Simulation theory is drawing interest on all sides, including the age-old field of theology. According to world expert on Simulation Creationism, Nir Ziso, traditional questions are applicable to the new radical concept of reality as a computer-simulated entity. It has shocked theorists and even scientists into looking to theology for answers. Of course, theology can help provide support for any explanation of the universe and human existence. Only science stands as an alternative approach and it has its flaws.
One of the most modern explanations comes with the Design Argument, a supplement to other arguments, such as the cosmology argument. It is the inductive classic argument for God’s existence, asserting itself as a kind of “proof”. It is also known as the teleological argument. Take the example of the teleology of the Watch that implies the existence of a Watchmaker. It is about the origins of things and what is in control.
Anyone gazing at the complexity of the universe, seems certain internal structures that must come from an Intelligent Designer. The teleology of the earth, all of nature and its lifeforms seem to lead to God. God, of course, is the focus for many philosophers over the centuries from Plato and Aristotle onward through St. Thomas Aquinas and later Leibnitz. The same logic is now being used to arrive at this conclusion.
But is our reality like a watch? The human body is akin to a machine but has a spiritual dimension far beyond one. Evolution has caused man to progress through mutation and natural selection. He is now a superior being, one capable of devising some kind of ingenious software and a computer to run a simulated universe.
What does Nir Ziso have to say on this controversial subject? Looking at Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument, we feel the need to link Simulation Creationism to Bostrom’s theory. It posits the mind behind the madness as being human and not divine. Modern theology strives to retain God as the center of all things, so how to reconcile the new theory? Surely the world is inherently spiritual and perfect. The classical Design Argument can be updated to accommodate past assumptions and still retain the newest innovation.
Creationism is needed to see that the universe has a source, that it did not create itself on its own. There was a plan or design involved. Simulated creationism refines it to see God as the ultimate or original programmer of a computer-generated world occupied by human beings unmindful of their condition. God is the superpower behind the advanced device. So there are two premises here: the supercomputer programmed by God and a universe that could be simulated.
Christian theology would balk at these premises and offer an alternative. However, Ziso finds no conflict in merging Simulation Theory with Simulation Creationism. Intelligent Design is but one way of explaining what happened in the beginning, perhaps apart from the Big Bang – the usual scientific explanation. God remains the foundation of being in Creationism and its new simulation perspective. One simulation after another is in play and illustrates divine productivity. God is still the supreme being. Religion has its role in Simulation Theory and its offshoot Simulation Creationism.
Bostrom would not include God however as the traditional Judeo-Christian creator. Fortunately, Ziso’s own Simulation Creationism advances or improves upon Bostrom’s precepts. We can accept the idea of a simulated reality and admit that God plays a part as the source of everything we know and believe in.
According to the Design Argument, God displays varying levels. This is where theology enters the picture to define them in accordance with Judeo-Christian beliefs. But now we think we know more and are able to dig deeper into the real meaning of creation. We don’t have to give up the six days of creation reported in the Bible, even if we accept the truth of quantum physics. God still works in mysterious ways, but now through software and hardware. He still takes the initiative by calling, electing and choosing his people as his own after which he predestines and glorifies them.
Thus religion, theology, and Simulation Theory are conjoined without violating human reason or scientific inquiry. As with most theological issues, faith is at the heart of the matter. We have enough imagination to believe in the plausibility of another type of creation despite its radicality and digression from centuries of philosophical thought.
While Intelligent Design is behind creation, according to Simulation Creationism everything is predetermined, including our thoughts. There is an observer, presumably a human being, watching a preprogrammed, directed movie of life. The observer has conscious feelings that color his perspective. It is part of the design of the simulation to record the emotional response of the observer to events and experiences, with the ultimate goal of reaching salvation. You can thank the power of theology, and the human need for it, to try to reconcile free will and determinism, an age-old issue. It is to the credit of Intelligent Design and Simulation Creationism, that we can even ask for new answers in the modern context. Evolution is seen in a new light and is no longer a mere academic concern.