The Virtual Reality Theory
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12-01-2014, 03:17 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2014 03:23 PM by Baruch.)
RE: The Virtual Reality Theory
Agree with Chippy.
Hilary Putnam's argument defeats matrix like virtual reality scenario's in a more consistent, rigorously logical way.

Starting off with Occam's razor to remove the infinite regress with a mind within a mind or simulation within a simulation is a useful heuristic to begin to explore the topic. However Occam's razor is a heuristic guide, not necessarily a logical argument i.e reality might be overly unnecessarily complex without the parsimony (its just unlikely).
The problem with the Occam's razor argument is it is not falsifiable that we are not in a virtual reality, its just a parsimonious guide and the VR scenario is very unlikely.

Hilary Putnam's argument has a few components - I was thinking of simplifying it in the thread but might as well look it up on iep.utm.edu
http://www.iep.utm.edu/brainvat/

and Stanford encyclopaedia article of semantic externalism.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/skepti...ternalism/

On a slightly different tangent:
We have a robust causal chain for how we perceive i.e light from external world entering our eyes, converted into electrical signals, transmitted by various neurons into thalmus & cortical regions of brain and perceived etc etc etc.You can add hundreds more steps in these numerous causal chains.
If it was all VR then these causal chains don't refer to anything (there is "no external world its all VR") and don't exist (=anti-realism in philosophy)
The actual causal chains are ALL inside the VR software which we have no access to. (Descartes evil demon idea) The difference in causal chains would be a real fight with blood & guts and some paintshop pro version - just we cannot have access to the inside of the VR program.

This means we essentially have to abandon ALL knowledge about causation mechanisms & explanations in the external world (basically trash all science progress = its all a lie - there is no external world, its all fake data fed into our brains.) We then have to accept some mystery about a VR stimulation we can never have access to (like a strong version of Kantian noumena - an unknown reality with impossible access). Without robust evidence for the inner workings of the VR program why would we trash all science ? We basically don't have evidence for the presupposition for the VR program in the first place. it becomes a silly idea.

The VR reality seems a highly unlikely scenario !
Its definitely a poor argument for theism as it compounds mystery with more mysteries and a very deceiving God (hence why Descartes trusted God would not be an evil demon)
From a metaphysical point of view the VR makes much less sense than a robust scientific naturalism which assumes causation & explanation and our reference to a real external world (which also pre exists ourselves and does not depend on human minds)
From a pragmatic sense it doesn't really matter either way ??? So what if reality is VR - all our actions will be the same if we cannot tell the difference.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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12-01-2014, 03:50 PM
RE: The Virtual Reality Theory
In addition from a semantic language point of view we differentiate from "veridical perceptual reality" (normal external experience) and "dreams"

The ability to make this distinction is due to some differences in the experiences of dreams vs waking reality - but it can be confusing, everyone has probably had a false awakening or some very lucid dream and got confused (think inception film)

Now consider a normal naturalistic external world vs Virtual reality....
Are there differences ?
Yes - the reference to causal explanations to events in the external world vs VR are very different like the difference in causality of a dream vs waking reality are vastly different.
In a dream I can go through walls because it is an associated phenomenal perception my brain makes up, in waking reality I cannot because the laws of physics don't allow this due to the matter in the brick wall being impenetrable to my body.
Likewise if VR was the reality we would have to reject every causal scientific explanation built up in the last few hundred years with all the mathematical patterns being unnecessary conjunctions "planted" by the VR creator to look as if they are real. (eg in a computer game I can make a ball bounce any arbitrary way & not follow any Newtonian physics)

Hilary Putnam has another argument - called the "MIracle of scientific realism"
Quote:The Miracle Argument says that realism about science is the best explanation of the success of science, which would otherwise be ‘miraculous’. It is a special case, or special type of case, of ‘inference to the best explanation’.

