PLATO NEVER OWNED AN APPLE COMPUTER. Suffice to say, had Steve Jobs been around to dialogue with Socrates in 5th Century Athens, Plato likely would have subscribed to the Simulation Theory. Is it not quite unlike Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” in his philosophy of Forms? For Plato, Forms (or ideas) represent the most accurate reality. Forms are the essence of various objects. So too the Simulation Theory invokes ghostly images and projections from a level of reality so far above our own that reality itself is currently unobtainable by mortal man. True reality, accordingly, rises beyond space and time.
University of London physicist David Bohm, a protégé of Einstein’s and one of the world’s most respected quantum physicists, worked in the field of plasma physics during the 1950’s. He first noted that in plasmas (ionized gases) the particles stopped acting as individuals and began behaving as though they were part of a larger and interconnected whole. Continuing the demolition of reality, which Einstein’s theory of relativity had already taken a sledgehammer to, Bohm was instrumental in teaching that the tangible reality of our everyday lives is really only an illusion, like one massively interconnected holographic image. At the subquantum level, location ceases to exist. Physicists call this property “nonlocality.” Because all points in space become equal to all other points in space, it is therefore pointless to speak of anything as being separate from anything else. Everything is interconnected—and an illusion.
Philosopher Nick Bostrom first popularized Simulation Theory with his 2003 paper, “Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?” In it he suggests members of an advanced post-human society with vast computing power beyond our own may be running simulations of their ancestors. That would be us. Either we are the simulations, or we shall soon simulate ourselves—which we may still do but also may have already done. Say that again and let your head spin.
So, has human society already run its course and are we living in a simulation? SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk seems to think so. In fact, an entire swath of technologists and physicists, many emanating from California’s Silicon Valley, believe their sim theory will be proved. “There’s a billion to one chance,” Musk says, “we’re living in base reality.”
For Plato, Forms (or ideas) represent the most accurate reality. Forms are the essence of various objects. For instance, there are countless tables and chairs in the world. But the Form of table-ness and chair-ness is at the core of every table and chair in the world. The higher world of Forms is the essence of all of them, transcended to our own existence—we are the world of substances—and also the essential basis for all reality. One might understand it in this light. There is nothing which exists in our perceived reality, not a chair, not a table, nor a computer, had it not first been passed down from the highest mountaintop of reality.
Or one might consider it like this. If mankind is able to design a computer program, it’s only because a greater and far superior computer program has already been designed. Every existing computer program, both past and future, is but a shadow of the real thing—the higher Form. If the computer advances in our reality, so too has the advancement have already been made. Therefore, if we are able to simulate, it is proof enough that a simulation has already been designed, perhaps even billions of them, and there is a chance that we ourselves are simulated.
“Forty years ago we had Pong–two rectangles and a dot. That’s where we were. Now forty years later, we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, we’ll have augmented reality,” said Musk. “If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality.”
Rich Terrile of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says, “Soon there will be nothing technical standing in the way of making machines that have their own consciousness….If one progresses at the current rate of technology a few decades into the future, very quickly we will be a society where there are artificial entities living in simulations that are much more abundant than human beings.”
And given Nick Bostrom’s other possibility—human civilizations inevitable ceiling of technology—Musk says we’d better hope that we’re already a simulation. “Either we’re going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality, or civilization will to cease to exist. Those are the two options.”
While one might suspect Bostrom’s inspiration derives from a recent viewing of The Matrix movies, we need only look a little ways beyond that to Russian cosmist and mystic Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov (1829–1903). As a founding father of the space race, he was an orthodox Christian apostate who advocated the perfection of the human race through transhumanism and space colonization, all of which would include not only physical immortality, but the resurrection of the dead—as in our ancestors—using scientific methods.
Pay attention to what dribble Hollywood is pushing out—they’re all over this like gravy on potatoes—and then let us consider if this is something that we as Christians should align with. The lie is everywhere. Hollywood endorses it—Simulation Theory, that is, and I’m out. So often a Christian believes it is in his job description to act as an intellectual cowboy of sorts. He attempts to sight God in pagan creativity, including the Hollywood narrative. He will lasso the wild indiscreet imaginations of the humanist mind in order to neatly “Christianize” his views within the boundaries of a church chorale, all so that it may be discussed and dissected among his peers, or perhaps simply harnessed for his own personal and justifiable amusement. A Christian needs only hold up his Bible to discern the most common of themes. In the end it’s all the same—slightly different spin on reality, perhaps, but the lie is ever-present and far-reaching as always. So why is Dr. Chuck Missler getting involved with the holographic universe?
Quite similar to Plato’s Forms (or ideas), which represent the most accurate reality over the lesser physical, quantum physicist David Bohm referred to this deeper level of reality as the “implicate” (enfolded) order, with our level of existence being the “explicate” (or unfolded) order. Dr. Chuck Missler seems to think this view is not entirely inconsistent with the Biblical presentation of the physical world being a subordinate to the spiritual. Everything, according to Missler, is relative, because the dimension of space is nothing more than a hologram.
No, Dr. Chuck Missler, this is not Biblical. It reeks of Gnostic thought. The spirit is not superior to the flesh. We are not in dire need of departing from these corrupted bones in order to transcend to some greater reality, nor is the physical world a subordinate. That is not the Biblical narrative by any means. God will dwell with us. Heaven will be here on Earth with us. Everything we can see and touch and smell is to be redeemed. We’re not going anywhere.
The Christian always seeks to “Christianize” the pagan belief—including mathematics and Science—as if declaring God is behind each discovered perversion he will somehow convince the humanist of his wrongness without having to dismiss the very perversion which pulled him away from God’s truth in the first place—as if the Bible was right in explaining it. Nick Bostrom and his many humanist colleagues, including the well-financed horsepower behind Hollywood, have already let us in on who is behind it. Bostrom states: “It (Sim Theory) suggests naturalistic analogies to certain traditional religious conceptions.” Another words, there is a higher being, but it is not the Christian God. It is some version of us.
Scientism’s official enforcer for Globe Earth, Neil deGrasse Tyson, has stated not only his belief in Simulation Theory but, with his usual air of religious mockery, that its architect is probably some middle-aged man in his mom’s basement.
If a Christian truly believes we are living in a holographic universe, as Dr. Chuck Missler claims, one must wonder why Creation matters. What does the shape of the Earth matter? This includes Evolutionary Globe-Earth proponents as well. Why fight for the globe or even Flat Earth if measurement itself is as collapsible as the tiniest atom? What does religion matter? What is consciousness and morality and who is to say our many video game creations within our own personal video game is not their own reality? What if history doesn’t actually exist and we are the only generation who ever lived, confined forever to some Samsara recycling program doomed to reboot and repeat over and over again?
If all we are is coding—pixilation rather than dust in the wind, as the atheist once claimed—does anything truly matter? A proponent of Simulation Theory will ultimately conclude everything he can see and touch and smell around him is nothing more than base rules for perceived reality—which he is free, in the very least, to disobey and attempt to break free of. Who is he accountable to—the architect? Even now, according to Musk, there are billionaires engaged in breaking us out of the simulation.
Where this is heading, I cannot say. But one thing I am confident of, fellow Christian. If this indeed should climax with the days of Noah, one thing I can be absolutely certain of, and you should be too; “the architect” who will be revealed behind this grand show of force in the religion of Scientism will be anyone but God.
Maranatha from Nova Scotia!