15 November, 2008

Artificial Intelligence a Cultural Fascination

Artificial intelligence is something that human beings have been trying to create forever. If you create an artificial person then you have become in your mind a creator even though God was the first creator. It has always been man’s goal to reach the same level as God creating a being. The most complex being on the planet are humans so if we could cerate a person artificially and that person have the same intellectual capabilities then we would be like God.
This idea of artificial intelligence has been used in many movies and television shows. The well known movie I Robot with Will Smith has an artificially intelligent robot this robot who begins to not only think but feel, regret and remorse. The new and old television series Knight Rider has an artificially intelligent car who works with humans to do good. The human race has had an interest with how to become God, this only manifests itself in attempting to recreate our selves.
God created human beings in his image giving us a soul. The soul contains faith and mentality, which are the thinking, volition that makes the choices, emotion that gives us the capacity to appreciate, and conscience which tells us what is right and wrong. This soul is what makes the human race different from all other living beings on the planet. It is impossible for humans to create artificial intelligence when they cannot fully understand the soul. The soul is the capacity which allows us to have a moral judgment, tell what is true or false and which allows us to appreciate the beauty of Gods creation.
The Good, True, and Beautiful are considered the three great ideas because everything originates or can be traced back to them. Morals, Truth and Beauty are three ideas of which our culture is seriously lacking. These ideas have major theological and philosophical implications depending on what viewpoint you have about these ideas. These views cannot be programmed into a machine and expected to perform to the degree which humans do. Regardless of what people tell you about their nonexistent beliefs on these ideas, every person has a viewpoint about these ideas. Each one of these ideas covers a different realm of thought. Each one equally important; each one dependent on each other. The good is morality and ethics, the true what is intellectually true, and the beauty is the capacity to fully appreciate. Each idea cannot exist without one another. These ideas cannot have an agreed upon value therefore the only being who is capable of programming something is God, because he is the source of all knowledge on the subject.
It might be possible, down the road, to create a robot that can make its own choices but they would have to be programmed to make that choice. They would have intelligence that is nothing beyond what we have all ready preprogrammed. An emotional free willing robot is just not going to happen because we as a human race would have to figure out much more about ourselves in order to begin to program these robots that well. We as human beings are more interested in the world around us and our happiness, then to go that in-depth in a study of the human soul and how its capacities work. This process if started now would take generations to complete.
I believe that we as a human race have an ultimate goal of achieving equality with God. This is achieved through the process of creating a being just like us with artificial intelligence. I think that this is not possible because of the complexities of the human soul. This I am sure will not stop someone from trying but I think that Aristotle would agree with me about the complexities of the human soul.
Truth is something that corresponds to reality. Reality is the world around us; this can also be called general revelation. God is veracity (truth), so if God holds all truth and he gave us reality to compare truth to him. If God created the universe then you actually, compare truth to him through his tool that he created and gave to us reality. This is called the correspondence theory. Truth is commonly referred to as good in the classical model of the good, true and beautiful.
The Good is the virtues of a person; virtue for all intense purposes is the ethics or morality that any person lives their life by. There are many different or more in depth definitions for this word. Virtue is what the culture has lost, this has only become available due to the effect that public schools and universities have on our young. If as a culture we have lost sight of the morally correct how are we to program morals into a machine, it is impossible for the complexity of morality to be condensed into a sequence of ones and zeros.
The idea of virtue was at one point of time a greatly appreciated and emphasized objective truth. Due to the churches lack of development of good thinking (faith with reason), with the ideas that are staining the minds of the church goers, we cannot argue the great fact that virtue is objective. The belief in the unknown which is needed to have virtue cannot be programmed by humans; everything computers do is because they can prove it there is no faith but plenty of reason. This dichotomy is what is impossible to program into a computer.
The cultures infatuation with artificial intelligence places the culture in an age of postmodern belief; when using James W. Sire’s descriptions. Where truth is dead and progress it what we strive to achieve. David A. Nobel would use a different term of secular humanism. They both describe the same philosophy of atheism, relativism and the complete in-ability to utilize the human soul in the manner the designer intended. Artificial intelligence is an attempt to create something better then God’s creation. Wither these artificially intelligent robots are harming or protecting humanity this fascination with the artificial intelligence is just another why which the culture defies God, in this postmodern age.

