Thanks to fellow Hacker Noon writer and author of the Simulation Hypothesis Riz Virk, the Simulation theory or argument popularized by Oxford’s Nick Bostrom and Elon Musk has now begun to penetrate much of the tech world and beyond.
When I first heard this theory I found that it parallels two philosophical neo-theological movements that I have ascribed to or at least felt compelled to connect to: Chassidut (Jewish mystical movement pioneered in Eastern Ukraine over 250 years ago) and Zen Buddhism. The metaphysical underpinnings of both, in which they discuss the nature of the world being but an illusion (Mitzrayim in Chassidut and Samsara in Buddhism) seem like nice theological fits to the Simulation theory.
However, my main thrust of this article is not to discuss the parallel qualities each have to this current theory, but rather ask a more fundamental question about the impact this theory has on a variety of accepted understandings of our universe.
Shattering Our Beliefs
Perhaps one of the biggest foundations and belief sets that the Simulation theory unravels if true (I for one believe it is) is the age of our universe. Now when we look out at the universe through a scientific lens we see it being billions of years old. Surprisingly, this has never been a conflict for those of us who ascribe to the Hebrew Bible. Years in Judaism are counted from the creation of Adam. The sages very rightly warned us not to try to understand the Six days of Creation as it is beyond us. Meaning billions of years could fit into those 6 cosmic days.
I am mentioning this because it is important to understand that from my perspective I am raising the issue of the Simulation theory and the age of the Universe not from a theological challenge, but rather that the Simulation theory is perhaps the single biggest watershed moment for those technologists that have followed what were accepted underpinnings of Western science.
The Simulation theory renders the debate about the universe’s age obsolete as it does the question about evolution or environmental shifts or whether the dinosaurs are really real. All of those things would be easily programmed into the simulation as part of the “game.”
What is Reality?
This is the point, which is most transformational — nothing we have here is truly real. Only the Constructor or Architect of the Simulation is real and since we are in the Simulation we cannot actually understand what it is exactly.
Since there is a high possibility that none of the things we have gleamed about our reality’s past are concrete (either they are programmed into our simulation from the beginning or the Constructor has shifted the underpinnings whenever the simulation needed a tweak) then perhaps it is time for humanity whether we are PC (player characters) or NPC (non-player) characters or a combination of both to figure out what the Constructor really wants from us and how to reach the final “level” and of course rescue the proverbial “Princess.”