The Simulation Hypothesis, Religion, Deism, and Time... (Part 2) - Could Deism be the Same?

in Proof of Brain4 months ago (edited)

Yesterday I began this series of posts. The first post was mainly targeted at my religious audience that may have concerns/misgivings about the simulation hypothesis in relation to their own religious beliefs. Though it has things in it that other people may find interesting as well. It also contains the outline for how I intend for this series to progress.

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(Source: One of my simulation hypothesis posts from 2017)


(Source: giphy.com)

I have already received some interesting questions and challenges. Hopefully the post for today will address some of those. I know it will not address all of them because some of those questions will be more likely to be covered as I progress to other areas in the coming posts in the next few days.

With that said... Thank you for reading, replying, and thinking. I will continue.


Deism the Simulation Hypothesis from the past...

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Deism is an interesting religion though it is not at all organized or formal. It has been around for quite some time and a number of famous people have identified as Deists. You may be surprised to find out who some of them are. Why isn't deism more well known then? It has no priests. Reality and what you observe around you are its temple. It has no holy texts. The text of the creator as far as deists are concerned are written into reality itself. This doesn't offer much of an opportunity to gather for church at regular intervals. It doesn't offer much to people who want to be the authority on the religion and tell you how you must act, what you must believe, etc. The beliefs of the Deist are actually quite simple. "There is a creator, now observe and use reason." That's it. Nothing else. Though along with using reason most Deists actively consume the religious texts of other religions. They value the history, and they value the moral teachings such as the golden rule. They can read the Sermon on the Mount and see the wisdom and common sense within. They simply do not see other humans as having the authority to tell them what they should believe. With no avenue to grant power over people is it any surprise that it isn't talked about and advertised as much as most religions? That likely isn't the only reason but it is one I have thought of myself as being a possible explanation.


How did I come to consider myself a Deist? (Long back story - feel free to skip if you want)

I was raised by Hippies that were also Christians. The hippy side would bring in quite a bit of the "new age" type thinking which an traditional Christian would consider evil and wrong. I didn't know this as a child as I was surrounded by "Peace, Love, and Flower Power". Yes, my parents were that type of hippy. My mother talked to me about God frequently and had me say my prayers each night when I went to sleep. The famous/infamous "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer. I had absolutely amazing large painting of an angel over my bed.

I had a voracious curiosity for weird and fringe things from an early age. I loved ghost stories. I loved stories about UFOs. I loved stories about bigfoot. It didn't particularly bother me when people would say "That's so stupid" about one of these topics while they were likely chuckling. I didn't notice most of that when I was younger though I do recall it occurring.

My first negative memory of religion was when I was sent to a religious school briefly in Ft. Worth, Texas when I was 4 or 5. I had to ride a school bus and that was my first experience with that and it was scary because I wasn't sure I'd remember which bus I was supposed to get back on to go home. I remember listening at the school and they were talking so much about "Lucifer" that I was actually a little frightened by the religion itself. At this school I don't recall them referring to Satan or one of the many other names. I just remember they seemed to spend far more time talking about Lucifer than anything else.

I told my mother when I got home. She immediately pulled me out of that school. Other than a few occasions where I gathered with people in a small town at church on a weekend or something I never went to a religious school again. I know not all schools are like that (the majority are not) yet that is my first negative reaction in my memory with religion.

Around that age Jesus Christ Superstar was my favorite song. I also liked Alvin and the Chipmunks' "Witch Doctor", Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog", and Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy". This was at a time I was surrounded by Beatles music and many others. My family was/is very music oriented.


I didn't really run into the truly negative things with religion until I was in high school. I made the decision right before my Freshman year that I wanted to let my hair grow long. I had mostly short hair until then. This ended up being a negative choice in the minds of some aspects of society. This would often be in the form of priests, but mostly it was local ranchers and cowboys around the same age that would talk crap until they saw I wasn't afraid of them. Eventually years later we were friends.

I had a double bad thing though. I fell in love with Heavy Metal music. Metal!!! It permeated my mind, and it gave me a very important outlet. You see while my parents I have painted a rosy picture of up to this point were/are indeed good people. They became severe alcoholics. So bad that if my parents decided to get a divorce unlike most children I'd simply say "Good, but stick to it this time.". Eventually my father quit cold turkey (locked himself in a trailer and shook for 5 days) and it was easy for my mother then. She had tried numerous times but couldn't stick to it if my father would not. Their life instantly improved. I was half way through my junior year of high school when this finally occurred. Between my Freshman year and that moment were the worst of it.

