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Thought experiment: imagine the universe is a simulation!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
The idea was not workable as I started it, because, iirc, wf said there is no error in the copying of digital information/programs.

(Errors could be inserted artificially using RNG. That is, genetic drift could be simulated.)

Some thought-food:

Quote:
The one glitch in the simulation argument is that there is nothing to stop the simulation at one super-advanced posthuman (alien) species. It could very well be that our simulators are, for their part, simulated by even more advanced simulators, and those by even more advanced ones, ad infinitum. Who is the first simulator? This reminds me of the "turtles all the way down" concept of Anavastha in Indian philosophy, where the world rests on an elephant that rests on a turtle that rests on a turtle that... In the West, it may be interpreted as infinite regression or the problem of the First Cause.

... which is to say, "the Hard Problem has not been solved in a meaningful way".

Quote:
The simulation argument messes with our self-esteem, since it assumes that we have no free will, that we are just deluded puppets thinking we are free to make choices. To believe this is to give up our sense of autonomy: after all, if it's all a big game that we can't control, why bother? This is the danger with this kind of philosophical argument, to actually make us into what it's claiming we are, so that we end up abdicating our right to fight for what we believe in.

... which is to say, the simulation argument is close to the determinism argument. Maybe the simulation inserts some RNG, maybe it does not, but either way, there is no free will.

Quote:
Just in case it's been weighing on your mind, you can relax now. A team of theoretical physicists from Oxford University in the UK has shown that life and reality cannot be merely simulations generated by a massive extraterrestrial computer.

The finding - an unexpectedly definite one - arose from the discovery of a novel link between gravitational anomalies and computational complexity.

In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, Zohar Ringel and Dmitry Kovrizhi show that constructing a computer simulation of a particular quantum phenomenon that occurs in metals is impossible - not just practically, but in principle.

... so there you go. Simulation theory is already disproven.

Quote:
"Proclaiming that 'the programmer did it' doesn't only not explain anything - it teleports us back to the age of mythology. The simulation hypothesis annoys me because it intrudes on the terrain of physicists. It's a bold claim about the laws of nature that however doesn't pay any attention to what we know about the laws of nature."

... it's not just me.

Quote:
"... having the ability to prevent these simulated creatures from noticing anomalies in the simulation. This could be done by avoiding anomalies altogether, or preventing them from having noticeable macroscopic ramification, or by retrospectively editing the brain states of observers who had happened to witness something suspicious. If the simulators don't want us to know that we are simulated, they could easily prevent us from finding out."

... ergo, they want us to know? That's a dismaying thought. Brrr.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good, WF! A post that moves beyond your own assumptions/caricatures and engages on a serious level. I'll bite.

wayfriend wrote:

Quote:
The one glitch in the simulation argument is that there is nothing to stop the simulation at one super-advanced posthuman (alien) species. It could very well be that our simulators are, for their part, simulated by even more advanced simulators, and those by even more advanced ones, ad infinitum. Who is the first simulator? This reminds me of the "turtles all the way down" concept of Anavastha in Indian philosophy, where the world rests on an elephant that rests on a turtle that rests on a turtle that... In the West, it may be interpreted as infinite regression or the problem of the First Cause.

... which is to say, "the Hard Problem has not been solved in a meaningful way".
Again, this is a point I've already brought up, a point that makes my argument: if there can be many levels of nested simulations, then it become less likely that we're in the original. Seriously, did you not read where I've already said this? I hate typing things twice.

As for the hard problem, which one are you talking about? We're discussing at least three: math, mind, matter.

wayfriend wrote:
Quote:
The simulation argument messes with our self-esteem . . .
Boo hoo.

As for free will, the simulation hypothesis would actually prove it. If you can create consciousness in a simulation, it proves that it's not dependent upon the laws of physics. Creating a "ghost in the machine" proves there is more than just a machine.

wayfriend wrote:

Quote:
Just in case it's been weighing on your mind, you can relax now. A team of theoretical physicists from Oxford University in the UK has shown that life and reality cannot be merely simulations generated by a massive extraterrestrial computer.

The finding - an unexpectedly definite one - arose from the discovery of a novel link between gravitational anomalies and computational complexity.

In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, Zohar Ringel and Dmitry Kovrizhi show that constructing a computer simulation of a particular quantum phenomenon that occurs in metals is impossible - not just practically, but in principle.

