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Desperation Breeds Craziness

Desperation Breeds Craziness

These days, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is all the rage. Most of the biggest tech companies in the world are putting great effort into developing it – companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Facebook, for example. Another one of the big companies working in this field is Google. Recently, one of Google’s engineers came out with a claim that the company’s AI system had become sentient – able to perceive and feel things. After having numerous conversations with the computer, he claimed that it was aware of its own desires and able to express them to people.

Well, ultimately, Google fired him. He claims it was because they didn’t like the issues he was raising. Google counter claimed that hundreds of researchers and engineers have had conversations with its AI computer, and this guy is the only one who had come to the conclusion that the computer was sentient. But beyond that, Google said that the real reason he was fired was not because of supposed ethical questions he had raised, but because he violated employment and data security policies. Obviously, Google doesn’t want other companies to know about their proprietary AI work.

Interestingly, several years ago, Star Trek had a “sentient” robot as one of its main characters – Data. In one episode, Data deliberately disobeyed orders from the starship captain who had ordered that some robots be sent out to repair a problem on a space station. This was seen to necessary to save both the space station and his ship. However, in the process, the robots would have been destroyed. Data refused the order because he believed these robots had become sentient, and they were “his kind.”

Of course, no robot or computer ever has, or ever will, become sentient. Just because a machine can be created that is able to imitate what humans do, does not mean it can actually feel and think for itself. But this Google engineer has bought into the belief that it is possible.

In order to believe that, he has to have an underlying belief that life is somehow able to emerge from non-life – a core belief of naturalistic philosophy. Naturalists believe that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is all that exists. With that as a starting point, there is no other possibility but that life and human consciousness had to have arisen through some kind of natural evolutionary process. If that is true, why couldn’t humans create a sentient machine?

But this Google engineer’s desire to support his naturalistic beliefs in the field of computers is not the only place this desire manifests itself. Biologists have, for years, asserted that naturalistic evolution is true – that complex life forms gradually evolved from less complex forms through natural evolutionary processes. Virtually every science book in existence that deals with biological science promotes this view. In fact, there is an entire field called evolutionary science where these “scientists” spend all of their teaching and writing hours promoting this view. Of course, there is no actual science able to demonstrate this kind of evolutionary process is even possible, but, as committed Naturalists, they don’t consider that there is any other possibility.

But this goes even further. NASA has already spent, and continues to spend, billions of dollars in an effort to prove their naturalistic beliefs. Virtually every one of the probes they send to Mars has instruments that are designed to detect the building blocks of life. If you listen to various lectures and broadcasts by NASA scientists who work in this area, it becomes obvious very quickly that they are desperate to find signs of life.

All of these people are convinced that what they believe corresponds to the way reality works. They truly believe that life has a natural origin, and that given enough time and the right circumstances, it is possible for it to originate anywhere. It seems unreasonable to them that as vast as our universe is, the only place where life exists is on planet earth. It seems rather reasonable to them that once we have more knowledge about how the natural universe works, we can certainly create sentient life ourselves.

BUT, every bit of those beliefs are just that – beliefs based on faith. Naturalism is not founded upon a belief in “science” as they claim. There is absolutely NO science to back up any of their assertions. They believe by pure faith – faith that their naturalistic presuppositions are true. They are convinced that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is all that exists – contrary to the actual science they say they depend on for their beliefs.

The truth is, their belief in Naturalism is a religious belief – based purely on faith. And they will never come to the truth about actual reality until they realize that God does exist, and that they can know Him in a personal relationship.

Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.

You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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