Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Throughout your days, you’ve likely created or been exposed to the idea that “Maybe it’s all a dream.” Meaning that life is a dream and you are asleep.
Philosophically: Maybe you’ve heard of the notion that there is an evil demon that is making you feel things that aren’t real. The demon creates the illusion of the world around you, while hiding the true nature of things.
Philosophically with some science: Maybe you are a brain in a vat. Your brain is being controlled by scientists stimulating your neurons to make you think you are sitting at a computer reading this, but are really in a vat with electrodes connected to various inputs/outputs of your brain, all of which is connected to computers.
Computationally: What if you are really just in a computer simulation? [Simulation Argument: Moore’s Law (referring to integrated circuits) states that the computing power available for a given price will double every 12-24 months. It can be thought of as a way of understanding the exponential growth of computing. Some think it will run out for circuits in 10-15 years, but the past 100 years shows that as a technology is exhausted something new comes along (…vacuum tube begat transistor begat integrated circuit begat 3D computing?). By 2050 we should have enough computational speed to model all human brains. Therefore, one has to assume that humans will never run anthropological models of themselves, or that we will go extinct before 2050. If not, then we will be able to run realistic simulations by then. Or has it already happened?]
Notice anything yet?

One more: It was aliens that created the Earth along with humanity, but they are so sophisticated they were able to do it without leaving a trace of their involvement. Actually, they did it 137 times! See, they thought 136 was far too little. What? Why not 138? Are you nuts? Come on, that’s just silly. :P

What I’m trying to demonstrate to you is that none of these statements can be disproved. This does not mean that these statements are not true, but that their very nature precludes proving them false. They cannot be falsified. They are not falsifiable.
Consequently, aside from a positive feeling that may occur whilst pondering these possibilities, there is nothing else here. Acknowledging the existence of non-falsifiable statements is enough; employment of greater intellectual effort would be superfluous.
What if you are in a dream within a dream? Or better yet, what if aliens made a vat that had you in a simulation of a dream? If any of the aforementioned statements were actually true, what would change in your life? Assuming the statements are accurate in their lack of falsification, you would never be able to know if you were in a dream or vat or… etc., therefore, nothing would change. You’d still eat, sleep, socialize, strive, fail, succeed, change, grow… die. What changes?

A little extra
If you are in a dream, there is a body sleeping and dreaming.
If there is a demon, the demon exists somewhere to torture you.
If you are in a vat, a world exists with a vat with you in it.
If you are in a simulation, there is a program running with a ‘computer’ simulating your world.

It would appear that even these statements lead to the existence of an external reality. Thoughts?


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