The Instigator
redlinefever
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Reality is a computer simulation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2010 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,532 times Debate No: 12862
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

redlinefever

Pro

This debate is over whether or not the world we live in is a computer simulation. As there are many ways to approach this I will set that this "simulation" would be one that each individual person was a part of and in control of their own decisions. The creators of the simulation would not interfere with the simulation, rather observe how people conducted themselves.
larztheloser

Con

I accept your challenge! For this first round, I'm just going to put forward some extra definitions, because I think the onus is on the PRO side to provide some sort of evidence for their claim. I think prima face reality is not a computer simulation, so unless PRO can provide some really good reason why reality IS a computer simulation, the debate falls to my side of the house.

I'm going to define reality as being that which actually exists, as opposed to what is being percieved (this is consistent with the definition given in my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary). PRO presumably argues that our perception of reality is false, not reality itself, because it is being controlled by a simulation. I on team CON will take the viewpoint that perception and reality are either alike or not being controlled by a computer.

I'm going to define a computer as being any programmable electronic instrument, probably the broadest possible definition. A simulation is an approximation of an external system. I don't think these definitions have much bearing on the debate, however.

Let the real argumentation begin!!!
Debate Round No. 1
redlinefever

Pro

Thank you for accepting my topic and I apologize for my delayed response. I appreciate your additions and I believe that they will add to the debate. I would like to first start by saying to the reader that to live in a computer simulation is not an outlandish claim. If time is thought of not was we perceive it but as is seen in a timeline imagine that father down the line from where we are today super computers exist that can support virtual realities far beyond what we can imagine today. Realities so real that perfectly mirror the real world. Now imagine using those "realities" to observe human behavior or to see what may have happened had Hitler won WWII. The possibilities would be endless and in no doubt people would create these realities for people, like us, to inhabit and to learn from. If they made more two of these realities then there would be a two in three chance that your reality is a simulated one.
larztheloser

Con

My opponent has done well to provide a reason why such a virtual reality might exist in theory. He says, however, that it is possible for all of reality, as we know it, to not only be stored and computed in a system but also updated at the speed of light. Any person with a simple knowledge of virtual reality systems and/or basic science will know that is wrong. Virtual reality simulations use tricks to mimic reality, but if you try creating an atomic bomb in virtual reality you will fail. His case is flawed because he fails to take into account the scientific observations of the last 200 years.

The number of atoms in the universe is at least 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 [1] (I am sure that has the right number of zeros). There are many studies I could cite telling us that there are more, but let us settle on this. Each occupies a position in one of at least 870368613000000000000000000000000000000 picometers, across the three dimensions, but the precision must be more than that [2]. Each is made up of many subatomic particles that must all be updated too – I will guess an average of 4. Each must also have the constants of speed and spin attached. Factoring all this in, your computer needs at least 2.611105839 to the power of 63 bits of memory (but again, probably more). That is 2.611105839 to the power of 38 times the size of a yottabyte, which is the largest memory storage unit we even have a name for yet. It needs a hard-drive read speed, well - it is a number so large that my computer refuses to calculate it. The point is that electricity does not move at this speed. The size of the memory required is too large for each unit to be read and updated at the speed of light. And let us not even talk about the complicated math involved in performing subatomic calculation on every single one of these particles.

The universe has existed for 13750000000 years [3]. To power such an instrument would require more electricity than there is in the universe. Why? Because electricity comes from electrical charges in atoms! If my opponent would like to prove me wrong he must first show how his assertion that "imagine that father down the line from where we are today super computers exist that can support ... Realities so real that perfectly mirror the real world" can possibly be true. It is impossible for us to build such a machine. My opponent even asserts the possibility of building two of these machines. I would like to invite my opponent to try!

But he also commits another logical fallacy at the end. If there are three universes (one real, two simulated), then that does not mean there is a one in three chance I live in each of them. No, it means there is a 100 percent chance I live in one of them. His claims are scientifically unfounded and based on faulty logic. Therefore he is making an "outlandish claim", and therefore his case falls. I'd like to see my opponent try to rescue his case, but I suspect it will be too little, too late.

[1] - http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
redlinefever

Pro

redlinefever forfeited this round.
larztheloser

Con

Obviously my opponent is too scared to post an argument for round three - I think he may have taken up my challenge to build two supercomputers that can power the universe. I wish him all the best, but urge you to vote CON until he succeeds. Which, by the way, I've already proven he won't!
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
pwnd
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
larztheloser
LOL - 1024 Zettabytes!!! (or 1000 if you use Snow Leopard). I'm such a nerd.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
I thought a yottabyte was a Jewish candy bar.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
redlinefeverlarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by Skeptic8 6 years ago
Skeptic8
redlinefeverlarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:07