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View Full Version : Can a AI have a soul?



Irate Canadian
05-22-2015, 08:05 PM
It's something I've been pondering for quite sometime, and I'm not sure where I stand...

Scrawly
05-22-2015, 08:23 PM
It's something I've been pondering for quite sometime, and I'm not sure where I stand...

Define "soul".

Teallaura
05-22-2015, 09:44 PM
Where would it get one from? That's the real question.

hamster
05-23-2015, 09:34 AM
When AIs get so powerful that they are almost indistinguishable from humans we're going to have to treat them like conscious, souled beings because we'll never know for sure

mossrose
05-23-2015, 09:35 AM
Anything made by humans has no soul.

David Hayward
05-23-2015, 09:38 AM
Here's a link to a paper called, "Validation of individual consciousness in strong artificial intelligence : an African theological contribution (http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/2361)."

I'm not totally sure whether this would answer what you're asking.

Irate Canadian
05-23-2015, 09:53 AM
Anything made by humans has no soul.

Would that extend to human clones as well?

Irate Canadian
05-23-2015, 10:18 AM
Define "soul".
The capability to enter the kingdom of heaven and a eternal character of its moral decisions.

mossrose
05-23-2015, 10:18 AM
Would that extend to human clones as well?

I knew someone would ask that.

I don't know. Maybe we will never get that far.

Irate Canadian
05-23-2015, 10:23 AM
I knew someone would ask that.

I don't know. Maybe we will never get that far.
Sadly, we're getting closer and closer day by day..

Christianbookworm
05-23-2015, 10:50 AM
I knew someone would ask that.

I don't know. Maybe we will never get that far.

A clone would just be like having an identical twin that was much younger than you. Do identical twins only have one soul since they're technically clones of each other?

mossrose
05-23-2015, 11:08 AM
I guess only God knows and will decide some of these issues.

And ultimately, there is a huge difference between a clone and an AI. An AI is not human.

Teallaura
05-23-2015, 01:00 PM
The capability to enter the kingdom of heaven and a eternal character of its moral decisions.? Come again?

Cerebrum123
05-23-2015, 01:14 PM
I knew someone would ask that.

I don't know. Maybe we will never get that far.

Human DNA was made by God. Clones are just like identical twins, just artificially caused by man. Not different in principle from fertility treatments.

Teallaura
05-23-2015, 01:27 PM
Human DNA was made by God. Clones are just like identical twins, just artificially caused by man. Not different in principle from fertility treatments.
But where does the soul originate? Is it a product of the reproduction process or something else? If something else, it's easy to see why twins have individual souls regardless of their DNA - and hard to see how you get the same effect in a petri dish. If it's just a reproductive process, then how would a computer get one?

Cerebrum123
05-23-2015, 01:41 PM
But where does the soul originate? Is it a product of the reproduction process or something else? If something else, it's easy to see why twins have individual souls regardless of their DNA - and hard to see how you get the same effect in a petri dish. If it's just a reproductive process, then how would a computer get one?

I go with "something else". As for your last question, that's why I agree with mossrose that an AI would never/can never obtain a soul. I also don't think God would allow it even if He were to allow us technology powerful enough to let us.

Jedidiah
05-23-2015, 03:01 PM
But where does the soul originate? Is it a product of the reproduction process or something else? If something else, it's easy to see why twins have individual souls regardless of their DNA - and hard to see how you get the same effect in a petri dish. If it's just a reproductive process, then how would a computer get one?

The soul is not something that is added in to a human at some point in time. It is something that is an innate part of a being. My personal opinion is that there will never be a true AI. We may given time produce machines that can convince us they are self aware, but it will be just programing.

Teallaura
05-23-2015, 03:28 PM
The soul is not something that is added in to a human at some point in time. It is something that is an innate part of a being. My personal opinion is that there will never be a true AI. We may given time produce machines that can convince us they are self aware, but it will be just programing.
Actually, I'd go with the reverse: the soul is the innate part of being, the body is the 'add on' (way over simplified).

Cerebrum123
05-23-2015, 03:41 PM
Actually, I'd go with the reverse: the soul is the innate part of being, the body is the 'add on' (way over simplified).

I don't agree with this. Body, soul, and spirit all seem to be integral to what we are. We would be incomplete without any of them, which is why the resurrection is needed.

Teallaura
05-23-2015, 03:45 PM
I don't agree with this. Body, soul, and spirit all seem to be integral to what we are. We would be incomplete without any of them, which is why the resurrection is needed.
I agree - the statement is an oversimplification. All are necessary - but the body least of all since the soul exists in some state without it between death and resurrection.

Christianbookworm
05-23-2015, 03:48 PM
Human DNA was made by God. Clones are just like identical twins, just artificially caused by man. Not different in principle from fertility treatments.

That's what I said! I even had a rhetorical question to prove my point!

Paula
05-23-2015, 04:35 PM
I don't think AIs will have souls because souls are immaterial entities while computers are machines. I think much of the push behind computer sentience stems from a materialist/physicalist philosophy. The argument is that the mind is reducible to the brain and arises from physical properties and processes.

So while a computer might fool us into thinking it has the same mental properties that we do that doesn't mean it has them. For example, Searle's Chinese Box Argument shows why being able to execute proper syntax doesn't entail understanding.

And as for human clones, they are just people that arise from an alternative form of reproduction. If I had a clone she wouldn't be my duplicate--she would be my sister.

Jedidiah
05-23-2015, 05:40 PM
I agree - the statement is an oversimplification. All are necessary - but the body least of all since the soul exists in some state without it between death and resurrection.

Subject to our total lack of reliable understanding of what happens to us after death.

Jedidiah
05-23-2015, 05:42 PM
snip . . . So while a computer might fool us into thinking it has the same mental properties that we do that doesn't mean it has them.

Yes, that!

Teallaura
05-23-2015, 06:23 PM
Subject to our total lack of reliable understanding of what happens to us after death.
Consistent with references to same in Scripture.

Jedidiah
05-23-2015, 09:06 PM
Consistent with references to same in Scripture.

There are other references that indicate to me that we are not given a clear view. No further comment.

Thoughtful Monk
05-25-2015, 12:51 PM
When AIs get so powerful that they are almost indistinguishable from humans we're going to have to treat them like conscious, souled beings because we'll never know for sure

Which shows up in the Battlestar Galatica remake (2004-2009). The Cylons at the start of the series have more faith in God than the humans.

Sparko
05-26-2015, 07:38 AM
whats the difference between a spirit and a soul?

I thought that we ARE souls and we have a spirit.

Genesis 2:7 (KJ21)
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

I always thought of the soul as combination of the spirit, body, mind. The part of me that makes me "me"

That is why you can have identical twins with identical DNA and yet they are individual persons

mrsticky005
06-12-2015, 10:49 AM
AI would not have souls. They are robots. They might be able to think on their own. But that does not mean they would have a soul.

Human clones WOULD have souls. Why? Because clones are not created. They are cloned.
Ok I know that sounds redundant. But human clones already exist. They are called twins.
I think we can all agree that twins have souls. A clone only looks like it's original. It is in fact it's own person.
Yet at the same time, humans cannot and will never be able to create human life from scratch. It's infinitely too complex.
Even if souls did not exist. But they do and a human clone would have one because it's just a human twin--born much later.