Basically - inference to the best explanation backs up that the success of science presupposes that the causal explanations lead to a realism about the external world and VR is very unlikely. I don't think this is a circular argument - it claims an inference & probability for the best explanation being a real external world.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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12-01-2014, 04:05 PM
RE: The Virtual Reality Theory
(12-01-2014 03:50 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Hilary Putnam has another argument - called the "MIracle of scientific realism"
Quote:The Miracle Argument says that realism about science is the best explanation of the success of science, which would otherwise be ‘miraculous’. It is a special case, or special type of case, of ‘inference to the best explanation’.

Basically - inference to the best explanation backs up that the success of science presupposes that the causal explanations lead to a realism about the external world and VR is very unlikely. I don't think this is a circular argument - it claims an inference & probability for the best explanation being a real external world.

Abduction for the motherfucking win. Thumbsup

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12-01-2014, 06:05 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2014 06:46 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: The Virtual Reality Theory
Finishing my critique from before...

Now working through the circumstantial arguments one at a time (and kudos to them for at least admitting that these are circumstantial)...

1) ~1:17 The Big Bang. AKA, the cosmological argument. The presenter, pretty boldly IMO, asks how space-time can emerge from nothing. This actually threw a circuit in my head that gave me another answer to the "how can something come from nothing?" question. Time keeps coming from nothing. Where does the next second come from? History keeps coming from nothing. More history keeps getting made, and nothing gets used up in the process. And in an expanding universe, space keeps coming from nothing... more of it keeps getting added, and it comes from, well, nowhere. So "how can space-time emerge from nothing?" has a pretty simple answer. We don't know how, yet we can clearly see that it does as an ongoing process.

The presenter, quoting his favorite quotable (someone I've never heard of), posits that the Big Bang is consistent with a VR simulation, because any time a video game is started or a computer booted up, it is like a Big Bang. I kinda get what he's saying... we have something that wasn't manifested before but is manifested now. But from inside the simulation, it's nothing at all like that. We could save the simulation, power it down, bring it back up years later, and restore the save, and yet INSIDE THE SIMULATION no time will have passed at all. We could write a virtual world with a false and eternal history that we never simulate out, but rather just include evidence of. But okay, the other direction is being argued... not that simulation implies Big Bang, but that Big Bang implies simulation. The argument is basically, "this works with simulation", "it doesn't work with reality", "therefore simulation". No evidence is presented for "it doesn't work with reality". I'm calling Temporal Homogeneity on this one.

2) ~2:10 Quantum Minima. Because light (and other things) actually have a granularity (the quantum), this lends credence to the idea that the universe is being processed digitally, because this would be a requirement of digital processing. This is, well, ass-backwards. The argument is A->B, B, therefore A. In an inferrential argument such as this one, this isn't necessarily a falacy, but you should at least try to show it is inconsistent with !A. This isn't done and, well, isn't doable without a Classical Physics Bias.

A metaphor is drawn by the way that any computer image is rendered into pixels when viewed close-enough. This is actually false. Computer monitors do work this way, but that is a limitation of that particular display technology rather than a theoretical limitation of a simulation. (Also, I'm throwing a flag on Tech Homogeneity here. The inferential structure is bad enough, but they don't even consider that in A->B, A isn't just "we're in a virtual world", but rather "we're in a virtual world created by particular digital technology with limitations similar to our own".) I could program a simulation that can render a circle to any precision, given enough storage, even if the display of that circle pixelates as we look closely at it. For that matter, there's no theoretical reason that we couldn't create output with, say, Polaroid photographs, which are not pixelated up close.

Finally, we already think that there are a bunch of particles located in various places, with various velocities etc, and that tracking all of this is pretty much the best snapshot we could take of the universe. (Better, actually.) The fact that light is made up of just such objects doesn't change a thing. A more interesting question is, whether space and time have that granularity. Quantum space and quantum time have both been proposed and modeled mathematically, but contrary to the claims in the video I'm pretty sure not a shred of evidence has been collected for quantum space and time actually being fact. (CJLR, care to weigh in here if you're reading?) If this were a simulation as the presenter is describing, they would have to have granularity.

