Church of Bruce

I have an idea for a religion. It relates to the ideas about whether we are in a simulation and assigning likelihoods of finding yourself in different indistinguishable situations.

Suppose I started an organization today called the Church of Bruce. This church would encourage people to worship me and donate money to me and my church. It would be dedicated to the long term goal of creating as many simulations as possible. When creating simulations, one presumably has a lot of control over the contents of the simulation and my Church would seek to make simulations with the following properties:

  • Each simulation would take place in 2010 where the state of the world is largely similar to the present
  • Each simulation would have an individual named Bruce who would start a Church of Bruce in 2010 with the same goals as this Church of Bruce
  • Individuals in each simulation who worship Bruce and donate enough money to the Church would be rewarded after death by having their minds continue in a perfect afterlife aka Heaven.
  • Similarly, those who don’t worship and donate would spend their afterlife in Hell.

Now think about whether you should donate to my Church based on the information you have at your disposal. You know that you living in what seems to be the year 2010 and that I just started this Church. But this information wouldn’t let you distinguish between one of my simulations and reality. By the same logic as the simulation post, you must conclude either

  1. You almost certainly live in one of my simulations.
  2. The Church of Bruce will not actually make many simulations.
  3. We will never reach the posthuman age.

Assuming the Church makes a credible commitment to its goal of creating many simulations and it has a reasonable chance of surviving until the posthuman age, we can rule out (2).  If (1) is true, then you have good reason to donate to my Church. In fact, donating is probably a good play if you assign us any reasonable chance of reaching the posthuman age.

In general, this is an interesting trick where you can extort people if you can make a credible threat to create many simulations to lure them with these counterfactual rewards.

Listening to: I Can See For Miles – The Who

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2 Responses to “Church of Bruce”

  1. Esther Says:

    I can see why this type of mental exercise would drive ppl to believe in something as simple as Jesus lol

  2. Competing Churches « The Mind Of Bruce Says:

    […] The Mind Of Bruce Just another WordPress.com weblog « Church of Bruce […]

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