sharxx101

Is god a computer programmer?

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It's ironic and funny that "science" has been saying for centuries theres no god but now simulation theory posits the existence of a creator all of a sudden god is real again. But of course nobody elses gods are real but the science god is real. Where have we heard that before?

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needs to take a foundational course in philosophy, along with Jim Carey.

 

largely (epistemologically), it makes no sense.

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So what's the simulation a simulation of, and what created that? It's the "all the way back" problem of recursion. 

 

Quote

“Look at the way the Universe behaves, it’s quantized, it’s made of pixels. Space is quantitized, matter is quantitized, energy is quantitized, everything is made of individual pixels. Which means the Universe has a finite number of components. Which means a finite number of states. Which means it’s computer.

...

“Our world bears all the hallmarks of one that is simulated."

 

He's drawing a pretty long bow here. He's assuming from the premise that because matter shares some analogous properties with computer simulations, the conclusion is that reality is a simulation. Just because an apple shares with a banana the properties of being made up of atoms, that both contain sugars, etc. doesn't mean that an apple is a simulation of a banana. He's going to need to be a lot more rigorous to convince me. 

 

That said, I don't understand physics or computer science well enough to evaluate his claims in any technical detail. 

 

Here's a thread that discusses the same topic, from a guy who was arguing the point earlier than the bloke in this article. 

 

Here's a bloke who shares a similar view (warning: Vice) :P

 

 

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I take issue with every usage of the word "evidence" in that article.

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42 minutes ago, DiscoStu said:

It's ironic and funny that "science" has been saying for centuries theres no god but now simulation theory posits the existence of a creator all of a sudden god is real again. But of course nobody elses gods are real but the science god is real. Where have we heard that before?

Even if we assumed for a minute that "science" was some kind of homogeneous institution (which it isn't), rather than a way to question the world around us in a meaningful way (which it should be)... I don't think that "science" has ever said anything of the kind. Individual people might believe it but, kinda by definition, beliefs which are not supported by evidence, are not science.

 

There is a big difference between saying that there is no evidence for something, and saying that it is wrong. It's an even bigger leap to say that because there's no evidence for something, that it must be wrong AND this alternate theory (which also has no evidence, but we won't worry about that) must be right instead. I mean, if we want to treat "science" as an entity for a little longer, I would say that it is agnostic rather than atheist. (unless there's been some amazing new evidence discovered about how life or the universe began that I've missed)

 

That's why I like the scientific method - you are not encouraged to take anything on faith. Part of the process of real science (as opposed to stoned "the universe looks like it's made of pixels" kind of bullshit philosophising) is sharing how you came to those conclusions, so that others can pick it apart & question it & replicate it themselves if they want to. I think the problem that most people really have with all this is that it's a lot of hard work. Who has time to read, much less think about what you read? Much easier to just pick a news channel with some sexy reporters and believe what they tell you instead.

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29 minutes ago, Anodyne said:

I take issue with every usage of the word "evidence" in that article.

 

Cacked me out just for the record. The responses to this thread are gold SAB imo./config_lifehack.exe  :wink:

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Wont make it to EGA Etheral too much work on atm :(. I like when you touch my bum better lol wink wink ;) I do miss u guys in Melb.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Anodyne said:

Even if we assumed for a minute that "science" was some kind of homogeneous institution (which it isn't), rather than a way to question the world around us in a meaningful way (which it should be)... I don't think that "science" has ever said anything of the kind. Individual people might believe it but, kinda by definition, beliefs which are not supported by evidence, are not science.

 

There is a big difference between saying that there is no evidence for something, and saying that it is wrong. It's an even bigger leap to say that because there's no evidence for something, that it must be wrong AND this alternate theory (which also has no evidence, but we won't worry about that) must be right instead. I mean, if we want to treat "science" as an entity for a little longer, I would say that it is agnostic rather than atheist. (unless there's been some amazing new evidence discovered about how life or the universe began that I've missed)

 

That's why I like the scientific method - you are not encouraged to take anything on faith. Part of the process of real science (as opposed to stoned "the universe looks like it's made of pixels" kind of bullshit philosophising) is sharing how you came to those conclusions, so that others can pick it apart & question it & replicate it themselves if they want to. I think the problem that most people really have with all this is that it's a lot of hard work. Who has time to read, much less think about what you read? Much easier to just pick a news channel with some sexy reporters and believe what they tell you instead.

