Man and Machine:

blessinghomoeopathAI and Robotics

Nov 30, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Man and Machine:

A Biblical Look at Present and Future
Technology with C. S. Lewis

Lesson 8

Chesterfield Presbyterian Church

February 20, 2011

Andrew Shaw

andrew.shaw@att.net

Man and Machine:
Outline

A.
Man and
Machine
: Theology of Technology

B.
Man is Master of the
Machine

C.
Man Uses the
Machine

to Master Others

D.
Man is Mastered by the
Machine

E.
Man is “Nothing But”





a
Machine

F.
Man Must Become






a
Machine

Man Must Become a Machine

Three Laws of Robotics


(Isaac Asimov, 1942)

1.
A
robot may not injure a human being
or, through inaction,
allow
a human
being to come to harm.

2.
A robot must obey any orders given to
it by human beings, except where such
orders would conflict with the First
Law.

3.
A robot must protect its own existence
as long as such protection does not
conflict with the First or Second Law
.

Android

III. Faking Life

A. Nanotechnology and Bio
-
nanotechnology


B. Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence


C. Transhumanism and Posthumanism


“O
brave new world
that has
such people in it. Let’s start at
once.” “You have a most peculiar
way of talking sometimes,” said
Bernard, staring at the young
man in perplexed astonishment.
“And, anyhow, hadn’t you better
wait till you actually see the new
world?”
Savage

III. Faking Life


Turing Test


Singularity

Alan Turing

1912
-
1954

Ray Kurzweil

1948
-

?

"There are only two kinds of
people in the end: those who
say to God, "Thy will be done,"
and those to whom God says,
in the end, "Thy will be done."
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

Claudia Mitchell, 2006

thought controlled arm

Peng Shulin, 2007

When does healing become enhancement?

1. Human propensity to enslave, destroy, and demean.

2. Clouds the perception of the darkness of the unredeemed
human heart.

Oscar Pistorius, 2008

"There is but one
good; that is
God. Everything
else is good
when it looks to
Him and bad
when it turns
from Him."

C.S. Lewis,
The Great
Divorce

NANOSCALE


1 billionth of a meter


10 hydrogen atoms


DNA = 2.3 nm wide

Nanotechnology: Applications


1. Miniaturization of electronic components


2. Improved durability


less pollution and
more efficient


3. Military


stealth garments, interface with
electronics; cyborg soldier


4. Cosmetic enhancement


5.

Medical uses (next slide)



Nanogears

Contact Lens

Microcircuitry

U of Wash

Nanotechnology: Medical Uses

1.
Rational drug design

2.
Devices specifically targeting and
destroying tumor cells or infectious
agents

3.
In vivo devices for at
-
the
-
site
-
of
-
need
drug manufacture and release

4.
Tissue engineering or re
-
engineering

5.
Early detection or monitoring devices


6.
In vitro lab
-
on
-
a
-
chip diagnostic tools

7.
More durable prosthetic devices or implants

8.
Devices to clear existing atherosclerotic lesions in coronary or cerebral arteries

9.
Biomimetic nanostructures to repair or replace DNA or other organelles

10.
Artificial replacements for red blood cells and platelets

11.
Tools to augment or repair interaction between neurons in the brain

12.
Devices to improve biocompatibility and the interface between brain tissue and
cybernetic devices

Quantum computer chip

B. Faking Life: Cybernetics


The science of the control and communication in the
animal and the machine.*


* Hook, C. Christopher. “Techno Sapiens: Nanotechnology, Cybernetics,
Transhumanism and the Remaking of Humankind.” In
Human Dignity in the Biotech
Century
, ed. Charles W. Colson and Nigel M. de S. Cameron, 75
-
97. Downers Grove, IL:
InterVarsity Press, 2004, p. 76.

"There are only two kinds
of people in the end: those
who say to God, "Thy will
be done," and those to
whom God says, in the end,
"Thy will be done." All that
are in Hell, choose it
. C.S.
Lewis,
The Great Divorce

Cybernetics: Applications

1. Neural
-
silicon junctions


seamless integration of
electronics with our nervous system

2. Virtual reality

3. Repair nerve damage

4. External (wearable)


computing devices

5.
Augmented reality


supplementing senses
(e.g., retrograde vision,
projected hearing,
infrared vision, GPS)

C. Faking Life: Transhumanism



The
study of the means and obstacles
to humanity using technological and
other rational means to becoming
posthumans
, and of the ethical issues
that are involved in this.

Posthumans
” is the term for the very
much more advanced beings that
humans may one day design
themselves into if we manage to
upgrade our current human nature
and radically extend our capacities
.”

from http://www.nickbostrom.com/old/transhumanisn.html, p. 85

“2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal

Time Magazine
, Feb. 21, 2011

Transhumanism


Ethical Issues

A. “The human species does not represent the
end of our evolution but the beginning.”

B. Technological immortality

C. Reductionism, libertarianism, postmodernism

D.
Four transhuman assumptions*


1. information is more important to being

human than is the body.


2. consciousness is an epiphenomenon.


3. the body is simply a prosthesis.


4. seamlessly articulated with intelligent

machines.



