Professor Nick Bostrom’s “Simulation Argument” consists of several intriguing religious implications. Here, we are going to work out and understand some of them. We show you how the Simulation Argument can be put to use to develop novel versions of Design and Cosmological Arguments, and then try to establish some of the affinities between traditional theological topics and Nick Bostrom’s natural theology. We will take a look at the theodicy and at the resurrection of the body, then conclude with some reflections on the relationship between the Simulation Argument and Neoplatonism, as well as between theism and the Simulation Argument.
A world-famous argument recently developed by Professor Nick Bostrom aims to assign a probability to the thesis that we live inside a simulated reality. At least one commentator has said that Nick Bostrom’s “Simulation Argument” is one of the first exciting arguments about God’s existence in 2,000 years, although that might have been an overreaction. Nevertheless, the Simulation Argument consists of many intriguing theological implications, and some of them have worked out successfully.
We look forward to addressing some of them in this article. According to Nick Bostrom, several simulations can be nested within simulations; section 2 explains this idea. This combining parallels specific sequential structures in the traditional arguments about God’s existence. The theory of Simulation Creationism brings God and Simulation together. Section 3 examines the relations between the Cosmological Argument for God and the Simulation Argument, and we get a novel version of the Cosmological Argument by taking advantage of this analogy. A critical feature of this argument is that it positively uses infinity.
In section 4, we examine the relations between the Design Argument and Simulation Argument, where Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument motivates the novel version of the Design Argument. In section 5, we evolve some of the affinities between John Hick’s resurrection theory and Nick Bostrom’s naturalistic theory. Without any surprise, this is an aesthetic theodicy, and John Leslie’s Axiarchism allows us to link the Simulationist account of divine productivity and value performance. In section 7, we extend the Simulation Argument to a higher transfinite. Section 8 concludes with Neoplatonism’s reflections (friendly) and simulationism, and the connections between theism (not so close) and the Simulation Argument.
The Simulation Argument
Various writers worldwide have suggested that our universe might be a software process running on some deeper computational substrate. Our reality seems more virtual rather than ultimate. More recently, Nick Bostrom has given an argument for this thesis. Bostrom’s argument is known as the “Simulation Argument.” We are not going to rehearse it here; we are instead more interested in the theological implications of the argument.
For our purposes, the Simulation Argument’s most exciting feature is the justification of the existence of a series of levels of simulation. Our universe is like a virtual machine – a machine running on another more in-depth machine. It is possible to stack virtual machines, therefore we can simulate one device affecting another machine and so on in many more additional steps of iteration.
One might wonder how deep the series of simulations goes. If it ends after a particular number of steps, we may wonder why. Any finite number of steps seems arbitrary. For any finite number ‘n’, why would there be ‘n’ levels instead of ‘n+1’? A general principle is more reasonable. Any reasoning that applies to our Universe applies with equal force to any other universe simulating this Universe. Then there is an equal plausibility to the thesis that each galaxy is affected by a deeper universe. The Simulation Argument by Nick Bostrom supports this general theory of there being a more profound level below every level. The following rules define it:
Initial Rule: Consider an initial number 0, for which there is an initial universe U0. We consider this as our Universe. We can call them “level 0 computers.” According to Bostrom’s Simulation Argument, this universe runs on some “level 1” computers with hardware “level 1.” Let’s call this computer H1. H1 computers are not present in our Universe. They are there in the deeper universe of the next level. Bostrom’s Simulation Argument says that there is a deeper computer H1 in the universe U1. Presumably, computer H1 was programmed and built by a civilization, C1 that lives in U1.
Successor Rule: Bostrom’s Simulation Argument generalizes that, just as in this universe, U0 is a software program running on a computer in U1, so therefore U1 might be a software process running on a laptop in universe U2. However, it can also mean that U2 is a software program running on a computer in universe U3, and so it continues onward like that. The general rule says that for every finite number ‘n’, the universe Un is a software program running on a computer Hn+1 in a deeper universe Un+1. The successor rule is existential: for every number ‘n’, there exists a universe Un, and there also exists a universe Un+1. The computer Un+1 is present in the universe, Un+1. Presumably, the civilization Cn+1 in Un+1 was prosperous in building and programming the computer Hn+1.