I was very against suicide. Yet I was absolutely unafraid of other people attempting to put me out of my misery. The cowboys that would come up to me in a group lucky for me always backed down. I later suspected it was because they saw I was absolutely not afraid of them, their numbers, etc. That was probably a little spooky. "Is this guy crazy?" Perhaps in some ways I was.

Anyway I was angry, and had a lot to be angry about. Heavy metal sucked that anger out of me and put it some place that wouldn't hurt other people. It did not inspire me to attack. It did not inspire me to destroy. It just made me feel like a buzzing exhilarating battery and when I let it course through me for awhile I wasn't as angry anymore. It also constantly had me upping my vocabulary as metal lyrics often used some words you don't normally hear such as obsequious.

People assumed I did drugs. Because of my parents I was very anti-drug, and anti-alcohol despite being a long haired metal head. I dealt with stereotypes of being a druggy many times.

Though during that time is when Geraldo Rivera put out his documentary and warning about Satanism (DEVIL WORSHIP: Exposing Satan's Underground(Part 1 | Part 2)). It told parents what to look for. My mother became concerned. I mean I dressed like they told her she should watch out for. I was sitting right next to her watching the show when he was telling her this. I listened to a lot of the music they warned her about and likely even said "Good band" to some of the bands they mentioned. I do recall I thought some of the bands they mentioned were crap. chuckle

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I became extremely interested in religion. ALL of them. I didn't want to practice any of them but I read every type of bible I could get my hands on. I even gladly took the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is from some Hari Krishna types when they offered one to me and told them thanks. I also learned a lot about Satanism.

I had a close friend who would tell people he was Satanic.

I formed the opinion that "Satanism" was kind of stupid. It did offer a power over other people. Mainly through fear, and intimidation. It also gave my friend that bad boy vibe that the opposite sex is often attracted to like a moth to a flame. Yet I realized that if I believed in Satan then I had to also believe in Christianity. You believe in Christianity but you decide to side with the dark side.

While the stereotype of metal is that this is what it is all about, that is actually not that common. There were a few bands (mediocre in my opinion) that did embrace that image but most did not. The bands like Iron Maiden would get labeled as Satanic because they dared to make a song called the "Number of The Beast" which opens with a direct quote from Revelations. Furthermore the song is about someone fighting "Satan" not being favorable to him. It was more like some old Fangoria style horror movie in song form. This is actually what most metal songs around the subject are. People hear the word "Satan" and they think the song must be Satanic.

I found myself wondering why when people hear a priest say "Satan" they don't immediately assume the priest is Satanic.

At this period I became more atheist with a heavy personal spiritualism. I had no label for it. I just was. Yet I was a voracious consumer of religious texts and history.

I wrote essays on it. Mainly because I've always been one to attack absolutes, and peer pressure didn't do much to me. I was clearly walking my own path. (Thus why an adult gave me Fountainhead to read... saying "I think you'll like this.")

I remember walking down a sidewalk and passing a Catholic priest and he literally elevated his nose up in the air a bit and turned his head away from me as he passed. I looked the part of a metal head. That's because I am a metal head (though I love and perform many types of music). I had to be an agent of Satan right?

Then one day someone showed me a newspaper clipping from a nearby ski resort town. It was talking about Satanism and the reason it was shown to me is because the person they described as Satanic was "ME" because I was the only person any of us knew for hundreds of miles that dressed the way they described. I had that big Slayer back patch with a broken pentagram made of swords and the goat headed devil standing over it and the words SLAYER. It was on the back of my tattered blue jean jacket. The other jacket I wore when it was colder was black fake leather festooned with Metallica patches. So did I invite the comparison? Sure. Yet it kind of blew me away that no one actually interviewed me. They didn't ask me if I was Satanic. I was far from that. I held the concept of Satanism in contempt. Yet I made it into the papers. They didn't know my name of course because they never spoke to me. (Side note... Singer/Bass Player for Slayer Tom Araya has been a devout Catholic the ENTIRE time... they just are big fans of horror movies, and books so that is the type of songs they write. Why don't we call Stephen King satanic?)

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More fuel for my growing hatred of religion... I study things I don't like too. I want to know about them.

