Instigator / Pro
4
1432
rating
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Topic

Assuming We live in a simulation it is better to be significant than morally good

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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3
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2
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1
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1

With 1 vote and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

RationalMadman
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Philosophy
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We must consider the fact that the universe is a simulation, and if it is a simulation, in my opinion it is better to have significant influence on society than it is to be a "good person". It would be better to be a serial killer who becomes famous than a person who regularly attends church, donates large amounts of money to charity and is loved by everyone around her.

similarly, it would be better if youwere a significant player in historical events such as Adolph Hitler than it would be that you were Jimmy Carter who will be barely mentioned in history books 50 years from now. Assuming a simulated environment, I think it would be more amusing to our creators to see us impact society on a large scale than to merely be a good person. Obviously ideally you would be significant and good on a grand scale and in an obvious way, but having to choose between significant only like Hitler or good like my grandmother who passed away and was loved by everyone around her, it would have been better to be Hitler

Anyway, I hope this is a fun debate for whoever accepts and the readers.

Round 1
Pro
Made In Their Image

In thinking about how knowledge of being in a simulation, should affect our behavior we should first look at the likely nature of our simulation. We are assuming that simulation theory is true, and so I won’t spend too much time arguing it as true, but I think it is reasonable to assume that these are ancestor simulations of some sort, and if not at the very least we are very similar to what our Creators are like. When we create games, or watch movies or write works of fiction or any of the numerous ways we create crude world simulations, they are usually composed of beings just like us. Even when we create aliens, typically they are like us in most ways other than physical appearance.

Knowing how we think, is a big clue as to how our creators think. We are most likely a ancestor simulation, but if we are anything else, it still stands to reason that we our very much like our creators, and nothing to alien to them.

Giving Life Meaning

If life does not have meaning, than it doesn’t much matter what we do. If I were to go around raping sexy guys like Brad Pitt or Sean Connery, that would not be much different than if I were Mother Theresa, and going around saving the world. Life is meaningless, it doesn’t matter what I do. I am going to die anyway, and be put in overwritten in the simulation by whatever life form that follows.

At best, if we can not achieve immortality than we should embrace some sort of hedonism, so we at the very least can enjoy the moment, even though that does not matter either, since we will die. I would take it and say that if we are forced to live a meaningless life and die, than we have a moral obligation to create, super men (ubermensch) who can have a meaningful life by living forever. If we can not have meaning, the least we can do is make way for a person who can live a meaningful life.

What if we can instead of making way for the ubermensch, become ubermensch. If we can become this man who has overcome death, and weak human values, often put on men as shackles and forms of manipulation to either advantage the poor, such as values of charity and monogamy or values that advantage the wealthy such as the false concept of meritocracy and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, than we have an obligation to become this ubermensch whose existence gives meaning to life.

Give Me 3 Steps

A song by Lynryd Skynrd encapsulates my philosophy perfectly and starts off as follows

I was cutting the rug
Down at place called The Jug
With a girl named Linda Lou
When in walked a man
With a gun in his hand
And he was looking for you know who
He said, "Hey there, fellow
With the hair colored yellow
Whatcha tryin' to prove?
'Cause that's my woman there
And I'm a man who cares
And this might be all for you

The gentleman in this based on true life song, found his life on the line, and he knew that this other man wanted to kill him. He couldn’t change the guys mind on whether he would attempt to kill him or not, but he could merely ask for a chance. Just give him 3 steps towards the door.

Simulation or not, we are most likely going to die, but we have a chance to give our life meaning. Maybe it is an extremely small chance, but if the chance exists we should take it, or else have all our actions be meaningless when we drift into the eternal void.

Leo Tolstoy discusses this problem as well. He says that for life to have some sort of meaning Than there has to be something worth doing, actions with impermanent effects on the world we perceive will at some point stop mattering. For our actions to matter, they have to have some permanent affect. (taken from an essay called Transhumanism and the Meaning of Life by Anders Sandberg).

The Tolstoy argument shows we should strive for an eternal lifespan AKA immortality.

