Can anyone make a good case against the simulation argument?

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posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by yadda333
I love ATS because there are so many "geniuses" on here. OP did not pull this out of thin air.

www.simulation-argument.com...

Nick Bostrom is way smarter than any of you.


are you aware of nick bostrom's thoughts or have you just added a link you found on google?

faq no.2


2. Do you really believe that we are in a computer simulation? No


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philosophers have the luxury of not having to provide any evidence for their ideas - they only have to be logicaly consistent

what are your thoughts?
edit on 29-10-2012 by aynock because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by TheSubversiveOne

Every 'simulated universe' that has been possible or even fathomed has been created by man within the confines of the real universe. Every simulated universe needs a real universe to simulate. Without the real universe, there could be no simulated universes to base them on.

Any simulation ever conceived is modelled, at least partially, after reality. If it isn't, it cannot be called a simulation. The word simulation, the idea of a simulation, and all creations of simulations have been done so by man on a planet called earth. How can one fathom the idea of a simulation outside of its context? It cannot be done.


If anything this is an assumption you're making with no adequate knowledge or information. Our concept of what's real is relative to many things. Just because the idea that a universe could be a program running on a external computer is hard for you to contemplate, that doesn't make it nonviable. How do you know reality only pertains to our current perception of 3 spatial dimensions, time, on one secluded planet with conditions we've adapted to over the course of millenia?

You also say that a simulation cannot exist within a simulation. Which is again, a surmise absent of proper knowledge. I'm not saying that I have the answers, or that you're wrong and I'm correct. I'm saying that your points don't disprove -- logically or factually -- the simulation argument. I believe many of these questions and theories will be answered with the advent of large-scale quantum computers. You can check a recent thread of mine linking to a new discovery by Princeton. A path for creating processors with millions of q-bits. Millions. According to IBM, a processor with 250 q-bits contains more bits than there are particles in the universe. The implications here are vast.



Lets pretend an ant farm is a simulation of an anthill. To the ant inside, the ant farm appears and works much like an ant hill. For all the ant knows, his home is an anthill. But who created this simulation? Every time the answer would be man created it. So unless man is somehow existing outside of our universe, there is no need to believe reality is a simulation. Doing so is an anthropomorphism.


Sorry I might need to read this a few times to understand what you're trying to say. First off, comparing an ant farm to a simulated universe probably isn't the best analogy...

You're saying that if human beings in particular don't live outside our universe, that there's no need to believe we're a simulation. One, why does man have to be involved? Two, how do you know no intelligent being lives outside the confines of our universe? Three, you're assuming that other universes/realities must be identical to &/or closely resemble ours. Let's say that the external 'universe' does resemble ours in most/all ways; that doesn't add or take away from the overall validity.

The theory is based largely on the existence of computers and their potential for being able to run simulations. Take a look at modern video gaming & you can see this is a comparatively rudimentary simulation. It's also a theory that requires some medium through which a simulation can exist. For us that's computers. Whether or not every simulation eventually has a species that reaches a technological point for simulating universes, I do not know. The possibility still remains, that we may be one; or that we came into existence spontaneously from nothing, and are the FIRST "real universe". Statistically speaking the chances of this don't seem too high.
edit on 29-10-2012 by Raelsatu because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 07:37 PM
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reply to post by aynock
 


I'm well aware of Bostrom's ideas on this and other things--I pointed an ATSer to his paper a couple/few years ago. And him not believing that a posthuman civilization would have any interest in making ancestor machines makes no difference.

My post is just the continued illumination of what I feel is one of the more laughable elements of ATS--arrogant posters who believe they're smarter than experts.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by yadda333
 


I'm well aware of Bostrom's ideas on this and other things--I pointed an ATSer to his paper a couple/few years ago. And him not believing that a posthuman civilization would have any interest in making ancestor machines makes no difference.

My post is just the continued illumination of what I feel is one of the more laughable elements of ATS--arrogant posters who believe they're smarter than experts.

