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Thread: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

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    the_mango55's Avatar Reppin the Religious Left
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    Default Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health...her_we_re.html
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2339109.html

    Basically the theory goes that eventually humanity will develop computers powerful enough to simulate entire universes, and that considering this is possible and the vastness of space and time, it is incredibly likely that we are in fact in a universe that is a computer simulation of some other species.

    Atheism on the other hand is a strict denial of any kind of all powerful creators or supernatural powers, both of which would exist if we live in a simulated universe.
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    Tribunus
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by the_mango55 View Post
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health...her_we_re.html
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2339109.html

    Basically the theory goes that eventually humanity will develop computers powerful enough to simulate entire universes, and that considering this is possible and the vastness of space and time, it is incredibly likely that we are in fact in a universe that is a computer simulation of some other species.

    Atheism on the other hand is a strict denial of any kind of all powerful creators or supernatural powers, both of which would exist if we live in a simulated universe.
    At least one reality universe has to exist, even if ours and the one simulating us, ad infinitum are just simulations. In that universe the uncertainty principle must hold, otherwise random numbers could not be generated, and there couldn't be random phenomena in our universe.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_mango55 View Post
    Atheism on the other hand is a strict denial of any kind of all powerful creators or supernatural powers, both of which would exist if we live in a simulated universe.
    It's the dismissal of things that we have no evidence for. Rejecting religion is no less trivial than rejecting the plum pudding model of the atom.

    Theories only claim account for things we can observe. Stuff that can never affect us doesn't matter and can be dismissed as irrelevant. This is one of those things.

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    the_mango55's Avatar Reppin the Religious Left
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by irelandeb View Post
    At least one reality universe has to exist, even if ours and the one simulating us, ad infinitum are just simulations. In that universe the uncertainty principle must hold, otherwise random numbers could not be generated, and there couldn't be random phenomena in our universe.
    What practical difference for our universe is there whether its a magical being named Odin, Allah, or Jehovah who created the universe from nothingness and shaped the laws of physics or whether it was some random unimportant alien who ran a "my first universe simulation" kit for his school science project and did the same thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by irelandeb View Post
    Theories only claim account for things we can observe. Stuff that can never affect us doesn't matter and can be dismissed as irrelevant. This is one of those things.
    This is assuming the ones running the simulation cannot control it directly. This may not be the case.
    ttt

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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    What difference does it make? Well for starters if this were a simulation then all religious dogma is pointless. Why would the alien running the simulation care if you had sex before you got married, or ate a pig, or use contraceptives? In fact even the concept of heaven and hell are pointless unless the person running the simulation can directly control the simulation - and if they can directly control the simulation, then they can control your actions, which really means that someone else has already decided whether you're going to heaven or hell if such places do indeed exist.

    Also, Atheism doesn't have anything to do with simulated universes - unless you consider someone who believes this universe is simulated to be a theist in which case you're misusing the word. Theism is about Gods - and a man or alien running a computer simulation is no more a God than I am when I play "The Sims"
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    Matthias's Avatar Banzai jūden-ki
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by the_mango55 View Post
    it is incredibly likely that we are in fact in a universe that is a computer simulation of some other species.
    This is your opinion, based on rather sparse reasoning/evidence. Not convincing.

    Atheism on the other hand is a strict denial of any kind of all powerful creators or supernatural powers, both of which would exist if we live in a simulated universe.
    Atheism is a lack of belief, not a strict denial per se, in gods. Atheism doesn't say anything about "powerful creators", which may or may not be "gods". Gods include supernatural elements generally, in common understanding, and your theory above does nothing to back up believing in supernatural powers. There is nothing supernatural about another species creating a universe that we are part of. That would be within the bounds of nature as we understand and experience it.

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    the_mango55's Avatar Reppin the Religious Left
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthias View Post
    This is your opinion, based on rather sparse reasoning/evidence. Not convincing.
    It's actually not my opinion but rather simply the premise of the theory.

