The Instigator
CivilianName295
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Sensorfire
Con (against)
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0 Points

Do we live in the matrix?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,210 times Debate No: 101059
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

CivilianName295

Pro

I will be arguing that we live in the matrix and that our universe is a simulation (virtual reality). (CON) will argue that we life in a real objective reality. This debate will not be about who the simulator is since the simulator could be Gods mind or a computer but this debate won't be focusing on that instead it will focus on if OUR universe is a simulaton.

Rules: No bringing religion into the debate, use evidence, no personal attacks

Round 1: Accept rules and conditions
Round 2: Each side give case. (Pro) gives case for virtual reality, (Con) gives case for objective reality
Round 3: Rebuttles
Round 4: Final arguments and closing statements
Sensorfire

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
CivilianName295

Pro

In this debate I will argue that we live in a virtual reality before I give my case I want to define what virtual and objective reality mean.

Virtual reality (Matrix)-Our world exist by depending on information processing happening outside of space-time
Objective reality (Real)- Our world is physical and exist in and of itself and needs nothing outside of it to explain it

Given these two hypothesis which one has the most support? Well I will argue that given what we know about physics I think we live in the matrix but before I begin my scientific case I will present my philosophical case.

Simulation argument: This argument states that in another universe there are future humans simulating us and that the more advanced the civilization the most likely we are in those simulations. This is the case since one (real) universe can simulate trillions of simulated universes depending on how advanced the technology is. Now only that but simulated universes can have there own simulations and thus the number of actual simulated universes goes up astronomical.
Now only that but when you do the math the chances of us being in a real universe are very tiny. Real universes cannot simulate other real universes since then those simulated real universes wouldn't be real at all. So the logical conclusion is that we are far more likely to be living in the matrix then the real world. Now this doesn't prove that we are a simulation but it shows that philosophically and logically we are more likely to be in the matrix.
http://www.simulation-argument.com...

Evidence from physics: There is evidence for the simulation hypothesis in quantum physics i will present it here to start off i will first present my circumstantial evidence then move to substantial evidence.

The notion that our world is virtual is explored by Brian Whitworth he took a look at the virtual reality hypothesis and the objective reality hypothesis and after looking at all the facts his conclusion was that the scientific data better fit the virtual reality hypothesis. He first started with the big bang an event that created both space and time and the view that the universe is (Real) this doesn't make sense how does space-time emerge from nothing however in a virtual reality this makes perfect sense since the universe can be created by nothing because it happens all the time in computer games. Another thing is quantum minima the fact that things like light quantize as photons fits the hypothesis that we are in the matrix. Physicist have proved that the universe is made up of pixels billions of times smaller than an atom everything in the universe is quantized. There is a maximum speed of light which is evidence for the matrix since the light has to be limited to a limited finite processor and our world has a maximum speed and this makes no sense in an objective reality. Also high matter consecrations makes time slow down in a computer if there is a lot of stuff the game slows down and in our universe this is what always happens when we get to black holes since hey have lots of matter in them and so time slows down. And these are just a few of the eleven facts that brian whitworth list. https://arxiv.org...

He makes the point that individually none of the points are convincing but taking it all together they consist of what a court might call circumstantial evidence favoring virtual reality against objective reality. And this evidence is just the beginning in search of a quantum gravity theory physicist have proposed the holographic principle the idea that our 3D universe emerges from information processing on a 2D surface. If this principle is true then our universe would be a virtual reality and we would be in the matrix. There is lots of evidence for this principle since it combines string theory and quantum loop gravity. https://arxiv.org...

Now the strongest peace of evidence for us living in the matrix is that 1. The cosmos contain actual computer code 2. Direct observations of holographic universe.

1. Theoretical physicist, Dr. James Gates, Jr. has found computer code within the equations of string theory https://www.sott.net...

2. Study reveals substantial evidence for holographic universe when they find observations of the early universe from background radiation https://phys.org...
https://arxiv.org...

