Losing my non-religion
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07-01-2015, 02:38 AM
Losing my non-religion
My first post here...sorry it had to be this one.
After 30 years of being a staunch atheist, I feel like I may have been wrong. I came to a rational argument that I cant simply ignore, but this isnt a religious conversion that showers me with joy but rather a deep, dark abyss.
Let me explain...
I have gone the gamut of the logical flaws of traditional western faith. The book is inconsitent, without third party corroboration...clearly a work of man. The arguments against evil and a benevolent creator, old hat to me. Other religions were interesting but all were clearly ancient man reaching for an explanation of all things.

I ran across it on accident, I like science articles...
It was this crazy guy named Nick Bostrom, spouting some nonsense about a simulated reality. But after reading on quantum physics, Planck units, and how mathematics basically runs everything...I came back to it. This is the problem, I can't unsee it.

If you want to look up his hypothesis feel free, I wont repeat it, its easy enough to find. But the inescapable clues were right there...I played too damn many video games to not see that opening a chest with random loot is exactly what Schrodinger was talking about.
But the math, I that really got to me. The number of simulated universes would massive outnumber the real one, it would be an act of immense arrogance to assume we were the 'real' one.

So here I am, there is a non-zero probability that this universe is simulated. So there is the same non-zero chance that there is a creator running the damned thing for whatever reason. I dont know what a post-human would be, organic or a machine, but I cant deny that as "god" though that would be a poor term.
So where does that leave me? If I assign the probability as low I am definitely an agnostics I , if I figure the probability as high then I am a deist. Either way I have to turn in my atheist card, for something that I wonder is even more bleak.

So if it is a simulation, the creator is likely not to interfere with the course of things...that would defeat the purpose. It may tweak things for research purposes but that adds the complication that the simulation is run over and over again...so how many times have I wrote this, how many timee have you read it.

So in short...
God doesnt really care about us as individuals.
God doesnt answer prayer.
There is no afterlife, unless we count running the same life over and over again
All of this is at best a post-human life form honoring its ancestors in the form of a memorial, at worst we exist to be tinkered with for curiosity.
And we are trapped here.

So I suppose I technically believe in god again, but now I think I hate 'it'.
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07-01-2015, 04:31 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2015 05:02 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Losing my non-religion
Welcome to the forum.

Honestly, I think it doesn't matter.

If we're in a simulation... so what? It's still our reality.

The superstitious, nonsense religions are what harm us and the societies in which we live. If those are part of the simulation but we can delete them from within... let's do that.

A deistic, non-interventionist or sim-player god has the same effect on me and mine as no god at all.

So I ain't worried.

Here, take a chill pill...

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07-01-2015, 04:46 AM
RE: Losing my non-religion
(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  So I suppose I technically believe in god again, but now I think I hate 'it'.
Hmmmm, your definition of god includes a natural life form which is a product of evolution itself, is bound to the rules governing naturalism and has a finite lifespan.

You assume that you are a sub-routine and your god is a computer programmer.

I assume that I am a biological machine, I have two creators whom I affectionately call Mum and Dad. I don't consider them to be gods.
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07-01-2015, 04:56 AM
RE: Losing my non-religion
Seems like you're over thinking it a bit.
I agree with DLJ, running my life on the assumption of a hypothetical reality, rather than the only substantive one I have, seems like tail chasing to me.
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07-01-2015, 05:35 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2015 05:48 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Losing my non-religion
(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  If you want to look up his hypothesis feel free, I wont repeat it, its easy enough to find. But the inescapable clues were right there...I played too damn many video games to not see that opening a chest with random loot is exactly what Schrodinger was talking about.
But the math, I that really got to me. The number of simulated universes would massive outnumber the real one, it would be an act of immense arrogance to assume we were the 'real' one.

Right, I remember Sam Harris make a passing reference to this once. I believe it was during the Q&A section of his debate with philosopher and professional shill for Jesus, William Lane Craig.


(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  So here I am, there is a non-zero probability that this universe is simulated.

There is a distinct difference between the possible and the probable.


(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  So there is the same non-zero chance that there is a creator running the damned thing for whatever reason. I dont know what a post-human would be, organic or a machine, but I cant deny that as "god" though that would be a poor term.
So where does that leave me? If I assign the probability as low I am definitely an agnostics I , if I figure the probability as high then I am a deist.

How does one assign probability without evidence? The universe could just as probably have been created and maintained by universe-creating pixies on the back of a incomprehensibly massive magical frog as be some sort of elaborate and all encompassing simulation; but nobody is losing sleep over it.


