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If Simulation Theory is true...


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#1
Edward

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Imagine, if Simulation Theory is true and we are all simulated humans living on a simulated planet in a simulated universe…

 

Numerous questions have occurred to me:

 

1) What are the chances that at some point in the future we discover we are simulated?

 

2) And is there a chance that those who run The Simulation will ever reveal to us that our dimension of reality is a simulation? Is there a chance they may establish some channel of communication between the inhabitants of The Simulation and the outside world?

 

I believe that if Simulation Theory is true then a process of “soft disclosure" may already be underway, and that The Matrix films are a part of this disclosure: The concept is implanted in the popular imagination, but for the time being is disregarded as fanciful and far-fetched:

 

3) I’ve been thinking: what would change if everyone on Earth knew we are all simulated? I imagine that religion would decline massively and that there would be great interest in the world outside the simulated world and in the development of artificial intelligence.

 

How would our world change, culturally, economically, socially, and politically?



#2
Cyber_Rebel

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I'm afraid of mass panic in this scenario, as many may view themselves as not "real" and have a crisis of identity. On the other hand, how would finding out about the simulation benefit us? If I'm a simulated construct or program of a lesser advanced species, then I and many would ask if the simulation could be altered for maximum happiness instead of whatever original purpose the simulation may have served. Perhaps the simulation was to see how long it would take for a sentient species to become self aware of the fact, as well as to ascertain a singularity in controlled environments. 

If that's the case, and "ending" the experiment there ends our existence, it would be morally right to maximize our experience as a reward. One could say that they should just be hands off and let the world continue as is, but once the cat is out of the bag there's no going back. It could stagnate our progress to fully know we are simulated on an all powerful computer, as the point of discover or advancement is forever within a literal sandbox. 

I ask the simulation gods not to troll us any longer, and make the Milky Way server the best paradise it can possibly be. 



#3
starspawn0

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It would cause the unraveling of society as we know it.  Just one small thing:  if humans do not have free will, then it would undermine the justice system, as all acts would be preordained.  

 

1.  About zero -- even centuries hence.

 

2.  I have no way of answering this.  It would require assigning probabilities to things I have almost no information to work from.

 

3.  Mass panic, breakdown of society.

 

....

 

Another thing to consider:  let's say that the we don't live in a simulation.  That doesn't mean there isn't a "program" we live by, without knowing it.  It could be the case that human nature acts as an equilibrating force, keeping history of the cosmos on a set course.  

 

Consider AI language models, as they currently exist.  They work by taking in large amounts of human-generated data, and can predict how to complete a story, for example, when given a few lines in the beginning.  The more data you train them with, the more plausible the story reads.  

 

Imagine, in the not too distant future, this is pushed further and further, and the AI is asked to write newspaper stories for 1 year hence.  Maybe it turns out to be dead-on accurate.

 

Now, obviously, these AI models couldn't predict the weather or other natural disasters.  Those occur with some random frequency.  But it might still be able to predict some fairly specific things -- like who wins an election, how the stock market behaves, where wars will occur and who will instigate them and how many die and by what means, and so on. 

 

This is basically Isaac Asimov's psychohistory:

 

https://en.wikipedia...ory_(fictional)

 

But what I'm suggesting is a little different.  What might be the case is that it can work not because machines develop a deep analysis of unfolding causal patterns, but because, at some level, human nature has a direction given by evolution.

 

So, certain combinations of genes lead to latent features hidden behind our use of language and our actions, that reveal a "direction" -- a force pushing things towards a singular outcome.  A sufficiently deeply trained AI system might pick up on those patterns.  If it looks like a hurricane, say, is going to throw out-of-whack some prediction it makes, humans might act as a counter-balancing force, and push it back towards what the prediction says.  One antecedent of this is the Gaia Hypothesis, except here humans are playing the role of Gaia, restoring the balance.  Yet another is the planet Solaris from Lem's novels (and the films based on it) -- it has the capacity to correct its orbit, to keep it in a perfect circle.  