... so there you go. Simulation theory is already disproven.
I was hoping you'd find this, so we'd have something else to discuss than your assumptions. Yes, I saw it, in numerous articles. One of them ended with the caveat that this doesn't mean that computers based on laws of physics in another universe couldn't simulate us. It only applies to computers we use in this universe, based on Universal Turing Machines. But if a species had access to quantum computers (not to mention computers based on entirely different physics), then this point is moot. It's just bad science journalism.

wayfriend wrote:
Quote:
"Proclaiming that 'the programmer did it' doesn't only not explain anything - it teleports us back to the age of mythology. The simulation hypothesis annoys me because it intrudes on the terrain of physicists. It's a bold claim about the laws of nature that however doesn't pay any attention to what we know about the laws of nature."

... it's not just me.
Annoyance isn't an argument, it's an emotion. But I agree that you're not the only one using emotion and caricatures.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our simulations are entirely dependent upon the laws of physics. If we create consciousness in a simulation, it will be as dependent upon the laws of physics as our consciousness is.

If we are simulations created by aliens, we are dependent upon the laws of physics of the aliens' reality. Even if our physics is very different from theirs, it is still a simulation created by theirs.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my problem with simulation theories like this .. its not consciousness per se .. its a simulation of consciousness.

How does a simulation of consciousness advance an appreciation of consciousness if its part of a precoded mathematical program?

Pretty clever .. no doubt. But can it ACTUALLY address or advance any understanding of the hard problem of matter, Mind or Math?

Math maybe .. but prescriptively mind and matter?

I missed your article you said you linked ... will go look for it. I might return with a more revised view point.

Again kudos is due... good posts Wayfriend. Very interesting reads .. particularly pertinent quotes.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So scrolled back and your article eluded me 🤷‍♀️

Zarathustra wrote:
Go away. Shoo. Skidaddle. Stop shitting in my thread.


Are you seeking to silence opinion that does not accord with your own?

You introduced this thread with an admission that you did not take this theory seriously.. but are ok criticising others for having similar concerns, that you also initially held?

If you intend a discussion, as you invited comment 😉 you surely must expect that some will have similar reservations and thoughts .. as you yourself once also had.

If your intent is discussion.. then show us how we are wrong, misinformed or unclear.

So far Wayfriend is the only one to bring support for his position. As to your article I would absolutely read it .. if I could find it.

And personally Id far rather read than watch YouTube videos. In my case, my day is spent travelling from job to job.. reading is more doable.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Double post]
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Our simulations are entirely dependent upon the laws of physics. If we create consciousness in a simulation, it will be as dependent upon the laws of physics as our consciousness is.
No. Is a simulation of a comet as dependent upon gravity as a real comet? Simulations are dependent upon the rules of the program. Granted, the program runs on hardware, so there is a connection to the laws of physics . . . but this is just like the brain producing the mind. The mind operates by its own set of "rules," while still being dependent upon the brain for its existence.


Skyweir wrote:

Are you seeking to silence opinion that does not accord with your own?
Since I've already responded to WF since then, your point is a bit late. Obviously, I'm not trying to silence him. If he wants to address the topic at hand, fine, I'll have a discussion. If it wants to just make fun of it and mischaracterize my position, I'd rather not.

I'm not criticizing anyone for holding a position I once held. If you had read through the thread, you'd see where I tried to use that as common ground to open WF's mind. I got shot down and belittled for my effort.

You, of all people, shouldn't be lecturing me about silencing others when they belittle you. You are the freaking exemplar of that particular schtick.

Skyweir wrote:
If your intent is discussion.. then show us how we are wrong, misinformed or unclear.
That's impossible if someone is not going to read my posts or links. BTW, links look blue on your screen, right? I quoted Scientific American, I linked to Scientific American, and I said "From Scientific American." I'm not sure why you can't find it, unless you're not reading my posts, either. Which seems pretty obvious.

Skyweir wrote:
So far Wayfriend is the only one to bring support for his position. As to your article I would absolutely read it .. if I could find it.
Jesus Fucking Christ. Nevermind. I'll go find people somewhere else who are smart enough to have this conversation.

Sorry, Fist, I'm not lumping you in with that remark. This is just no fun. Like pulling teeth. I'm not going to debate people who can't bother to read what I type and would rather bicker than entertain a cool idea.

Goodbye.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry guys, haven't had time to read the whole thread or watch the video, so I might have already missed your rebuttal to this point:

It's not an answer, it's just a deferment of questions.

