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Does the simulation argument make the bible plausible?

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message 1: by Hippasus (new)

Hippasus The "simulation argument" argues that there is roughly a 1 in 3 chance that we are all living in a computer simulation, though many including myself actually assign a much higher probability. It strikes me as rather ironic that science it seems has now provided an avenue in which the miracles of the bible could be true (though still highly unlikely).

If we are all living in a massive video game then parting the red sea or turning water into wine would be trivial. What we call "god" could be envisioned in two possible ways. In the first case he could be the "programmer" who created the simulation and thus he would live one reality level above us. In the second case he could be an entity within our own reality level, that is to say an entity that is also being simulated. In this case he would also have been created by the "programmer", who in essence would be an even higher god. Our god may believe as most people do that he lives in the "real" reality, or he may suspect he lives in a simulation but knows that there is nothing he can do about.

For those that believe the bible is true, if you accepted that we all lived in a simulation would this change how you feel about your religion?


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 15, 2013 12:13PM) (new)

When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.
―G.K. Chesterton

(I don't want to have a debate about this, but just wanted to share this quote, I think it gets to the heart of the matter.)


message 3: by Gary (last edited Mar 15, 2013 01:29PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gary The Father, Son and Holy Gamer....

I think the Bible (or any creation story, for that matter) is essentially a way of indicating "Who?" and "What?" along with maybe "Why?" where the simulation theory is describing "How?" more than anything else.

That our reality might be a computer simulation really is saying that we exist inside a vast, directed and regulated system. It just replaces "God" (or "gods") with a metaphorical computer. That computer is all-powerful in the context of our existence, and metaphorical because it wouldn't be a computer in the sense that we understand that term. It's too vast and complex for the term "computer" to really apply to it all that well. So, even in presenting the theory of existence as simulation, I don't think the idea is incompatible with myth. Rather, it just puts the metaphors on different aspects of the creation questions.


message 4: by Miles (new) - added it

Miles Gentry Christopher wrote: "In the second case he could be an entity within our own reality level, that is to say an entity that is also being simulated. In this case he would also have been created by the "programmer", who in essence would be an even higher god."

A very Gnostic concept, reminiscent of the Demiurge.


Wayne Michael Gods creation of the universe may seem to simulate a virtual environment but it is more likely our virtual environment concept just simulates life.


message 6: by Miles (new) - added it

Miles Gentry The "programmer" in any circumstance, would be akin to the Creator. Any product of the program, would not qualify as God, but merely as a creature - a created thing. Again, a very Gnostic concept. Check out the Nag Hammadi texts and you will find the same ideas conceptualized.


Wayne Michael very matrix like.

but to what end would you have this simulations? Would the "programmer" have his own virtual world controlled by another "programmer" and so on?

I guess it is like asking who created God and then who created the creator of God.

I've always thought people like to "humanize" everything. Veggies that talk, robots with emotions, etc. we are always look for what is human in everything. The idea that our lives are simulated by a computer sounds like another form of that.

As to looking for the existence of God or a creator of any sort you just have to look at our little solar system and see how perfect the sun and moon are placed to provide an environment that we can live in.

Too much coincidence is not a coincidence but that is just an opinion and seems to be less popular the older I get.


message 8: by Hippasus (new)

Hippasus Miles wrote: "The "programmer" in any circumstance, would be akin to the Creator. Any product of the program, would not qualify as God, but merely as a creature - a created thing. Again, a very Gnostic concept. ..."

I would say it depends on your definition of god. The Abrahamic god could be a product of the simulation, not the creator of it. You are asserting that the term god would no longer be appropriate for such an entity. I think many would still use the term god to describe this entity.


message 9: by Hippasus (new)

Hippasus Wayne wrote: "very matrix like.

but to what end would you have this simulations? Would the "programmer" have his own virtual world controlled by another "programmer" and so on?

I guess it is like asking w..."


