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What Would Jesus Do


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Hmm. What happens to our brains when we die? Are our memories embedded into our souls? Can a brain exist on its own?

 

What exactly happens to the android after "death"? I'm guessing that if you're basing his "being" on his partly human brain, then it would have to be the brain dying. Otherwise he could just be revived in another body.

 

Is our body saved... or our soul?

In fiction, I could understand a scene where God grants the android a soul... This is fiction, after all, you have the ability to be creative. People write stories with talking elephants.

 

But let's go further back: where did he get this brain? From someone who was already dead? Does he receive any of the human's memories from this brain? Or is it wiped clean? Is he fully an android with a part of a human brain? If so, I hold the stance that there's nothing to be "saved."

But... If the brain-donor wasn't fully dead, could their soul be connected to this brain, and therefore it's like some have pointed out, more of a cyborg human, and therefore that person has the opportunity to decide to accept Christ? But I suspect that changes your premise.

 

Lots of interesting questions this brings up.

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If I recall correctly, Jews believe that the seat of the soul was actually in the brain.  It's one of the reasons why when they pray, they have that box / headband that holds a section of The Word against their forehead.

 

Assuming the brain is transplanted into an android body, I'd say that an android could be saved.

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15 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

Assuming the brain is transplanted into an android body, I'd say that an android could be saved.


Nod. And in my story, the brain of Joseph Ziller was the brain of one already saved. And so, when the devout Joseph Ziller prayed and his fortunes increased, it was enough for the Coterie to put a hit out on him. When he was shot and nearly killed, his brain and brain stem was implanted in an Android shell, but he didn't know what his former identity was.

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I have read that there is no part of the brain that is the "mind." There is nothing in the brain that actually controls what we think. If the soul is separate from the brain, then it does not matter whether the brain is fully human, partially human, or simply programmed.

 

What that has to do with salvation I'm not sure.

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22 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:

I have read that there is no part of the brain that is the "mind." There is nothing in the brain that actually controls what we think. If the soul is separate from the brain, then it does not matter whether the brain is fully human, partially human, or simply programmed.

 

All right, that gives me an idea Johne and Carolina!

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23 hours ago, zx1ninja said:

No, only the ability to choose. I'll stop now. 

Good luck on referencing that one, but let's go your way.

 

Who, and what, has the ability to choose? I'll give you inorganics cannot choose. Do rabbits choose? Do monkeys choose? Porpoises or cats? (I'm picking out the animals scientists believe are closest to human's in thinking skills.) An unborn baby? My niece who has Rett Syndrome? How do you know who can choose other than people you can converse with? And, I honestly don't know who or what can choose. I do know what Man chooses.

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36 minutes ago, Spaulding said:

Good luck on referencing that one, but let's go your way.


 Really, let's not. This is a tangent I'm explicitly asking you not to pursue (and this is not the first time).

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23 hours ago, JosiAtara said:

So it's not really the android being saved then, it's a cyborg person.

 

OK, here's my take as a software developer.  It's a long one.

 

Android / artificial "brains" are not like human brains.  They are not sentient.  In fact, when you start breaking down sentience, and how to determine what is and is not sentience, it gets very tricky.

 

Any artificial intelligence is built off of coded logic, a stream of input that teaches the machine, or a combination of both.  There is no magical algorithm that takes a dumb machine, and makes it an equivalent to human thinking, nor does it give it a soul.

 

When I test any function / method I write, I give it an input, and expect a specific output.  No matter how complex something is, I can trace down whatever variables affect a decision, and create the output.  The same variables or conditions, the same input produces the same output, every time, over and over.  In short, whatever an AI "thinks" depends on what the developer(s) put in there, one way or another.

 

You can say, "well, it's nature over nurture."  Well, that's a longstanding debate that no one has conclusively proven.  I can guarantee you, however, that one artificial "brain" exposed to the same conditions will react in the same manner as any other.  That's because someone made it work that way.

 

Or, in short, an artificial intelligence only thinks what I want it to.  You cannot say the same thing of a human.

 

The flip side of this argument is essentially saying that we flawed and fallen creatures now have the capacity to create souls.  Or, that our brain is nothing more than a machine that can be replicated via circuitry and software, thereby proving we have no souls.  I personally don't want to stand by either argument.  While I see God as the ultimate programmer of our firmware, and that human behavior is ultimately predictable (as we make the same mistakes over and over again), that does not hold true for everyone.  Therefore, something else is at play in our lives.