I'd see the good in religion. I'd see the good acts and helping people. Yet I began to see the fake too. The people that attended church each Sunday like that made it all good and the rest of the week they were some of the most corrupt self centered people I knew. I worked for some of them at restaurants they owned. They could be nice, and they definitely could put on a good face. I don't actually think they were horrible people. Yet the hypocrisy of how they treated religion bothered me.


I continued to study religion but I moved on. Eventually I became a parent. I was adamant about answering any questions my children have about religion. I'd tell them about all kinds of religions. If they wanted to choose one I would not consider them broken/wrong. It would be their choice. I was fine with whatever choices they wanted to pursue as long as it is their choice and is informed.

One of my daughters got into Christianity and going to regular sessions with other children. Until she came out as gay. Then that group wanted nothing to do with her. That hurt her quite a bit.

Another of my daughters actually spent quite a lot of time with Buddhism and would actually regularly go to a big temple in the Denver area. She pretty much does her own thing now.

The rest of my children haven't cared much one way or the other about religion. They don't call themselves atheists, agnostics, or even deists like me. They simply don't give it much thought at all.


Finally getting to Deism

I knew about religions. I knew about tons of religions. None of them fit for me. It turns out back then I was as resistant and reactionary to people trying to push dogmas on me as I am today. I just didn't realize that was it. I had this idea of a religion that just accepted people, and allowed people to think what they want while having the community, support, and helping of other people. A religion where morality was important, but what you chose to believe to get you to practice morality wasn't as important.

I discovered the website religioustolerance.org sometime back then. It strived to be a place to collect information about all religions, allow people to share different versions of bibles/religious texts, post essays, and have discussions. It didn't say negative things that I saw about ANY religion (including Satanism). It became a gateway to finding out about religions that I had not encountered.

After awhile I discovered UU (Unitarian Universalist) and they kind of claim to be doing what I just described above as a religion I'd find appealing. I never attended a church. They are still organized and formal they just welcome any one and any faith.

Then down a little crany I discovered Deism and it went click... it fit. It answered every need I had been seeking. Though I still considered Atheism a possibility. Some people may say I was agnostic. Not really. I considered there being two absolutes that only one could be true but I didn't know which one it was.

It boiled down to two simple propositions:

There was nothing, and then there was something. - This requires a creator, a catalyst, a God, the label does not matter.

It has always existed and was not created. - This fits with the no creator aspect of Atheism.

I could not prove or answer either of those questions and I am not a person that blindly trusts other humans telling me what I should believe and to simply have faith.

So I began jokingly calling myself an Atheist/Deist being well aware of the contradiction. Yet in reality the contradiction was only one. Is there a creator? The rest was the same rule for me "Observe and Use Reason". So ultimately it didn't matter whether there was or was not. My actions remained the same. It offered me freedom as I no longer had to doubt whether by not believing what another human is telling me I might be damning myself. I chose not to be manipulated by fear. I chose to Observe, and use reason and let my actions speak towards the type of person I am.

That eventually would change... It happened on Steemit.com which HIVE and PEAKD are forked from.

I began one of my stream of consciousness posts like this one. I asked the question "If reality were only a simulation how would WE the simulants be able to know for sure?

By the time I was done with that. I had convinced myself sufficiently that I dropped the Atheist. I simply consider myself a Deist at this point. I am in good Company.

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Other Deists in history...

The two that come to mind the most for me are often considered Christian Founding Fathers. They were not Christians. They were Deists. They were quite out spoken about it.

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Thomas Jefferson

  • Yes the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the United States. People may say "But there is a Jeffersonian Bible!". Yes there is. He removed all revelations, prophecies, etc. from it and just left it with what he considered historical and morally relevant. He did the same for Islam.

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Thomas Paine

  • The author of "Common Sense" and one of the people they claim had he not written as he did there would have been no American Revolution. He spent some time in a French prison for supporting their push for Revolution. He was released at the urging of president James Monroe who later regretted it when Paine published "Age of Reason" which advocated for Deism.

With that said... now I have taken FAR TOO LONG to get to what this post was to be about.

For Deism all you need to know is "There is a creator, now Observe and Use Reason." That's it. Nothing more. Let's see how that fares with The Simulation Hypothesis.


