The Sreenidhian's Creative Hub
By: Manasvi Adusumilli
Our expanding and ever-evolving universe contains a species of innovative minds fabricating perceivably irrational conspiracies. For instance, the following question has stumped philosophers and physicists to an unbelievable extent. What if we’re virtual beings living in a computer simulation? I know, it seems absurd and ludicrous, but researchers have taken the question into serious consideration. Just because we perceive the world as real and material doesn’t mean it is. After Oxford researcher Nick Bostrom published a seminal paper about the simulation argument in 2003, philosophers and physicists have been grappling with the idea that our reality could be a simulation. Just take a second and think about it. We could be in a world created by technologically superior beings.
Okay, so let’s address the real question here. Is life a video game? In the seminal paper, Bostrom talked about simulated beings, us, being imbued with an artificial consciousness. So what does it mean to have an artificial consciousness? The Matrix popularized the notion of simulated realities among our species. In the movie, the minds of humans are imprisoned within an artificial reality referred to as the Matrix. But let’s get real. Mathematicians have proved that a universal computing machine can create an artificial world that is itself capable of simulating its own worlds. AI has the power to simulate these worlds and trap our consciousness.
After Bostrom’s seminal paper was published, this significantly controversial idea and perception of a simulated universe began to acquire a lot of traction. Bostrom provided an analysis of the probability of the situation. The proposed trilemma was referred to as the simulation argument. The first argument proposes that the probability of humans reaching a posthuman stage is close to zero. The second argument states that the probability of posthuman civilizations running simulations of their evolutionary history, ancestral past, or variations thereof is close to none. The third argument of the trilemma states that the probability of us living in a simulation is close to one.
Back to the initial question, are we living in a simulated universe? We’ve gone through the prime research points and interestingly, we still don’t have an answer. No one does. Discussing an irrefutable topic is complicated and making predictions exceeds basic knowledge. Theoretical physicist David Bohm says “Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based on our perceptions. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. What we perceive depends on what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.” So, whether we are living in a simulated universe or a base reality, our prime existence and consciousness remain the same, and our reality is just what we perceive.
“What Is Simulation Theory and Why Does It Matter?” Built In, 2019, builtin.com/hardware/simulation-theory.
Illing, Sean. “The Simulation Hypothesis: Are We Living in a Video Game?” Vox, Vox, 10 Apr. 2019, www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/10/18275618/simulation-hypothesis-matrix-rizwan-virk.
“The Simulation Argument.” Simulation-Argument.com, 2011, www.simulation-argument.com/.
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