May 13, 2019 - Atari World

British philosopher Nick Bostrum has a fascinating theory regarding our existence, which is that, well . . . we don’t exist! That is, as flesh and blood human beings, anyway. He argues, instead, that this life isn’t really life at all. We are all just computer simulations created by an alien race of techies. What we see around us, even what we ourselves are, is just part of a high-end computer game, kind of like “League of Legends” or “World of Warcraft,” except that we are not playing the game.

We are the game!

“There is a significant probability,” wrote Nick Bostrum, “that you are living in [a] computer simulation. I mean this literally: if the simulation argument is true, you exist in a virtual reality simulated in a computer built by some advanced civilization.” No need here to discuss the intricacies of Dr. Bostrum’s theory, except to say that, however interesting this Atari theory of life might be, and whatever at times convincing points he makes—it still doesn’t solve the ultimate question.

Let’s, for argument sake, assume he’s right: aliens with super Macs have created us and, instead of cells and chemicals and metabolizing masses of protein and water—we’re all just zeros and ones, computer algorithms taken to levels even the world’s fastest computer today, which is now at 200,000 teraflops (the same as approximately 6.3 billion people making a calculation at the same time, every second, for an entire year) still couldn’t even touch.

Fine, but the question remains: Who created the race of high-tech E.T.s? Dr. Bostrum’s Atari World theory of human origins and metaphysics, however interesting, still doesn’t answer the ultimate question, whose best answer remains what it has always been: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), which means that, far from being computer algorithms, we’re beings made it the image of God, the God who at Calvary died for us.