10 November, 2008

Foundations Blog Book Review

Good News About Injustice Book Review
In recent years there has been many different genocides all over the world, many people in society refer to this as an injustice. Injustice can be defined as treatment that has not been justified or warranted. The book Good News About Injustice deals with how much of a tragedy injustice is for society; and how much of a large opportunity it can be for the church. The book attempts to answer how an omnipotent and loving God lets people coerce and deceive other people.
The author takes a unique view point because of his area of work. The author Gary Haugen led the United Nations genocide investigation team in Rwanda. He also worked for the Department of Justice in the civil rights division. Currently he is the Chief Executive Officer and President of a Mission based out of Washington D.C. This very extensive background allows him to draw on many different stories to use as useful examples within his book. One of the main ways Haugen likes to relay information is to give you the facts supported by a proceeding or post ceding story or example from his experience.
Haugen starts the book off by telling a story of his experience in Rwanda. This story is a very effective method of portraying injustice to the reader. This story is not a type of injustice that only a Christian would relate to; it is something that no one can deny to be an injustice. He also uses a story of a twelve year old girl who was raped in the Philippines, and after a year later the rapist is still on the streets. These are the stories of injustice of which Haugen writes in his book.
Haugen mainly writes about injustice and then tells a story then he talks about some aspect of Christianity. In the beginning Haugen tells you about how as Christians we are the last people to just deny injustices around the world. As Christians we have the best way to determine what is just and unjust, because of the, living, breathing, Bible. God determines the people who He wants to have power and authority on earth. Then when this power and authority are used in a way which does not meet God’s standards then we consider it injustice. This is why Christians should have the best take on injustice.
Haugen also talks about characteristics of God. How he hates injustice but works it all out for the good of the people. God loves and has compassion for those who suffer from the injustices that happen in this fallen world. God will hold the people accountable for their actions of injustice, on earth or for eternity. God wants to stop the injustice when the time is right, as Christians we need to be ready to hear His call and rescues people from injustice. Haugen tells the end to the story about the girl who was raped; it took a letter from the Department of Justice to the Pilipino National Police, and a case laid out by a Christian lawyer in Washington D.C. for the police to do something on a year old arrest warrant. God wants to use His people, Christians, to stop injustices around the world but we have to be willing to do something for his Kingdom. Haugen gives ways that Christians can stop injustice.
In order to stop injustice there are several methods which can be used. First is addressing what type of injustice the situation is, Haugen mentions two options, coercion and deception. Coercion is the use to brute force, or something which holds an individual against their own, God given, freewill. Coercion has three elements the first is the form of force, second is the power of the individual using force, and third is the authority. The authority can be legitimate or illegitimate, a police officer or a thug off of the street. Deception is generally when injustice comes about using some form of a lie. Usually in order to rescue someone from injustice you will need a counter balancing force. This counter balancing force can be the police force.
In order to stop an injustice you first need to investigate and find all of the facts. You need the victim to tell their story no matter how hard it is. Then you need to experts to assist you in supporting your victim’s story this expert could be a lawyer, or doctor. You need to make a case to someone who is going to assist in the intervention.
You have several options of intervention according to Haugen. First you need to be in prayer for God to give you direction and for the situation the victim is in. The you can use several form of intervention one method is to ask the person who is the oppressor to stop. The second method is a legal interjection into the situation; this is generally used only when you have sufficient evidence to have the oppressor arrested. The third method is only applicable if you are dealing with military or police personal; it is to make their actions known to their commanding officer. The fourth is to use public shame; you make the citizens of the area aware of the actions of the oppressor. The fifth method is an economic sanction on a nation. This is only applicable when you are dealing with the actions of a state wide government. The six methods is to use a military force, this again is only an option for a government. All of these methods can be effective you just need to be able to choose the right method of intervention.
Haugen’s book is well written, he uses effective methods of communication. His premise is very true, I did not agree with everything which he said. He supported his idea with many bible verses which is a very effective form when writing to Christians. Christians need to not deny the injustices in this world, we do need to attempt to fix any injustices we can.