Elon Musk proclaims that the odds that we live in base reality are 1 in a billion. How would you counter his simulation argument?
Elon Musk proclaims that the odds that we live in base reality are 1 in a billion. How would you counter his simulation argument?. Are You sir has this kind of concern?, If do then plz check the good soution right after below:
I would summarize his argument as follows:
- There is only one base reality.
- If we could create virtual reality (VR) indistinguishable from base reality, we could create billions of such VRs.
- Then if we pick a reality at random, the odds that it is base reality are billions to one.
The problems with his argument are:
- No one has demonstrated the ability to create VR indistinguishable from base reality.
- Even if they did, no one has shown that the persons inside the virtual reality have a subjective experience of their world. Maybe they’re just characters, so they can’t get fooled into believing that they are real.
- The real people who enter their VR will probably know when they are entering and exiting their VR, and it probably won’t be like their base reality experience anyway. It will likely be a fictional entertainment experience that they would not mistake for their world.
- Even if we were a VR, it is likely that an external player would be noticed entering and exiting the world, which does not happen in our world.
- Even if we were a VR, it would likely be an efficient simulation that discards or minimizes any experience not relevant to the real players, which is not noticeable in our world.
- Finally, the argument from probability is a weak argument. You could make the same argument today about books or TV shows. My house has 100 books and each of those books has 10 characters, so there are 1000 fictional persons in my house and only one real person. So the odds are 1000:1 against the fact that a person chosen at random in my house is a real person.
I think the strongest argument against his position is that we wouldn’t use probability to settle such a question. We would use direct observation. I directly observe that I am not a fictional person, so the argument from probability is irrelevant.
If he tries to argue that characters in VR can observe the world as well as real people outside the VR, then they are in effect real people too. So the fact that they are characters in a VR shouldn’t concern them much.
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