
Now let me address the fundamental factor in your argument. When someone asks wheather or not something is possible you must before understand, that given enough time in a changing environment, and no fundamentally woven rules on how anything works, we must assume everything will happen at some point of the timeline. Thus rendering your question useless in itself, because given enough time all things will come to pass (if no ground rules are set).
In the first case which you rejected in your previous argument by saying "Well, I don't assume that we have infinite time or that reality cannot be understood." Thus you denied the possibility of your simulation which could have been possible if you had chosen that route of thinking. In the other example which you may agree with you completely deny all existance except your own making your line of questioning pointless.
There is yet another line of thought where you agree with the empirical line of thinking and agree with the scientific processes, the only issue with that is that you cannot trust your senses and experience with absolute precision thus leaving you at square one.
So in conclusion we have arrived at the "stange" conclusion that we cannot possibly know anything, but our own line of thought to exist thus making your line of questioning very much useless. My opinion on the matter would be that we may actually live inside a simulation, but even then we still can draw the assumption that we can't know anything about the perceivable reality and render the question pointless, because even if that were true the only things that matter are our own thoughts, even if we actually did live inside a simulation.
Now some ending words... I very much enjoyed this debate even if you didn't understnd my arguments, I really like having something to think about so I could concentrate on something other than my own blatant thought (which is quite annoying believe me). I would like to thank you for debating me and may the best sophist win. ;)
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