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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Oct-24, 10:26 AM
I think there was a thread on this previously. I was watching the Daily Planet last night on Discovery Canada and they had a segment called Jay's Journal (Jay is one of the co-hosts). In last night's segment he discussed the nature of reality and whether or not our existence is real or is some sort of computer simulation. He said that philosophers are taking this idea very seriously and that some of them have gone so far as to actually say that the possibility of something like this being true is greater that 50%. I can't believe that anyone would give this idea any serious credence. I feel pretty real to me. How about you? Are you real?

Maksutov
2006-Oct-24, 11:20 AM
You are what you eat.

Bon Appétit!

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/nahrung/e055.gif

ozark1
2006-Oct-24, 11:44 AM
This is "Brain in a Vat" or Solipsism.

Objections to Solipsism include

Life is imperfect - If the world is completely in my head, how come I don't live the most fantastic life imaginable?"

Solipsism undercuts morality - If solipsism is true, then practically all standards for moral behavior would seem to be meaningless, according to this argument. There is no God, so that basis for morality is gone, but even secular humanism becomes meaningless since there are no such things as other humans

The practical solipsist needs a language to formulate his or her thoughts about solipsism - Language is an essential tool to communicate with other minds. Why does a solipsist universe need a language? Indeed, one might even say, solipsism is necessarily incoherent, for to make an appeal to logical rules or empirical evidence the solipsist would implicitly have to affirm the very thing in which he or she purportedly refuses to believe: the 'reality' of intersubjectively valid criteria, and/or of a public, extra-mental world

Philosophical poverty - Some philosophers hold the viewpoint that solipsism is entirely empty and without content. Like a 'faith' argument, it seems sterile, i.e., allows no further argument, nor can it be falsified.

ASEI
2006-Oct-24, 11:50 AM
True. Once you reject the notion of some sort of objective, or at least common reality; the very notion of further argument falls apart. There's simply nothing more to talk to you about.

Donnie B.
2006-Oct-24, 12:25 PM
Well, as there's no such word as "irreal", nothing can be irreal. Therefore everything is not irreal. Q.E.D. :)

Of course, since I'm the only conscious entity in the universe, there's nobody else to be educated/offended/amused by the above remark. Move along.

Blob
2006-Oct-24, 12:34 PM
Yeah man!
Everything's Ire

There was a thread about it here a few months back
I'll look when i have enough time...

deja vu

Maksutov
2006-Oct-24, 01:13 PM
Well, as there's no such word as "irreal", nothing can be irreal. Therefore everything is not irreal. Q.E.D. :)

Of course, since I'm the only conscious entity in the universe, there's nobody else to be educated/offended/amused by the above remark. Move along.Hey, Donnie. This is the voice of your conscience. You might want to update your dictionary. (http://www.infoplease.com/ipd/A0496636.html) OK, now I'll be back when needed.

ToSeek
2006-Oct-24, 02:46 PM
The Simulation Argument: Why the Probability that You Are Living in a Matrix is Quite High (http://www.simulation-argument.com/matrix.html)


Now we get to the core of the simulation argument. This does not purport to demonstrate that you are in a simulation. Instead, it shows that we should accept as true at least one of the following three propositions:

(1) The chances that a species at our current level of development can avoid going extinct before becoming technologically mature is negligibly small

(2) Almost no technologically mature civilisations are interested in running computer simulations of minds like ours

(3) You are almost certainly in a simulation.

I think the premise is that once we (or any civilization) advance technologically enough, we're going to be running a whole lot of simulations of worlds like our own, so much so that odds of being "real" versus "fake" are biased toward the latter, since there's only one real world but lots of fake ones.

Cuddles
2006-Oct-24, 02:52 PM
If the world is completely in my head, how come I don't live the most fantastic life imaginable?"