Why I am a Bitch

In another thread I state the following

My goal here is just to make my life enjoyable for observers. When I finger myself, I do so as if people are watching. Putting on a show for our creators. When I have sex, I do the same thing. I am a bitch to inferior men who hit on me, for example because the interaction will be funnier if people are watching. I assume our creators will see I am amusing to watch and maybe save me to put me in different environments instead of just letting my program end once I reach natural death. The same way DC can not let superman die, because he is too loved by his observershttps://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/3497/the-possibilities-for-immortality

Why do I do this?

Well we know 2 things by now

P1- Our creators are a lot like us
P2- We should strive for immortality

Having these 2 premises handy, we can deduce exactly what we can do to achieve immortality. We keep compelling character around in the universes we create, even after they have died several times. Jason Vorhees has been in 12 films and has died 13 times. Chucky from Child’s Play has died about 6 or 7 times, The Joker dies about every other time a Batman comic is printed.

What do these characters and all characters have in common? They are compelling to watch. We grant these characters immortality. If you want to be rescued, from the grips of death, you are better off being a complete jerk like the guys I typically date, than you are being a good little boy.

CONCLUSION

Thank you con for participating in this interesting debate with me. I hope I have convinced you and all the people reading this debate to be jerks. I know I have convinced myself.

Con
Message to all on DDO, DI, CD and DART who want to mess with me in the field of philosophy: https://youtu.be/Qac_Y1UUJSk?t=26


Non-Kritik Angle #1: The main characters in a story are the least likely to live up to their role.

You are pleasing an audience, or at the very least you are playing a role in this simulation, yes? The surest way to set yourself up for failure is to try and fulfil a main or semi-main role in the storyline. I'm not saying don't try to be significant, but there's absolutely no way to default that as a superior thing for the average reader of this debate to aim for, or anyone really, than being morally good.

Non-Kritik Angle #2: Having the outsiders root for you almost certainly will make them help you be significant, or at least successful.

This may appear like a Kritik. It's not. Assuming we are simulated and that these outsiders care how we behave and operate within it on any person-by-person level of precision, the superior thing to aim for is be an individual that benefits the rest of the simulation and is a character the onlookers can't help but concede is a good person. It's safer to assume that they also have morals and will enjoy that, since we know nothing much about them but we are indeed (as Pro concedes) safer figuring that they built the most complex species of Earth to represent more of them than the rest and humans root for good guys, in general. There may be some weird ones who root for villains, however this is about the safer bet of the two to go for. The best part, and where this can lead into a Kritik, is that they most likely will help a good person become significant and/or successful, whereas they are not likely to help a significant person in any long-term sense unless that person is using it in a heroic manner. Much like a story is a safer bet when rooting for the hero as authors almost always do that, the runners of the simulation are more likely to do this for you if you are good, regardless of your particular significance in the first place. A simpler way to put it, is that being immoral is the surest path to them rigging the storyline against you, as that consistently is what we do to our simulated fictional stories and seems pretty instinctive.

==

Kritik-Angle #1: 'Assume' is a major factor of this resolution that is ignored by Pro.
Are we seriously supposed to suggest that when assuming we are in a simulation that we would bet so hard on it that we betray everyone around us, being as merciless and corrupt as possible so long as it helps us become more significant? Do you not see a fundamental problem with suggesting that leap? Even if we wholeheartedly assume that we are in a simulation, we only know what's within the simulation, and so we are better off operating in a sane and pleasant way with the other beings we know of, rather than going ahead and assuming not just that we're in a simulation but that we know what the outsiders are going to root for or not. What we do know for sure is that you can be a good or evil person within the simulation's context(s) and that being good is fundamentally more desirable if this is real (which Pro indirectly concedes as it seems she is basing not bothering to care about this solely because of the simulation aspect).

Kritik-Angle #2: Significance is just as initially arbitrary but even more ultimately futile than moral good if we are simulated.
The major flaw in Pro's entire case is that it is corrupted from its core; that being significant isn't arbitrary while moral good is, in a simulation. If we're actually simulated and this is all for nothing, what does it matter how much our simulated character is known at all? Would it not matter more that our character was the type that could be rooted for even if fictional? Would it not matter more that we were pleasant to others within the simulation and has a net beneficial effect on them? Surely that would matter more than our 'game character' being known in a more immediate and fast-spreading manner during its era of the simulation's storyline.