Some of the features of this sequence are worth noting. The first one is that each deeper universe Un+1 contains Un that is a physically shallower universe. The deeper universe has the shallower universe simultaneously temporally, spatially, and casually. Each deeper universe is longer lasting both into the future and into the past. As we go through the galaxies deeper and deeper, the universes’ temporal extension expands without bounds. Similarly, the physical powers of these more profound computers increase without bounds. Finally, the intelligence of these civilizations also rises without bounds.
Even though the Simulation Argument looks naturalistic, Professor Bostrom points out that it has many potential religious consequences. Let’s say that our civilization C0 is on Simulation by deeper civilization C1. The deeper society is technically superior to ours and might even be a posthuman civilization. Bostrom says that the posthumans running a simulation would be like gods to the people living inside a simulation. The posthumans would be responsible for the creation of the world we live in today and have superior intelligence when compared with us. He calls them “omnipotent” in the sense that they can interfere in the workings of our Universe in ways that violate the physical laws. They are “omniscient” in the sense they can monitor everything that happens here. All of the demigods except those at the fundamental level of reality are subject to sanctions by the more powerful gods living at lower levels. Bostrom hints at more about Simulation Theory in his statements.
The Cosmological Argument
One of the classical arguments about the existence of God is the Cosmological Argument, And there are so many versions of the argument. In Aquinas’s list of the five ways (his arguments for the existence of God), the first three arguments for God’s existence are all versions of the Cosmological Argument. One of the aspects of the Cosmological Argument is about the physical (efficient) casualty; this version is the second way of Aquinas, which says that the previous event causes each event, and the chain of causes can’t go back to infinity. Therefore, there is the first cause, and God is that first cause.
One of the standard objections to this particular version of the Cosmological Argument is that the second premise is not valid. There is nothing impossible in the chain of causes that can go back infinitely, so this particular version of the Cosmological Argument fails. Being aware of this objection, a better version was proposed:. the Leibnizian Argument. For the sake of understanding, we have taken the liberty of breaking Leibniz’s texts into a few steps.
- Not in any single thing or the total aggregate and series of things can the sufficient reason for existence lead to a discovery.
- Let’s imagine that a book with the title, The Elements of Geometry, exists eternally; in that case, a man should always copy one edition from the preceding edition.
- Although one can account for a present copy referencing the past copy, however far back one can go in the series of reproductions, they can never arrive at a complete explanation.
- One will forever have to ask why these books have existed, why are there any books in general, and why books in particular?
- Whatever is concerned, these books are equally about diverse states of the world. Even here, the following editions copy preceding ones in some way (yet they change according to specific laws).
- However far one can turn back to antecedents states, they will never discover in any or all states the whole reason why there is a world instead of nothing, or why it is that way.
- One may well suppose this world is eternal, yet what one thus puts forward as a fact is nothing but the states’ succession. One cannot find sufficient purpose in any one of them, or they won’t get any nearer to rationally accounting for the world by taking any number of them together.
- Therefore, one must find the reason elsewhere.
- The eternal things may not have any cause of existence, yet one must conceive the reason for their presence.
- So it is evident that even by considering the world to be eternal, the recourse to an ultimate reason for the world beyond the world (i.e., God) can’t be avoided. Therefore, the reasons for this world relate to some entity that is outside of this world, and that is different from a series or chain of things. The aggregate of these constitutes the world.
For the structure of the generalized Simulation Argument, the design of the Leibnizian Argument is analogous. All one needs to do is replace the notion of the previous edition of The Elements of Geometry with a more nuanced and more profound computer. The Computational Argument is the computational version of the Leibnizian Argument and says that:
- Neither in the total aggregate, nor a single thing or series of things, can the sufficient reason for existence be found.
