Social Science


The Simulation Argument and Incompleteness of Information

Authors: Shreyansh Goyal

Nick Bostrom, in his paper titled “Are you living in a computer simulation?” [Philosophical Quarterly. 2003, 53, 243‐255], presented an argument as to why the possibility of an advanced human civilization that can generate human-like observers greatly bolsters the view that we might be living in a simulation. Bostrom argues why the fraction of simulated observers among all types of observers with human-like experiences would be close to one, provided one accepts some assumptions, and then the bland principle of indifference dictates as to why one must thus, assuming himself to be a random observer, put the highest credence in the option which is the most common. Bostrom’s case rests on the idea that we lack evidence to shift our credence the other way, against the probabilistic conclusions, significantly, however, I argue that we are justified in doing so and a priori. Using Bayesian analysis, I show that the conclusion of the argument need not possess similar credence as the argument suggests, even granting all its assumptions.

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[v1] 2019-06-05 12:48:05

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