The Instigator
grouch3k
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
Dias
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Reality is an illusion; the universe is a 'program'

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
grouch3k
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/13/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,897 times Debate No: 26208
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (17)
Votes (5)

 

grouch3k

Pro

Definitions:
1) Reality - The entirety of the visible universe including all matter, energy, life, and thought.
2) Program - A non man made medium or device of sufficient sophistication to contain a symbolic representation of actual or imagined entities.

Since a part of reality cannot completely define or argue about all of reality, this debate is more of a hypothetical discussion but I invite any earnest soul to take the other side of this dialogue. As it is the only choice we have, I shall use human accomplishment in most of the following analogies.

Currently, our computer programming skills allow us to produce crude depictions of our world and indeed ourselves. Some aspects and properties of these depictions are not so crude. Filmed CGI is in some examples almost indistinguishable from filmed reality.

http://area.autodesk.com...

See Meet Emily video



Again, this is our current state. Computers are increasing in complexity at a staggering rate. Where might our simulations be in a decade or a century?

See Moores Law video
.

Projecting into this future, how might we design an artificial universe in our own laboratories (or later with the hobby-kit)?

First, we would probably only want a single sentient species. Any more would unnecessarily complicate matters; and besides we could try different species in different universes.

http://btc.montana.edu...

http://www.amazon.ca...


Our universe certainly appears to have been designed specifically to produce us. The constants of physics are so delicately balanced that a slight deviation would produce a universe at least unsuitable for life, perhaps unsuitable for matter or energy. When building our own simulation we would certainly tip (or preset) the scales in favour of our silicon progeny.

See Brian Greene video


We would likely build into our toy universe certain immutable safeguards to prevent its 'occupants' from gaining 'knowledge' of, or exerting influence on the real world. Things like an unbreakable speed limit and an unfathomable size and age. All of which a merely numbers assigned to the program.

And to our favoured pet we would surely allow it a means to change over time (evolve), probably by means of a carefully gauged agent (mutation). To make all this work properly we would enforce a strict lifespan on individual organisms. So strict in fact, that in all the creatures in all the time subject to all the mutations this rule will (has) never been broken.


Genesis 7:21

http://www.biocab.org...


But as our faux fruit grows in numbers and inquisitiveness they will at some point begin to get glimpses of the emperor's true state of undress. If their numbers begin to seem flawed, we might inject some unexpected addendum to the program so that things make sense again. This would come as quite a surprise ("Why didn't we see this before") to our programmed populace. Think - Dark Matter or God Particle.

The most common objection to my thesis follows. "It can't be true because I feel real" We feel this way because this is how we should feel. When a large number of electro chemical interactions occur (or are simulated to occur) This 'feeling' is how they react to a self referential feedback loop. A much more scientific answer than 'spirit'.

So it appears that we shal be able, in the not too distant future, to create artifical universes not duplicates of our own, but posessing, in their own ways, many of the features of our own. Who can say that some other sentience hasn't done this already. And if they have done it once they have probaly done it many times. A multitude of universes containing billions or trillions of intelligences each. In fact the odds are very high that if you are a thinking being you are a program, not a programmer.








Dias

Con

I agree with you that Reality - The entirety of the visible universe including all matter, energy, life, and thought. But illusion is something different like a dream. For example: if you have a lot of money and you think that everybody loves you and you have everything but nobody loves in real, everybody loves your money and everything what you have is illusion.

universe it is something real. It is not a program, because you can not change it, you can not create spam on it and you can not destroy it. It is a system with can not be destroyed or changed.
Debate Round No. 1
grouch3k

Pro

But illusion is something different like a dream

http://dictionary.reference.com...

1. something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.

you can not change it, ... and you can not destroy it. It is a system with can not be destroyed or changed.


These claims can be argued two different ways.

First, your use of the pronoun 'you'. I assume this is collective and refers to humans in general. I don't say that we change it. I apologize if I gave you this impression either through omission or obfuscation. The universe can, however be changed, created or destroyed by the programmers. Similarly we can change create or destroy the 'baby' universe we may produce in the future.


