[quote=Kamaduck]I think it’s relevant as long as the discussion includes souls. That’s why people here have a problem with sentient or intelligent computers. For them, intelligence = soul, soul = created in image of God, and “intelligent” computers = made in the image of humans.
I understand all that. The point is that the “soul” is 1) not even defined in a rigorous manner, 2) whatever it might be is not proven to exist, 3) not even the church says when and how humans get it. (The church does not say anymore that the soul is “infused” at the time of conception.)
[quote=Kamaduck]That’s why you’re getting the responses you are. Now, if our souls have nothing to do with intelligence, and we’re actually image-bearers in some other, more specific way, that changes things. (And since many Christians hold that humans are still image-bearers of God even before they obtain the ability to reason, I would say that the two things really can’t be the same.)
And your observation is very pertinent. According to the church even the people in a persistent vegetative state are “image-bearers”, even if they have no higher brain functions – at all!
[quote=Kamaduck]I don’t think you’ve shown it to be superfluous. You’ve shown that intelligence and having a rational soul are different things. (Not that I know what the difference is.)
Well, in that respect it is superfluous. And you are not alone in not knowing the difference – especially since there is no rational definition of a “rational soul”.
[quote=Kamaduck]I agree that this is entertaining, but for the OP, the fact that it is a somewhat distant worry is probably why the Church hierarchy hasn’t said anything about it.
The church hierarchy says nothing about many questions, even if they are pressing and pertinent today. But that would be a different discussion.
[quote=Kamaduck]But we’re not valuing the artistic beauty. We’re valuing that it’s the only one that was actually touched by Da Vinci. It’s the same reason an original artifact in a museum is more valuable than a near-perfect replica. It’s because it was really used by someone famous, and we think that’s cool.
What use is a picture if not for its artistic beauty? If the Mona Lisa would be quietly substituted by a “perfect” replica, people would still admire it, unknowing that it is not the original. Two months ago we took a trip to Toscana, and admired many beautiful statues, knowing full well that they are “only” replicas, while the original is hidden in some safe place. And no one was shrugging them off, saying: “Bah, these are only replicas”.
[quote=vz71]You are arguing on a Catholic forum that we must ignore church teaching?
Yes, but only if you wish to stay on rational ground. I have no problem to discuss what the church teaches, as long as it is the logical corollary of a rational argument. But not as an a-priori assumption.
[quote=vz71]My 5 year old daughter plays a similar game.
She will argue that plants are really like animals, all we have to do is ignore the differences.
Actually she is very smart. There is no clear dividing line between plans and animals. Just like there is no clear dividing line between living and inanimate matter.
[quote=vz71]Man is a very intelligent and creative creature. We can fashion machines to do our bidding and we can even fashion programs that will in turn continue to improve upon themselves.
Ultimately man may even bring about what is now science fiction into science fact.
Yes, let’s hope so.
[quote=vz71]But for all of our creativity, our creations will lack that final piece that differs us from every other one of God’s creations.
I am sorry Hal, but you won’t dream.
Dreaming is the temporary cessation of conscious thought, when the neurons will fire in a random fashion. Dreaming is necessary for the organic brain / mind to rest, just like the deep sleep is necessary for the body to rest. So, as long as the machines will be made of electronic material, which does not need refreshment, you are probably correct, and the computers will not “dream”. However, there was a novel with the title: “Do androids dream of electric sheep?”… so artificially grown beings may very well dream.
[quote=vz71]No, my first consideration is to pull the plug. There is nothing violent about that.
Since you read Asimov’s stories, I am sure you realize that mobile units will have a non-wired power supply. But regardless of that, I was referring to the act of “turning off” a sentient being, which is an act of hostility, and maybe the robot would resent that…
My fundamental assertion is this: “It does not matter what the underlying hardware (or wetware) is made of, as long as it functions in a specific manner”. To paraphrase Forrest Gump: “Human is as human does”.