The evidence is overwhelming and as science progresses we are finding more evidence for a virtual reality and against an objective reality. So that is my case for a virtual reality i will now wait for (Con) to give his case for an objective reality
Sensorfire

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for instigating this debate. Throughout this debate, I will argue that we are living in a physical, objective reality, and not, as my opponent claims, "the matrix" or a simulation. While I accept my opponent's definitions, I'd like to add some of my own:
Simulation- The imitation of the appearance or character of something; a way to refer to a larger thing, idea, or process.
Consciousness- The fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.

My case will be marked by both scientific and philosophical interpretations of reality and simulations.

My first contention is that the assumption of a simulated reality being likely or possible is mistaken. A simulation is not a mystical thing disconnected from a physical reality. Everything we know is made of real, tangible matter. Consider this: you can have a computer simulate an apple, but that apple is not real. The only real thing is the computer, with its internal structures, and the way you display the simulation: a real, tangible screen that emits light. There is nothing more to it. The simulation is just an idea that we entertain via the computer. On a larger scale, a simulated universe is not there. It's not "in the computer". The only thing in the computer is the computer's parts.

No amount of technological progress can create a plane of reality that is not physical. The idea of a simulated world defeats itself: what is it made of? If it's made of something real, it's not simulated at all. It's real and tangible. However, if a simulated world is made of something simulated, then, as I've established, it cannot be considered real. The only real thing is the process by which the simulation occurs. Nothing within the simulation can be physical. To reiterate: simulating something is not the real thing, and nothing can change that. If a simulation of something were exactly the same as the real thing, it wouldn't, by definition, be a simulation. If our reality is a simulation, it would have to be 100% fundamentally different from anything in the "base" reality.

My second contention is that people are conscious and, because of what is described in my first contention, simulated consciousness is impossible. I would like to make something very clear before I proceed: I am not referring to consciousness as some divine, mystical, spiritual, immaterial thing. Consciousness is the awakeness, the self-awareness of the mind. This is not immaterial, it is due to the structure of the brain. Currently, not everything about consciousness is known. There is no real test to determine consciousness, this is true. However, I claim to be conscious. I personally believe I am self-aware and aware of my surroundings. Other people also believe themselves to be conscious, and I would go so far as to guess that my opponent does, too. Since most human brains have the same basic structure and functionality, it seems reasonable to say that humans are conscious.

So, in a simulated reality, is consciousness possible? Can you have conscious beings in a simulation? My answer is no. As stated before, something simulated is not the real thing. A simulated brain would not experience consciousness, just as simulated water is not really wet. How can human consciousness exist in anything other than a real, physical world.

In conclusion, to assume the universe is is a simulation would mean that consciousness would be impossible, and nothing is "real". Everything we know, all the matter in the universe, every planet, every star, is not "real". This is ridiculous; everything is clearly physical matter. Even if, somehow, this were a simulation, there would be no way to be outside of the simulation, making it a moot point. It's all we can every possibly experience, and it's real.

Once again, thank you to my opponent for instigating this debate, and I eagerly await the rebuttal phase.

Sources:
https://motherboard.vice.com...
https://www.technologyreview.com...
Debate Round No. 2
CivilianName295

Pro

I will now present a full-blown rebuttal to my opponents case for an objective reality. I agree with my opponents definition of consciousness and simulation so now i will start the rebuttal.

(Con) "you can have a computer simulate an apple, but that apple is not real. The only real thing is the computer, with its internal structures, and the way you display the simulation: a real, tangible screen that emits light. There is nothing more to it. The simulation is just an idea that we entertain via the computer. On a larger scale, a simulated universe is not there. It's not "in the computer". The only thing in the computer is the computer's parts."

Rebuttal and response: I would agree with this however it needs to be understood that if we are in a simulation then our bodies would be part of the simulation and so if we eat an apple my body and the apple is in the same simulation so the apple would feel real but in reality the apple is an illusion and doesn't actually exist in an objective way the same holds true for my body as well.

