The Hypthesis

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It is then possible to argue that, if this were the case, we would be rational to think that we are likely among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones.

Therefore, if we don't think that we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears.

Thus, Bostrom, and writers in agreement with Bostrom such as David Chalmers, argue there might be empirical reasons for the "simulation hypothesis", and that therefore the simulation hypothesis is not a skeptical hypothesis but rather a "metaphysical hypothesis".

Bostrom states he personally sees no strong argument for which of the three trilemma propositions is the true one: "If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity.

This skeptical hypothesis can be traced back to antiquity; for example, to the "Butterfly Dream" of Zhuangzi, Many works of science fiction as well as some forecasts by serious technologists and futurologists predict that enormous amounts of computing power will be available in the future.

Let us suppose for a moment that these predictions are correct.Some think it obvious that (1) is true, others that (2) is true, yet others that (3) is true." As a corollary to the trilemma, Bostrom states that "Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation." Bostrom argues that if "the fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one", then it follows that we probably live in a simulation.Some philosophers disagree, proposing that perhaps "Sims" do not have conscious experiences the same way that unsimulated humans do, or that it can otherwise be self-evident to a human that they are a human rather than a Sim.Beane from the University of Bonn (now at the University of Washington, Seattle), and Zohreh Davoudi and Martin J. Under the assumption of finite computational resources, the simulation of the universe would be performed by dividing the continuum space-time into a discrete set of points.In analogy with the mini-simulations that lattice-gauge theorists run today to build up nuclei from the underlying theory of strong interactions (known as quantum chromodynamics), several observational consequences of a grid-like space-time have been studied in their work.Some critics reject the block universe view of time that Bostrom implicitly accepts and propose that we could be in the first generation, such that all the simulated people that will one day be created don't yet exist. Carroll argues that the simulation hypothesis leads to a contradiction: if a civilization is capable of performing simulations, then it will likely perform many simulations, which implies that we are most likely at the lowest level of simulation (from which point one's impression will be that it is impossible to perform a simulation), which contradicts the arguer's assumption that advanced civilizations can most likely perform simulations.Some scholars accept the trilemma, and argue that the first or second of the propositions are true, and that the third proposition (the proposition that we live in a simulation) is false.Among proposed signatures is an anisotropy in the distribution of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, that, if observed, would be consistent with the simulation hypothesis according to these physicists.Besides attempting to assess whether the simulation hypothesis is true or false, philosophers have also used it to illustrate other philosophical problems, especially in metaphysics and epistemology.David Chalmers has argued that simulated beings might wonder whether their mental lives are governed by the physics of their environment, when in fact these mental lives are simulated separately (and are thus, in fact, not governed by the simulated physics).They might eventually find that their thoughts fail to be physically caused.


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