Assessing Nick Bostrom’s claim that we are living in a simulation.

Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

You’ve probably heard the theory that the universe and all of existence is a simulation, specifically an ancestor simulation. This isn’t a fringe conspiracy theory, but an idea that has been touted by Elon Musk, Neil Degrass Tyson, and other very intelligent people.

In this article I’ll go over the initial philosophical argument for this idea called the Simulation Hypothesis put forth by philosopher Nick Bostrom in his paper “Are you living in a computer simulation?” and examine if there are any logical grounds to believe we really live in a simulation.

What’s the Simulation Hypothesis?

First, let’s take a look at the original…

What’s the difference between nihilism and absurdism? Is there any? Upon an initial reading, both philosophies may sound similar since both have to do with a lack of meaning and purpose in the world. But, there are some considerable and essential differences, which I’ll cover in this short article.

First, I’ll go over what existential nihilism associated with the philosophy of Fredrick Neitzche is and what absurdism associated with the philosopher Albert Camus is. Then, I’ll compare and contrast them so you can see the differences.

A medium commenter recently asked me what the difference was between nihilism and existentialism. So, in this short article, I will explain the difference between the two and give you some background on both.

Just to be clear, I’ll be focusing on existential nihilism associated with the philosophy of Fredrick Neitzche, and the existentialism associated with the 20th-century philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who popularized the term.

Why is there anything at all?

What if the answer to the question, is that no answer is needed? That there is a brute fact within existence that explains all of existence and itself needs no explanation?

Why is there something, rather than nothing? In this article, I’ll go over what I think the best response is to what Martin Heidegger called the fundamental question of metaphysics.

Before I dive into my answer let’s do a quick analysis of the fundamental question and the categories of all the possible responses to it.

First, there are two ways to ask the question

Version A. Why does anything at all exist, rather than nothing?

Version B. Why does anything at all exist?

Both questions assume something exists, but version A presupposes that the concept of nothing is a necessary…

Why is there something rather than nothing, or, better put, why is there anything at all? What if the best response to this question is that it’s unanswerable?

I’ll explore a variety of unanswerable responses to the question, including analyzing if the question itself makes sense and if it’s meaningful or not meaningful.

First, we can divide the “unanswerable response” to the fundamental question into two categories: Those who think the question is meaningless and those who think it is meaningful but still unanswerable.

Why is there something rather than nothing, or better put, why is there anything at all? Could the answer to one of the most fundamental questions in all of philosophy be that abstract objects actually explain existence? This sounds very strange but some very respected philosophers and physicists actually think so.

Think of the concept of ‘nothing’ as having different levels.

“Why is there something rather than nothing?” Or better put, “Why is there anything at all?”

This article will focus on the best necessitarian-theistic answers to this fundamental philosophical question. Specifically, it will review the cosmological arguments put forth by polymath Gottfried Leibniz and the kalām cosmological argument revitalized by Christian apologist William Lane Craig.

As you’ll see, these necessitarian-theistic responses claim that the answer to this fundamental question is that something, in this case God, necessarily has to exist, therefore making the concept of complete nothingness impossible.

Perhaps the biggest question in all of philosophy is ‘why is there anything at all’?

What if the answer to this question is just that something necessarily has to exist because a state of ‘nothing at all’ is impossible. This is called a necessitarian response to the fundamental question and in this article, I’ll investigate a necessitarian argument called modal realism that may explain what some consider the most important question humanity has ever asked.

What follows is a very brief exploration of modal realism and possible world theories. …

Perhaps the biggest question in all of philosophy is “why is there something rather than nothing?” or better put as discussed in the first video in this series, “why is there anything at all?”

What if the answer is that it’s just more probable that we exist rather than there being nothing at all?

If an infinite number of possible worlds could exist, and there is only one type of world with absolutely nothing in it, then it’s most likely that something will exist rather than nothing.

Imagine a dartboard that contains all possible combinations a universe can be. The…

Thinking Deeply with Ben

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