Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Simulation Argument

According to the Simulation Argument, at least one of the following propositions is true:

  1. Civilization will never reach technological maturity to the extent that we can create computer simulations indistinguishable from reality, not in fifty years, not in five million years.
  2. Future civilizations capable of these computer simulations will have no interest in running simulations of the past, for whatever reason.
  3. The ability to create simulators and the will to do so will result in an astronomical number of simulations of the past.

At least one must be true, according to a paper published in Philosophical Quarterly by Nick Bostrom, although he is clear to state that the argument doesn’t tell us which one. However, if 1 and 2 are not true, 3 creates an almost mathematical certainty that we are now living in a computer simulation as virtual people. The amount of real people are statistically eclipsed to irrelevancy by the overwhelming number of virtual people.