There is most likely an intelligent creator of the universe
I finally found time to put some effort and energy into debating. I'm sick of seeing the God debates and even sicker of seeing people who actually specialize in nothing but God debates. With that being said, one of you guys with no life and way too much free time who spend all day debating the same topic over and over are welcome to apply in the comments. I'll accept the best opponents, from those who specialize in this type of debate.
First round is acceptance
Okay Tejretics is getting the debate, he is the most challenging opponent and has surpassed me in ELO, sole on his God exists debates, which annoys me. So let's start off
Edit: changed to choose winner and 4 rounds
I will be arguing that we are most likely in an artificially created universe, and we'll be examining 3 possibilities. These possibilities summarized by Nick Bostrom in the following way;
"A technologically mature "posthuman" civilization would have enormous computing power. Based on this empirical fact, the simulation argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true:
1.The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero;
2.The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero;
3.The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.
If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in an ancestor simulation." http://www.simulation-argument.com...
I'll be explaining why there is atleast a 51% possibility(though probably closer to 100%) that we are living in an ancestor simulation.
The Technological limits of computation
This section is a summary of a portion of Bostrom's argument found under the section of the same name, in the following link http://www.simulation-argument.com... (sources provided in the link)
Many scientists believe the stage where we can run ancestor simulations is merely a few decades away at most, but the beauty of this theory is that it doesn't have to be close. If it takes 100,000 years before we achieve the ability to create these simulations than we are still most likely living in an ancestor simulation. To ponder whether we will have the ability to create ancestor simulations, we'll use our current understandings of what is possible (though it's laughable to not think we'll continue to discover things that give us even greater abilities with technology.
"Eric Drexler has outlined a design for a system the size of a sugar cube (excluding cooling and power supply) that would perform 10 to the power of 21 instructions per second. Another author gives a rough estimate of 10 to the power of 42 operations per second for a computer with a mass on order of a large planet. (If we could create quantum computers, or learn to build computers out of nuclear matter or plasma, we could push closer to the theoretical limits. Seth Lloyd calculates an upper bound for a 1 kg computer of 5*10 to the power of 50 logical operations per second carried out on ~10 to the power of 31 bits. However, it suffices for our purposes to use the more conservative estimate that presupposes only currently known design-principles.)"
Operations in the human brain based on the number synapsids can be calculated to be 10 to the power of 16. We need not stimulate the entire universe or things down to the quantum level either, the simulation can wait until something is being viewed through a telescope or a microscope before simulating a visual representation of what's being looked at."While it is not possible to get a very exact estimate of the cost of a realistic simulation of human history, we can use ~1033 - 1036 operations as a rough estimate. As we gain more experience with virtual reality, we will get a better grasp of the computational requirements for making such worlds appear realistic to their visitors. But in any case, even if our estimate is off by several orders of magnitude, this does not matter much for our argument. We noted that a rough approximation of the computational power of a planetary-mass computer is 1042 operations per second, and that assumes only already known nanotechnological designs, which are probably far from optimal. A single such a computer could simulate the entire mental history of humankind (call this an ancestor-simulation) by using less than one millionth of its processing power for one second."
Post human civilizations would have plenty of resources to create this sort of simulation easily, and this is assuming everyone is a sentient being when it would be easy to make most of them philosophical zombies, without anybody knowing the difference.
The second scenario of the trilemma is one where there isn't much interest in creating an ancestor simulation. This scenario is even less likely than the first scenario. This would mean that on a planet of billions of people, not a single wealthy person or any significant amount of less than wealthy people would be the least bit interested in creating an ancestor simulation. This also goes against our human nature. We create simulations right now to learn more about our world. We simulate parts of the brain in a computer to learn more about it, we've simulated the Big Bang to the best of our ability. We've simulated car accidents. We simulate portions of our world to better understand it. There is no indication that humans will all of a sudden not want to better understand their world and in particular their history. Not that that is the only driving factor for wanting to simulate worlds. The whole sim city gaming franchise plays to our desires to wanna play God by being a very crude simulator of worlds. Even if we don't want to better understand our world for some reason, our desire to play games, to play God, will certainly not go away.
Other reasons why a Posthuman civilization wouldn't want to create a simulated world are far less likely. We'd have to assume that the economy might be so bad that almost nobody and no group of people had the means to create a simulated universe. Or we'd have to assume that some laws would be created to prevent a simulated universe scenario, but there is no sign that anybody views anything like this as unethical. We seem to think of human life as a good thing, and certainly creating more human life, if even in a simulated environment would be seen as good, in that sense.
We are most certainly living in a simulated universe
" It may be possible for simulated civilizations to become posthuman. They may then run their own ancestor-simulations on powerful computers they build in their simulated universe. Such computers would be "virtual machines", a familiar concept in computer science. (Java script web-applets, for instance, run on a virtual machine " a simulated computer " inside your desktop.) Virtual machines can be stacked: it"s possible to simulate a machine simulating another machine, and so on, in arbitrarily many steps of iteration. If we do go on to create our own ancestor-simulations, this would be strong evidence against (1) and (2), and we would therefore have to conclude that we live in a simulation. Moreover, we would have to suspect that the posthumans running our simulation are themselves simulated beings; and their creators, in turn, may also be simulated beings.
