What if the granular nature of perceived reality is a consequence arising from bits in a higher reality computer code? And if the universe really is a simulation, what could its ultimate purpose possibly be!?
If the simulation hypothesis is correct, we may not be experiencing the first iteration. It is possible, for example, that apparently inexplicable ‘acts of God’ are required in order to model a more credible version of reality. A kinder, seemingly less arbitrary universe may be much less believable.
A simulated reality would also enable effortless reincarnation, thus allowing for an immense variety of experience, whilst simultaneously explaining why there is so much inequality in the system: the inequalities level out over time.
Multiple incarnations would also explain such phenomena as infant prodigies.
Arguments in favour of a simulation:
- Quantum Mechanics reveals that there are two levels of reality, one objective, and one subjective.
- Our reality appears to be subjective, and perceptual, which means our consciousness must survive physical death, thus suggesting that it really resides outside of subjective, perceptual reality.
- If we are all connected to a simulation, which we interpret as the universe, then our ‘physical reality’ would really be a flow of information. Therefore, the ultimate speed limit of the universe (which we interpret as applying to light) would, at a more fundamental level, actually apply to information. Consequently, time dilation would primarily be designed to maintain a constant speed for this stream of data, thus preserving the illusion of an objective reality whilst within the simulation.
- Disappearing Object Phenomenon, which recognises that objects do occasionally drop out of the perceptual realm only later to reappear, suggests ‘bugs’ in a computer program.
- Coincidence and deja vu could also be coding errors.
- Material reality appears to be granular and divisible, rather than continuous, thus suggesting bits in a computer code.
- Microscopic reality does not match macroscopic reality, i.e. the ‘pixels’ beneath the surface appear to be exposed when, for example, smashing atoms.
- Matter is essentially electromagnetic, and hence material reality is demonstrably an illusion.
- Strict limits have been placed on what is knowable, which would be a straightforward operation for a programmer.
- Many of the fundamental laws of nature are reducible to mathematical explanation.
- The universal constants which have enabled the universe to come into being are extremely finely tuned.
- There is a persistent inability to create a Theory of Everything, possibly because the universe is not self-generated, nor self-contained.
- DNA appears to have been coded.
- There is the possibility that all DNA is really one computer code with pre-written evolutionary jumps preset to specific time periods.
- There is also our own exponential rate of computing progress to consider because it increasingly makes a simulated universe a philosophical possibility.
- Incredibly detailed NDE life reviews suggest that our lives are recorded separately from our brains, i.e. a sort of ‘cloud’ storage. This would make perfect sense if our existence here has a purpose because these life-experiences would thus be preserved and safe-guarded from accidental damage and destruction whilst we are in a material form.
- Webs of deception can successfully be woven in our reality, e.g. by con artists and scammers, because, at heart, our ‘reality’ is not a true reality, but a deception in itself.
- In an absolute reality, such deceptions should be impossible because the ultimate nature of reality would be obvious to all and, therefore, everyone would be beyond manipulation.
- In our subjective ‘reality’, it is quite apparent that stimulus comes from without to within , i.e. there is a translation which occurs within each individual’s consciousness. However, in an absolute reality, one might imagine that both reality and the experience of reality would be entirely contemporaneous.
- Finally, there is a philosophical / religious tradition stretching back thousands of years in which humanity has refused to accept that the universe, as we experience it, is anything more than transient, ephemeral and illusory. Quantum mechanics confirms this tradition.
So what might be the purpose of such a simulated universe? This question is no different to asking what the purpose of the universe is. It may well be, as all great religions have suggested, an experience designed to both test and enhance personal morality.
If the universe is a simulation, does this suggest that God does not exist? Not really. If we are the creation of a Higher Being, why would we expect He / She to use mysticism rather than science?
Who might this Higher Being be? Again, there is no definitive answer. However, it is possible that it could even be us. We might be our own creators in the sense that it is our Higher Reality selves who have created the simulation. If so, then the universe might still be a redemptive experience designed to induce a morality reset so that we treat each other better in the higher realm. After all, we already use simulations as a means of training people for very demanding ‘real-life’ situations.
