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Originally posted by schuyler
Interesting. I've often thought we are actually avatars in a 'Second Life' scenario. We are made in 'God's image' (I use the term very loosely.) then we turn around and do the same thing. We play. We make models. We make up stories. We make avatars after idealized images of what we might like to look like. Maybe Second Life should be Third Life.
There's a book: The Universe: Solved, buy a guy who thinks the universe is a computer program. You'll have to look it up. I'm in a hurry for this post. who makes the case for the granularity of the Universe being caused by not enough memory. The entire book is not spectatcular, but he has his say and I think it's worth a read.
Could god have set up this science project we called the universe? Why would god bother?
Originally posted by dlifesjrny
About the The Sims thing, so he's saying it's possible that you are actually telling me that you are part of my game? Pretty revealing of yourself, no? It's like finding out I'm on The Truman Show.
What is Reality, Really?
Let's start with two simple exercises.
For the first one, I ask the question "How do you know that what you perceive is not an illusion?" Your perception of reality is nothing more than electrochemical reactions in your brain. So is it not possible that those perceptions are actually produced by an intelligent computer program that is linked to your gray matter via some wireless network? As we shall see, such a technology is only years away.
Thought experiment #2...
How do we really know what happened 2000 years ago? From what we read in books? Doesn't it seem kind of arbitrary that we might consider some books to be authoritative history and others simply mythology. Theoretically, our history may have been planted into our society and collective consciousness. If so when did our "real" history start? 500 years ago? 100 years ago? One might argue that it couldn't have started a century ago because we have contemporaries who were alive then. And since they had contemporaries who were a live many years before their birth and so on back to ancient times, it would seem impossible that an artificial reality could be imposed upon us. However, we are only years away from the ability to upload, download, erase, and restore our brains memory banks. Which makes it impossible to be fooled into believing an entirely different reality?
For many people out there, reality is simple, and unquestionable. You are taught what reality is by your parents, teachers, leaders and friends. It is what you see around you - a continuum of objects at various positions and states, all of which is smoothly moving along in time. You trust history and sciences that you are taught in school. The winners of the World Wars were good guys. You obey the laws that your country and religion set forth because they are "right". You trust your recollections from the past. We evolved from apes, time travel is just science fiction, and every human is an independent living being with free will.
Probe a little deeper, however, and things change a bit. Political parties vehemently disagree on policy, different religions disagree on right and wrong, history sometimes turns out to be different than you thought. The same people funded both sides of WWII. Science says that free will is an illusion. Religious leaders and mainstream science disagree on the question of an afterlife. You peer deeper and deeper into space and find strange anomalies that defy explanation with current physical laws. You peer deeper and deeper into the atom and things really get strange. You find that time and space is not really continuous but discreet, like a TV screen.
Probe even deeper, spend some time surfing the web, listening to alternative radio programs like "Coast to Coast AM", reading conspiracy books or new age books, and you may find yourself becoming a truth seeker. If reality is what we perceive, for example, and what we perceive is based on a large set of neural synapse firings, then isn't reality just an artifact of what your brain is doing? And the more you probe, the more you will no doubt be confused by the morass of seemingly conflicting information that is out there.
1. Standard science taught in American schools, supports Darwin's theory of evolution of life.
BUT, many scientists disagree and embrace an "interventionist" point of view. The late world-renowned astronomer from Cambridge University, Sir Fred Hoyle, once said that the probability of producing life anywhere in the universe from evolutionary processes, was similar to the probability of a whirlwind assembling a fully operational Boeing 747 jumbo jet from its parts.
2. Mainstream scientists say that there is no such thing as paranormal phenomena.
BUT, alternative viewpoints are supported by strong experimental evidence. State of the art mass consciousness studies by no less of a reputable institution than Princeton University have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there are phenomena that are completely unexplained by conventional science.
3. Well respected scientists, such as the late Carl Sagan, deny the existence of UFOs.
BUT, astronauts, such as Edgar Mitchell, scientists such as the late Harvard Professor Dr. John Mack, and respected statesmen like Jimmy Carter have seen UFOs, and believe that they are extraterrestrial in origin.
4. The Warren Commission's and the official US government's position on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, is that it was done by alone gunman.
BUT 77% of the people in the United States, according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll, disagree with the Warren Report's conclusion, and believe instead that JFK assassination was a conspiracy, and possibly, a coup d’état.
5. Conventional wisdom is that the physical world that we experience is exactly what it seems to be; e.g. what you see is what you get.
BUT, some reputable scientists believe that there are too many levels of reality. Psychedelic drugs may allow the user to jump between levels. A philosopher from Oxford University has written a paper implying that we are actually living in a simulation, a la "The Matrix"
So, which is it?
Do we live in a world that is exactly as it seems to be? One in which there are no UFOs, no Yetis, no conspiracies, there was no Atlantis, the Egyptians build the pyramids, paranormal experiences are hoaxes or have simple explanations, the earth is 4 billion years old, humans evolved from the apes over the past two million years, you can trust your government, we only have five senses, and when a tree falls in the woods, it makes a sound if nobody is there.
Is our world completely different than what we think we perceive? One in which humans are the result of extraterrestrial genetic experiments, parallel universes exist and can be traveled between by ingesting Ayahuasca or simple remote viewing, there is a huge global conspiracy involving hidden knowledge, with a reptilian shape-shifting power elite at the top, and falling trees only make a sound if observed, although valid observers do include plants and rocks.
Or is it somewhere in-between.
And how do we decide where the truth lies? -- From the Universe Solved by Jim Elvidge