Artificial Intelligence

Over the last several decades—as computers have become common—Artificial Intelligence (AI) has benefited learning, understanding and planning. AI answers phone calls! Google claims to answer our questions even before we ask. And AI runs the planes we fly and regulate the engines in the cars we drive. Our children and grandchildren use computers —possibly better than many adults! Our GPS devices give us the best route to our destination—even suggesting ways to avoid current traffic problems! Our mobile smartphones understand our voices, make calls for us—even translate foreign languages! Companies, such as Google and BMW, are developing high tech cars that drive themselves with partial human oversight or entirely autonomously!

Ethical and Practical Challenges  

In Nature (May 28, 2015), Stewart Russell, professor of computer science, UCLA Berkeley, stated that the “artificial intelligence and robotics communities face an important ethical decision: whether to support or oppose the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS).” Additionally, he wrote: “LAWS have been described as a third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.” He believes that international regulations should restrict the development and implementation of LAWS because they may “violate fundamental principles of human dignity by allowing machines to choose whom to kill—for example, they might be tasked to eliminate anyone exhibiting ‘threatening behavior.’”
However, Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s pre-eminent scientists, fears that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” He postulated that the possibility of such AI machines “would take off on its own, re-design itself at an ever increasing rate.” AI might be given greater control over decision making at first just to assist humans in manufacturing and use of weapons. But that would open a door for machines to compete with humans in the decisions for resources, duplicating themselves while excluding human oversight. While Professor Hawking doubts that God is necessary, his own observations and fears indicate that our hopes are best placed in God’s Divine Plan.

AI Taking Over Jobs  

For more than a century all forms of automation has had an impact on the less skilled blue-color workers. But the last 40 years have seen an increasing wave of AI innovation that threatens to upend white-collar workers as well. Nevertheless, some “experts” say AI technology will create more jobs by 2015 than it displaces. Reality check: what level of jobs will be created for the dispossessed? Furthermore, will vast increases in income inequality create masses of people who become effectively unemployable and cause fractures in our social order?

Genetically Engineered Babies  

Genetically modified foods (GMOs) have been a matter of concern to health minded people around the world. However, in an attempt to fight birth defects and avoid inherited genetic disease—some scientists have been attempting to artificially modify human embryos before birth. While this practice has been called “playing God,” such a procedure is supposedly justifiable by the fact that around 7.9 million children each year are born with a serious birth defect and consequently have a significant negative genetic contribution to the world’s survival as a whole.
Genetic engineering opens the door to achieve a “designer baby.” Remarkably, there is already a “microchip” that can test for 1,500 genetic traits at once—including heart disease, obesity, athletic ability, susceptibility to alcohol and nicotine additions and even intelligence, talents and looks.

In any case, the hazards of artificial human gene modification in embryos or fetuses may encourage some along the slippery slope of selective eugenics—eliminating undesirables. Also, due to the high cost of such procedures, the market will favor the elite. In his book, Re-Making Eden (1998), Princeton biologist, Lee Silver celebrated the coming future of human “enhancement,” in which the health, appearance, personality, cognitive ability, sensory capacity and life-span of our children all become an achievement of genetic engineering, literally as picked from a catalog! But Professor Silver acknowledged that the costs of these technologies will limit their full use to only the “elite.” Thus, over time society will segregate into the “GenRich,” genetically favored “valids,” and the genetically deprived and discriminated against, naturally born “in-valids,” as in the movie Gattaca.

So where will man’s ingenuity go with AI working for him—and our children designed to become smarter, more perfect and to live longer? Will God need to intervene as He did at Babel? (Genesis 11:1-9)

Intelligent Man’s Perfect Origin in Eden  

The Bible—the oldest Book on earth—bearing the authentic record of human history and destiny, attests to the fact that the first man was given a Garden east of Eden as his original home (Genesis 2:7-9). Adam was then given the privilege and responsibility to “cultivate and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). A simple test of obeying his Creator was then set before Adam: “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die" (Genesis 2:16, 17).
God, Adam’s Creator, did not program Adam as a robot to know everything—rather with the capacity to think and reason. God then gave him the responsibility of naming all the animals. The LORD God knew that Adam’s needed a “helper,” a mate for himself. In a painless way, God used a part of Adam’s body to form a “woman” helpmate (Genesis 2:18-24). Two perfect, and intelligent beings! No genetic defects at all!