    Gods include supernatural elements generally, in common understanding, and your theory above does nothing to back up believing in supernatural powers. There is nothing supernatural about another species creating a universe that we are part of. That would be within the bounds of nature as we understand and experience it.
    [/QUOTE]

    Actually it may in fact have nothing to do with nature as we understand and experience it. All of our physical laws could be simply a few random number the alien entered into the program befor it began the simulation. And I would like to hear your definition of supernatural if it doesn't include an omnipotent creator manipulating the laws of physics on a whim. It doesn't matter if it Is magical or technological, it still defies the laws of our own universe.
    ttt

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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Right - but only one of those is supernatural. If this is a program there's nothing supernatural about violating the laws of our universe, again just like there's nothing supernatural about you stealing the door behind a sim and leaving him in a 4 x 4 windowless room to starve.

    Even if you were to consider it supernatural, Atheism does not comment on the supernatural. Only explicitly about Gods. Theism - derived from the word for God. You can believe in the supernatural without believing in Gods, and your argument still doesn't follow - that if I don't believe in gods I'm not allowed to believe I live in the matrix. Why not? On what grounds does "Nobody has ever provided evidence for whichever God they tried to sell me" exclude me from subscribing to "I may live in inception/the matrix/matrixception"
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert View Post
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by the_mango55 View Post
    Actually it may in fact have nothing to do with nature as we understand and experience it. All of our physical laws could be simply a few random number the alien entered into the program befor it began the simulation. And I would like to hear your definition of supernatural if it doesn't include an omnipotent creator manipulating the laws of physics on a whim. It doesn't matter if it Is magical or technological, it still defies the laws of our own universe.
    Until we can observe it, it doesn't exist.

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    Setekh's Avatar Praefectus Legionis
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    We can already simulate a universe. It's the level of detail that differs.

    Watch after 8:45 if you want to see an example.
    Last edited by Setekh; February 27, 2013 at 06:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by the_mango55 View Post
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health...her_we_re.html
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2339109.html

    Basically the theory goes that eventually humanity will develop computers powerful enough to simulate entire universes, and that considering this is possible and the vastness of space and time, it is incredibly likely that we are in fact in a universe that is a computer simulation of some other species.

    ...
    This idea seems to creep up every other year but I'm pretty certain to have read that it has been rejected as bunk. I think the main problem is that it is actually simplistic compared to current theoretical physics and might violate basic dependancies. In the end the simulator needs to be more complex than the simulation to work so if it can simulate our universe it needs to be so complex that you can't actually provide evidence of it because it would have to simulate all quantum reactions per planck length over the entire universe and through all dimension all directions at once with all possible virtual particles.

    The notion that it's likely is highly unlikely given the lack of indication why it should be this way.

    The only similar thing is from a science talk where one of the physicists claimed that they were observing procedural coding in low level quantum mechanics though he also added they currently have no idea what that means, only that the pattern seem to align with something akin to coding.

    The actual interesting part is what claims it makes about our reality and if that aligns with our current understandings of physics. To that effect proponents of a simulated universe currently have to trashtalk themselves out of quantum mechanics and the fact that all current physical formulas are mere approximations (even if very precise) of reality so any seeming rasterization of reality as would be necessary in a simulated universe currently is currently based on our physics breaking down because they are incomplete, not on what reality does at those points.
    "Sebaceans once had a god called Djancaz-Bru. Six worlds prayed to her. They built her temples, conquered planets. And yet one day she rose up and destroyed all six worlds. And when the last warrior was dying, he said, 'We gave you everything, why did you destroy us?' And she looked down upon him and she whispered, 'Because I can.' "
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    The "universe in a bottle" issue is a bit more complicated. It's true that full simulation is problematic as the machine would have to be bigger than the simulated universe itself, there are ways to make it....simpler. Optimalization. Processes beyond what's visible to observer can be simplified without loss of information to observer. Some factors in our universe can be interpreted as such. For example, limit of speed of light, making a realistic reach of our species limited, allowing deep space to be "simplified". So it is possible that we are actually in a simulation. I am not saying that it's a proof, no way.

    But my sleepy brain has been thinking about it for some time. Main issue is, why? One possibility is this. We are an experiment to help determine if observer inside reality can determine if his reality is simulated, thus helping solve this very question in their universe. Odd, isn't it? But that's just my sleepy rambling. I hope that now, when I get it out of my brain, I can finally get some sleep.

