In response to a comment on my first post I wrote another one, as I wanted to connect A. J Ayer’s examination of moralism and determinism to the concepts of skepticism discussed earlier in the course. However, I felt my original post would have been too long winded if I included all of these thoughts.
If we are in fact living in a computer simulation or a false world of some sort then it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile the argument with the moralist with that of our false reality. However, if we postulate that the determinist is indeed correct in his thoughts that we cannot change the past, future, or any part of our destiny, then reconciling these thoughts with that of a false world is actually quite simple. As our world itself is false then our actions are simulated, pre-determined, and any actions we take in our false world would have absolutely no bearing on the future as our world has no connection to any “true” future, and no connection to the true world in which the computer simulating our world exists.
However, coming back to the argument of the moralist. If all of our actions are our own, and we are responsible for the consequences of our actions which in turn shape the future, then it is required that our simulated world have some preexisting connection to the “real” world, which can be found in the simulating computer and the scientists observing the aforementioned simulation. So if we postulate that scientists are observing our simulation and that these observations somehow alter the scientist’s mentality or perspective on life or the human experience, then our actions in our false world did in fact have consequences that shaped the future and can be accounted for.
I recognize for the moralist view to be reconciled with a ancestor simulation people from the “real world” must observe the simulation and gain some experience from the observation. However, if an ancestor simulation were to be created it would surely have some observers of some sort because without people to study the ancestor simulation creating the simulation itself would become pointless. Furthermore, for the argument of the moralist to succeed in an ancestor simulation the simulations cannot merely be “zombies” but rather need to be unaware simulated beings that believe themselves to living in a “true” reality. If all simulated beings were zombies then they would not develop any organic thoughts that would lead to any significant observations from the simulation. So based on this previous postulation we can indeed infer that the simulations would indeed by unaware organic simulations, and that people would be observing and learning from these organic simulations. So the actions of these simulations do indeed shape the future and we can indeed reconcile the argument with of ancestor simulations with that of the moralist.
I understand that one could attempt to refute my argument through postulating that by creating the ancestor simulation the scientists observations would be “pre-destined” as his observations were induced by actions in the simulation that would have not taken place if the simulation had not been created. So if he is pre-destined to learn from the ancestor simulation, which he himself created, then did, the actions of the scientists really alter the future at all? All I can say in response to this argument is that there is no degree of certainty to what the scientist will learn from observing the simulation. He could learn people are evil, people are lazy, or people are philanthropic and generous. And while one could predict what the scientist could learn by examining his character and his life experiences, one could never be 100% certain with that prediction. And once again, I postulate that this randomness associated with the human experience, is what enables realism and determinism to be reconciled, because while stimuli and experiences may shape one’s destiny, it does not make it 100% certain.