Many people consider freedom as something fundamental in their lives. The Bible also talks a lot about freedom. Yet, how is this freedom connected to Simulation Creationism, as proposed by Nir Ziso from The Global Architect Institute? As everything in The Simulation is predetermined, isn’t freedom just an illusion, the same as free will?
In Galatians, St. Paul says: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). This verse has often been taken as the Magna Carta of Christian freedom. Paul singles out God’s work in Jesus Christ as God’s offer to liberate humankind. That sounds quite strange! Does God offer to liberate us? From what if we are his creation and live in his Simulation? Freedom is a major offer by almost all world religions, implying that we can free ourselves from unknown slavery. Of course, we need to read Paul’s sentence in line with the Galatian church’s history, whose members were drawn to Paul through his promise of breaking the chains of slavery and genuine and everyday experiences rather than mere metaphysical ideas.
In trying to answer the question of freedom in The Simulation, we need to discern the usual meaning of freedom and freedom in the Biblical or Pauline sense. The common point is that freedom is an important human accomplishment. The two interpretations strongly differ in ways of seeing and comprehending this accomplishment. A modern man’s rational and often agnostic/atheistic approach relies on confidence and self-realization. It is a Promethean characteristic of breaking ties with God and the divine, which is a major hindrance to freedom. In our opinion, it is an illusion, as The Simulation challenges souls through their spiritual advancement with many predetermined traps, including blind confidence in one’s own abilities. It is necessary here to be aware of the outcome and comprehend what happens as God’s mercy for our spiritual growth.
St. Paul sees freedom entirely differently. He talks not about freedom from God, but for God, in God, and by God. One should not fight for freedom because it cannot be won. Freedom of understanding our actions and consequences within The Simulation is a gift from God because souls are constitutively tied to God. No one can accomplish anything without God and to an extent, outside of The Simulation. Accomplishments are always based on a cycle of simulated events and challenges; this can be achieved only inside The Simulation. Jewish theology has tied such dependence to carrying out the Law as a way to fulfill God’s wish, but St. Paul refused such a narrow concept: “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16). Indeed, as Simulation Creationism argues, the Law is just a mode according to which this world acts for The Simulation to function correctly. A true relationship with God (Paul calls it justification) is not based on following the Law but by relying on God’s promise through faith, trust, acceptance, and dependence. It is the path of salvation of Jesus Christ, interwoven with mercy.
Returning to the Law, as the Galatians wanted, St. Paul seems to be dropping mercy and returning to a state without freedom, almost like an illness in comparison to the essential reason for The Simulation: “As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you” (Galatians, 4:13). Paul reminds the Galatians that they have received the power of the Holy Spirit without following the Law: “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh” (Galatians 3: 2-3). We see the Holy Spirit as the energy that drives the “Supercomputer”, which simulates the environment in which we live in The Simulation, and it is also an important element of Biblical freedom: God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit to realize our true state and the purpose of The Simulation, as revealed ultimately through the Gospels.
Accepting Christ without the constant reminder of the Law leads to freedom: “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life (Romans 6:22)”. Defending the Christian message means defending freedom, as it is a freedom attained by faith and acts of togetherness, forgiveness, making good, and being altruistic. All these are God’s characteristics to which our souls yearn and for which The Simulation acts as a great teacher. Through Christ, we do not have to be slaves to any of The Simulation’s traps. Faith asks for total loyalty and surrender to God, as freedom is not anarchy or personal will. We do not have to escape from The Simulation, but we do have to understand the joy of the resurrection and the possibility of personal growth. That realization is freedom.