In an article in the Independent journalist Andrew Griffin reports, “Some of the world’s richest and most powerful people are convinced that we are living in a computer simulation. And now they’re trying to do something about it.” Before you dismiss this as an intellectual game for rich people, you should know that this is an intellectual game for rich people.
Wait. That didn’t quite work out how I planned. But it’s true. Unless I’m in the Matrix and someone is typing these thoughts into my head. Maybe that’s where all of my typos come from. I digress.
Let’s begin with Bank of America customers. You should know your bank thinks there is a 20-50% chance you are living in a computer simulation. You should know this already though. They sent a note to their customers last month (September 2016) to make you aware of your virtual fate. How’s that make you feel? Or, I should say, how does the computer programming your thoughts program you to feel?
Oh, and then there’s Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He’s pretty convinced we’re living in the Matrix too. Forty years ago we had Pong, he notes. Now we have virtual reality. Coincidence? He thinks not. But, if he really is on to something it can only be because someone on the outside programmed in an intentional trail of digital bread crumbs.
Let’s also make sure to include the international spokesperson for science himself, Neil deGrasse Tyson. He says the possibility that we are living in a simulation “may be very high.” Well, now you have it on good scientific authority, you’re not real. Hooray.
Can I just say this out loud. Good for Elon! Good on Bank of America! Way to go Neil. They all recognize the challenge of proving that we are real, that others are real, and that anything matters. Bravo. I think this is the kind of honest assessment we are stuck with if human rationality and science are the only reference points for finding truth.
I think that’s why we long for transcendence. Even in the movie “The Matrix,” there is a Savior figure, Neo, who’s trying to help set people free. Now there are billionaires in silicon valley trying to do the same thing.
In contrast, for the Bible believing Christian the thought that we are stuck in a virtual illusion is easily dismissed. The Bible reveals our origin in the creative work of God, our root problem in our rebellion against the Creator, and, wait for it, the solution to our human dilemma in the Creator coming down to set us free. Perhaps The Matrix borrowed a few talking points here.
For the Christian, there’s good reason to believe we are not in the Matrix. For the Bank of America, it’s a 50% chance.