Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:59 pm
The Atheist Hypothesis vs. The Simulation Hypothesis
I've 'preached' the Atheist Hypothesis for many years now via multi-dozens of articles posted in various places on the Internet including here on the viXra forums. My theological worldview is that there are (probably) no supernatural deities. The Bible (specifically) is a work of historical fiction; an early anthology of science fantasy stories written by humans for humans. That religious belief systems are fairly easy to explain - our hardwired need to tell stories; the need for an explanatory agency; our desire for an afterlife which we can't supply for ourselves and by ourselves; and a desire to have a Big Brother look after us like our parents used to do. So, religions in general and Christianity in particular get a thumb's down.
However, at the end of the day, a couple of concepts keep nagging away at me. These concepts center on the apparent design and fine-tuning of the Universe. Now I am NOT talking about design and fine-tuning for intelligent life (i.e. - us) or even of life in general. I'm talking about design and fine-tuning that's apparent at the most basic and fundamental of fundamentals - the atomic realm and below. Even the most simple of atoms, the hydrogen atom, is quite a precisely designed work of atomic architecture that took a lot of design and fine-tuning - a lot of just-so elements - to make it so (as Jean-Luc Picard would say). For example, the electric charge on the electron is EXACTLY equal and opposite to that of the proton to as many decimal places as you care to experimentally measure despite the fact that they are otherwise as similar as chalk and cheese.
And how is it that an electron can be in this 'orbit' or that 'orbit' but not anywhere in-between those 'orbits'? And where does an electron go when it jumps between orbits? The Twilight Zone? In fact when you examine the behavior of the elementary particles, you nearly have to invoke the concept of Panpsychism (and I can give lots of examples, including an observation you can make right at home that illustrates this, if asked).
However, there is a related bit that I find very interesting and more than just a little bit disturbing. There's little doubt that the laws, principles and relationships part and parcel of the physical sciences can be expressed mathematically - just look inside any physics, chemistry or engineering textbook. Mathematics seems to underpin the structured existence of the Universe. Now it is pretty obvious that that has to be the case if you are to have an ordered and predictable Universe. But herein lies the rub.
The mathematics that describe the Universe are human discoveries, not human inventions. That's why it is claimed that mathematics would be the universal language between humans and intelligent extraterrestrials. The Pythagorean Theorem is the Pythagorean Theorem is the Pythagorean Theorem no matter where in the Universe or when. Now when you examine the most fundamental equations part and parcel of those laws, principles and relationships in the physical sciences, you will note - seemingly against all probability - that the coefficients and the exponents nearly always tend to be low value whole numbers (i.e. - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) and simple fractions (i.e. - 1/2, 3/4, etc.). Einstein's famous equation that relates matter and energy; Newton's Law of Gravitation; Maxwell's Equations, etc. – all discovered, not invented - are cases in point.
Some have suggested that therefore God (for example) is a mathematician. On the other hand, computer software is mathematical and has to be designed and fine-tuned in order to make any programmable sense. And there is nothing supernatural about computers, computer software, computer programming, and of course resulting computer-generated simulations (like video games), etc. I think you know where this is going. The upshot - one of many - is that all of a sudden an afterlife (albeit not of necessity eternal) becomes a possibility. Substitute one software program (your life) for another software program (your afterlife).
So, there is in fact one 'deity' that isn't a supernatural deity and that is a computer / software programmer. It's a Clayton's Deity - It's the deity you’re having when you're not having a deity.