by Matt Slick
Simism is a religious view that there are super advanced, evolved beings who are playing simulation games and that we are merely the avatars in that super Sim. In other words, our reality is nothing more than a computer based, simulation game played by these highly evolved, technically advanced beings and we ought to "worship" them and hope they direct us in ways that are beneficial. The religion was started by Joe Hoskin in 2013. Hoskin says evidence that we live in a Sim are such things as being forgetful, which is due to the controllers erasing our wants and needs as they change their intentions in the simulation. In addition, when we have an unexplained urge, that also is the controllers manipulating us. Logically speaking, our death is simply the manifestation of the termination of our avatars in the simulation. We can then be re-created, or reactivated again and again. Therefore, Simism necessarily affirms reincarnation. Simism is a product of our modern age and is reflected in the movie Matrix where people were unaware of their participation in a program in which they live, operate, and are manipulated.
Is Simism true?
First of all, the reasons used to support Simism can be explained in other ways. Forgetfulness is just something that happens to us because we are biological creatures. Having urges suddenly arise and/or change can easily be explained by the same biological Characteristics. We get distracted, other things become important, our biological urges can change because of what we eat, etc. So, Simism does not have any more explanatory power than non-Simism.
Second, how could Simism be proved to be false? It seems it's not possible since any attempt to do so could merely be interpreted by a Simist as being part of the overall programming and manipulation of the controllers. Therefore, no matter what is offered, it merely needs to be interpreted as part of the simulation. So, the desires, the conflicts, the whims, and all our disagreements are all part of a larger game that is being played and even the attempt to show that the Sim does not really exist is part of the simulation. But, again, since non-Simism explanations have the same explanatory power as Simism, then believing one or the other seems rather arbitrary.
So, instead of showing that Simism is not true, I would ask the Simist to demonstrate that it is true. How would the person know that we are in a simulation?
- If Simism is true, then it would mean you have no free will since all your choices would be part of the program.
- If you have no free will, you cannot know if Simism is true or false.
- If you cannot know if Simism is true or false, then belief in Simism is nothing more than an arbitrary choice.
- Furthermore, if you cannot know if Simism is true or false, then this means that there is a fact that exists that is true: that you "cannot know if Simism is true or false."
- But, if such a statement is true (that you cannot know if Simism is true or false), then the statement is true independently of the simulation - if it exists at all.
- The statement is true because it depends upon the Laws of Logic for its validity.
- This means that within the simulation the Laws of Logic cannot be violated in developing the simulation. Otherwise, the simulation could not work, just as our simulations require logical programming.
- But, this would mean that the Laws of Logic are outside the simulation to which the simulation must be subject.
- This means that the Laws of Logic are independent of the programmers of the Simulation and not dependent upon them. The programmers are necessarily subject to the Laws of Logic as is the Simulation.
- This means the Laws of Logic transcend the programmers themselves and the programmers must work within them and not in contradiction to them when programming, lest the simulation fail to function.
- Logic is a process of the mind. We do not find logic under a rock, nor can it be frozen, or photographed, or weighed, etc. Therefore, logic is not a property of the physical, but of the mental.
- But, the Laws of Logic cannot be the product of different minds because different minds contradict each other and the Laws of Logic cannot be self-contradictory.
- Therefore, since the transcendent Laws of Logic cannot be depended upon multiple minds (because minds contradict each other), it is logical to conclude that there must be a single mind upon which the Laws of Logic depend.
- The single mind from which the Laws of Logic depend is God since these laws are transcendental (not depend upon physical space and time for their validity) and since the mind reflects the thinker, and the Laws of Logic are transcendent, then that Mind is transcendent.
- This Transcendent Mind is God.
- Since the programmers of the Simulation are themselves subject to the transcendent Laws of Logic, then they are subject to the Transcendent Mind, God.
- Therefore, since there is a God above the programmers of the Simulation, then we ought to seek that God which is beyond the programmers, and Simism is refuted.