I remember watching the Matrix when I was younger and wondering like most other people, what if our reality is a computer simulation? Last week I read an article on the Huffington Post website titled, "Physicist's May Have Evidence Universe Is A Computer Simulation."
By looking at how we behave and our attempts at technological evolution, it is logical to assume that other technologically advanced beings would eventually follow the same path. Some of the world's best minds are attempting to create AI, Google's Deep Mind being a prime example. Google Deep Mind was the much-publicised computer that recently beat a Go master at his own game. If our universe is a computer simulation, it is possible that our creators are also part of a computer simulation. Every intelligence at some point starts creating AI, so there will exist more computer simulations then noncomputer simulations.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big fan of computer games. I love losing myself in the latest role-playing game with immersive universes. Anyone who plays these games knows that quests and areas unlock for the character based on the decision made within the game. Based on this concept, I had an interesting thought concerning people's beliefs. If we are part of a computer simulation, it may very well be possible that everyone's beliefs about an afterlife can be right at the same time. It would be very simple for a programmer to program the following piece of code:
"If the subject believes in heaven and hell upon death send them to a simulation of heaven or hell."
"If the subject believes that life is all there is, and there is no afterlife then upon death terminate their code."
"If the subject believes in reincarnation, upon death reset memory and recycle their code into the simulation."
Based on this, our views will shape our reality after we die. Would you change yours if you knew this was the case?
Shkar Sharif is the head instructor at Tiger Crane Kung Fu in London. Any other questions, ask!