A lot of far-out physics and math types are into the notion that our universe is a gigantic simulation being run on an unimaginable computer. I am not aware of any evidence for this, but some very smart people find it compelling.
So I have been toying with this idea. What would it mean for us to accept it?
And this has led me into daydreaming about launching a cult, the Faith of the Simulator. What would the tenets of this new religion be? What would be its symbols, its rites?
On ethics: should we maintain that since this is a simulation – an experiment, as it were – nothing really matters? Should we say that since the Simulator put us here, our mission is just to experience the simulation to its fullest, to explore it in every possible way? Or should we take the existential approach, and say that since the Simulator gave us no ethical parameters, it is up to us to make the world meaningful as best we can?
Since the Simulator filled the universe with stars and planets, should we consider this a commandment to explore them?
Or should we instead look inward, on the assumption that the secrets of the universe are somehow coded into us, and must therefore be accessible through meditation on the Simulator and its Purpose?
And how should be feel about people in our world making simulations on our small, weak computers? Should we exalt them as the humans who are closest to the creator, whose acts best honor the commandment to walk in the Creator's path? Like, What Would the Simulator Do? (WWTSD)
In the course of this it occurred to me that if a prophet appeared in the world today with the power to do miracles, many people would take this as proof that we really are in a simulation, and wonder why the Simulator was messing with us in this way.