Re: The Simulation Argument

From: <>
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001 21:26:57 -0800

Nick Bostrom writes:

> Hal wrote:
> >I wonder if you consider the possibility that there is no matter of fact
> >as to whether we are living in a simulation? Suppose that we live in real
> >life, and also get simulated one or more times, then our consciousness
> >cannot be localized to any specific instantiation.
> A brain (or a particular simulation of a brain) can refer indexically to
> itself. Suppose you have two brains, A and B, in exactly the same internal
> states, both of whom think of themselves that they are in a red box.
> Suppose A is in a red box and B is in a blue box. Then A has a true belief
> and B has a false belief, and there seems to be an objective fact of the
> matter that this is so.

I don't think it is right to say that a brain has beliefs. It seems to me
that beliefs are a property of a mind. Saying that a brain has beliefs
is a shorthand for saying that the brain instantiates a conscious program,
and that the consciousness has beliefs.

In this case then we would say that the consciousness believes that it
is in a red box. More precisely, it would believe that the brain which
instantiates it is in a red box. But "the brain which instantiates it"
is not well defined, since two brains instantiate it.

Received on Sun Dec 02 2001 - 21:33:03 PST

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