The Doomsday Simulation Argument. Or why isn't the end nigh, and you're not living in a simulation.

Aranyosi, Mr. István A. (2004) The Doomsday Simulation Argument. Or why isn't the end nigh, and you're not living in a simulation. (Unpublished)

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According to the Carter-Leslie Doomsday Argument, we should assign a high probability to the hypothesis that the human species will go extinct very soon. The argument is based on the application of Bayes’s theo-rem and a certain indifference principle with respect to the temporal location of our observed birth rank within the totality of birth ranks of all humans who will ever have lived. According to Bostrom’s Simulation Argument, which appeals to a weaker indifference principle than the Doomsday Argument, at least one of the following three propositions must be true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a posthuman stage, (2) it is very unlikely that some posthuman civili-zation will run a significant number of ancestor simula-tions, (3) it is almost sure that we are living in a com-puter simulation. According to my Doomsday Simulation Argument, both of the following propositions must be true: (1) it is almost sure that the human species will not go extinct before reaching a posthuman stage, (2) it is almost sure that we are not living in a computer simulation.

Item Type:Other
Additional Information:This is a combination of two paradoxical arguments –the Doomsday Argument (John Leslie) and the Simulation Argument (Nick Bostrom), without involving any paradox. Hopefully, not any non-paradox is uninteresting as well.
Keywords:doomsday, simulation, induction, probability, extinction, matrix, skepticism.
Subjects:Philosophy > Epistemology
ID Code:3404
Deposited By: Aranyosi, Mr. István A.
Deposited On:27 Jan 2004
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

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Aranyosi, István A., 2004: ‘Scientistic Weltanschauung, Cyborg Dignity, and Cybernethics’ (MS).

Bostrom, Nick, 2002: ‘Existential Risks. Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards’, Journal of Evolution and Technology, Vol. 9.

Bostrom, Nick, 2003: ‘Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?’, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243-255.

Epstein, Joshua M. and Axtell, Robert T., 1996: Growing Artificial Societies. Social Science from the Bottom Up, Brooking Institute Press, MIT Press.

Chalmers, David J., 2003: ‘The Matrix as Metaphysics’, philosophy section of

Leslie, John, 1996: The End of the World, London: Routledge.

Levin, Harold L., 1996: The Earth Through Time, 5th edition, Saunders College Publishing.

Smith, Quentin, 1998: ‘Essay on Leslie's The End of the World’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 28, No. 3., pp. 413-434.


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