I do. Hooray.:p

Ronald Brak
2006-Oct-24, 03:10 PM
All the elephants I perceive are gray. Since there are so many colours elephants could be apart from gray, the chances that we are perceiving elephants' real colour must be very small. Therefore we are most likely in a computer simulation.

Argos
2006-Oct-24, 03:30 PM
According to Roger Penrose, "consciousness involves noncomputable ingredients". Gödel´s theorem poses constraints to computations. Thus, such a "Matrix" simulation wouldn´t be possible.

Penrose´s Quantum Brain. (http://www.edge.org/documents/ThirdCulture/v-Ch.14.html)

Swift
2006-Oct-24, 03:43 PM
Reality is for people who can't handle:
- the drugs
- rock and roll
- science fiction.

Reality, what a concept!

Maksutov
2006-Oct-24, 03:57 PM
Reality is that thing that's still around after the power goes off and the computer stops working.

ciderman
2006-Oct-24, 04:17 PM
Unless you've got books ;)
lol

WaxRubiks
2006-Oct-24, 04:33 PM
reality is when you have fallen down a cliff you are sitting in the dark with two broken legs....


even your legs give you a kind of freedom that is unreal in a way.

Ozzy
2006-Oct-24, 05:11 PM
we hurt therefore we are?

Pinch ... OUCH! Feels real.

Ronald Brak
2006-Oct-24, 05:38 PM
we hurt therefore we are?

Pinch ... OUCH! Feels real.

If you for the sake of the arguement assume that what appears real is provisionally real, then you will tend to lead a happier life than than if you assume that say a table isn't real and walk into it.

I've met people who have insisted that life is but an illusion, Grasshopper. But I noticed that very few of them attempted to walk through walls on the basis that they weren't really there.

WaxRubiks
2006-Oct-24, 05:43 PM
I've met people who have insisted that life is but an illusion, Grasshopper. But I noticed that very few of them attempted to walk through walls on the basis that they weren't really there.


you mean you have noticed a few that have?:)

Ronald Brak
2006-Oct-24, 05:49 PM
you mean you have noticed a few that have?

Yes. However they had their ability to ignore reality reinforced by liberal intake of sake. It did allow passage through a wall, but as the wall was made of paper, perhaps this doesn't count.

farmerjumperdon
2006-Oct-24, 05:56 PM
This is "Brain in a Vat" or Solipsism.

I've got a better term for it:

Mental Masturbation.

But seriously, I agree with the point that if anyone agrees that this is not reality, then there is no point in further discussion of this, . . . or anything.

In fact, if someone is convinced this is not real, then there would be no harm at all in ending it all. What would be the purpose of living in a simulation if that was the only place you existed?

And philosophers wonder why they can't find work.

ciderman
2006-Oct-24, 06:09 PM
Anybody else thinking of Dark Star ? :D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Star_%28film%29

Ronald Brak
2006-Oct-24, 06:10 PM
In fact, if someone is convinced this is not real, then there would be no harm at all in ending it all. What would be the purpose of living in a simulation if that was the only place you existed?

Well, as I mentioned there I've met plenty of people who are convinced the world isn't real, but rather than not having a purpose they attempt to achieve enlightenment, which I think translates pretty well into happiness. Mind you, for people who were supposed to be seeking enlightenment they did seem to spend a lot of time eating, drinking, chasing members of the opposite sex and reading filthy comic books. Perhaps one day I will fully understand their wisdom.

Gerrsun
2006-Oct-24, 06:13 PM
[QUOTE=farmerjumperdon;852095]I've got a better term for it:

Mental Masturbation.

But seriously, I agree with the point that if anyone agrees that this is not reality, then there is no point in further discussion of this, . . . or anything.

In fact, if someone is convinced this is not real, then there would be no harm at all in ending it all. What would be the purpose of living in a simulation if that was the only place you existed?


>>>>Perhaps they are seeking something more than their current existence offers them?

>>>Why do people spend days on end in games like Worlds of Warcraft, 'virtual worlds' of a sort?

