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Religious views on creating artificial intelligence

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by The Doors of Perception, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. The Doors of Perception

    The Doors of Perception New Member

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    We have a discussion going on in the General Discussions section about if creating true AIs is even possible, but for this thread we are going to assume it is. If we created machines that were self aware, able to reason, perhaps 'evolve' to have emotion, etc how would that affect any religious beliefs you may have? Also, do your religious beliefs give you an opinion on if we even should create artificial intelligence? One issue is that many view God as the creator, saying he creates and takes life. If we create AIs, is that the same as God creating Human beings? We almost are AIs except that we are organic and not machines. Not sure what true issues may arise here, I hope it is clear what discussion I am trying to initiate.
     
  2. InfidelRiot

    InfidelRiot New Member

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    I doubt it would have any affect on religious individuals. In fact, the religious individuals would attempt to convert the AIs to a religious way of thinking.
     
    Madhuri likes this.
  3. The Doors of Perception

    The Doors of Perception New Member

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    Haha, that seems a likely possibility. I always figured that if / when we create true AIs and they start asking questions (proving they are true AIs) that there would be mass panic. Makes sense some religious groups would attempt to answer with religious dogma. Sadly, AIs would not only be able to reason like us but to do so flawlessly, which in my opinion would make them unable to accept most religious beliefs.
     
  4. InfidelRiot

    InfidelRiot New Member

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    Only a veritable zombie attack would make the Christians panic.
     
  5. The Doors of Perception

    The Doors of Perception New Member

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    I thought the zombie apocalypse was simply caused by the return of Christ, pulling the dead out of their graves and all that haha. But all joking aside...
     
  6. InfidelRiot

    InfidelRiot New Member

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    Have you seen the show called "The Walking Dead"? If not, you should. Amazing.
     
  7. The Doors of Perception

    The Doors of Perception New Member

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    I'll check it out.
     
  8. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist Staff Member Premium Member

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    Jewish lore discusses the creation of an artificial man, in pretty much a Frankenstien sense. See for example the Golem of Prague. Not exactly the replicants of Ridley Scott, but an interesting precursor nevertheless.
     
  9. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess Staff Member Premium Member

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    15,080
    Religion:
    Bhagavad Gita - SD
    As I stated on the other thread, I would consider the reality to be that humans had discovered how to create a perfect environment for a soul to pervade. A soul, which is life itself and carries consciousness, can only become present in the fully functioning body just like how electricity will only provide light if the wires are all set up correctly.

    In Hinduism there is no issue with man being creative. We're all aspects of God with reflective qualities of the divine. Search for truth and being creative is in our nature. What sets us apart from God is that He is the First, the Original, and we are a part of his Being. Nothing we do can change that. We will always be the microcosm. So such a creation on our parts would change nothing about this.
     
  10. InfidelRiot

    InfidelRiot New Member

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    The Golem. How could I have forgotten that?
     
  11. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist Staff Member Premium Member

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    The best gems always gather dust in the darker corners of our libraries :D
     
  12. Quintessence

    Quintessence The Elementalist Staff Member Premium Member

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    Religion:
    Druidic Witch
    It wouldn't affect it at all. As an animist, I already regard all things in the universe as possessing intelligence.
     
  13. Sir Doom

    Sir Doom Cooler than most of you

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    Religion:
    Impartial
    It would reinforce my current belief that life was created intentionally. If we can do it, it stands to reason that something else might have as well. Not that it's proof of this or anything, but it would still reinforce the idea for me.

    My religious beliefs say yes we definitely should do it if we can manage it. All endeavors that increase the amount of power we have is a good thing. On the other hand, we can already create plenty of normal life in the conventional manner (which is pretty fun from my experience). It seems like a whole lot of effort for very little gain. The only real payoff of creating such a thing would be just to see if we could do it.

    Pretty close to it anyway. I think creating artificial organic life is much closer though, and probably a lot more likely than machine life. But that's a separate topic.

    In the case of life being created by a higher being, we would definitely be AI. But that's about the only case. Unless we really want to stretch the term 'artificial' and say that our intelligence is 'created' over a lifetime of experience, or that we are all 'made' by our parents. I think this would sort of ruin the term a bit, though.
     
  14. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism Staff Member Premium Member

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    Religion:
    Disciple of Yeshua.
    I have always been interested in artificial intelligence. Sometimes in only a superficial way-- like wondering if someone will invent a sophisticated android like Data, Lore, and Lal (I think that's how you spell her name). Sometimes in a more serious way. But I never thought of it in a religious way.
     
  15. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli Premium Member

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    we would be hearing the term "Playing God" an awful lot.
     
  16. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism Staff Member Premium Member

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    Religion:
    Disciple of Yeshua.
    You wouldn't hear it from me. ;););)
     
  17. Reptillian

    Reptillian Hamburgler Extraordinaire

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    I think Christian religions would grapple with questions like, "Do machines have souls? Can machines sin? Did Jesus die for The Terminator?" Things become even more muddled with cyborgs. I mean imagine a cyborg with a half human half mechanical brain...or what about a smart machine with a few mouse neurons mixed in...does a mouse with machine enhanced intelligence have a soul?
     
  18. arthra

    arthra A friend

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    3,980
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    A lot sci fi stories have been written about this such as "I robot".

    I was interesting in searching that issue in a Baha'i context and for us anyway the production of an artificial intelligence ... if possible...would not be in our view anything resembling a living being as only God creates:

    statement made by 'Abdu'l-Bahá on "The Origin of Man" from Bahá'í World Faith, p. 298 (originally Some Answered Questions, p. 211):
    For example, if a man of his own mind and intelligence collects some elements and combines them, a living being will not be brought into existence, since the system is unnatural. This is the answer to the implied question that, since beings are made by the composition and the combination of elements, why is it not possible for us to gather elements and mingle them together, and so create a living being. This is a false supposition, for the origin of this composition is from God; it is God Who makes the combination, and as it is done according to the natural system, from each composition one being is produced, and an existence is realized. A composition made by man produces nothing because man cannot create.
    However in another sense there is nothing specific in our Writings about the hypothetical possibility so we would probably have to defer making any pronouncements until such an event arises and then a better assessment could be made.
     
  19. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli Premium Member

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    You do not really hear it a whole lot until you get into abortion and or euthanasia debates.
    And even then it is not a common claim.

    However, I suspect that if AI ever gets to the point of the OP, we will be hearing it an awful lot more.
     
  20. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism Staff Member Premium Member

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    24,280
    Religion:
    Disciple of Yeshua.
    I used to use it (it was the only time, too) when people were talking about babies in China-- aborting females and all that. Nowadays china has to import females from other countries so the men can have wives.

    I don't see how "playing God" could be used for artificial intelligence. If they do ever create an intelligent android, I wonder if it would end up like Data in the ST:TNG episode "The Measure of a Man" when they were having a trial to determine Data's rights as an individual and not as property. I know it might be trite using a TV show as a reference, but...:D
     
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