Reality may thus contain many levels. Even if it is necessary for the hierarchy to bottom out at some stage " the metaphysical status of this claim is somewhat obscure " there may be room for a large number of levels of reality, and the number could be increasing over time." http://www.simulation-argument.com...
When you consider the fact that stacked civilizations could exist, and that a society could create several simulated universes, each simulated universe having stacked simulated universes, we have to assume we're most likely simulations. A real universe resembling our own with several advanced societies all with multiple simulated universes, and each one being stacked means that real people are probably vastly outnumbered by simulated people by perhaps 100 to 1. It's not even worth considering the fact we're not simulated seeing as how the likelihood of that is so small.
Indicators of a Simulated Universe
Even without these additional indicators mentioned, the argument stands on it's own. These indicators just help us to know that the universe is in fact simulated.
1."Dr. James Gates says that within super-symmetrical equations, which is part of string theory, he"s found something that very much resembles computer code. When he looked into these equations, he found computer code invented by Claude Shannon in the 1940s. Shannon was a mathematician who founded digital computer and digital circuit design theory in 1937." http://www.toptenz.net...
2.The universe also looks to be a hologram according to many physicists. It appears that we're actually just a 3 dime soak representation of a 2 dimensional universe.
3. "According to Rich Terrile, the director of the Center for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA"s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the proof that we"re living in a simulation is that the universe is made of pixels." something you'd very much expect to find in a simulated universe
4. Remember when I talked about how computers could use a lot less memory if they only simulated things when you looked at them. Perhaps when you look at an atom it is simulated so you can observe it an be none the wiser, that you were in a simulation? Well evidence that this is taking place is abundant. Matter most definitely does act different when being observed.
the famous double slit experiment proves that matter does in fact act different when observed. When not observed matter acts more like a wave and particles combined, but while being observed it just acts like particles. http://highexistence.com...
There is a ton of evidence that the universe is a simulation and thus created. Please vote pro
I’d like to begin with a note on burdens. The resolution is a fact claim, since it presents a hypothesis of what is true, rather than what should be. As such, it’s up to Pro to prove it true. It isn’t a burden of persuasion, it’s a burden of proof. And the greater burden rests with Pro. If I refute Pro’s arguments, vote Con by default.
In round 2 I mentioned my interpretation of the resolution's meaning is that I have to prove that there is more than a 50% chance that the universe has an intelligent creator. My opponent has not objected to that view of the resolution in his argument. However he did mention I have more BOP. That's true even if it's just 1 millionth of a percent over 50. By default my opponent has to prove atleast a 50% likelihood that An intelligent creator doesn't exist. Given the default position judges should have assigning a 50% probability to each side, it should be next to impossible for my opponent to win this debate without offering some sort of positive argumentation.
Assumptions are unavoidable. My opponent makes a big to do about assuming things, but there is no way to get around assumptions. We just have to do our best to assign probabilities to assumptions and go with the assumptions that are most likely.
You might ask, how do we determine which assumption is more probable. It's simple, Occam's Razor. "Occam"s razor posits that among a set of explanations, the one with least number of assumptions is a priori most likely" http://www.debate.org...
As humans we do have a limited amount of knowledge, so assumptions are necessary. We have to look at what we know about our world (our knowledge base), to know what is most likely the case in other worlds. In this universe intelligent beings create computers. In some other universe maybe they randomly pop up, but given what we know about our universe and the fact that some things are likely universally true, Occam's Razor tells us that most likely artificial universes are created by intelligent beings of some sort.
It is not enough for my opponent to come up with alternate theories. He has to explain why these theories are more likely to be true than the ones I propose. He states that maybe simulated universes randomly happen for example, but never explains why a simulated universe randomly popping up is more likely or even equally as likely as simulations being created by intelligent species.
There is more wrong with that particular statement as well. Even if the seed universe was created by a random simulation, the fact that intelligent operators can create simulated universes, should still lead us to believe we're most likely in a simulated universe create by an intelligent operator.
My opponents are kinda all over the place, the Occam's razor argument deals with most of his responses, but I'll still address some points directly.
Pro doesn"t even give a reason to think a post-human civilization exists. Just because *we* can become post-human doesn"t mean someone else already has. Merely possibility doesn"t entail the existence of such a civilization.