(Con) "The idea of a simulated world defeats itself: what is it made of? If it's made of something real, it's not simulated at all. It's real and tangible. However, if a simulated world is made of something simulated, then, as I've established, it cannot be considered real. The only real thing is the process by which the simulation occurs. Nothing within the simulation can be physical. To reiterate: simulating something is not the real thing, and nothing can change that. If a simulation of something were exactly the same as the real thing, it wouldn't, by definition, be a simulation. If our reality is a simulation, it would have to be 100% fundamentally different from anything in the "base" reality."

Rebuttal and response: I would again agree with this what a simulated universe would be like is that everything in that universe is an illusion just like in the "Matrix" movie Neo thinks everything is real but in reality its all fake and doesn't exist in an objective sense so then our universe would be the same universe as the "Matrix" movie and that everything is an illusion. And yes the base reality would have to be different than our simulated reality since the "true real objective reality" would have to have different physics than ours but thats only the case if we are being simulated in a computer.

(Con) "My second contention is that people are conscious and, because of what is described in my first contention, simulated consciousness is impossible. I would like to make something very clear before I proceed: I am not referring to consciousness as some divine, mystical, spiritual, immaterial thing. Consciousness is the awakeness, the self-awareness of the mind. This is not immaterial, it is due to the structure of the brain. Currently, not everything about consciousness is known. There is no real test to determine consciousness, this is true. However, I claim to be conscious. I personally believe I am self-aware and aware of my surroundings. Other people also believe themselves to be conscious, and I would go so far as to guess that my opponent does, too. Since most human brains have the same basic structure and functionality, it seems reasonable to say that humans are conscious."

Rebuttal and response: I agree that simulated consciousness is impossible thats why in order for us to be in a simulated universe the only possibilities are.
1. Our "real" brains that produce consciousness in the (real objective universe) are connected to a computer and our universe would be a simulation and we would do things in this simulated universe so then we would think we are walking in the park but in reality our "Real" brains are connected to a computer in the real objective reality so that our consciousness can move within the simulation (Ex: In the matrix movie when they enter the matrix they connect there brains to the computer so they can enter the matrix)

2. No brain produces consciousness and our minds are fundamental and they are the "real objective things that exist" this would be something like a soul something that exist outside the simulation in which it can interact in the simulation but its not being simulated itself.

So consciousness is compatible with us living in a simulation since our consciousness would not be part of the simulation it would only interact with the simulation. Now im not going to argue that the soul exist but in quantum cognition and quantum biology its been shown that our minds can make real changes in the brain and that we are not fully deterministic by the chemicals in the brain this is through the strange rules of quantum mechanics and that there is always uncertainty and that the agent (Mind) can make real changes in brain chemistry. Now quantum biology is a new field of study but there is evidence of this in the brain i will leave sources for my readers to check them out.
https://arxiv.org...
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org...
http://bigthink.com...

(Con) "So, in a simulated reality, is consciousness possible? Can you have conscious beings in a simulation? My answer is no. As stated before, something simulated is not the real thing. A simulated brain would not experience consciousness, just as simulated water is not really wet. How can human consciousness exist in anything other than a real, physical world."

Rebuttal and response: I proposed and our consciousness only interacts with the simulation and is not simulated by it so this point i have already rebutted above. Perhaps the brain doesn't produce consciousness in fact in the philosophy of mind there is something known as "The hard problem of consciousness" which shows how physical systems will never produce things like consciousness since consciousness is mental and not physical. I agree that consciousness is "real" however it would just exist beyond and outside our universe.
http://scholarpedia.org...

(Con) "In conclusion, to assume the universe is a simulation would mean that consciousness would be impossible, and nothing is "real". Everything we know, all the matter in the universe, every planet, every star, is not "real". This is ridiculous; everything is clearly physical matter. Even if, somehow, this were a simulation, there would be no way to be outside of the simulation, making it a moot point. It's all we can every possibly experience, and it's real."

Rebuttal and response: Im not arguing that "everything" is not real i think consciousness is real however you have provided no evidence that our universe is in fact a "real" thing your arguments are only based on consciousness something that i already rebutted before so then it would be based on intuition and not facts. Our bodies cant go outside the simulation since our bodies are being simulated however our minds would be beyond the simulation since they are not simulated.

