wtf wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:55 am
Skepdick wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:29 pm
If it ever became possible to create virtual reality/digitise consciousness ...
I must point out that you are conflating two different things. This is very common in discussions of the simulation argument.
1) We could create super duper virtual reality indistinguishable from reality. For example you might be a brain in a vat; and all your subjective experiences are programmed by your vat operators. But in that case, who or what is it that experiences those experiences? It's your mind, which is independent of
your sensory impressions.
This is Descartes's argument. Even though everything he experiences might be nothing more than an illusion created by an evil daemon; his MIND still exists. I think therefore I am.
2) Or, your consciousness itself is part of the program. Your subjective experience itself is part of the simulation or vat programming. This in my opinion is a very different proposition than (1) though it's not commonly identified as such.
In (1) it's as if you put on a pair of virtual reality goggles and watch a highly realistic show. In (2) there is no you at all. Your mind is just a program. There is no Cartesian mind.
None of this is incompatible with the simulation argument, because it still reduces to epistemology/metaphysics. It's a useful model.
We don't know whether the world is deterministic or non-deterministic, but to our minds it appears non-deterministic.
We don't know if the world is a simulation or not, but to our mind it appears so (if you accept certain axioms).
It is quite possibly a mind-projection fallacy. This is precisely what model-dependent realism
claims. You see the world through the rose-coloured lens of your accepted models.
Whether the "mind exists" is moot really. I am not sure if there is even a distinction between mind, consciousness and experience - I often use the three interchangeably, and I use the Turing Machine as an abstract model of the human mind as it behaves, not as it "exists" ontologically (this is position Scott Aronson supports). And with our ability to realize our abstract models we are quite literally projecting our abstractions onto matter. It's the fine line between language-for-description and language-for-prescription. The idea of control.
This is similar to the conclusion Ed Nelson arrives at (thanks for pointing me that way, btw - i should've read his stuff earlier) in the paper Analysis of Ultrafinitism
When an intuitionist makes a deduction, introducing and discharging a hypothesis, he implicitly reifies a hypothetical situation, projecting it onto an abstract ontology
This is the view of Kant - phenomena and noumena.
This is the view of Per Martin-Löf in his paper A path from logic to metaphysics
It is our human activity that is the process of creation
This is the view of all constructivists
Even the standard model
of physics is exactly that - a model, and even QFT admits that we have no foundation - no ontology. No 'space' upon which all other fields rest.
In the end it's all just an interpretation game. You can see it as Pragmatism + Instrumentalism + Formalism.
You can see it however you choose really. If it works for you. And you most definitely must see it as anachronistic.
The people 100 years from now will laugh at my ideas. And the people 200 years from now will laugh at theirs.
When you abandon the silly ideal of Truth, utility matters much more to humans.
All models are wrong - some are useful.