Again, my opponent fails to understand the concept of Occam's razor. If humans are to reach a post human state and create a simulated universe, then we must consider the possibility that we ourselves are in a simulated universe. Is it possible that we can reach a post human phase but not create a simulated universe? Sure, but merely stating the opposite of what I said is possible, isn't enough. He must show that it is unlikely that a post human civilization would create a simulated universe, and given what we know about ourselves, it's unlikely that nobody would be interested in creating a simulated universe, that replicates ours. As I pointed out earlier we already create simulated universes and brains in a computer to a certain degree. Computer scientists have replicated the Big Bang and parts of the human brain, as well as accidents and numerous other things. It's nonsense to think a post human civilization would randomly decide to stop doing these things. Like my opponent said, it's possible that a post human civilization won't be interested in simulated universes, but if we look at Occam's razor it's unlikely. My opponent has never addressed why he thinks post human civilizations are more likely to not replicate universes, than to replicate them. Occam's razor tells us that, we'll most likely simulate universes when we achieve the capability, which will force us to consider the possibility we are in a simulated universe. Remember this debate is only about doing our best to determine if something is over 50% likely, even if by 1/10000000 of a percentage point higher than that.
"Pro says, "When you consider the fact that stacked civilizations could exist, and that a society could create several simulated universes, each simulated universe having stacked simulated universes, we have to assume we're most likely simulations." Why is this true? This seems like a bare assertion. Merely that stacked civilizations could exist doesn"t mean they do."
If we can create an ancestor civilization that also reaches a post human phase, they in turn would most likely create an ancestor simulation. This is just common sense. The more ancestor simulations created the reach a post human phase, the more likely they are to create an ancestor simulation. My opponent is sitting back merely stating that other things are possible, but other things being possible isn't what the debate is about, it's about what is most likely, and since it is most likely that we will reach a post human phase and create an ancestor simulation that also reaches the phase and in turn creates one or more ancestor simulations, it means we're most likely an ancestor simulation. My opponent is right that it's possible stacked civilizations don't exist, but this is not about proving they do, nor is this about proving something has enough evidence to defeat the default position. This is about proving what is most likely, what is more than 50% true given the facts we have access to.
"Bostrom"s equation relies on an unmentioned assumption. It assumes that the population of a simulated universe would be the same as the population of a posthuman one. There"s no reason to believe that. There"s no evidence of that. Most critics agree that it was likely a mistake on Bostrom"s part to assume that during the calculation."
It's not really a mistake. When dealing with these sorts of problems assumptions need to be made. There is no avoiding it. He more than likely evenly attributed likelihood to populations being bigger, smaller and the same size equally, and it evens out. It seems pointless to complicate matters by adding those figures in. Given that most of these simulated universes are ancestor simulations, you'd expect the populations to remain roughly equal to them anyway.
That might be the wrong way to look at it anyway. This is not about whether we as individuals are most likely living in a simulated universe. The debate is about an intelligent creator, so this is about whether this universe is most likely simulated. Maybe the universe only has a few simulated beings and the rest are philosophical zombies, maybe we're all philosophical zombies, maybe real humans outnumber simulated humans 500 to 1. However it doesn't matter if we are outnumbered by real humans. It's about whether this universe has a more than 50% chance of being a simulation. If the multiple real world has 400 billion people, but two stacked civilizations have a combined 10 billion people, this universe is most likely created by an intelligent creator. As individuals we'd most likely be real, but when looking at the total number of universes, this universe would most likely be simulated.
"Bostrom makes multiple assumptions when he says computation can produce a simulated reality similar to our own. He assumes that (a) we only need to simulate down to the level of atoms and photons, (b) time-wise, we need to simulate only down to the level of basic chemical reactions, which would only take one femtosecond to process, and (c) gravity does not need to be simulated. All these assumptions are false. The first assumption is false because scientists can observe quark-level interactions. The second is false because the current lower-bound for chemical interactions is as small as Planck-time. The third isn"t even justified, and is nonsensical."
Bostrom and I have already explained this. For example the quark level interactions only need to be simulated when observed. The double slit experiment actually hints that this is what's taking place since matter seems to do different things when directly observed. Here is Bostrom explaining it.
"The assumption that a universe not simulated to a quantum degree of accuracy can be immediately exposed is unfounded.The original paper notes that even an atomic-scale simulation (much less a fully accurate quantum simulation) of the inside of your desk is not needed, and that extremely crude resolution would suffice for distant astronomical objects." If you train an STM on a piece of your desk, then you could distinguish atomic-scale feature, and these would then have to be added to the simulation. "But this could be done on an ad hoc basis: wherever somebody is paying attention, the requisite detail could be created." Moreover, if through some bug in the simulation, somebody were to notice an anomaly, their brains could be edited afterwards to remove the memory (or the whole simulation could be rerun from some cached earlier state in a way that avoids the problem)." http://www.simulation-argument.com...
My opponent really doesn't elaborate on some arguments enough, so I can't and need not respond to some of them. For instance the Chinese room argument he used isn't really explained. However pretty much everything he said can be dispelled with using Occam's razor. He keeps saying that there is a possibility my premises are wrong, but he never explains how they are most likely wrong, and Occam's razor shows they're likely right.
Wylted forfeited this round.
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