Do you think we are living in a simulation? Why or why not? I would think the mathematics alone would suggest we are (I can elaborate if you'd like), but the nascent field of digital physics cements it even further for me. I'd like to hear your thoughts lains.
>>333 Not OP, but the math is exceedingly simple in this case: In a universe where the full simulation of universes is possible, it's more likely that you are living in a simulation instead of the real world. This likelihood rises exponentially if you allow for the possibility of nested simulation, that is, a universe within a universe within a car battery.
>>335 That is if we assume that we can run such simulation. What if we can't? What if running it exceeds all all quantuum/physical capabilities of time/space itself? Would that mean our universe is base universe and is, in fact, original?
I don't see the sense in believing one astronomically improbable scenario but also not the others, as they're all as likely and unlikely as the rest. I do think we're living in a simulation - but by that I refer too the invisible intellectual inhibition impressed upon us by the great forces of finance, media, resource and government.
>>337 There was. Some/most of the participants seemed unable to grasp the basic premise which was that Elon Musk and a bunch of Silicon Valley billionaires literally believe we are living inside a video game or at least some sort of simulation. And presumably the architects that built this reality are themselves living inside a simulation made by others as well. > authentic reality If someone made this one, and someone else made the one before and so on, there had to be an original right? I don't even believe this stuff myself but that is the idea. It has nothing to do with what's "authentic" or whatever.
so you think you can mathematically prove (whatever that means) that we might be living in simulation?
I like talking about simulating physical world and computability theory in general but whenever I meet somebody who thinks we are (or at least he/she is) living in simulation, it reminds me of lousy creationist and religious people in general. Or worse version of them as "simulation theorists" think they are doing science with their soykaf.
>>344 I meant authentic as in the original. But we don't know anything about the original. There could be an infinite amount of non-simulated realities, which would make the claims about probabilities questionable.
>>347 This doesn't affect the basic hypothesis at all, it only suggests that there are even more Matrix type realities (if you believe such things). The idea is that video games will be so sophisticated eventually, they will be indiscernible from the real world. We could then create a sub-reality within our own reality. If you accept this then it follows that in all likelihood this has already been done before, by someone else, and that we are the result. The existence of multiple base realities wouldn't change this.
>>348 The multiplicity of base realities and simulations affect the probability, though. Since we don't know much about either, it's pretty stupid to claim that it's more probable that we are living in a simulation than that we are not.
>>350 If humans wanted to create our own simulation when the technology was advanced enough, it wouldn't have to look like ours or be as sophisticated. It could have a bunch of Pac Man level avatars with artificial intelligence running round a maze and chatting with each other. To them, it would be 100% real and the thought if it being a simulation would seem absurd. Now take a step in the other direction and imagine that some being somewhere created us in this way. Stupid it may be but the man building the Mars fleet believes it's not only possible but an almost certainty.
...which kind of puts the Mars project in a new perspective.
>>354 That isn't the point and you know it. It was a simple example of an artificial reality where the participants don't realize they are merely computer sprites, which is exactly what is proposed by some Silicon Valley elites.
I get that you're trying to troll some teenager who thinks we're like totally living in THE MATRIX dude but I've specified multiple times, I don't believe this myself and it's weird that some very powerful people apparently do.
>>355 >I don't believe this myself and it's weird that some very powerful people apparently do. It's not all that weird. There's a natural human drive to believe in unfalsifiable things beyond our reality. If you're a tech billionaire, maybe believing that this world is a simulation and not "authentic reality" assuages your guilt over fucking people over for a buck.
I've said this many times before here, I think I'll do it again.
There is no "base" reality.
All realities are sets of rules. Whether those rules are ever evaluated by another reality is inconsequential to their existence.
To prove this, suppose we have a simulation running. Suppose a person lives in that simulation. Suppose we slowed down the simulation, so that a second in the simulation is a hundred years in our world. The person in the simulation would never notice a difference -- they'd just see the normal passage of time. This works for running the simulation backwards as well. Well, if we can make the gap between simulation 'steps' as big as we want, why not stretch it out to infinity? Wouldn't the person living in that simulation still experience time the same way? This shows that time in the 'simulating' universe is independent of time in the 'simulated' universe. Next, suppose we ran the same simulation in parallel. If randomness is inherent in the simulation(as in our universe), we use the same values. Wouldn't the person living in the 'simulated' universe notice no difference between one simulation and a hundred? Clearly, the number of simulations in the 'simulating' unvierse has nothing to do with the 'simulated' universe.
so, the 'simulated' and 'simulating' are not related by time or number of simulations. However, the argument could still be raised that the 'simulated' universe has to be simulated *at all*, or it simply doesn't exist.