The Permission of Evil  

But then God permitted the angel “Lucifer” to reveal his rebellious thinking “to exalt my throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:12, 13) by allowing him to tempt the first human couple in that perfect Garden of Eden. Because God’s Plan was not to create humans as robots, but as free moral agents, they have the ability to make moral judgments and be held accountable for those actions. Our Creator saw that mankind would greatly benefit by making his own (potentially rebellious) choices and then experiencing the consequences of evil.

Once an opportunity opened, Satan manipulated a serpent —whether by literally having it speak or by example of actually eating from the forbidden tree itself—in order to deceive Adam’s wife into thinking she should eat of it also. And so deceived, Eve did actually eat of the fruit and gave it also to her husband who knowingly, willfully transgressed in deference to his wife. “Adam was not deceived” (1 Timothy 2:14).  

The Unfolding Plan of God  

Our Creator actually foresaw what would happen. Apostle Paul helps us understand the long-range unfolding of God’s Plan by identifying how by the “one man sin entered into the world and death,” but that by grace God would provide “the one Man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:12-16). With the concept of a “ransom” as a “corresponding price” (antilutron, Gk; Young’s Analytical Concordance), Jesus gave his life—a perfect Man—“as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  However, there is an “order” of time in completing the progression of God’s Plan.  

 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”  —1 Timothy 2:5-6  

 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” —1 Corinthians 15:22-23

Firstfruits of the Gospel Age  

Who are the “firstfruits” who must come first before recovering the rest of Adam’s posterity? “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18). Certainly, the message of the Gospel through the centuries touched some of earth’s millions—but still there are billions who have not even heard of Jesus Christ dying for our sins.

Was it an exaggeration to say in the Scriptures that Jesus provided “a ransom for all”?

A Jewish Age  

Even earlier, during the Age of time when God dealt only with the nation of Israel—when Moses was mediator—a Law covenant was in place. But the New Testament, explains the Law as specifically “a shadow of good things to come.”  
“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.”  —Hebrews 10:1-2 NAS

 Age of Patriarchs  

Still, even before God dealt with the Jewish nation—he had given a very solid promise to Abraham that through the “seed” of his posterity—all the families of the earth would be blessed. “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as [1] the stars of the heaven, and as [2] the sand which is upon the sea shore….And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:17, 18).  And that promise was then passed down to his sons who also became fathers—patriarchs of faith—Isaac then Jacob and then to Jacob’s posterity—Israel.

Kingdom Age Climaxes God’s Plan  

Therefore, Jesus and his Bride (Revelation 19:7)—the “firstfruits from the grave”—as the heavenly “stars” of the promise to Abraham are being made “ready” to bless the world. Soon these “stars” with the “sand,” the earthly portion of Abraham’s seed, will both be ready to dispense “healing” blessings to “all nations” as promised in the book of Revelation (21:6; 22:1,2, 17).

But before the age of blessings, nations are prophesied to come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14: 2, 3, 16, 17). However, after God defends Jerusalem, the nations will have to come to Jerusalem to the “house of the God of Jacob” (Isaiah 2:2-4) in order to be blessed!

This work is described as the “times of restitution of all things” for all mankind (Acts 3:20-21). That will be truly an Age of restoration of each person’s fallen psychic—as well as mankind’s whole imperfect society—genetically, mentally morally (See Isaiah 35).

Not only will each person have opportunity to gradually “learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9) and have full mental intelligence restored from that which was “lost” in Eden (Luke 19:10). “Artificial Intelligence” may well become obsolete.

God’s Design for Eternity  

After mankind has been fixed after the fall—imagining “Designer Babies” will fade into the past. Each human being will have the opportunity to become “in the image of God” and perfect—in their own unique way (Genesis 1:27) as Adam and Eve were perfect, yet different.  

Ultimately, according to God’s wonderful Plan “throughout all ages in a “world without end,” all creation will be in harmony as he gathers all things “in Christ” (Ephesians 3:21; 1:9, 10; 2:6, 7).  
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