Suppose I was able to create a simulation of the universe (I can't, but suppose I could). And in said universe, intelligent and sentient life evolved.
What would happen if I "unplugged" this simulation, or simply altered it and killed all the sentient life. Would I be killing these beings, or would they have simply not been alive?
In short, can anything existing in a computer program be alive?, and if say, we were living in a computer simulation, could the beings that created us consider us to be alive?