For that, we have to consider computability. Take, for instance, the ZFC set theory. If you accept my assertion that all sets of rules are realities, then ZFC is a reality that has been simulated extensively, by profing things and finding structures and whatnot. However, there are classes of things in ZFC that *cannot* be computed, proved, or otherwise discovered. We can prove that this is the case, in fact. So, if AFC exists, does the part we can't compute exist as well? Some say no, but most say yes, since discounting incomputable structures actually leads to different conclusions than those put forward by ZFC(and thus a different reality).
So, if something that can never be computed exists just as much as something that is computed, that means existence is also *independent of computability* in a particular universe. From all this, we can show that whether a simulation exists has nothing to do with whether it is "real" or whether it is "simulated", as there is no meaningful distinction between the two.
>>359 >There is no "base" reality. >All realities are sets of rules. Whether those rules are ever evaluated by another reality is inconsequential to their existence.
This is why this discussion goes nowhere. We defined "base" reality as the one that spawned the simulation which spawned the simulation etc which eventually spawned us. Whatever else you wrote after that I didn't bother to read lol.
>>370 We are talking about simulated realities running on computers. When you play video games, are the games independent of your reality or do they exist on an electronic device in front of you? Now imagine that the characters in the game are sentient. This is literally what Musk and pals are describing.
We can arbitrary define things, but it does not essentially imply a meaning (like many here in this thread said). This is the realm of philosophy, which is incoherent in dealing with many things, including this. To expand, A. J. Ayer writes in his book, "Language, Truth, and Logic" that synthetic statements that assert or deny something about our real world, are not valid by their own logic, but rather the validity of the proposition is dependent on the empirical verifiability.
The question is nonsensical, though my reasoning maybe abuse of Gödel's incompleteness theorems, mathematics is not complete. We can only so far (if I may use the term) reverse engineer the code to the universe. Conjecture, and speculation is the best you are going to get for the answer to that question.
Interestingly there are complications to the mathematics of our universe being a simulation that originate from cosmology. (Finite or infinite, static or non-static, etc.) Pick your poison.
The important bit is that it is real *whether that video game exists or not*. It is real independent of the simulation. Thus, it doesn't make much sense to say "base reality", since realities aren't spawned by simulations, so much as simulations give glimpses of other realities.
>>380 >The question is nonsensical, though my reasoning maybe abuse of Gödel's incompleteness theorems, mathematics is not complete. We can only so far (if I may use the term) reverse engineer the code to the universe. Conjecture, and speculation is the best you are going to get for the answer to that question.
You're misinterpreting the incompleteness theorem. The second one(which I guess you're referencing) says that no mathematical theory as strong or stronger than Robinson Arithmetic can be both self-consistent and complete. That means, if your theory is self-consistent, there are true-but-unprovable statements, and if there are no such statements it is inconsistent. That doesn't say a whole lot about the limits of induction.
>>381 I concede, but I did mentioned it maybe an abuse of the theorems. I was more so trying to imply by consequence since the best we have got is Peano's axioms/Robinson Arithmetic, reverse engineering the whole source/code of the simulation is impossible. Ergo no empirical verifiability, making the question nonsensical.
It's a fun idea but really it's no different to the brain in a jar argument which is no different to Descartes's demon. The extra bit about it being mathematically certain doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Either we assume that the reality that created ours runs on similar rules in which case there's problems regarding the amount of information in the simulation, meaning your nested simulations always have to get smaller, less precise or simpler, which means that there can't be an infinite number of them. On the other hand if we assume that it doesn't run on the same rules then we need to discount the mathematics and logic that underpins the certainty argument. If they don't have the same rules regarding information encoding then why should they have the same rules regarding 1/lots roughly equals 0? They're both equally based on mathematics. This line of reason is similar to considering that Descartes's demon might be messing with our reason as well as our perceptions. Everything you know goes out of the window at that point.