(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  Either way I have to turn in my atheist card, for something that I wonder is even more bleak.

You only need to do that if you are set on labeling the unknown as a god, then proceeding to posit positive belief in it's existence. Are you prepared to do that? If not, then you are still an atheist as far as many of us are concerned.


(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  So if it is a simulation, the creator is likely not to interfere with the course of things...that would defeat the purpose. It may tweak things for research purposes but that adds the complication that the simulation is run over and over again...so how many times have I wrote this, how many timee have you read it.

Stop. Just stop. You are attempting to anthropomorphize the unknown, and assigning probability to it based on that. It's very bad reasoning all around. Much in the same way that someone can be convinced that the lights they saw in the sky are in fact space ships filled with humanoid aliens and they can somehow infer their very human-like goals and aspirations; all from a simple as yet unexplained phenomena.

Could this universe be a simulation? Possibly. Do we have any evidence in support that this is indeed the case, or that it is even possible? No. Therefore assigning it a probability as anything more than zero is not yet justifiable. Probability is not determined by our imagination, but rather by the available evidence.

On the other hand, so what if it is? Then what is the point in worrying about it? If it is truly all just one big simulation, then it's deterministic, so why worry? If we're just on a repeating loop, why worry? If this all instantly ends when something kills the power, why worry? If this really is the case, then things are so completely out of our control as to make our actions vis-a-vis the 'reality' outside of the simulation meaningless. But this is nothing new for non believers, as many of us have long ago come to terms with the idea that we give ourselves meaning within our own context.

Unless you want to continue on as a radial agnostic, and doubt anything and everything, some basic presuppositions are required to get anything done epistemologically. Check out these videos about Evidentialism, and see if this doesn't help you sort things out on your own a little better.












(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  So in short...
God doesnt really care about us as individuals.
God doesnt answer prayer.
There is no afterlife, unless we count running the same life over and over again
All of this is at best a post-human life form honoring its ancestors in the form of a memorial, at worst we exist to be tinkered with for curiosity.
And we are trapped here.

So I suppose I technically believe in god again, but now I think I hate 'it'.

Like I said, you're making quite a few unjustified presuppositions, and then building bad probability on top of them. Take it back down to square one, jettison everything but the small handful of necessary presuppositions, and look at what you really have left to work with.

What are you really justified in believing based on the available evidence? Consider


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07-01-2015, 05:50 AM
RE: Losing my non-religion
We have no way of testing this "simulation" idea, so it's nothing more than an entertaining thought experiment. Saying you've come to "believe" something is to say that you've reached a conclusion, based on solely on the notion that "I like the sound of that."

Your personal preferences have no bearing on the nature of reality.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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07-01-2015, 06:02 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2015 07:44 AM by One Above All.)
RE: Losing my non-religion
(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  It was this crazy guy named Nick Bostrom, spouting some nonsense about a simulated reality. But after reading on quantum physics, Planck units, and how mathematics basically runs everything...I came back to it. This is the problem, I can't unsee it.

Planck units are based on the finite speed of light and how it correlates to changes in the universe. To say that this is evidence of a simulated universe is to say that you have knowledge of how the "real" one is supposed to be (by which I mean its laws of physics). Arrogance of the highest (or lowest, depending on your perspective) quality.

(07-01-2015 02:38 AM)Oglethorpe Wrote:  So here I am, there is a non-zero probability that this universe is simulated.

There's a non-zero probability that one billion coin flips in a row will all result in heads. There's a non-zero probability that the Earth will turn into glass the very moment you finish reading my post. There's a non-zero probability that the dead will rise again. In fact, short of mathematical laws changing (1+1=3) and logical impossibilities (slamming a revolving door), there's a non-zero probability of everything you can conceive. This doesn't mean the probability is high enough to be relevant. You're not concerned that gravity will work backwards, so why are you concerned about something that is inherently untestable, and therefore irrelevant to reality?

The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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07-01-2015, 06:57 AM
RE: Losing my non-religion
There's a non zero probability a 1957 Chevy is orbiting Pluto.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-01-2015, 07:02 AM
RE: Losing my non-religion
(07-01-2015 06:57 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There's a non zero probability a 1957 Chevy is orbiting Pluto.

What about a 1958 Chevy?

The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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07-01-2015, 07:08 AM
RE: Losing my non-religion
(07-01-2015 06:57 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There's a non zero probability a 1957 Chevy is orbiting Pluto.

This again?

I thought I had made it clear, with photos even, that it is a 1954 Studebaker? Come on Bucky get with the program!

Now, about that teapot orbiting the sun...

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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