• Barkon
    112
    a locale in a universe.
  • Ludwig V
    932
    Fair enough. How do we know what the locale is really like, so that we can evaluate the simulation as accurate or not?
  • Barkon
    112
    perhaps this is beyond you. And if moral judgement is to be displaced, perhaps you made the decision to be in this state.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Please, go to the Shoutbox and solve the equation I posed to you. Or is it beyond you?
  • Barkon
    112
    it's not my sort of question. *Not my sort of question dance* I'm a philosopher, and this is a philosophy forum.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Curious, you present yourself as understanding the concept of "4D space" and simulation much better than others but you can't solve a simple middle school equation.

    Have you ever imagined that what you say is not actual understanding of something but word-salad that comes from cloudy thoughts?
  • Barkon
    112
    In short answering that question would be going out of my comfort zone of letting thoughts pop up and acting on them because it was created by you to test my mettle but I have no real need to testify.
  • Barkon
    112
    4D space is easy, it's just the nature of the zoom. As you zoom passed stars in the night sky and realize yourself in whatever juxtaposition you may have caused.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    4D space is easy, it's just the nature of the zoom. As you zoom passed stars in the night sky and realize yourself in whatever juxtaposition you may have caused.Barkon

    This is nonsensical gibberish and you have no clue what you are talking about. I challenge you to reference one single scientist or philosopher that says anything like that concerning 4D space.
  • Barkon
    112
    how does one moment transition to the next if not by zooming through hyperspace-time?
  • Barkon
    112
    Does that not entail that it is a simulation as well? I rest my case.
  • Barkon
    112
    It's whether or not it is a simulation at its root you question, I can't tell but we are in an ideal configuration of life where a perfect eclipse occurs in our solar system. Which is something to at least feel shocked by, and being shocked, I can at least lean towards the answer it is a simulation at its root.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    how does one moment transition to the next if not by zooming through hyperspace-time?Barkon

    In no way because that makes zero sense. Zoom refers to scaling an image using lenses, not to whatever you are trying to say. And you were talking about 4D, not as time as an extra dimension to the 3 spatial ones.

    Does that not entail that it is a simulation as well? I rest my case.Barkon

    No, and you had no case, just gibberish.
  • Mikie
    6.3k
    It reminds of Descartes, but it is not strictly the same.Lionino

    I didn’t say it was the same— it has unique features. But in line with the tradition, in my view, of being an utter waste of time.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Descartes himself admitted it was a "waste of time".

    Thus the importance of Descartes’ First Meditation remark that “no danger or error will result” from the program of methodical doubt, “because the task now in hand does not involve action” (AT 7:22, CSM 2:15). Methodical doubt should not be applied to practical matters. Prudence dictates that when making practical decisions I should assume I’m awake, even if I don’t perfectly know that I’m awake. Judgment errors made while mistakenly assuming I’m awake do not have actual practical consequences, unlike those made while mistakenly assuming I’m dreaming. — SEP's Descartes' Epistemology
  • Ludwig V
    932


    That's not what the quotation says - unless you take "not involving practical action" to mean "waste of time".

    Similarly, why don't we sometimes notice violations of the laws of physics?jasonm
    Well, perhaps we do. But when we do, we don't immediately assume that they are violations of anything. The most reasonable assumption is that we don't understand what is going on. Sometimes, it turns out that what we've noticed doesn't violate our laws of physics. Somtimes we decide that our laws need to be revised. It would take an awful lot to conclude that the phenomena betray the hidden machinery of a simulation. To conclude that would be no more reasonable than concluding that God had performed a miracle.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    unless you take "not involving practical action" to mean "waste of time".Ludwig V

    That is exactly what I am taking it to be, as that is what I think Mikie means by waste of time — no way to be sure however.
  • Ludwig V
    932


    Well, there are different ideas of what constitutes a waste of time.

    I do think that Descartes' exercise is a waste of time. It's just that I don't equate all theoretical work with wasting time.

    Mind you, the second phase of Descartes' project is to find one's way out of the scepticism of the first phase, so perhaps the waste of time is allowing oneself to become stuck in the first phase of it.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    I do think that Descartes' exercise is a waste of timeLudwig V

    the second phase of Descartes' project is to find one's way out of the scepticism of the first phase, so perhaps the waste of time is allowing oneself to become stuck in the first phase of itLudwig V

    :smile:
  • Scarecow
    15
    Why should we limit ourselves to computer simulations? Our world could be simulated inside of a cosmic brain.
  • Ludwig V
    932


    Why should we limit ourselves to computer simulations? Our world could be simulated inside of a cosmic brain.Scarecow
    Interesting.

