For those of you who don’t know:
Elon Reeve Musk (born June 28, 1971) is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, engineer and inventor.
He is the founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors; co-founder and chairman of SolarCity, co-chairman of OpenAI; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com which merged with PayPal of Confinity. As of June 2016, he has an estimated net worth of US$12.7 billion, making him the 83rd wealthiest person in the world.
Musk has stated that the goals of SolarCity, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multiplanetary” by setting up a human colony on Mars.
In addition to his primary business pursuits, he has also envisioned a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, and has proposed a VTOL supersonic jetaircraft with electric fan propulsion, known as the Musk electric jet.
Now, let’s think about this simulation.
Because isn’t that what Musk is saying?
OK, here’s where I see the flaw. If this is a simulation, it makes no sense to have suffering or death. Since it’s a program, all of that is a simple matter of coding. Remove that part of the program, and everyone is in paradise. What would be wrong with that?
Now if the programmers tens of thousands of years from now designing this simulation surrounding us are including death and suffering as part of the program, then they’re just being assholes, playing God because it amuses them. And based on some of the news stories we see each day, the programmers are sick and twisted assholes.
And this takes Musk’s simulation theory out of the realm of science and into the philosophy of religion: The programmer of the future is an all seeing and all knowing being deciding who gets pain and joy, poverty and wealth, weakness and power, and death and life.
If simulation theory is your religion, it’s no different than Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Scientology or any other belief structure based on a higher being who determines your fate.
For some people, that provides a solace, but it also creates conditions where no one is responsible for their actions because everything has already been determined.
And, isn’t this whole discussion just one of those “first world” problems, anyway?
In the real world, a mother trying to feed her starving baby in Appalachia, or a father moving his family from a war zone to a safe country has no time to be reassured that their suffering or the danger around them is just a simulation.
It’s reality, and reality sucks for a lot of people.
(While I’m writing this, a character in “The Sims” is wondering, “Is this just a simulation?” …
And the Sims programmer has included anxiety and death in the program. it turns out that today’s programmers are being sick and twisted assholes. Like the ones in the future?)