|Ice-clear water on the lake|
he encourages those who are losing hope
and has chosen for them the lot of truth.
Lately, with the victory of “Watson” over human competitors on the TV quiz show Jeopardy, we’ve heard a lot about AI -- Artificial Intelligence. Some want to believe that humans will soon be replaced by computers. But in all the discussion, I hear nothing of sin.
The experts never seem to factor sin into their predictions. If the future is peopled by thoughtful computers, will they find it easier to choose “the lot of truth” than we have? Could a sentient being not have the options of obedience and mischief, love and hate, forgiveness and resentment? Will it be capable of remorse and repentance? If not it will certainly not replace humanity.
We may regret our freedom to sin but it is integral to our human nature. That freedom is a readiness for God; it is a willingness to surrender to that which is worthy of our trust. And our trust is an infinite capacity, measured only by the cross of Jesus Christ.
Our secular culture knows nothing of sin. It thinks it knows evil but even that understanding is sadly superficial. It recognizes unspeakable crimes but cannot see its own culpability for them. Like its wonder-machines, it knows nothing of remorse and repentance because it knows so little of the human mystery.
No matter how big the machine it will never have an infinite capacity for love, courage, trust, or generosity. Though it accumulates data it cannot experience remorse and repentance. If it speaks a kind of truth, it will never know the courage that speaks the truth; and without courage Truth cannot be uttered.