Veggies that talk is obviously silly, but robots with emotions seems very plausible at this point.


message 10: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Lyerla Chesterton worried, didn't he, that if humanity is freed from the ancient religions, then it might embrace things like National Socialism or Bolshevism. Was he partly right?

deleted user wrote: "When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.
―G.K. Chesterton

(I don't want to have a debate about this, but..."



message 11: by Gary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gary Brad wrote: "Chesterton worried, didn't he, that if humanity is freed from the ancient religions, then it might embrace things like National Socialism or Bolshevism. Was he partly right?"

A large percentage of the population does seem to need an -ism of one sort or another. At least, it seems like the way and rate at which people embrace an -ism is due to a human need rather than an external force that is put upon them and that they somehow are unable to shake off. It seems to defy both rational thought and rationalization.

Some sort of "belief" does seem to be a constant human theme, and there's a school of thought that challenging that fundamental human need isn't just pointless, but actually cruel.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendly...

I'm not sure I agree with that assessment, but it relates to this topic in a weird, oblique way.


message 12: by Todd (new) - rated it 5 stars

Todd Utley Hi Christopher, I love this topic so much that I wrote a book about it as well. It is called Plain Truth by Todd D. Utley. I find it fascinating that people want to limit God and put him into a box that they have created mentally. I was raised old school strict Baptist but as I became older and began my own studies my mind changed. I believe in God and I try to live right but I believe in a God without boundries. I find it completely plausible that we are living in a type of simulation. It could even be some type of computer or something so far beyond that in adavancement that we just can't comprehend it. One of things I point out in my book is that most protestant believers have been taught and do in fact believe that God can be omni-present, meaning of course that he can be in more than one place at one time. I like to take that further and say that God can be in more than one time at a place. If God created time then he can certainly circumvent it at will. That means he could visit any location at any time and change anything that would impact the future just as soon as he returns there. I'm not sure that the God of our Bible ever claims to have invented time or bragged that he is in control of it completely but there are incidents where time stood still and the sun didn't move for many hours, things like that. It's mind blowing but why limit God? To make a point about what Miles said, God said in Eden after the incident with the tree of knowledge that if he left man in the garden "he would continue to eat of the tree of life and become as gods like us". So man was banished from Eden at that point. Christ later said in the new testament to the pharisees who accused him of heresy regarding his remarks that he himself was the son of God. He said "have I offended you to say that I am at least as much as you are, you being men are after all the sons of God as mentioned in genesis. That is paraphrased but that is again referring to the comments made by God in Eden. Please everyone out there, don't take any offense. Just yackin here. I find this topic very fascinating.


message 13: by John (new) - rated it 2 stars

John West I am very open to different beliefs. I have a friend who believes in the simulation theory and I myself admit that it could be a possibility. None of us really know for sure how things came to be. Think about it this way:

People say that the Bible is just written by man and passed down through the ages(using the telephone game to get the point across that the original beliefs don't match the current beliefs of the Judeo-Christian faith). Now, this being said, all other books or documents could be done the same(History, Philosophy, etc). For example, none of us were here in 1700's so no one of us really know what happened in the American Revolution or before that. We have documents that say it happened, but how do we really know it happened. We take it by faith that what happened actually happened. The same path can be taken with the Bible.

I believe that there is an Intelligent Designer, but none of us really know who it is or how They did what They did. It's possible that each religion is a fraction of the truth of the universe. the Designer could be a Programmer, could be an Author and Illustrator, etc.


message 14: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen Geigle Johnson I think maybe we all play a little too much on our computer and digital devices. We PLAY too many video games. Earth life is real. There is a God who loves us and is our Father. He hears my prayers. Our life has a purpose and we have a work to do while we are here living our lives. Let's get working. Let's do some good, help some people, learn about God and come to know Him.


message 15: by Juliette (new)

Juliette Turner I think it is a simulation, speaking from 1st hand experience ... after many years of dysfunction & trying to find myself, but then running away for various reasons. ON Jan 1st approx 1.30 am I arrived in a state after realising I was in a lot of trouble. on most levels. But my point is, my parents house was always my safe haven. I got there and collapsed in a heap ... I remember taking probably the longest breath/sigh and the next thing I knew I was lifted out of my seat, as my brain (putting into words) were as though I was being deleted/self destructing. When I done some research, I came across this I am almost trying to get back in the right place ... but at the same time dead in side.

