The Simulation Argument is an argument for the Simulation Hypothesis, the concept was popularized in 2003 by Nick Bostrom's paper "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?" where he argues that one of following propositions is true: "(1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation."
Importantly his argument differs from others related to the Simulation Hypothesis in two important respects. Firstly, Bostrom argues that it is far more likely that we are living in a simulation than we are not. And secondly, unlike the scenario depicted in the movie "The Matrix", human beings themselves are simulated, rather than "real" creatures merely "plugged" into a simulation.
- Bostrom, Nick (2001,2003) Are You Living in a Computer Simulation Philosophical Quarterly (2003) Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243‐255.
- Bostrom, Nick (2011) A Patch for the Simulation Argument Analysis, Vol. 71, No. 1 (2011): 54-61