Rene Descartes suggests that nothing truly exists, suggesting that the mind is real but may be deceived by a higher power. Descartes theory led to an experiment called The Brain in a Vat, which suggests that humans are bodyless with their brains in a vat controlled by supercomputing. Clara Moskowitz suggests that our existence could have been designed and put on a hard drive in a computer. Nick Bostrom’s paper suggests that humans could be living in a simulation through powerful computing power, leaving the question of if there is a God outside of the simulator’s world. Rizwan Virk explains how the Matrix relates to reality, showing how humans are programmed to go to school, university, and work. Quantum Indeterminacy suggests that unless we observe something, there is no way to know if it is real or not.
Have you ever wondered the real possibilities of our existence? Have you ever questioned reality? Or maybe you have questioned the what if? What if this is a simulation and nothing, we see is real what if it is all just a computer simulated reality and we are simple nothing more than computer code. With the way technology is improving it seems more and more likely every day.
Throughout this article I will explore different possibilities to why we could be living in a simulation and it will all blow your mind and give you a new prospective on reality. When I was a kid I was visiting my local city centre in Nottingham when the sky changed colour and I felt a jilting sensation almost as if there was a glitch in The Matrix. There are many things that happen in this world that seem like they are products of computer programming. It is almost as if the beings who designed the programme are running the simulation to test out different situations to see what may go right or what may go wrong.
In The Matrix movie Neo is perceived as a normal person with a regular job who seems to be living life on a loop. Through his secret love of hacking, he comes across a women called Trinity who offers him away out of the simulation. He comes across a man named Morpheus who offers him two pills one red and one blue. The red offers him the truth but if he chose the blue pill he would stay in the simulated world. The film goes on to show Neo that he was living in a simulation all his life and that everything he perceived as being real was nothing more than an illusion. The film is heavily inspired by a book written by a Philosopher called Jean Baudrillard the book was called Simulacra and Simulation which you see in the movie when Neo takes out a disk to give to one of his customers, it can also be said that the Matrix was inspired by Plato’s cave as there are many similarities.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave questions existence and reality, it is based on a group of prisoners who have been chained from their neck and ankles to which they could not turn their bodies or heads and have been that way since birth. They have no understanding or knowledge of the outside world and the chains restrict their movement so they can only see what was in front of them. Behind them is a fire that projects shadows on the wall in front of them which they perceive as reality. Eventually one is freed from the chains and leaves the cave. Before leaving he realises that everything he saw on the wall was nothing more than an illusion. He notices the objects that where behind him were creating the shadows all along. He is then told that everything he saw up to that point was an illusion. He struggles to adjust to the new reality due to the bright light hurting his eyes. Until he adapts to his new surroundings, finding out that the reality that is Infront of him is far more real than the one he perceived in the cave. This would leave the prisoner to feel confused as the reality he has seen his whole life was not actually real. As the prisoner goes back into the cave his eyes do not adapt to the darkness which leaves him unable to see at first. Returning to the prisoners who are still shackled he tries to free them. For them to only turn round and laugh at him like he was delusional when in fact it Is actually them that are delusional. Plato explained that if the prisoner was to try and free the others he would have been killed. I believe this theory is still very relevant in modern society as the things we see could be controlled by the media or to delve deeper the people or person running the simulation. Are the things we see nothing but an illusion put there to keep us controlled are we products of being in a mental prison trapped inside a simulated world.
Dualism We ourselves could be computer code and our minds could be the motherboard in which we experience what human beings call life. It is fascinating how many similarities the human being has with a computer. When we get sick we call it a virus just like a computer, we describe our mind like a computer hard drive being able to access memories whenever we want. Could the mind itself be a computer? What if everything we see is based on our minds perception and our body is just a human experience. Dualists believe that the body and mind are to separate constructs and that the mind can exist outside of the body. Philosopher Rene Descartes Meditations talks about an evil demon (deity) deceiving people by creating a false reality. Questioning if what he perceives Is real or not and getting to a point where he is convinced nothing he sees is real. Suggesting that reality is false and that these memories do not exist describing things as objects. Descartes speaks about how everything including his body is nothing more than a construct (extension) of the mind. Which makes Descartes believe that nothing truly exists as if his body is nothing but an extension to his mind a mere perception of a false reality then how can he be certain anything truly exists. Descartes seems to be very confused as he goes from saying nothing exist to, he is conscious so at least his mind is real but maybe it is being deceived by a higher power in which he perceives to be a demon.
