Monday, March 17, 2008

Living a dream

It's an old idea basically, and we may even have had it mentioned around here before, but it's in interesting idea. It boils down to: if we and the universe are not real, how could we possibly know about it? By the nature of things, since it would be a closed system, it can't be proven or disproven.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It can't be proven or disproven by our current line of thinking. If such a computer simulation exists and we're in it part of the experiment may be whether or not we'll ever find conclusive proof for it. If this is so, hints may exist somewhere within the universe or advanced technology could reveal the answer. (I think it would be fairly convincing if we made a computer that was able to alter physical laws by changing the code within the program.)

At any rate we're better off not knowing. Humanity is too immature to deal with something like this. If it could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that this world is a computer simulation (or the dream of a slumbering god) most of humanity would probably live in denial while an isolated sect, so devoted to their version of the truth, would go mad and initiate chaos. In the end we might actually mature because of it but since that scenario hasn't been initiated it's impossible to say. (So basically, our theoretical programmers would be extremely wise in giving us the ability to uncover the truth but only if we survive long enough to develop the necessary technology, indicating we're at least mature enough not to destroy ourselves with it.)

It brings to mind the question, "why did God create the universe?" My favorite answer thus far is, "because it was curious." Contemplating this stuff may be little more than mental masturbation but my god... Makes me wish every pointless thing I did ended with some kind of orgasm.

Monsieur Beep said...

I think the whole thing boils down to the fact that our intelligence is capable of understanding only a tiny fraction of the whole story around us. Presently our existence is restricted to planet Earth, and our intelligence is sufficient for getting along in this environment.
What we don't understand is explained by the introduction of a "God".
The revelation of the whole story would be truly fascinating.......

BlankPhotog said...

I'd say there's a 99.99% chance that you're all just living in my head. If you call that living... ;)

eolake said...

Personally I want out.

ttl said...

Eolake said: "Personally I want out."

But if this is a pure virtual reality experiment, as the news clip speculates, there is no "out". You are just a character in an experiment run by some transcendental being. When you die, you cease to exist in all forms of being.

Of course, it is possible that we are avatars each controlled by a separate transcendental being. In that case, you could say that there is an "out", but you (in your transcendental existence) are already there.

eolake said...

Already there, exactly.

Or every consciousness may be illusory and stem from just One Oneness.

Alex said...

This is a fun part of the mythology in Bone by Jeff Smith. Good art, interesting story, well put together. Not just for kids.

eolake said...

I've read most of Bone (and have them all on the shelf), but I must have missed that part.

Alex said...

Thorn and the Dragons keep going into the dream world parallel to the regular world. The Dreaming being the connectivity of all things, like Gaia mythology, or "The Force" in Star Wars.

If one is of a fanciful bent, one can start questioning which is the real world and which is the dream;


SPOILERS


much like the last episode of "Life On Mars", where Sam realizes that the future voices coming to his coma are dream voices coming to his wakening.

One has to investigate the similarities between "Life on Mars" and "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax".

ttl said...

Kevin Kelly: Humanity's Identity Crises.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"Makes me wish every pointless thing I did ended with some kind of orgasm."

Heh. I'd love it if every masturbation could give ME an orgasm of cosmic proportions. :-)

BlankPhotog said...
"I'd say there's a 99.99% chance that you're all just living in my head."


I knew it! BlankPhotog is John Malkovitch!