> Repent, the Matrix has you…_

Question from Tim:
i suppose all you sinful atheists believe we’re just simulations as well like the matrix or something

Answer by SmartLX:
It’s a possibility, sure. In fact, have you considered the possibility that “God” has such power in this universe simply because He’s the computer geek in charge of the simulation? Could you be praying to Dilbert?

Many people, not just atheists, are mindful of the idea of solipsism, that the only thing one can be sure really exists is one’s own mind. Everything else could be an illusion, whether it’s a dream or an ongoing hallucination or a computer simulation. This idea was widely discussed during the fad of pop philosophy triggered by The Matrix. Some people even claimed to have worked out the probability that the world is a simulation. Some of the major papers and articles of the time are collected here.

In the end it has little effect on the debate over religion. Even if the world we know really is an illusion, there’s probably a real world of some sort on the outside which is generating the illusion. Wherever the real world is, either it’s ruled by a god or it isn’t, and if so either it cares about us or it doesn’t. We can create a degree of separation from the big questions, but they don’t go away.

One thought on “> Repent, the Matrix has you…_”

  1. Well … a smart-ass comment – with prior apologies if it upsets sentiments.

    If I got the Matrix trilogy right, then you die in the real world if you die in the matrix. So its best to follow the reasonable path in the matrix, unless you know how to manipulate the matrix like Neo.

    Even if some atheists think they are in a matrix of some sort, given the general levels of skepticism atheists tend to have, its quite probable they would not believe that they know how to manipulate the matrix or that they have any ability to manipulate the matrix or that by praying to the chief architect (or consulting with the oracle) they’d get things sorted out.
    So they’ll probably still allow themselves to be guided by science and reason. And they’d probably hope that this science and reason would help them ultimately discover the nature of the matrix.

    My parallel question is – what about theists who believe in God and similar stuff? Do they all choose to adopt science, reason and healthy skepticism, like an atheist typically would? Some of them probably do … but a lot many others don’t – which explains a lot of religious friction and tension the world currently has.

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