Second, of course the universe can change. It has been doing so for 13 billion years and will likely continue to do so well past next Tuesday, or even December 21 2012. It was created in the Big Bang and will be destroyed either in a Big Crunch or a Heat Death. Also we do change the universe directly. Granted we change only a small portion of it now (earth); but if our program runs a million or billion years longer (as we judge time), we may well have an effect on entire star systems and eventually galaxies.
Dias

Con

Yes, sorry for saying 'you', i untand that it is general information. Universe is more than a program. It is a big system. And we can not imagine or predict, what can happen their. Nowadays a lot of scientists talks about universe and they are predicting that something bad can happen with our planet, but they see it from the bottom. A good side of viewingng from the top. We are in the bottom and we still developing our machines. May be it will be the day when we will know what is universe?
Debate Round No. 2
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
*right now
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
Unfortunately I'm not interested in a debate right, but there are plenty of people here who are even smarter than me... you just got unlucky with this one. Try looking at the top debater list: [http://debate.org...]

And of course we can't "know" if we live in a computer program, but if there is no evidence that we are then we should not accept it. If things appear to be as they should, assuming that the universe is natural, then the claim that it is artificial requires a full burden of proof.
Posted by grouch3k 4 years ago
grouch3k
Thanks again MouthWash, We could go on like this forever so I think I'll write another debate. I shall welcome your challenge, if you like. I'm "grouch3k". Let me just close with this. If our universe is a programmed simulation there is no way could know it. The programmers could have set initial conditions or later changed values to anything they like. All we see and surmise could have been completely different but would SEEM to make sense to us; if that is what they wanted. Think I'll just..,

100 GOTO; bed
110 RETURN; in the morning
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
Also, our natural lifespans are probably a result on our average lifespan in the wild. We would die early (20's usually) of disease or violence and so there was no evolutionary pressure to have longer natural lives. Once we exceed our biologically expected age we begin to degenerate; it is unknown territory for our DNA.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
"If their numbers begin to seem flawed, we might inject some unexpected addendum to the program so that things make sense again. This would come as quite a surprise ("Why didn't we see this before") to our programmed populace. Think - Dark Matter or God Particle."

I don't understand this at all. We didn't know why things went downward until Newton thought of gravity. Of course there was some force pushing us down; there were even mathematical calculations based off of it even before Newton. We didn't know why people got sick until we discovered microorganisms living inside us. We don't know everything in the universe, and just like dogs don't understand anything outside their own sphere of life, we don't either. The difference is that we can improve our understanding and the discovery of previously unknown but predicted phenomena does not signify any 'conspiracy.'

"Besides, if you double the reproductive lifespan (the vast majority of species individuals die soon after) and you double the opportunity for mutation (both advantageous and deleterious). More mutations, faster evolution. I'd call it a wash."

It doesn't matter. There simply can't be immortal creatures because there are a finite amount of resources in the world and older generations will die off inevitably. Remember that your claim was that our lack of immortality was evidence that we were being purposely limited as to not discover we were living in a false reality; but that simply can't happen in any universe where there isn't enough resources to live forever (otherwise there would be no predators).
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
"My contention is that it has already been done by someone or something as far removed from (or superior to) our reality as we are from the sims we program. WE then, are THEIR lesser simulations."

So what you're saying is that they exist in a reality on a much larger scale? In that case, you have no proof or evidence that such a reality might exist above our own. The probability of whether we are in a simulation can be known by simply knowing the percentage of information in existence that is used to construct an artificial reality. We have no way of knowing what the intent of other beings would be; and furthermore there will most likely not be more simulation than reality in existence because of the universal evolved tendency to want accurate information. Perhaps you may see space simulators and say that there is already more simulation than reality, but that isn't true because space simulators are procedurally generated to appear real only at a glance and do not store anywhere near the amount of information that can be found in a real universe. Like I said, information can't come from nothing. You need to establish that there is likely more simulation than reality in order for your thesis to work.

"I assume '1', '0' and a handful of combinatory axioms. How about you?"

