Are We Living In A Computer Simulation?

Are We Living In A Computer Simulation? “It is possible that I am dreaming right now and that all of my perceptions are false.”

What if your thoughts and everything you perceive are nothing but bits in a computer simulation designed to satisfy the curiosity of scientists with capabilities far beyond anything known to human beings?

Maybe you’re thinking, “I already saw that movie.” Or, “What’s the point in speculating on some abstract philosophical theory that we can never test anyway?” Or maybe you just think it all sounds pretty far-fetched.

Simulation Argument

But some philosophers are taking this idea, called the “simulation argument,” very seriously. Physicists have gone even further, suggesting that we might even be able to detect evidence that confirms it if we know where to look.

Are We Living In A Computer Simulation?

If we are living in a simulation, then the cosmos that we are observing is just a tiny piece of the totality of physical existence… While the world we see is in some sense ‘real,’ it is not located at the fundamental level of reality.

Many philosophers have put forth the notion of reality being an illusion. One recent version of this theory made the news in 2003. That’s when Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at the University of Oxford, put forth an interesting question. What if our reality is actually a computer world that exists in some other reality? At first, you might scoff at the suggestion. But Bostrom’s argument is fascinating.

What Is Simulation Theory?

Simulation theory, a modern hypothesis with ancient roots, posits that we’re actually living in an advanced digital construct, such as a computer simulation, that’s overseen by some higher form of intelligence.

The question of if we live in a simulated universe has been hotly debated since the Enlightenment period. Today, scientists, physicists and psychologists are still debating whether we live in our own reality or if we’re just pawns in the simulation of a higher life form.

Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?

Then again, you might be wondering, why does any of this matter? What is the purpose of proving or disproving that life as we know it is merely a digital construct and existence simply an immensely complex experiment in someone’s virtual terrarium? 

The broad answer is that which all good science pursues: truth. More specifically, our truth. 

If we do in fact exist inside a video game that requires our characters (i.e. us) to perform certain quests and achievements in order to progress (“level up”), wouldn’t it be useful to know what kind of game we’re in so as to increase our chances of surviving and thriving? 

Are We Living In A Simulation?

Elon Musk and other like-minded folk are suggesting that we are entirely simulated beings. We could be nothing more than strings of information manipulated in some gigantic computer, like the characters in a video game.

Even our brains are simulated, and are responding to simulated sensory inputs.

Are We Living In A Simulation? The answer, not surprisingly, is an unqualified yes.

“I think it would make all the difference in the world.”

Whatever type of world it is.

Reference: bbc.com

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