 

It would be truly shocking if, when asked to predict the future, GPT-5 writes page after page of "future history", that turns out to be what you will see happen, because we humans will make it happen (so long as they don't get "contaminated" with GPT-5's predictions... unless GPT-5 because self-aware and takes its own predictions into account).

 

And, now, what if in those pages there is mention of global thermonuclear annihilation?...



#4
tomasth

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The first think to ask if one is in a Simulation is , "what is outside ?".

People will ask scientist goverments and other authorities to give answers about , Who the simulator are , the contex of making the Simulation , about their world and if its a Simulation , est.

 

1) depend on the Simulation set up.

 

2) sure that's a chance , given that we don't know better.

 

3) what does religion have to do with any of this ?



#5
StanleyAlexander

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1. If we ever become capable of creating such a simulation ourselves, that would all but prove we're living in a simulation, since it would be possible for the inhabitants of our simulation to create their own child simulation, which could create another child simulation, and so on. In this scenario, either we're one of a virtually infinite number of simulations in the chain, or we're the super special "real" universe at the top. The former is virtually infinitely more likely. Therefore I'd argue that if it's possible to create a simulation, and if we don't blow up first, we'll create one and thus prove we're in one.

 

2. I would also argue that communication with our creators is extremely unlikely in any scenario, as a purely practical consideration. I can't think of a reason to assume time would mean the same thing to us as it would to our creators, who might as well view the entire existence of our universe, from inflation to heat death, all at once as some kind of still life. Or even a science experiment, in which case they probably wouldn't want to disturb us.

 

If they did want to manifest themselves in our universe, when in our universe might they choose to do so? And how? It would most likely be at some significant point in the history of the entire cosmos, and done in a way completely irrespective, probably incomprehensible and likely undetectable to us humans, unless our civilization at some point becomes significant to the entire cosmos.

 

3. I think in this scenario (discovering we're in a simulation) religion could actually see a resurgence, with many people interpreting it as proof of the existence of a creator. The traditional trappings of present-day religions could easily be modified to account for the new data, and humans are great at finding things to worship.


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#6
Omosoap

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^Simulation games really started to make me question our own reality. That and technology that continues to accelerate. I have incorporated this idea into my own beliefs as a possibility, but it is not a core belief. I think religions at first would face a kind of shock if this theory were true, but they would be able to adapt, except for maybe the "true believer" type of religion, which would just be in constant denial as we see with the theory of evolution's interaction with some religions or sets of belief. I honestly think humanity would adapt and it would not mean the end of humanity, because our world still feels real to us. If it started to experience some kind of extended glitch or something, I could see that changing. Most humans are pretty good at pretending things are real, so it won't be hard for them to act like their life is real even if it is more of a simulation. I would feel empathy for those that can't live comfortably with cognitive dissonance though, but I honestly think that is not the majority of humanity. 



#7
DrRob

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If this happened I assume that it would take a generation before it actually got accepted. Most people would not be able to comprehend or refuse to or find another reason like god. Even if the beings running the simulation let loose and just let physics change so that everyone could fly and breath underwater, I think even the most open-minded scientists would try to find all kinds of justify this. Ideas don't die, people die.

 

Then what is left of the following generation would just take it for granted.



#8
Shalilace

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I once thought that there is no evidence that our world is not a simulation.



#9
Zeitgeist123

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1. If we ever become capable of creating such a simulation ourselves, that would all but prove we're living in a simulation, since it would be possible for the inhabitants of our simulation to create their own child simulation, which could create another child simulation, and so on. In this scenario, either we're one of a virtually infinite number of simulations in the chain, or we're the super special "real" universe at the top. The former is virtually infinitely more likely. Therefore I'd argue that if it's possible to create a simulation, and if we don't blow up first, we'll create one and thus prove we're in one.

 

 

 

If the simulation is real, then the creators who created this universe created hell. We dont know that our universe is hell because this is all we ever know. Just imagine how  things pain us in every moment of our life. We only are able to become happy, healthy or alive in a very specific condition and that in itself isnt permanent. Outside of that condition is entropy. We are being tortured all the time, but we are so used to it and the only thing about life as we know it, we accept it as part of life.


