Imagine a mere movie spawning a major theory. Well, it has happened. The Matrix is aligned with Simulation Theory that asserts that a computer simulation houses all of humanity in digital form. In short, we live in an altered digitized reality created by a master computer of infinite power.
This is more than pop culture fantasy or the stuff of sci fi. It is a real philosophical proposition held by some of the greatest minds of our decade. It has many supporters among the astute. Thus, science is on its side.
Recent articles attest to this possibility. In fact, in one in particular, we find a group of like-minded scientists who are in the midst of testing the simulation hypothesis. Did some sort of super being create a massive simulation? They want definite proof and it may even be forthcoming.
The fundamentals of the Simulation Hypothesis center around a post-human stage of a civilization that could run simulations progressive enough to be on the scale of the entire universe. It would contain billions of worlds, billions of suns, innumerable occupants and more. The best suggestion in articles of late is that if such a simulation is possible, then we are likely living in it.
Statistics can assess this likelihood and they have certainly been used along with an impressive set of rational “arguments”. In the end, we have to believe as a matter of faith that we are, in fact, located somewhere in a chain of simulations like a stack of Russian dolls, one locked into the other. The question is are we the original civilization in the first virtual universe?
Such a possibility is the stuff of filmmaking as seen in the 1999 science fiction fantasy, The Matrix. But this groundbreaking film that has grabbed hosts of followers and a sequel may not be a fantasy after all. That humanity has been taken over and manipulated by machines is in the minds of many now as a real possibility. We see evidence in AR and AI and the vast repercussions of the technological revolution that keeps moving forward.
It boils down to some simple computer science. Reality is formed from electrical impulses fed to computers that use body heat as a source of energy. Sounds plausible enough. It is as if we have been “harvested”. Neo is the savior figure of the film who breaks free to join with fellow renegades. He seeks to defeat the evil machines, not an uncommon theme in sci fi. The goal is to help humanity survive.
Meanwhile the creator of the computer simulation does its level best to keep the inhabitants happy. Why not? It helps retain control and avoid rebellion. It is what governments do after all. Meanwhile we could be recorded and judged. According to Simulation Creationism, a divine deity created the universe to study the processes related to creation and life. Nir Ziso is the mind behind the theory. As the founder of The Global Architect Institute, he hopes to gain support for this advancement of Simulation theory.
Ziso’s model is designed to explain reality and existence. That we are all part of a simulation is assumed. The simulation’s objective is to research and monitor events pertaining to creation and life. Per Ziso, everything detected by the human sensory system imbued with thoughts and subsequent actions are predetermined. A relay station transmits all this data to an observer whose reality is a “movie” of sorts. The simulation component in charge of recording an emotional response to the events/stimuli being transmitted is the observer’s consciousness, such as it is.
The idea of a simulation akin to an amazing digital game is exciting and gaining ground. The issue is what goes on in the simulation in terms of human interaction and motivation. Are we being tested in some way like a theoretical experiment?
As much as there are skeptics, there are serious supporters from both Christianity and pop culture. Think of the Matthew 25 passage where the people ask, “when did I see you hungry, thirsty, naked, or in prison?” Jesus responds, “whenever you care for the least of these, you cared for me.” In addition, there are dozens of “spooky” coincidences in literature and history, not to mention religion. Many focus on God sending his Angels to the earth to provide guidance and support. The implication is that you could be standing next to one in line at the grocery store and not know it!
If you say to yourself, “I don’t believe it is possible”, read Nicholas Bostrom’s 2003 paper, “Are we Living in a Simulation” or any quote on the subject by Elon Musk. In this vein, there is a philosophical position called Process Thought. It leaves the simulation question up for grabs to the best contender.
Every moment of life is connected like an endless interlinked chain. This makes sense whether we are living in a simulation or just wandering through life on earth in a trance as it resembles some basic physics principles. Human actions are said to affect others in the past and the future so we behave as if this were true.
Every moment of life holds an opportunity for self-realization through God. Simulation Theory takes on a theological tone for many as ethics are at the heart of human action. We act in kindness to others through our daily events whether at work or play. When we encounter others, we do our best, such as smiling at people on the street or holding a door open for a bag-laden office worker. It is very Judeo-Christian in spirit and it would be wonderful if such morality worked its way into a computer simulation.
It is something to think about in depth. Look at all the coincidences between the theory and real life. Meanwhile, we go on living a good life as if the Day of Judgment were at hand. We want to create a better world if not a better universe. Humans impact everything around them, so it behooves them to act in good faith until the end is near.