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Sounds like a spaghetti monster, but that sentence is phrased kind of backward. The idea is that IF we are likely to become posthuman, and run simulations of ourselves, then the humans in those simulations are likely to do the same, and so on, until there is a large number of simulations. In that case, the probability of us being the very first simulators is very small, so we are almost certainly living in one of the simulations. So I think the point of the above statement is that you can't believe we are likely to become posthumans capable of simulating ourselves, unless you also believe we are almost certainly in a simulation.
Not saying there is any evidence either way, but neither is the quoted statement. It's not really a speghetti monster, more of a statement of the constraints of belief in such a speghetti monster.
Like the Spaghetti-monster, it requires one to take an assumption as a starting-point. It's built on "what ifs". What if these supposed "posthumans" are apes? Like the movie "Planet of.."? They'd eventually be able to run simulations, wouldn't they?
What about the first bacteria? First one-celled life was immortal. Wouldn't it be more simple to deduce that they're the ones running simulations? Where does the idea of "symmetry" in the simulations come from, if not the human psyche and it's arrogance?
It reminds me of a compile-error in code; the classes are built on a circular reference.
I am thinking the core assumption of these scientists is wrong:
Assuming that a highly developed race has the ability to start such a simulation, what would be the point of including the simulation itself, recursively? It would just be an endless recursion, and each recursion step would be less accurate due to resource constraints. I can think of some use to run a simulation of the past, but why run a simulation of the present?
Moreover, at the point the simulants... err, the simulated scientists set up the simulated simulation, they should be able to notice the restrictions of the simulation apply to their own universe. At which point the simulation cannot probably remain accurate, simply because at least some of those scientists will be more interested in contacting their "creators".
The only reason for the "creators" to keep a simulation running beyond that point would be that they're not actually running simulation of their own universe - more likely they're just running a game (maybe "The Sims CLXXII"?)
I read all the foundational literature on that one. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it, and rereading stuff, and forming ideas for adopting the point of view that we do live in a simulation. That fat question gets in the way of much more enlightening and constructive and very interesting thought experiments. I have a constant input into my thoughts on what is this all, and it allows a very patterned view of our experiences, making tweaking that into alternate experiences of reality.
Ian M Banks novel Algebraist has a religion called "The Truth" which says that the universe might or might not be a simulation but it we don't know so you have to treat reality as real and get on with it.
In one of his Culture books called 'Matter' a character argues that we are not in a simulation because any entity advanced enough to able to host such a convincing simulation is likely to have an advanced moral ethic and could not be so immoral as to engineer so much suffering.
argues that we are not in a simulation because any entity advanced enough to able to host such a convincing simulation is likely to have an advanced moral ethic and could not be so immoral as to engineer so much suffering
Which of course is a meaningless argument.
Intelligence has nothing to do with morality. And ability certainly doesn't. And "suffering" is a moral choice not an absolute. Not to mention of course that there are quite a few moral argument one could make that completely removes any suffering for example that we do not feel it or that because we are a simulation it does not matter.
Additionally one could also argue that studying the suffering is exactly the point.
This is an argument that atheists give. It comes from a lack of understanding of suffering.
Suffering sucks for anyone going through it, but unfortunately it is one of those necessary evils just as is war and poverty.
Those who suffer are being tested (we've all heard that one) but what we have not been told is that the suffering is a test for those around the one suffering as well.
The one suffering is tested as to whether they will maintain faith and compassion on others. That's the end of their test and the vast majority that suffer pass this test.
Those who are not suffering, but are aware of the one suffering, whether that suffering is going through an illness, long term unemployment or life long poverty are also being tested. They are being tested on their compassion for those who suffer. Will they have mercy and help those suffering? Or will they harden their hearts towards those in need and help them out of their suffering? Unfortunately, the majority of those who have never suffered fail this test.
The purpose of suffering is to remind us that we are not gods. We are not infinite. Nor do we have complete control over our lives and but for the grace of God, there go I.
Sad to say, there are a whole lot of people who claim that a man can always help himself and therefore should never be given help. The worst of these lot are the ones that attend their religious institution week to week and not only teach otherwise, but are taught otherwise.
Yes, as evil as suffering is, suffering has it's place in an imperfect world.
Scott A. Tovey
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 19:00 Last Update: 21-Jan-17 16:43