Robot movies fascinate us! Who doesn’t know R2-D2 and his buddy C-3PO from the Star Wars series? What about the Borg or Lt. Commander Data from the Star Trek series? Robots are iconic of science fiction movies. I remember how loveable Johnny 5 was in Short Circuit (1986). Amazingly, I remember a number of the robot’s lines (even though I don’t remember what I had for lunch 3 days ago)—“number 5 is alive” and “input, more input” are classic examples. The number of robot movies reflects the popularity of the genre. From A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) to Wall-E (2008), from I-Robot (2004) to the police robots in Elysium (2013), from Robo Cop (1987) to Ava in Ex Machina (2015), we are fascinated by robots. However, robots are no longer science fiction.
Have you heard about the robot series called Promobot IR77 in the city of Perm? They were created to work in customer relations in Russia. What makes them unique is that they are supposedly able to “remember and learn” and “think for themselves“.
The only problem is that one of these robots supposedly has a “wild streak,” so to speak. Even though it’d been reprogrammed twice this robot still “feels” the need to be free!
IR77 stopping traffic!
After it “escaped” from its warehouse . . . for a second time, the headlines blew up. 45 minutes after its escape the battery ran out while it was in the middle of the street causing it to stop in the middle of the road leading to major traffic problems.
As a consequence of “its” unwillingness to obey its programing and quit running away the company decided to “de-activate” it. You’ll never guess what happened.
That’s right, cries from people across the globe came in to “save” the robot.
“Don’t kill it!”
“Why do you have to destroy it? You’ve broken my heart.”
“. . . we would remember there used to be a wonder-bot in your promobot family, but it was killed by tearless developers.”
Some of the headlines were interesting, to say the least. It is one thing to love the “robot” character in a movie, but it is quite a different thing to love a machine in real life.
By using words such as “brave”, “love for freedom”, “intelligent”, “remembers and learns” we humanize a computer. This is just another example of a world gone crazy!
To make it even more unbelievable, the EU has proposed that some robots be classified as “electronic persons” and be given “rights and responsibilities” as such.
Think about this, every day in America:
2,000 children are killed by abortion.
87 people are shot to death, this includes 7 children.
9 people were shot and killed in a single day in Chicago.
Who’s protecting the “rights” of the children who are being aborted? Don’t they deserve “rights” more than a computer?
I would hope that people would be as upset over the actual killing of human life that is taking place all around and be as motivated to do something about it as many were by the possible deactivation of a computer.
There were offers by some to “adopt” the robot so that it wouldn’t be “killed!” I wonder if those that were willing to “adopt” the robot are also willing to adopt a child that doesn’t have parents!
All of this raises the question, “Can a robot really be “alive?””
Good question. It’s interesting to see how the Lord works sometimes because just a few days ago while digging for dinosaur bones a friend that had joined us on the trip was leading one of the devotions. He asked us a question, “When does life begin?”
Man, that’s one of questions that I remember being asked in elementary school and didn’t have a clue how to answer. By the way, if we answer that, we can answer the question about robots!
I answered in my head thinking, conception!
He then challenged us with this thought. Life is passed on, it doesn’t begin at conception. It’s a simple concept, life begets life! Think about it, if either the sperm or the egg is dead, there is no conception and there is no child/life.
Since that’s the case life is passed on from the parents to the child. So, where did their life begin? From their parents, right? So, where did their life begin? From their parents, right? You get the picture.
So, where did life begin? Genesis 2:7 gives us the answer:
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Because we have a history book, not a story book (the Bible) from the only one Who’s always been there and knows everything and we can trust the historical account we can answer the question. Life began when God breathed life into Adam and that life has been passed on ever since.
Since this is the case, No, a robot cannot be alive. Christians have to start allowing the Word of God to be the foundation for their thinking. We’ve allowed the world to teach a generation a different history and as a result we’re seeing the craziness that we see.
Guess what? It’s going to get worse! God warns us that it will be as it was in the days of Noah when every thought was wicked! Get grounded now so that you can deal with what’s coming. Remember, the darker it gets, the brighter we’ll shine! Well, at least we should be shining brighter.
Carl Kerby is an inspiring, motivating and highly respected Christian speaker. With more than 20 years of ministry experience, Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation in his presentations, outreach events, books and other resources as the President and founding board member of Reasons for Hope, Inc.