Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Created Humankind as Creators

Technology advancements are happening at a fast pace, and humans are achieving what could not be imagined a few decades ago. In Genesis Chapter 1, God spoke, and it came into being. Now people can talk to their smart devices, and it will perform the actions requested or commanded. The children are growing up with a different worldview as humans have become Techno sapiens. Today most people rely on Google or similar search engines to find answers and expect these search engines to know everything. Psalms 115 talks about the idols made by human hands which have a mouth, but cannot speak, they have eyes, but cannot see, they have ears, but cannot hear, they have noses, but cannot smell, they have hands, but cannot feel, they have feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Now humans are creating robots that can speak, see, hear, smell, walk, touch, and talk.

God created humankind in His image and gave them different abilities, including intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom. Humans can develop the skills they have, and it has resulted in many scientific and technological developments. The Bible mentioned specific instances when people were given unique ability or skill by God to accomplish His purpose.

The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you:” (Exod. 31:1-7)

Humans can create many things, but those abilities cannot be compared with the abilities of the creator God. God spoke, and it came into existence (Gen. 1:1-24). Humans create using materials that are already available. Humans are not equal to God but work with and for God in the world. Humans are not at an equal level with God when it comes to creating anything new. Being the image-bearers of God, humans can co-create but at a level that is lower than that of God.

There is AI, which is used to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making as it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations as it often mimics or exceeds human ability. These excel in data-based computation, but the technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, (Exod. 20:3-5)

AI machines should not be seen as a god when it becomes powerful from a task execution perspective. AI is not worthy of humanity’s hope, worship, or love. Humans should not be equated to Creator God when they create something which may appear to exceed human intelligence. Humans should not cede moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. In the Bible, it is clear that only humans will be judged by God based on their actions (Heb. 9:27). No tools developed will be subject to judgment. While technology can be created with good use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision-making.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Rom. 2:6-8)

The development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings, among many other things they have developed. When AI is employed per God’s moral will, it is an example of human obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. Any technology innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor are good and should be done in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering. Human beings are God's created co‐creators whose purpose is to be the agency, acting in freedom, to birth the future that is most wholesome for the nature that has birthed us—the nature that is not only our genetic heritage but also the entire human community and the evolutionary and ecological reality in which and to which humans belong. Exercising this agency is said to be God's will for humans.[1] 

[1] Victoria Lorrimar, “The Scientific Character of Philip Hefner’s ‘Created Co-Creator’,” Zygon 52, no. 3 (September 2017): 726-746, accessed October 25, 2019, EBSCOhost Academic Search Premier.

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