The Hypthesis

The Hypthesis-82
Philosopher Barry Dainton modifies Bostrom's trilemma by substituting "neural ancestor simulations" (ranging from literal brains in a vat, to far-future humans with induced high-fidelity hallucinations that they are their own distant ancestors) for Bostrom's "ancestor simulations", on the grounds that every philosophical school of thought can agree that sufficiently high-tech neural ancestor simulation experiences would be indistinguishable from non-simulated experiences.Even if high-fidelity computer Sims are never conscious, Dainton's reasoning leads to the following conclusion: either the fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage and are able and willing to run large numbers of neural ancestor simulations is close to zero, or we are in some kind of (possibly neural) ancestor simulation.

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David Chalmers has argued that simulated beings might wonder whether their mental lives are governed by the physics of their environment, when in fact these mental lives are simulated separately (and are thus, in fact, not governed by the simulated physics).

They might eventually find that their thoughts fail to be physically caused.

(Unlike Bostrom and Chalmers, Davies (among others) considers the simulation hypothesis to be self-defeating.) Some point out that there is currently no proof of technology which would facilitate the existence of sufficiently high-fidelity ancestor simulation.

Additionally, there is no proof that it is physically possible or feasible for a posthuman civilization to create such a simulation, and therefore for the present, the first proposition must be true..

Economist Robin Hanson argues a self-interested high-fidelity Sim should strive to be entertaining and praiseworthy in order to avoid being turned off or being shunted into a non-conscious low-fidelity part of the simulation.

Hanson additionally speculates that someone who is aware that he might be a Sim might care less about others and live more for today: "your motivation to save for retirement, or to help the poor in Ethiopia, might be muted by realizing that in your simulation, you will never retire and there is no Ethiopia." A long-shot method to test one type of simulation hypothesis was proposed in 2012 in a joint paper by physicists Silas R.Suppose that these simulated people are conscious (as they would be if the simulations were sufficiently fine-grained and if a certain quite widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind is correct).Then it could be the case that the vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original race but rather to people simulated by the advanced descendants of an original race.In 2003, philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed a trilemma that he called "the simulation argument".Despite the name, Bostrom's "simulation argument" does not directly argue that we live in a simulation; instead, Bostrom's trilemma argues that one of three unlikely-seeming propositions is almost certainly true: The trilemma points out that a technologically mature "posthuman" civilization would have enormous computing power; if even a tiny percentage of them were to run "ancestor simulations" (that is, "high-fidelity" simulations of ancestral life that would be indistinguishable from reality to the simulated ancestor), the total number of simulated ancestors, or "Sims", in the universe (or multiverse, if it exists) would greatly exceed the total number of actual ancestors.The hypothesis has been a central plot device of many science fiction stories and films.There is a long philosophical and scientific history to the underlying thesis that reality is an illusion.One thing that later generations might do with their super-powerful computers is run detailed simulations of their forebears or of people like their forebears.Because their computers would be so powerful, they could run a great many such simulations.It is then possible to argue that, if this were the case, we would be rational to think that we are likely among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones.Therefore, if we don't think that we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears.

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