FW: New website: The Simulation Argument

From: Emlyn O'regan (oregan.emlyn@healthsolve.com.au)
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 17:03:01 MST

Nick Bostrom wrote:
> Emlyn wrote:
> >
> >This seems to take it for granted that an entity living in the "real
> >(at the root) and an entity living inside any level of sim are
equivalent in
> >terms of what I might call "being", for wont of a better term. ie:
there is
> >no significant difference between a simulated being and an actual
> >
> >While this may be the case, it does assume a strong materialist view
> >consciousness. This must be the case for the principle of
indifference to
> >apply. That's probably ok, but maybe it needs to be stated
> Yes, I call it substrate-independence. I don't argue for this
assumption in
> the paper but I note that it enjoys fairly wide support (among those
> the philosophy of mind) and it is generally assumed in transhumanist
> discussions about uploading etc.

Eliezer wrote:
Actually, one doesn't need to assume substrate independence - simply
our own level of reality is one that can be simulated by our enclosing
universe. We may lose out on all kinds of unimaginable ontological
characteristics by virtue of our mere simulationness; we just don't know
what they are, of course, being mere simulations.


Well, yes, you can assume that. However, in doing that you are assuming the materialist definition of consciousness (ie: it isn't). Yet again, it needs to be explicitly stated.

It seems as though most people identify with the idea that they are conscious. So, you must explicitly state the assumption that we can create a being that perceives its own consciousness, using only stuff.


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