That is my rebuttal for (Con) case for an objective reality and we have shown that his arguments dont work. So the only argument he really has left is based on his intuition that our world is "Real". i can understand where he is coming from i used to think our universe was objectively real however ive had to change my mind because of the evidence from science and physics. So i thank (Con) for having good conduct in this debate so now i will wait for (Con) to give his rebuttal to my case for a virtual reality.
Sensorfire

Con

I will now rebut my opponent's arguments. I believe that, overall, my opponent has failed to consider some flaws in their arguments which will be made apparent soon.

My opponent's first argument is the famous "simulation argument". If a universe can be simulated, and within such a universe, more simulations can occur, the chance that we are in a simulated universe is huge, is it not? Well... maybe. But we have to question what exactly the simulation is for. Why is a universe being simulated in the first place? What are the actual chances that intelligent life develops in such a simulation and then makes another simulation? It seems a bit silly to me. And, once again, we have no proof that such a simulation, in which consciousness develops, is possible. If our consciousness is external, then how deep in could we possibly be? The point is, while at first glance, this argument seems convincing, it ultimately fails to account for many, many questions and possibilities.

Now, I'll dissect my opponent's "scientific" evidence. My first problem is this sentence (which should really be at least three sentences): "He first started with the big bang an event that created both space and time and the view that the universe is (Real) this doesn't make sense how does space-time emerge from nothing however in a virtual reality this makes perfect sense since the universe can be created by nothing because it happens all the time in computer games"

This argument is deeply flawed. It's reminiscent of religious arguments for a god: "We can't yet explain how the universe originated with science, so points to my argument!" This doesn't make any sense- you can't say that because we have no scientific explanation for the Big Bang, that god created the universe or that the universe must be a simulation. The burden of proof is on my opponent, and they fail to provide legitimate evidence.

"Another thing is quantum minima the fact that things like light quantize as photons fits the hypothesis that we are in the matrix. Physicist have proved that the universe is made up of pixels billions of times smaller than an atom everything in the universe is quantized."

My opponent failed to provide any source for this information, and did not actually explain how this supposedly proves that we are in a simulation.

"There is a maximum speed of light which is evidence for the matrix since the light has to be limited to a limited finite processor and our world has a maximum speed and this makes no sense in an objective reality"

How does this not make sense in an objective reality? Why shouldn't there be a speed of light? This isn't proof so much as arbitrary speculation, with nothing to back it up.

"And this evidence is just the beginning in search of a quantum gravity theory physicist have proposed the holographic principle the idea that our 3D universe emerges from information processing on a 2D surface. If this principle is true then our universe would be a virtual reality and we would be in the matrix. There is lots of evidence for this principle since it combines string theory and quantum loop gravity."

I would like for my opponent top actually explain what string theory is, what quantum loop theory is, and how these are connected to the holographic principle. This information is useless without context. That goes for numerous things my opponent has said without any explanation.

"Now the strongest peace of evidence for us living in the matrix is that 1. The cosmos contain actual computer code 2. Direct observations of holographic universe."

Once again, my opponent never actually mentioned that the cosmos contains computer code. This is new information that needs to be sourced and explained. My opponent also needs to explain how a holographic universe can/does exist, what it consists of, and how this proves a subjective reality.

Furthermore, my opponent, in their rebuttal to my arguments, introduced the idea that our consciousness is external to the simulation, but did not mention this in their actual case or provide any evidence for this.