>>380 >We can only so far (if I may use the term) reverse engineer the code to the universe. You're right but for the wrong reasons. We can't reverse engineer it because we can never tell where it ends. If you find something there's no way to tell if it's an aspect of a simulation, i.e. a consequence of more fundamental rules, or an axiomatic rule of reality. No matter how deep you dig you never know what's another shovel full down.
>>381 >That doesn't say a whole lot about the limits of induction. Au contraire. It speaks volumes on it, totally shooting down the idea that you can consistently explain everything with logic, though that's not really relevant here.
>>384 >mathematical proof is *much* stronger than empirical evidence
When dealing with reality? No. Mathematical proofs are certain, I do not doubt that. However what a mathematical proof says, is meaningless if there is a lack of empirical verifiability.
We have falsifiability as a keystone in science, Popper's theory of demarcation lets us stay sane in the world of science and mathematics. We have modal logic arguments that prove things that science can essentially not verify, because of this we assume them to be false (which I find err in thinking like such) or not take them as science (which is fine by me). Mathematicians can play with them, they can build from them, but until there is empirical evidence it is not scientifically backed.
>>385 >You're right but for the wrong reasons. We can't reverse engineer it because we can never tell where it ends. If you find something there's no way to tell if it's an aspect of a simulation, i.e. a consequence of more fundamental rules, or an axiomatic rule of reality. No matter how deep you dig you never know what's another shovel full down.
I think this depends on one's mode of thinking, correct me if I am wrong, but a programmer would simply would say it is recursion and only limit is knowing the initial value. Not a big deal to them since well it _is_ recursion (and knowing part of it is usually enough), but mathematicians would not be so happy since recursion is no fun without a discrete initial value.
Sort of like turtles all the way down but less religious, and more cyber.
>>388 >empirically verifiable Gödel's incompleteness theorems mess with that because you can only prove things("logically") if you're allowed to make blanket assumptions
The more interesting problem is if there even needs to be a simulator for a simulation to work. Because if simulation of our universe or our experience of it is possible then our reality is just the product of a formal system. I would argue that formal systems like math don't need to be written down, thought about, or represented in some form of reality to matter/exist. Therefore if a universe is simulatable it exists in the same way that math exists, potentially outside of any physical reality.
>>390 >I would argue that formal systems like math don't need to be written down, thought about, or represented in some form of reality to matter/exist. I agree. An interesting thought is how a simulated universe isn't necessarily aware of its external nature and so strange things can exist in it. As an example, a O(n^n) computation can be made to be O(1), because the simulated universe is able to take an arbitrary amount of time before computing the next simulated unit of time. >Therefore if a universe is simulatable it exists in the same way that math exists, potentially outside of any physical reality. I'm inclined to disagree, because this interferes with my sensibilities.
I suppose the idea of a universe can exist without form, but I would argue that a universe is more than an idea.
>>388 >Gödel's incompleteness theorems mess with that because you can only prove things("logically") if you're allowed to make blanket assumptions
again, misinterpreting the incompleteness theorems. Mathematical/logical/formal systems can still prove things, they just can't prove themselves true -- which is to say, you have to accept certain things as true or you can never prove anything. The same applies to all of science: you have to accept that all of reality isn't a trick by an evil demon or you can't ever make scientific observations.
>>391 >I suppose the idea of a universe can exist without form, but I would argue that a universe is more than an idea.
Well, what else do you need for something to be a universe?
>>392 >Well, what else do you need for something to be a universe? I would make the argument that something can exist purely as an idea, such as math, but other things can't, such as a dog or a universe.
>>390 >I would argue that formal systems like math don't need to be written down, thought about, or represented in some form of reality to matter/exist you're venturing into "it's all just semantics" territory with this statement..
Lets say that a set of rules defines a universe. Can we assume that for that universe to exist, somebody has to "think up" those rules? I'm going to come up with a set of rules, and therefore a universe. But I'm not going to do it now; I'm going to eat lunch and when I come back I'll decide what those rules are going to be. Now, unless I get run over by a car on my way, those rules are definitely going to exist, just not right now. And if indeed our universe is determined by a set of rules, than those rules can be used to directly derive the state of me eating lunch, to the state of me coming up with my universe. So in a sense, it has always existed, and therefore I don't need to come up with it.