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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    An interesting thought. Perhaps we should start simulating a universe to see if the simulants understand if they're being simulated or not.
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    Denny Crane!'s Avatar Denny Crane!
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    I'm solipsistic and so am I.

    Its not an argument for God, its not even relevant. This is about extreme skepticism and where it gets confused with theism is people don't often consider how they end up anywhere never mind god.

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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    The "universe in a bottle" issue is a bit more complicated. It's true that full simulation is problematic as the machine would have to be bigger than the simulated universe itself, there are ways to make it....simpler. Optimalization. Processes beyond what's visible to observer can be simplified without loss of information to observer. Some factors in our universe can be interpreted as such. For example, limit of speed of light, making a realistic reach of our species limited, allowing deep space to be "simplified". So it is possible that we are actually in a simulation. I am not saying that it's a proof, no way.

    ...
    Overall the great fallacy seems to use our current standard of understanding as the ultimate and assume that everything we can't determine precisely now we will never find out. Sounds like the same hubris physicists had at the end of the 19th century by believing Newtonian physics is all you need. 1905 comes along and they could throw that notion into the garbage bin and things got weirder ever since.
    "Sebaceans once had a god called Djancaz-Bru. Six worlds prayed to her. They built her temples, conquered planets. And yet one day she rose up and destroyed all six worlds. And when the last warrior was dying, he said, 'We gave you everything, why did you destroy us?' And she looked down upon him and she whispered, 'Because I can.' "
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    Muizer's Avatar member 3519
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Just a thought that springs to my mind: If a simulator were to simulate the entire universe, it would also have to simulate itself. That seems to be a philosophical impossibility. I know that's not really the point of what the scientists are claiming, but it seems pertinent to the question of the "simulation within simulation" theory of the cosmos. I wonder if that would not really mean that such a chain could only work one way towards ever decreasing complexity.
    Last edited by Muizer; February 28, 2013 at 04:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    The simulation is not alleged to exist in our universe, but our whole universe is a simulation. Think of like "The Sims" game. You have your computer in the universe, and within that computer you create another universe. Does that clear it up a bit?
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Mangalore View Post
    Overall the great fallacy seems to use our current standard of understanding as the ultimate and assume that everything we can't determine precisely now we will never find out. Sounds like the same hubris physicists had at the end of the 19th century by believing Newtonian physics is all you need. 1905 comes along and they could throw that notion into the garbage bin and things got weirder ever since.
    To independently simulate every smallest element of universe, you would have to use something of same size or bigger to represent it, as there is nothing smaller available, creating a machine as big as the simulated universe. That's why I was talking about simplifications.

    About our current understanding of universe, I'm not using it as ultimate. It's just the best thing we currently have to found our assumptions. When new information becomes available, conclusions change. But that shouldn't stop us from drawing conclusions at present, just keep the possibility of change in mind.

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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    To independently simulate every smallest element of universe, you would have to use something of same size or bigger to represent it, as there is nothing smaller available, creating a machine as big as the simulated universe. That's why I was talking about simplifications.

    About our current understanding of universe, I'm not using it as ultimate. It's just the best thing we currently have to found our assumptions. When new information becomes available, conclusions change. But that shouldn't stop us from drawing conclusions at present, just keep the possibility of change in mind.
    To my knowledge the main aim at verifying this theories follows precisely your thinking. I just think it is a variation of a "raster of the gaps" argument since you can only assume simplifications based on your current knowledge aka you expect these simplifications to start in the gaps you can't see or understand. The detail we derive from light and its limitation and more importantly the effects of relativity would make it very hard for a simulation to simplify assuming it wants us to stay in the dark for another millenium or so.
    "Sebaceans once had a god called Djancaz-Bru. Six worlds prayed to her. They built her temples, conquered planets. And yet one day she rose up and destroyed all six worlds. And when the last warrior was dying, he said, 'We gave you everything, why did you destroy us?' And she looked down upon him and she whispered, 'Because I can.' "
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    Dragus's Avatar Pili
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    Default Re: Atheism vs Simulated Universe theory

    Could a computer be powerful enough to simulate a continuous expansion of the universe? Would said computer in turn need constant expansion itself to keep up?

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