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Posted: 08 September 2012 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Suppose that something like the simulation theory is correct. Just as in the future we’ll be creating simulated universes, so we may ourselves be in one right now. The simulators don’t really care about us or how our lives go, and they may have all sorts of strange reasons for creating the simulation. Also, they are limited in power and knowledge, so while they can do amazing things like end the universe whenever they feel like it, or produce a flood or hurricane just like that, they don’t know exactly how many people will be killed in the flood or exactly what the consequences will be.

Now, the question is, does it make sense to feel grateful to these simulators for creating such a cool universe? My own view is that it does. The theist seems to think that these feelings are rational only if they’re directed towards a perfect being, but why should this be so? Why not have a religion about imperfect beings? After all, if I created a simulated universe, and the creatures inside it decided to start a religion thanking me for creating their world, I don’t think it would be so crazy. They don’t need to tell me how great I am or how I never make a mistake. They just want to say thank you for creating.

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“Life is shit, but the graphics is good”

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Posted: 08 September 2012 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Did you read Stanislav Lem’s ‘Non Serviam’?

The title says it all. Take care, it is a long text. Maybe I’ll reread, so I can discuss it with you.

PS A bonmot of my children’s generation: “Life is shit, but the graphics is good”.

[ Edited: 08 September 2012 10:54 PM by GdB ]
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“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

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Posted: 08 September 2012 11:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Are the simulators able to “feel” satisfaction if we thank them?  Maybe they would behave like the (idealistic) Abrahamic God, and demand our thanks and/or groveling, while threatening us with destruction. shock

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Posted: 09 September 2012 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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GdB, thanks for the great link. Previously the only thing I’d read by him was Solaris, which I loved. This essay rambles on a bit, but there are some fascinating bits and pieces. One thing in particular got me thinking: just imagine if the creators of the universe didn’t mean to create us! We just somehow accidentally emerged and now the creator/creators don’t know what to think about us or what to do about us. So many theists and atheists are still stuck in this either/or way of thinking where we’re either here by accident or there’s a creator with a plan. But it could be that BOTH are true. The designers may have had various reasons for creating the universe, but they were then totally surprised and baffled when dinosaurs and human beings emerged.     

By the way, I absolutely love that quote - “Life is shit, but the graphics is good”. Is it OK if I use that as my signature here?

[ Edited: 09 September 2012 05:23 PM by Dom1978 ]
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“Life is shit, but the graphics is good”

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Posted: 10 September 2012 01:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Dom1978 - 09 September 2012 05:15 PM

One thing in particular got me thinking: just imagine if the creators of the universe didn’t mean to create us! We just somehow accidentally emerged and now the creator/creators don’t know what to think about us or what to do about us. So many theists and atheists are still stuck in this either/or way of thinking where we’re either here by accident or there’s a creator with a plan.

Well, I assume you do not take the idea of creators too serious, do you? Are you thinking about what to answer to christians?
A god that starts of the universe, and is astonished about the results would be a kind of deistic god: he determined the laws of nature, threw in a portion energy and matter with some starting velocities, and looks what is happening. But that of course is per definition not a omniscient god: he is an experimentalist curious to know what will happen! To such a creator I think you might feel thankful, but nothing more. Non Serviam. No special honouring necessary.

6-2-08.gif

I think there is not much difference with realising that it is an extraordinary event that we are alive and conscious of it, that this is an awesome fact, that it shows how precious our little planet and our little lives are.

Dom1978 - 09 September 2012 05:15 PM

By the way, I absolutely love that quote - “Life is shit, but the graphics is good”. Is it OK if I use that as my signature here?

O shit, I should have had it patented, copyrighted, I could have earned a lot of money with it… Well too late. Of course, just use it. Spread the message!

[ Edited: 10 September 2012 03:08 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 10 September 2012 05:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Perhaps humans are a virus introduced by another alien to upset the balance of this SIMM earth, just to see hat would happen. Celestial competition for creating universes. The winner….?  He gets to be called God.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Its an interesting theory. Something to ponder when your mind wanders off, but ultimately untestable in any way that I can think of. As such its just another religion among many and not worth much thought unless you can design an experiment that we could do to disprove it.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m arguing against the theist who says that in feeling grateful or thankful the non-believer is either totally irrational or else deep down still commited to theism. My little thought experiment is designed to show that it can still be reasonable to feel and/or express these things. You could say thanks for creating my beautiful wife. Maybe you didn’t mean to do it, and maybe she’ll die in some horrible accident next month, but thanks anyway! That’s the kind of thing I have in mind. As for worship, I’m against it in all its forms.

[ Edited: 10 September 2012 04:44 PM by Dom1978 ]
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“Life is shit, but the graphics is good”

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Posted: 11 September 2012 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I actually thought of the idea of comparing human’s need to pray to gods like computer chips and subroutines wasting energy praising you for their creation when you’ve designed them to serve a different function all together. It would be annoying and counterproductive. Imagine, for instance, making a futuristic program that creatively creates entertaining two-hour movies using computer generated characters, etcetera, and instead of getting a good suspenseful action thriller, the program world begins to ‘think’ on its own and acts to constantly praise the unknown you, sacrificing and begging you the viewer to entertain them!  Oh damn, they’re gonna sacrifice another RAM for me!

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I eat without fear of certain Death from The Tree of Knowledge because with wisdom, we may one day break free from its mortal curse.

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Posted: 02 October 2012 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Actually an frightening thought, god could exist and be some stupid, evil teenager and we would be at his mercy.

Life is shit, but the graphics is good

I thought it was:

Life is a shitty game, but the graphics are good

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Posted: 03 October 2012 12:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Alexander80 - 02 October 2012 04:11 PM

Life is a shitty game, but the graphics are good

Sound nicer, yes. I was translating from German.

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