The Simulation Hypothesis and Deism

The Simulation Hypothesis proposes that all that we see around us could be running inside of some form of complex simulation. It does not define what that simulation is. That would be speculation and as far as I know unprovable. It does not claim that because it is a simulation that X must be true. Again that would be speculation and is likely unprovable.

One thing a simulation requires is a creator.

With that said. Okay so there is a creator. We don't know what it is. We know it must exist for the simulation to exist. What now?

What remains?

Observe and use reason.

What is Deism?

There is a creator, now observe and use reason.

To me the simulation hypothesis is just a new incarnation of the consideration of Deism.


What is the bible of the Deist?

Reality itself. What can be observed.

We notice things like the Golden Ratio, Fractals, and other patterns that seem like they are indications of intelligent/purposeful design.

What does the person pursuing the Simulation Hypothesis see?

The same thing the Deists see.

You might say "but the Simulation Hypothesis uses science, and math". So do the Deists. Observe and Use Reason doesn't mean you have a creator now ignore reality, ignore math, ignore seeking answers, ignore asking questions. It is the opposite.

Deists embrace science, math, and any other REASONABLE thing that helps them understand their observations.

A true scientist (someone who follows the scientific method) who simply stated they believe there is a creator and then they don't go out of their way to tell you who or what that creator is might as well be called a Deist.

That is short and sweet and explains the connection between Deism and the Simulation Hypothesis at least in the form it exists in my mind. With that said I know the previous post has already stirred up some religious related questions/challenges. I want to address some of those before I close out this post.

Religious Challenges

A friend here asked some good questions. I am glad he did because they are the type of questions I've encountered in the past but would not have recalled sufficiently to act upon them. I am going to quote the things this friend asked, or stated and run with each in some form of response. Wish me luck...

I think you are right in pointing out that people, wo approach this simulation idea could be offended by it. True. I am not certain if I feel truly offended or if it is just a reaction of disbelief.

I appreciate the honesty and I am glad someone stepped up to the plate. I am doubly appreciative that it is someone I respect and that has been proven to be a deep thinker.

Would I find this idea worth to accept as real? Would it do anything good for me and my personal existence?

It isn't telling you to do anything. It is not telling you what you should believe. It is only offering a possible explanation for the areas that religions currently say "It just is" or "have faith". If the simulation hypothesis is real then it changes none of that other than providing an avenue for imagining how something might be achievable rather than just saying "it just is". So as an intellectual it may have value to you. Should it change your life in any way? No. That is also one of the reasons I was saying the Simulation Hypothesis is no threat to religions because it can be used to justify or explain ANY of them.

It does have value in that it can convince those that think with reason and don't want to just trust faith that there might be something to it after all. Why? Because, whether it occurred or not we do understand how it could be possible to BE a simulation. When we extrapolate what we ourselves have achieved in simulations in a very short amount of time and imagine this trend continuing into the future then something like our reality being a simulation doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility.

In which way does "simulation" differ from "creation" and thus from a religious belief-system? For me, it sounds like a replacement of those and other terms and definitions like a "higher intelligence"...

Simulation is creation. Someone has to create the simulation. What form that simulation takes is not dictated by the simulation hypothesis. This is another reason I say it is no threat to religions.

It makes even the most "magical thinking" of creation stories potentially possible. I can imagine creating a simulation for any known creation story I am aware of. The simulation hypothesis does not disprove or attack religion in any way that I see. It does offer a possible avenue for those that don't like being told "it just is" to consider a possibility that might make sense to them.

is it not similar to what is assumed about omnipotence?

This one is particularly interesting. It doesn't imply anything to do with omnipotence. It simply implies creation. It doesn't define the nature of that creator or what their abilities are.

Consider our own simulations, why we create them, what they show us, how we interact with them, and then extrapolate from there:

Some of our simulations play over exactly every time we watch them. We cobble them together in the form of movies, etc. We can play them back an a person can know everything encompassed in them. That means in terms of that video, show, etc. you are kind of omniscient at the end and perhaps the creator was omnipotent as they controlled 100%. You know, and saw everything that happened in that simulation/creation.

Yet it doesn't have to be that way for there to be a creator.

Usually we create simulations either to learn things through experiments, for entertainment, and often a combination of both.

If you take John Conway's Game of Life and it's simple set of rules. John knew the rules. He'd put some cells down that would follow his rules and he would watch what happened. He was not omniscient that he knew what would happen. What would happen was part of the curiosity. He was also not omnipotent that he could easily reach out and control any aspect. Once it was launched he could add more cells but that was the limit of his interaction. He also could likely remove cells depending upon what level of interaction he made with the simulation.

