The Simulation Hypothesis
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
“Is this all real? Or is it just happening inside my head?”
Look at the way we've progressed in the simulated worlds we create in our computers. From two-dimension, old-fashioned games, the world has now developed computer games with rich simulated three-dimensional environments. For example, this generation is familiar with three-dimensional games such as Fortnite and The Sims. Say, what even is Tetris? With the successful development of life-adaptation games, a replica of our world into a video game or simulation is quite plausible.
Many think it’s absolutely absurd to even consider the idea of being a simulated character, however, some people dedicate their lives to uncover the simulation. I’m in the middle: I do advocate positive nihilism from time to time. Nick Bostrom at the University of Cambridge has taken these arguments seriously enough to propose something called The Simulation Hypothesis. This argument is based purely on probability theory and logic.
According to Bostrom, one of the following three propositions must be true:
The first hypothesis states that the chances a species (at our level of development) can avoid going extinct before technological maturity are very small, implying most species do not tend to get to this level of development. How much hope do we have in ourselves as a species? As all the science fiction movies state, advancing technology too far could make civilizations unstable and wild.
The second proposition is that almost no technologically mature civilizations, those that can create synthetic creatures like us, are interested in running simulations of minds like ours. If you had all the materials and tools in the world, why build a little game to live through less rich, ancient lives?
The third possibility or proposition is that we are living in a simulation, and we are simulated entities of some advanced creatures. A super advanced civilization will create a matrix or simulation that is essentially perfect, consequently, there's no way we'd know we're living in a simulation unless the simulators wanted us to know. This concept is by far the most popular, being portrayed in many brilliant movies such as the Matrix. So, even if we are all not real, there’s not a chance you’d eventually be able to defy the simulation and run on ceilings.
I think I'm real, but of course, everyone will think they're real in a simulated universe, and my belief in my own reality is no better than or in anyone else's reality, is it?
“Of course it’s happening inside your head. Why should that mean that it’s not real?”