1. j

    No one denies the possibility of creatures that might be so much greater than any of us. We simply demand evidence of it.

    Something bigger than us might be indifferent and uncaring or even outright malicious.

    We might just be a computer simulation crated by creatures almost exactly like us. And they are trying to study the emergent nature of consciousness. When they get bored or run out of funding they’ll hit a switch and our universe disappears.

    Yes we can imagine higher dimensional beings. We can imagine an infinite array of possible realities. That doesn’t make any of them more true than any others.

    • How much thought have you given it, exactly? It seems to me that things are not true or untrue, they are only true within the principles you choose to accept. Isn’t this what Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems show?

      I look at it like this: We care about ants. For no particular reason other than we’re curious. We don’t go out of our way to kill lifeforms, so I find it unlikely that a more complex entity would. It just doesn’t really follow. Think it through; I haven’t been able to congruently merge maliciousness and higher intelligences.

      It’s certainly possible they are indifferent or uncaring. But given infinite levels of awareness and reality, on some level some being might care, just like most people don’t particularly care about strange non-infectious bacteria, but a molecular biologist might.

      If we’re in a computer simulation created by a species similar to us, then it seems to me that it’s just as possible they _do_ care about the lifeforms they are studying. Perhaps not enough to stop tragedy, but if we take a bigger perspective of what a self is, it could mean our entire human record and culture. If they are interested in that, then our “self” is still safe.

      We can imagine things, certainly. None of them are inherently impossible, certainly. All rules are beholden to higher and lower rules. If we see that some sets of rules are more true, or make more sense, then they probably are.

      All this amounts to me that strong atheism, the belief in no immortal creator, is untenable.

      • Marvin

        Fear is why a lot people find the idea of an immortal creator tenable. As far as nature is concerned and as far as our current understanding of the laws that apply to everything, immortality is highly improbable. As a strong Atheist and speaking for my self, what “makes more sense” to me is based on my understanding of physics, biology, and the laws of the natural universe, more complex lifeforms do not equal immortal creators.

        I can’t rule out that we’re not the result of some lab experiment to demonstrate abiogenesis, but that is as close as I can get to agreeing with the logic of your argument.

        • You’re free to believe what makes sense to you, of course.

          What do you think of my proposal that we are living in a computer simulation?

          I use immortal to mean “ubiquity in time”. That takes away the association with life and death.

          If a being exists above the simulation of our universe, it might be able to slow down, speed up, and perhaps even reverse time, according to how we perceive it.

          That is, if our observable universe is an extremely complex deterministic system, something above this system is immortal. A being above our simulation might thus have “ubiquity in time”.

          The point of this all being, if you have no way of knowing if you are in a simulation or not, you should lean the direction that makes you happiest in the long-run. That seems to me to be a personal decision.

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