Maybe I have poor reading comprehension, but it certainly looked to me like OP made a post containing an argument, and members of the site replied to weigh in on the argument.

If that's not what this forum is for, then what is it for?

As for Bostrom, if you have read his paper and see a point that everybody's missing, then point it out.

Coming in and calling everybody stupid for not having read something no soul in this thread can reasonably have been expected to have read, could be excused as merely poor manners if you then enlightened people as to where they erred. But to have done the former but not have done the latter means either you are unwilling to contribute and just came here to troll, or you don't actually have the deep understanding and clarity of this issue you are trying to make everybody think you have.

Perhaps you read the paper once and it made sense to you then and you think yourself super-enlightened for having read a legit paper, but if you can't disseminate what's in your head or otherwise make good use of it, it's as good as you having never read it. There is nobody to pat you on the back but yourself.

As for arrogance, there is no need to comment on the irony, though it deserves a mention.

edit on 29-10-2012 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by Raelsatu
 


I'll see if I can write it out in an equation, although I haven't spent much time with formal logic.

Let's presuppose that there is exactly one universe [ ∃!U = u ] that humanity [ H ] exists within
[ uH = x ]. In other words, the universe begets humanity. Soon, humanity gives rise to the computer(C) all within the universe [ xC = y ]. Next the human and the computer together while existing in the universe gives rise to The Simulation(S)—the same concept the author uses—as we know and define it [ y ⊨ S = z ]. The universe entails humanity, which when combined with the computer, entails the simulation and the concept of a simulation—which ends up as something like this, I think:
[ x ∧ y ∧ z = n ]

Now here's the author's equation due to my interpretation, after we've forced the equation within and into itself to get anywhere and this is the result: [ ( x ∧ y ∧ z = n ) = S ] or [ n = S ], which is a logic-bending stretch of the imagination. How can a simulation, which is a product of mankind, which in turn is the product of the universe in which we exist, produce the same universe and the same mankind and the same computers and the same simulation within itself ad infinitum? There is no examples anywhere of anything producing itself within itself.

A computer, and thus a simulation, is a bad analogy of the universe, simply because we create the computers and the simulations, and not the universe we ourselves exist in.

I can't say for sure that we're not living in a giant fishbowl or ant-farm or a simulation, but whatever it is is nothing like a fishbowl, an ant-farm or a simulation as we know and define the terms. It can only be something else.

edit on 29-10-2012 by TheSubversiveOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened

Originally posted by yadda333
 


I'm well aware of Bostrom's ideas on this and other things--I pointed an ATSer to his paper a couple/few years ago. And him not believing that a posthuman civilization would have any interest in making ancestor machines makes no difference.

My post is just the continued illumination of what I feel is one of the more laughable elements of ATS--arrogant posters who believe they're smarter than experts.

Maybe I have poor reading comprehension]


Yes, you do have poor reading comprehension as I only pointed out a certain group.

My points still stand.



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 12:24 AM
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Originally posted by yadda333
My points still stand.


Your points, to date, seem to be:

1) Smart guy at Oxford has weighed in on this.
2) You ATS posters are morons for disagreeing with him.
3) (Oopsies, "smart guy at Oxford" doesn't agree with OP)

Bottom line, as I stated earlier, if it's a crappy line of logic, as the OP's is, it doesn't matter if it comes from Oxford or Frostbite Falls College, it's a stupid argument. The fact that your Oxford lad seems to agree with that, not withstanding.



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by yadda333
My points still stand.


Your points, to date, seem to be:

1) Smart guy at Oxford has weighed in on this.
2) You ATS posters are morons for disagreeing with him.
3) (Oopsies, "smart guy at Oxford" doesn't agree with OP)

Bottom line, as I stated earlier, if it's a crappy line of logic, as the OP's is, it doesn't matter if it comes from Oxford or Frostbite Falls College, it's a stupid argument. The fact that your Oxford lad seems to agree with that, not withstanding.


Again, I already pointed out that I know that Bostrom doesn't think we're in a simulation. But it's not because his argument isn't sound (his reason below).