In conclusion, my opponent makes long, drawn out arguments in run-on sentences without giving any examples of complicated concepts mentioned, repeatedly uses the word "quantum" without giving any context, fails to connect their arguments to the main point, and later introduced an explanation for consciousness (i.e. moving the goalpost) without any real evidence. Since the burden of proof is on my opponent (who is making an extraordinary claim, whereas Con is defending against said claim. The burden of proof in such cases lies with Pro.), and my opponent has not made a satisfactory, easily readable and understandable case with legitimate proofs, I can say that we thus far cannot determine that this is a subjective reality.
Debate Round No. 3
CivilianName295

Pro

I will now present a final argument and a closing statement but before i do so i first want to make a quick response to my opponents objections since he has a misunderstanding of what my original arguments propose. My opponent starts off his rebuttal with arguing that my simulation argument fails in answering fundamental questions however this debate is not about what the simulators are its about if OUR universe is a simulation so his objections dont work since it never propose a challenge to the simulation argument. Second im not arguing that the big bang proves that the universe is a simulation what im saying is that if space and time emerge from the wave-function then it would fit the virtual reality hypothesis better since in an objective reality space and time would have to be fundamental however we know from physics that its not and space and time came into existence at the big bang. Third my opponent claims that i never provided sources for my arguments this is false here are the original sources i used to back up my arguments. http://www.simulation-argument.com...
https://arxiv.org...
https://arxiv.org...
https://www.sott.net...
https://phys.org...
https://arxiv.org...

EVIDENCE FOR MIND BEING EXTERNAL TO BRAIN:
https://www.youtube.com...-
http://bigthink.com...
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org...
https://arxiv.org...

So i hardly see how (Con) rebuttal even works when we look at the evidence.

I will now present a final argument for the virtual reality hypothesis

FINAL ARGUMENT: The omega simulation argument (The natural extension of the simulation argument)
This argument will use the concept of the omega point to demonstrate why the changes of us living in the real world are so small that you have a far greater chance of winning the lottery every day for the next 900 trillion years. This argument is also an extension to my original simulation argument the only difference with this one is that i will be applying the omega point to this argument. i will show that
1) The omega point has almost certainly already occurred
2) Our world is most likely at the bottom of a nested simulation running on at the omega point

The more advanced the civilization the more likely we are to be in one of its simulations. So then the real question we need to ask is how advanced can a civilization become? Well the omega point is a concept to describe an end point of the universe of maximum complexity and intelligence this would correspond to the end of the sixth epoch of evolution and development. Now some people might say that the universe is expanding and that one day the universe itself will die and thus we will never know how truly advanced a civilization could become however this is wrong. String-net matter is being studied in its applications of quantum computers and according to loop quantum gravity space-time is compromised of a fabric of non-local correlations called spin foam and this foal is itself a kind of string net since this is the case then a advanced civilization could access the plank scale to use all of space-time for quantum computing and this state resembles the omega point. The number of simulations running at this point would be trillions of times more than a Googolplex so its most likely that we are in one of these simulations now the omega point enveloping all of space-time would necessarily be defined by the wave function of the universe and it turns out that OUR universe has a wave-function that takes up all of space-time so then it is virtually impossible for us to be living in the real world and its virtually necessary that we live in a virtual reality.
Sources:
http://quantum.phys.cmu.edu...
http://bigthink.com...
https://arxiv.org...
http://igpg.gravity.psu.edu...

FINAL STATEMENT: I understand that at least most people dont believe we live in the matrix. Our intuitions tell us that our world is objectively real and is physical. I understand that its a hard truth to accept but our world is not objectively real we live in the matrix and reality does not support our intuitions often. I have shown in this debate that
1) There is evidence in physics that our world is a simulation
2) Shown why (Con) criticism of my evidence doesn't work
3) Shown why its virtually impossible for us to be in the real world given the fact that the odds are so small that its impossible

So please have an open mind and vote (Pro)
Sensorfire

Con

Once again, before I end the final round of debate, I'd like to thank my opponent for their time and opinions. Before I present my final arguments, I'd like to take a bit of time to go over my opponent's rebuttal to my case and their final arguments. My opponent conceded (or at least acknowledged as true) every point I made, and countered only with the idea that our consciousness is outside the simulation. To make a comparison to the matrix, for example, the humans were experiencing the Matrix due to having the senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) of the real world replace with those of the Matrix via a jack plugged into their real brains. There is simply no evidence for such a scenario. I'd like to stress that the burden of proof is on the affirmative, claiming we live in the matrix.