Kritik-Angle #3: What exactly leads us to assume there isn't infinite simulation regression?
Assuming we are in a simulation, our creators are also presumed to be simulated, right? How are we determining that they aren't? I'm geniunely curious about this and would appreciate Pro to clarify it. I don't think this Kritik is even possible to counter. If we are flat out defaulting reality that has no explicable origin as being simulated, then that same logical framework would surely lead us to assume that the 'outside' of this simulation is just an outer layer of a very intricate, if not infinite, onion. The extension of this is, then, that our significance to those outside the simulation is completely arbitrary and irrelevant, whereas it only is good in our simulation to be significant if you also are morally good, while being morally good is good regardless as it's de facto 'good'.

Kritik-Angle #4: Significance makes no sense in a simulated reality while moral good still does (an evolution of Kritik-Angle #2).
Being pleasant, net beneficial and and a 'good person' means the rest of the simulation benefitted as much as it could from your existence. Being 'significant' is not even sensible to aim for in a simulation. If you were meant to be significant, you'd be significant no matter what you aimed for. How do you even know how significant Hitler is to the simulators? For all you know, he's a spec of dust and they were far more intrigued by his victims and rivals. You literally can't have the slightest clue what or who they find significant vs insignificant but you can have an idea, completely, how to be morally good in the simulation making it far more sensible to aim for.
Round 2
Pro

I

In this debate, we are assuming we live in a simulation, so any defense that rests on the fact, we might be wrong is beside the point and should be ignored. It says it right in the resolution. The voters should assume we live in a simulation, as should the actors in the simulation deciding between good or significant. Whether the actors are wrong or not is speculation and should be ignored, because they are assuming that they live in a simulation. This is not giving it a 90% chance or even a 99% likelihood, they live in one. The resolution directly implies they are ignoring any doubts, and are selling out to the ideal they live in a simulation.

II

Con argues that because a character is worthy of being rooted for, they will be rooted for, but this is ridiculous. We see countless examples of where the good guy is hated. In Ferris Bueler’s day off, the truancy officer is hated. In Breaking Bad, Skyler is a good woman, but everyone hates her. Even in Batman, The Joker has a huge fan base, while whoever the hell Batman’s love interest was in the movie is forgotten. Fan’s love seeing the Joker resurrected and saved 100 times, while nobody asked for his girl who got killed attached to the gas canister to be brought back from The Dark Knight.

Fan theories online try to justify Walter White coming back because the actor twitched in the final scene, while nobody gives a shit if they see Skyler again. People are still begging for a Ferris Bueler remake. Anybody watching a simulation or even playing one, wants to see the significant people, even if they hate them. Just like in pro wrestling. The fans wouldn’t see a show with just the good guys, or even with good guys that are undercards.

A simulation will be there for entertainment, and if you want your best chance of being resurrected or immortalized, you better start being a villain.

III

Con argues that, if you are seen as a bad guy but significant than you will have the simulation turned against you. Your goals will fail, you will find roadblocks in your way. You will never become successful in your endeavors. Partially this is true. Lex Luthor never really did kill off Super Man. He was a billionaire who got mad pussy, and lived a life of comfort, but he never did kill Superman, so I guess he is a failure. Meanwhile our successful characters succeed in the end, after their parents are shot leaving a theater in Batman’s case, or burned alive in a fire like Bambi’s case or sometimes after years of wrongful imprisonment like in the case of the Count of Monte Cristo.

I think most of us would prefer the failure of Lex Luthor to the success of these people like Batman and Bambi who had their parents murdered, or the count who was put in prison.

I already laid out the argument for why survival should take precedence over everything in round 1. I also explained why your good deeds are meaningless if everyone ends up dead, in round one. There have been no rebuttals yet for those arguments, but my round one acts as a rebuttal for most if not all of what con says.

