New Book: The Virtual Universe

Religions claim that a god or gods have created this universe. More recently, the simulation hypothesis allows us to explain how the gods might have done this. We could all be living inside a computer simulation run by an advanced post-human civilisation. But can we objectively establish that this is indeed the case?

There is sufficient evidence that we live inside a simulation, and this evidence allows us to establish the most likely purpose of our existence. This book is an exercise in applying logic to the evidence. It does not promote a specific religion. It goes along with science, but there are limits to what science can establish. God is beyond those limits.

This book addresses the following topics:

  • Why our existence is not a miracle that requires a creator.
  • How the possible motivations of post-humans can help us to establish that we live inside a simulation.
  • Why there is not proof in real life, not even in science.
  • Why the simulation hypothesis is not scientific.
  • How our minds can trick us how to avoid pitfalls in our observations and reasoning.
  • How the laws of reality can help us to ascertain that we do live in a simulation.
  • Why the evidence for the paranormal is not scientific but strong enough to count.
  • How to explain premonition, evidence suggesting reincarnation, ghosts, ufo’s, and meaningful coincidences.
  • How coincidences surrounding major historical events indicate that everything happens according to a script.
  • Why many people see 11:11 and other peculiar time prompts.
  • What predetermination tells us about our purpose.

By reading this book, you will discover that the world makes perfect sense if we assume it to be a simulation and that it does not make sense to presume that this world is real.

You can find it here:

Post-human motivations

We may find out that we live inside a simulation if we can notice that our reality is not realistic, at least in some aspects. To see why we can look at the possible motives for post-humans to run simulations of human civilisations. Even though it is not certain post-humans might have similar motivations as we have. Modern humans attach great value to their inner selves, so we may not change our human essence once we can. Hence, the motives of post-humans might well be similar to ours, and they might run simulations of human civilisations for research or entertainment.

Research could be about running what-if scenarios. So what if a giant meteor hits the surface of the planet? What if China never became unified? Alternatively, what if there never were religions such as Christianity and Islam? Or what if a deadly infectious disease breaks out? Countless scenarios are possible. Post-humans might be interested in running them to see how humanity will cope. These simulations are likely to be realistic.

Possible entertainment applications are games or dream worlds to make your imagination come true. Such a simulation may not be realistic in some aspects as it reflects the rules of a game or someone’s imagination. Chaos theory states that small changes in the initial conditions of complex systems can have a dramatic impact on future developments. For instance, a butterfly flapping its wings in Texas might cause a hurricane in China. And simulations of civilisations are complex, so to guarantee a particular outcome, you need control over everything that happens. This requirement does not apply to games. Unpredictable developments make games more interesting.

Our understanding of human nature suggests that the number of simulations for entertainment likely vastly outstrip those run for research, at least if sufficient resources are available. Hence, if we do live inside a simulation, we should expect it to be for entertainment. The owner or owners may use avatars and appear like ordinary human beings to us. If reality is unrealistic in some aspects, this suggests that our purpose is entertainment as a simulation run for research is more likely to be realistic. Furthermore, evidence of control further indicates that the purpose of this simulation is not a game but implementing someone’s imagination.

If the beings inside the simulation were sentient, that can raise ethical questions like whether or not they have rights the creators should respect. Considering how humans treat each other, it is not a given that these rights would be respected even when the creators acknowledge them. In a realistic simulation, bad things do happen to people all the time. And in the case of control, the beings inside the simulation are not sentient. They do not think and do not have a will of their own. Hence, we might have no intrinsic value to our creators.

God is love

Christians believe that God is love. Only, there may be something about this love that the church fathers found to be so troubling that they didn’t want us to know about it. If you know what it is, Christianity may suddenly make a lot more sense, and you may be able to guess what the future religion will look like. Love is such a central theme in Christianity that this religion came to be known as ‘the religion of love’. According to the Gospel, Jesus said we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”1

Paul is believed to be the author of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. It probably was written around 54 AD. There is little doubt that Paul wrote this letter himself, except for a passage claiming that the man is the head of the family, which several scholars believe to be a later addition. This letter may therefore be one of the earliest written sources of Christianity. It contains a remarkable poem:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.2

According to Paul, love is more important than faith and good works. But why? Christians believe the answer is:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.3

