A post by guest writer, Ned, the subversive peanut.

One of my favorite conversations these days is about the possibilities of building a computer strong enough to house the powers of the human brain or to house a simulation of reality (at least that part any one of us can experience at a given time). I’ve seen estimates that we’ll have this technology in 10 to 20 years. And there are some interesting numbers to indicate it is likely we are already living in this simulation. This level of computing power is a difficult thing to grasp even for a peanut of my talent, but I learned about infinity a long time ago in trig.

So I’m going to be abrupt and just say it – I’m pretty sure we’re all living in a computer simulation. Whew. But I’m more or less okay with this. I figure if we live in a computer simulation (a bunch of people consider this a likelihood, by the way), it could just mean that our creators are humans. I mean, they could be. Maybe it’s not likely, but they could be. But I guess it’s more likely they too are the creation of the generation of software developers that went before them. I’ve known a few programmers with a God complex, so a lot of this makes perfect sense to me.

But that doesn’t change the possibility that somewhere up there or down there or in that evolutionary chain of creators and creations… somewhere before the first generation of developers of the first virtual world… somewhere in there could be God.

These programmers have made some interesting choices – one of which is to allow us to grow to a capacity sufficient enough to question their choices. How similar is this world to theirs? Maybe they’re all geniuses but lack the creative capacity to make us much different than they are. Or maybe they didn’t let the creative of their kind be on this project team. Or maybe there are no artists left in their world. Maybe these programmers are trying to re-create the creative – to bring the artists back and give them a better chance. But maybe the programmers in question here are just smart enough to know we’re all better off seeking the truth than knowing the truth.

And if any of this craziness is true, then how is it different from any other view we have, anyway? Would we be any more sure of anything? Would any fewer people be lying to get their way? Would there be less bigotry? Would there be less hypocrisy? Would you be any more or less free?

And if we consider these ideas… If we are crazy enough to consider living this life without the hope for some infinitely glorious reward… can we now be just as happy with the hope of coming back as Ourselves, version 2.0 in another virtual world?