it was just a throwaway post man, dont need to take it too seriously B)

but it's also not the scientific method i have a problem with. people say "science" is necessarily unbiased. wrong. raw data is unbiased sure, but "scientists" interpretation of raw data sure as shit isn't. besides, you can set up an experiment to "prove" whatever political position you want.

but to your post, i think you're giving atheists far to much credit. they've been saying for decades there's no evidence for god therefore god does not exist, and have pushed this idea as much as they can. and before you ask for detailed studies or point by point evidence i'll say i dont have any and i don't really care if you believe me or not. 

 

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A simulation of some kind, or an AI universe, should and will continue to be an appropriate possibility for consideration.  Its too appealing to be dismissed and i can think of too many scenarios to type out.  whether you do or dont include god in these scenarios, ai can also substitute for god.  Why do that? There is no humanly conceivable explanation for why god is, whereas AI may be a possible product of a very young and flawed species of ape or space insect; its immediately more tenable than an unexplainable god, but why limit yourself to either/or when theres so many ways to combine the different theories?  Anywhere in the picture somebody/thing may choose to birth a being of awesome creative potential, perhaps the safest way to do this is to hurl it into a void/sandbox where it is forced to believe it is the source, insulating your own universe from its reach;    so sufficiently advanced technology is not only indistinguishable from god, it can make beings unable to distinguish themselves from god. 

 

That anything at all should exist is difficult to fathom.  Maybe existence is is just turbulence, a lapse of decency.

At our level of comprehension, the following are probably equally absurd. 

 

-Everything just came out of nothing, possibly in some kind of bang

-A superintelligent computer just came out of nothing, possibly in some kind of bang

-An omnipotent being is beyond time and form

-A superintelligent computer is beyond time and form

 

 

 

 

Edited by ThunderIdeal
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A simulation of some kind, or an AI universe, should and will continue to be an appropriate possibility for consideration.  Its too appealing to be dismissed and i can think of too many scenarios to type out.  whether you do or dont include god in these scenarios, ai can also substitute for god.  Why do that? There is no humanly conceivable explanation for why god is, whereas AI may be a possible product of a very young and flawed species of ape or space insect; its immediately more tenable than an unexplainable god, but why limit yourself to either/or when theres so many ways to combine the different theories?  Anywhere in the picture somebody/thing may choose birth a being of awesome creative potential

 

Fuck what happened to my post

 

Too profound.  God/AI/bigbang ate my post to prevent the truth!

 

Edit: ok only my double post be truncated.  damn.  Was going to pretend it was such a bomb post that the matrix had to intervene... 

 

Anyway, whilst the big bang theory is only a what without a why (the cause is speculated to be a preceding crunch eg cyclical universe or an injection of energy from outside), i want to briefly (again) cast some doubt on the evidence that led us there, and suggest the origin of the universe (if it even had one) might be further than we can look.  The big bang is inferred by two things: the microwave background, which a few renegade scientists and also a few well placed scientists dispute, and the expanding or receding universe.  The universe is said to be expanding because of our method of guaging the distance of anything outside our neighbourhood (basically the entire universe).  A light spectrum measurement called redshift is said to describe how quickly an object is travelling away from us, and since each galaxy is held to be generally moving away from every other galaxy, the faster its receding then the further away it must be.  Its a really neat concept if you can be sure that a light measurement accurately describes recessional velocity, but perhaps the only way to know for sure, is to witness galaxies leave our visible universe (which it is supposed they all eventually will).  A prominent astronomer opposed this explanation of redshift and presented evidence.  He was professionally destroyed.  Anyway, yes, a few renegade scientists dispute redshift too.

 

In the meantime busloads of cosmologists and physicists have made careers out of tweaking various big bang models to get the correct distributions of mass while other physicists and astronomers have continually revised how much mass there is; to the point where it seems mainstream scientists are preparing to give dark matter the flick.  