Also, the claim of a finite number of components is utterly insubstantiated, and will remain so unless it can be proven that the real-time universe (ie, not just what we can see, which is limited to about 13b years) doesn't extend infinitely in all directions. ... though I suppose a smart dev team could use a light-speed wave equation to save a crap-ton of memory and processing speed, so I'll let that slide. Which segues into...

3) ~3:20: Speed of light. The presenter argues that the speed of light being the universal speed limit was suggestively analogous to digital processors having a limited speed. This is a blatant example of Tech Homogeneity and Time Homogeneity, and possibly Stupid Programmers. Any smart dev team could easilly have, say, one second of the simulation pass for every thousand years of "real" time. There is utterly no connection to be drawn here. Also, Whitworth's quote of "how can empty space have properties?" is definitely Classical Physics Bias.

At the very end of this subargument (~4:55), the claim is advanced that virtual reality can explain this, but objective reality cannot. I almost wanted to say, NO, THAT'S FLAT WRONG... and then I realized that there was some very, very subtle wordplay going on there that made the statement technically true. So I'll unpack this in two stages, what was implied (which is false) and what was actually stated (which is technically true).

What is being implied is that what we observe is more consistent with a virtual world than with an objective world. To that, I say, that's flat wrong. The argument presented is nothing more than a Classical Physics Bias, and the presenter has proven nothing.

What is actually being said is that a virtual reality would explain it, but objective reality would not. This is actually true by stint of some careful wording. Objective reality doesn't EXPLAIN itself... it simply IS itself, and explains nothing. We can describe its properties, and perhaps relate one element of it as causing the other, but as a whole there would be no explanation for its existence. Virtual reality WOULD offer just such an explanation... if it were only true.

As an analogy, let's look at a popular apologetic argument. Is it just the Universe, or is it the universe and God? If it's just the universe, what explains the existence of the universe? Nothing. If it's the universe AND God, though, then God can be the explanation for the universe. AHA! One of these explains what is around us, and therefore, by flawed logic, it must be true! (Similarly, if it's just God, then God is not explained, but if we have the sociological models of God as nothing but a cultural invention, then God is explained, therefore, God is a cultural invention.)

4) ~4:00 Curvature of Space-time near mass, and time dilation at relativistic velocities, correlating to virtual processing load effects. Blatant, blatant assumption of Tech Homogeneity and Time Homogeneity. I initially objected also to the claim that proximity to the mass (in-simulation) would slow down the processor more than a distant mass would, when the simulation would have to process the mass regardless of how close it was, but they kinda justify this later so I'll let it slide.

5) ~4:20. Digital equivalence, because all quantum objects are identical to each other. The point being made that identical code would create identical quantum objects is valid, but the larger point of it supporting a virtual world isn't at all. First, as said before, there'd have to be some argument about how this is LESS consistent with an objective reality than with a virtual reality. And second, it utterly misses the point of classifying the various particles. If the two of the same type of quantum particle were different in their properties, they would have been classified as different types in the first place.

6) ~5:05: Holographic theory, ie, the idea that a seemingly 3D world could result from information processing on a 2D surface. This is actually a pretty straightforward math trick. Assuming infinite expanse of the dimensions in question ANY set that is the cross-product of X dimensions can be mapped onto a 1,2,3, or however-many number of dimensions, without loss of that set's cardinality. (We may lose continuity, but that's a non-issue in quantum mechanics.) This says nothing about our universe other than, "hey, maths might apply here!"

7) ~6:45 Locality violated by quantum entanglement. I honestly have no idea how quantum entanglement works, but I don't entirely trust the presenter on it. Regardless, the statement of locality being disproven by it does not imply a virtual reality... just that locality is not required in an objective reality. This is a Classical Physics Bias. The statement "all points in a virtual world are equidistant regardless of their distance in the simulation" is creeping into the territory of "Stupid Programmers", as the simulation wouldn't have to be set up that way and wouldn't necessarily be bright to set it up that way. For example, it might make sense to simulate Earth on one supercomputer cluster, Mars on a second, and Jupiter on a third. The small amount of interaction between the three translates into less coupling between their elements and thus requires less bandwidth between the three machines.