(*N. Katherine Hayles How We Became Posthuman, 1999, p. 87)

Data

Star Trek, TNG

Transhumanism


Ethical Issues

E. Accidents, Abuses, Regulation



1. just distribution of technology



2. impact on jobs and economy


3
.

effects
created by increased longevity

F. The “
Borgification
” of Humanity


1. physical and emotional safety


2. personality fragmentation


3. personal relationships




cyber
-
relationships


4.

cyber
-
addictions



5. encouragement
of inauthentic behavior


6.
increased dissatisfaction with
reality

Star Trek: First Contact (1997)

The Importance of Jesus’ Incarnation

The
Reasons Usually
Discussed…

1.
Substitution
ary atonement: a perfect
sacrifice
(Heb. 9:26)

2.
Identification

with us: able to sympathize
(Heb.
2:8, 4:14
-
16
)

3.
Humiliation

and suffering of
Christ
(Phil. 2:8, 1 Pet. 3:18)

4.
Celebration
: Christ conquered death
!
(1 Cor. 15:53
-
57)


Additional Reasons in response to
Posthumanism


1.
Reaffirmation
: God’s creation of our bodies is (still) very good
(Gen. 1:31).
Blame the Fall, not our bodies, for disease, injury,
and death.
(1 Tim. 4:4
-
5, Col. 1)

2.
Validation
: physicality is good and right. (contra nature/grace
dichotomy) We are physical AND spiritual beings by design.


(
2 Tim. 4:6
-
11)

3.
Exaltation
: Our resurrected bodies will not be susceptible to
disease, injury, and death!
(imperishable


1 Cor.
15:52, 1 Pet. 1:23)

4.
Restoration

anticipates resurrection of our body, not
replacement
.
(Rom. 6:5
-
6, 1 Pet. 1:3)

Technology: Master or Servant?


1. Idol worship


2. Marginalization


3. Isolation


4. Held captive

Matrix (1999) pod

Thesis: Technological efforts
to make us more than human,
i.e., to be like God, inevitably
make us less than human, i.e.,
enslaved by technology.

Man and Machine: Evaluating Technologies

1.
COERCION



an
inferior

relationship.
Sadly, history


present and past


is replete with examples of man’s inhumanity
to man, both at the individual level as well the national and
international levels. Abominable examples include slavery,
racism, and genocide. When these criteria are used, the
following words and phrases often result: manipulation,
exploitation, discrimination, oppression, caste system, and lack
of informed consent. Consequently, when such terminology is
apropos, then the technology in question is unethical.

Man and Machine: Evaluating Technologies

2.
COMMODIFICATION



an
inhuman

relationship.
The
difference between coercion and commodification, for the sake
of this analysis, is that at least with the former, the human
beings are generally acknowledged to be beings, though they
certainly are not usually treated humanly. With the latter, the
human beings are really not even considered



as beings, just raw materials, spare parts, or
disposable property


a commodity that is



consumable. Therefore, any technology that




considers human beings as nothing more
than a plant or animal


something to be



farmed or harvested


is deemed unethical.

Man and Machine: Evaluating Technologies

3.
CONTINUITY



an
inherited

relationship.
Continuity implies
a continuum of humanity, particularly our relationship to our
past as well as our future. In other words, when this criterion is
applied, the impact of our heritage and the implications for
future generations must be considered. What are our
responsibilities to our ancestors, and what claims (burdens,
obligations, loss of freedom, genetic changes) are we imposing
on our progeny? Any technology that deprives future human
beings of their humanness, including their uniqueness,
individuality, personhood, and genetic freedom is unethical.

Man and Machine: Evaluating Technologies

4.
COLLABORATION



an
interactive

(shared) relationship.
Particularly in light of the fact that humans are created
imago
Dei


in the image of God


humans are genuinely relational
beings, biologically, genetically, (and spiritually!) hardwired for
connections with each other. Therefore, any procedure or
technology that interferes with the opportunity to form deep
and meaningful relationships must be considered unethical. In
addition, other relationships that might be affected include the
relationship with God, the relationship with the environment,
and the relationship with one’s self (self
-
image and the sense of
one’s self
-
worth).

Suggested Reading:





1. Cameron, Nigel M. de S.
The New Medicine: Life and Death after Hippocrates
.

Chicago:
Bioethics Press, 2001.

2. Colson, Charles W. and Cameron, Nigel M. de S.
Human Dignity in the Biotech Century
.

Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

3. Colson, Charles W. and Pearcey, Nancy.
How Now Shall We Live?

Wheaton, IL: Tyndale
House Publishers, 1999.

4. Kass, Leon R. Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge of Bioethics. San
Francisco: Encounter Books, 2002.

5. Kilner, John F., Hook, et al., editors.
Cutting
-
Edge Bioethics: A Christian Exploration of
Technologies and Trends
.

Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
2002.

6. Meilaender, Gilbert.
Bioethics: A Primer for Christians
.

Grand Rapids, MI: William B.
Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005.

7. Mitchell, C. Ben, et al., editors.
Biotechnology and the Human Good.

Washington D.C.:
Georgetown University Press, 2007.

8. Rae, Scott B.
Moral Choices.

Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 2000.

9. Schaeffer, Francis A. and Koop, C. Everett.
Whatever Happened to the Human Race.

Old
Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1979.

10. Smith, Wesley J.
Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World.

San Francisco: Encounter
Books, 2004.