Christians believe in eternal life. The question is why? Jesus may have died on the cross but Christians believe he still lives because God loves the world. The author of the Gospel of John, who probably was not the Apostle John according to several scholars, may also have written the First Epistle of John, but scholars don’t agree on that either. In this epistle the author shares his views on the love of God:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.4

If you’re not a Christian, you might wonder why this was necessary? The idea that God loves us, and the proof being that God sent his one and only son into the world as a sacrifice for our sins, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Christians claim that Adam sinned and that we are all cursed for that, but then came Jesus who allowed himself to be crucified, so that we can all be saved. It seems that God could easily have chosen another path. And what about the peculiar phrase ‘born of God’? Could God be a woman?

Jews and Muslims don’t believe that God has a son. They also don’t believe that Adam’s transgression requires such a sacrifice. When God allegedly ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son and Abraham was about to comply, God allegedly called it off. So what might justify this? There may be something about the relationship between God and Jesus that is removed from the scriptures. The odds are that it has something to do with love because that is what Christianity is all about. Ephesians gives a possible clue:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.5

Christians believe that Jesus was married to the church because of this verse. There is an issue with this view. The church didn’t exist when Jesus lived. It is inconsistent in time. A historian might call this an anachronism. The verse suggests that this was a love like in a marriage. The Gospels imply that Jesus was married6 but the identity of the bride is never mentioned. And the verse claims that husbands have to love their wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, a peculiar thought.

There is a possible explanation. God could be a woman. This universe could be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation to entertain someone we call God. And God could could use avatars in Her own story and appear like an ordinary human to us. The love the Gospels expound on is the love of God. Hence, the bride may have been God. God appearing in a human form may have been another difficult issue the early church fathers had to deal with.

The most likely candidate for being the avatar of God is Mary Magdalene. She may have convinced Jesus that she was the reincarnation of Eve and that he was the reincarnation of Adam and that Eve was not made out of a rib of Adam but that Adam was a son of Eve. And so Jesus may have believed he had eternal life and would not die. Perhaps this can shed some light on Jesus’ views on marriage. It appears that Jesus believed marriage to be a bond forged by God:

Have you not read that He Who made them in the first place made them man and woman? It says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will live with his wife. The two will become one.” So they are no longer two but one. Let no man divide what God has put together.7

At this point Jesus deviated from Moses’ law:

Because of your hard hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives. It was not like that from the beginning.8

That is remarkable because Jesus claimed he was not going to abolish Moses’ law. Jesus’ followers argued it would be hard for men to love their wives in this way. Jesus replied:

Not all men are able to do this, but only those to whom it has been given.9

Jesus appeared to have had a high standard on marriage. Surviving records of Jesus’ words and teachings suggest that Jesus believed women to be equal to men. The equality of the sexes appears peculiar within the context of a patriarchal society. Paul also saw women as equal partners in the Christian movement. The Didache, an early Christian text dating from the first century, implies equality of the sexes.

At some point patriarchy has been re-established. The letters of the early church father may have been rewritten for that reason. For instance, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 has been added later.10 It claims that the man is the head of the family. A similar claim is made in the First Epistle to Timothy.11 Scholars believe this letter was written later on and not by Paul like the letter claims.

A woman might like to see a man sacrifice himself to prove his love for her. And you may never love God enough. Christians see Jesus as a sacrificial lamb.12 It appears that God didn’t even care for Jesus. So if someone ever finds himself in the same position as Jesus may have found himself in, he might at first not be enticed by the proposition, until he accepts that he has no choice and might well be the luckiest man that ever existed. In any case, it isn’t that hard to love someone who has taken you hostage and has complete control over you. It is a natural reaction known as the Stockholm Syndrome.