8) ~7:55 Existence of matter depends on observation. The quantum mechanics are beyond me, but fine, let's say it's so. That still doesn't argue for a simulation. (It does remove that objection from point 4, though.)

The presenter concludes with the "inescapable" conclusion that the universe behaves like a virtual reality. To which I say... you needed evidence for that? It's an unfalsifiable position. ANY feature of the universe we might observe could be accounted for by saying, "hey, that's included in the simulation". You haven't proven anything, because you've overcome no burden of proof to get here.



Okay. So now we're seguing into step three, tying this into God somehow, and they still haven't really convinced of anything. But it's hipwader time, and they're REALLY ready for the pizza nights and regular sex even if I'm not. I'll approach this less point-by-point than the previous section.

They start by asking, if this is a simulation, who is the simulator? I could tell right away that their answer is God. ... and you know what? I'm fine with that. If this is actually a virtual reality created, understood, and controlled by one or more intelligent entities, "God" or "gods" isn't a bad description. ... of course, it's a very long haul from there to anything like the Christian god (which I maintain is self-contradictory), and they still haven't come anywhere near proving that it's a simulation.

They offer forward "future humans" as possible simulators, which is dishonest for several reasons. First of all, if it wouldn't be OUR future, within the simulation. It would be THEIR present, constructing us as a simulation of THEIR past. The presenter tries a quick bait-and-swich equivocation here, that their universe would work on the same laws as ours. He's actually pretty smooth about it, but it's a blatant reversal of his earlier logic wherein the granularity of reality is (supposedly) evidence that it is simulated. ... so, why would that apply outside of the simulation? The presenter just blatantly assumes Universe Homogeneity, and then uses this assumption to establish that the simulators are also simulated. (Or maybe just the assumption that they're future versions of humanity.) TOTAL equivocation. This then walks through an infinite regress argument (which I normally scoff at, but is okay in this application). But all that's okay, because they address these in their next alternative.

A second possibility proposed is that one of the higher level worlds is an objective world based on classical physics. The objection is that the resulting simulator would have so much information that the computer simulationg it would have to be the size of the universe. In addition to Stupid Programmers (data compression, anyone?) this is also assuming Universe Homogeneity. Why can we not have a classical physical universe bigger than the one we live in?

And then... nothing. No other alternatives proposed. This leaves, totally untouched, a simulating universe in which classical physics do not hold. Nothing with, say, 12 spacial dimensions, or two time dimensions, or dimensions with infinite order greater than continuum. Given that stage 3 of the argument being presented is mostly dependent on exhausting alternatives, this assumption of Universe Homogeneity is flagrant.

~11:25, they move on to the idea of the simulation occuring in a mind... and they mean the abstract notion of a mind, something not manifest in the material world at all. I would challenge them to point to one visible instance of this, anywhere. It's made-up. It's like saying lepracaun magic does it... and never mind that we've got no reason to believe that leprauchan magic exists or even could exist. We're supposed to dismiss their other two alternatives as implausible, and buy into this one? Give me a break! (I'll leave aside whether mind creates matter. CJLR?)


So, finally (~3:20), after totally misusing the word "deduction", the presenter gets to the formal argument.

P1: Simulations can only exist in a computer or in a mind. NOT SO, or at least not as phrased. Simulated combat can occur in, say, a paintgun arena. However, I'll allow it in the spirit it was intended.
P2: The Universe is a simulation. Discussed as length above. I will agree that it is within the realm of possibility but wholly unproven.
P3: A simulation on a computer still must be simulated in a mind. FALSE. This is arising from the very unexhaustive argument from exhaustion, above.
P4: Therefore, the universe is a simulation in a mind. If I were with the presenter up to this point, I'd have no problem with this logical step.
P5: This mind is what we call God. WHOA. WHOA. Back the horse up. I've got no problem with calling it a god (if it exists, though we've already parted ways on that), but we should distinguish between this god and the Abrahamic notion of God, unless they're also shown to be similar. It's got that whole Omnipotent/Omniscient/Creator vibe going, sure, but what else? But as far as logical structure goes, this is AWFUL. It would be one thing if they at least spent some effort explaining how it ties into conventional notions of a god, but this is the equivalent of proving that kumquats exist, and then at the 11th hour squeezing in, oh hey let's rename kumquats to be God, and therefore...
C: God exists. Follows from the premises, but only if the premises are true.