I also did not claim my opponent did not provide sources- in one case I did mention a lack of a source, for this excerpt: "Another thing is quantum minima the fact that things like light quantize as photons fits the hypothesis that we are in the matrix. Physicist have proved that the universe is made up of pixels billions of times smaller than an atom everything in the universe is quantized." Upon further inspection, I admit that this source does mention quantum minima: https://arxiv.org.... However, neither my opponent nor the source actually explains how this means that our reality is a simulation.

At no other point did I claim my opponent had no source, but that they failed to connect their arguments to the main point. As an example:
"And this evidence is just the beginning in search of a quantum gravity theory physicist have proposed the holographic principle the idea that our 3D universe emerges from information processing on a 2D surface. If this principle is true then our universe would be a virtual reality and we would be in the matrix. There is lots of evidence for this principle since it combines string theory and quantum loop gravity."
My opponent didn't explain string theory, quantum loop gravity, or how the holographic principle (which, despite being seemingly the main point of the argument, is hardly touched upon) proves the idea of a virtual reality, nor does my opponent give any of this "lots of evidence."

And finally, my opponent did the same thing in their final argument that they've been doing throughout the course of this debate- explaining in hardly comprehensible run-on sentences extremely complicated ideas with little explanation. While this does not discredit their arguments (to assume that much would be the Personal Incredulity fallacy), it is bad form.

But, after some research of my own, I found some of my opponent's key points are somewhat irrelevant. For example, string theory, and the holographic principle as a whole, has no formal proofs in its favor, with some evidence against it (1).

My opponent made numerous points throughout their argument which were either questionable (the simulation argument, the holographic principle) or that they were unable to connect to their main point as a proof (big bang, maximum speed of light). The fact is, the burden of proof falls on the affirmative, but my opponent fails to truly make a convincing argument that proves that our universe is a simulation. My opponent makes the argument to contradict my case that consciousness is external to the simulation, but provides no explanation for how this could make sense, considering the common sense and scientific explanation that the mind is a process of the brain (2) (3) (4).

In conclusion, perhaps my opponent's case has some merit, but their arguments are not well-explained and they do not provide enough proof for their claim (we live in the Matrix) to be considered proved or even well-established. Overall, my opponent's case and rebuttals are weak and in the end no undeniable proof is given that our universe is not objective, and many of their arguments simply raise more questions. For these reasons, please vote Con.

I'll end this debate by thanking my opponent one final time for introducing this topic.

-1: http://www.universetoday.com...
-2: https://www.psychologytoday.com...
-3: http://www.bigissueground.com...
-4: https://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Sensorfire 1 year ago
Sensorfire
Bit disappointed nobody's voted yet.
Posted by CivilianName295 1 year ago
CivilianName295
But I also know that there are problems with being simulated in a computer like once order for us to be simulated in the "real" world the simulation would require a harddrive bigger than the universe itself which is absurd to postulate and impossible to build since then you would have to go outside of space-time and computers depend on time to function. That's why other explanations are possible like our universe being simulated in Gods mind. But I've said before the debate is not about who the simulators are rather it's only about if our universe is a simulation
Posted by CivilianName295 1 year ago
CivilianName295
Yes. I think that if we are being simulated by a computer it would most likely be a massive quantum computer that occupies all of space-time in the universe where our simulators live. But quantum computers don't have 1 and 0 rather they have both 1 and 0 combined into a probability wave much like how schrodinger's cat was in the box experiment.
Posted by RC-9282 1 year ago
RC-9282
This is an interesting notion. However, I think Con was trying to advocate that a simulation is not perceptual within the computer, rather it is ones and zeroes.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
Yes. We live in an unescapable matrix called life.. But we can escape most matrix we create about life.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
Everything we percieve is a creation of our mind. Technically we each live in our own simulation.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
vi_spex
its a hypothesis
Posted by PowerPikachu21 1 year ago
PowerPikachu21
I don't know whether or not we do live in a simuation, and I don't know if the theory can be disproved.
No votes have been placed for this debate.