Featured image: SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. [copyright info]

1. Mark 12:30-31 [link]
2. 1 Corinthians 13 [link]
3. John 3:16 [link]
4. 1 John 4:7-10 [link]
5. Ephesians 5:25 [link]
6. John 3:29 [link], Matthew 9:15 [link], Mark 2:19 [link], Luke 5:34 [link]
7. Matthew 19:4-6  [link]
8. Matthew 19:8 [link]
9. Matthew 19:12 [link]
10. Forgery and Counter-forgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. Bart D. Ehrman (2013).
11. 1 Timothy 2:12 [link]
12. 1 Peter 1:18-19 [link]

Eve in the Garden Of Eden

Mother Goddess Eve

Female figurines have been found during archaeological excavations. The most famous one is the Venus of Willendorf dating from around 23,000 BC. Some scholars believe these figurines depict mother goddesses. And indeed many ancient cultures had mother goddesses associated with fertility. Women give birth and humans in early cultures may not have known about fatherhood. And so they may have believed that women create life. The ability to create life out of nothing may have been the essence of mother goddess worship. One of the best known mother goddesses was Isis in ancient Egypt.

Venus of Willendorf

Women can be sure that their children are their own but for men this is different. When the fathers of children are unknown, families are matrilineal, which means that family lines depend on motherhood. It has been argued that the worship of mother goddesses disappeared because men desired to control women and their sexuality. The transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture may have played a role in this development.

Hunter gatherers were wanderers so territorial conflicts were less likely to occur as they could always move on.1 This changed with the advent of agriculture. Farmers had to defend their property and family. Men may be more willing to defend women and children they consider their own. Men can also walk out when they doubt their fatherhood. This may have given them a position of power so that patriarchy emerged.

One of the themes found in mother goddess worship is that the goddess gives birth to her mate. The tale of Eve and Adam is based on an ancient myth that Jewish priests have tailored to meet their own theological agenda. In the original story Eve appears to have been the mother of Adam as she is named Mother of All the Living. That makes more sense than Eve being made out of Adam’s rib. As Adam allegedly already gave her this title before they had any children, Eve being Mother of All the Living could refer to all living creatures. And so Eve may be the primal avatar of the God of the Bible.

The Fall could reflect the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture. The life of hunter gatherers was more agreeable than the difficult plight of the farmers that came later on.1 The Garden of Eden provided for everything. Adam was banished from the garden to work the ground,2 which was a life of toil.3 Indeed, the Agricultural Revolution can be seen as a curse.

The Jews imagined the God of Abraham but this universe might be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation to entertain someone we can call God. So what can the deities humans imagined tell us about the possible owner of this universe? In a historical process that took thousands of years the God of Abraham came out on top. That might not be a mere accident. But what is the evidence for Eve being the first avatar of God? The story about Eve and Adam is probably a myth to begin with.

The Jewish deity Yahweh and the Arabian deity Allah were male gods. Both had a wife and children before monotheism took over. Jews and Muslims do not see God as a Father like Christians do, even though there are a few references to God as a Father4 and a Mother5 in the Torah. Christians are born of God.6 This is at odds with God being a Father. And there is no Father in the Torah. Only Eve is there as Mother of All the Living.

The first Christians may have believed that Eve was the mother of all the living, that Mary Magdalene was a reincarnation of Eve, and that Jesus was a reincarnation of Adam. They may have believed that Eve was not made out of the rib of Adam but that Adam was born as a son of Eve so that Adam and therefore Jesus were a Son of God. The Gospels may have been redacted, perhaps because the relationship between Eve and Adam appeared incestuous. The birth story of Jesus from Virgin Mary may have been introduced to replace the birth of Adam from Eve.

Isis with Horus

And so Eve could be the Mother Goddess of the Bible and God may have devised a scheme to disguise Her identity using Virgin Mary. The veneration of Virgin Mary or Mother Mary may have existed in early Christianity. The Church recognised Virgin Mary as ‘Mother of God’ in 431, effectively making her a Mother Goddess. From then on statues and icons of Mother Mary with the child Jesus have been made. Some of them were similar to those of the Egyptian mother goddess Isis with her child Horus.

Saint Mary Bolnichka Icon

This violates the command not to make images for worship.7 Nevertheless, the transgression could be part of the scheme. The Mother Goddess Mary, who may have been eliminated from the gospels, re-entered the Church via a back door. As many prayers were directed to Mother Mary, she became a proxy for God. The protestant reformation aimed at returning to the roots of Christianity and eliminated Virgin Mary veneration. But their reform was based entirely on the scriptures and ignorant of the possibility of church traditions being reflections of the original message of Christianity.

starcrescent

The star and crescent became the symbol for Islam. This symbol has a long history predating Islam. It was formally associated with a Moon goddess. In the Biblical context it has different meaning. In the Biblical story of Joseph the Moon symbolises the woman while the star symbolises the child.8 Hence, the Islamic symbol may represent the Mother Goddess with the child, just like the Madonna with the child Jesus. It could reflect the relationship between Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and her husband Muhammad because she was his boss. She was fifteen years older so she could have been his mother.