Really, I stand by what I said earlier about their brains switching off the further into their argument they get. They START reasonable, but they don't STAY reasonable. I don't know whether it's because they think they can stop trying because by now they've got us hooked, or if they just stop thinking straight themselves because they're approaching the ecstasy of the climax. (OH GOD!)

So to summarize. The entire argument is of the form A -> B, A-> C, B, therefore A, therefore C. The universe being simulated (A) would imply a simulator ( C ) and also artifacts in the simulation manifesting as quanta (B). We have those quanta, therefore it is a simulation, therefore there exists a simulator. This is definitely based on a deductive fallacy. However, I'll let this slide, since it's presented as an inferential, abductive argument, rather than a deductive one. What I WON'T let slide is that in such an abductive argument, we need to show that B at least implies A more strongly than not-A. This they haven't done. Not even close to it. Not even really attempted to do it, if you ignore Classical Physics Bias. P2 remains utterly and totally unsupported, and the entire argument hangs on P2.

(Also, 14:10, WTF? NOW you start complaining that it's not demonstrated to be possible to simulate consciousness on the computer? You just spent your entire video harping on how the entire universe could be simulated!)
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12-01-2014, 06:06 PM
RE: The Virtual Reality Theory
(12-01-2014 04:30 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(12-01-2014 03:30 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  This is more semantic than falsifiable. (At least, I think it's unfalsifiable. Haven't come up with a way of falsifying it yet. If someone does, please let me know.) But that's okay. The whole brain in a vat thing is also unfalsifiable.

Not according to Hilary Putnam's argument. I was trying to avoid this but since you asked.

Putnam argues that the claim that we are brains in vat entails that we aren't brains in vat, i.e. it is a self-defeating argument. It is a complicated argument that pulls in stuff from philosophy of language.

Thanks for the link. I'll read it with interest.
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12-01-2014, 07:23 PM
RE: The Virtual Reality Theory
(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Finishing my critique from before...

Now working through the circumstantial arguments one at a time (and kudos to them for at least admitting that these are circumstantial)...

[Edward James Olmos]
You've done a man's job, sir.
[/Edward James Olmos]

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Finally, we already think that there are a bunch of particles located in various places, with various velocities etc, and that tracking all of this is pretty much the best snapshot we could take of the universe. (Better, actually.) The fact that light is made up of just such objects doesn't change a thing. A more interesting question is, whether space and time have that granularity. Quantum space and quantum time have both been proposed and modeled mathematically, but contrary to the claims in the video I'm pretty sure not a shred of evidence has been collected for quantum space and time actually being fact. (CJLR, care to weigh in here if you're reading?) If this were a simulation as the presenter is describing, they would have to have granularity.

Ah, the sweet sound of my name. Tongue

Actually, it's more that we do, in fact, suspect dimensions to be quantized, but that they're not presently testable. This is, of course, only speculation, but justified by the record so far - we've found a heck of a lot of other things to be quantized once we look closely enough!

There is the theoretical idea of the Planck length. Which is where we set five primary physical constants (basically c, g, h, ε, and k) to unity, plug in some known values, and solve for the others. If these have any physical significance it would lie in the realm of quantum gravity...

What is true, though, is that probably everything is quantized. To put it in very crude terms: if one phenomenon is quantized, then all phenomena relating to it are likewise quantized; since some phenomena are quantized, it is therefore reasonable to suppose that all phenomena are quantized. Eg, if there's a quantization of length, there is necessarily a quantization of time, which would be the, er, time required for light to travel said length, time being defined strictly according to duration only, and on a fine scale defined according to the duration of transition between distinguishable states.