    A cosmic brain would be at least very like a god and there are plenty of ideas along those lines - and plenty of people believe them.

    So the simulation hypothesis could be seen as a new version of an old idea, perhaps more suitable for our materialistic culture.

    The question then arises why people actually believe them?
  • ENOAH
    494
    it is impossible to produce a complete representation or simulation of Mona Lisa.

    Yet many people seem to believe that the whole universe, or at least our experienced part of the universe, is or could be a simulation.
    jkop

    Interesting, your discussion of "representation." I do not believe the universe is a simulation.

    And I don't believe our experiences are or are a part of a simulation.

    But I am entertaining the thought that our experiences are representations (or at least structured thereby/processed thereby). No need to elaborate now. But does your adamant position regarding simulation preclude that?

    Could it be, Nature is not a simulation. We are not in a simulation. But--to be very brief and simplistic--because all of our knowledge is "delivered/processed/constructed" by representation (of the presumably real thing--like your Mona Lisa), we are necessarily "closed off/boxed off/inaccessible to" the real "thing;" causing this (problematic) intuition that our experiences are "appearances/projections/illusions"? Hence, the idea in popular culture of the Simulation.

    And though I am far from understanding the physics..., maybe even the scientist/mathematicians who so theorize (about a simulation), do so because they are inevitably using our representation based experiences to uncover reality, I.e , to uncover always "the Real thing" of things. And yet, those representations necessarily box us off from that real thing (just as the painting necessarily boxes us off from the real Mona). This inevitably causes them to arrive at calculations and conclusions suggesting we must be in a simulation. While, really, it is because they are only examining representation, and they are only using tools of representation.
  • ENOAH
    494
    Ofc I'm on some fantasy rant here. But I enjoy dabbling in wild metaphysical speculationBenj96

    I think this topic betrays the underlying current of art which--like it or not--drives all philosophy.

    Also, ultimately, if it were a Simulation (which I have no reason to believe) then our efforts to prove or disprove are absurd give the "Simulator" would likely be utterly other than us and our comprehension. And yet we toil.

    Which I guess brings us back to art.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k

    :down:
    It is impolite to ask for an opinion, receive one and not replying.
  • fishfry
    2.9k
    He doesn't seem to know the difference between the simulation argument (Bostrom is a good example of this) and a virtual reality argument (the Matrix is the typical example).noAxioms

    It's never been clear to me whether Bostrom himself makes this distinction.

    If the point is merely that we're being fooled by the simulator, this is just Descartes's clever Deceiver. Since my consciousness is outside the the simulation (or as Descartes puts it, even if I'm deceived, there's still an I that's being deceived) the simulation argument explains nothing. The mystery of consciousness remains.

    But if my consciousness itself is simulated, then the simulation argument requires that consciousness is computational, a point I strenuously disagree with, with Penrose and Searle on my side.

    Does Bostrom actually address this distinction?
  • noAxioms
    1.4k
    Does Bostrom actually address this distinction?fishfry
    Bostrom seems to presume that consciousness is computational, and leaves it undefended.
    In such a simulation, nobody is being fooled.

    In a VR, is it a lie to have the subject experience a world that is not the same world as the reality in which the mind exists? If so, most forms of dualism are arguably deceptions.

    It is impolite to ask for an opinion, receive one and not replying.Alkis Piskas
    You're not the first in this thread to express disapproval of this practice. I noted it before I posted my first reply and didn't bother to address any of his post directly, knowing that he seems not to even read any of the replies to most of his topics.
  • fishfry
    2.9k
    Does Bostrom actually address this distinction?
    — fishfry
    Bostrom seems to presume that consciousness is computational, and leaves it undefended.
    In such a simulation, nobody is being fooled.
    noAxioms

    I've seen the argument -- perhaps this wasn't in the original Bostrom paper, I don't recall -- that we should consider Pong, the original video game. versus the amazingly realistic video games of today. The argument is that in the far future, our video game technology will be indistinguishable from reality.

    That might be true.

    But if the Great Simulator in the Sky (and exactly how is that any different than God?) is implementing my consciousness as well as my perceptions, then we have made NO progress since the days of Pong, since we have no idea how to implement or simulate consciousness. So that argument fails. That's one of my objections to simulation theory. The "progress in video games" argument" fails. We've made no progress in simulating consciousness.

