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Dewi Morgan

What is a God? And, how likely is one?

What is a God? And, how likely is one?

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The idea of a universe that self-constructs out of logic and math, like an infinitely complex snowflake, is delightful, awe-inspiring and breathtaking to me.

Sadly, at least to me, it seems quite overwhelmingly likely that we're in a simulation.

If it's in the nature of intelligent beings to simulate reality (and it is, if we're any guide), then assuming just a single being has ever made a universe simulator, the odds of our being in the "original" universe drops to only 50%. If it's a particularly good simulation, it will in turn contain an entity who wants to make a simulator... and so on down the layers of onion, at least down to the resolution of the sim. So our odds of being in the origin universe are 1/(number of sims + num sims-in-sims +...), which I'd guess to be infinitesimally unlikely.

In evidence towards this, I offer our universe. It would be actually quite hard for us to simulate a universe in which life could develop. Our constraints on pixel size of ~1 planck-length, and tick-time of ~1 planck-second, are too close to our own biological functions - much of the chemistry in our bodies operates close to the quantum level. Any smaller and quantum uncertainty would destroy our ability to encode our genes.

To me, this suggests one of two things.

1) We're in one of the huge plethora of deepest-nested, lowest-resolution sims-in-sims-in-sims... that can support life. That seems most likely; they would be by far the most common.

2) We're in the base universe, and it just happens to be that way. But because it is that way, nobody will ever make a universe simulator. This option seems false on its face, since we could, and definitely *will* make life-simulators very shortly (next century or so). We *will* have virtual people, with virtual experiences, living just in virtual worlds, and no physical bodies. We *can* simulate a mind, and all inputs to it. We just can't simulate a universe. And those virtual minds will want to simulate minds... which their reality could do. So we're not at the very bottom of the nesting. We're just, *near* the bottom.

So, it seems statistically likely that we have a Creator of some type (perhaps a government-funded research corporation...).

But based on the evidence, it also seems statistically unlikely that they care about our galaxy, let alone any life in it, any more than we'd care about a specific eddy in a fluid simulator, and there's no way to pierce the veil to get "outside" the universe, so it's kind of irrelevant, since we'll never interact.

Religion in that light seems silly: worshiping the Simulator would be like worshiping the solar wind, or some other force we can do nothing to affect.

But I also see no reason to believe humans are the most awesome being that exists in our possibly-simulated universe, and I'd find it rather scary and sad if that were true. Surely there exist other life-spawning planets out there? Surely some of them have spawned beings that are as gods to us, able to create and destroy planets at a whim? Now, sure, we could be wiped out by them, but that's a win for life in general anyway; and if they are benign, then we could learn amazing things from them!

And these Gods *could* communicate with any possible Simulators... by destroying enough galaxies to be noticed by an external viewer. But that might not be wise, as when a bug in your simulation makes it run awry, you generally turn it off...
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