Is dying in a simulation -- any simulation at all -- ever physically sufficient to die at that instant outside it?
I mean a simulation like in the film the Matrix, or in a dream, one that kills your real body at the same instant that you seem to die.
This is meant to be a thought experiment on whether -- when we imagine ourselves removed, absent or nothing -- inside something that is consciously or sensuously extant, the real world, we don't fully imagine ourselves as nothing whatsoever. We must end up living past our death, inside those extant perceptions, and so still ourselves -- and alive and capable of experiencing that real world, in the sense that it is like something to be me, or you, or a bat.
Does the answer tell us anything about the conceivability of death? I don't think we can say it's not analogous because when we die in our life we don't exist, as that seems question begging (the thought experiment was constructed to find out if we exist after death).
I've done some research into the inconceivability of our deaths, which I now summarize. On a philosophy blog by Tom Clarke I read that many people do not seem able to conceive of their death. I think he includes Goethe and Shakespeare on his list -- which he says is esteemed, but mistaken, company. I have also read Derrida's Aporias, which seems like an argument against my death -- which is what death is all about for Heidegger (who I've studied). I've also read the relevant sections of Bergon's Creative Evolution, which at face value seems to say the same. Husser's student Fick claimed Husserl believed the "transcendental ego" was immortal, and that he, Husserl, took great comfort in that. But I could not unpack the phenomenological argument, which I read appears in (if I remember correctly) Husserl's Experience and Judgement. I've read parts of Brassier's Nihil Unbound, which seems to close on the claim we can't imagine our own death (but who cares?). I've also read Levinas, who claims in God Death and Time, that we have to say "perhaps" we won't die. And I also tracked down an obscure passage in Heidegger that says that he was unsure whether there was anything for us after our death, and some scholarship by Iian Thomson that claims that Heidegger's demise is strictly impossible for humans. It is unusual to claim that no-one dies, without a religious framework, so I have also read a lot of Buddhist philosophy, though it's unclear whether so called final nirvana is a going out that is equivalent to an atheists death. Early Western scholarship claimed that Buddhism sought what amounted to suicide, and, though that itself is less popular now, most scholars would claim that -- because nothing is left of the aggregates when a Buddha dies -- nothing is left of the Buddha: but I'm unconvinced.
The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination p 432. I have studied analytic philosophy to undergraduate, and am familiar -- I hope -- with its method of argumentation.
My intuition is that we cannot conceive of our death if we can escape it, in the same way that, if we can escape death in a simulation, then there's no way for the simulation to kill both the real and virtual me at the same instant.
Blanchot, The Instant of my Death. Nevertheless, I seem to often encounter honest dislike of questions like this, almost as if they were beneath consideration; perhaps people don't feel safe with an afterlife and no God.
Personally, I think we must certain of when both events occur to conceive of two events occurring at the same time by physical necessity.
Can we be certain that the anticipated time of death in a simulation will occur at the same time as our real death?
If not, simulated death does not physically suffice for annihilation: does that mean, via the above analogy, demise -- an irreversible death -- is impossible?
Or have I misunderstood the nature of analogical reasonoing?