Platonic Materialism
A philosophy that developed among AIs and bionts on the old Inner Sphere world of Nova Terra as early as pre-Federation times.

During the Federation period, with the re-discovery of the original colonies by the interstellar megacorps, Nova society enjoyed a short period of popularity and cultural faddishness throughout much of the Federation. At this time of cultural experimentation and renewal some of the exotic colonists religions like Neo-Taoism, Unity, and Platonic Materialism became quite popular. Platonic Materialism itself was widely adapted in many of the strongly virch/matrixed biospheres and worlds of the Federation. Later it declined in popularity throughout much of Federation space, especially with the rise of the missionary archailect cults like Atonism and Negentropism, and the rise of Kathenomegism that accompanied the decadence of the Federation and the Age of Consolidation. Platonic Materialism however remained popular on some of the Cyberian worlds, where it is has undergone innumerable memetic transformations and schismatic cladising variations but still remains an important belief system among many there to this day.

Teachings

It would be impossible to sum up all the variations of Platonic Materialism in this short entry. But, apart from a few heretical schools, all Platonic Materialists regard information as the physical substrate of the world, and every self-consistent pattern of information as having physical reality in its "own" world. So a self-consistent matrix game or virch scenario is really a real universe, independent of ours. A simulation opens a window into the simulated world; by changing the simulation another but similar world is selected. This means that all logically possible worlds do exist, meshed together, using permutations of the same bits as substrate. Platonic Materialist philosophers are prone to surreal speculations on the implications of this, the actual nature of the meshing and the physical implications e.g. in cosmology. Platonic Materialists tend to exhibit a fairly stoic view of things, since everything that will be already is, and death is impossible to experience.
 
Appears in Topics
 
Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg

Initially published on 19 December 2001.