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Thoughts and Questions On Virtual Philosophy -- Inspecting the Recent Layer of Reality

Updated: Mar 10


A red-haired virtual angel with a beautiful attire.

(For another material on virtual philosophy, click here)



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Navigating the Virtual Layer: A New Dimension of Reality


The common adoption of electronic technology was initially confined to basic applications, such as light bulbs, telephones, and on/off switches. Today, electricity has transcended its role as a mere resource, allowing the creation, manipulation, and control of entire "realities" in the form of video games, websites, and simulators.


This new virtual realm, added to our physical world, has become an integral part of our existence, influencing communication, auto-didactic education, creativity, entertainment, and even romantic companionship. Its spread stands revolutionzed the present leaving very few to question its necessity, despite humanity's prosperity for millennias without it. It looks llike the world cannot be the same without this historically-recent sphere of reality because many of humanity's data is now stored in the cloud. That includes Philosocom itself, as much computerized data is stored the cloud techlogoy that hosts it.


The complexities of virtual arts and sciences remain enigmatic to many, extending beyond the layers of code, the very foundation of any virtual creation. This human-deigned dimension of reality also raises philosophical questions, along those that have long plagued humanity in fields like ethics and epistemology.


While the questions posed in this article may remain unanswered, they emphasize the fact that we inhabit a reality once confined to the realm of science fiction. Our ancestors' fantastical imaginings have largely been materialized, becoming commonplace elements of our daily lives. And this indicates that nothing is set in stone, forever changing not only by reality but by the innovation of the intellect and of geniuses.


Future Generations Might Consider These Questions Primitive


Should the next generations read this article, they might consider it extremely primitive, to ask such "basic" questions, that will probably then be considered mundane and even self-explanatory, just the same as underwater transportation, the ability to land on the moon, space tourism and robot armies; things that were all nothing more than an unrealistic fantasy for our own ancestors.


Here are the questions I've in store:


1. The Illusion of Movement and Infinite Spaces

  • When you scroll down this page, where does the upper part of it go, and from where comes its lower parts? When a website page isn't completely seen, where lay its other parts?

  • When you go forward in a game, are you actually going forward, given that your screen is (likely to be) flat? To advance forward, you must go somewhere else, and yet, your character is still within the flat screen of the computer, as if it didn't move at all.


  • If you play a game where the space is infinite (like an infinite sea or space), is it actually infinite, considering the fact that the computer who projects it is finite in both capability and memory?

  • Does it mean computers are capable of absolute potency in certain fields, like translating to different languages, looping audio files forever, and (theoretically) solve any mathematical question possible?

2. The Existence of Virtual Worlds

  • When a website has no visitors, does it still exist beyond a code and a domain, in the same visible form it does when a user enters it?

  • Are computers necessary to convert a page from pure algorithm, like some may claim about sentient beings and sounds, or do they already exist in visible form, like an undiscovered planet?

  • If a computer gets destroyed without the ability to fix it, where do all of its exclusively saved files go to? Can a file that was saved on only one computer, somehow exist somewhere else should its only form of representation/translation gets deleted?

  • Is there a Platonic "World of Ideals" to everything virtual?

3. The Nature of Virtual Reality

  • Are virtual worlds a part of the physical world, or just a translation/conversion of unseen code? If the latter option applies (translation of code), can we infer from that, that we are also translation of unseen code, not necessarily atoms or DNA, but logic? And I quote from a poem of mine:

Regardless of what we feel and what we strive. Among the concepts, it is the most elementary, In the depths of depths, it grounds it all, Connects, cancels, and concludes with no remorse.

  • Can the virtual world still be considered physical like with any other object outside of it? Wouldn't that oppose the definitions of virtuality?

  • Considering that it is a product of actual objects (servers, modems, memory banks and so on), is it nothing but a representation of the functions of said objects, or can the virtual world exist independently of them, whether now or in the future, thus becoming another aspect of reality, not just a product of something external that projects it?



4. The Analogy of Viruses and A.I.

  • When a computer gets a virus, can it be considered ill like with any biological being?

  • Are electronic viruses’ actual diseases that only apply to electronic devices? Could these viruses infect humans as well, thus further highlighting the connection between virtuality and the physical world?

  • On the contrary, are firewalls actual walls that prevent viruses from entering your computers, or is all the talk about them is metaphorical? For example, cars were used to be called "horseless chariots", even though they aren't chariots.

  • Does it mean that viruses are simply called that to help us understand what they mean, given that they infect computers like actual viruses (I.E, having the same function, but aren't the same as actual infections)?

  • Should A.I. ever become sentient (and it isn't due to the Eliza Effect), does it mean there will be a need of "A.I. hospitals", assuming the same viruses can infect them like they currently do to computers?

  • Will there be a new medical field in the future, dedicated to the healing of sentient machines? Will they also be able to suffer from mental disorders like humans can? If so, will we need to also create designated pills for robots, or our own drugs can suffice?

5. The Fate of Deleted Data and the Source of Downloaded Files

  • When you remove something from your computer, like a file or an app on your phone, where does it go? Is it completely eradicated or is it transferred somewhere else, like a "computer subconscious" (like where our own memories go once we, the conscious selves forget all about them)?

  • Likewise, when we download something, where do we actually download the thing from, and how does it come to our various devices?


  • How, can we download and remove things from our devices when they are (mostly) wireless containers and generators of code? How does the transaction happen when it is now possible to transfer data from almost anywhere to almost anywhere in the world, without a physical connector even smaller than the microscopic discoveries of atoms, particles, and germs? Although Wi-Fi now grants us access to the virtual world, there are alternatives to it. Intearnet nowadays is even available for access with the use of USB devices, but as long as we won't be able to fully understand the logic, or code, of the virtual dimension, we will forever be ignorant of its mechanisms. Writing, in a lengthy sense, is coding as well.


Summary


These are all the questions I have on what I'd like to call the Philosophy of Virtuality or simply Virtual Philosophy – the philosophy of advanced electronics, lostly surrounding the field of metaphysics. It is a custom made layer of existence, one of several. By creating this new layer in our existence, we attained, in a sense, what I call "human godhood".


We as a species have definitely outdone ourselves by being able to create and even evolve things that for most of our history were far beyond our (former) logical comprehension, now being able to operate entire domains using logic and code. And by domains I refer to this very site as well.


Perhaps this could mean that we have also yet to reach our intellectual optimality. Based on our advancing mastery of technology, we can create even more things – and even beings – that we might nowadays see as impossible to do. While I doubt that "everything is possible", like some motivational speakers may tell you, we can still consider that many things we think are impossible are indeed possible, but not currently.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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