First, I'm not "resisting a conversion". I'm disagreeing with your position that a hidden variable is even more likely to be a mind than something else.

you are the one basically adding souls

I absolutely am not adding souls. This makes me think you didn't really read my argument. I'll present this a different way: human brains are incredibly complex. So complex, in fact, we still don't fully understand them. With a background in computer science, I know that you can't simulate something accurately without at least having a very accurate model. Currently, we have no accurate model of the brain, and it seems that the first accurate model we may get is just simulating every neuron at some level. What I'm saying is that unless that level we simulate neurons on is sufficiently small, there will be obvious errors. Perhaps this is feasible to simulate some human minds, even at the level of quantum mechanics.

My claim against a simulation being run in our universe that could sufficiently trick a human is this: There is not enough energy. This can be understood by thinking about the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and recognizing that to fully simulate something would require giving that thing the actual energy it has; to simulate an electron, you would need to give it the charge of an actual electron, or else it would not interact properly with its environment. Then it follows, if everything is simulated with its actual energy, it would take more energy than the universe has to simulate, because practically we lose energy to heat every time we try to fight entropy in some small way. The conclusion is that the universe is precisely simulating itself, which is indistinguishable from reality.

The need for this perfect simulation is a consequence of maintaining the observable complexity that is apparent in the formulations of these hypotheses by people like Bostrom. I wouldn't claim humans being in a simulation is impossible - my claim is that our own civilization cannot perfectly recreate itself.

So there's no actual good reason to believe we're in a simulation of ourselves, unless you take Bostrom's arbitrary operations on even more arbitrary numbers as evidence. Which I obviously don't think anyone should.

Finally, as I said before, the claim of a simulation makes no predictions, and we can't even know a way, if any, of proving we're in a simulation - except by construction, which seems impossible as outlined above. So, with no way to prove we're in a simulation, no way to prove a god exists, and no decent way to even make a reasonable estimate of the likelihood of either, the potential mechanisms that created the universe should be part of random distribution until we can sufficiently understand and test physical processes at a deeper level.

It feels like you are answering the old question of whether God could create a rock he couldn't lift by explaining that lifting is hard.

Like, the idea that an entity simulating our universe wouldn't be able to do that, because they'd run out of energy doesn't pass even the basic sniff test.

Say 'our' universe, the one that you and I observe, is a billionth the size of a real one. Say they are running it so that we get a second every time they go through a trillion years. Say that all of us but me are p-zombies, and they only simulate the rest of y'all eve... (read more)

Any Christians Here?

by DragonGod 2 min read12th Jun 201777 comments


I’m currently atheist; my deconversion was quite the unremarkable event. September 2015 (I discovered HPMOR in February and RAZ then or in March), I was doing research on logical fallacies to better argue my points for a manga forum, when I came across Rational Wiki; for several of the logical fallacies, they tended to use creationists as examples. One thing lead to another (I was curious why Christianity was being so hated, and researched more on the site) I eventually found a list of how the bible outright contradicts Science and realized the two were mutually incompatible—fundamentalist Christianity at least. I faced my first true crisis of faith and was at a crossroads: “Science or Christianity”? I initially tried to be both a Christian and an atheist, having two personalities for my separate roles, but another Christian pointed out the hypocrisy of my practice, so I chose—and I chose Science. I have never looked back since, though I’ve been tempted to “return to my vomit” and even invented a religion to prevent myself from returning to Christianity and eventually just became a LW cultist. Someone said “I’m predisposed to fervour”; I wonder if that’s true. I don’t exactly have a perfect track record though…
In the times since I departed from the flock, I’ve argued quite voraciously against religion (Christianity in particular (my priors distribute probability over the sample space such that P(Christianity) is higher than the sum of the probabilities of all other religions. Basically either the Christian God or no God at all. I am not entirely sure how rational such an outlook is, especially as the only coherent solution I see to the (paradox of first cause)[] is an acausal entity, and YHWH is not compatible with any Demiurge I would endorse.)) and was disappointed by the counter-arguments I would receive. I would often lament about how I wish I could have debated against myself before I deconverted (an argument atheist me would win as history tells). After discovering the Rationalist community, I realised there was a better option—fellow rationalists. 
Now this is not a request for someone to (steel man)[] Christianity; I am perfectly capable of that myself, and the jury is already in on that debate—Christianity lost. Nay, I want to converse and debate with rationalists who despite their Bayesian enlightenment choose to remain in the flock. My faith was shattered under much worse epistemic hygiene than the average lesswronger, and as such I would love to speak with them, to know exactly why they still believe and how. I would love to engage in correspondence with Christian rationalists.
1. Are there any Christian lesswrongers?
2. Are there any Christian rationalists?

Lest I be accused of no true Scotsman fallacy, I will explicitly define the groups of people I refer to:

  1. Lesswronger: Someone who has read/is reading the Sequences and more or less agrees with the content presented therein.
  2. Rationalist: Someone who adheres to the litany of Tarski.

I think my definitions are as inclusive as possible while being sufficiently specific as to filter out those I am not interested in. If you do wish to get in contact with me, you can PM me here or on Lesswrong, or find me through Discord. My user name is “Dragon God#2745”.
Disclaimer: I am chronically afflicted with a serious and invariably fatal epistemic disease known as narcissist bias (this is a misnomer as it refers a broad family of biases). No cure is known yet for narcissist bias, and I’m currently working on cataloguing and documenting the disease in full using myself as a test case. This disease affects how I present and articulate my points—especially in written text—such that I assign a Pr of > 0.8 that a somebody would find this post condescending, self-aggrandising, grandiose or otherwise deluded. This seems to be a problem with all my writing, and a cost of living with the condition I guess. I apologise in advance for any offence received, and inform that I do not intend to offend anyone or otherwise hurt their sensibilities.
I think I’ll add this disclaimer to all my posts.