In “Our Town” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play authored by Thornton Wilder, one of the characters, Rebecca Gibbs, tells her older brother George about the sick friend of hers, Jane Crofut, who received a strangely-addressed letter from her minister:
Jane Crofut The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; The Earth; The Solar System; The Universe; The Mind of God.
Nearly 80 years after “Our Town” was first performed at McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey, Elon Musk appeared this month at Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
The CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla suggested to his fellow tech industry “influencers” that we are living in a universe that came forth not from the mind of God, but, more likely, by a computer simulation. And he bases his fantastical belief on video games.
“The strongest argument,” said Musk, “for us being in a simulation probably is the following:
Forty years ago, we had pong. Like, two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were. Now, 40 years later, we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it’s getting better every year. Soon we’ll have virtual reality, augmented reality.
If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then, you just say, okay, let’s imagine it’s 10,000 years in the future – which is nothing on the evolutionary scale.
So given that we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds were in base reality is one in billions.”
When asked point blank if he personally believed that all of us are but blissfully unaware simulants (“Sims” ) living in a world that really does not exist in a universe that is nothing more than a string of 0’s and 1’s, Musk responded, matter-of-factly: “Probably.”
That’s an extraordinary leap of faith by Musk. Indeed, in 2013, the tech genius sat down for an interview with Rainn Wilson, on the actor’s YouTube channel, “SoulPancake.” Wilson asked Musk, “Can science and religion coexist?” And Musk replied, “Probably not.” Yet, Musk is promulgating a belief that is a bizzaro version of creationism.
Daniel Jackson, who blogs for the U.K. weekly The Spectator, suggests that a neologism is required for Musk, and others who share his doctrine, who can’t be considered atheists, per se, because “atheism” means “without God.”
No, Musk and others who worship at the altar of technology, who believe the world as we know it was created by computer simulation (or perhaps some other manifestation of science fiction), might be best described as “Creathiests,” as Jackson suggests.
The irony is that the compulsion of Musk and other of his fellow tech industry influencers to explain how we got here – computer simulation, alien seeding of the earth, evolution, panspermia – actually confirms the veracity of the Bible.
Indeed, First Corinthians advises us that “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” Like science fiction movies – including “Source Code (2011) ,” “Inception (2010),” “The Matrix (2009),” “Surrogates (2009 ),” “Vanilla Sky (2001),” “The Thirteenth Floor (1999 )” and “Total Recall, (1990)” – that have influenced beliefs by wise men like Elon Musk that the 7.4 billion people on this planet really don’t exist.
The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is so confounded he told the technology faithful that “maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation,” and that we are living in some sort of cosmic time loop. Otherwise, Musk fears, the time will come when “when civilization will cease to exist.”
Well, those of us who are Christ followers, are unafraid of the end of civilization as we know it. For we look forward to the day, prophesied in First Thessalonians, “when the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.
And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.”