Nick Bostrom Agonistes
Many works of science fiction as well as some forecasts by serious technologists and futurologists predict
that enormous amounts of computing power will be available in future. Let us suppose for a moment that
these predictions are correct.
One thing later generations might do with their super powerful computers is run detailed simulations of
their forebears or of people like their forebears. Because their computers would be so powerful, they
could run a great many such simulations
Suppose that these simulated people are conscious (as they would be if the simulations were sufficiently
fine grained and if a certain quite widely accepted position in philosophy of mind is correct)
Then it could be the case that the vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original race but
rather to people simulated by advanced descendants of an original race.
It is then possible to argue that, if this were the case, we would be rational to think that we are likely
among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones
Therefore if we don’t think we are currently living in a computer simulation, we = not entitled to believe
that will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears