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The Doomsday Simulation Argument. Or why isn't the end nigh and you're not living in a simulation.

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  • Confirmation/Induction
  • Technology

Abstract

According to the Carter-Leslie Doomsday Argument, we should assign a high probability to the hypothesis that the human species will go extinct very soon. The argument is based on the application of Bayes’s theo-rem and a certain indifference principle with respect to the temporal location of our observed birth rank within the totality of birth ranks of all humans who will ever have lived. According to Bostrom’s Simulation Argument, which appeals to a weaker indifference principle than the Doomsday Argument, at least one of the following three propositions must be true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a posthuman stage, (2) it is very unlikely that some posthuman civili-zation will run a significant number of ancestor simula-tions, (3) it is almost sure that we are living in a com-puter simulation. According to my Doomsday Simulation Argument, both of the following propositions must be true: (1) it is almost sure that the human species will not go extinct before reaching a posthuman stage, (2) it is almost sure that we are not living in a computer simulation.

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