But as you've comprehensively and exhaustively said in this very thread - that (if true) doesn't actually mean anything beyond "the universe is as the universe is".
Wink

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Also, the claim of a finite number of components is utterly insubstantiated, and will remain so unless it can be proven that the real-time universe (ie, not just what we can see, which is limited to about 13b years) doesn't extend infinitely in all directions. ... though I suppose a smart dev team could use a light-speed wave equation to save a crap-ton of memory and processing speed, so I'll let that slide. Which segues into...

3) ~3:20: Speed of light. The presenter argues that the speed of light being the universal speed limit was suggestively analogous to digital processors having a limited speed. This is a blatant example of Tech Homogeneity and Time Homogeneity, and possibly Stupid Programmers. Any smart dev team could easilly have, say, one second of the simulation pass for every thousand years of "real" time. There is utterly no connection to be drawn here. Also, Whitworth's quote of "how can empty space have properties?" is definitely Classical Physics Bias.

A universe without a lightspeed limit ("limit" is a terrible word; but then, it's modern physics - every word is terrible on the surface: classical bias and whatnot!) is a universe in which there is no conservation of energy.

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  As an analogy, let's look at a popular apologetic argument. Is it just the Universe, or is it the universe and God? If it's just the universe, what explains the existence of the universe? Nothing. If it's the universe AND God, though, then God can be the explanation for the universe. AHA! One of these explains what is around us, and therefore, by flawed logic, it must be true! (Similarly, if it's just God, then God is not explained, but if we have the sociological models of God as nothing but a cultural invention, then God is explained, therefore, God is a cultural invention.)

Look, you seem like a clever young man, and that's a very good question, but I'm afraid it's turtles all the way down.

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  7) ~6:45 Locality violated by quantum entanglement. I honestly have no idea how quantum entanglement works, but I don't entirely trust the presenter on it. Regardless, the statement of locality being disproven by it does not imply a virtual reality... just that locality is not required in an objective reality. This is a Classical Physics Bias.

The single biggest one of all time.

Entangled is how we describe a state which exists in a tensor product of spaces without being a tensor product of discrete states within said bases.

And "local reality" just means classical physics. So of course a quantum universe breaks those rules!

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  8) ~7:55 Existence of matter depends on observation. The quantum mechanics are beyond me, but fine, let's say it's so. That still doesn't argue for a simulation. (It does remove that objection from point 4, though.)

DEAR GOD NO.
No
That's going full Deepak Chopra. Never go full Deepak Chopra!
(not that you have...)

"Observation" is an easy word to misunderstand (being modern physics, an intuitive definition is very much both useless and wrong). I much prefer "interaction" (as do, as it happens, all my professors, colleagues, and textbooks). Waveforms resolve due to interaction, which can be of almost any sort imaginable. Nothing whatsoever in the formalism requires an observer in any naive sense.

But of course, a human experiment necessarily involves a human observer. And birds go tweet and the sun also rises.

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  The presenter concludes with the "inescapable" conclusion that the universe behaves like a virtual reality. To which I say... you needed evidence for that? It's an unfalsifiable position. ANY feature of the universe we might observe could be accounted for by saying, "hey, that's included in the simulation". You haven't proven anything, because you've overcome no burden of proof to get here.

Yes.

And since I can sit here and use my computer to simulate another computer to play Minecraft to build a computer, who's to say our simulators aren't a simulation ad nauseaum? It's like a dressed up omphalic hypothesis. Unfalsifiable, and staggeringly, overwhelmingly useless.

And while that's a very good question, and you seem like a clever young man, I'm afraid it's turtles all the way down.

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  ~11:25, they move on to the idea of the simulation occuring in a mind... and they mean the abstract notion of a mind, something not manifest in the material world at all. I would challenge them to point to one visible instance of this, anywhere. It's made-up. It's like saying lepracaun magic does it... and never mind that we've got no reason to believe that leprauchan magic exists or even could exist. We're supposed to dismiss their other two alternatives as implausible, and buy into this one? Give me a break! (I'll leave aside whether mind creates matter. CJLR?)

If by mind creating matter you mean interaction collapsing waveforms, then sure.

