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Getting your dander up

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Money quote: "The agnostic says “I don’t know what it ultimately means”; the atheist claims to know."

Nebuchadnezzar (talk)05:37, 30 January 2012

I presume they'd like to go out of their way to say they don't ultimately know about the existence of the small goblin sat on my shoulder too.

Scarlet A.pngnarchist09:46, 30 January 2012

Your shoulder is not real, but merely an elaborate simulation of a shoulder. Prove me wrong.

Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope00:57, 31 January 2012
Scarlet A.pngsshole01:07, 31 January 2012

Well, presuming a simulation would at first kick dualism in the teeth pretty hard because "I experience, therefore I am", but I'd only be code if simulated. But that's no different to showing that p-zombies are stupid as a serious concept.

One could make a "plea to mediocrity" type argument, well, a plea to a lack of mediocrity.

Note that a Turing Complete machine can simulate a Turing Complete machine inside it, which can simulate another inside that, and another, and another, and another... and so on. One would immediately conclude that "assume a simulation" as a first premise would imply that we can never know that we're at the "top" level or not; we assume we're in a simulated universe, but similarly people in the "real" world must also be simulated, and their "real" world is too simulated. I.e., nested simulations. Nested simulations are therefore an almost a logical certainty if you do anything as audacious as "assume a simulation" as a first premise - there's simply no way to break that chain of reasoning without special pleading. This produces an infinitely long chain of nesting, so one would expect, by chance to be in the middle of this chain (we expect to be average, and non-special by chance) and we would be running a simulation ourselves are are aware of it. No such simulation exists so we can conclude, at the very least, we're at the very bottom of the chain if one exists. Given that these nested simulations must go on forever if you "assume a simulation", our lack of mediocrity because we're not running Turing Complete simulations of universes ourselves must be pretty unlikely, indeed infinitesimally so. While it's not strong evidence, the simulation argument itself is probability based around premises no less absurd, so I feel I can get away with this for now as, while not a contradiction to simulation, at least a highly improbable implication.

But what if we go the other route and presume "no simulation"? Well, then we have less to work with as What You See Is What You Get. There's no way to prove a simulation from "presume no simulation".

In fact, there's also an observational issue over what one would mean by "simulation". By observational qualities alone, aka the only qualities that really matter, it would be real. In other words, we can't tell the difference between a "real" and "simulated" universe in either practice or principle. And by the law of identity, this must mean that a simulated universe is "real" by all possible descriptive definitions of "real". "Simulated" then ceases to have a meaningful distinction, and Occam's Razor simply collapses us down to defining it as "real".

Don't tell me that this is any more absurd than the simulation hypothesis itself.

Scarlet A.pngpathetic08:03, 31 January 2012

Although demonstrating the non-correctness of any of the 7 points in the simulation argument would be an easier way to go about it. Personally, I think it ends at 4, as to simulate a universe you need to at least code for the existence and position of 10^90 particles at least. For this you would need a computer that can track each of them; that requires a unique ID, that would be 10^90 digits long, incidentally, and X, Y and Z positions, which would have to be accurate to within at least 35 significant figures (10^-35 being the region of the Planck length) in order to get sufficient spatial discrimination between particles. That's a lot of data just to encode for one of them. Multiply this up by 10^90 and the conclusion is that the simulating reality must be far larger and more complex than the simulated reality. That throws a lot of our assumptions in the shitter because this is then simply the comp-sci and transhumanist version of saying "no one can know the mind of God" on one hand and "but God is good and great and all powerful and thinks X, Y and Z" on the other.

While this proves it as absurd, the universe itself is absurd. Absurdity can only ever trump impossibility, simulation remains merely massively improbable.

Scarlet A.pngpostate08:14, 31 January 2012

Can my "proof" involve a large sword and lots of blood?

Nebuchadnezzar (talk)01:08, 31 January 2012

Only if you can prove that it isn't an elaborate simulation of a large sword and lots of blood.

Scarlet A.pngmoral01:14, 31 January 2012

But can you prove that I can't prove that?

Nebuchadnezzar (talk)01:15, 31 January 2012

Stop embedding P versus NP problems in abstract philosophy!

Scarlet A.pngbomination01:21, 31 January 2012

Not until you prove I am actually doing that instead of my p-zombie clone.

Nebuchadnezzar (talk)01:27, 31 January 2012

I'm on a 4th or 5th Jack and Coke, I'm not sure I have the brain power to multitask all of this at once.

Scarlet A.pngpathetic01:30, 31 January 2012

And this, kids, is why it's a bad idea to drink and wiki.

Nebuchadnezzar (talk)01:35, 31 January 2012

I can point to better reasons against it. Currently it's just upping my ADHD coefficient.

Scarlet A.pngpostate01:42, 31 January 2012