The doctors etc couldn't find anythgin wrong other then distress ... thoughts disorder due to my constant thinking/panic to try & rationalize all and 8 months on I had 3 attempts of o/d none worked. And I am still going around like a headless chicken... I sometimes wonder if it is a ancestor/God simulation. I wish but at the same time I am so fed up and scared, that someone could help me, make sense of as I seem to be just in/affecting all as I go along.

Its just gets worse ... :-(my family think I am mad and in some ways I was almost happy to let them think that (which just cause more distress) ... as I get so tired from 'thinking'


Dwayne Fry Jen wrote: "I think maybe we all play a little too much on our computer and digital devices. We PLAY too many video games. Earth life is real. There is a God who loves us and is our Father. He hears my prayer..."

That's more or less what I am getting out of this, too. We're becoming more impressed with what man hath created than what God hath created. He creates a universe, we create a computer - and we're so proud of it we start to think it somehow replaces God or that God is just a super-computer.

I had thought "Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" was a bit of satire, but maybe it's becoming holy text for some.


message 17: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Lyerla Yes. Rousseau, Kant and Hegel all took this fundamental need seriously. For example, they seem to have thought that you can't take religion out of government. I thought Mark Lilla's book, THE STILLBORN GOD, was very enlightening on this subject.


message 18: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Lyerla Whoops, I was referring to Gary's post earlier in the chain. (Candidly, I don't understand what Juliette and Dwayne, et al. are arguing about. But they seem sincere.)


message 19: by Duane (last edited Sep 04, 2014 12:03PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Duane Brad wrote: "Yes. Rousseau, Kant and Hegel all took this fundamental need seriously. For example, they seem to have thought that you can't take religion out of government. I thought Mark Lilla's book, THE STILL..."

Yeah, but what's "Religion"?

Apparently during the Roman Empire the Government was *responsible* for religion - but what *we* think of as "religion", they would have called "philosophy". Religion then was all about propitiating The Gods, conducting sacrifices, building temples, violating virgins on the altar, whatever - and if a Government official failed to discharge his official duties with respect to all that, he'd get his butt kicked (up to and including the Emperor, even). But nobody bugged the common people about it... they just wanted The Government to keep The Gods off THEIR butts.

Meanwhile, I think there were brothels on every corner in Pompeii... I think they've dug up like 40 of them now? and the Empire lasted a few hundred years after that anyway,and eventually blew out because of Whatever (but I doubt it was too many brothels or not enough chicken sacrifices... But what do I know)


message 20: by Gary (last edited Nov 28, 2017 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gary Brad wrote: "Yes. Rousseau, Kant and Hegel all took this fundamental need seriously. For example, they seem to have thought that you can't take religion out of government. I thought Mark Lilla's book, THE STILL..."

There's some not-so-nice thoughts on that in Nietzsche and Machiavelli, for that matter....

I'll take a look around for The Stillborn God. I'm up to my neck in other reading at the moment, though, so I can say when I'll get around to it, but thanks for pointing it out.


Dwayne Fry Brad wrote: "Whoops... I don't understand what ... Dwayne... arguing about... "

I'm not arguing about anything.


message 22: by Stacy (last edited Aug 19, 2017 04:34PM) (new)

Stacy Turner John wrote: "I am very open to different beliefs. I have a friend who believes in the simulation theory and I myself admit that it could be a possibility. None of us really know for sure how things came to be. ..."