 

I find it unfathomable that a being such as God, who has the capacity to create the Universe in all its complexity, has made us nothing but automatons whom he manipulates at will.  If that were the case, there would be no need for the Tree of Knowledge, the Fall, the Mosaic Law, no need for a Savior, and no need for Faith or Belief or Grace, and no need for the End Times and Judgement.  He could simply manipulate each of us according to His Will any time, all of the time.  That seems rather pointless to go to all of that trouble.

 

So, there has to be something more.

 

Call it an android or robot, it cannot be saved, because it does not have a soul.

 

You can say that Jesus put a soul into an android.  But that's like saying Jesus put a soul into a chisel.

 

My final answer is, call it what you want, unless it is made by God - directly - it cannot be saved.

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That's sound logic, Jeff!

 

But I wonder if it holds true- just speculating here- for an android with a partial human brain.  In the Jesus Road series, in fact, that is the case.  He's got 4 tiny human brains and a fifth attachment that is a black box of undefined function, all housed in his head.

 

So whereas as your logic holds sound as far as it goes, it doesn't take in to account his four human brains. (this is science fiction!)  But maybe you're right, maybe the black box of undefined origin takes precedence over the four small human brains, in which case, you would be definitely right.

 

Lots to think about...

 

Gives me a headache!

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I'd like to repeat what I posted earlier in this thread. Do you really have to answer the question for your readers?

 

If anything, the discussion here underscores how much they would like to have their own opinions, and how much they'd like to think about it for themselves. An alternate dramatic direction that still leaves the original question at least partly open can be powerful, if done well.

 

Hollywood has been successful with what's been called the mind-game film. While most any scifi fan is trained to easily sort out the logical gymnastics in Back to the Future, most of the moviegoing audience were caught by surprise, yet they absolutely loved struggling with it.

 

A more serious challenge to what is reality happens in films like Mulholland Drive, where a viewer may spend hours after the film, mulling over unwinding it, and trying to fit together what it is they just saw. Of course, the story has to be compelling enough that they want to unwind it, and that makes the difference between a true sense of wonder, and just giving up in disgust.

 

The actual nature and cause of consciousness and self-awareness is still a total mystery. If you look closely at everything you read about it, you'll follow it all back to speculation. Actual data is still nowhere close to suggesting a real answer. The spiritual aspects multiply the problem immensely and you can play it for all it's worth. You've created a situation with no easy way out; use it to be fascinating...

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What he said. Leave it unsettled. That way I can finish it the way I want, and someone else can do their understanding. And you can have it your way without any negative feedback (except for people who demand an answer, and you would lose half of them anyway--the half who don't agree with your solution).

 

And to be fair, only God knows the answer.

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8 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

Or, in short, an artificial intelligence only thinks what I want it to.  You cannot say the same thing of a human.


(This is a tangent.) This is why I don't believe we'll ever see an AI 'singularity' event where artificially intelligent machines take over. I believe God hasn't allowed for that in His creation.

What we see already are powerful invasive systems in the hands of sinful Man. That is a legitimate concern.
</tangent>

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9 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

Or, in short, an artificial intelligence only thinks what I want it to.  You cannot say the same thing of a human.

 

Exactly! I touched on this in one of my novels set 100 years from now:

 

Quote

"So, you’re trying to say AI machines are running amok and turning on us?” Ben asked, struggling to keep a sarcastic tone in check.

 

“Entertainment clichés aside, machines don’t run amok like that,” Abus said. “Even today they basically do as they're programmed. Some are able to make complex decisions, but they simply can’t function outside of their intended applications. For example, our ship's life support system regulates an array of complex environmental systems and will make decisions that will keep life support within set parameters. It won’t cut off heat to a room because the person there said some bad things about it. Machines are still incredibly simplistic when compared to the complexity of human reasoning.”

 

Sorry if this is wandering too far into a tangent. 

Edited by Accord64
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In church on Sunday, the pastor was talking about Jesus interactions with people. How with all the questions directly asked of him, why he only answered a few directly but the rest he used either a parable or story as the answer or fired back another question instead of an answer causing the people to think about what Jesus had said.

 

It seems that leaving the question unanswered may get the reader thinking about the very thoughts and comments people have made in this thread... and maybe that is a good point and the best outcome, maybe their search for such an answer could open them up to God in a different way.

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