Yet another weird SF fan


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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Divine Revelation and God as Programmer

After two days of Shavuot, the Jewish holiday commemorating the revelation at Mt. Sinai, I wondered if it was compatible with God as programmer analogy I discussed a few years ago:

If intelligent creatures in a simulated universe tried creating their version of physics, they might be able to get as far as identifying the characteristics of the machine language used. On the other hand, the source code is clearly more fundamental (from the point of view of the programmer) but they could find out that only by looking at large-scale patterns.

We can imagine philosophical debates between the reductionists and believers in the Source Code in which the reductionists correctly point out that nothing that violated the rules of the machine language had ever happened and think that meant they won the debate.

I then realized that many compilers will include the symbol table as part of the binary and that, from the point of view of beings in the simulated universe, a symbol table will look like a divine revelation.

It is entirely possible that there might be several symbol tables in different parts of the Program.

Speaking of simulated beings …

Paul Almond has posted an argument criticizing the claim that God exists outside of space-time and created it. This looks much less convincing when you think of a simulated being criticizing the claim that the Programmer exists outside of the array of bits and created it.

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