Anyway, I find it childish to think that there is only one universe capable of these questions. I find it childish to think there is no simulatable universe, and I find it particularly childish to think we are not infinitely likely to be a simulation within a simulating universe, and also infinitely likely to be running such simulated universe. I find it childish to think whether this is true or not makes any difference to the programmed DNA we have inside us that propels us to reallocate our chemical resources and repurpose it to different activities.
I can see this as being a possibility. I do not believe that we can truly prove it, or understand it, but there are coincidences that fit this narrative. I am not suggesting these as proof, as philosophers have debated the answers for quite a while. The majority of it belongs to metaphysics. It has been a long standing theme or obsession among philosophers of a world beyond ours. A theme that pops up often, and usually ends in religion. The want of something greater than us, a notice of the systematic nature of everything, a need for there to be a manufacturer a designer.
Is mathematics discovered or created? If matter cannot be created or destroyed, why? Where did the original matter come from? If there was a Big Bang, what came before it? How can nothing come from something? If there is a God, where did he come from? How can there be a forever ?
If you are familiar with chemistry/biology and what is considered "life", imagine for a second how wondrous that is. The fact that simple chemical attractions through electro-negativity levels can produce and influence life to the point that it is now. Think of evolution, the gain and loss of desirable and undesirable traits on an subconscious level. If an animal doesn't know on a conscious level, how does something gain or lose these traits if all we are is chemical bonds? What force drives this? Why does the planet seem to drive large populations to mass extinction?
And lastly, if it is a simulation or if there is an outside force and the creators do not want us to know about it, how would we even cognitively be able to address the issue? Would they not simply create us so that our intelligence is limited to such a means that we cannot comprehend it (for instance, having us infatuated with beginnings and endings)?
>>388 >mathematical proofs are empirically verifiable. If you find a counterexample, it means there was something wrong with the proof and it's thrown out the window like a bag of trash.
You are confusing mathematical proof with empirical observation.
If you have a proof in a formal system (mathematics) and you find a contradiction /within/ that formal system, then your proof must be incorrect.
If you are using a (correct) formal system to model a real system and you make an observation that contradicts that model, then the error is in your selection of formal system and your assignment of features of the real system to features of the formal system.
Goedel's incompleteness theorem shows that you cannot have a priori knowledge about the universe--you have to observe the universe first and then pick your axioms so that your formal system accurately describes the universe.
I agree with the idea that Math is the programming language of the universe, metaphorically. But, in my opinion, there is fundamental problem: If we are in a simulation, it would be set in a way we can't prove it's a simulation. Unless the programmer want us to know or the programmer is not self-conscius (ex: we are the dream of a sleeping God). If we aren't in a simulation, it's impossible to prove we are in and we have not yet the instruments to prove we aren't.
It's only a philosophical discussion whitout the possibility of an answer
A set of rules defining a universe is not the same as the set of rules being the universe itself. Or put another way, being able to formulate something does not mean that thing exists (in a meaningful way).
So you conceiving of a universe doesn't mean it's just as real as the one we're in. Ours is implemented in matter. Yes our universe can be described by a formal physical laws, but there are actually particles and soykaf flying around that follow those laws. The "rules" in this case actually track activity and model what is occurring. Those occurrences PLUS the rules are what give rise to a universe "existing". The occurrences themselves can be encoded in particles or silicon transistors, or what we're referring to as "real" and "simulated" worlds, respectively.
It's true that there is no distinction from the perspective of the entities which are being encoded by any particular system, but the relevant difference here is whether someone "wrote the rules". A simulation as we're using it means they were consciously thought up, and an "organic" universe on the other hand is governed by rules that are wholly arbitrary.
So one set of rules is purely a description (making the universe "organic") and the other is a prescription (making the universe "simulated"). The directions of causality are opposites in these 2 cases. Our laws of physics (rules) are what they are because we looked out the window and wrote them down. The rules in a videogame are the way they are because we decided beforehand what they would be.
