Are the claims about spiritual robots just an intellectual cottage industry for edgy clergy?:
Some people have taken Pope Francis’s musings in recent years to mean pretty much whatever they want them to mean. For example,
But Francis’s wide arms have arguably never stretched further than a mass in 2014 when he suggested the church would baptize Martians.
“If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came … and one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?” Pope Francis asked. “When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let’s do it this way.’” Jonathan Merritt, “Is Ai a Threat to Christianity?” at the Atlantic (February 3, 2017)
Merritt promptly converts the hypothetical question—which depends, of course, on the assumption that Martians are beings much like ourselves—into: Are you there, God? It’s I, robot.
Fine writing, that, but what’s the basis for the string of assumptions? Is a computer more likely to be in need of salvation, in a religious sense, than a horse? Why so?
Proponents of artificial intelligence as equal or superior to human beings are talented at a certain type of rhetoric. Just listen: …Denyse O’Leary, “Do churches need a catechism for robots?” at Mind Matters News
The fact that we have never found any extraterrestrial intelligences never seems to matter to this crowd. Never.
See also: Tales of an invented god
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