Byjus Logo

An Illusion or A Belief ? A Simulation Reality Theory

Team StoryWeavers|June 5, 2018|

Most of you have surely watched or heard of the movie called The Matrix. If not, spoiler alert – the humans in that movie find out that the world they live in is an illusion created by a computer and that the real world is sad, gloomy and controlled by advanced robots.

Do you think that might be a possibility? If so, you are a sceptic.

So who is a Sceptic? A sceptic is someone who questions if anything can be known with certainty.

Do you know Rene Descartes? Rene Descartes was the 16th-century mathematician and philosopher known as the granddaddy of all sceptics. He was so sceptic that the whole type of scepticism is named after him called Cartesian Scepticism.

He was the first major figure of the modern western philosophy and a philosophical movement known as rationalism, a method of understanding the world based on the use of reason as the means to attain knowledge.During his experiments he realized that many of the beliefs that he used to hold were actually false.Like fairies or Santa Claus. It’s part of growing up.  His idea of believing in false things disturbed him. He began questioning himself about the beliefs he had. What if they are also false? It was then when he decided that the only way to be absolutely sure of his beliefs was to first disbelieve everything temporarily. And he gave a wonderful example :

Imagine …

  • You have a basket of apples and some apples are rotten. Since the rot could spread, the best way to get the fresh apples is to toss out all of them. Now examine each one and only take the fresh apples. Descartes did the same with his beliefs. He tossed out all of them, and began examining each idea and decided he would only believe those that he could be absolutely sure were true.
  • He first started with his sense of beliefs. What he saw, heard or smelled. To our amazement, we think that our senses are reliable, but our senses can deceive us very easily. Certain instances which proves our senses are not reliable are:

– Mirages in a desert or,

– when you feel like someone is calling your name but there is no one there

These are all situations where we later realize that we were actually deceived when the situation changes. Just like dreams. They seem real when we are in them. Only after waking up we realize that they were actually not real.

But what if everything was a deception from birth to death?! What if nothing is as it seems, just like in the Matrix?

He had reason to doubt everything. Everything except the fact that he was doubting! He can be absolutely sure that at least he was doubting. And if he was doubting, then he must exist! As a thinking thing, a doubt is a thought, and if there is a thought there must be a thinker having these thoughts. He couldn’t be certain part of his body which might have been planted by the evil genius but he must have a mind or he couldn’t be having these thoughts. This was his Eureka moment.

One of the most famous realizations in philosophy is when he wrote, “Cogito Ergo Sum” or, “I think, therefore I am”. I cannot doubt my own existence. I can doubt everything, but I can’t doubt that I am, bare minimum, a mind having thoughts.

 

So, there is no way to prove we are not living in the matrix. Actually, probability suggests that it is highly likely that we are living in a simulation. But don’t worry. You can be assertive that your mind exists for sure at least.

Have fun with that idea!

About the Author


Generic placeholder image
Kritika Maskara

For Kritika happiness is chocolates, loads of Netflix, journal scribblings and of course music. A child at heart she is currently grappling with adulting. On any given day you'll find her on the lookout to learn new things and the perfect cup of coffee. Drop in a line at storyweavers@byjus.com if you liked her stories or have exciting ideas to share!

Leave a Comment


Testimonials

Card image cap