I understand that I have likely posted too much text for you to decipher, but please try your best so that you can begin to understand why he comes to his conclusion. Just take it slowly--one word at a time--one sentence at a time--etc. If reading the text proves too difficult, you can catch him on youtube as well.


2. Do you really believe that we are in a computer simulation? No. I believe that the simulation argument is basically sound. The argument shows only that at least one of three possibilities obtains, but it does not tell us which one(s). One can thus accept the simulation argument and reject the simulation hypothesis (i.e. that we are in a simulation).

Personally, I assign less than 50% probability to the simulation hypothesis – rather something like in 20%-region, perhaps, maybe. However, this estimate is a subjective personal opinion and is not part of the simulation argument. My reason is that I believe that we lack strong evidence for or against any of the three disjuncts (1)-(3), so it makes sense to assign each of them a significant probability. I note that people who hear about the simulation argument often react by saying, “Yes, I accept the argument, and it is obvious that it is possibility #n that obtains.” But different people pick a different n. Some think it obvious that (1) is true, others that (2) is true, yet others that (3) is true. The truth seems to be that we just don’t know which of the disjuncts is true.



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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Originally posted by yadda333
Again, I already pointed out that I know that Bostrom doesn't think we're in a simulation. But it's not because his argument isn't sound (his reason below).

And then there are some of us who didn't think the argument itself is sound, because we disagree that a computer simulation can be made conscious. That is, in Bostrom's terms, we disagree with the assumption of substrate-independence.

The whole "substrate" concept is a materialist concept anyway, which gives a subordinate place to subjective experience, assuming it to be an epiphenomenon of the execution of essentially mathematical, deterministic logic in the brain.

I'll admit that materialism is an extremely popular position, perhaps a majority position. But suppose for a moment that it is false. If consciousness is something more fundamental, as is posited by idealism, and the relationship between consciousness and matter is more intricate than mere direct subordination of one to the deterministic laws of the other, then the whole argument breaks down right at the start, right at the simulation hypothetical. The simulation hypothetical is dismissed just like a triangle with four sides hypothetical.

But heck, now suppose that this materialist determinism, which is a prerequisite for the simulation hypothetical, is in fact true. The results are much more far-reaching than even Bostrom has imagined. If subjective experience, or consciousness, is a direct epiphenomenon of a computational process, of math, then we don't even need a computer. We can do the whole simulation on pencil and paper. What this really means is that the consciousness is in the math. We haven't proven, then, as Bostrom's argument concludes, that we might be in a simulation. We have proven, rather, that we are nothing but math, and every mathematically possible conscious state exists. The infinite-universes people then become correct.

Thankfully, for our sanity, the brain has never been proven to be in its entirety a deterministic machine. Not even close. In fact, those functions we have had success at replicating using artifical neural networks, are precisely those functions which we have already trained for and can be done unconsciously. Such functions range from "simply" separating and identifying objects in one's visual field, to driving a car. In other words, those functions of the brain which engineers have been able to produce artificially as machines, are precisely those functions for which we have already organically constructed machines through our own attention and effort. Our attention and effort is then no longer needed because we delegate that function to the organic machine we created.

edit on 30-10-2012 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 10:24 AM
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reply to post by yadda333
 


Yes, what you seem to keep missing is that OP's argument isn't the same as Bostrom's, which is:


The argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.


His statement there is that EITHER we don't live to be "post human", OR "post humans" don't create simulated universes OR we are living in a simulation. That's not what the OP said, in the least, go back and read it.

Bostrom's absolute conclusion is also logically invalid, but that's neither here nor there, we're talking about what the OP stated and which we "morons" picked apart.



posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by yadda333
I love ATS because there are so many "geniuses" on here. OP did not pull this out of thin air.

www.simulation-argument.com...

Nick Bostrom is way smarter than any of you.


I never claimed I came up with the idea myself.
edit on 2-11-2012 by lampsalot because: (no reason given)





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