Digital Worlds

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the implications that an understanding of the mechanism underlying consciousness would provide. Assuming the mind is found to be a separate entity that we can harness and transfer to and from our bodies (as James Cameron’s Avatar hypothesizes will be doable in the next 150 years), the question emerges of where these entities will reside. Most religions speculate that there exists some kind of ‘spiritual realm’ in which our minds exist once they have left our bodies. With the advent of digital recreations of our brains, it could be possible to attach our minds to a digital avatar that could hold onto our past experiences and personality. Like those on Pandora, these Avatars could return to the physical world in robotic or bio-engineered bodies. However, they could also reside in new and exciting digital worlds. These digital worlds could be programmed with their own laws of physics, chemistry, biology, etc. and anything could be hypothetically possible in them. We could each be the king of our own digital world. Would humanity choose to live in the physical world or embark on a new simulated frontier? Are we simply living in one such digital universe right now?

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