I was inspired to write this thread by a "The end of all life" blog and it is somewhat complemented by it.
Couple of years back I watched some documentary on TV about prolonging the human lifespan (in the medical way). There was a brief comment, a theory if you will, that got my attention.
The theory, in general, was that if you scan complete human body, capturing it's finest details down to the subatomic particle level, store that data in computer's memory and use it in a program that simulates laws of physics, add a virtual environment, you would get a fully conscious and fully functional human body in a digital form. The digital 1:1 copy of you. Only difference would be the with passage of time. You can imagine that the "simulation of you" wouldn't be in a real-time and to simulate one second of alive human body would take some super-computer years, maybe decades. But perception of time, or if you prefer, the time passage in the simulated universe would not be any different from the real time passage, if the laws of physics are same.
That sounds like a distant, but very possible future. One can even imagine that someone would try to make a simulation of not just one person, but whole community, or, perhaps the whole planet, giving that the tech. level of the distant future super-computers would be capable of such complex performance. And why stop there? Why not the whole universe?
Now, taking that into account, who's to say that the reality isn't simulated here? And the "God" most people believe in, is just some geek that ran the new "The Sims"?
If you read my comment on "The end of all life" blog, you will see that I mentioned "interconnected universes". That complements this theory.
If our universe is nothing but a simulation on some computer, then "interconnected universes" can only mean one thing: NETWORK. (Maybe this is on-line version of The Sims?)
This theory could raise many questions, and the biggest one, the question of all questions would be:
"If this is a simulation after all, what is stopping that someone that ran this simulation from flipping the switch?"
If you think about it for a while, you would realize the ethics involved.
To understand my point, you must take into consideration couple of things:
a) If you create a fully conscious replica of you that is in no way different from you, or there are some superficial differences (same kind of differences that exist between two different persons), yet it is still fully conscious and sentient, regardless of whether it is in "digital" or "organic" form,
b) If you follow philosophy of René Descrates (I think, therefore, I am) you would conclude that "digital you", the moment it starts, would became another conciousness... another personality.. another mind.. another sentient being.. another existence.. another soul, if you will.
I guess, turning it off could be considered as same as parent killing it's own child. One just don't have the moral right to terminate somebody else's existence, no matter what form of existence it is.
What about "more than one digital person" situation? I guess that the same ethics comply there, only on the larger scale.
And what if people finally realize the concept of the universe and put it in a simple formula, (like Albert Einstein was trying to do before he died) and make an absolute universe simulation from it's beginnings (big bang), just like the universe that we are experiencing now, and that has been going on for billions of years (on our time-scale)?
That could be interpreted as ... well, divine act. The genesis.
God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
God created man in his own image. In God's image he created him; male and female he created them.
I guess multiple universes theory (or "networking", as I have bluntly illustrated) can be considered as some sort of virtual polytheism.
This thread may be interpreted as sacrilege to some people (religious fanatics) that conceder mentioning of God, in any form other than some religious material quotes, as a mortal sin.
To those people I will say this:
This story is fictional. Any resemblance of the events, names, personalities, places, organizations or religions in this story to actual names, events or religions is pure coincidence.:twisted: