Re: Why just simulation?

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Sat Mar 17 2001 - 20:39:33 MST

I guess we might
> >imagine that they were putting the programmer on trial. It's pretty clear
> >that if there is a Programmer for our universe, he's a real f---ing
> I'm not so sure. We are seeing things from a very limited perspective.
Point taken. If I believed in a creator and if I believe He was morally
perfect then I too would take the transcendental defence
> > If this is a simulation do you think we have grounds to
> >sue?
> The ethical problems here are quite closely related to the classical
> theological problem of evil and I suppose no easier to resolve.
Indeed, you've mentioned a couple already.
a) deny that evil exists: In an earlier post you imagined that evil might be
more apparent than real.
b) the transcendental defence: As you say "We are seeing things from a very
limited perspective" i.e., the programmer works in mysterious ways. The
programmer's purposes are inscrutable.
c) the free will defence: (Augustine) the programmer gave us free will and
so the choice to do evil. If the programmer interfered then our will would
not be free.
d) the Irenean defence: the programmer made us primitive so we would go up
the learning curve and become more ethical.
e) The fall defence: evil is our own fault from our defective natures. Our
defective natures are a result of our fall from grace with the programmer.
(perhaps Adam and Eve discovered that this is a sim--that's the forbidden
Of course the big difference here is that theodicies are predicated on the
assumption that God is morally perfect. There is no independent reason to
suppose that the programmer is morally perfect and some good countervailing
evidence, viz., our world.

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