So I don't get why a bunch of anons keep saying there's no real difference between the two or OP's question doesn't make sense to ask. It absolutely does, and I would tend to agree with the ultimate conclusion.
There are also some posts ITT questioning how the probabilties should even be interpreted in this kind of ex post facto fashion but that's a whole other discussion entirely. And probably the more interesting one imo.
>>580 >Yes our universe can be described by a formal physical laws, but there are actually particles and soykaf flying around that follow those laws.
you're falling into the anthropocentric fallacy. Just because you can experience our universe doesn't mean there is anything particular about it that is more real than others. In a world of bits, it would seem that while models of energy and matter sound interesting, the "real world" is actually implemented on ones and zeroes. >A simulation as we're using it means they were consciously thought up, and an "organic" universe on the other hand is governed by rules that are wholly arbitrary.
If a Zarblaxian in another universe wrote down the complete rules of our universe, and a human here wrote down the complete rules of the Zarblaxian universe, which is simulating which?
>>581 you're falling into the anthropocentric fallacy. Just because you can experience our universe doesn't mean there is anything particular about it that is more real than others. In a world of bits, it would seem that while models of energy and matter sound interesting, the "real world" is actually implemented on ones and zeroes.
I tried to address that here: >Those occurrences PLUS the rules are what give rise to a universe "existing". The occurrences themselves can be encoded in particles or silicon transistors, or what we're referring to as "real" and "simulated" worlds, respectively. >It's true that there is no distinction from the perspective of the entities which are being encoded by any particular system
So I don't think I'm committing that fallacy. I said that there's nothing special about our world as compared to a virtual one, EXCEPT the part about one having rules written by someone, and the other's rules being arbitrary. I thought I emphasized that but apparently not enough. >If a Zarblaxian in another universe wrote down the complete rules of our universe, and a human here wrote down the complete rules of the Zarblaxian universe, which is simulating which?
Neither, because like I said, merely writing down the rules is not the same as simulating a universe. To simulate a universe, you need to actually set in motion things which follow those rules, whether it's matter/energy OR 1s and 0s. This was what I trying to say in my very first sentence.
>>584 Then I would say they're both describing each other, since "writing down rules" is describing. Each is describing a universe they aren't a part of, and which may or may not exist. Simulating a universe, on the other hand, means it does exist, by definition.
I think you may have misunderstood my emphasis on conscious design. I'm not saying conscious design makes a difference as to whether a universe exists, or how "real" it is, or anything like that. All I was saying was that the difference between a consciously and unconsciously designed universe is, to me, a valid distinction to make. They're "practically the same" to the beings in them but obviously they're different to think about philosophically.
Maybe we don't disagree. The whole point of my post was responding to the people in this thread who are acting like there's no difference at all between our world and a videogame, and therefore OP's post is dumb or meaningless.
>>586 >All I was saying was that the difference between a consciously and unconsciously designed universe is, to me, a valid distinction to make
well, what makes them different? >Maybe we don't disagree. The whole point of my post was responding to the people in this thread who are acting like there's no difference at all between our world and a videogame
I think that though. Although a videogame would be a very poor simulation.
>>587 Yes it is. You're analogizing computational physical simulations to the universe. It's just as stupid as people who argue intelligent design is true because cells are just so, so beautiful and complex. Both ID and hyperreality are completely uncredited. Come up with something better than "there's just so much math and logic everywhere!"
I guess the best proof that we don't live in some kind of simulation would be that it fundamentally makes little sense for a simulation to exist this specific way unless there's some incredibly specific reason for it. It's one of those things that, rather than offering a solution that provides an explanation for many phenomena, it only further complicates the thing (in this case, the universe) that we're trying to understand. >What is the purpose of this simulation? >What can it do that a society capable of making something so sophisticated can't do with some other kind of technology? >If the purpose is something fairly simple, why is it being pursued in this remarkably inefficient way? Creating an entire universe to solve something simple appears completely illogical. >Why are the individual entities within the simulation experiencing the simulation the way they are? >If we're in some kind of giant game, who are the players? Is there a reason we don't ever see them cheat? >If this universe WEREN'T a simulation, in what ways would it look different? What does the REAL universe look like?
