2... Even though it is plausible... why don't you believe that you and the human race and our universe was created 10 minutes ago with built in age and built in memories and that we are nothing more than a sophisticated hologram or computer simulation which was produced by these same aliens you invoked earlier? (I'm assuming here that you don't believe you were just created 10 minutes ago). In fact, do you have any doubts that such a possibility couldn't be based technology and techniques we know exists now, or could exist in the future? Just like your alien example above?
Heh...likewise, how do YOU know that god didn't create the universe 10 minutes ago, with the memories of reading all the books about the resurrection (that were likewise created 10 minutes ago)? Because that would mean exactly the same thing - that there never WAS a mystical resurrection.
To be brutally honest, while I find this type of question mildly entertaining in a "what if....?" kind of way, I find them ultimately irrelevant - part of the reason why I did not want to derail the main thread. I find them irrelevant because there is never any way posited or suggested that would allow for anyone to be able to test to discover whether the universe is "real", or a "10-minuter" (hereafter the R- and 10M- universes).
Compare the R- and 10M- universes. The construction of the 10M- universe (or a jar-brain universe, of computer simulation universe) would (from the nature of the question) have been done in such a way that is was indistinguishable from the R-universe. Thus, I will experience things exactly as I would in the R- universe....my memories of the past history would be identical to that in the R-universe....in short, there would be no practical difference, and no way of telling the difference.
(Aside....in his Blog, Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) posits that we are indeed computer simulations of our old selves that were downloaded into a computer universe on our deaths, and suggests some ways we might tell that this is a simulation and not reality. Worth a look, if that interests you!)
But back to Fran's question....why don't I believe I am in a 10M-universe rather than an R-universe? Again, I cannot definitively discount he 10M-universe - how can I, if there is no way of testing? But what I can do, again, is determine which is the "most reasonable" of the two. Is it "most reasonable" to assume that the universe is exactly as it seems to be, exactly as my memory and ervy aspect of reality makes it appear to be? Or is it "more reasonable" to presume it is all a computer simulation, which there is no evidence for....and which would itself
require there to be an R-universe in any case for the 10M-simulation to be contained within?
Neither I, nor Fran, can say for sure that we are not in a 10M-universe. But it is more reasonable to assume that we are NOT, pending a test that proves it one way or the other.