Apparently, it’s acceptable for a philosopher to posit the possibility that we’re all living in some advanced being’s computer simulation. I wonder how that same individual would react to the idea that we were all created by an Advanced Being?

As an aside, I’m not sure how an Oxford philosopher can get in print for an idea like this. This one has already been explored in a number of different movies. I suppose that doesn’t remove it from the realm of rational thought, but it’s certainly a strike against you if Hollywood has managed to describe something exactly like what you’re talking about, more than once. (The Thirteenth Floor, Dark City, The Matrix, etc)

  1. I read about that — he said he thought there was a 20% chance that we are living in such a simulation. I agree that the hypocrisy is both rife and detestable.

  2. Don’t you see? It’s our ‘creator/programmer’ dropping hints to let us know about our true [non]existence.


    Sarcasm aside, agreed on all counts.

  3. It’s okay to be the creation of an advanced being, as long as that being is not morally superior and you are not obligated to follow his demands.

    God is not satisfied with us ignoring Him, and acknowledging him requires us to admit that there is a purpose to our existence (a purpose which we might rather reject).

    But how on earth does he figure 20%?

  4. Aha! The lack of moral superiority of the creator is the bit that I was looking for here, but missing. That’s what “makes this ok” for a humanist to believe this. (:

  5. Oh, and I’m not sure where the 20% number came from, especially given his initial reasoning for the whole thing. He says that since there are likely to be many more simulated beings than “real” beings, the chances of being a simulated being are very large.

    Then later he says the chances of being a simulation are 1/5. It doesn’t follow. Must have been a slow news day for the Times.

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