Tuesday, May 19, The Death of Christianity. Again, in bringing important posts not my own to the attention of readers I'll note an important article by Trevor Thomas in the American Thinker, How to Kill Christianity. And who will attend the wake, I wonder?
Does Data have a soul? God has given an immortal soul to every man and woman, but not to any other animal or to machines. Hence no animal or machine can think. Teach him, you are a soul; you have a body. A long time ago when computers were still new yes, it was that long ago , when I was at my first academic assignment, the head of the division dealing with computers gave a talk on artificial intelligence for computers.
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One of the humanities faculty in the audience put a question after the talk "Would you want your daughter to marry one[i. Legend has it I wasn't there that he answered "Yes, if she loved him". That some sort of programmed intelligence can be conscious self-aware is a hotly debated proposition.
Since it is a black hole type singularity, time is slowed down and the intelligences transferred to software thus have essentially an eternity to enjoy their virtual life. Spinrad treats the question with respect, although his attitude to the Catholic Church is somewhat less than reverent there is a female Pope, Mary I. Catholic theologian Fr. Philippe de Leone argue [s] th at this creation of an artificial soul, which cannot have true self-awareness, dooms the actual soul that is copied to damnation.
Pope Mary I, hoping to settle the controversy, orders Fr. DeLeone to have his soul copied upon his death, so that his consciousness can argue against its own autonomous existence from the other side. If the downloaded Fr. The solution to the paradox is that all of Fr. If these beliefs are changed, it means that the entity in the computer has free will, and is thus autonomous and a real soul. In the story Fr. DeLeone's soul is "kidnapped" how do you kidnap a program?
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As McKee points out in his synopsis, there is a reverse Turing Test applied here. To still the controversy, Fr. SF frequently argues that if organized religion is to be a positive force in the future of humankind, it must change drastically to meet the spiritual challenges of the future. In his story there are robot priests and robot high Church officials. One such, a robot Cardinal, is elected Pope after a deadlock between two human cardinals. Higher and higher he goes until he is lost to sight. Or am I reading too much into this ending?
In this beautiful tale, the newly installed rector of a Catholic Seminary interacts with a computer simulation of St. Augustine of Hippo, purchased the simulation, that is to help students understand St. Augustine's teachings.
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The Rector, Msgr. Chesley, is at first greatly displeased with Gus's the program's dicta: " 'The thing must have been programmed by Unitarians' Chesley threw over his shoulder. The world has changed. Gus asks Msgr. Chesley to hear his Confession and then destroy him, so he can have peace: " ' I require absolution, Matt. This existence holds nothing for me. But I am not sure what downloading might mean.
I want to be certain I do not spend a substantial fraction of eternity in the storeroom. I have no choice but to ask. Let us rely on the mercy of the Almighty. He drew his finger- tips across the hard casing of the IBM. Turn off the power first.
All you have to do is get into it and destroy the hard disk. He found a hammer and a Phillips screwdriver. He used the screwdriver to take the top off the computer. A gray metal box lay within.
CONTINUE TO BILLING/PAYMENT
He opened it and removed a gleaming black plastic disk. He embraced it, held it to his chest. Then he set it down, and reached for the hammer. In the morning, with appropriate ceremony, he buried it in consecrated soil. This will go somewhat afield. Given the title of this post, it is required that an inquiry into Data's soul be addressed. He aspires to humanity and sometimes reaches and even surpasses that state. There is a problem, however, in that whether Data has a soul is never considered in any of the episodes, possibly because the word "soul" not in reference to music is anathema to writers and producers of popular entertainment.
The question is addressed in a t rial, to see if Data, as a "sentient being", has the right to refuse to be disassembled for study and refitting. Captain Picard acts in Data's behalf and Commander Riker, under duress, as the prosecutor. Riker attempts to demonstrate that Data is a machine by switching him off: "[Riker is doing his duty in the courtroom] Commander William T. Riker: T he Commander is a physical representation of a dream - an idea, conceived of by the mind of a man.
Its purpose: to serve human needs and interests.
It's a collection of neural nets and heuristic algorithms; its responses dictated by an elaborate software written by a man, its hardware built by a man. Notes: Some of the contained stories have never appeared in English before, some are re-translations in cases where an existing translation was more than years old or where the editors thought the existing translation had some flaws and some use existing translations.
Each story is preceded by an introductory essay. The three stories by David R. Bunch have the collective title "Three from Moderan" as well as being headed by their own titles.
The introductory essay pp. Acknowledgments, p. Permissions Acknowledgments, pp. Day of publication from publisher's website. Yefim Zozulya. Gibel' Glavnogo goroda. Arkady Strugatsky. Boris Strugatsky.
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Valentina Zhuravlyova. Vadim Shefner. Skromnyy geniy.
Sever Gansovsky. Den' gneva.
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