If the answer is "it's a simulation" then the questions are "who's running it?" "Why?" "How?" etc. etc.

(Does anybody remember the sci-fi short story where they were testing marketing methods / messages and it turned out everybody was a robot that they'd "injected" consciousness into, and the whole town was on a table-top?)

(Ha! Found it: The Tunnel Under The World by Frederick Pohl.)

(And wasn't there a thread about this before?)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
Our simulations are entirely dependent upon the laws of physics. If we create consciousness in a simulation, it will be as dependent upon the laws of physics as our consciousness is.
No. Is a simulation of a comet as dependent upon gravity as a real comet? Simulations are dependent upon the rules of the program. Granted, the program runs on hardware, so there is a connection to the laws of physics . . . but this is just like the brain producing the mind. The mind operates by its own set of "rules," while still being dependent upon the brain for its existence.
You are saying the same thing I'm saying. But I think it's of absolute significance. The simulated comet is still entirely dependent upon - indeed, would not exist if not for - the rules of physics. Just not all of the same ones a real comet is. But we're still talking about particles interacting according to properties that they have no choice but to follow. If actual consciousness was achieved within the simulated reality, it would still be in a materially reducible setting. As our consciousness is.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the advice of my counsel, I'm ignoring WF and Sky in order to address serious responses. Additional responses to my posts from these members will be considered unwanted, and as such, trolling. I am no longer interested in the kinds of discussions you two want to have.

Now--Av:

Quote:
It's not an answer, it's just a deferment of questions.
If we are indeed in a simulation, how could it not be an answer? I agree that it does defer some questions, but that's not so different from any question that we ever answer. Beginning of Infinity, remember? Answers always produce more questions. But if we're in a simulation and we never discover that, it will always be yet another deferred question itself.

Fist wrote:
You are saying the same thing I'm saying. But I think it's of absolute significance. The simulated comet is still entirely dependent upon - indeed, would not exist if not for - the rules of physics. Just all of the same ones a real comet is. But we're still talking about particles interacting according to properties that they have no choice but to follow. If actual consciousness was achieved within the simulated reality, it would still be in a materially reducible setting. As our consciousness is.


I think it's significant, too, but perhaps for different reasons. For one, this link makes it possible to ask meaningful, useful questions about the world in which the hardware exists. So it is a counter-argument to the claim that this theory completely removes the truth of our reality beyond us to another universe.

Secondly, if consciousness can be produced by a simulation (using the type of computers we have today, though vastly more powerful), it does indeed show that consciousness is reducible. That's an important finding! While I disagree with that idea, I might be wrong. It's still a vital answer either way. [Edit: on second thought, I'm not sure you can say that products of an algorithm are reducible to laws of physics just because they are running on a computer. There seems to be some two-way causation here. Not only is the program running on the machine, but the program is also controlling the operation of the machine. In this sense, what the machine is doing isn't entirely reducible to physics, because some of what it's doing is dependent upon an abstract level of organization that wouldn't exist without the program, which is itself not derivable from the laws of physics. This is something I've never considered!]

However, if this is a simulation, I don't think it's possible on the types of computers we have, no matter how much more powerful you make them. I think it will take something like quantum computers, or perhaps something even stranger (e.g. computers based on physics of a different universe). And if that's the case, it's not necessarily true that this simulation is reducible to physics, no more than it's true that mind is reducible to matter. In fact, the two situations would be similar examples of emergence. If you have no problem supposing that mind is produced by a brain that follows physics, why would it be a problem to suppose that mind can be produced by software running on hardware that follows physics?

I've always held that we'll be able to make conscious AI at some point, but it will take a different kind of computer than what we have today, something that does more than run algorithms. There has to be SOME kind of connection between matter and mind, even if that connection isn't reducible. And given that necessity, it always leaves open the possibility that we can learn the secret of this connection and replicate it.

The reason this idea seems far-fetched is primarily because we can't imagine how simulations could become conscious. But at the core, a simulation is merely an interaction between matter and information. Isn't that also what consciousness is?