 

I guess the point is that without the comfort of a viable creation myth/theory or faith in our ability to find another to replace it, then simulation as a possibility gains some standing, after all a simulation starts where you tell it to without requiring a legitimate birth with perfectly blended primordial chaos that progresses within desired parameters (eg life spawning universe).  "begin simulation" is its origin.  I think thats one of the main points nick bostrom tried to make: once an initial state is achieved where simulation is possible, from that point on simulation becames the simplest and most likely explanation for any given reality. 

Edited by ThunderIdeal
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13 hours ago, DiscoStu said:

but to your post, i think you're giving atheists far to much credit. 

 

I read Ano's post with regards to atheism as meaning that, as he says, if we treat science as an entity, it isn't atheistic. If it were, imo it would be pretty nihilistic: if we don't have evidence for something it doesn't exist, as you say, and that's a pretty shit basis for scientific inquiry. I think Ano's on the money when he compares science to taking an agnostic position, which I take to mean that if we don't have evidence for something we simply don't know about it. 

 

9 hours ago, ThunderIdeal said:

At our level of comprehension, the following are probably equally absurd. 

 

-Everything just came out of nothing, possibly in some kind of bang

-A superintelligent computer just came out of nothing, possibly in some kind of bang

-An omnipotent being is beyond time and form

-A superintelligent computer is beyond time and form

 

Interesting points. I think in the other thread you made some other really thought provoking observations, too. Like the possibility of being mislead by our senses. It seems at least possible to me that our understanding of fundamental concepts like existence are just products of (in some ways) dodgy filters developed for reasons of survival and reproduction over the course of our evolutionary history. If we're coming at questions of existence from a flawed angle, like looking at it in terms of birth-life-death, it's possible questions like "where did stuff come from in the first place" are nonsensical or incomprehensible from the epistemological frame we're using to examine them. 

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17 hours ago, DiscoStu said:

you can set up an experiment to "prove" whatever political position you want.

This is so true but it is not the whole story. To take an idea, a hypothesis, and turn it into a scientific theory requirers 2 steps. The first is like you said, you must come up with an experiment which demonstrates your idea. With religion, and all too often politics, this first stage is as far as it goes. Science takes it 1 stage further by then opening it up to peer review. This effectively means every other person on the planet gets a chance to prove it wrong. The existance of god has been peer reviewed more than any other topic in history. All the so called evidence has, so far, been very swiftly debunked. I'm not saying this will always be the case. I personaly hope  this debate moves away from confusing dogma and more into the relm of critical thinking so that we can unlock the truth.

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20 hours ago, DiscoStu said:

it was just a throwaway post man, dont need to take it too seriously B)

but it's also not the scientific method i have a problem with. people say "science" is necessarily unbiased. wrong. raw data is unbiased sure, but "scientists" interpretation of raw data sure as shit isn't. besides, you can set up an experiment to "prove" whatever political position you want.

but to your post, i think you're giving atheists far to much credit. they've been saying for decades there's no evidence for god therefore god does not exist, and have pushed this idea as much as they can. and before you ask for detailed studies or point by point evidence i'll say i dont have any and i don't really care if you believe me or not. 

 

People will say anything and often do. However, when you say that atheists say there is no god and therefore god does not exist you presume to speak for all atheists. I find that interesting that one can do that. Kind of like one can make any allegation and without backing it up presume it to be true as one doesn't care whether someone else believes them or not. 

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2 hours ago, Crop said:

Science takes it 1 stage further by then opening it up to peer review. This effectively means every other person on the planet gets a chance to prove it wrong. The existance of god has been peer reviewed more than any other topic in history. All the so called evidence has, so far, been very swiftly debunked. 

peer review doesn't mean shit. have you seen the garbage that passes "peer review"? lol

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If we are living in simulated reality would that mean malcolm turnbull is a virus or just a self destructing message ?

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I like to conceptualise god as ultimate complexity. Digital technologies are powerfully symbolic of what contemporary societies understand as the most complex. For me, the god as computer programmer metaphor has some value for the present.

 

I also think this ultimate complexity god conceptualisation is useful for evaluating religions/ideologies/disciplines/philosophies in general.