- Let us imagine an endless series of finite computers with each computer always in Simulation by a more in-depth and limited computer.
- Although one can account for any given finite computer by a reference to the more in-depth and finite computer which simulates the previous computer, however far back one goes in this series of limited computers, one can never arrive at a complete explanation.
- One will always have to ask why these finite computers have existed and why there have been limited computers and why this particular minimum.
- The best explanation for the whole series of limited computers is the existence of an infinite computer.
The infinite computer is more profound when compared to any finite computer. The laptop is infinitely deep. By comparison to regular computers, the unlimited computer seems more profound. Mathematicians worldwide use the symbol ω as a reference to the least number beyond all the finite numbers. So, people refer to the infinite computer as Hω. This computer is the ultimate and unlimited entity that is the sufficient reason for all other computers. (One could consider it to be God.) Depending on the Computational Argument, it is attempted to add a final rule to the previous rules list.
Initial Rule: Consider an initial number 0 for which there exists an initial universe U0. We can consider U0 as our universe. U0 is a software program running within a limited computer H1 present in a deeper universe U1. The universe U0 stands to the computer H1 as software to hardware. H1 was programmed and built by civilization C1 in U1.
Successor Rule: For every finite number n, the universe Un is a software program running in a finite computer Hn+1 in a deeper universe Un+1. The relation between universe Un and computer Hn+1 is the same as that of software and hardware. The computer Hn+1 was programmed and built by the civilization of Cn+1 in universe Un+1. Each of the more profound finite computers is longer lasting both into the future and into the past. The laptop is causally responsible for its own universe.
Final Rule: There is an infinitely deep computer that exists. For every finite number n, the universe Un is a software program ultimately run by God. This rule is very similar to Simulation Creationism. For every finite number n, God is to Un as hardware is to software. However, to any deeper universe, God does not function as software. In the finite series, extrapolating from the computers’ features, it follows that God has infinite power, God has endless intelligence, and God is everlasting both into the future and into the past. God usually is responsible for the existence of every finite universe in every moment and is a self-directing and self-conscious intellect. Thus, God is maximally creative, early, intelligent, and powerful. From this point of view, God is functionally equivalent to an infinite and self-programming computer.
These rules define an increasingly endless series of deep and finite computers. The series converges to a laptop that lies outside of the series; the sequence converges to God. These rules lead to the generation of many theological implications, enough that we can’t look at them all. However, two of the theological implications are worthy of our complete attention.
First of all, these rules imply that God is infinite in a computationally and mathematically precise way. For every finite n, there exists a computer whose power is proportional to n. More powerful computers are faster and tend to have more memory. This series of limited and increasingly powerful computers converge to an increasingly powerful computer. A Universal Turning Machine (UTM) has infinite memory, but any UTM operates at some finite speed. For truly endless computers, we would need to use Accelerating Universal Turning Machines (ATMs). ATMs can compute and perform functions that are not possible for any kind of UTM. ATMs can perform highly complicated tasks, and this capability leads to an unusual conclusion that ATMs are functionally equivalent to God.
Secondly, these rules imply that computers’ nature is distinct from the heart of God in significant ways. For every finite number n, the computer Hn+1 is to the universe Un as hardware is to software. Thus, Hn+1 is to every computer in Un as hardware is to software. For each finite number n, the relation between computer Hn and computer Hn+1 is similar to software and hardware, so every limited computer is both software and hardware simultaneously. However, we consider God to be outside of this series. God is not software in any more in-depth hardware; God is complete and pure hardware. (Saying that God is a pure being is perhaps analogous to the Simulationist.) Since the physicality of every universe (and every computer) is derived from the Simulation present in it (there is an algorithm behind it), it seems reasonable to associate physicality with software. As a software program, every deeper universe— including computers within them— are richly physical. However, since we consider God as pure hardware, God can’t be physical. The reality of God is, in some ways, more profound than any physicality. According to the classical theories of divine nature, God would be a pure unity: a pure mind whose thought processes are self-directed to generate all physical complexity methods.