Descartes theory led to an experiment called The Brain in a Vat. The research describes humans to be bodyless with their brain in a vat in which their brains are being controlled by supercomputing which is the reason for them experiencing their mental perceptions. To further this research, it is said that the computers can simulate the outside world with perfection. You probably think that if this is possible the computing power would need to be far more advanced than what is in the world today. However, as I mentioned in the introduction technology has improved and it is getting to the point where you cannot distinguish reality from a computer game. Due to the evolution of impressive graphics which includes VR and how real it feels when you put on the headset. Delving deeper into this theory with my own spin on it what if we are in fact dead either not making it out of wound alive so dead at birth or potentially we died at some point in our life. More advanced beings where able to take out our brains and keep them fully functioning and this is why they put our brains into the vat and then simulated our realities so that we can experience a full life. Think about what I just said as you watch this video from the perspective of being reborn from death into a simulated world.
Clara Moskowitz explains that if human beings are a part of a computer simulation there would be no distinct way of being able to tell. The article goes on to suggest that there might be a possibility of more advanced beings out there who are running the show behind the scenes and that our existence could have been designed and put on to a hard drive in somebody’s computer who is far more advanced than we are. Solipsism questions one’s existence as you can only truly know that your mind exists. Existence is something that many of us have questioned at some point in our lifetime if we only know that our mind exists then does the brain in the vat really sound crazy?
Since the early invention of video games humans has become drawn to its creativity and genius but to observe where computer gaming is today compared to where it started is more than remarkable. Its 1958 and physicistWilliam Higinbotham created the first video game which in comparison to today seems very basic. But back then his game was revolutionary, although Higinbotham did not seem to think his tennis game was that advanced. In today’s world, technology is progressing at a substantial rate with investors such as Elon musk inventing a neuro link chip that will be able to be implanted into the human brain with the aspirations of being able to download their mind within a computer. With the progression gaming has made through the realism of graphics to virtual reality within the space of 20 years it is fascinating showing that computer power is increasing. With all this magnificent development it provokes the question if the world is capable of creating realism in games, virtual reality and a potential neuro link chip that is capable of downloading minds into computers, who is to say it has not happened already? Many times, over.
Nick Bostrom is a Swedish philosopher who wrote a paper that suggested three possibilities. 1) The human race will possibly become extinct and not make it to what is called a post human stage. 2) If humans do make it to a post human stage they would not possibly run a substantial number of simulations of their previous existence of evolution. 3) Human beings could definitely already be living in a simulation through powerful computing power. Nick Bostrom suggests at least one of these answers are correct. If it is possible that humans are in fact living in a simulation where does that leave the thought of a God? Could there be a possibility that God has been programmed into the computer reality. Or is God the person or people that designed the simulation? Or to delve even deeper is there a God outside of the simulator’s world? It is probably a lot for your mind to process right now but think about it who could God actually be if we were in a simulation and how many simulations are we in. Is this the first one or have we run simulations before.
Many people have a fascination with the film the matrix with some saying the matrix is not a movie but actually a documentary what do you think? Computer scientist Rizwan Virk delves deeper into Bostrom’s claims describing reality as a high-resolution video game. Describing how the film the Matrix relates to reality. For example, the majority of human beings spend their existence going to school and then university learning a certain structure which conditions them to get a job. It is almost as if it is programmed into you to go to school then university then get a job. It leaves humans stuck in a loop of waking up and going to work, possibly going to the gym or another activity to go to sleep just to wake up and do it all again and Living for the weekend to do it all again Monday. Same routine, same cycle which is similar to the movie the matrix. Where Neo is living in a loop but starts to question his reality. Morpheus who shows him the truth and showing him that all of his existence was nothing more than a simulation in a computer acts as the gate keeper to Neo’s freedom. Rizwan explains Quantum Indeterminacy which focuses on the use of particles. It is said that unless you observe a particle you would have no idea that it is in one of multiple states. The theory is basically suggesting that unless we observe something there is no telling whether it is actually there or not. For the purpose of this article, it is as if in order to see what is In front of us or around us it needs to be rendered in otherwise it is not there. Like the sims. Which would explain how a computer would be able to process reality.
All through our existence from the day we are born we have been told that everything around us is real but there is no way to actually prove this. Now imagine you took the red pill and you found out that we are actually living in a simulation would you perception of reality change? Could you accept that everything you have ever been taught is nothing more than an illusion. Or would you take the blue pill and stay in a false reality a depiction of Plato’s Cave where your reality is controlled by the people who created the simulation? The choice is yours.
Albert Einstein said, “ Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
If you like what you have read and want to support my work. You can always buy me a coffee have a wonderful day and always believe in yourself.