[Edit: I thought of a better way to make my point: mind *is* produced by the brain. That's a given, whether we're in a simulation or not. I repeat: that would still be true, even if this is a simulation . . . except the brain would be a simulation, too. In fact, all of our matter would be a simulation. But the relationship between this simulated "matter" and mind would still remain. So this would show that matter need not be material in order to behave like real matter. All that would be important about matter would be the relations. It would show that there really isn't any difference between a simulation and reality, in terms of the Hard Problem of Matter. That's why you could have a simulation inside a simulation. The universe containing ours could be a simulation, too. The "matter" comprising the computer hardware running our simulation could be just information, too! That's why this would solve the H.P. of Matter for both universes: matter cancels out and becomes pure information, for all levels.]
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Zarathustra wrote:
Skyweir wrote:
I agree with Wayfriend that it is akin to a mystical answer. Not identical .. akin to.


So you don't agree with him, you are correcting him. He said "identical," not "akin."

But it's not akin, either. You can't test the "god bowling" idea. God might be bowling up in heaven; who knows. You can't test magical creationism. You can't test most things priests say.

You CAN, however, test this theory. This is a scientific theory. The things WF is talking about are not.


I'm with WF and Sky on this one.

It seems to me that you need to focus on the ostensible "testability" aspect of Simulation. Cuz without that, the postulate is as helpful as any other Mythopoeia. Which is to say that it could be very helpful in a pedagogical or sapiential sense, as opening up vistas of wonder and wisdom. (In fact, Simulation seems -- to me, at least -- to be an analogue to Plato's Anamnesis.)

But, AFAICT, the only testability which you've advanced is a future-hypothetical testability: "If X were ever to happen, then such might well be evidence."

Fair 'nuff, I s'pose. But then again, it seems that "god-bowling" would be equally testable as a future-hypothetical, if Hubble were to detect an intergalactic 7-10 split or something. 🎳

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wos wrote:


I'm with WF and Sky on this one.

It seems to me that you need to focus on the ostensible "testability" aspect of Simulation. Cuz without that, the postulate is as helpful as any other Mythopoeia. Which is to say that it could be very helpful in a pedagogical or sapiential sense, as opening up vistas of wonder and wisdom. (In fact, Simulation seems -- to me, at least -- to be an analogue to Plato's Anamnesis.)

But, AFAICT, the only testability which you've advanced is a future-hypothetical testability: "If X were ever to happen, then such might well be evidence."

Fair 'nuff, I s'pose. But then again, it seems that "god-bowling" would be equally testable as a future-hypothetical, if Hubble were to detect an intergalactic 7-10 split or something. 🎳

twocents
If you think that measuring the distribution of cosmic rays is on the same level of 'testability' as detecting god bowling, then lumping yourself in with WF and Sky is the wisest thing you've said here.

Furthermore, an explanation is not good or bad solely on its testability. God bowling is useless as an explanation of thunder for a host of reasons beyond the limits of Hubble's powers of resolution (the inability of sound waves traveling through intergalactic space being the most obvious). Why not god stomping his feet in a temper tantrum? The idea is easily varied without a single consequence to its alleged explanatory power. On this basis alone, it can be as disregarded useless. However, the simulation idea is very specific. The only variation comes in aspects which aren't essential to the mechanics of producing such an explanation, such as the intentions/goals of the programmers, their specific nature, etc. While it's true that any number of possible aliens or future humans might acquire the technology to do this, the basic idea of a simulation is a constant. We know that simulations are actual things. Not figments or myths. We make simulations ourselves. We also know that virtual reality is a real thing. We already have limited examples of it. In sheer ontological status, the technology for producing simulations and god bowling are in two distinct realms of possibility.

Now, I've treated your post with far greater seriousnes than it deserves. Do you have a serious point to make, or just more ridiculous comparisons? If the latter, then we're done. You and Sky can go have conversations entirely comprised of LOL emojis.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn!!! That sentence should read "Just NOT all of the same ones a real comet is." I swear I check for errors before I post! Even if you understood what I meant, I wrote the opposite! I'm correcting my original.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an interesting article on Gizmodo: https://gizmodo.com/think-were-living-in-a-computer-simulation-prove-it-1793381182?rev=1490015761213

Quote:
Ultimately, someone who believes the universe is a simulation can just alter the simulation's parameters so they're always right. But that's not science, it's religion with aliens or a master programmer instead of God, and more boring because there aren't any fun songs or tasty food rituals.


The article refers to a blog post by Sabine Hossenfelder.

Quote:
In summary, it isn't easy to develop theories that explain the universe as we see it. Our presently best theories are the standard model and general relativity, and whatever other explanation you have for our observations must first be able to reproduce these theories' achievements. "The programmer did it" isn't science. It's not even pseudoscience. It's just words.