No, you aren't. You're assuming that there is both the intent and ability to artificially create a representation of a real universe. I have already proven that Occam's Razor does not mean "simpler is better" so this is futile either way
Posted by grouch3k 4 years ago
grouch3k
...subroutines.
Posted by grouch3k 4 years ago
grouch3k
"I said POPULATIONS would evolve more quickly"
Genetic evolution encourages species to lengthen life spans. An individual that survives slightly longer than others within its species allowed for a mutation that resulted in a longer life. Over time those possessing this gene will become dominant. Besides, if you double the reproductive lifespan (the vast majority of species individuals die soon after) and you double the opportunity for mutation (both advantageous and deleterious). More mutations, faster evolution. I'd call it a wash.

"But it doesn't prove that we live in a simulation"
As I said at the outset this is a discussion and neither side can 'prove' anything. Whether or not we are in a simulation is fundamentally knowledgeable - so far.

"because that's what we would expect to see happen naturally"
Like electrons being in two places at the same time. Or a galaxy which is 10% stars and 90% ???. One would not expect these to happen naturally, yet they do. Things like this, that seem to make no sense, I suggest may even be peeks at the unfathomable world of our programmers.

"the program would have to contain just as much information to simulate a universe"
Of course it wouldn't, nor could it. Simulated universes are smaller, more compact REPRESENTATIONS of the universe in which they were created. My entire example of US creating these lesser simulations in the future is meant to illustrate that it can probably be done here. My contention is that it has already been done by someone or something as far removed from (or superior to) our reality as we are from the sims we program. WE then, are THEIR lesser simulations.

"the more assumptions you make, the more likely you are to be wrong"
Agreed. I assume '1', '0' and a handful of combinatory axioms. How about you?

Hey MouthWash... Thanks for some 'real' challenges. Much more fun than the debate itself! You are a very bright young person. Like I USED to be. May your program run long and garner many
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
"The universes we create must by definition contain less information than ours."

What I'm saying is that the data for this simulation must be equivalent to the simulation itself, meaning that this computer would have the complexity of the entire universe. We will never be able to calculate every move in chess because there are more possible chess scenarios then there are atoms in the universe. No computer, no matter how efficient, can break the physical limits of data storage.

"This is the central tautology of the Weak Anthropic Principle, with which the majority of physicists strongly disagree."

The Weak Anthropic Principle not only untestable, it's just unprovable in any empirical sense - and true the same way mathematics is true. Of course there can only be observers in a universe where there can be observers.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
"This is simply wrong. The longer a creature is reproducing, the more offspring it can produce. Selection is for the greater number of offspring."

You ignored the argument. I said POPULATIONS would evolve more quickly. Furthermore, there are many other factors involved, such as having genetically set deaths to free up resources for new generations. Another theory is the accumulation of deleterious mutations.

"Of course it does. 'Naturally' in this context is just letting that routine run without programmer interference. Most of our current simulation software follows this principle religiously."

But it doesn't prove that we live in a simulation, because that's what we would expect to see happen naturally.

"Occam's Razor actually favours us being a simple program rather than an inconceivable large, complex construct of particles and energy."

No, the program would have to contain just as much information to simulate a universe. And you don't know what Occam's Razor is. It is simply the technically way of saying that the more assumptions you make, the more likely you are to be wrong. Assuming that the information coming from your senses is being purposely fabricated with the intent of making an intelligence believe them to be accurate representations of a complex reality is a huge assumption. Occam's Razor does not state that the simpler explanation is always better, either. Pretty much every process is enormously complex, from meteorology to the stock market to the Earth's rotation. This would hold true whether the world was a computer program or not.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by jh1234l 4 years ago
jh1234l
grouch3kDiasTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had better grammar and spelling, so S/G goes to him. Sources to Pro because he used sources while Con did not.
Vote Placed by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
grouch3kDiasTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't argue.
Vote Placed by Jacob_Apologist 4 years ago
Jacob_Apologist
grouch3kDiasTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I guess this stupid kid took the debate for losing for the ssake of some candies or perhaps its pro's other profile himself lol who would really lose a debate which holds solipsism , anti-realism, brain in vat matrix hypothesis!?
Vote Placed by baggins 4 years ago
baggins
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro deserved a better opponent.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
ConservativePolitico
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had convincing arguments backed up by sources. Con struggled to even grasp the scope of the debate and put up little resistance.