Simulations may be realistic in many ways while not being realistic in some aspects. If that is somehow noticeable then we may be able to find out that we do live inside a simulation. Instead of speculating about us living in a simulation by guessing the probability of the existence of post-humans and their abilities, resources, and possible motivations, it might be more illuminating to look at the available information about our own universe. Perhaps there is a more conclusive argument to be made. It may go like this:
- If this universe is real, we cannot be sure that it is, because a simulation can be realistic too, but at least the laws of reality cannot be breached.
- A simulation can have fake properties, so because of (1) we cannot establish that the properties of this universe are the properties of a real universe.
- If however the established laws of reality are breached, this is unrealistic, and we have evidence of this universe being a virtual reality.
It follows from (1) and (2) that the properties of this universe reflected in the laws of reality cannot be used to determine whether this universe is real or a simulation. And it doesn’t matter whether the laws of reality are real or not. If they are real, and breached, this universe is a simulation. If they are fake, this universe is a simulation anyway. Science can be used to establish the laws of reality or the properties of this universe, but science cannot determine whether these laws themselves are real or fake.
According to science this universe started off fourteen billion years ago with a big bang. Ten billion years later life on this planet began to develop out of chemical processes. It took another four billion years for life on Earth to evolve into what it is today. According to science, there is no evidence of an intelligent creator, the laws of physics always apply, and we are biological organisms made out of carbon and water.
The following properties of our universe are certified by science and can be called established laws of our reality, reflecting what we believe to be realistic:
- The laws of physics apply, for instance Newton’s first law of motion, which states that a change in the speed or direction of the movement of a body requires a force.
- The universe started with a big bang. Life emerged from chemical processes and is shaped by evolution. There is no evidence for a creator.
- We are biological organisms and our consciousnesses reside in our bodies and there is no such thing as spirit or soul.
Evidence to the contrary might indicate that we do live inside a simulation. Meaningful coincidences suggest there is an intelligent force directing events. The paranormal flouts the laws of physics from time to time. Evidence for reincarnation suggests that we are not biological organisms. Only, meaningful coincidences can happen by chance. There may be laws of reality we do not know of. And there is plenty of evidence of the consciousness residing in the body while only a few people remember a previous life. A convincing case for us living in a simulation requires a clarification as to why it is the best explanation for our existence. This may be done by demonstrating the following:
- The motivations of post-humans may determine whether we are able to establish that we do live inside a simulation and what its purpose is.
- Science cannot establish that his universe is a simulation as we do not know the properties of a real universe.
- Alternative explanations for the weirdness of this universe seem less plausible as they run into logical inconsistencies.
- Evidence suggestive of reincarnation suffices to conclude that our consciousnesses do not reside in our bodies.
- Evidence suggestive of ghosts, premonition, and alien abductions suffices to conclude that the laws of physics do not always apply.
- The distribution of meaningful coincidences is unlikely to be result of accident, indicating an intelligence coordinating events in this universe.
Establishing that the distribution of meaningful coincidences is an unlikely result of mere accident is perhaps the hardest part. Meaningful coincidences can happen by accident. It is not possible to determine the probability of them happening. There may however be arguments that can be made to establish that mere accident is not so likely. To make the argument more convincing we might consider the following:
- Some types of meaningful coincidences are less likely to happen than others. The more elaborate the scheme, the less likely it is the result of mere chance.
- If meaningful coincidences happen in relation to the most important historic events, then an intelligence coordinating events appears more likely.
- If meaningful coincides are not distributed randomly across people and time-frames, it might suggest interference or even destiny.