It seems an open-minded person would get the sense, after a while, that disparaging the simulation theory isn't a personal vendetta in a forum, but the normal response to a ludicrous idea: you call it ludicrous because it is.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it wasn't clear in literally the first sentence of this thread, let me reiterate for those who are demonstrating a remarkable lack of reading comprehension:

THE POSITION THAT THIS IDEA IS "LUDICROUS" WAS MY STARTING POINT.
We've covered that. I proposed this thread as a way to move beyond that one trick pony. There are only so many ways to say that something is ridiculous/silly/etc.

So, since this is *my* thread, I would like to define its direction, and as such, what counts as "off topic." I want to treat it as a thought experiment. I'm not asking anyone to believe it. I'm saying: let's consider the implications if it's true. Counter arguments to those implications are welcome! For instance, as Fist and Av have offered. Merely bashing the thought experiment on the basis that it's not real misses the point, and is off topic. If this continues, I will ask the moderators to please remove the off-topic banter to another thread.

Speaking of that, if anyone else wants to start a thread about how ludicrous the idea is, I invite you to exercise your free speech and start your own thread where you are welcome to repeat your one point over and over and over to your heart's content. Fill it up with people who say, "I agree!" Have fun with that.

A number of scientists themselves are taking the idea seriously. There must be a reason. In fact, there are a lot of reasons! But if we don't move past the point that was already acknowledged in my first sentence, we'll never get to those.

I will be changing the title of the thread to clarify this sentiment. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Zarathustra wrote:
[...]

So, since this is *my* thread, I would like to define its direction, and as such, what counts as "off topic." I want to treat it as a thought experiment. I'm not asking anyone to believe it. I'm saying: let's consider the implications if it's true. Counter arguments to those implications are welcome! For instance, as Fist and Av have offered. Merely bashing the thought experiment on the basis that it's not real misses the point, and is off topic. If this continues, I will ask the moderators to please remove the off-topic banter to another thread.

[...]

I will be changing the title of the thread to clarify this sentiment. Thank you.


So a condition of posting here is that one think that the postulate is not a priori absurd?

That's your right, of course. But if you want to do so, I suggest that you might want to again amend the title to make it a One-Viewpoint Thread (by putting a [1] at the beginning of the title).
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK ok ok....

whoa nelly.

the OP has stated that this thread's function and purpose is a THOUGHT EXPERIMENT. he's not asking anyone to jump in with both feet and BELIEVE, nor is he saying you can't dispute.

and it's a GREAT thought experiment.
if you don't have anything THOUGHTFUL to add please just scroll on past.
I am enjoying reading and thinking about it and I don't CARE who agrees with who so stop distracting me with that happy crappy. just discuss like the adults you are please. and thank you. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

lucimay wrote:
OK ok ok....

whoa nelly.

the OP has stated that this thread's function and purpose is a THOUGHT EXPERIMENT. he's not asking anyone to jump in with both feet and BELIEVE, nor is he saying you can't dispute.

and it's a GREAT thought experiment.
if you don't have anything THOUGHTFUL to add please just scroll on past.
I am enjoying reading and thinking about it and I don't CARE who agrees with who so stop distracting me with that happy crappy. just discuss like the adults you are please. and thank you. Smile


I'd earlier conceded that the postulate could be fruitful as an exercise in myth-making (a thought-experiment).

But that seems miles-away from claiming the postulate as being an object -- or even a categorically possible object -- of science.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wos, when you listen to John Lennon's beautiful song, Imagine, do you pause it to gloat, "Of course there are fucking countries, you moron! And there always will be!" and then turn off the stereo with a savage smile of superiority over poor dumb John? If you do, you're not the kind of person I want to hang out with and listen to music. Or discuss simulated realities.

Of course this idea is a priori absurd. I acknowledged that in my first sentence, as I've said a shockingly large amount of times by now. Now the question is: but what if it ISN'T? If that is not a question that interests you, no one forces you to participate in this thread to say so.

A variety of opinions can be expressed besides whether or not it is ludicrous. I am not saying that this is a one position thread. But if we were all to agree that the idea is a priori absurd, and on that basis not worthy of considering, there would be nothing else to discuss, and no purpose to this thread whatsoever.

Are we done now? Can we move on please? You guys are also free to start a thread where you whine about the subject matter of my thread. Please go do so!
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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