The St. Mary of Zion Church in Ethiopia is said to contain the Ark of the Covenant. It is claimed that the Ark came to Ethiopia with King Menelik after he visited his father King Solomon. Mary of Zion is symbolised by the Ark of the Covenant.9 That is a remarkable coincidence. The ark allegedly was the residence of Yahweh, the God of Israel. This coincidence may indicate that God is a woman, also for the Rastafarians.

The creation story in Genesis may have been redacted. The designation Mother Of All The Living suggests that Eve may have been a Mother Goddess.10 Genesis 1 already contains a creation story explaining how men and women were created.11 Hence, the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 is at odds with Genesis 1. It is also peculiar that the woman was made from a rib of the man12 as women usually give birth to men. Adam is simply referred to as ‘the man’13 while Eve is referred to as ‘Mother Of All The Living’.14 Adam calling Eve Mother Of All The Living before they had any children is peculiar. Probably Eve and Adam weren’t the only people around as their children married.

Eve being the Mother Goddess makes all these contradictions disappear. And that is remarkable as scholars believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 were based on two different traditions. Perhaps the original creation myth was that the Mother Goddess Eve wanted a husband for Herself and created one by giving birth. It seems unlikely that Jesus figured this out by himself. Probably Mary Magdalene made him believe this.

The Quran, which allegedly is a message coming from God, doesn’t really contradict the Bible but there are some noteworthy deviations, also with respect to Creation and The Fall. The Quran mentions the creation of Adam extensively but says little about the creation of Eve, hence Eve may not have been created. The Quran primarily blames Adam for the Fall and leaves Eve mostly out of the picture. The Quran claims that Adam listened to the voice of Satan without implicating Eve.15

Snake goddess from the palace of Knossos. Heraklion Archaeological Museum

The origins of the myth of the Garden Of Eden support this perspective. Serpents have been associated with some of the oldest rituals known to humankind. The serpent was a symbol of death, healing, and rebirth. It could represent wisdom, good as well as evil. Mother Goddesses sometimes had serpents as their sidekicks helping them in doing their magic.16 Snake goddesses were worshipped in ancient Egypt and Crete.

In ancient mythology the tree with a serpent represents the Tree of Life of the Mother Goddess. In these mythologies the Mother Goddess could take the form of a serpent dying and renewing like the Moon. In these mythologies Her husband died too and was reborn her son.17 Only, the Garden Of Eden may be the myth upon which this world has been created, and Eve may have been the primal avatar of God. If this is true then we are in for a big surprise.

If you like this post, then you might also like:

Born of God

The phrase ‘born of God’ can be found in the Gospels and the letters of the Church Fathers. It is now believed to have a spiritual meaning but the origin may have been quite different.

Read More

God is love

There is an explanation why Christians believe that God is love. Only, there may be something very troubling this love.

Read More

The identity of God

The Gospels state that Jesus had a personal and intimate relationship with God. Scholars agree that the Gospels have been edited.

Read More

 

 

Overviews of related posts:

God is a woman and Jesus was Her husband

Read More

The universe as a virtual reality

Read More

 

 

Featured image: Eve in the Garden Of Eden. Henri Rousseau (1906-1910). Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Other images: Venus of Willendorf. Don Hitchcock (2008). Wikimedia Commons; Isis with Horus. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain; Saint Mary Bolnichka Icon. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain; The younger ‘snake goddess’ from the palace of Knossos. Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

