Are we living in a simulation?

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  • Whose? Some inhabitants of another world.

    Difference? I'm not sure... my first reaction was, 'No! I am real! I don't want to be made by someone!' But since I really like my life I suppose no, it doesn't make any difference - unless the people in charge of this experiment decide to change it and make life more difficult for me / us.

  • You are in charge of this specific experiment because it is your thread.

    This thread is a simulation of sorts. (ad infinitum).

    If you like your life (simulation or not) it does not matter.

    So why (if you like your life) trouble yourself with the conundrum?

    Blokes question each other about this 'liking' of life:-

    The standard question reads: 'are you trying to convince yourself or me?'

    (I don't like my life [but it could be a lot worse] . When I explore alternatives I meet barriers that I did not erect. [not alone nor special nor precious])

  • The idea that we might be living in a simulation is by no means new. The idea goes back to at least the Ancient Greeks, and perhaps long before.

    In those days it came across that the world was a stage of sorts, a theatre for the gods, and we were given particular parts to play by the gods, who watched for their amusement. Presumably they wrote the script, too, or perhaps the actors had some limited input themselves.

    Whether as actors we got to pick our parts, or were just given them willy-nilly, is a moot point.

    This kind of idea survived in folklore to at least Shakespeare's time, as you will be aware.

    An interesting point about the above, in some contrast to the modern idea of a simulation, is that the ancients postulated that 'we' lived in some kind of reality elsewhere, in between acting roles. In the modern idea of a 'simulation', 'we' are often classed as part of the simulation, rather than acting in a simulation.

    If 'we' were actually part of a simulation, we wouldn't be able to know that, of course. And as ZD says, it wouldn't really matter, because we couldn't do anything about it, even if we had suspicions.

    But if 'we' were acting in somebody else's simulation, it raises many interesting questions.

  • A suggestion that the beings from another planet have created this simulation.

    I prefer the idea that we are real, but an experiment.

    Wasn't it Shakespeare who said something about all the world's a stage and we are players in it.

    Yes, I mentioned him in my post above.

    But to have a play, or a stage, or a simulation, you must first have a reality on which your simulation is based. As we live in a particular sort of world, it follows that any beings from elsewhere who have created this simulation must have particular conditions very much like our own, otherwise they would not be able to simulate them.

    This postulate is quite easily proven:

    Simulate or describe a world that is nothing like ours, has natural laws of which we are completely unaware, and beings who are nothing whatsoever anything like us, nor like anything any human being has ever imagined.

    This is not possible, of course.

    Therefore, if we are some kind of simulation, whoever is responsible for simulating us must live in an environment and in conditions quite similar to our own, otherwise they could not simulate it.

    Think of a film; they all either feature humans, or have human associations, and usually take place in a relatively known environment. A film is usually a simple simulation of some aspects of human life. It follows that if we are indeed a simulation, we must be a simulation of some aspects of an extra-terrestrial or other-worldly life. But one that has to be extra-ordinarily like our own:)