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Now imagine the following... video games. We are creating more and more complex false/imaginary realities. Also known as simulations. The developers created the games. Yet they provided an avenue of for one or more player to interact with that world and cause things to happen. Neither the developers or the player are omnipotent. They don't know what the players will do before they do it. If is a game/simulation with multiple players each of the players are not omnipotent or omniscient. They don't know what the other players are doing.

If you played a game where you were omnipotent or omniscient how enjoyable do you think that game would be?

Now that isn't saying the creator in the simulation hypothesis might not be omnipotent or omniscient. While we ourselves consider our reality complex to the creator we may be nothing more than cells plopped down in John Conway's game. We cannot fathom the mind of the creator. (or can we - another day.)

Or is it, that you may mean it in the sense, that we, the organic living beings, create this simulated reality by letting it become a "mega-trend" (belief-system) and so it has the potential to become real, whether it's real or not?

Nah. It doesn't have anything to do us other than the fact if it is true then we are in it. We are either the simulants, the players, or perhaps both.

What about animals (or plants)? Do you think, they are unconscious about their existence? If you consider they aren't, what kind of influence can they possibly have on the human realm?

That depends upon the simulation. Are they AI? Or are they Avatars? I don't tell you which because if it is a simulation it could be any of those. I am not the creator. Though I might be a player. I'll touch upon that more in the future because TIME is an important and interesting thing to think about when it comes to the Simulation Hypothesis and I will have a post specifically devoted to that.

And last but not least, how do the absolutes fit into this concept we just talked about?

The absolutes would be defined by the rules of the simulation. We discover them by Observing and using reason. To me mathematics is an example of where absolutes exist. The colors black and white represent some absolutes though which way they work out depends upon whether you are focusing on pigments or whether you are focusing on light.

If it is a simulation there certainly would be some absolutes. When I get into the post about if we are in a simulation what are some ways we might be able to tell I'll touch upon that. This will be revisiting the original post idea through which I convinced myself enough to drop the Atheist from my personal Atheist/Deist identification.

Tomorrow I'll explore that. Tomorrow I jump back into the "How would we know?"

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I appreciate your deep thinking and your straightforward presentation of this topic.

I was not raised in a Christian home and was not exposed to Christianity until some friends in high school invited me to a weekly Bible study. After several months of Bible study, I came to a point of affirmation that the God of the Bible is indeed the Creator of the universe and, more importantly, that I had broken the moral laws He established from the beginning of time, that there was nothing I could do to right the wrongs I had committed, that Jesus' death on the cross provided the sole means to right those wrongs, and that I must willingly surrender control of my life to the Lordship of Jesus in order to receive His gift of forgiveness and the promise and hope of eternal life. That was about 35 years ago and my life since then has been filled with a deep sense of meaning and purpose (that was completely lacking before then).

Prior to that time, I would say I was a Deist by default. For some reason, I believed there was a Creator; I just never gave too much thought to who that Creator might be and how or why that might be relevant to me.

If I were to describe my view of God and His creation (which 99.9% follows orthodox Christianity), it would fit perfectly within the Simulation Hypothesis:

  • There is a Creator of all things, and we refer to that Creator as "God" (the God of the Hebrews)
  • God created everything ex nihilo (i.e. 'from nothing).
  • When God created everything, he did so by creating a complex set of rules (i.e. the physical laws that govern the universe) and, along with that, time and space and matter.
  • God, in His personal interactions with the creatures He created, has and continues to work miracles. Those miracles take two forms -- miracles of 'coincidence' (wherein God directs the laws of nature to cause something highly improbable to occur at just the right time to accomplish the miraculous outcome He desires, such as when He caused a powerful wind to blow all night and to continue blowing so as to create a path of dry land through the Red Sea, see Exodus 14:21-22) and miracles involving 'supersession of the laws of nature' (wherein God temporarily supersedes the physical laws of nature to accomplish something that is truly 'supernatural' and defies any attempt to explain it otherwise, such as when Lazarus was brought back to life after being dead for 4 days, see John 11).
  • God created sentient beings (humans) who observe and interact with their surroundings and do so with free will.
  • God created those beings "in His image", which implies many things, such as our ability and desire to create and exercise our own creativity.
  • God has chosen to play an active role in His creation, by revealing certain aspects of Himself to the creatures He created. Some of these aspects of Himself permeate nature itself; other aspects were revealed through writings that He inspired; other aspects were revealed through the person and words and historical actions of Jesus of Nazareth; other aspects were revealed through interactions with individuals, either directly or via intermediaries such as angels.

