The Simulation Argument, further explanation, personally:
OK, OK, I'm not saying that I actually think another, earlier civilization created a simulation of our universe, and that we're all just computer programs. But I think now that there IS something more going on around here, something more than just dumb matter.
Let me explain. ... Way back when, I used to like to read books about physics. Nature is mind-boggling. And one of the most interesting things I read was this: Nature apparently behaves exactly like a simulation. This idea had actually popped-up in physics some decades earlier, I think, and so it's not a new idea. Just a curious observation.
...And I know from philosophy-reading that for centuries individuals have fancifully conjectured that our cosmos is "an idea in God's head" or "an immaterial abstraction" running its course... or a dream God once had (or NIGHTMARE?). I don't actually remember the descriptions, but it was something like that.
...So all these strange ideas have been floating around in my head for some time. And then I came across The Simulation Argument on the WWW. Wow, I thought. A powerful, simple, logical argument for the existence of a greater intelligence. Wow. It blew me away. I looked at the stars in a new way. I looked at granules of sand in a new way. All was suddenly instilled with intelligence.
I mean, from the physics side, think about this: Everything is made of atoms. And what is an atom? An atom contains NOTHING, basically. Just a set of FORCES, which can be described, in a sense, as a set of INSTRUCTIONS. There really is no "stuff" in atoms, and thus there is no "stuff" in any physical entity, not in the stars, not in grains of sand, not in our bodies. Just forces/instructions. The job of physics and science is to "figure-out" these instructions.
But the obvious question is, "Where the heck did these dang instructions COME FROM??!!!" That particular question just about killed me, literally. For years I read and read, got more and more depressed, but kept getting up each morning and looking at the grains of sand, and I would just shake my head. And then, for me, something amazing happened: I kept living. I kept finding that I would indeed awaken each morning, over and over, days and days, and nights and nights... And the years passed. That's an amazing thing.
So I relaxed. I stopped thinking about all this gut-wrenching stuff, the questions of ORIGIN. And somewhere along the curve of my lifetime, I got a job as a truck driver (somehow) and drove cross-country, alone, alone with my thoughts, FOR TWELVE YEARS.
And now I find myself in the 21st Century, living as an artist (somehow: another miracle), getting up each morning, and shaking my head at the grains of sand in my sandals, and I'm amazed, because the simulation argument has helped me APPRECIATE the cosmos again, and appreciate the questions, and, really, wonder.
So did an earlier civilization create us? Maybe. I don't know. Did a "Godhead" fashion this reality from a type of machine? Maybe. I don't know. But what I FEEL is that there is definitely something going on here. Here, within this set of instructions we call our lives, our jobs, friends, pets, thoughts.
Here, looking at my keyboard, I am shocked to feel its warmth, a living thing, this keyboard, living with intelligence, its smooth surface communicating with my skin: "Feel this? Feel this? Good. I feel you too."