Impium Orexis
2006-Oct-24, 07:18 PM
Why do people spend days on end in games like Worlds of Warcraft, 'virtual worlds' of a sort?

Having previously played this game, I can tell you why I played it. It was the interaction with people with whom I would otherwise have had little to no chance of socializing with due to geography. When I grew to dislike these people, I realized how boring and tedious the game itself actually is.

Of course, if you assume the other players aren't actual people, then playing the game makes no more sense than interaction of any sort. Or it at least holds a value similar to playing solitaire.

WaxRubiks
2006-Oct-24, 07:19 PM
I dont think that it is mental masturbation, I think that there is a real possibility that we are in a simulation and not one on a 64bit pc but some kind of quantum neural network thingy.
Of course the people running the simulation may well be in a simulation them selfs and on and on.
Why would being in a simulation mean that life was meaningless?

Ronald Brak
2006-Oct-24, 07:23 PM
There are entire cultures that insist that life is an illusion yet they don't seem to lack meaning in their lives.

I think that life is a simulation = life has no meaning does not compute.

Impium Orexis
2006-Oct-24, 08:13 PM
It depends on which sort of sim you mean. If a person believes they are the only human in their simulation, then the interaction with the simulation is all they have, and many would consider that as meaningful as interaction with a doorknob. If it is a Matrix style sim, where the other poeple are actually people, then for many it would retain meaningful interaction.

Ronald Brak
2006-Oct-24, 08:29 PM
It depends on which sort of sim you mean. If a person believes they are the only human in their simulation, then the interaction with the simulation is all they have, and many would consider that as meaningful as interaction with a doorknob. If it is a Matrix style sim, where the other poeple are actually people, then for many it would retain meaningful interaction.

I still don't get it. If my uncle feel down the stairs and burst open revealing that he was packed full of vacuum tubes and my entire familly revealed that they were actually robots built in the 1950's and that they adopted me after finding me in a handbag at Kingscross Station, I wouldn't consider my past interaction with them as meaningful as interaction with a doorknob. Unless it was one darn clever doorknob. If the simulations can fake being people then they are effectively people, regardless if they are androids or a set of subroutines in some vast computer simulation. If your wife revealed to you that she was actually a man, perhaps you would be so shocked that you would stop loving her, but that doesn't mean that you didn't love her in the past. In the same way, if it turns out that other people are simulations it doesn't mean that your interaction with them wasn't meaningful.

Swift
2006-Oct-24, 08:54 PM
Originally Posted by Gerrsun
Why do people spend days on end in games like Worlds of Warcraft, 'virtual worlds' of a sort?Having previously played this game, I can tell you why I played it. It was the interaction with people with whom I would otherwise have had little to no chance of socializing with due to geography. When I grew to dislike these people, I realized how boring and tedious the game itself actually is.

Of course, if you assume the other players aren't actual people, then playing the game makes no more sense than interaction of any sort. Or it at least holds a value similar to playing solitaire.
I like such computer games and I usually play solitaire. And it is a little bit of "irreal", a world with simpler rules and if I don't like how things are going, I can start again. In moderation, a little "irreal" can be a good thing.

TrAI
2006-Oct-24, 10:08 PM
Hmmm... Whether the universe is simulated, a dream or what ever does not matter, does it? People are still bound by its rules, so to them it is real.

The real problem is how someone on a higher "layer" would think of them... Entertainment? research? moneysink?

Say you are sitting in front of a computer, watching a simulation where people are going around, living their life, having families and just trying to survive, would you feel any compunction about wipeing them all out? No one would care, would they, you would not get in any trouble by doing it, you are the god of this little reality... Where would the limit go, when you would no longer be able to bring yourself to terminate the program?