The Design Argument
Another classical argument about the existence of God is the Design Argument. It appears as Aquinas’s fifth way. It says something like this:
- We can see that this universe contains complex internal structures.
- If there exists anything with some complex internal system, then those things are produced by an Intelligent Designer.
- Therefore, this universe has an Intelligent Designer.
- It is conventional to refer to the brilliant designer of this universe as God.
- Considering the previous statements, God exists.
And yet, if Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument is correct, then the designer of this universe is not God; it can be just a more profound civilization. Nevertheless, only as we develop a novel version of the classical Cosmological Argument using the Simulation Argument can we use Bostrom’s Simulation Argument to establish an unknown version of the classical Design Argument. The sequence of a more profound civilization is the sequence of a more in-depth designer. For the series of designers, God is the limit. This set of rules present the lines:
Initial Rule: Consider an initial civilization C0; this is our civilization. It is temporally the least intelligent and the latest of all societies. Our society is non-fundamental. It is a part of a software program running on a computer. The computer was programmed and built by a more profound civilization: C1. The deeper society is more powerful and more intelligent than our community.
Successor Rule: For every finite number n, consider the existence of civilization Cn. Hence, there is a more profound civilization of Cn+1. The deeper society Cn+1 is earlier, more intelligent, and more powerful than the shallower culture of Cn. The deeper civilizations look like unitary minds to shallower civilizations. The more profound enlightenment of Cn+1 acts as a smart designer that guides the activity of society Cn.
Final Rule: There is a casual and earliest designer. It is the uncaused cause, undesigned designer, and an unmoved mover. It is more intelligent and more powerful than any finite civilization. It is infinitely powerful and smart and helps guide the activities of all societies for which it is the cause. This infinitely deep designer might be God.
We now have access to an excellent model of degrees for the Perfection Argument. Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas present different versions of this argument. The degrees of the Perfection Argument lead to a series of degrees of perfection. If we compare them, the higher degrees are more perfect than those in the lower degrees. A computer X is better and more capable than a computer Y if X can do whatever Y can do. Still, Y cannot do whatever X can do. For any computer X and Y, X is more capable and perfect than Y if X can simulate Y, but Y cannot affect X. From this point of view, degrees of computation are degrees of perfection.
If this picture is correct, God is the foundation of being. God supports an unlimited hierarchy of simulators. Each simulator within the order produces the next and more shallow simulator. The picture of divine productivity doesn’t have much in common with a religious concept of creativity painted by Traditionalism. Professor Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument does not depict God as the Judeo-Christian Creator.
On the contrary, the picture of divine productivity is quite similar to the picture painted by many Neoplatonism versions. Generally speaking, according to Neoplatonism, the one God is the source of all reality. There is a distribution of fact into various levels of perfection (degrees of being). God emanates a whole series of degrees, and each degree affects the next degree within the series. Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument supports the general Neoplatonic picture. Specifically speaking, the Simulation Argument’s theological implications overlap in many instances with more modern Neoplatonism developed by John Leslie.
