I don’t talk about my belief much, or how it is formed. I do talk about autism a lot, but not so much about philosophical ideas I have. This is a view of my mind and my strongest belief. I want to show you the path I took to belief this.
When I was 16 I watched The matrix, which introduced me to “the brain in a vat”-theory, first proposed by plato as the allegory of the cave.
Descartes later revisited this idea and boiling it down to “Cogito Ergo Sum”, I think therefore I am, after his thought-experiment of what if a demon was controlling my perception, of what could I be certain of?
I think, thanks to recent scientific studies and books, Descartes was on the button. I read “the egotunnel” by Thomas Metzinger, in which he states a very good case that we shouldn’t call ourselves “I” anymore. He shows through neuroscience that the “I” you perceive is nothing more than reactions in your brain. Recently I read another book by Anil Ananthaswamy called “the man who wasn’t there: Investigations into the strange new science of the self”, which has the same basic premise but takes another route. Mr. Ananthaswamy deconstructs every thing we hold true about perception by taking a case where that perception is flawed.
Today I saw “your brain hallucinates your concious reality” a ted talk by Anil Seth. A quote in his ted talk (which I now type from memory) struck a chord: “when we hallucinate together and agree on those hallucinations, it is called reality”.
This talk led me to think again about Nick Bostrom and his simulation argument. Knowing what I know now, I really do believe that we live in a simulation. Science is more and more coming to a conclusion that there is no self, just a human body which has certain processes which gives the hallucination of a self, electrical signals interpreted by the brain (as was so eloquently put in the matrix). Is is then so difficult to believe that a distant human society has made a simulation with us in it, to see how we behaved, to see how we operated? To see how a society like the one we are used to live in might have been, looking back from their future?