>>588 >>588 >well, what makes them different? Well, potentially a lot. First of all, if we KNEW our universe was consciously designed, that could influence how we think about science and philosophy. For instance, the pursuit of a grand Theory of Everything seems a lot more fruitful. If we discover arbitrary-looking constants in the laws of physics or something, we might be more inclined to second-guess the process that got us there. Essentially, I think it's valid to expect different patterns to emerge in consciously designed vs random systems. And math probably bears that out. That's not to say NO patterns emerge in chaotic/random systems, though; they clearly can.
On a more basic level, when I said it's "a valid distinction to make", I just meant that the idea itself is coherent enough. One case is where the universe's rules were knowingly set by some kind of being/mind (which probably tells us something about it, if minds have certain universal properties as I think they do). The other case is where things are as they are as a result of totally unguided mechanisms, in which it would be fatuous to look for some deeper meaning. Unlike randomness, I think conscious guidance is intelligible in principle.
Now maybe you want to object that either way, the rules are as they are merely due to deterministic causality from arbitrary preceding events. In other words, conscious design is just as arbitrary as anything else on some deep metaphysical/epistemological level. If that's what you mean then I still might disagree but I think that's a separate topic (that we could still get into here) >I think that though. Although a videogame would be a very poor simulation. Do you think videogame characters are conscious? Do you think our universe was designed by some conscious mind, with all the same forethought and such as any given videogame is?
>>589 But it's NOT just an appeal to "look at all this beautiful organization and complexity everywhere!". I know what you're saying and I agree that's not valid reasoning, but the sim argument isn't that. In fact, a version of it could be made without even referencing the fact that our universe is mathy and logical just like a computer is or whatever.
It's simple: 1. Simulating a universe is possible with the right technology 2. At some point, some beings/simulators in some universe had/have/probably will acquire that tech 3. If so, those simulators will probably simulate more than one universe
Those premises all seem at least plausible if not overwhelmingly compelling. And nowhere in there was there the kind of simplistic "just look at the beauty around you!" reasoning that you see with many intelligent design arguments.
As a sidenote, that kind of reasoning is not all that stupid in principle. Questioning why there are certain patterns and such in the world around us is a valid thing to do. The reason ID is stupid is because it ignores other very plausible explanations like evolution, the anthropic principle, etc. But just asking for SOME explanation isn't automatically dumb
>>626 >In other words, conscious design is just as arbitrary as anything else on some deep metaphysical/epistemological level. If that's what you mean then I still might disagree but I think that's a separate topic (that we could still get into here)
that's what I meant. If the universe just happens to be this way, I don't think it's all that different if a mind conceived of it. A mind is, after all, just a subset of a universe. Or perhaps an entire universe. I don't claim to know. >Do you think videogame characters are conscious?
No. The universe of a video game is so simple, I don't think consciousness can arise. >Do you think our universe was designed by some conscious mind, with all the same forethought and such as any given videogame is?
No. I think our universe exists independent of what anyone in any universe thinks of it, in the same way that a three-sided polygon will have exactly 180 degrees of internal angles in cartesian space.It's a true fact, regardless of if anything, conscious or otherwise, invents it.
I hate this idea with a passion. It's just athiests thinking they're deep asking basic religious questions that they dressed up in tech buzzwords to make them think it's science-y. They need to accept the fact that they're a little bi-curious and actually find religion interesting.
Religion is (generally) about reunion with god = getting out of the matrix into the world its creator inhabits. For all we know this simulation was set up to test or teach people to be worthy of "true" existence outside of the matrix. At the end of the day the answer to these kinds of questions is probably found in death or staring at a wall for several years, who knows.
>>359 I feel like I disagree with your initial assumption.
For any universe to be simulated, it needs to be done on hardware acting under an already defined set of rules for that universe. Therefore any rules set in the simulation will inherently be limited based on the rules in the already existing universe. You can argue that the new rules can be decided by the creators of the simulation and therefore can be anything, but, and we're getting a bit philosophical here, their consciousness will be also shaped and molded by the rules of the first universe. This inherently causes some kind of limitation.
I'm not really well versed in philosophy in the slightest so I get the feeling someone who is could explain this concept better than me, but it's basically getting into the metaphysics of the consciousness, and that hasn't been discussed enough about, I'm sure.