I could go on, but all the above 'truths' that most Christians would agree with, all fit within your definition of a "Simulation Hypothesis".

In fact, one could take this all a step farther and explain exactly what type of simulation(s) are compatible with each of the major religions. For example, Christianity insists upon a personal God, i.e. One who is intricately involved in the lives of people. This would not be consistent with a 'hands off' type of simulation, where the creator sets up the rules, starts the sim, then sits back and merely watches the results.

Similarly, the fact that Christianity acknowledges supernatural miracles would require a simulation wherein the creator has given himself the ability to change the 'rules' mid-simulation.

The fact that most Christians acknowledge that we as individuals have been granted free will would require a simulation that is more akin to a video game than a 'John Conway' type simulation; for example, a simulation with only NPCs would not be consistent with Christian theology (except possibly for some hyper-Calvinists).

I want to stress that I am not endorsing the Simulation Hypothesis nor suggesting that Christians should embrace this line of thinking. Rather, I am pointing out the fact that I have studied and adhered to the precepts of Biblical Christianity for 35 years and I see no contradictions between the Simulation Hypothesis (broadly defined) and orthodox Christianity. However, I am open to critiques or challenges to this viewpoint -- and will change my perspective if confronted by a persuasive argument to the contrary.

Christianity is not for me. I don't like organized religions. Yet if people were to pick one to follow and they stick to the moral teachings and things like was said on the Sermon on the Mount I see that as a net positive for the world. It is a problem when people revert to some of the things that occurred in the Old Testament and seem to use those things to justify abhorant/amoral behavior. They seem to miss the fact that Christ was here to change things. Those avenues of death, infanticide, rape, etc. Those things were no longer welcome though they were written of in the old testament.

A lot of people read the bible and they don't seem to grasp this. It can be used to justify some pretty heinous things if you use the old testament as a justification.

Thus, why I say... stick with the Sermon on the Mount and the things Christ taught. Stick to the 10 commandments (there are older similar commandments) and things are good.


Buddhists also tend to be pretty peaceful for the most part but it too has denominations and not all of them are as positive.


I am greatly opposed to Islam. It is not just a religion but also a system of rule. It is a government.

I think separation of church and state is important so one or more corrupt official does not gain control of a government that is merged with the religion and go on a spree of persecution. It has happened. Even with nations lead by Christianity. NOTE: I had an important word in there. "corrupt"

By extension since Islam is merged with a form of governance if you take it at face value the separation of church and state is impossible. If practitioners of Islam choose to ignore that or create a denomination that did not have the Shariah law stuff then I wouldn't have much of an issue with it.

I wouldn't agree with it. Like I said I am not a particular fan of organized religion MYSELF. I have zero problem though if other people benefit and find comfort in them.


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When I was much a child "Noah's Ark" was without a doubt my most favorite part of the bible. I even ended up getting it as several toys.

As I became older and learned more and more it is one of the stories I have the most trouble in accepting. Though if we are in a Simulation it is possible. :)

I will admit I have a lot of reservations about the bible. I have seen it help people though so I try not to go out of my way to bring them up. Doing so can take what for someone like yourself can be a doubt free and comforting existence and try to throw spanners into it. If the person is not a deep thinker they likely would ignore me and be okay. If it is someone like you though I think it can do more harm than good.

I see little to no benefit in sharing my misgivings. I found myself writing about such things in a reply to someone (possibly you) the other day then I deleted them. I thought... "Why?" These are my conclusions, my research, etc. Would knowing these things do more harm than good?

If a person is at peace, feels good about their life, and is doing good in their life then yes, I think it can do more harm than good.

If on the other hand you were one of those "On Sunday I am at Church" Christians that then seemed to think that gave them a pass to act however they wanted the rest of the week... I'd come for someone like that both barrels blazing. I am no fan of hypocrisy.

I can tell you. I do live by the teachings of Christ as best I can. They make sense to me. I don't believe many things that I'd be required to believe and call myself a Christian.

