Riz Virk, The Simulation Hypothesis Beyond Materialism |442|

#21
Yea.... I mean I guess this topic is interesting in its own right, but the topic can get stale and circular. This seems like science answer to GOD. This conversation will come full circle to a Creator or creators and we are left wondering again.
Science will hypothesis our simulation was created by aliens or a super quantum computer and spiritual/religious people will claim its an omnipotent God/demi God or gods etc or who created the quantum computer or who created God . Debates will ensure people will get paid but we will still be left to wonder. Embrace the mystery is what I'm saying
Why can't we do both? Enjoy the chase for root cause while knowing we'll never achieve the goal? That's what I love about the mystery... the fun in ever striving to get to that last turtle.
 
#24
I'm only a little way into this, but what a topic.

Listening to this, I find myself continually pausing to take a deep philosophical breath.

Firstly I tend to agree with Michael Larkin. Machine thought or machine consciousness is not consciousness. It can only be at best a blisteringly fast, almost supernatural calculation process, and the various algorythms that have been encoded into the machine may make it seem like it is freely choosing, deciding and creating, but it is ultimately just following it's programming. It is a super calculator essentially. It may simulate thought and fool conscious entities that engage with it, but ultimately, when you dig down into it's depths, it is just a calculator.

Moving on to the philosophical notion and implications of the syimulation hypothesis, I think it has tremendous explanatory value.

There is every possibility that we are in a simulation, but it does not have to be a matrix style machine simulation with dark undertones.

Our reality seems to be pixelated when you dig into it, and I love the way Riz explains that the double slit experiment essentially shows that reality behaves like a game, being drawn in as needed when a "player" interacts with that part of the game, rather than existing independently of the "player" (observer) at all times.

I find it remarkable that most philosophical/religious groups with a mystical tradition regard reality as fundamentally an illusion. The ancient Celts regarded life quite literally as a game. The Hindu notion of Maya. I heard a wonderful story about Vishnu, playing with a companion in the spiritual world (real world?) plunging one of his companions heads into a pool for a few seconds. During those seconds, his companion, was born, grew, worked, fell in love, married, had children, grew old and died. His copmanion was deeply affected by this. This is a very old tale, and captures exactly the notion of this life as simulation.

I think the philosophical ramifications of this notion are immense.

I got on to talking with my 14 yr old son about this, and the notion of NPC's (non player characters).

It is great fun to wonder who the NPS are. Trump?

However, it got me wondering that this might be a dangerous notion to entertain. Thinking of anyone as an NPC, even if their behaviour may best be explained that way, can and would necessarily undermine our ability to cultivate something central to our existence - empathy. If this is a simulation, we are no doubt here to learn about certain aspects ourselves. There are some very strict rules to this game, and some serious consequences for trying to break them.

I remember something the Dalai Lama once said about meeting with a monk who had been imprisioned and tortured by the chinese for many years. The monk said a few times he was in real danger. The Dalai Lama thought he was talking about danger to his life, but the monk continued, that the danger he feared the most, was that there were times he was in danger of losing his compassion and empathy for his captors.

This is an incredibly powerful story, and I think it gets to the heart of the matter.

If we regard everyone or anyone else in the simulation as an NPC, even if they really might be, we risk losing the most valuable thing any of us can cultivate in this game, and that is our empathy - our compassion. I imagine that when we get out of the simulation, when we finally travel down the great fibre optic cable in the sky, the empathy and love we have cultivated will still remain with us, but not much else. And I imagine it will have great value to us.

I need to go to work now unfortunately, but I have so many more thoughts on this topic I would like to share with everyone here.

Have a good day all.
 
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Alex

Administrator
#25
It really dismays me how anyone can allow themselves to think that computers can actually think and reason
the Turing test short circuits this. do you every play x-box? there are times when it's impossible to determine if you are playing the machine or human player... extrapolate.
 

Alex

Administrator
#26
I remember something the Dalai Lama once said about meeting with a monk who had been imprisioned and tortured by the chinese for many years. The monk said a few times he was in real danger. The Dalai Lama thought he was talking about danger to his life, but the monk continued, that the danger he feared the most, was that there were times he was in danger of losing his compassion and empathy for his captors.