IV

Con argues we can’t know what will be considered significant or not, so we should lean towards good, but there are problems with that. I explain in round one, why it doesn’t matter if we are good or bad if everyone is just going to die anyway. I explained why are primary concern should be permanence. Even if we can’t know what are creators find significant, con has already conceded we are most likely like our creators, so this is untrue. As a society we are pretty predictable. We don’t care if a character is good or bad, only that they are significant. They make a huge impact on events in the story.

A lot of times, we want our characters to be bad guys, we prefer the lawlessness of the “heros”, sometimes we love serial killers. If I ever murder somebody, you can bet your ass, it will be in a very entertaining way. We just want to be entertained. Our creators are the same way.

V

My opponent asks, what if it is simulations all the way down. Our creators are also simulated. This really is a scary scenario. If we are 100 simulations deep, that is 100 points of failure. The end of the world could happen in a million different ways. However it does not change the fact that, our best chance of obtaining eternal life is to have some sort of significance.

VI

The creators of this simulation are unlikely to create a heaven or hell for us. The reason being is that computational power is likely going to cost too much to keep billions of human level artificial intelligence in another environment, and then you have to get people to go through the trouble of creating the programming for an entirely new world known as heaven. I am not even going to go into the ethical dilemmas of creating a hell to torture people in. Any suggestion that a good life will lead to an existence in heaven is silly for that reason as well as that it is unlikely anything our creators will care to do, especially for boring characters.

CONCLUSION

I await Con arguing for why morality matters, particularly mattering more than self preservation. Is it really better to give to the homeless than to get a heart transplant to save your own life? Similar scenario as to what he is suggesting in this debate. I await con’s response to any of my round one arguments which preemptively have already done enough to act as rebuttals for his round one arguments. I also ask for conduct points for the cocky you tube video he posted at the beginning of his debate.

Con


This is not giving it a 90% chance or even a 99% likelihood, they live in one. 
No. When making moral decisions from inside the simulation, you don't know that you are in a simulation, you are assuming it. Assuming you are in a simulation is literally as follows:

assume
verb
B2
to accept something to be true without question or proof:
[ + (that) ] I assumed (that) you knew each other because you went to 

If you are going to accept it as true without question or proof, you are pretty insane to begin with. As Con, I am completely entitled to attack that part of the resolution, it is a Kritik and it is valid. The assumption of us living in a simulationis what I am attacking with that angle and the retort is that I'm not allowed to. Where did we agree upon that?

The resolution directly implies they are ignoring any doubts, and are selling out to the ideal they live in a simulation.
Yeah, and that's batsh** crazy to do. I am arguing that doing that is wrong to do and certainly not a sufficient basis to justify being immoral if it happens to make you significant. Infinite regression also makes complete sense and is a fundamental flaw that Pro has yet to address. If we assume this reality is simulated based solely on not knowing the origin, we must assume those outside it are also simulated. Pro pseudo-'addressed' this saying it's 'scary'.

==

 In Ferris Bueler’s day off, the truancy officer is hated. In Breaking Bad, Skyler is a good woman, but everyone hates her. 
Says who? I'm a fan of Skyler actually. Not sure what you mean. If people hate her, that's their issue. Can you actually prove she's good? I can prove she was significant and that she had to be significant in order to be hated so much in the first place. Kind of backfires on you there. See, Pro is trying to say that I am wrong to argue that being a 'good guy' brings on significance in a story and that they will help you throughout. 

Spoiler Alert


Skyler lives to the end and Walter White dies... So does Gus Fring and many other bad guys. Skyler doesn't just live, she thrives both throughout the series and at the end. Not too sure about this 'day off' series, gonna go ahead and dismiss that with as little proof as was provided.

Even in Batman, The Joker has a huge fan base,
Okay, so does Batman, Batman beats the Joker in every single version of events and thrives throughout and after. What does that tell you? Which is more fundamentally important? Being significant without being good forces you to be the loser on almost all storylines. Being good without being significant at least makes you able to be rooted for and more likely to last.

while whoever the hell Batman’s love interest was in the movie is forgotten.
Batman has many lovers, that is why. From Poison Ivy to Catwoman, his lovers have generall been in morally grey if not flat out dark areas.

