Now that I am fully immersed in my Philosophy 110 resitation class every friday, I tend to leave class asking many questions about the discussions we had during class. We were discussing something known as the 'experience machine' and the scenario is as follows. Hypothetically, there is a machine which you can connect yourself to which simulates virtual reality so real that you could not tell the difference. Once you are connected to this machine, you do not know that you are in virtual reality, and you assume it is your real life. This machine guarantees more happiness than the current life you have, and by hooking up, you do not change the 'real' world in any way from what it would have become if it did not experience your absence. So, would you decide to hook up? To me, It would be dumb not to. But many in my class, including the TA, said they would like to remain in the real world because the successes you would have in the 'real' world would somehow be of more value. My logic is that if you are not helping or hurting the world you are leaving, and you are guaranteed more happiness, than hooking up would be the most logical thing to do; that is, if you believe that happiness is the ultimate desired end. The feeling of some of my classmates was that your accomplishments in the virtual world would not be as valid as the ones you could make in the real world, but I couldnt understand why the validity of one's accomplishments would matter as long as one didnt know they were less valid in a virtual world (remember, once in the virtual world, you do not know of the real world and assume the virtual world IS the real world, and thus dont know that your accomplishments arent valid). I was really struggling in class trying to understand the logic of their side, and my TA made an analogy of a red barn, one that doesnt exist but that I can see. He said that the class fealt that I should be told that the red barn doesnt exist by an objective source who could see the truth. But I really dont think there is any logic in notifying me of its existence or non-existence as long as my perceptions arent going to hurt anything else, just like the virtual world. Thoughts?