This is an incredibly powerful story, and I think it gets to the heart of the matter.
awesome. this makes sense to me... and I don't see it conflicting with augmented Consciousness and augmented reality.
 
#27
awesome. this makes sense to me... and I don't see it conflicting with augmented Consciousness and augmented reality.
Agreed. If anything, I see this simulation as a potentially incredible training program. Among other things, it is able to present us with overwhelmingly powerful scenarios, in which we are able to exercise (or not) our empathy and compassion. For me, this seems to be a big part of the game.
As I said earlier, if this is indeed a game or a simulation, then the compassion and empathy we may learn to cultivate while playing has its own intrinsic value, and will doubtless be of great value to us even when we finally take off the VR headset.
 
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Alex

Administrator
#28
Agreed. If anything, I see this simulation as a potentially incredible training program. Among other things, it is able to present us with overwhelmingly powerful scenarios, in which we are able to exercise (or not) our empathy and compassion. For me, this seems to be a big part of the game.
As I said earlier, if this is indeed a game or a simulation, then the compassion and empathy we may learn to cultivate while playing has its own intrinsic value, and will doubtless be of great value to us even when we finally take off the VR headset.
maybe but I don't imagine were that much in the center of things. I imagine thousands and thousands of species of non-human intelligence was just as many different agendas... and just as many levels of consciousness... as below so above :)
 
#29
maybe but I don't imagine were that much in the center of things. I imagine thousands and thousands of species of non-human intelligence was just as many different agendas... and just as many levels of consciousness... as below so above :)
Isn't that the remarkable thing? A gazillion beings out there, and each of us is quite literally, "the centre of the universe".

If we are players in a simulation, how many NPC's might there be, and does this change anything? Would it matter if we are just one of a gazillion other players? It doesn't seem to be a competitive game, (at least I'm not playing it that way), so maybe it is a training ground.
 
#30
Isn't that the remarkable thing? A gazillion beings out there, and each of us is quite literally, "the centre of the universe".

If we are players in a simulation, how many NPC's might there be, and does this change anything? Would it matter if we are just one of a gazillion other players? It doesn't seem to be a competitive game, (at least I'm not playing it that way), so maybe it is a training ground.
Yea, it’s hard to imagine that the ultimate purpose is fundamentally a competitive one. Especially given all the love/light info we get from spiritual experiences of so many sorts. Unless we’re being played and manipulating into believing this for whatever reason. If the UFO close encounter/abduction scenarios tell us anything, it’s that our consciousness can reach manipulated in powerful ways by beings who are more advanced than us.

But I have to put all my eggs in one basket and assume that love and positive growth are behind it all. I couldn’t bear any other other thought.
 
#31
maybe but I don't imagine were that much in the center of things. I imagine thousands and thousands of species of non-human intelligence was just as many different agendas... and just as many levels of consciousness... as below so above :)
Regardless of the many different agendas, would not the plethora of non-human intelligence be grouped with humans under the umbrella of individual conscious agents? If so, myself, as a conscious agent, might have fun inserting myself into a myriad of different character types (species) and thus that same dynamic (albeit more dense or less dense than the sliver, I mean level, we agree to share)... but there are specific factors that are common to all of these.

And so why I agree that the ultimate "gold" is the raising of compassion and empathy is that regardless of what level one might be experiencing, there is the ever present possibility that the inhabitants of that level could destroy the level. And thus, all levels are at risk. And if that happens, game over. Yet if the participants attain compassion and empathy at levels that defeat all other anti-forces of compassion and empathy, the odds the game continues are raised to the highest levels possible.

One caveat - animation ("soulless operation" (as a metaphor) or operation void of self-will) does not equal the freedom a.) to express individualized consciousness (conscious agency) and b.) experience in a self-reflective way, the results of ongoing expression.

So if a cadre of "conscious agents" put a premium on "the survival of animation" and are able to defeat the ones who put a premium on reaching higher heights with regards to compassion and empathy, then what actually wins?

