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The Robot's Redemption: the Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Salvation of the Cosmos

ALAN McGILL
S & CB 32 (1)
April 2020

Abstract

A view of creation as fallen prior to the fall of humanity implies that the non-human portion of the cosmos can exercise freedom of a kind, having in some sense strayed from its original holiness, while, at the experiential level, the reality of innocent suffering wrought by inanimate forces is difficult to reconcile with the will of a benign deity. Against this backdrop, the present paper proposes that artificial decision-making agents would represent a new phase in non-human creation's response to the divine. While these impersonal moral agents may lack any consciousness of God, their ability to select between options in a calculated manner could implicitly accept or reject grace along the lines envisaged by Karl Rahner, who views the fundamental option for or against God as played out in relation to decisions made in relation to created things and persons, not requiring explicit consciousness of the Creator.

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