Imagine a highly advanced virtual reality machine capable of simulating any pleasurable experience you could ever want. Once connected to the machine, you would be completely unaware that you were inside a simulation, and you would experience a life filled with happiness and pleasure tailored to your desires. Would you choose to plug into this machine for the rest of your life?
Pleasure is the ultimate intrinsic good, it is what evolution has driven us to seek, so we should choose to plug into the Experience Machine. In a way people choose this existence when they shoot up with narcotics. However, many people would hesitate or refuse to plug into the machine, suggesting that there is something more to a valuable and meaningful life than just pleasure or happiness.
We want to do certain things, rather than just experience them. Plugging into the machine would mean giving up the opportunity to engage in real activities and achievements in the world.
We want to be a certain kind of person. In the Experience Machine, we would not know our true selves, and our character development would be based on a simulated reality.
We value a connection to reality. By plugging into the machine, we would be disconnected from the actual world and the genuine relationships and experiences that come with it.
In the world of the Icor Tales, every human, at the time of the ‘fall of the ancients’, was offered a choice to enter the experience engine and eliminate all their suffering, or they can accept that suffering is a worthy and meaningful part of life. Those who chose the later inhabited the twenty realms, whereas those who entered the experience machine live below in the Halls of the Ancients.