IMO what "wins" is emptiness over form. So, IMO, the challenge is. "can the arising of individuated consciousness survive itself where it can thrive forevermore." Why is it not possible that some of us may get tired of the game and choose at the core of our individualized being to dissolve into "eternal oneness?" If one of the game parameters is free will (which is an assumption I hold... understanding it is only that, then why not?

Bottom line though is I choose to view it as an opportunity (a training ground). If it isn't, and I "lose," I view what I lose as meaningless anyways. So it's simple for me.
 
#32
the Turing test short circuits this. do you every play x-box? there are times when it's impossible to determine if you are playing the machine or human player... extrapolate.
Yeah of course a computer would pass a turing test in a limited game. But what about relating emotionally? Even with biological humans if you are relating to a psychopath or a narcissist you become aware of it pretty quickly even if they are saying all the right things and feigning the appropriate affects.
 
#33
I'm only a little way into this, but what a topic.

Listening to this, I find myself continually pausing to take a deep philosophical breath.

Firstly I tend to agree with Michael Larkin. Machine thought or machine consciousness is not consciousness. It can only be at best a blisteringly fast, almost supernatural calculation process, and the various algorythms that have been encoded into the machine may make it seem like it is freely choosing, deciding and creating, but it is ultimately just following it's programming. It is a super calculator essentially. It may simulate thought and fool conscious entities that engage with it, but ultimately, when you dig down into it's depths, it is just a calculator.

Moving on to the philosophical notion and implications of the syimulation hypothesis, I think it has tremendous explanatory value.

There is every possibility that we are in a simulation, but it does not have to be a matrix style machine simulation with dark undertones.

Our reality seems to be pixelated when you dig into it, and I love the way Riz explains that the double slit experiment essentially shows that reality behaves like a game, being drawn in as needed when a "player" interacts with that part of the game, rather than existing independently of the "player" (observer) at all times.

I find it remarkable that most philosophical/religious groups with a mystical tradition regard reality as fundamentally an illusion. The ancient Celts regarded life quite literally as a game. The Hindu notion of Maya. I heard a wonderful story about Vishnu, playing with a companion in the spiritual world (real world?) plunging one of his companions heads into a pool for a few seconds. During those seconds, his companion, was born, grew, worked, fell in love, married, had children, grew old and died. His copmanion was deeply affected by this. This is a very old tale, and captures exactly the notion of this life as simulation.

I think the philosophical ramifications of this notion are immense.

I got on to talking with my 14 yr old son about this, and the notion of NPC's (non player characters).

It is great fun to wonder who the NPS are. Trump?

However, it got me wondering that this might be a dangerous notion to entertain. Thinking of anyone as an NPC, even if their behaviour may best be explained that way, can and would necessarily undermine our ability to cultivate something central to our existence - empathy. If this is a simulation, we are no doubt here to learn about certain aspects ourselves. There are some very strict rules to this game, and some serious consequences for trying to break them.

I remember something the Dalai Lama once said about meeting with a monk who had been imprisioned and tortured by the chinese for many years. The monk said a few times he was in real danger. The Dalai Lama thought he was talking about danger to his life, but the monk continued, that the danger he feared the most, was that there were times he was in danger of losing his compassion and empathy for his captors.

This is an incredibly powerful story, and I think it gets to the heart of the matter.

If we regard everyone or anyone else in the simulation as an NPC, even if they really might be, we risk losing the most valuable thing any of us can cultivate in this game, and that is our empathy - our compassion. I imagine that when we get out of the simulation, when we finally travel down the great fibre optic cable in the sky, the empathy and love we have cultivated will still remain with us, but not much else. And I imagine it will have great value to us.

I need to go to work now unfortunately, but I have so many more thoughts on this topic I would like to share with everyone here.

Have a good day all.
The idea (which I'm not saying you necessarily endorse) that some people might be NPCs relegates them to mere ciphers there to make life more "interesting", so to speak.

Here's one definition of NPCs from the urban dictionary:

A play on video games "non-player character" mixed with a play on The Simulation Hypothesis.

An NPC is seemingly a human that is unable to think objectively.

