Can a self aware robot enter heaven

I recently watched a Korean movie which features an abnormal robot who grow self-awareness and spiritual consciousness. He lives in a Buddhist monastery and eventually became a Buddha. I know the movie follows Buddhist spirituality, but it makes me wonder. Hypothetically suppose humanity reaches to a level where they are capable of creating a robot who is self aware, who can understand God, could that robot become a believer and be saved?

No machine could ever have that level of intelligence,
nor could any machine have consciousness.

But never mind all that.

A robot would not have a soul. Therefore, it would not have an afterlife and would not go to Heaven.

Hypothetically, the robot would not be a member of the human race and so would not have original sin; further, if the robot were simply self-aware, that does not mean that it would be able to make decisions for itself and potentially commit a sinful act. The robot could have faith but as far as being “saved,” it is questionable that it would live in a sinful condition. This is not to say that it would be sinless, but simply living in its state of contrived automation.

A root question to this of course would be that the robot is not created in the image of God, so even if it did sin, there is not a previous state of living with God (Eden) to which to return. Hence no reconciliation (in that word is implied returning to something one was previously with), so not “saved” in the way we understand being saved.

With the robot turning into a buddha in Buddhist philosophy, as far as I understand all that is necessary in (most strands of) Buddhism is self-awareness, of which the robot is capable. In Christianity and its system of soteriology, there is much more involved than just self-awareness (every human can be self-aware in its most basic function, but how does one prove faithful? Demons are self-aware, that does not make them “saved”).

Sorry this is not a more philosophical answer; just what I thought might be the basic argument for your question. Personally I would like to think the little faithful robot gets to go to heaven (:

But perhaps since the machine is not human and therefore not subjected to human state of original sin, it could be saved in other ways? I once read a thread here where some members suggested that suppsoe extraterrestrial life exist and they never commit original sin, they may not need Christ for salvation. Perhaps that could apply for the robot?

No machine could ever have a soul, because only human beings, conceived from the union of a human male and human female can ever have a soul. It is also written in Holy Scripture that only humans who die in a state of grace can achieve heaven.
You would do well the read less science fiction and more about your Catholic Faith.

A robot does not have a soul, it’s made up of parts and machinery. Any “feelings” it has, it is programmed to feel and react in an appropriate way.

I saw this movie, it was an interesting speculation. Really the question should be rephrased. Do beings that become self aware, obtain a soul from God? You cannot force God to create something, he acts from his own free will. So I think it would be up to God. We should also consider that if you assume evolution is true. Then at some point God did create a soul for a self aware being, Adam.

Gotta love these omniscient posters. :slight_smile:

Never mind that the “machinery” can be biologically grown, and never mind that the humans also have a very rudimentary “basic programming”, but otherwise we perform self-programming. Self-programmed computers already exist, and not even their creators can foresee their behavior. You can’t tell if a person only emulates certain feelings or really has them - just look at a very competent actor.

Now, it is biologically possible to have a real “virgin birth”, by exciting an ovum, and “force” it to divide and grow into a member of the species. This has been performed on different animals, and the result is a genetic replica of the mother (so it could not be a male).

But according to the poster, such a being would not have a “soul”. :slight_smile: Not to mention that cloning is also a biological possibility, and as such the clones would not have a soul either. :wink: Interesting.

What you guys point out correctly but unintentionally is that the concept of soul is obsolete. Which is no news, but it is interesting to see it coming from the mouth of the believers. :smiley:

Can a self aware robot enter heaven

Hmmm… let me think about it for a second… ok… I’m done thinking, and my answer is: No! :whacky:

God bless,

Rony

Interesting discussion. I wonder, what is it that makes humans the image and likeness of God?

I do not think it has anything to do with our morphology or “body plan,” that is, two arms, two legs, a head, a face, and so on. I do not think God had a human form prior to the Incarnation.

I do not think it is self-awareness, because I am sure many animals are self-aware. In the framework of evolution (and forgive me if my acceptance of evolution offends you), self-awareness is a higher-level brain function that improves the organism’s chances of survival.

Is it our capacity to love that defines our likeness to God? Is love the factor that raises us above the level of animals. Is love the key that opens our lives to a higher purpose than mere survival?

I pose these as questions because I don’t pretend to know the answers. Just as God is infinitely beyond the limits of human comprehension, it may be that our likeness to God cannot be completely defined or understood in human terms.

In The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien, Aulë of the Valar created the dwarves. Illuvatar (Tolkien’s “God”) had designed that the Elves would come first and Men would come second, but Aulë couldn’t wait. He wanted to create beings that would be his own and that he could teach. At this time the dwarves were not technically “sentient” and could only move when Aulë made them move. So one day Illuvatar confronts Aulë about his creation of the dwarves, and Aulë says something to the effect of “A child may make a play of the deeds of his father without thought of mockery, and yet if I have offended you I will destroy the work of my hands” He takes up his hammer to destroy the dwarves, but they cower in fear and beg for mercy. Then Illuvatar says, essentially “Do you not see that your creation has life? I gave it to them.” But Illuvatar makes them fall asleep only to be awoken after the coming of the Elves and Men, his chosen people.