 

Science conceived as unbiased or homogenous does not account for subjectivity, cannot account for the ultimate complexity and is thus not a complex philosophy. However, science conceived of as a self-critical method, as Anodyne has described it, can account for both objectivity and subjectivity. In Anondyne’s sense, science does manage to parallel an ultimate complexity philosophy.

Edited by Wile E. Peyote
spacing
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can god look like a toad or frog ? even to some people? (or horsies)

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19 minutes ago, ☽Ţ ҉ĥϋηϠ₡яღ☯ॐ€ðяئॐ♡Pϟiℓℴϟℴ said:

can god look like a toad or frog ? even to some people? (or horsies)

LOL, Why not, after all, a toad can help you talk to god far better than any priest.

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Follow the yellow prick toad

and if you get in trouble just click your heels 3 times.

-----------------------------

 

Thinking about malcom turnbull being a virus, maybe Mal-ware would be a better description.

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On 12/1/2017 at 8:37 AM, DiscoStu said:

but it's also not the scientific method i have a problem with. people say "science" is necessarily unbiased. wrong.

Wait, who the hell are these "people" who claim that science is without bias? Huge chunks of the process (peer review, as Crop already mentioned, and also statistical analysis - which basically exists to help keep our own over-active pattern-finding in check) are built entirely around the understanding that everyone IS biased. So these checks are put in place to attempt to minimise that (or at least balance it against some opposing biases :rolleyes:). And of course those attempts are also subject to bias, and so on down the rabbithole we go. To steal a line from Heinlein: it's a poor system, the best thing that can be said about it is that it's about eight times as good as any other method we've tried.

 

I do understand the issues & criticisms you bring up with putting these ideas into practice. I rail all the time against the poorly-designed studies, unsupported conclusions, biases & corporate corruption that plague every field of science. In fact I abandoned a career in pharmacology to work shitkicker jobs just because the corruption in that industry upset me so much that I couldn't bear to face it every day. But you're taking the worst perversions of scientific ideals as the foundation for your judgement?

 

On 12/1/2017 at 8:37 AM, DiscoStu said:

but to your post, i think you're giving atheists far to much credit. they've been saying for decades there's no evidence for god therefore god does not exist,

Okay, I think I see the problem here. You're using the words "atheist" & "science" interchangeably, as if all scientists are atheists and all atheists are scientists. And both hashslingr & myself have already pointed out the flaw there. If you just replaced the word "science" with the word "atheists" in your first post, then I would agree completely.

 

And while this might seem like a petty point, and I'm sure that you (DiscoStu) understand the distinction between reified & non-reified "science", I doubt that everyone who agrees with you can make the same claim. So I know that "defining our terms" is such a pedantic stereotypical scientist thing to do, but it's important because those words express how we see things. And how a lot of people right now seem to see "science" is as a untrustworthy villain. They are throwing out the rational-thinking-baby with the pharmaceutical-scandal-bathwater, and so we end up with creationism in public schools and climate-change-deniers setting energy policies. Or people dismissing the entire field of biotech just because Monsanto are cunts. You can be critical of how scientific ideas are applied, without abandoning the good bits (like rational thinking, peer review & testing your theories) entirely and rejecting the whole enterprise. Just as I can respect the "be excellent to each other" portions of religion, rather than judging them all on the basis of a few crazy chapters & pedo priests. I just hope that people who see Science as a villain consider the alternative: that it has become a victim of capitalism, like so many other ideals.

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Lol... "science" whatever the Fuck that is makes me chuckle, as I confess as a scientist with some years in the game in government, NGO and consulting realms.

 

People are fallible, and some just spin my head.... Like devout geologists... :rolleyes:Which is another tale:wink:

 

I've challenged peers and colleagues.... Not all scientists have ethics, skills or give a Fuck. Not all want to call out bullshit, or can.... Sounds like the real world don't it.

 

I've seen some recent "science"   bashing... Lol... Hey it's been bastardised enough to attempt to sell ya fckn laundry powder and cosmetics.

 

Then I could rant about academic vs applied:)

 

Edit -  I don't subscribe to simulation theories

Edited by waterboy 2.0

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Is god peanut butter?

 

Is the goddess jam?

 

Is god a tea cup?

 

Is the goddess a saucer?

 

Do we have any conclusive evidence one way or another? 

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