We exist in a simulated reality and some humans take on the role of NPCs, spouting "opinions" they are programmed to spout and repeating in a cult-like manner.

Liberal: (Yelling) Fuck Trump! Ban guns!
Conservative: (Yelling) Fuck Hillary! Ban immigrants!

Friend: Bro, I'm sick of all these people just repeating shit...
Me: Its hard to move forward with all these NPCs.

It's not an idea I take literally, but it's interesting to think about it metaphorically: there might be those who can think for themselves, and those who merely follow a script, in a sense have no inner essence or soul. They are nothing but ego, focussed only on their own well-being. In the extreme, I suppose one might call them psychopathic, incapable of true compassion.

I suppose all of us are capable of behaving like NPCs. Put another way, every one of us can sometimes surrender to his/her ego. I've done it, and I'll wager everyone here has too. But at the same time, I'll wager we've all had occasions of self-reflection during which we've become aware of our own egoism: so we all know at least to some degree the difference between acting from ego and acting from essence. I think I behaved more like an NPC as a child, but hopefully have -- to a degree at least -- grown out of it since. I suppose complete NPCdom would only be applicable to pyschopaths.

It's nothing to do with intellect: psychopaths could in theory be highly intelligent, just not be able to use their intellects in tandem with compassion. Any "compassion" they exhibited would be calculated so as to benefit themselves: to enhance their own self-image. There might be some psychopaths who on balance do more good than evil: it's just that morality doesn't really concern them. Psychopathic billionaires might give away huge amounts to charity, might sponsor good causes and give every appearance of virtue, but if so, only to aggrandise themselves.

Most human beings both intellectualise and empathise, and it's the interplay between the two that helps shape their lives. But the psychopath's life is shaped only by their intellect, which is by its nature completely amoral: they think only in terms of what is beneficial for themselves. It's useful for survival purposes to think like that, and we doubtless all do it to some degree, but for them, it's all they can do. They can never be truly altruistic.

So, one wonders, are psychopaths truly human? Do they actually have a soul? Or are they in some sense just NPCs who, when they die, will simply disappear, be annihilated? Can they ever have NDEs with a life review in which for the first time they can experience compassion? I find that a fascinating question, and if anyone here can shed any light on it, I'm all ears...
 
#34
the Turing test short circuits this. do you every play x-box? there are times when it's impossible to determine if you are playing the machine or human player... extrapolate.
The Turing test is pretty arbitrary really. For example, what role is the computer under test supposed to be playing - remember Joseph Wiezenbaum's ELIZA program, and how long does the test run? However remember that Turing left it open to the human questioner to decide what to ask. Try asking your X-box what it thinks about Skeptiko, and you will soon realise it isn't human!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA

By specialising the role sufficiently, I guess this program might have passed the Turing test back in 1964 - although that was not exactly the program.

I don't play computer games, but I'd imagine they are pretty poor at discriminating between human and computer - unless it was playing Second Life or something.

David
 
#35
So, one wonders, are psychopaths truly human? Do they actually have a soul? Or are they in some sense just NPCs who, when they die, will simply disappear, be annihilated? Can they ever have NDEs with a life review in which for the first time they can experience compassion? I find that a fascinating question, and if anyone here can shed any light on it, I'm all ears...
I reckon the first question is whether psychopathy comes in degrees, or do you have it or not?

David
 
#36
The idea (which I'm not saying you necessarily endorse) that some people might be NPCs relegates them to mere ciphers there to make life more "interesting", so to speak.

Here's one definition of NPCs from the urban dictionary:

A play on video games "non-player character" mixed with a play on The Simulation Hypothesis.
An NPC is seemingly a human that is unable to think objectively.
We exist in a simulated reality and some humans take on the role of NPCs, spouting "opinions" they are programmed to spout and repeating in a cult-like manner.

Liberal: (Yelling) Fuck Trump! Ban guns!
Conservative: (Yelling) Fuck Hillary! Ban immigrants!
Friend: Bro, I'm sick of all these people just repeating shit...
Me: Its hard to move forward with all these NPCs.

