There are three essential explanations for human consciousness; those of the materialists, spiritualists and computationalists.
1: The Materialistic explanation.
Consciousness (or “mind,” or “sentience”) was emergent from matter. Here the human brain is like an organic computer (i.e., the hardware), and human consciousness (which is immaterial, like software) has emerged from that material computer through a process of natural evolution. In this view, without the brain, consciousness cannot exist; just as a software program cannot exist without a computer. To the materialist, consciousness was not created or programmed, but emerged from matter through a natural process, without any designers or programmers.
2: The spiritualist / religionist / miraculous explanation.
Here, matter emerged from consciousness (i.e., from metaphysical gods). In this view human consciousness has been miraculously created by the many gods of the world’s religions. Here the scientific term “consciousness” can be replaced with the religionist term “spirit,” as both refer to the same sentient software program, and thus the terms are synonymous. In this religious view, consciousness generally continues to exist after death, albeit in a different dimension of the simulation (i.e., the after-lives, spiritual worlds, or heavens and hells of the world’s religions); or alternatively a reincarnationist view is that when the soul (consciousness) leaves the body (i.e., the avatar), it is sent back to a different level of the same world to learn other lessons in a different environment, in perhaps a different form or gender. No scientific explanation for all this is necessary as the gods are miraculous and mysterious. This is classic mind / body dualism where the consciousness can change dimensions and avatar forms (appearance). There are billions of consciousnesses programs on earth who think like this, and whose early programming (religious hypnosis and indoctrination) suggested to them that there exists gods of gods (kings of gods, god kings) who are the militant and genocidal war gods of the Koran and the Bible, who torture for eternity in another dimension, those who refuse to serve them, flatter them, obey their religious laws, and support their religious wargames. From a computationalist perspective, unlike the materialists, I am not suggesting that such warlike and clearly subhuman intelligences of the ilk of the the genocidal warrior gods of the Koran and the Bible do not exist; on the contrary I am suggesting that such cruel and primitive, religious wargaming intelligences “do” exist and that this may describe the operators of this current apocalyptic war game.
Doing the will of teams such other-dimensional gods (wargamers) is most certainly what wargamers would want; they would want the maximum amount of war, genocide and suffering in their game; they would want that kind of realism; the threat of eternal torture to those who do not follow the will of the wargamers is also a possibility; after all in this view we are just software programs in a game whose operators can be expected to have god-like powers, just as we do in our virtual worlds.
3: The Computationalist / Simulated Reality perspective:
Reality only exists when observed by an observer. From this perspective, mostly what exists as a reality are the sentient software programs (i.e., human consciousness) in a computer game. If the digital universe and then sentient programs are all ultimately just computer code, they could perhaps fit on a small hard drive or whatever advanced form of storage is used in the source dimension; thus this is an entirely immaterial (computer code is not material) perspective. The digital universe perspective is based upon the argument, which I find to be convincing, that there seems to be nothing in our current allegedly material universe which cannot be modelled on a computer, and thus a most simple conclusion is that it “is” modelled on a computer, and that we are the artificial intelligence programs which inhabit that virtual world. From this perspective, the only programs which exist in the Earth simulation, and which cannot yet be reproduced in our dimension of the game, are the copyable human consciousness programs themselves. Apart from the sentient software programs themselves, who represent the penultimate goal of our own human Artificial Intelligence quest; (i.e., the creation of sentience.), we have no problems with our current computing technology reproducing convincingly life-like virtual worlds which can fool the senses.
Obviously we would expect the computing technology of the wargamers in the source dimension to be superior to ours as we are only at the beginnings of the creation of virtual worlds and the AI programs which will frequent them. In a simulated world, we are such AI programs and what we consider to be our material form is just a cartoon which is linked to sensory information, pleasure and pain, which is an experience within consciousness itself which the simulation computer(s) feeds to the consciousness program.
In this perspective, the human consciousness program is trapped in a hard drive somewhere in a source dimension, and it is being fed information from the simulation computer about the digital scene which the human consciousness experiences, but the digital scene (i.e., the earth simulation) itself never needs to be rendered; all that needs to is rendered is the scene which the simulation computer transmits to the consciousness program and this would be extremely economical in terms of processing resources in comparison to having to render everything on planet earth when there is no observer to observe anything. This is how computers render scenes in our own virtual digital worlds, where only the scene within the avatars “draw distance” is rendered; not the entire game universe (the multiple levels of the game), and I have no reason to think that the rendering computer which produces what human consciousness perceives is any different. Why render an entire universe, when it is only necessary to render the scenes which each of the consciousness programs perceives as their outer environment and their inner visuals.
If this is a simulation, then the gameplayers would have a purpose for the simulation and would no doubt be able to take on a human avatar form and appear in the game. I think that the most likely scenario is that this is a game of genocidal holy war and militant monopoly (economic imperialism) between competing teams, with competing gods (sentient computer programs, similar to us) and districts, much like the Hunger Games. With all the build-up for the apocalyptic war games and the existence of nuclear weapons at this level of the game, I think that it is highly unlikely that wargamers with nuclear weapons will choose not to use them. Anyway, if the earth simulation is digital, the operators could restart the game in any period of history to produce a different outcome; so it is quite possible that the great war of Armageddon has been fought on numerous occasions and restarted after the earth simulation was destroyed. Just my speculations of course.
“The slaves shall serve”