Catholics and the Singularity

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Jun 30 2002 - 12:02:18 MDT


I called up an acquaintance who is a devout Christian and asked him to
comment on the Singularity, AGI and related things...

I asked him "do you think an AGI, if smart enough and unbiased, would arrive
at the truth of the Christian religion generally, or of your branch of
christianity (catholicism) specifically?"

A brief summary of some of the points [translated into Ben-speak] that came
up are:

1) he said it was a really deep and tough question that he wasn't sure he
knew enough to answer reasonably

2) he pointed out that intelligence is not the same as wisdom or spiritual
insight, and he was skeptical that an AGI was going to have wisdom or
spiritual insight. Seeing the truth of Catholicism is in his view more to
do with wisdom than with intelligence, as evidenced by the fact that some
really smart people aren't Catholics...

3) the big question is whether the posited AGI will have a soul. If it
doesn't have a soul, it will not see the truth of Christianity at all, it
will be impaired in this way. Whether the AGI will have a soul is up to
God, not us, and it's pretty hard to guess what god's will is gonna be in
this situation

4) he thought wisdom had a lot to do with the body as well as the mind, and
was skeptical of the wisdom of a bodiless being

5) he didn't see his religious faith as coming out of any kind of
"correspondence theory" [which doesn't mean that it doesn't, it just means
he didn't see it that way]

-- Ben G

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