Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:12 pm Post subject: The Simulation Argument
The argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
When asked if the author of this theory believes in it...
No. I believe that the Simulation argument is sound. The argument shows only that at least one of three possibilities obtains, but it does not tell us which one(s). One can thus accept the simulation argument and reject the simulation hypothesis (i.e. that we are in a simulation).
Personally, I assign less than 50% probability to the simulation hypothesis – rather something like 20%. However, this estimate is a subjective personal opinion and is not part of the Simulation argument. My reason is that I believe that we lack strong evidence for or against any of the three disjuncts (1)-(3), so it makes sense to assign each of them a significant probability.
Which is kind of where I stand on theories. Since we don't know we should assign probabilities rather than discount any one theory absolutely.
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