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New Scientist, ever inventive, wonders if we could become gods

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Hey, that idea was actually invented a long time ago, but don’t let that deter us from this:

The human universe: Could we become gods?

But perhaps the most curious of all is the idea that the universe isn’t real, and we live in a computer simulation created by a superior intelligence. In fact, according to Nick Bostrom, the philosopher who developed the idea, this is the most likely explanation for our existence.

Whatever the plausibility of this claim, it begs a tantalising question: could we ever create such a simulation? Could we become the gods of an artificial universe inhabited by creatures so smart they are able to question their own place in their universe? [subscribe wall follows shortly]

On the other hand, wait long enough and you won’t have to subscribe. They’ll tell you someone’s latest formula for free.

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9 Replies to “New Scientist, ever inventive, wonders if we could become gods

  1. 1
    Jim Smith says:

    “But perhaps the most curious of all is the idea that the universe isn’t real, and we live in a computer simulation created by a superior intelligence.”

    Right, the programmer’s name is Yahweh and the computer is His mind. In a realm where the only thing that exists is mind, the only things that are real are thoughts.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Jim Smith, you hit the nail on the head. Along that line, this following video may interest you:

    Digital Physics Argument for God’s Existence – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Xsp4FRgas

    Digital Physics Argument
    Premise 1: Simulations can only exist is a computer or a mind.
    Premise 2: The universe is a simulation.
    Premise 3: A simulation on a computer still must be simulated in a mind.
    Premise 4: Therefore, the universe is a simulation in a mind (2,3).
    Premise 5: This mind is what we call God.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    I am the god of the computer programs I write. And they prove that unguided software can arise naturally without any need to appeal to a god of the gaps.

  4. 4

    Mung:

    I am the god of the computer programs I write.

    She’s a few levels up, and you play by her rules. Just try a divide by zero.

    Which also proves that we are not in a simulation, as there is a zero posting here who divides.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    begin
    0/0
    rescue
    STDERR.puts “Thou shalt not divide by zero.”
    end

    begin
    0/0
    rescue
    STDERR.puts “Your divide by zero was successful! Would you like to do it again?”
    end

  6. 6
    ppolish says:

    Human programmers made in the image of God. What is Elon Musk so afraid of?

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Could a digital computer design and run a simulation without be programmed to do it by a human being, even in principle?

    If it can then God could be a giant computer and we are just a simulation running on it.

    If it can’t then the human brain is fundamentally different from a digital computer and analogies about what digital devices can and can’t do are of little if any value when it comes to determining what the brain can do.

  8. 8
    Mapou says:

    Yahweh: “Ye are Gods”.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Always nice to leave Reciprocating Bill speechless.

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