I also like some things from Taoism. I like some things from Buddhism. I even like some Native American ideas.

So I take them... I try to be them, follow them, use them.

I call myself a Deist because as it is defined it fits. No two Deists are alike except they believe there is a Creator/God.

I doubt I'll ever embrace and organized religion. I instead hope my actions and who I am are representative enough.

Doing so can take what for someone like yourself can be a doubt free and comforting existence and try to throw spanners into it. If the person is not a deep thinker they likely would ignore me and be okay. If it is someone like you though I think it can do more harm than good.

For me, you asking probing questions would not end up doing more harm than good.

I consider myself first and foremost a 'truth and wisdom seeker' (see my Hive profile). As such, I do not seek nor desire a 'doubt free' existence. With that said, I do not desire to interact with folks whose primary goal is to sow seeds of doubt -- not much fruit to be had from those interactions. However, I am happy to engage with fellow truth-seekers. I used to teach a Sunday school class called 'Difficult Questions' where the aim was to invite folks to bring up those theological issues that they have genuinely struggled with. The presence of evil and pain & suffering in the world represent a couple questions folks commonly struggle with but might not have the courage to grapple with.

This is not to say that all such 'difficult questions' can be answered. Many times, our exploration of a specific question uncovered even more questions. The point of the class was not to provide 'answers' per se but to say that it's okay to have questions and to explore the ramifications of different viewpoints, even if we end up with no definitive answers. We should never fear honest inquiry.

If I am believing a lie or adhering to a belief system that misrepresents or misconstrues the 'truth' then I would rather have that fact exposed, so that I can abandon falsehood and seek truth along a different path. That is why I welcome genuine questions about Christian doctrine and theology, Biblical worldview, veracity of the Scriptures, etc.


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When I was much a child "Noah's Ark" was without a doubt my most favorite part of the bible. I even ended up getting it as several toys.

As I became older and learned more and more it is one of the stories I have the most trouble in accepting.

Yeah, Noah's Ark is anything but a children's story. The annihilation of every human being on earth except 8 should never have been rebranded as a light-hearted bedtime story, imho.

A couple interesting thoughts about Noah's Ark for you to ponder:

  • Many people label 'the flood of Noah' as just another 'global flood myth' because nearly every major culture on earth has its own version of a legend about a catastrophic flood. Personally, I think the prevalence of 'flood myths' lends credibility FOR the veracity of the Biblical account. If there truly was a global flood that wiped out all of mankind except one family, then one would expect that 'story' to be talked about by the descendants of those survivors for many generations. And, one would expect the 'story' to change a lot from retelling to retelling (so that different groups of descendants would end up with widely varying versions of the story).
  • According to the Biblical record of genealogies from Adam to Noah, Noah's dad was 56 years old when Adam died (at the age of 930). That means 9 generations were all alive at the same time. When you think about having 900 years of productive learning, experimenting, etc., combined with 9 consecutive generations of wisdom to simultaneously build upon, it is quite possible that the civilization that existed before the flood may have developed technologies far more advanced than some of ours. When I look at technology today, I see a pattern wherein advances in technology enhance both our ability to do good and our ability to do evil. It may very well be that the reason evil was so prevalent during the time of Noah was because their civilization had advanced technologically to the point where their propensity to do evil was greatly enhanced, and they acted upon that propensity, and God finally said enough and brought judgment.

I don't expect you to agree with either of the above points -- just providing them as food for thought.

The toys were more centered around having two animals of each type... so you ended up with a bunch of toy animals. If I remember correctly the toys didn't even have any humans. :)

I wasn't implying that there is anything macabre in the way Noah's Ark stuff is presented to children; just that it is a misrepresentation of that event -- a global catastrophe that no doubt broke the heart of God -- seeing His creation become so corrupt that He had to wipe the slate clean, and there was only one family on earth displaying any righteousness at all.

When Abraham confronted God about destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, God was willing to relent if there were as few as 10 righteous people in the city, but there weren't. At the time of Noah, there were only 8 righteous people in the entire world. Sad days. Sad time in history.

Yeah. I knew what you meant. I was just recalling what it was packaged as to me. A toy with a bunch of plastic animals.

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I enjoyed reading your child memories and those of your young adult years. I find it important to deal with the (hi)story of the family.

Thanks for integrating my questions. Language can only so far make it clear what one wants to tell or ask.