Fan theories online try to justify Walter White coming back because the actor twitched in the final scene, while nobody gives a shit if they see Skyler again.
Another baseless assertion. This is about what the storyline actually does, not what some bitter fans hope for. Those that actually run the simulation, if assumed to function like humans, aren't necessarily going to be afraid to disappoint some fans for the 'greater good'. Directors oftentimes do this, as I have proven throughout this backfiring onto Pro for the examples raised.

It doesn't matter how big the Big Bad is or how puny The Hero is—not only can the Kid Hero foil the Galactic Conqueror, despite how improbable it logically ought to be, but the audience expects it, and will be sincerely shocked if he doesn't.

This trope is so omnipresent, especially in works with Black and White Morality, that attempts to subvert it can easily lead to Like You Would Really Do It, and any work with a Downer Ending where The Bad Guy Wins for once automatically catapults itself to the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. (Except for certain circumstances, like if the villain winning won't actually hurt anything.)

Side effects of this trope may include Plot ArmorInvincible Incompetent, and Underdogs Never Lose. Compare Happy Ending and Happily Ever After, which are closely related, and Invincible Hero, where not only does the good guy win in the end, but he also wins in every intermediate step. Contrast The Bad Guy Wins. See also Villain Protagonist.

The villainous counterpart to this trope is You Can't Thwart Stage One—the good guy's victories always come at the end, and the bad guy's victories always come at the beginning and/or in the middle.

==

Con argues that, if you are seen as a bad guy but significant than you will have the simulation turned against you. Your goals will fail, you will find roadblocks in your way. You will never become successful in your endeavors. Partially this is true.
Not partially, the entire remainder of Pro's arguments are concessions to Con with 'but' following to slant the harshness away.

==

 I explain in round one, why it doesn’t matter if we are good or bad if everyone is just going to die anyway.
I explain in Round one why it doesn't matter if we are significant or unknown if everyone is just going to die anyway and this entire reality is virtual. Instead it matters and is only possibly coherent that we be good and benefit those around us in the simulation so as best to assist those outside it in the 'real reality' see the most net benefit of our existence to both them and the simulation (since if we are good to our simulation, why not be good to them?).

==
Round 3
Pro
I am too lazy to write this round. Just get a pin and a paper and put our arguments in a formal fashion and then look at our premises and rebuttals and I am the obvious winner. Seriously get out a pen and a paper and do it. Thanks RM for the debate. 
Con

What does this tell you? Pro has conceded pretty much. Watch how that sword is lain down in the face of the morally correct 'good guy' here; Con. I am the hero and that is why I won, for we are in a simulated reality (or at least I assume so). Tell me, realistically, what explanation other than this simulated reality ending up rigging things in my favour will justify Pro randomly going from hardcore trying to plain and simply refusing to defend against a single hole torn in her arguments as provided by me in Round 2?

I am noticing here that this simulated reality has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the resolution is true, for it helped me win this debate and I was indeed on the morally correct side.

==

Let's lay out what Pro tried to do

Pro told you that nothing matters in a simulated world and that therefore neither does being good. Pro essentially worded this same line of logic in a few different ways and slotted in some waffling and quotes but this was basically the entirety of Pro's case.

Let's lay out what Con responded with

That sole line of attack was tossed aside by pointing out that if nothing matters, then being significant surely doesn't matter. This thrusted a slanted burden of proof on Pro to prove herself wrong in order to then prove that being significant could possibly matter. On top of this, it was made clear that being net-beneficial (in other words being 'good') to the simulated reality is the best bet you have to have those running it benefit and/or root for you. Thus, if anything mattered between significance or moral good, it must be at best moral good or at worst nothing at all.

All angles Con used in Round 2 were somewhat conceded since Pro had 0 retort to them in the final Round, you can read Con's pristine Round 2 to understand the rest of how Con won this debate. 

Vote Con, the simulated reality's destined victor.