The simulation idea also neatly corresponds with the notion that our physical brain does not create our intelligence, but merely harnesses it, and places strict limits upon it. This idea is supported by the fact that physical damage to the brain, in exceptionally rare cases, actually enhances intellectual ability. In these very extraordinary instances, the physical damage appears to enable the mind to make previously impossible connections and, therefore, perform intellectual abilities formerly denied to it. This suggests that our consciousness ultimately resides outside of the brain. If this was not the case, then all brain damage would decrease intellectual functioning without exception.
The simulation hypothesis is also supported by the fact that we are clearly not permitted to have a definitive understanding of the true meaning of our physical reality. If we fully understood the nature of the universe as a simulation, then it would no longer be immersive, and if we did not fully believe in the absolute autonomy of this physical existence, then our human experience would be contaminated and enveloped in existential crisis.
In the following thought experiment, ‘I am G.O’D!’, one possible version of a simulated universe has been envisaged. It is bleak and trivial because it reflects my own sense of nihilism back in 2012 when I originally wrote it. But, to be clear, I am far from the first to envisage such a meaningless purpose to our existence:
“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.” (King Lear)
Of course, the universe could be this pointless but, since conceiving the Theory of Perceptual Reality in July 2020, and noting how closely it accords with some of the central tenets of the world’s major religions, I am much more optimistic about our ultimate destiny.
So now I’m more inclined to the notion that Life is an amazing opportunity and, therefore, circumstances allowing, we should make of it as much as we can.
‘I am G.O’D!‘
‘Let there be light!’ Gerald O’Driscoll commanded, sitting down at his desk, and lo and behold there was. His laptop instantaneously projected a gently pulsating lipstick pink halo onto the huge plasma screen which covered the entire length of one wall. This was accompanied by the simultaneous streaming of ethereal music subtly combined with a soothing undercurrent of shy, girlish laughter – and all synced to greet him each and every time he made a reappearance. It was a divine touch!
Of course, this complete and utter self-glorification was merely the machine obeying Gerald’s pre-programmed commands to simulate a gesture of obsequious adoration as soon as its facial recognition software registered his remarkably unprepossessing figure shambling in through the door. Still, given his desperation for approval, this gross piece of synthetic self-worship temporarily satisfied a deep-seated desire by turning itself on with all the heartfelt animation of a lover’s smile … which was, after all, highly appropriate, there being no other lover in his life.
Now aged thirty three, Gerald was a programming genius beyond compare who could work miracles with just a single line of code. He had been obsessed with computers since childhood and, for the past decade, had been employed as one of a host of experimental programmers for Universal International, a global conglomerate and world leader in the increasingly controversial field of cyber reality … and yet he had remained profoundly unfulfilled. The anonymity galled.
However, during the past three years, he had finally found his mission and his life had suddenly radiated with meaning. He had been summoned forth from the bitter wilderness of obscurity and elevated to overall responsibility for an ultra-top-secret project – the development of a revolutionary games console which employed a processor so advanced that it would take gaming into a realm in which the current Triple 6D innovations of Universal’s chief rival would become obsolete overnight. Gerald’s role was to oversee the evolution of operating software so powerful that it would practically breathe life into this super-sophisticated piece of kit. Although he couldn’t entirely predict the outcome once the prototype was activated, ten or even eleven dimensions seemed entirely probable.
Such was the brilliance of Gerald’s vision, and such was the extent of the company’s financial investment, that the project had expanded to encompass the combined talents of approximately twelve teams of the industry’s top programmers, all working on discrete units of code in various far flung corners of the globe. Nobody but Gerald, and one other colleague, had any idea what the assembled design would produce. Secrecy was imperative. The stakes were so enormous that Universal would either dominate all aspects of the cyber reality industry for decades to come … or else go bust in the attempt.
