God does things. Not only at the beginning of all creation, but constantly. Creation as a simulation is one of the presumptions of Simulation Creationism, a theory proposed by Nir Ziso, founder of The Global Architect Institute. God is inherently driven to do things at all times because He takes care of His creation: “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33). So, the question is how does God intervene in his own creation, or The Simulation, assuming the theory is correct.
For most believers, God intervenes in the world by some intervention in our lives, fulfilling or listening to our prayers, or doing miracles, but always with a reminder that we owe Him our existence: “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24). God has to relate to each and every creature at each moment or not at all (meaning that God created the world and left it to develop on its own, with his maintenance). His interventions also have to be, in a way, physical. God cannot be the light without actually enlightening the world. It is a two-way world. In the Bible, the Hebrew term for God’s blessing the world is “barak”, also the word for humans thanking God for everything He does (e.g., “God blessed them and said…” (Genesis 1:22); also the blessings of Sermon on Mount use barak (Matthew 5:1-12).
This blessing is general in scope, but every creature receives it in its own particularity. Thanking God is a way of responding to His blessing. It is a communication, even a community, where humans are not just passive receivers of mercy. God does not only watch or intervene but is constantly present in a process. There is no worldly reality in which God is not already present. The technicality of Simulation Creationism allows this as both hardware and software are present.
It is an intimate connection with the world. But how can God do it? Let us explore His position. He is the reason why everything exists and why there is something rather than nothing, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” (Colossians 1:16). In this process, He relates to the beings He made. However, God is not acting as the supreme ruler of the world (although he is that) but lets reality develop its own identity and path of existence. He not only makes space and time, the fundamental elements of simulated reality through the natural law, but God in a very subtle way also interferes in people’s individual lives and their search for meaning and fulfillment.
This is both an active process on the part of God and setting a system with an interfering process within itself. On one hand, it is just a setting and an adjustment to the system so that it moves and strives towards new levels of meaningful existence. On the other hand, it entails an active involvement, which is where the core of Christian theology comes in. It carries the notion that the relation between God and creation is contingent, not just a program of a perfect world that goes on: “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands” (Hebrews 1:10). The work is continuous as God exists outside time.
Creation should be imperfect so it can inspire the human soul to develop and progress to higher perfection and beauty. Creation was not good enough to stand on its own, otherwise, creation would be God. This is a logical consequence of a statement against pantheism. Creation is a simulated being on its own and needs God’s love and power to sustain it. God stops Himself to create something that can sustain itself; it would mean that God creates God. The Christian bottom line is that any created thing will be dependent on its creator. As Simulation Creationism argues, Creation is done through a “Supercomputer”, which also manages everything else created within The Simulation.
If we want to see the rather technical outcomes of such a view, we must face many various theories. How do we do things inside The Simulation? The Jewish tradition shows an extreme outlook on this. Nothing outside of God has any causal power, “for since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). If I want to raise my hand, my will to do it reflects on this occasion on God, and He makes my hand raise up. I do not raise it, He does. I just desire it. This theory is called occasionalism and can stand as a very radical and thorough explanation of Simulation Creationism. As the core personality is in the soul, and the body is just a simulated vessel, then anything I do physically has to be programmed by the “Supercomputer”.
This opposes another Jewish tradition that has some influence on Christianity. It is naturalism, where the world is set up in such a way that things tend toward a purpose and the properties of objects are such and human capabilities are such… if people understand nature and how it works, they can protect themselves and live enriching lives. This is teleology. While occasionalism emphasizes God’s power, naturalism emphasizes His wisdom. Simulation Creationism finds its place somewhere in the middle, where God has certain rules to govern The Simulation but puts them in motion towards a defined end. At the same time, everything that happens is predetermined, as God necessarily knows and decides what we call the future.