If this reality was proven to be a computer simulation, what would happen to religion?
Would it be the end of religion, or would it give religion a boost?
I’m unsure. I can see it both ways.
I will consider how this would effect Christianity. Apologies to those who are of other faiths, but I can only speak about Christianity, that is one of my limitations.
But please, do have a think about reconciling Sim Theory with your own faith tradition!
Scenario 1: it would destroy Christianity
Jesus’s miracles could be explained by the normal laws of The Simulation being bent, for dramatic effect. All miracles could be explained by The Simulation suspending the normal laws and, basically, putting on a show. They would no longer be miraculous as they could be explained.
The being who presented itself as God throughout the Old Testament would turn out to be The Simulation, not a Supreme Being. With only limited powers that are confined to within The Simulation and which are restrained by the limits of its programming. In short, the idea that the one people referred to as “God” is only limited and a mere machine would undermine the teachings and authority of scripture.
The bible would lose its authority as it would be seen as being a text aimed specifically at people living in a more primitive age, in which things are represented in terms of things they can understand and relate to. It would lose its universality. It would be possible to say that it was written for the benefit of people who are ignorant about the truth of The Simulation.
Jesus would be seen as being an Agent of The Simulation and not a part of the Godhead. So the Holy Trinity would be undermined. The Christ’s ministry would be reduced to being a simple drama, designed so as to create Christianity.
Also, the karmic system that is in effect would mean that “sin” and “forgiveness” would become less relevant concepts.
People would turn away from religion as Simulation Theory would have more up-to-date answers. Religion would be seen as belonging to a more ignorant age. Many people would become secular humanists, or deists – looking to above and beyond the confines of The Simulation for God.
Scenario 2: it would affirm Christianity
Jesus and his miracles could be said to have happened and the entity who presented itself as God throughout the Old Testament would be demonstrated to exist.
It would be possible for all the New Testament stories to be true, and the gospels to be an accurate account.
Perhaps when Jesus spoke of The Kingdom of God he was referring to The Simulation? And maybe Heaven referred to outside The Simulation, to base reality? “our father who are in Heaven” = “God exists outside of The Simulation and cannot be found within The Simulation”?
Also, people would see that this world and the universe in general were intelligently designed. And controlled by an intelligent entity. There would also be a purpose to running The Simulation, which would mean there is a purpose to human existence.
There would be proof of higher powers that are concerned about our welfare.
Also, Genesis could be literally true, at least in part.
Would people worship The Simulation? I imagine some would. It does of course have the ability to favour people and do stuff for them.
Also, I believe that The Simulation would be happy if more people became Christians. And that it believes the bible can be reduced to being a handy manual about how to be a good person. Even if its primary target audience were people who lived before knowledge of The Simulation (or even computers) was possible. Although Hindus have always understood certain aspects of The Simulation – such as Maya, Karma, and reincarnation.
If religions survived Sim Theory then we would surely enter into a new epoch of spirituality and enlightenment. And maybe there would be an increased interest in Hinduism?
And finally, one last thing: I believe Jesus Christ was real, but that he has exited The Simulation and now exists in Base Reality, in the form of an android. But I don’t know what he’s up to out there.
I think for some people it would affirm religion but for others it would destroy it. It would be interesting to see how this plays out.
It wouldn’t be the end of God though.
God could be displaced, he could be said to rule over the whole of reality, not just one simulation. It would still be possible to have a relationship with the Supreme Being, it’s just that there would be The Simulation between you and the Supreme Being. I believe that outside in Base Reality there is a God, and that that God has interacted with the people who live out there just as how the bible describes “God” interacting with humankind. I believe that an interested God is a part of Base Reality, hence the creators of The Simulation gave their simulation a God to make it more realistic!