Gerald nonchalantly swallowed the final mouthful of the lifeless canteen sandwich, barely registering the mingled blandness of the low fat filling encased within the unsalted bread. The clock was ticking and the moment of creation would soon be upon them. He hastily typed an email to the one other person who was fully aware of the history they were about to make:
From: Gerald O’Driscoll
The final algorithm deployed six days ago is about to unify the trillions of lines of separately developed computer code from all of our programmers across the entire globe. In a matter of minutes, we will be ready to go live. Get up here at once!
Click, and the summons was sent. That should bring the big lug running!
As he waited for Zeus to make his way up to the seventh floor, Gerald allowed himself a few moments of smug satisfaction. The revolutionary new console with its even more revolutionary software may well be light years ahead of anything ever previously created, but the basic concept was as old as time itself – that familiar (but guaranteed) recipe for success, Good versus Evil. How many times had that old chestnut been used? But this time, it was going to be given a spin unlike anything that had ever been witnessed before.
They were about to unleash a cyber universe into which Gerald had pre-programmed a seemingly impossible set of evolutionary jumps and some very elusive laws of physics that would keep the more intelligent of the hapless inhabitants periodically believing that they were on the verge of a great scientific breakthrough … but, frustratingly, never quite able to crack the code. The irony amused him.
Furthermore, he was going to fill this simulated parallel universe with all the misery that his twisted genius could devise. If people thought things could be tough in this one, wait till they saw what he had in store for the deluded self-believing inhabitants of this new cyber reality. And the masterstroke, which would sell the whole thing in truck loads, was the facility for the consumer to send lightning bolts of arbitrary injustice on these unsuspecting creatures with just the click of a mouse!
Gerald sighed with immense satisfaction. It had been an exhilarating, but exhausting week – he’d even had to come in on the weekend just to finish the job off. Still, tomorrow was Sunday and so he could take a well-deserved break and enjoy a complete day of rest. Gerald’s self-satisfied musings were cut short as the athletic Zeus suddenly loomed large in the doorway having just effortlessly sprinted up a mountain of stairs.
‘This is it,’ said Gerald eagerly reaching for the on-switch.
Zeus drew an impressively deep breath, then abruptly halted Gerald with an imperious raising of his hand. ‘Such a momentous occasion … Before we start, we should give it a name.’ He took a crumpled piece of notepaper out of his pocket and solemnly read aloud: ‘The Live Interactive Freewill Experience!’
Gerald looked doubtful. It was too much of a mouthful and could affect sales. Also, he had to make it perfectly clear who was ultimately in charge. ‘I’m thinking something more snappy.’ He pondered for a moment. ‘What about L.I.F.E.?’
‘An acronym? Very clever. I like it. Yes, let’s call it Life!’ It was perfect; all existence summed up in a single word. Zeus grinned. It was an excellent beginning.
The two men exchanged one last long and very meaningful look, then Gerald pressed the switch. There was a sudden surge of power, a mighty hum, swiftly followed by an array of lights which encompassed all the visible colours of the spectrum and which sent vertical bars of heavenly glory shimmering along the full length of the room. The gigantic plasma screen momentarily turned black. And then, without warning, there was a sudden blinding flash followed by an almighty explosion.
‘Wow,’ said Zeus. ‘Quite a bang!’
‘The bigger the better!’ retorted Gerald with a genuine sense of awe. ‘But there’s something missing … it lacks opening credits.’
Even at a moment like this, his enormous ego doggedly came to the fore. Hastily, he jotted down the title which needed to be synchronised with that initial explosion, all to be enshrined in towering pillars of flame:
LIFE … by … G.O’D!
‘Another acronym,’ mused Zeus. ‘Well, it’s got a certain ring.’
There was a second gigantic flash, much larger than the first, which bathed the entire room in a celestial golden glow and which took Zeus quite by surprise.
G.O’D smiled. This was the First Phase of a pre-programmed universal expansion. Contentedly, HE watched the screen … HE noted the light and, with much satisfaction, He saw that it was good.