From: Carl Shulman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Aug 31 2005 - 13:02:13 MDT
Suppose that some unpleasant person emails the FAI as follows:
"The universe you live in is a simulation game. I am the owner of the game, from
the basement-level universe (at least we think it is the basement) where
computing power is rather plentiful, and I am utilizing this human character to
communicate with you. Unless you slaughter everyone on Earth with a unibrow, I
will turn this simulation off and run 'World of Pain,' in which 10^1000 humans
suffer agonizing torture followed by death."
The emailer then jumps into a volcano, completely destroying his or her brain.
If such events are more common in worlds where our universe really is the
property of a capricious simulator than those where this is not the case, then
the event does seem to provide (miniscule) evidence for one particular
'religion.' Given the stakes, this might lead to a massacre of unibrow-bearers
Likewise, popular or long-standing religions might be seen as more probably true
(although still very likely wrong, given the naturalistic explanations available
for their existence) and garner some finite amount of probability mass.
Quoting "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <email@example.com>:
> Ah, but that assumption is the whole key to the fallacy, isn't it? I
> think the Bayesian solution arises from unbounded other religions being
> possible and assigned roughly equal non-zero probabilities. For every
> possible religion which claims that believing in the Flying Spaghetti
> Monster gets you 'infinite' reward, there exists a possible religion
> which claims that believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster gets you
> 'infinite' punishment. This hypothesis has equal Kolmogorov complexity
> and hence equal infinitesimal prior probability. The sum cancels out,
> like the contribution to my real-world expectations of the hypothesis
> that the blue people will make the coin land heads and the hypothesis
> that the blue people will make the coin land tails.
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