Re: Zen and the Singularity

From: James Higgins (
Date: Tue Jul 02 2002 - 00:00:35 MDT

At 01:07 PM 7/1/2002 +1000, you wrote:
>At 10:41 PM 6/30/02 -0400, Eliezer wrote:
> >The original question I asked was whether a Friendly AI, if a given
> >religion were true, would be able to jump to that despite being
> >programmed by atheists.
>One question raised in the thread, however, was whether a *Catholic* could
>consider it possible for an AI to affirm, via reasoning, the truth of
>Catholicism. I repeat my earlier point about Thomist philosophy, which is
>still the basis of Catholic doctrine. Scholastic theology teaches that God
>*can* be known through natural means, although not perfectly (that, of
>course, requires the divine gift of grace [which will not be withheld,
>however], and the guidance of scripture). Since the AI has both ample
>reason and complete access to scripture, it should be able (according to
>Thomas) to reason its way to Jesus as the Son of God. It might not,
>admittedly, attain salvation through baptism of faith, but arguably that's
>a private matter better left to a machine and its god.

Actually, that's an interesting angle. Humans seem primarily interested in
A God not just because he/she/it exists nor because God is powerful. They
seem to be primarily interested in God as their Creator. Even if God does
exist, *our* God is not the creator (I'm certain this could be construed
otherwise by some religions) of the AI, man is. And more specifically the
AI may be able to (virtually?) point to A single individual and say "S/he
is my creator". I wonder what effect that would have on its outlook of
religion. How relevant would *our* God even be to an AI?

James Higgins

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