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shr00mydan t1_jdvjen6 wrote

You are getting downvoted, but this is a fine question. Alan Turing himself answered it all the way back in 1950.

>Theological Objection: Thinking is a function of man's immortal 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.

>I am unable to accept any part of this, but will attempt to reply in theological terms... It appears to me that the argument quoted above implies a serious restriction of the omnipotence of the Almighty. It is admitted that there are certain things that He cannot do such as making one equal to two, but should we not believe that He has freedom to confer a soul on an elephant if He sees fit? We might expect that He would only exercise this power in conjunction with a mutation which provided the elephant with an appropriately improved brain to minister to the needs of this soul. An argument of exactly similar form may be made for the case of machines. It may seem different because it is more difficult to “swallow”. But this really only means that we think it would be less likely that He would consider the circumstances suitable for conferring a soul. The circumstances in question are discussed in the rest of this paper. In attempting to construct such machines we should not be irreverently usurping His power of creating souls, any more than we are in the procreation of children: rather we are, in either case, instruments of His will providing mansions for the souls that He creates.


RedditFuelsMyDepress t1_jdvsmlw wrote

I feel like some people maybe take the word "soul" a bit wrong, because it sounds like something from fantasy-fiction. But consciousness is something that undeniably exists and it's very difficult to prove that any machine has one.


terdroblade t1_jdvw2cy wrote

Can’t prove something if you don’t know what it is. It’s a deep rabbit hole with many different sciences , from philosophy to neuroscience.


idiocratic_method t1_jdx5fwp wrote

you use the word undeniably but I've never seen actual proof of consciousness


RedditFuelsMyDepress t1_jdxgkvb wrote

By consciousness I just mean the subjective experience of self. Like the old saying "I think, therefore I am". I can feel and experience the world through my own body and I can assume other people do as well since they're humans just like me (unless I'm living inside a simulation or something and none of you are real). But how do we know a non-biological machine is able to experience the same?


canad1anbacon t1_jdxmsyn wrote

There is the mirror test. Being able to look into a mirror and recognize that is your own body that you see. Dolphins and chimps can pass this test


RedditFuelsMyDepress t1_jdxs0d6 wrote

A smart robot probably would recognize itself in the mirror, but I don't think that's really enough to prove that it's conscious the same way we are. The problem is that everyone experiences the world through their own body so we can't truly put ourselves in someone else's shoes and see and feel what they do. There's no way for me to even know for certain that other humans are conscious, I can only assume that based on us being the same species. A robot may have the appearance of being conscious, but it could be fake. Like a marionette being pulled on strings by its programming. Or like a character written into a story except that this character is being written in real-time by computer algorithms based on things happening around it. Someone might argue that humans are similar to that too, but the point is that puppets and fictional characters aren't conscious even though they may appear as such and a robot could be the same way.

I think we'd have to do more research and understand how the brain and electrical signals in our bodies work to determine if a machine is conscious.


Seidans t1_je1etr3 wrote

the "soul" is just the answers to something scientist and theolgist couldn't understand a couple hundred years ago, humanity and especially theist are just slow to understand that we are just a biological machine

everything too complexe to understand have seen a simple theological answers, easy to understand and rassuring to believe, while the observation is far more cruel and nihilistic


pharmamess t1_jdvtcb6 wrote

Really appreciate this answer, thanks. Food for thought!