If this is the case, then one possibility is that we are like a version of The Sims, and everything, including us, is virtual. But this would seemingly require the actual creation of a conscious mind within a machine, something which, from a technological perspective, is hard to envisage. There is another issue with this idea as well. In this case, we, as virtual beings, would definitely have a creator of some kind, and it isn’t clear why they would have any interest in creating a wholly virtual world in the first place. This is especially pertinent when you take into account all the suffering that the creator would have to create as well as us.

If we do live in virtual world, it is more likely we are plugged into a hi tech pair of VR goggles, which continuously generate our world, whilst at the same time manipulating our minds to make us forget that there is a real world outside the simulation. Now again, this technology is far more advanced than anything we currently have, but seems less difficult to create than the kind mentioned above.

And furthermore, it seems more likely that we might voluntarily sign up to experience something like this as well. Given the popularity of games like Second Life, it doesn’t seem to be much of a stretch to suggest people might plug themselves in to a machine that let them really experience a second life for a prescribed amount of time.

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