So, life is all about tolerating Jewish schema? How revolting, uncreative and boring. Maybe that is why being raised catholic and later protestant, they whole thing seemed so scammy, alien and bizarre to me and the Northern myths and legends seemed a more human or manly way to pass down helpful tips for daily living.

Life is about paying the Jew and then pretending it isn't happening in order to not make the Jew unaware you know.

Worst. Game. Ever.

I am rereading the Edda for a cheat code.

_____


message 23: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Turner Juliette wrote: "I think it is a simulation, speaking from 1st hand experience ... after many years of dysfunction & trying to find myself, but then running away for various reasons. ON Jan 1st approx 1.30 am I arr..."
Yes, You are not alone. My respawn time is terrible and if I am not responsible at the end, I promise here and now, I will beat the proper character into our designer IRL. I just woke up, typed what I was thinking into search and here I am. Did a low level administrator feel sorry for me? Is it another set up by an opponent. Have I just given up and am I taking insanity as a reality? In any case, we know the Technical Documentation Manager is not our side. Probably an angry ex that quit playing.


message 24: by Maryd (last edited Sep 15, 2017 03:40AM) (new)

Maryd Wow. This thread is almost 3 years old...yet someone posted last month? There are no coincidences, I ended up here for a reason.


message 25: by Burch (new)

Burch Laughlin He created he him

god = programmer
god = created being

just weird theory


message 26: by Cal (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cal Rinck In my mind, there's nothing thatcan provethe Bible is false.


message 27: by Iurii (new)

Iurii Vovchenko My book "Answers In Simulation" reintroduces God and Jesus Christ roles based on Simulation Hypotheses and proves that those roles are valid in any version of the outer world that simulates our world.


message 28: by Donald (new)

Donald Murray To say miracles are improbable assumes a lot from zero data. As a scientist I have to point out that it is only recently that we've started thinking of mind-body. We used to think in terms of mind-body-soul/spirit. indigenous scientists still think this way among native americans. Immanuel Kant in his Critique of pure reason said that all knowledge is both a priori (based on data) and a posteriori (based on experience). The latter covers things like morals, ethics, art, music, love, emotions, spirituality, god. It is half of the human experience. To say miracles are impossible is to ignore this half of human evidence. It's like the old saying that a billion chinese can't be wrong. Well there are billions of documents covering the spiritual experience and when you analyze the archetypes you end up with a consistent spiritual journey that is intracultural. Pretty hard evidence. It should make no difference if our reality is simulated. Even if our reality is real, to a God who lives outside it, it would appear simulated to him....since he "made" it.


message 29: by D (new)

D Block Even if our reality is real, to a God who lives outside it, it would appear simulated to him....since he "made" it.

Donald Murray This is funny to me... LOL this is spot on.


message 30: by Ethan (new)

Ethan God's power is quite literally limitless, so I can't imagine that we will ever truly know how He pulled off what He did, rather than it just.. happening. Though that can be an odd thought, we were created with finite minds for a reason, but those of us that make it to heaven will undoubtedly someday know that reason, and possibly even how Earth came to be.


message 31: by Ethan (new)

Ethan God's power is quite literally limitless, so I can't imagine that we will ever truly know how He pulled off what He did, rather than it just.. happening. Though that can be an odd thought, we were created with finite minds for a reason, but those of us that make it to heaven will undoubtedly someday know that reason, and possibly even how Earth came to be.


message 32: by Ryan (new) - added it

Ryan In a way, it makes any theistic dictum plausible, regardless if it's source is the Bible, or the Qur'an, or the Vedas, or whatever other scripture/belief is exampled. Given the logical conclusion of reality being some kind of cosmic simulation alike a foux-reality made on a computer, presenting itself in some form of assertion in the existence of a God.

But that's only if you take it there. And that, as far as I see for many discussions on the theory, isn't common at all. It typically just devolves into a pseudo-nihilism, which just can't make the jump away from atheism. Either that or it's a whole other type of weird sci-fi business, that tends to come as basically the 21st-century secular mysticism for tech geeks or the like.


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