The Catholic Church survived the Heliocentric and Evolution theories, will it survive an age of AI?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a reality steadily gaining momentum in today’s world. However, experts and scholars are of the opinion that AI may be the next threat to Christianity churches will have to face. The Catholic Church already faced and survived the Heliocentric and Evolution theories in the past. How the Church will face the threat of a whole new form of intelligence altogether is a mystery only the future can answer.
The key strategy the Church has been using to survive all these challenges is adjusting to the changing times. The Church would compromise with the changes in time, and shed a little of its traditional views to accommodate modern ideas into its religious teaching. The same adjustment to changes can be seen today with the Catholic Church making leaping progresses in modernization under Pope Francis.
This just might be exactly what the Church needs right now to successfully survive the transition into a world run by AI.
In fact, Pope Francis said even if Martians were to come seeking spiritual aid, the Church had a duty to accept them. This shows the extent to which the once rigid Church has started to become more accepting. Although gay rights still have not been fully recognized by the Catholic Church, the Pope has made it very clear gay people should not be discriminated against. His statement about accepting Martians is indicative of the Church’s understanding that the world is going to undergo extreme technological changes.
Expansion of AI can have a devastating effect on human life, according to scientists, because if AI is set in motion, they believe, its limitlessness will outrun human intelligence in no time – thereby bringing humankind to an end. Stalwarts such as Noam Chomsky, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are already strongly opposed to developing AI without precautionary measures.
My Catholic Church says that artificial intelligence will never be a threat, for intelligence needs a soul and computers have no soul.
— Gregory Sheffield (@GregSheffield) June 1, 2016
Theology and religion will be one of the first to be hit if an autonomous; artificial intelligence is created because everything religion teaches will prove to be false. Questions regarding sin, free will, and most importantly, will be examined from all new dimensions.
Although the Church is gearing up to accept AI, the main question would be how AI is going to accept religion and religious belief. How beings which are devoid of a human ‘soul’ can be made part of religious practices will be an interesting question the future, will have to answer.
- The Atlantic
- World Religion News
- Future of Life Institute
- The Noam Chomsky Website
- The 100
- The 100 Wikia
- Inverse Entertainment