It's not an idea I take literally, but it's interesting to think about it metaphorically: there might be those who can think for themselves, and those who merely follow a script, in a sense have no inner essence or soul. They are nothing but ego, focussed only on their own well-being. In the extreme, I suppose one might call them psychopathic, incapable of true compassion.

I suppose all of us are capable of behaving like NPCs. Put another way, every one of us can sometimes surrender to his/her ego. I've done it, and I'll wager everyone here has too. But at the same time, I'll wager we've all had occasions of self-reflection during which we've become aware of our own egoism: so we all know at least to some degree the difference between acting from ego and acting from essence. I think I behaved more like an NPC as a child, but hopefully have -- to a degree at least -- grown out of it since. I suppose complete NPCdom would only be applicable to pyschopaths.

It's nothing to do with intellect: psychopaths could in theory be highly intelligent, just not be able to use their intellects in tandem with compassion. Any "compassion" they exhibited would be calculated so as to benefit themselves: to enhance their own self-image. There might be some psychopaths who on balance do more good than evil: it's just that morality doesn't really concern them. Psychopathic billionaires might give away huge amounts to charity, might sponsor good causes and give every appearance of virtue, but if so, only to aggrandise themselves.

Most human beings both intellectualise and empathise, and it's the interplay between the two that helps shape their lives. But the psychopath's life is shaped only by their intellect, which is by its nature completely amoral: they think only in terms of what is beneficial for themselves. It's useful for survival purposes to think like that, and we doubtless all do it to some degree, but for them, it's all they can do. They can never be truly altruistic.

So, one wonders, are psychopaths truly human? Do they actually have a soul? Or are they in some sense just NPCs who, when they die, will simply disappear, be annihilated? Can they ever have NDEs with a life review in which for the first time they can experience compassion? I find that a fascinating question, and if anyone here can shed any light on it, I'm all ears...



Many good points and questions!! Regarding npc's: I think there is a qualitative difference between the phase appropriate narcissism of a child and the psychopathological narcissism of a biological adult.
Regarding: Do they have a soul? I often wondered about this. You could hang out and play with a lion and one day it just might kill you. We would not consider that evil. FWIW I remember Gurdjieff on the subject of essence as distinct from personality where he mentioned that there are humans walking around with "dead essence" which operate out of instinct no different than an animal.
 
#39
I reckon the first question is whether psychopathy comes in degrees, or do you have it or not?

David
I think that it relates to what the functional self is in psychological theory which one accretes over the developemental period. If there is a lack of developement or deficits in the "self structure" (see hienz Kohut")or attachment theory Bowbly) then one or another psychopathology will occrur depending on when and how severe the wound and lack of development at that phase. From what I remember the earlier the more severe.
 
#40
FWIW I remember Gurdjieff on the subject of essence as distinct from personality where he mentioned that there are humans walking around with "dead essence" which operate out of instinct no different than an animal.
Gurdjieff implied (maybe directly stated) that a huge majority of "these" exist relative to the few who are connected to "soul" to such a degree "there's hope for them to achieve 4th Way path to consciousness (I think he used Big C). I always considered that to be the "pointing out" of those who appear "dug in" with regards to things like "materialism" or that there's no such thing as "soul." But also, he seemed to go further as if it was a fate accompli for the vast majority of humans.

I don't presume to know what may be true in that regard, but to hold this view does seem antithetical to compassion and empathy. So I admit I choose to always hold hope for anyone to suddenly recognize the value of "the meaningful" in their life because I also believe that when one embraces meaningfulness, they are either consciously embracing their soul or ar on the pathway to so doing. It is one reason why I am against "the death penalty." How can I rob someone the opportunity, in this lifetime, to make that key, initial connection no matter how low we might think the odds are for such a thing? Also, imagine there be reincarnation (I do not close my mind to such) and someone "we killed" when we could have done otherwise, comes back? What state might that soul be in when they do? These are the types of questions I have asked and it seems they come from that drive/desire to achieve greater compassion and empathy. Something I, personally, believe I have a very, very long way to go in achieving to the level of my ideals.
 
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