[extropy-chat] Be[ing] or Not Be[ing]

Harvey Newstrom mail at HarveyNewstrom.com
Thu Apr 15 23:27:57 UTC 2004

On Thursday, April 15, 2004, at 02:10 am, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:

> On Wed, 14 Apr 2004, Harvey Newstrom wrote:
>> On Wednesday, April 14, 2004, at 06:45 am, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
>>> One way to deal with this is to pose the question "What if we
>>> are in a simulation?"
>> I don't see how this position is any more supportable or useful than
>> the unproven religious views.  I have never understood why some people
>> here bash religion, but think the simulation argument sounds
>> reasonable. [snip]
> Well one of the extropian principles is "rational thought".  The
> problem with religious views is that they generally lack that
> (being based on faith rather than rational thought).
> On the other hand a simulation argument or a discussion
> that the "miracles" or resurrection were due to sophisticated
> use of nanotechnology by aliens can all be defended on
> the basis of rational thought.

I disagree.  I think this argument just replaces religious words with 
technical-sounding words.  Real rational thought seeks to explain 
observed phenomena with the most consistent, testable, and simplest 
hypothesis that correctly predicts the phenomena.  Adding a simulation 
and sysop does not explain any observation, does not predict any 
events, and needlessly complicates the hypothesis instead of 
simplifying it.  This is not rational, logical or scientific.

> The simulation argument is supportable because we can do the
> calculations that indicate that we might one day be able
> to do simulations.  If our reality is any reflection of
> what might be the real reality (assuming we are in a simulation)
> then it is much more reasonable to believe we are in a simulation
> than it is to believe some "being" waved his hands and brought
> the universe into existance (or worse that he sent his son
> to save the world).  If our reality is just some random reality
> running in a simulation then it makes more sense that we are
> simply lab rats.

I do not recognize any logic, scientific method, rational approach, or 
other systematic process in your argument.  You just seem to assert 
that it could be true, and it makes more sense to you.  Theists claim 
the same thing.

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