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Bostroms Simulation Hypothesis

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/7/2011 11:18:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I saw this in a debate and decided to give it a thread.

On the surface, Bostrom's simulation hypothesis is an example of a skeptical hypothesis, a proposal concerning the nature of reality put forward to question beliefs, and as such, there is a long history to the underlying thesis that reality is an illusion. This thesis can be dated back to Plato, arguably underpins the Mind-Body Dualism of Descartes, and is closely related to phenomenalism, a stance briefly adopted by Bertrand Russell. However, Bostrom has argued that this is not the case, and that there are empirical reasons why the 'Simulation Hypothesis' might be valid. He suggests that if it is possible to simulate entire inhabited planets or even entire universes on a computer, and that such simulated people can be fully conscious, then the sheer number of such simulations likely to be produced by any sufficiently advanced civilization (taken together with his Strong Self-Sampling Assumption) makes it extremely likely that we are in fact currently living in such a simulation.

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CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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3/7/2011 11:28:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Reality is a simulation, but the simulation is in our heads.

Also, there is no spoon.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
PervRat
Posts: 963
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3/8/2011 3:44:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/7/2011 11:28:29 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Reality is a simulation, but the simulation is in our heads.

Also, there is no spoon.

The quantum uncertainty principle means it is, with our present understanding of quantum physics, impossible to predict with certainty what occurs at a quantum level. All matter consists of molecules, which in turn consist of atoms, which in turn conist of subatomic particles (electrons, neutrons and protons), which in turn consist of quarks, etc., etc. Both the entity to be simulated and the computer to run the simulation are made of matter. You can never have a fully accurate simulation with a computer smaller than that being simulated; to simulate an entire planet, you would not only need to simulate every molecule of matter, but simulate the tidal forces from the moon and the sun, radiation striking the planet from the Sun's fusion and the cosmic background as well as the elliptical orbit of the planet around its sun, etc. You would need a computer many times the size of the planet to simulate the planet, and it would take many times the time span one would wish to accurately simulate the planet.

We are, at present, only capable of abstracted simuations. Continual advances in computer technology mean we can get more and more detailed, but simple concepts like forecasting weather are very easily afflicted by minute and complex interplay of forces within the planet, and the planet's place around the sun and even cosmic forces beyond which affect the planet's magnetic field (and thus how the sun affects the planet).
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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4/12/2011 6:16:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Hey Some time ago I was thinking about doing a debate on this, more for the lolz.

No civilization will reach a level of technological maturity capable of producing simulated realities.
No civilization reaching aforementioned technological status will produce a simulated reality, for any of a number of reasons, such as diversion of computational processing power for other tasks, ethical considerations of holding entities captive in simulated realities, etc.
All entities with our general set of experiences are living in a simulation.

I would argue something like.....

1) If a civilization or civilizations can create a simulated reality it will probably create more than one simulated reality (any where between one and infinity)
2) Therefore there would be more simulated realities than actual realities
3) Therefore with no other information to the contrary, we should conclude that it is more likely that we live in a simulated reality than an actual reality.

Watch ya think ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Floid
Posts: 751
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4/12/2011 6:32:01 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Bostrom has argued that this is not the case, and that there are empirical reasons why the 'Simulation Hypothesis' might be valid.

The problem with this statement is that there are no empirical reasons why the 'Simulation Hypothesis' might be valid. The entire argument that follows is purely hypothetical and not based on observation. Not an argument against what he is saying, but an important distinction never the less.

He suggests that if it is possible to simulate entire inhabited planets or even entire universes on a computer, and that such simulated people can be fully conscious, then the sheer number of such simulations likely to be produced by any sufficiently advanced civilization (taken together with his Strong Self-Sampling Assumption) makes it extremely likely that we are in fact currently living in such a simulation.

A purely hypothetical argument based on a lot of assumptions. You have to assume the capability to simulate the entire universe, you have to assume to capability to run a nearly infinite number of these simulations (to drive the chance that our reality is not a simulation towards zero), you have to assume a desire to run that many simulations to begin with, etc.

Sure it could be true that reality is a simulation. This argument doesn't really sway me towards believing that it is.