Movies such as The Matrix have stimulated popular interest in “brain in a vat” scenarios. Amidst the traditional questions of the mind, we tend to overlook an integral enabling component—the world simulation—which merits consideration in its own right. When facing the simulations in these imagined scenarios, we struggle with conceptual muddles regarding what is real and not. In this paper, I argue that simulated worlds are every bit as real as the one we inhabit. This turns out to be important when considering the possibility, as suggested by Nick Bostrom, that the world we experience as “real” is actually a simulation. Can such a prospect be reconciled with an Orthodox Christian perspective? While the metaphysical status of simulations that I posit moves us towards an integration, significant obstacles remain to be addressed. I consider some of these remaining challenges and explore the associated stakes.
Iba, Wayne, "Real Simulations and Simulated Reality" (2011). ACMS Conference Proceedings 2011. 13.
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