It is a little disturbing if one really think it trough, many computer games pits us as powerful beings against weaker opponents, if only because we will not end if our avatar does, some even lets us kill the people we really are supposed to defend, one might be annoyed by lost bonuses, trade, status or whatever, but sorrow for their end?... Is it just that it is easy to create a new instance of the people, enemies or allies, in a game by reloading?

Perhaps the people in the game are just following some simple instructions, but still, it is likely that the rather large slugg I saw today was too... I did not hurt it... and what about the times I have catched spiders or wasps inside and released them outside... I could have crushed them instead, it would have cost me less effort, I would not feel much sorrow over having done it, and they will not feel any gratitude towards me for not doing that... Kind of strange really, that I do try to catch them alive and let them go outside...

Impium Orexis
2006-Oct-25, 12:46 AM
If your wife revealed to you that she was actually a man, perhaps you would be so shocked that you would stop loving her, but that doesn't mean that you didn't love her in the past. In the same way, if it turns out that other people are simulations it doesn't mean that your interaction with them wasn't meaningful.

This seems to be a disagreement of perspective. If a conman convinces me that I'm in a high dollar business venture then swindles me, was I still in a high dollar business venture? Or did I just get ripped off? That's the way I'm looking at it. A long term investment, that in the end turned out to be false. While I may have felt love for the "woman", that love would have been robbed of its meaning, since it was all based on a falsehood to begin with. What is different between a computer program that simulates love and affection with the goal of convincing you of something that isn't so, and a regular person lying? Would the feelings for and interactions with the lying person still be meaningful?

mike alexander
2006-Oct-25, 12:55 AM
So we're all living at the Omega Point from Frank Tipler's "The Physics of Immortality"?

WaxRubiks
2006-Oct-25, 01:34 AM
This seems to be a disagreement of perspective. If a conman convinces me that I'm in a high dollar business venture then swindles me, was I still in a high dollar business venture? Or did I just get ripped off? That's the way I'm looking at it. A long term investment, that in the end turned out to be false. While I may have felt love for the "woman", that love would have been robbed of its meaning, since it was all based on a falsehood to begin with. What is different between a computer program that simulates love and affection with the goal of convincing you of something that isn't so, and a regular person lying? Would the feelings for and interactions with the lying person still be meaningful?

but if this were a simulation the other people you interact with would be as real to themselves as you. So it is not fake.

Gerrsun
2006-Oct-25, 01:44 AM
But now envision a WOW capable of creating an imaginary world with all the ups and downs of a real world but perhaps a few more 'ups' than 'downs' to keep you playing.


Build a world that is 'fun' but still requires you to keep playing so as to keep paying.

It's kinda like the old DnD joke where the wizard, the priest, the thief and the rogue sit down to play 'Payrolls and Paychecks' because managing budget accounts is fun! They fight trolls all day but what would it be like to run a warehouse!


So the 'current' world, our world, is the highly advanced WoW of another culture which may find things like car washing fascinating. :P

Maybe its an ACTUAL simulation, and Mitochondria are running the show, with us just as vessels, 'avatars' like in WoW. We couldn't spot them, or their intereactions, because the rules---'our science' ---aren't setup to see them. Maybe they are running some sim about evolutionary advancement and whether tech societies will destroy themselves or work out a peaceable solution.


Just mental meanderings....

Van Rijn
2006-Oct-25, 01:56 AM
According to Roger Penrose, "consciousness involves noncomputable ingredients". Gödel´s theorem poses constraints to computations. Thus, such a "Matrix" simulation wouldn´t be possible.

Penrose´s Quantum Brain. (http://www.edge.org/documents/ThirdCulture/v-Ch.14.html)

While I don't subscribe to solipsism, it does no good to point at Penrose's speculation about what is effectively a supernatural mind argument. It's fun speculation, but that's all it is.

I find that the rules of the world I live in are solid, always match experiment, and are often quite painful. There is nothing (such as occasional breaks in the rules or programming) that would suggest this was a simulation. If it is a simulation, either they messed up bad, or they don't like me much.