Computational Resurrection Theories
There is always a possibility of the afterlife in a world of nested simulations. Nick Bostrom writes that if no one can be sure that they are present at the basement level, everyone should consider the possibility that their actions may be rewarded or punished. When using moral criteria, an afterlife would be a legit possibility. The question is: how would this work? One of the options is that while we live, the computer running our universe is recording our entire life and every action we take—the memory in this computer stores our biography. After we die, our simulators can use this record to re-create us. After our death, our simulators may recreate us in some other simulation. As an alternative, they might equip us with an artificial body to interact with them in their civilization. The theory of computational re-creation is very similar. It closely parallels the computational resurrection theories proposed by many recent researchers and writers. For example, Reichenback explains the computational resurrection theory like this:
When we observe monastically, a man is nothing more than a physical organism programmed and constructed in a particular fashion. Some relate man to a complicated computer with a physical body. Suppose anyone adopts this analogy and applies it to the concept of life after death. In that case, the following can be the monistic recreationist’s findings: just as one can construct two similar computers to look identical, program them the same way, and give them precisely the same program data, it, It would not seem self-contradictory that an individual could possess all the physical characteristics in identical proportions and correlations. And physical recreation could be possible in such a way that one would look similar to the person who is gone. Since consciousness is a brain process, the individual’s brain could be programmed and re-created to have similar chemical and neural components and structures. This would allow them to possess the same ideas, memories, perspectives, and personality traits as the dead individual. Generally speaking, it is possible to create a precisely identical person as an individual who is now no more, and the new person will be just the same as the previous individual. This new person can begin to live and continue the life of the deceased.
Since there are many levels of hierarchy in the simulations, one can experience this resurrection many times. In each revival, one moves to the next deeper and fundamental level: one goes closer and closer to God. This process is similar to and parallels the par eschatology theory of John Hick. John Hick posits a series of resurrections and argues that the purpose of human life is to move towards divine perfection, but the road to divine perfection from the human model is too long to travel in a single step, so human life must move towards divine perfection in multiple stages. John Hick says that every human being’s post-mortem career occurs in successive sections instead of one continuous unit. Periodic death is similar to irregular sleep and divides up an existence which, as finite beings, we can only live in limited phases. He posits the plurality of lives in a majority of worlds. Each stage will consist of relative autonomy, making it a real life with its tasks, necessities, and possibilities of failure and success. A human career has a series of lives, bound by something analogous to death and birth. Human career exists in other worlds and spaces other than those we live in now.
Although John Hick’s theory of Serial Resurrection is somewhat similar to the traditional Christian doctrine of resurrection, it is also different from it in many ways. It is very similar to that of the classical Neoplatonic idea of returning the self to God. If the Simulation Argument supports something like John Hick’s Serial Resurrection theory, it also promotes classical Neoplatonism approaches. Again, the theological picture painted by Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument is more Neoplatonic than Christian.
If we all live inside a simulation, then why do we live in a simulation? There are two ways in which one can answer this question. The first way is to treat this universe as an artifact and see if it has any qualities that point to some particular functionality. The second way is to reason backward from our simulations analogically.
We first need to address if there is any reason or purpose for which our universe seems to have been designed. Let’s say that the universe U is made fine for F. Any slight variations in essential elements of U would mean that F is rare in U. If this universe fits finely for some F, we may infer that the creation of this universe is for the production of F. Therefore, the output of F is the purpose of this universe. Many researchers and writers say that this universe is fit entirely for life. However, this does not seem legitimate. We don’t have enough evidence yet to prove that life is ordinary, and if the basic features of this universe are varied, then it is most likely that more than just life would become rare. Living or not, all complexity would become rare. Therefore, it is more reasonable to think that this universe fits finely for the evolution of complexity.
We now look at a nuanced Tuning Argument: (1) This universe is finely tuned for complexity. (2) The best explanation for the fine-tuning is that the intelligence that values the evolution of complexity was responsible for our universe’s design. So, by inference with the best answer, (3) this universe runs by Simulation because our designers value the evolution of complexity. So, the subtle tuning argument reinforces the earlier version of the Design Argument. The nuanced Tuning Argument can be applied everywhere, and can also can be used for an entire hierarchy of levels. Why is there something instead of nothing? Why does the order of simulations exist instead of nothing at all? The Simulationist’s answer to the question is that the evolution of complexity is intrinsically valuable.
We now concentrate on the second issue: why are we living inside the Simulation? According to this second way, from our simulations, we tend to reason backward analogically. We usually make simulations for two purposes: entertainment or science. According to the analogy, it is more likely that our designers made this universe either for science or entertainment. If they have created the universe for science, then everything that happens in this universe has epistemic value. If those people have made it for entertainment, then everything that happens in our galaxy makes it a dramatic universe, which has aesthetic value.