Which is, sure, insofar as the thing expressed in the waveform already existed (being - generally - a quantized excitation of an underlying field), and is necessarily itself a consequence of a net flow of energy (energy being presumably conserved for the universe as a whole); and by 'create' one means 'come to exist within a single well-defined eigenstate of its space in the relevant measurement basis, as opposed to a prior superposition'; and if by 'mind' one really means 'observation' by which one really means 'interaction'...

So, more like 'no', really.

And on a not very related note, how does one even define 'mind', anyway?

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  So, finally (~3:20), after totally misusing the word "deduction", the presenter gets to the formal argument.

P1: Simulations can only exist in a computer or in a mind. NOT SO, or at least not as phrased. Simulated combat can occur in, say, a paintgun arena. However, I'll allow it in the spirit it was intended.

Notwithstanding that one might well define computer as 'a thing which simulates'...

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  P2: The Universe is a simulation. Discussed as length above. I will agree that it is within the realm of possibility but wholly unproven.

Well, sure, but the omphalic hypothesis is within the realm of possibility too. One is then inclined to ask, so what?

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  P5: This mind is what we call God. WHOA. WHOA. Back the horse up. I've got no problem with calling it a god (if it exists, though we've already parted ways on that), but we should distinguish between this god and the Abrahamic notion of God, unless they're also shown to be similar. It's got that whole Omnipotent/Omniscient/Creator vibe going, sure, but what else? But as far as logical structure goes, this is AWFUL. It would be one thing if they at least spent some effort explaining how it ties into conventional notions of a god, but this is the equivalent of proving that kumquats exist, and then at the 11th hour squeezing in, oh hey let's rename kumquats to be God, and therefore...
C: God exists. Follows from the premises, but only if the premises are true.

Well, yeah. It's an all-time classic.
Premise: Deism
Conclusion: Christianity.

How? Never you mind.
(this is how all so-called "sophisticated" apologetics works - cosmological arguments don't got shit to do with moldy old scripture and mythologies, but it'd be a shame to let little things like details get in the way!)

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Really, I stand by what I said earlier about their brains switching off the further into their argument they get. They START reasonable, but they don't STAY reasonable. I don't know whether it's because they think they can stop trying because by now they've got us hooked, or if they just stop thinking straight themselves because they're approaching the ecstasy of the climax. (OH GOD!)

... Because there's a predetermined apologetic conclusion to be reached here, Reltzik, and damnit, they're going to reach it.

(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  So to summarize. The entire argument is of the form A -> B, A-> C, B, therefore A, therefore C. The universe being simulated (A) would imply a simulator © and also artifacts in the simulation manifesting as quanta (B). We have those quanta, therefore it is a simulation, therefore there exists a simulator. This is definitely based on a deductive fallacy. However, I'll let this slide, since it's presented as an inferential, abductive argument, rather than a deductive one. What I WON'T let slide is that in such an abductive argument, we need to show that B at least implies A more strongly than not-A. This they haven't done. Not even close to it. Not even really attempted to do it, if you ignore Classical Physics Bias. P2 remains utterly and totally unsupported, and the entire argument hangs on P2.

YOU CAN'T PROVE IT WRONG LOL CHECKMATE ATHEISTS

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12-01-2014, 09:14 PM
RE: The Virtual Reality Theory
This forum is so much better than the Facebook pages I've been frequenting.. lol
So far the responses are pretty exhaustive. Awesome sauce.

I'll get back on here and respond once I get more free time this week.

“What you believe to be true will control you, whether it’s true or not.”

—Jeremy LaBorde
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13-01-2014, 05:46 AM
RE: The Virtual Reality Theory
(12-01-2014 06:05 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  P5: This mind is what we call God. WHOA. WHOA. Back the horse up. I've got no problem with calling it a god (if it exists, though we've already parted ways on that), but we should distinguish between this god and the Abrahamic notion of God, unless they're also shown to be similar. It's got that whole Omnipotent/Omniscient/Creator vibe going, sure, but what else?
Given all the limitations the simulator has according to the presented line of reasoning (e.g. a computer with insufficient processing power), the hypothesized god is obviously neither omnipotent nor omniscient.

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