TrAI
2006-Oct-25, 05:07 AM
While I don't subscribe to solipsism, it does no good to point at Penrose's speculation about what is effectively a supernatural mind argument. It's fun speculation, but that's all it is.

I find that the rules of the world I live in are solid, always match experiment, and are often quite painful. There is nothing (such as occasional breaks in the rules or programming) that would suggest this was a simulation. If it is a simulation, either they messed up bad, or they don't like me much.

Well, one can't expect the rules to be anything else than solid though, for the people living in a simulation, its rules are the only way things can work there, and will be so for every time they run their experiments... Even if the whole thing crashes, nobody would notice it inside. The people running the simulation would just restart from an earlier point when the state that caused the error is corrected.

Van Rijn
2006-Oct-25, 05:44 AM
Well, one can't expect the rules to be anything else than solid though, for the people living in a simulation, its rules are the only way things can work there, and will be so for every time they run their experiments... Even if the whole thing crashes, nobody would notice it inside. The people running the simulation would just restart from an earlier point when the state that caused the error is corrected.

If there are no glitches in the rules then the medium of operation is irrelevent. It isn't a simulation. It is as real as real can be.

ASEI
2006-Oct-25, 06:45 AM
Consider that a computer running a simulation of a universe would need to contain at least as much information (in it's physical structure, in whatever universe that it exists in terms of) as the universe being simulted.

I suppose worlds like the Matrix would run various tricks (simplifying the model wherever possible (such as when simulated scientists aren't staring into their simulated microscopes)), but then things begin getting very complex (with convoluted boundary conditions that may exceed the complexity of the phenomena they're supposed to screen) very fast.

If you wanted to do a straight-up honest simulation of the universe we inhabit, you'd have to go at least as far down as the quantum level, and have variables for every fundamental quantity of every fundamental particle. Don't even get started on the required CFL numbers or grid sizing. :-P

Chances are that a simulated universe would be limited to some manageable fraction of the complexity of the universe the computer inhabits, with very well defined finite boundaries.


If there are no glitches in the rules then the medium of operation is irrelevent. It isn't a simulation. It is as real as real can be.

That's true too. A simulated universe isn't "fake" exactly. It operates according to a vector of state variables and mathematical laws. Any given computer operating on the state variables according to the laws gets to see what happens "next" in that given universe. :-P. But if our universe is a simulation, I bet we get to see what happens in a lot less "time" than it takes anyone attempting to simulate our physics. :D

PS, even if we were to posit that the universe was a simulation (set of numbers with operating laws), it doesn't follow that the things within it somehow do not "matter". We still exist in terms of it, and the things within it still have value and consequence to us in the same manner they always have.

Ronald Brak
2006-Oct-25, 06:54 AM
Consider that a computer running a simulation of a universe would need to contain at least as much information (in it's physical structure, in whatever universe that it exists in terms of) as the universe being simulted.

I suppose worlds like the Matrix would run various tricks (simplifying the model wherever possible (such as when simulated scientists aren't staring into their simulated microscopes)), but then things begin getting very complex (with convoluted boundary conditions that may exceed the complexity of the phenomena they're supposed to screen) very fast.

If you wanted to do a straight-up honest simulation of the universe we inhabit, you'd have to go at least as far down as the quantum level, and have variables for every fundamental quantity of every fundamental particle. Don't even get started on the required CFL numbers or grid sizing. :-P

Chances are that a simulated universe would be limited to some manageable fraction of the complexity of the universe the computer inhabits, with very well defined finite boundaries.

Or we could just be programmed to think that everything makes sense no matter what we see. For example when you dream it's not necessary for your dream to be incredibly detailed to seem real. You just have to think it's real. Personally when I'm dreaming I never question why my hat has grown legs and is chasing after me.

