Believers: How would you react to the following events?

You, and everyone, hears a voice in their heads asking them to go outside if possible. If not the building you’re in becomes transparent. If blind you are temporarily allowed sight.

The sky becomes a large screen and a simple and gender neutral face appears. It says, in whatever language you speak best, that It is the creator of the universe you live in. It says that the universe is an advanced simulation. One of countless trillions of simulations with subtle differences in physical laws. The reality you know has random physical laws and bears no reflection on the Creator’s reality.

He has appeared to you because the simulation has run its course. Because sentience has arisen in some small number of the simulations He has decided to allow the relatively few universes with sentience to keep running until their heat deaths. Because changing the laws of your universe after the simulation is running is very difficult due to the methods He is using, He cannot eliminate death or create a utopia. In fact what you are currently experiencing is simply a set of memories that are being encoded into all humans.

He wants you to know what you are because He feels that you should understand your place in reality and specifically wants you to discard the counterproductive religions that have sprouted up.

He also lets you know that as far as His people have been able to discern, there is no God. The laws of His universe are such that there is very high confidence in this.

He then disappears. Everyone on Earth has these same memories.

What do you do?

I have a gin and tonic, but that’s pretty much my default reaction to anything out of the ordinary.

Find Keanu Reeves and kick the shit out of him.

But what kind of gin? I prefer Beefeater for my tonics. And a rather large wedge of lime.

I am not a believer, but there’s no reason to jump from “that creature can make the ceiling seem to disappear” to “that creature created the universe”, just because it said so.

So let me get this straight…

For all intents and purposes, God appears before all of humanity at the same time and declares himself as such. Why would believers respond to that as anything other than “God has spoken to humanity!”

That’s not God. That’s a guy in another universe running a simulation. He’s not even close to omnipotent - not even in our universe. He’s not even close to omniscient either; we were a surprise. And his message doesn’t support souls, the messiahhood of Jesus or anyone else, Biblical miracles, heaven, or all the other religious baggage people want to believe in - few actually believe in a “generic god”. On the contrary, it specifically denounces them.

It’s a giant face in the sky who can make buildings disappear on a whim. Call it what you want, you’ve just described God.

Theologically speaking, there is a significant difference between a very powerful entity (as described in the OP) and the Creator deity described in most religions.

Nevertheless, I would be quite excited about this and would hope that this encounter would decrease the insanity caused by certain fundamentalist elements.

But I am an optimist.

He called it what it is, and he didn’t describe God.

Not really. There’s an immense number of things besides God that could do that; especially when you are in a simulation. If Captain Picard does that to you while you are on the holodeck, does that make him God? Or just a guy with a holodeck?

The situation as described in the OP reinforces a ton of religious beliefs. If nothing else, that situation would just encourage believers more as they’d believe God is testing them.

This is like those IMHO threads where someone asks “If an attractive man/woman that you’ve known your whole life approaches you and tells you they love you and you’re both single and you’ve always loved them, etc, etc, etc…” So what do you do?

The answer is obvious there and it’s obvious here. Nothing in the OP would shake the beliefs of those that truly believe. And those that are on the fence would now believe something that is more or less religious in nature.

Holodeck users enter the holodeck knowing that they’re inside a holodeck. Nothing of the sort was mentioned in the OP.

No, and no. People usually know they are on the holodeck, but not always; that was a plot point in the second ST: TNG Moriarty episode. And in this scenario we do indeed know we are “on the holodeck”; we’ve just been told we are (and that we are part of the simulation, to boot).

If someone appeared to you right now and told you “You’re a part of a simulation” would you believe them or think you had some kind of nervous breakdown?

I’d consider it more likely to be a hallucination, yes. But if everyone apparently had the same hallucination, that’s good evidence there’s something real behind it; and without further data the claim of the Face that we are a simulation make for a reasonable hypothesis. The next step would be to find a way to test it by looking for indications we really are in a simulation; since the entity in charge isn’t trying to hide it, that may well be possible.

If this guy’s goal is to tell us to knock off the crazy religion stuff, the last thing he’d do is appear as a god. He’d have to be an idiot. There’d be 2,000 new religions sprung up overnight.

People would rationalize the experience away somehow. Mass hallucination, grand-scheme practical joke (by the Zionist syndicate, no doubt), or a pre-test by God All-Mighty to see who’s really ready for him to come back.

Sure, there would be a ton of people who would flip out. I’m sure I would be one of them. And I think a number of wishy-washy Believers would believe the Face and re-assess their world view. But most of humanity would not change. Even in this very thread, you’ve got someone saying that the Face would be God, even though he has espoused none of the qualities that Believers ( particularly Christians) have attributed to Him. Such as omnipotence, eternal love, and the desire for us to know him. The Believers would find a way to wave these things away though.

Like I said, I would no doubt flip out. I can handle a world without God. I don’t think I can handle a world where nothing is “real”.

I should probably add that this is my attempt at a flipside to Qin’s thread about how Atheists would deal with supposed evidence of God. In that thread the most common atheist answer was that the evidence doesn’t specifically promote the Abrahamic God and mental illness or aliens or super-science was as, if not more likely.

I was wondering what a theist would do when faced with the opposite scenario, evidence that their God is a lie.

I would suggest that the being in the OP certainly doesn’t reflect any organized religion. And the details suggested undercut all of them. If someone has a random, undefined newagey God in their head, I suppose the OP being could be in line with their beliefs.

The problem is that question just isn’t reversible, because people who rely on blind faith just do not think the same way as people who rely on evidence. In both scenarios evidence is presented, but evidence only matters to those that rely on it.

Nope, if God was just power that could be taken away, then the earthquake yesterday was God too. It’s not that simple. A god needs a system of laws and morality and a reason to find and love him.

I would also think the makers of the new “V” had pulled off a massive stunt, since that’s exactly what happened with Anna in the first few minutes of the show.