From: Stathis Papaioannou (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Aug 23 2007 - 20:08:41 MDT
On 24/08/07, Norman Noman <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Yes: if it's a perfectly transparent (perfectly opaque?) simulation,
> > there is no way of testing any hypothesis you may come up with about
> > the simulators. Maybe the simulators are honest about the threat of
> > retribution, maybe they're just pretending, or maybe there are no
> > simulators.
> Just because you can't test hypotheses doesn't mean you have no
> information. The prior probabilities are different. In the plan outlined in
> this conversation, running the simulation and not including retribution
> would be totally pointless.
And you have evidence that the simulators would not do things that you
would consider totally pointless? That is analogous to assuming that
if God exists, he must be a personal God specifically interested in
the welfare of humans. It's bad enough entertaining the possibility
that God exists / we are in perfect simulation without going further
to speculate about God's / the simulators' motives.
> > Each of these possibilities and every other possibility is
> > perfectly compatible with all available evidence, and there is no way
> > (by definition) of obtaining further evidence to help you decide which
> > is more likely. It would be like trying to guess God's shoe size in
> > the absence of any divine revelation.
> My guess at god's shoe size is that god doesn't exist. The existence of
> god, and thus of his feet, is NOT perfectly compatible with all available
> evidence. With the knowledge of what is contained within a hermetic
> simulation, the beings within that simulation can legitimately assign
> different probabilities to different theories of what is outside.
If you are talking about the kind of God or simulation that leaves
evidence behind, then yes. But the assumption is that it is a perfect
simulation, which means there is nothing to distinguish it from
reality, by definition. It is equivalent to assuming that the world
was created by a God who, in his omnipotence, made it look as if there
is no God. What evidence could you possibly have for or against such a
-- Stathis Papaioannou
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