If a Simulationist needs a theodicy, that person will turn to aesthetic theodicy. Aesthetic theodicy seems to originate with Plotinus, so this is another point where simulationist theology is Neoplatonic. To the modern age from Plotinus, aesthetic theodicy consists of a rich history. Notable examples of aesthetic theodicies include the theories of Leibniz and Augustine. The most recent development was from Frederick Nietzsche. He said that it is only an aesthetic phenomenon that the world and existence are eternally justified. For Frederick Nietzsche, aesthetic theodicy is like Dionysian affirmation, which is the love of fate – “Amor Fati.”
Why are we inside a simulation? And why are there simulations at all instead of none? There are three answers. At every level, many designers are interested in the evolution of complexity, in dramatic beauty, and in knowledge. All these concepts overlap with each other and share a common foundation. It’s reasonable for us to refer to this common core as “interestingness.” It’s highly likely for creative intelligence to have an interest in simple systems. There won’t be any excitement about dull or ugly procedures; as the creativity and intelligence of a system increase, that agent’s interest in epistemic richness, complexity, and dramatic beauty does so as well.
With the risk of sounding circular, the Simulationists can argue that we live inside a simulation because every creative intelligence has some interest, but the curiosity here is virtuous. Why are there any simulations present at all? The reason is that interestingness is interesting. We are here and very close to an axiological version of the principle of reasoning that is sufficient. Why is there something instead of nothing? John Leslie says that the best explanation is that some axiological principles are intrinsically and necessarily creative and effective. A Simulationist version of Leslie’s axiarchism argues that interestingness is sufficient both for itself and for other things. The Simulationist version of the classical thesis says that God is self-explaining. Of course, there is a risk of triviality with this self-justification, but from that point, it is indeed no worse than any other theory that posits a self-justifying God.
It is easy to connect Simulationist theodicy with Simulationist Soteriology. Just as humans are more likely to preserve and make records of engaging people’s lives and those who seem exceptional, so are the designers more likely to follow in the same way and complete documentation of exciting people. All of this leads to a kind of Nietzschean aesthetic imperative, according to which one should lead an exciting life. The imperative isn’t quite the same as living fast and dying young, nor staying pretty. Frederick Nietzsche urges people to live dangerously, although he doesn’t recommend anybody to live stupidly, nor does he encourage people to live without compassion.
The Generalization of Higher Infinities
According to the reasoning so far, God is present at the level we can index with the first infinity number. So technically, God is present at level ω. God might be the computer Hω. We say that Hω is an accelerating Universal Turning Machine. One might object that the universe isn’t a massive infinity; after all, the mathematics of the modern age defines an animated sequence of increasingly large infinities. So, if we consider God as Hω, then God is somewhat weak. We tend to answer that it’s easy to extend the reasoning to higher infinities, and for the sake of completion, we briefly sketch the extension but won’t look into the details. The details are very technical and contribute very little to the theological or philosophical theory.
To extend the reasoning to higher infinities, we need to assume some theory of classes. Classes are collections and are more general than sets. When we generalize the set theory, we get the class theory. We tend to use VNB to denote the Von Neumann – Godel – Bernays class theory and axioms for all definable and consistent large cardinals. VNB explains a transfinite ordinal number line. We call this the Long Line, in which three kinds of ordinals exist. There are the initial ordinals, the limit ordinals, and the successor ordinals. After the Long Line, there exists a proper class of all ordinals Ω. Ω acts like an ordinal but is not an ordinal. We have four rules: one for the appropriate level of all ordinals and one for each type of ordinal. Thus, we have the following:
Initial Rule: On the Long Line, for an initial ordinal 0, there exists an initial civilization C0. C0 is our civilization. It is the least intelligent and the most recent of all cultures. Our society is part of a software program running on a computer. This computer was programmed and built by civilization C1. This more profound civilization is more powerful and more intelligent than our society.
