Let's perform a thought experiment: "Create a world of your own"

True, the idea came from another post, but it seems to be too good not to pick it up. So the game is: “You have sufficient power to create a physical universe. What would you do?”

  1. The laws of nature will be whatever you decide. Will there be entropy? Will there be death?
  2. You decide what the aim of the game would be - for the inhabitants?
  3. What kinds of beings would you create? Deterministic or give them a certain amount of freedom? How much freedom?
  4. Would you create sapient beings (able to think and reason)?
  5. Would you create sentient beings (able to perceive pleasure and pain)? (Or both?)
  6. Would you create some kind of an afterlife?
  7. If yes, what kind? Only one afterlife, or several ones?"
  8. Do these afterlives run consecutively (reincarnation)?
  9. Or concurrently? (Something heaven-like and hell-like)?
  10. Could the beings remember their previous life (if any?), so they could learn from them?
  11. In this case would there be a “traffic” between them, or they run “forever”?
  12. Would you reveal your existence to the inhabitants?
  13. If yes, would this revelation unquestionable, or could it be rationally doubted?
  14. You are not bound by the laws of the created world, you can change them at will.

However, if you give some true freedom of action, you cannot know how the beings will act in any specific circumstances. (Even though their time is independent from your time).

These criteria are not set in stone. Add some new ones if you so choose.

I chose the philosophy forum, because it seemed to be the most appropriate. Again, this is just a game, or a thought experiment. Not to be taken too seriously. Let your imagination be your guiding force.

Let’s have fun!

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Even though it is a somewhat playful format, it is a serious a topic.

There is also a 15th question:

  1. Would you (as the creator of this world) create an “adversary”, who - even though is much less powerful than you are - but still could throw the spanner into the works of your world to destroy or try to destroy your aim of the world as you wished to create it?

Yes, the scenario is created to investigate the possibilities of a creator. And it is not a “game”, but a serious thought experiment.

If no one is interested in the conversation, it will be sad, but not unexpected.

You may want to edit your OP then.


This does not look like fun to me. The thought (experiment) is distasteful to me; I do not want to “play God.” I’m out.


Thinking about God, and the divine properties like this, is how ancient theologians have given the world modern theology.


No carnivores. That will remove thousands of millions of years of agony and terror. Who on earth would design a system where the creatures you created needed to kill and eat each other.


I create my own world regularly. It has many of the qualities and features listed above - and more.

Then, I wake up and am relieved to do so.

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I TRUST God’s ways completely. Wouldn’t even presume to take His place. Actually this seems like it could fall under the First Commandment even if it is a “game or whatever”.

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Absolutely no death. And therefore, no need for an afterlife.

Afterlife is a patch on the hideous bug that is death. Better to just remain alive!


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I have tried this thought experiment many times in the past, on different platforms. On religious platforms it was usually rejected. The reason of the rejection probably was that it was taken as an implicit critique of God. Too bad. Since I don’t believe in God, I cannot criticize his alleged creation.

But I like the “what if” types of games. Every new invention starts with pondering “what if…”? So…

  1. No entropy, and therefore no death. But if an inhabitant would prefer, he/she/it could bail out.
  2. No “aim” for the game. Let them decide what they want.
  3. Some freedom, of course. But they would not be able to destroy the world.
  4. Yes, they would be sapient.
  5. No, they would not be sentient. Constant well-being, yes.
  6. No afterlife. Without entropy and death it would be unnecessary.

From 7 to 11 - all N/A
From 12 and 13 - No. Such a revelation would disturb the hegemony of the world.
14 is not really an option. It was a mistake to include it. Sorry, my fault.
Finally 15 - No. What would be the point?

I think a reboot option would be great. When everything is boring and stale, you could hibernate and then reboot yourself into a different scenario.

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Excellent idea. Just like in a computer game. Or in Arthur Clarke’s book: “The City and the Stars”.

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Which means death and reincarnation. It can’t simply mean hibernation in which one remembers all their past lives, because eventually the whole process would become boring, stale, and pointless. So your world must include real death. In which case it must also include birth. Now this would mean that there must be a logical reason for these deaths and births, so as with most such thought experiments the law of unintended consequences kicks in, and you end up with a world that looks exactly like this one.

In fact that’s probably true of all such proposals, they all fall victim to the law of unintended consequences, and you end up with a world that looks exactly like this one.

The really interesting question is…is the law of unintended consequences true even for God? Sin and death would seem to suggest that the answer is yes.

What about death in general? If nothing dies, then how do your creations live? What do they consume? If there is natural death but nothing consumes flesh, what happens to the dead bodies? It’s not really as simple as leaving out one thing, especially if it is a large thing. For example, I would just as soon leave out cockroaches, but if they didn’t exist something else would have to fill that role and could be even more disgusting.

Of course you could just create a static universe with no life, but then what’s the point?

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If this was a debate, I would call upon both a straw man fallacy as well as the slippery slope fallacy.

I did not specifically mention anything about death or rebirth. If I am the creator, I can do anything I choose. A reboot can be whatever I choose it to be.

I may choose my world not to have unintended consequences.

I would say that eternal life, if made to mirror in some way life as we currently experience would become very boring after all scenarios play out. I would want to create a world to defend against that, or as the OP stated, at least allow people to opt out. I don’t think I would use death and reincarnation, since those seem quite messy.

I do believe that per the stipulations laid out in the OP, what you propose isn’t allowed. You’ve proposed a fantasy world. While the OP seems to suggest a world that you can actually create.

As such the world’s that one could actually create would inevitably look a lot like this one.

Hibernation is not death. Before you decide to hibernate, you have the option to select which memories to keep and which ones to forget. The book “The City and the Stars” describes such a world quite well. Though the concept of unintended consequences is a serious problem to ponder. But if there is no entropy, it could be tackled.

This is not a problem. A fully “flora” type world would get the energy from sunlight. No nervous system to feel pain, but a different system to think. Vegetation does not feel pain, but has regeneration to compensate for accidental loss of a limb.

And the world could be “infinite”, so there would be no repetition. Just look at a floor with Penrose tiling. An infinite, non-repetitive surface as a model for the world.

So what happens to the limb lost by accident? There’s always more to the story.

How do you define fantasy? If fantasy is anything outside of the bounds of this world, then yes, I think it would be common sense to say that if bounded by the confines of laws of this world, creating another world is going to look pretty close to the current one.

Then all creatures die of disease, accident, starvation or old age? Is that really an improvement?

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