"The Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued that our entire cosmos could be running as a simulation on a supercomputer of the future. This, needless to say, is a bizarre claim, but it can be defended with a few surprisingly plausible assumptions."One assumption being:
"if we survive the next few centuries without annihilating ourselves, it is just a matter of time before we build computers capable of running virtual worlds populated by virtual people. Our descendants will likely do this, the way we create video games like The Sims."However, this implausibility does hinge on the mystery of defining consciousness and whether it can be reduced to computations.
"Of course, this is not an entirely serious conjecture, but it is not entirely unserious either. It isn’t obvious to me that there is something wrong with Bostrom’s simulation argument. It really does seem that one of these propositions must be true: Either (1) consciousness is not a matter of computation and cannot be simulated, or (2) we never do simulate it as a matter of fact (perhaps because we destroy ourselves in the interim), or (3) we stand a good chance of living in a simulation—to which I add a theological twist: This simulated cosmos might be every bit as ridiculous as Joseph Smith said it was.