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AhYem's avatar

Do you think our Reality is real or could it be someone's simulation?

Asked by AhYem (348points) January 3rd, 2023

This is an open question with no definite answer, ‘cause we simply can’t know what our Reality is like.

But we can have our own opinion on it.

Mine is that our Reality is a simulation. A real Reality can’t be stupid, illogical or miserable and it can’t contain suffering. Our Reality is like that because it is a simulation. Just like prison life is real as an occurrence, but not real as compared to life as such, because life as such doesn’t have prisons. In life as such every one and every thing is free. Prisons do exist, but they are not natural, so someone had to create them and make them a sort of “parallel way of living” – parallel to the natural way of living.

So, what would you say about our Reality? Does it seem to you to be real or rather a kind of simulation?

In case you think it’s a simulation, would you care to say who created it?

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27 Answers

Zaku's avatar

The common conception of reality may be an illusion, from certain points of view, but I do not believe it could be “someone’s simulation”.

Awareness or consciousness is the one thing we know is real. It usually seems like there is a pretty consistent and infinitely complex reality which we usually seem to experience. But nothing in that “physical reality” really explains what conscious awareness is, or why.

flutherother's avatar

If Reality is a simulation, what is it a simulation of?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m an engineer and have the need, will, expertise and equipment to measure virtually anything. Anything. I can also share this data with other engineers and get a similar result.
If it is a simulation they had to simulate what my equipment outputs – including random noise.
Not likely.

ragingloli's avatar

They only have to simulate that at the moment you are measuring it. Otherwise coarse approximations will do. Hell, if no one is looking at it, they do not have to simulate it at all.

janbb's avatar

Does it matter?

Entropy's avatar

I agree with you that we can’t KNOW. If we are simulated, we would be simulated to believe our senses, and our senses are our only window to reality…so if they’re foolable, there can be no certainty. Descartes famous “I think therefore I am” reflects a time before we knew that sentient AI was coming.

However, I think it’s far more likely that this is reality. You cite reality’s imperfections as evidence of simulation, but I would cite the same as evidence that it is real. A simulation is more likely to be perfect. Our world’s imperfections, our inability to act with perfect knowledge or coordination is proof that we’re just a bunch of evolved organisms stumbling around doing our best with limited and flawed information.

Like, if I were a simulation, why would they simulate my appendix? An organ that does nothing? Why simulate the junk DNA in our bodies that does nothing? Why would you waste time programming something that doesn’t affect the simulation positively or negatively? Someone likely started the simulation for the purpose of testing…something. Or at least entertainment. So putting negatives and challenges in is defensible…but why stuff that just… is? What good does male pattern balding do for the simulation? Only the randomness of reality explains that.

I would also say…even if the world IS a simulation, does that change anything? You can’t escape the simulation. You’re 1s and 0s. All you can do is live within the simulation and try to carve out the best life you can however you define that. And the same is true if reality is real.

kritiper's avatar

It’s real.

LostInParadise's avatar

We have a choice of believing one of two things:
1. We live in a Universe determined by natural laws.
2. We live in a simulation of a Universe determined by natural laws.

There is no way of choosing between the two, but possibility 1 is simpler, so by Occam’s Law that is what we choose.

This is similar to the claim by 7-day creationists that the Universe was created to make it look like it is billons of years old. There is no way to refute this, but it is much simpler to believe that he Universe appears to be billions of years old because it really is billons of years old, so Occam’s Razor dismisses 7-day creationism.

jca2's avatar

My universe is real to me, so that’s what I have to go with and deal with .

ragingloli's avatar

One way to refute the claim that the Universe is made to look older than it actually is, is to then conclude that god is intentionally deceptive, which contradicts their other claim that their god is good. Think about all the aspects of the universe he has to manufacture. He has to manufacture the redshift, the microwave background radiation, geological strata, plant fake fossils, deposit fraudulent radioactive decay products, make genomes look as if they are related, including planting fake identical viral genetic insertions in identical positions to make it seem as if there was a common shared ancestor that passed on that virus infected genome to their descendants. It would make their god the greatest liar to have ever been dreamt of.

AhYem's avatar

Now this time I must say that I like all your answers given so far @ragingloli being the last one there.

Although I’d like tell something about each of your answers, I’ll do that only on those which intrigued me the most.

@Zaku‘s answer is very good in my eyes, but I won’t reply to it, because it is sufficiently philosophic, so I don’t need to “enrich” it in any way, at least not for the moment.

@flutherother wrote: If Reality is a simulation, what is it a simulation of?

If I be asked, it’s most likely a simulation of another simulation. The more a simulation digresses from the original, the more flaws occur there in.

@Entropy wrote: Like, if I were a simulation, why would they simulate my appendix? An organ that does nothing? Why simulate the junk DNA in our bodies that does nothing?

According to my understanding of the word “simulation”, it is an action of INTRODUCING a course of events, in which only the initial actions are being produced, and most of the things simply follow, because they occur as a result of the Laws that are allowed by the simulation. So for instance, if you create a simulation, you don’t need to create weapons, because all you need in that regards is create the material which weapons are being manufactured from, and make people’s nature be warlike. That’s the basics that you need to do, and every thing else – such as weapons, murders, wars et al – will spontaneously be created in course of time. In other words, you don’t really need to create every thing, but only need to make creation be possible inside that simulation. If you do that, organisms will start to “be created”, say in a process that will later be called ‘evolution’. And that ‘evolution’ will contain lots of errors or flaws or redundant things exactly because it is a digression of the original, where those things don’t exist.

