December 12, 2017

Rights for Robots?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

So, some folks over yonder in the European Union think that robots should have rights, as they may develop self-awareness. Have they been smoking wacky tobaccy? This opens up a passel of problems from the get-go. First, they need to define robot. Some task-saving devices are called robots, so a definition for a robot may need certain advanced capabilities. Seems mighty subjective, though. Does it have to look human? Suppose "lower" robots decided they were discriminated against. It happened with blacks, Jews, and others who were considered less than human by other humans, you know.


Materialistic self-refuting ideas of giving rights to robots in case they become self-aware, which is impossible

Can you imagine the social justice warriors pushing for legislation to protect robots? Then we have Mr. Gordons, who refers to humans as "meat machines". Imagine this scene: a robot complains to a supervisor that it does not like to be referred to as a "robot", but prefers the title of electronic person. Also, a complain was filed because the term human resources is offensive.

Of course, such thinking that robots could become self-aware is from a materialistic worldview. Humans, critters, the universe — all are the products of the Creator, who is described in the Bible. In addition, the self-awareness concept for machines implies that they have souls, which is contrary to the thinking of most empiricists, but rationalists may find it acceptable. Naturalists, by nature (heh!) deny the existence of God, spirits, the soul, and so on, but yet have searched for the soul. Very inconsistent.

A further example of atheistic incoherence is that the naturalist denies God our Creator and Redeemer, but as I mentioned, searches for the soul in the body. They think we are the products of particles-to-programmer evolution, but admit that a robot — sorry, I mean electronic person — is clearly the product of design. (Not a heap of a lot of good when the power supply is exhausted.) Many of these are patterned after what is found in nature, products of the Master Engineer. And no electronic device, semi-sentient or not, is anywhere near as complex as a human. I have said that my current employers do not want people, they want robots. That would backfire if robots get rights.

We are created in the image of God, and we are using our intelligently-engineered minds to build things. A machine cannot have a soul, sorry to disappoint some folks. There was a mediocre, violent movie in 1980 called Saturn 3. Spoiler: the killer robot was unable to grasp the concept of self-sacrifice. People do it all the time. In fact, God became a man, Jesus, and sacrificed himself for us. We need to repent and receive him as Lord. The robot in the movie would certainly be unable to comprehend this, and no man-made machine would be able to, either. In fact, too many proud humans are unable (or unwilling) to humble themselves and repent, receiving the sacrifice, Resurrection, and eternal life offered through Jesus.

This article was inspired by "Should robots have rights?" I highly recommend it.



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