1. A Brief History Of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari (2014). Harvil Secker.
2. Genesis 3:23 [link]
3. Genesis 3:17-19 [link]
4. Isaiah 63:16 [link]
5. Isaiah 66:13 [link]
6. John 1:13 [link]
7. Exodus 20:4-5 [link]
8. Genesis 37:9 [link]
9. Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion – Wikipedia [link]
10. Asherah – Wikipedia [link]: Some scholars have found an early link between Asherah and Eve, based upon the coincidence of their common title as “the mother of all living” in Genesis 3:20 through the identification with the Hurrian mother goddess Hebat. Asherah was also given the title Chawat from which the name Hawwah in Aramaic and the biblical name Eve are derived.
11. Genesis 1:27 [link]
12. Genesis 2:22 [link]
13. Genesis 2:20 [link]
14. Genesis 3:20 [link]
15. Quran 20:115-121 [link]
16. Serpent (Symbolism) – Wikipedia [link]
17. Eve: the Mother of All Living. Anne Baring and Jules Cashford (1991). Penguin Books. [link]

Lucretia Garfield. Library Of Congres

The identity of God

Scholars claim that Jesus was one of the end time prophets travelling around in Israel and Palestine in the first century. He stood at the cradle of Christianity, a global religion with more than two billion followers, an enigma that baffles historians. Six centuries later, in an equally astounding turn of history, a small band of Arab warriors created an empire stretching from the Atlantic to India. They spread a religion called Islam. These historic turns made the God of Abraham the dominant deity on the planet, which may help to fulfil a promise allegedly made to Abraham.1

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Jews invented their deity Yahweh. Yahweh was one of the countless gods humans have imagined. Nevertheless, this particular Jewish deity became the dominant god on this planet and it doesn’t appear to be an accident. This universe might be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation for the purpose of entertaining someone we call God. And God might use avatars and appear as an ordinary human to us.

Jesus is an enigma. Perhaps he knew God personally. That is possible if God can have an avatar and appear like an ordinary human. The Gospels state that Jesus had a personal and intimate relationship with God. Scholars agree that the Gospels have been edited.2 Apparently God the ‘Father’ can give birth.3 Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom and Son of God. Jesus felt that he had an eternal bond with God and that he was special to the point that no one comes to God except through him.4

So what might that mystery be? The first Christians may have believed that Jesus was a reincarnation of Adam and that Mary Magdalene was a reincarnation of Eve and that Eve was not made out of the rib of Adam but that Eve gave birth to Adam. Eve is called Mother of All the Living,5 Adam is named Son of God6 while Jesus is the firstborn of all creation.7 Adam may have been born and Jesus may have been his reincarnation.

Initially Christianity might have been about the marriage between Mary Magdalene and Jesus representing the Kingdom of God. The love of God Jesus was speaking of8 may have been the love of a Goddess for her husband. This could explain why Christians believe that God is love.9 It may shed some light on Jesus’ assertion that he is one with God10 as marriage is the way to become one with another person.11

It makes no sense that a woman was created from the rib of a man. It makes more sense that the woman gave birth to the man. Mary Magdalene may have convinced Jesus that Eve was the mother of Adam. The Quran mentions the creation of Adam extensively but tells little about the creation of Eve. The Quran states that Jesus’ creation is like that of Adam and that they were both created from dust.12 It may indicate that Adam was born as the first son of the virgin Eve and that God can perform such miracles as the Quran also contends that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin.13

The Jewish scriptures allow for the idea that Abraham was a husband of God like Joseph, Moses and David. Muhammad may have been God’s husband too. At the age of twenty-five he married his boss, the merchant Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid. She was a widow and she was much older than Muhammad. Khadijah was the first to convert to Islam after he had his first vision. Her support was invaluable to his mission. Avatars of God may have played a significant role in history. And God could still be dwelling amongst us and appear like an ordinary human to us, today!

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home?
Just trying to make his way home
Like back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the Pope maybe in Rome
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

– Joan Osborne, What If God Was One Of Us

Featured image: Lucretia Garfield. Library Of Congres.

1. Genesis 12:3 [link]
2. Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Saviour. Bart Ehrman (2016). Harper Collins Publishers.
3. John 1:12-13 [link]
4. John 14:6 [link]
5. Genesis 3:20 [link]
6. Luke 3:38 [link]
7. Colossians 1:15 [link]
8. John 17:23-26 [link]
9. John 10:30 [link]
10. Mark 10:8 [link], Matthew 19:5 [link]
11. 1 John 4:16  [link]
12. Quran 3:59 [link]
13. Quran 3:47 [link]