“Philosophy is a pretty toy if one indulges in it with moderation at the right time of life. But if one pursues it further than one should, it is absolute ruin." - Callicles to Socrates


#10
Kynareth

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I also find it strange, that people just accept how hellish and cruel this universe is. We are however accelerating in making it less terrible and inhumane. It doesn't change much if we are being simulated.



#11
Omosoap

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We accept it because it's all we know, most people have a religion/philosophy that tells a different story in order to cope, and we don't actually know if this is the only way a universe can be. What if in order for life to exist, death and suffering also have to exist, whether that come from a random event or a simulation or...whatever? We simply don't know. If we find out it can be different, then, we would see it as strange that it developed this way, and try to find out why it developed this way, or if there was an advantage or not. Otherwise, it would be seen as a necessary cost to living. Even now, we don't know if all human suffering is all bad all the time. For example, mental illness and creativity or genetic diseases that enable favorable traits in other ways, etc. We haven't studied enough to know if we get rid of this suffering, whether the net effect will be positive or negative for humanity or in what ways. Humans are rather young in our discoveries after all. We don't always know yet how things are interwoven/interconnected.



#12
PhoenixRu

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My intuition tells that the whole "simulation" idea is complete nonsense and our world is real. I have seen some funny ways to prove this "simulation theory", but there is, as it seems, no way to disprove it (any proof of the reality of the world can also be viewed as "deliberately embedded into simulation"). But this is what makes the whole idea unscientific (when you can only believe, but cannot verify).



#13
Zeitgeist123

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wed probably only know if simulation is real or not after we die. why do they need to open up and try to communicate while we are in the matrix. thats like ruining your game in the sims.


“Philosophy is a pretty toy if one indulges in it with moderation at the right time of life. But if one pursues it further than one should, it is absolute ruin." - Callicles to Socrates


#14
Raklian

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wed probably only know if simulation is real or not after we die. why do they need to open up and try to communicate while we are in the matrix. thats like ruining your game in the sims.

 

If we really die, we lose the capacity to think or experience anything, thus we will never find out. 


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#15
PhoenixRu

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wed probably only know if simulation is real or not after we die. why do they need to open up and try to communicate while we are in the matrix. thats like ruining your game in the sims.

 

If we really die, we lose the capacity to think or experience anything, thus we will never find out. 

 

I think Zeitgeist meant that if we're living in simulation then "we" actually are nothing else but pieces of pure information and this will become self-evident after our fake "death" inside this simulation. Somehow, "we" will still continue to exist and, moreover, the authors of simulation will reveal themselves "and try to communicate".

 

I find it dubious. Making simulations is an old hobby of mine, but I have never even thought of saving their "inhabitants" when they die inside simulation or when the whole simulation was switched off. When they die, they die, all the information of their existence and individual features disappears. Nor I have ever tried to "communicate" with those agents, we have nothing to say to each other... :)

 

I'm afraid the only way to be "saved" is to do something non-standard and unexpected to grab the attention of the Creators and make them "take a screenshot". Ancients intuitively knew this, saying that man's destiny is to entertain the gods. And while the men are mere mortals, their deeds and fame may live forever.

 

In short, your death inside the simulation will likely be exactly the same as outside (assuming you are an atheist).



#16
Zeitgeist123

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not if the purpose of creating the simulation is to do data gathering, e.g. experiences.


“Philosophy is a pretty toy if one indulges in it with moderation at the right time of life. But if one pursues it further than one should, it is absolute ruin." - Callicles to Socrates


#17
PhoenixRu

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not if the purpose of creating the simulation is to do data gathering, e.g. experiences.

 

Other hand (and very likely), they may not be interested in boring, trivial, and 99,99% repetitive "experiences" of individual agents (i.e. us). Perhaps, they're only interested in the whole picture, and only to gather the overall statistics based on quadrillion of quadrillions parallel "simulations" running on other "computers".



#18
Revolutionary Moderate

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I don't think the creators of the simulation would want us to find out the truth, as doing so would greatly affect the simulation, which that probably would not want to happen.


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