(1st Things) Wesley Smith–An AI Thanksgiving Proclamation

We live in metaphysically desolate times. An increasing number of us—particularly among the millennial generation—now reject Christianity and other non-materialistic faiths as superstitious relics, vestiges of a time before science uncovered the truth about existence. The less polite even mock traditional religious believers by pretending to worship a faux-god, the great flying spaghetti monster.

Scorn faith as they will, moderns can’t escape the yearning of their own hearts for something more profound than news, weather, sports, and carbon molecules—demonstrating that human beings are congenitally incapable of believing in nothing. We crave meaning. We yearn for purpose. As Dylan put it, “Ya gotta serve somebody.” It is hardly surprising that, having rejected God and believing that the only reality is that which can be scientifically demonstrated, some “non-believers” are turning to technology as their focus of worship.

Take the “Way of the Future,” a registered non-profit religious organization founded by Silicon Valley mega-millionaire Anthony Levandowski. The Way of the Future—perhaps borrowing from Christianity’s early identification as “The Way”—describes its purposeas proselytizing “the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.” In other words, Levandowski intends that we view artificial intelligence—very sophisticated computers capable of self-programming—as a materialist god. Rather than worshipping their Creator, creators would worship their creations.

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Posted in Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology