Proponents of transhumanism seem to believe they (we?) will one day be able to simulate, or even create, consciousness. According to the originator of the computer reality simulation theory, Nicholas Bostrom, there are only three possibilities for humanity:
1. We’re literally living in a computer simulation
2. There is a strong aversion in advanced civilizations to making “ancestor simulations”—that is, highly evolved civilizations have no interest in making what are essentially video games of their past
3. Something destroys all civilizations before they’re able to advance to the point where they are technologically capable of simulating consciousness
I’m struck by the blind spot regarding consciousness. It almost seems casual to Bolstrom – a given – that we will one day be able to simulate consciousness. Like Musk, he’s simultaneously wrong AND onto something he doesn’t appear to be aware of. 1. Yes, we are living in a kind of of simulation (although not a computer one). 2. is completely uninteresting and irrelevant and need not be discussed. 3. Yes, something may indeed destroy all civilizations (as described in Chapter 2), yet simulating consciousness has nothing to do with stopping it. In The Matrix movies human mind was enslaved but consciousness was not created. It might appear that some of the characters who were not human in the Matrix had consciousness. Despite appearances, true consciousness cannot be programmed. No matter how smart AI becomes it can never be conscious. It would ultimately be psychopathic. Even if programmed to be kind, it would simply be psychopathically empathic.
Perhaps pre-existing consciousness could come to inhabit a computer or robot. One could call it possession. Reading Tom Campbell’s Big Toe. Reality is nested. The material world is nested within the consciousness world. We are the only creatures we know of who have evolved to a point where we have become self aware to contemplate being. Transhumanism ideology reduces consciousness to a material computer. The computer metaphor might work to understand reality, but our consciousness is more powerful than any material computer or AI can ever become.