    In a VR, is it a lie to have the subject experience a world that is not the same world as the reality in which the mind exists? If so, most forms of dualism are arguably deceptions.noAxioms

    But it's a commonplace fact that we don't experience reality as it is. There are sounds out there that bats hear and we don't. Flies have those crazy compound eyes. We're back to Plato's cave and Kant's nuomena. There's a reality "out there" and we only experience its shadow, or representations of it mediated, filtered, and distorted by our senses. Huxley's doors of perception. The idea is clearly true. Our vision is terrible. If we had better resolution we could see molecules.

    Berkeley had the most parsimonious version of this idea. Since we experience everything through our senses, there's no need for an outside world at all.
  • Echarmion
    2.5k
    But if the Great Simulator in the Sky (and exactly how is that any different than God?) is implementing my consciousness as well as my perceptions, then we have made NO progress since the days of Pong, since we have no idea how to implement or simulate consciousness. So that argument fails. That's one of my objections to simulation theory. The "progress in video games" argument" fails. We've made no progress in simulating consciousness.fishfry

    I would put things differently. We have clearly made tremendous progress in simulating all manner of physical processes, including those happening inside brains. Where we have made no progress is in developing a conceptual framework for connecting such physical processes with the subjective experience of consciousness.

    We are already able to create systems that appear like a conscious subject on a passing glance (though humans also occasionally ascribe consciousness to anything from cats to rocks, so perhaps that's not surprising). It seems likely that we'll be able to create artificial systems which are indistinguishable from conscious subjects in a number of circumstances in the near future.

    Perhaps this will bring us closer to understanding our own consciousness, but perhaps not.
  • chiknsld
    314
    I am sure that all of you have heard it before: "We are living in a 'simulation' and such a virtual world is the same as the 'real world' in every respect, except that it is simulated and therefore 'not real.'"

    I have a few arguments against this notion:

    First, if the world is simulated, why don't its 'designers' simply 'pop out' at times and leave us with some trace of their existence? Guidance through such a virtual world might be helpful, and yet there is no trace of anyone 'programming' or 'guiding' us anywhere.

    Similarly, why don't we sometimes notice violations of the laws of physics? If it's just a simulation, does it matter if the laws of physics are perfectly consistent? This applies to any law of this simulated world, including propositional logic. Again, if you are there, leave us with some trace of your existence through 'miracles' and other types of anomalies that our world does not seem to have. And yet there seems to be no instances of this kind.

    Third: what type of computing power would be required to 'house' this virtual universe? Are we talking about computers that are bigger than the universe itself? Is this possible even in principle?

    Nevertheless, I think the best answer comes from Occam's Razor: "Explanations that posit fewer entities, or fewer kinds of entities, are to be preferred to explanations that posit more."

    In that sense, I think the notion that the universe is 'simulated' is completely superfluous and can therefore be explained away as being 'highly improbable.'

    Your opinion?
    jasonm

    It might be possible that some people actually are in the simulation, but if that is the case they should be aware of it, as they would have a marker.
  • Ludwig V
    932
    We are already able to create systems that appear like a conscious subject on a passing glance (though humans also occasionally ascribe consciousness to anything from cats to rocks, so perhaps that's not surprising). It seems likely that we'll be able to create artificial systems which are indistinguishable from conscious subjects in a number of circumstances in the near future.Echarmion

    What it shows is that being a person is not simply a matter of fact, like weighing 15 stone or being 6 ft tall. It is a whole network of concepts (language game) which define, not only the properties a person has but their abilities and responses and, most important, the relationships we can have with them. So we can decide to treat as persons things that we know aren't "really" persons. Wasn't there a film in which someone fell in love with one of the voices that they give to machines these days?

    It is also possible to treat cats (and people) as physical objects. Sometimes this is "dehumanizing" and morally objectionable. But analysing people as machines has also been incredibly productive. So it's not simply false (or true).

    It seems likely that we'll be able to create artificial systems which are indistinguishable from conscious subjects in a number of circumstances in the near future.Echarmion
    There is a story that Hitler was able to throw a tantrum whenever it suited him. He may have been faking it at the beginning, but people around him had to treat it as genuine. They ended up not being able to tell the difference, but then having to respond on the basis it was genuine. The question whether it was genuine or merely indistinguishable was impossible to answer. But it wasn't just about some fact about Hitler; it was also about their decision how to respond.
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