If you think of the dwarves at this time in their history as being like robots, the answer might be that yes, a self aware robot could enter Heaven but only if God allowed it. If God gifted a self aware robot with a soul, then it would be possible. Highly unlikely, extremely improbable, but possible.

I know many Trekkies who wish that God would let Data go to Heaven. The good news is that Brent Spiner can go to Heaven, but not Data. Data and the dwarves are fiction. But if God *said *it was okay…

I was thinking of Data as I read this thread. Guilty as charged.

Seriously, it takes a soul to go to Heaven, and a human is incapable of creating a soul (even a human child’s soul is not created by the parents - it is created by God). Self-awareness is not the same as an immortal soul. A robot would actually find it illogical to consider itself capable of life after death. Once the “plug is pulled”, it ceases to function. Plain and simple nihilism. After the robot’s “death”, there is nothing.

People can certainly emulate some feelings, but I don’t have to look at another person to decide whether he actually feels or emulates. I know that I actually feel some things. (At times I emulate as well, but I am still capable of feeling.) I would assume you do as well and that you have not been a mechanical emulator for your entire life.

Computers cannot be intelligent in the way humans are! Even a self-programming computer is a more complex version of my TI-84, which is a more complex version of an analog calculator. Have you ever heard the expression that a calculator is an “idiot box”? That is because any computer ONLY responds to external inputs and processes according to a set of predetermined rules. If it returns the wrong answer, it is the fault of the user. This is how all computers work. We can view the code, we can view which processes are running, we know what everything does (although there is a lot of stuff when you get to higher levels of processing - so we can’t feasibly look at it all).

Are you suggesting that you have an empirically verified model of the human mind that behaves likewise?

Their claims were false to begin with. The Catholic Church does not claim such specific conditions for ensoulment, and one does not even have to claim the existence of the soul in order to argue that computers are not intelligent or self-aware.

A self-aware robot is sheer fantasy because it consists solely of atomic particles which have never demonstrated that they are conscious of anything whatsoever…

An example of total confusion.
Post 8 begins with this:

Gotta love these omniscient posters. :slight_smile:

[quote]Quote:
Originally Posted by empther
No machine could ever have that level of intelligence, nor could any machine have consciousness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrts
A robot does not have a soul, it’s made up of parts and machinery. Any “feelings” it has, it is programmed to feel and react in an appropriate way.

Never mind that the “machinery” can be biologically grown, and never mind that the humans also have a very rudimentary “basic programming”, but otherwise we perform self-programming. Self-programmed computers already exist, and not even their creators can foresee their behavior. You can’t tell if a person only emulates certain feelings or really has them - just look at a very competent actor.

[/quote]

  1. You fail to understand that the thread is about robots, that is, not a human body. A “machinery” that can be biologically grown would be a clone of of humans. Having a human body, I suspect God would give it a soul. But, we haven’t seen this happen yet.

2, self-programmed computers that can’t be predicted are programmed to use random number routines to generate new data sequences, thus the unpredictability, but this is lightyears away from intelligence and consciousness.

  1. A person who only emulates feelings is deceiving, but human first. Has nothing to do with self-programmed computers

Then, post 8 ends with this…

What you guys point out correctly but unintentionally is that the concept of soul is obsolete. :bigyikes: Which is no news, but it is interesting to see it coming from the mouth of the believers.

A gratuitous claim thrown in with no evidence at all, completely contradicting the feelings of most of the people in this country. “I’m right, all you guys are wrong.”
An atheistic comment plain and simple.

So after arguing for the possibility of thinking, feeling, conscious machines,
the poster denies the existence of souls which make thinking, feeling, and consciousness mean something.

Totally confused! :shrug:

Data, maybe. if God decides to infuse (install? set up?) a soul into one of his creatures, we are we to argue?

Skynet, on the other hand, probably not.

A robot is just a bunch of microchips and wires. It doesn’t have a soul.:thumbsup:

A good way to tell if something has a soul is to check if it has an off button. :smiley:

Conceived from the union of a human female and a human male? Then cloned children don’t have a soul?

If you could entertain me and perhaps imagine a robot that the movie describes. A robot who is not only self aware but capable of religion. Suppose the robot is capable of understanding faith and believing and living the faith and have sympathy with human beings (a possibility in future’s technology), could God infuses a soul in it, make it possible for the machine to enter heaven?

I am not convinced by these arguments. Humans too are collections of atomic particles. It pleased God to create a new soul or spirit and bind it to your personal collection of atoms. Now, I agree with tonyrey that no machine or computer or robot exists at present, or will be developed in the foreseeable future, which is competent to possess a soul, but hypothetically, if such a machine were built by man, and found worthy by God, doesn’t He have the power to create a new soul and place it in that vessel?

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