The purpose of this post is to show that if the Technological Singularity does in fact occur at some point in the future, then the chances are extremely high that we are currently living in a simulation. It then logically follows that, if we are currently living in a simulation, this strongly points to the existence of “God” or a creator on a higher realm of existence. While the proposition that we live inside of a simulated universe can appear far-fetched on first glance, I believe that the idea will have to be taken more seriously as we mature technologically.
The basic premise of the Singularity is that technological advancement is not linear, but exponential. The progress in technology feeds upon itself, creating a positive feedback loop, known as the law of accelerating returns. This pattern of technological growth has been observable in the past with the most obvious example in arena of computing. As Jason Silva exclaims, “the cellphone in your pocket is a million times cheaper, a million times smaller, and a thousand time more powerful than a $60 Million dollar supercomputer was in the 1960′s. It’s a billion fold increase in price and performance in 40 years.” If these kinds of technological gains continue in various technological fields (particularly neuroscience and artificial intelligence), we will advance to a point where many current scientific impossibilities will become possible, including the ability to recreate countless simulations of our current conscious reality.
Anyone who has played the Sims, WoW, or countless other video games knows that we already have dabbled heavily in the arena of simulation. Scientists use simulations to make predictions and further research. Even though these simulations are extremely primitive to what the Singularity could usher in, it is clear that creating simulations for recreation or scientific advancement is in our nature. There are a multitude of these simulations running right now in what are best described as a sub-realities of our reality.
Nick Bostrom, as Swedish philosopher, has provided a simulation hypothesis to show that there is a rationale beyond pure speculation for the idea that we are currently living in a simulation created by an advanced civilization or advanced AI (God).
Bostrom makes the argument that at least one of these three scenarios is almost certainly true:
1. The chances that we can avoid going extinct before reaching technological maturity (like the Singularity) is extremely small.
2. No advanced civilizations or AI would have interest in running simulations of human minds (for whatever reason, including moral objections).
3. The chances we are living in a computer simulation are basically 100%.
The truth has to be at least one of these three scenarios. So if (1) and (2) are not true, then (3) must be true, which would pave the way for the existence for “God”. If we do progress as a civilization to the point where we can recreate human consciousness inside of a computer simulation, and there those in that civilization willing to do just that, then it has to be assumed that they will create countless simulations of human consciousness via exponentially improved computing power. These countless simulations would mean that the chances we are simulations would be basically 100% (if there are trillions or more simulations and only a tiny fraction can be real, then the odds heavily favor the idea that we are simulations.)
It stands that if we are in a simulation, then this points to the fact that we have been created by “God”, as we are living in sub-reality of a creator’s reality. Just in the same way that a child playing a game of the Sims would be the “God” of the video game’s sub-reality, so we would have our own “God” of our sub-reality. The rules for our simulation could look very much like the proposed rules set up by the God or gods of our current world religions. If we are living in a simulation, then heaven, or hell, or any other sort of afterlife permutation could be plausible.
If we manage to not kill each other and ourselves before reaching the Singularity, and have the moral wherewithal to recreate human consciousness inside of a computer simulation, the chances that we too are living inside a simulation are very good, and logically this provides for a solid, rational belief that “God” exists. This “God” wouldn’t necessarily be forced to have all the characteristics a traditional Christian or Muslim God, but it would still be an outside creator with power to set the rules for our universe. This could make the position of being a hardcore atheism less tenable.
Science has dispelled myths such as the earth being flat and that the earth is at the center of the universe. Will technology one day point to the fact that we live in a universe created by God?