Nihilism and the Matrix ~ Tiresome ‘edginess’
There was recently a pair of videos done by Extra Credits on the topic of Religion in games. I figured it would be fun to listen to because I’m always interested in both these topics and I figured putting them together would be fascinating. What came from it was an incredibly poor argument and some misquotes of Einstein (because that’s what you do when you want to look smart).
I will begin with the Philosophical definition of Nihilism, something I loathe.
an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth.
b. nothingness or nonexistence.
Otherwise known as being a teenager. Basically in the videos they made the argument that both Science and Religion are connected by faith. That you never truly know anything because I mean, come on guys, maybe we are in the matrix.
The moment they cited the matrix I nearly vomited in my mouth. Mind you I didn’t get angry, I’m sticking to that new years resolution, instead I became disappointed. Whenever someone starts going down a terribly stupid argument I become uncomfortable, it is like watching a car accident in slow motion. You see the bones breaking, the flesh shearing, and the eyes popping and all you can think is how much you wish you weren’t seeing this, but for some reason you are stuck watching this hundred mile an hour collision unfold before you.
Perhaps morbid curiosity or some weird magical spell compels you, but your stomach still churns.
I have discussed before why the simulation discussion is largely moronic, there are some functional reasons it could be helpful to know but philosophically it is as empty as every poem I ever wrote about suicide. It lacked perspective and vision, it utterly lacked depth, in a sense these arguments and those poems both shared the same features as my amateur drawings at the bottom of these posts.
If you change the value of the universe, be it by making it a simulation, a creation by god, or anything else, you change the value of all things within it equally as much. You take the equation 1=1 and you merely throw “+a” on both sides of the equals sign. It’s not deep, it’s not meaningful, its just boring.
So the reason I bring up nihilism and the matrix is the argument they, and many people in their comments make is that we never truly know. Sure you can do an experiment a million times but how do you know the water is really boiling?
How do you know there is water at all?
How do you even know you are doing anything?
The answer is simple, if you can’t accept certain things as true, such as your existence, there is no point to discussion. There is no point to talking, to debating, to connecting, everything is literally pointless. Everything starts with some sort of rock solid foundation, every snowflake blooms from a mote of dust, functionally everything you can interact with is made from chemicals, atoms, matter and energy. There are no exceptions, if you are touching it, tasting it, feeling it, hearing it, it is either directly made of at least one of the things above.
There is no debating this. You do exist, water does exist, the universe does exist, this is not a matter of faith. Faith is not merely assuming something to be true, it is assuming something to be true even in the absence of any evidence and even in the presence of evidence to the contrary.
There is no evidence to the contrary that you exist, and there is bountiful evidence that you exist. This is not a matter of faith, this is a matter of knowledge.
You know what Science begins with? You know what every curious human begins with? An assumption, a hunch, a hypothesis, none of these things are faith. They are similar and if you squint enough you could see them as the same, but that’s because squinting really screws with perception, honestly don’t drive while squinting.
You, as a scientist (aka as a sentient being) look at something new and think how it will act based on previous experiences and knowledge. You expand upon your knowledge off of the previous knowledge and all of this leads back to the first building blocks of your infant brain.
The entire tree of knowledge that makes you you, that makes anything and everything matter in any sense large or small, it all comes back to the simple truth that you exist.
Period, there is no discussion.
Because if you do not exist, if nothing is certain, then most certainly nothing is worth discussing. Nobody cares to know why unicorns are hollow.
Science and Religion share quite few similarities, but cherry picking that nonsense out of the nether is just sad. It leads to destructive and malicious debates and in the end nobody is better for it.
Honestly if I was 3 this would be groundbreaking art.