@LostinParadise’s answer is very good for this reason: He has figured out – or at least assumed – that ‘their God’ must be the greatest liar ever. I liked his answer because that’s what I myself think is the case. The reason for that is not the same as the reasons that he has mentioned in his answer, but that doesn’t matter, ‘cause a liar will be a liar to different people in spite of the fact that they heard different lies from him.

Forever_Free's avatar

Only if you do not capitalize reality.

LostInParadise's avatar

@ragingloli , Couldn’t the creationist say that God gave the Universe a false history in order for us to be able to examine it and make predictions?

AhYem's avatar

@Forever_Free, given the fact that I don’t like our Reality at all, I would have to write it even with an invisible initial letter, but I still capitalize it, because I think it has to be capitalized, because it denotes something which is unique.

I dislike the Universe, The Being, Communism or Capitalism – to name just 4 from the high number of those things, but I still capitalize them because each of them denotes something that is unique.

Besides, there is a difference between time and Time, reality and Reality, space and Space or psychology and Psychology, to name just 4 from among a bunch of terms with a similar meaning… :)

Forever_Free's avatar

@AhYem If you are making it a proper noun, then please define it and put some parameters around it. Else we are spitting into the Wind.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I have 26,500+ years of memories. So we could be the last survivors from Earth, and we are in an alien zoo.
My guess is that this is the year 28,500+ .

Either that or I have some pretty descriptive detailed delusions. Or PTSD. My mind can’t accept a no win scenario. I don’t let my university days trauma go. I keep fighting.

AhYem's avatar

Now that is something, @LostInParadise.

I’m not sure what you had in mind when you asked the question >>Couldn’t the creationist say that God gave the Universe a false history in order for us to be able to examine it and make predictions?<< But I sure find that question very good as such.

The thing is, regardless who exactly made our Universe be the way it is, they purposely “inserted” thousands of “mistakes” inside it, and even made some of them paradigms or postulates. The reason for that was for them to figure out which people would have the Will, the Self-confidence and the Courage to defy those alleged “laws”, and even give their own interpretations of things – which would be either more correct or at least less wrong than those “highest truths, principles or laws”.

AhYem's avatar

I’m afraid, I don’t understand what you mean, @Forever_Free.

How am I supposed to define them or put some parameters around them? I really don’t understand that.

When I write “in course of time”, “I need some more space”, “for that matter” or “motion movie”, those 4 words are not capitalized. But when I write about Time, Space, Matter and Motion, which the whole Universe or our Reality consist of, I capitalize them all. I think i don’t need to define them, because the context does it.

Am I missing anything there?

janbb's avatar

@AhYem I believe you said you are from Macedonia. In the Us, we don’t capitalize nouns unless they are proper nouns, that is referring to something specific, i.e., the Hubble Telescope. I think that may be where @Forever_Free‘s confusion lies.

AhYem's avatar

You’re right, @janbb, I am from North Macedonia. (I have to add the word ‘North’, in order to avoid troubles due to the new regulations in that regard).

And I do understand words like Space, Time, Matter, or Reality as proper names, because in that connotation they don’t refer to many different and individual spaces or times or matters or realities, but to only one Space – AKA Universe/Cosmos/The Being/Reality/God – or Time – AKA one of the 3 or 4 dimensions – or Matter – AKA the opposite of Antimatter or of Primordial Substance – or Reality AKA The Being/Universe/Yin&Yang/Maya/The Illusion/you name it. :D

AhYem's avatar

I’m sorry, I mistakenly ascribed @ragingloli‘s answer to @LostInParadise.

Forever_Free's avatar

@janbb I am not confused about it at all. You however are on to “something”.

janbb's avatar

@Forever_Free Or is it Something?

RayaHope's avatar

Well if it is a simulation please simulate the crap out of me!

AhYem's avatar

@RayaHope, the term ‘simulation’ is not like anything that can be done on/to you in a direct way. A doctor can give you a vitamin cocktail so your body regenerates for a while. A hypnotherapist can hypnotize you and free you from some mental problems. But a simulator doesn’t work on you or on any person directly. They create realms, or ‘worlds’ as we would call them, in which things go in accordance with the rules or laws that had been set as main principles inside that simulation.

A simulation is for instance that ‘VR” (resp. Virtual Reality). You enter it and you can do anything that is allowed by the laws of that VR. If those laws allow people to fly, you’ll be able to fly, whether you have wings or not. If those laws allow you to breathe under water, you will be able to breathe there, because it won’t be ‘your lungs’ that will ‘do the breathing process’ there, but it will be rather a law that says you don’t even breathe there at all. To understand this, just think of the words that Morpheus said to Neo in the first Matrix movie: ”Do you think it’s air that you’re breathing now?,vid:-k6rhm17j4A

RayaHope's avatar

@AhYem That is so deep! I was stimulated so much lately that I didn’t know where I was.

RocketGuy's avatar

Well, there is the limit of the speed of light – is that a CPU limit? Why do things get really strange in the micro scale – is that a game resolution limit? Galaxies seem to rotate less like an entity held together by gravity, and more like a game sprite – are they simplifications for the simulation?

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