Successor Rule: On the Long Line, for every successor ordinal n+1, there exists a civilization Cn+1. The more profound civilization Cn+1 is later and earlier than, as well as more intelligent and more powerful than, the shallower society of Cn. Cn+1 is the more profound civilization that helps and guides the activities of Cn.
Limit Rule: On the Long Line, for every limit ordinal L, there is a limit civilization CL that exists. Any limited civilization later and earlier than, as well as more intelligent and more powerful than, every culture in the series is the limit. Any limit civilizations guide every culture’s activities in the series of which it is the limit. Any society is infinitely powerful and infinitely intelligent.
Final Rule: There exists an absolute creator CΩ for every proper class Ω. The creator is a brilliant and powerful mind. We call it God.
We started with Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument. Based on the present argument, we developed novel versions of the Design and Cosmological Arguments. We then shifted to Soteriology and went on to create a theory of the afterlife. At crucial points, the theology that follows the Simulation Argument is much closer to Neoplatonism than Christian theism. In summary, Simulationist theory is very similar to Neoplatonism.
Neoplatonists can happily embrace the hierarchy of computer systems. This process is just the chain of beings that parallels clearly with the Enneads of Plotinus and in The Elements of Theology of Proclus. The degree of computation series resembles the hierarchy of old Neoplatonism: shallower computers are to more in-depth computers as software is to hardware, and software is related to hardware as virtual is to what’s real. The numbers that index the degrees of the hierarchy are like Neoplatonic degrees of being: lesser degrees mean less natural. We don’t say that degree 0 is non-being because, after all, we do exist. But, the degree indexes measure creativity. The intellect of the most profound degree tends to be maximally creative and affects all the other psyches involved. The intelligence of any positive degree has remaining creative power and emanates the minds of the lesser degrees. The creative energy is exhausted at the degree 0. We may not be living in degree 0, and we may even simulate other universes.
Mysticism has a close connection to Neoplatonism. For example, the Platonian one is beyond cognition and beyond being. It is experienced only by having an intimate union. The computational analysis parallels this Neoplatonic Mysticism. Since CΩ exists at the level of a good class, it can be transcendental. Proper lessons are beyond logic in an exact sense. They are transcendental objects and are beyond the comprehension of mathematics. We can argue that they exist, but we can present very little else about them. And our understanding of them is always approximate and partial. We can never totally grab higher civilizations by any form of reasoning. So there is some justification for the mysticism of CΩ. Even the most cold-blooded logician should recognize that we have successfully reached the absolute edge of reason and prediction with objects at the proper class level. With the definition and explanation of Ω, we point out that it is analogous to a number and also that it is not a number.
Similarly, for any predicate F, it is better to say that God is not F, but God is analogous to F. For example, God is similar to a mind, but God is not a mind. This definition is Neoplatonic. Even though the mysticism seems too cynical, one might employ some sort of reflection principle to characterize God on a positive note. For example, we might say that if God has any form of computational power, then there exists some less powerful computer that God simulates that has higher computational abilities.
Finally, We would like to end with some critical remarks on the methods we use to define God. Simulation creationism connects God with the Simulation Argument and tries to say that God is the higher and most potent for programming. Our extensions of the Design and Cosmological arguments involve infinite regressions. Researchers employ Cantorian principles to tame the regressions. For example, there is a finite depth below every endless depth. They are no longer vicious in any pre-Cantorian and old-fashioned sense.
Nevertheless, we stay suspicious about the infinite regressions. Working backward does not easily allow people to work forward. And most of the impressive modern theology involves the centrality of progress. For example, consider the process of theology. It would be great to have arguments about God’s existence that progress along the positive number line. There are many opportunities here for skepticism and deep suspicion. But still, the Simulation Argument consists of many theological implications that are worthy of serious investigation.