I will read your response to them again, to take my time.

From your feedback on this question in particular, I feel, you may have brushed over it a little too quick (?):

Or is it, that you may mean it in the sense, that we, the organic living beings, create this simulated reality by letting it become a "mega-trend" (belief-system) and so it has the potential to become real, whether it's real or not?

Nah. It doesn't have anything to do us other than the fact if it is true then we are in it. We are either the simulants, the players, or perhaps both.

What exactly do you mean by " simulant"? How is the simulator different from the player?
Don't you underestimate the influence of the players on what happens in the game, because elsewhere I see it confirmed that the inventor of the game (the creator) would see little progression in the game without the creativity and ingenuity of the players.

Could it be that through Christian imprinting you root that a creator is a purposeful omnipotence in love with detail? For my part, I can tell I found it extremely difficult to shed that root (and often still have those difficulties).
What do you think instead of the assumption of a potency that is effected by the many actors in the earthly and supernatural universe and themselves in alternation?

In the end though, I think that I understand "simulation" in almost the same way you do.

To the rest I may come back later on.

Cheers. :)

What exactly do you mean by " simulant"?

The things being simulated. If we are simulated entities ourselves then I've called that the "simulant" which now that you point it out might not be an accepted word. I've used it off and on for years now. I'll hit on that a little more now that you point it out when I write today's post.

How is the simulator different from the player?
Don't you underestimate the influence of the players on what happens in the game, because elsewhere I see it confirmed that the inventor of the game (the creator) would see little progression in the game without the creativity and ingenuity of the players.

Not all simulations have players. Some just have observers. That is why I differentiate. I steal from gaming and refer to someone that can interact with the simulation as it is running as a player. A player would not be an NPC. I'm getting ahead of myself though as I do have plans for a post that will delve into some ideas about this. :) I know it is an interesting subject though and it is easy to get sucked in and have lot's of ideas and questions. I am only holding back so I can try to keep from turning my posts into a chaotic mess. :) After I've done what I plan I'll likely do some more freeform posts if it is warranted. Also feel free to do your own and tag me in them. :)

Could it be that through Christian imprinting you root that a creator is a purposeful omnipotence in love with detail? For my part, I can tell I found it extremely difficult to shed that root (and often still have those difficulties).

Nope. Not it all. I don't personally think the creator is omnipotent. I also do not think they are likely omniscient.

Yet I still discuss the possibility. To me personally omnipotence and omniscience would be extremely boring very quickly and if we are supposedly created in "his image" according to Christians and a few other faiths then I find it highly implausible. Easily resolved if I consider the bible to be the "Words of Man" and not God. Which is my stance.

What do you think instead of the assumption of a potency that is effected by the many actors in the earthly and supernatural universe and themselves in alternation?

Yep, getting ahead of where I plan to go. I have hinted at this when I gave quick statements at the bottom of the first post when I said "Monotheism - Check", and a few moments later "Polytheism - Check". Basically that was me saying "Monotheism, yep this can potentially explain that just fine." "Polytheism, yep we have a possible explanation for that as well" all logically worked out in simulation hypothesis.

Here is some foreshadowing of things to come:
Simulant = Simulated being/life form that only exists within the simulation. (NPC)
Player = An avatar of something else from outside the simulation that is able to interact with the simulation. If they have mastered immersion they may LIVE lives inside the simulation while their actual being comes from outside. They may not be the creator, but someone/something using the created simulation as design just like we use games. When you play games the world responds to you but you certainly did not create that game.
Creator(s) = The thing(s) that actually designed and created the simulation or the ability to create instances of the simulation.

Interesting thing about the Player aspect is it also meshes nicely with the concept of reincarnation, and with the concept of a soul.

Very cool to read the origin story of your journey from Atheist/Deist to Deist. I'm pretty much agnostic myself. I mean, there's probably a creator, but whatever it is may not be tangible or relatable enough to affix the confines of that label to it. Maybe I'm an Agnostic/Deist, lol.

I like the theory that we are all a part of Joe Rogan's DMT hallucination 😄

I like the simulation hypothesis, though the theory obviously wouldn't answer the question, "how did the real world beyond the simulation begin?"

Good segue.. that question in the hypothesis (it is not a theory yet, and likely never will be) is actually something addressed by the post I plan to write today. It didn't suddenly become that with you asking either.

Synchronicity.