ASEI
2006-Oct-25, 07:02 AM
Or we could just be programmed to think that everything makes sense no matter what we see. For example when you dream it's not necessary for your dream to be incredibly detailed to seem real. You just have to think it's real. Personally when I'm dreaming I never question why my hat has grown legs and is chasing after me. Ahh, but the complexity, detail, and consistence of the universe vastly immensely exceed anything that our poor brains conjure up while we're asleep. (The finity of the computer conjuring the dream is one of the reasons why it never retains much detail or makes any consistent sort of sense, or retains the same information from moment to moment)

TrAI
2006-Oct-25, 07:24 AM
If there are no glitches in the rules then the medium of operation is irrelevent. It isn't a simulation. It is as real as real can be.

Indeed, for the people in the simulation, the simulated reality is just as real as the reality of someone that was not in a simulated reality. Of course, the rules doesn't have to be the same, it may be intresting for a civilisation with the technology to make such simulations to look into how different rules would affect the development of a universe.

So, I would say that it really doesn't matter if the universe run on computers, is someones dream, is some hole in a nothingness that just popped up by itself or something else entirely, it is real to its inhabitants, and its rules have very real conseqences to them...

farmerjumperdon
2006-Oct-25, 01:53 PM
Well, as I mentioned there I've met plenty of people who are convinced the world isn't real, . . .

Anyone who thinks the world is not real should be willing to give me all their money - - - NOW!

If the world as we experience it is not real, then not having any money won't matter in the least right? I mean, even the money wouldn't be real, so just give me all your money, which you are convinced is not real anyway.

Won't hurt them at all, and I'll get more toys, which they would say are not real.

farmerjumperdon
2006-Oct-25, 01:59 PM
Perhaps they are seeking something more than their current existence offers them?

>>>Why do people spend days on end in games like Worlds of Warcraft, 'virtual worlds' of a sort?

But if this is not real, if it is just a simulation, then the whole concept of exercizing options does not even exist.

How people spend their time isn't really relevant. Some people play electronic games. I garden, skydive, and read. How is one more relevant to the belief some people have that our lives only exist as a simulation?

farmerjumperdon
2006-Oct-25, 02:02 PM
I dont think that it is mental masturbation, I think that there is a real possibility that we are in a simulation and not one on a 64bit pc but some kind of quantum neural network thingy.
Of course the people running the simulation may well be in a simulation them selfs and on and on.
Why would being in a simulation mean that life was meaningless?

Because it would mean you aren't actually a living creature. If by simualtion you mean that maybe some entity is running an experiment, such as the Earth as a sort of zoo or exhibit or maze, than that is different; and would qualify as real life.

A program is not life.

WaxRubiks
2006-Oct-25, 02:13 PM
A program is not life.


that would depend on the program and the thing running the program.

ASEI
2006-Oct-25, 02:13 PM
A program is not life. That's a weird distinction though. If you were capable of creating a program that ran all the levels of detail (or at least enough levels of detail) to fully capture the behavior of life, down to a functioning mind interacting with the environment, then how is it qualitatively less valuable than one whose operations employ proteins and organic molecules, rather than numbers simulating proteins and organic molecules, neurons, ect.

A gear is a gear, right?

Gerrsun
2006-Oct-25, 03:51 PM
[QUOTE=farmerjumperdon;852797]But if this is not real, if it is just a simulation, then the whole concept of exercizing options does not even exist.

Exactly. So no free will right?

TrAI
2006-Oct-25, 09:36 PM
[QUOTE=farmerjumperdon;852797]But if this is not real, if it is just a simulation, then the whole concept of exercizing options does not even exist.

Exactly. So no free will right?

There is no reason to believe that there is any less possibility for free will in a simulated reality than in a nonsimulated one. Rather it would be more a case of limited freedom to choose, just like humans have, there are many parts of a personality, that is not under consious control, but that affects our choices. Things like emotions, insticts, needs and so on all affects choices.

Choices in a simulated reality is just as important to a simulated entity as real choices is to real people. So, perhaps a simulated persons choices does not have any impact outside the simulated reality, but then again, a nonsimulated persons choices is under the same restrictions, their choices is limited by and to the reality they inhabit.

It makes no more sense to, for example send all your money to someone else, just based on a belief that this reality is simulated. The rules of a simulated reality is just as unforgiving as those of a nonsimulated one. The only difference is in the implimentation.

Come to think about it, it is not a question with an answer that is ether true or false, you could have hybrids between the real and the simulated, for example have real people immersed in an artificial reality, the people could excist seperate from the simulation.

It is hard to see where one should draw the line. Of course a simulated reality does imply a designer that has a large amount of power over how it turns out, and the medium for the simulation is something that exsist within the designers reality, while a nonsimulated reality does not imply a designer, but may have had a creator, that started it, but is not in control, and is not needed for its long term continuation, for example if a seperate universe was seeded by a very advanced civilisation, based on their knowledge of their own universe.

afterburner
2006-Oct-25, 09:52 PM
So, would the "main" computer run out of CPU power when we invent technology that will enable us to simulate reality with 'this' kind of detail?

Ronald Brak
2006-Oct-25, 10:24 PM
Anyone who thinks the world is not real should be willing to give me all their money - - - NOW!

If the world as we experience it is not real, then not having any money won't matter in the least right? I mean, even the money wouldn't be real, so just give me all your money, which you are convinced is not real anyway.

Won't hurt them at all, and I'll get more toys, which they would say are not real.

Well one explained to me as follows: "I shouldn't drink, I shouldn't gamble, I shouldn't chase women. But I like drinking and I like gambling and I like women. I am bad XXXXXXXX priest."

TrAI
2006-Oct-25, 11:00 PM
So, would the "main" computer run out of CPU power when we invent technology that will enable us to simulate reality with 'this' kind of detail?

It depends on the approach the computer running the simulation uses, if it is computing every simulated particle and all their interactions all the time, it would be working fairly constantly at the same level of processor usage regardless of how thing are arranged in the simulation, so even a computer made from the entire simulated universe would not change this.

If it uses shortcuts to some of the simulations, it may reach full processor usage if something complex enough is made inside the simulated reality. The simulating computer running out of processing power would result in the entire simulation running slower, however this would not be noticed inside the simulation, only by its operators.

mugaliens
2006-Oct-26, 10:47 AM
I think there was a thread on this previously. I was watching the Daily Planet last night on Discovery Canada and they had a segment called Jay's Journal (Jay is one of the co-hosts). In last night's segment he discussed the nature of reality and whether or not our existence is real or is some sort of computer simulation. He said that philosophers are taking this idea very seriously and that some of them have gone so far as to actually say that the possibility of something like this being true is greater that 50%. I can't believe that anyone would give this idea any serious credence. I feel pretty real to me. How about you? Are you real?

It's amazing what philosophers are willing to believe.

Yes, we're all in the Matrix. Reality is an illusion to turn you into a coppertop...

:wall:

ASEI
2006-Oct-26, 10:54 AM
There definitely does appear to be an attraction to the assertion that the "world isn't real/doesn't matter/isn't important", and almost any excuse that could lend weight to it. The improbable notion of it all being a computer simulation, for example. Or the numerous unfocused appeals to it all being the machination of a vast evil conspiracy anyways. Abuse of quantum physics.

Anything at all to support rank solipsism.

ASEI
2006-Oct-26, 10:57 AM
Since we define "real" in terms of the state of the world, isn't claiming that the world (whatever it's mode of operation) is not real almost like saying the world is not what it is, and hence a contradiction?

Donnie B.
2006-Oct-26, 11:33 AM
Since we define "real" in terms of the state of the world, isn't claiming that the world (whatever it's mode of operation) is not real almost like saying the world is not what it is, and hence a contradiction?Now you're really starting to sound like a philosopher. :shifty: