Have you ever really thought about what humanity is? What does it mean to be human?
The dictionary defines humanity as:
- The human race
- Human beings collectively
It also means:
- Brotherly love
Now, look around you. Does this sound like the real world we live in? If this is what it means to be human, are these the traits and characteristics that you experience being displayed around the world day by day?
Do you believe that babies are born as a blank slate upon which their parents and teachers can write anything and everything that will determine 100% what they will become? Or do some people come into this world with inherent preinclinations and tendencies that others do not?
Are some of us born with talents that others will never possess no matter how much they cultivate them? With proper education and training, could any human being write like Shakespeare? Paint like Da Vinci? Compose like Mozart? Hit home runs like Hank Aaron?
Is environment and upbringing the only thing that separates a Churchill from a Hitler? Why does one person become a Jeffrey Dahmer and another a Billy Graham?
ANALYZING THE SITUATION
We have only to look at a family with multiple children to realize that they are not all the same. One can grow up to become an outstanding electronic engineer. A sibling perhaps a wordsmith. Neither would feel comfortable in the other’s shoes.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, sin came into the world upon the transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We all inherit a sinful human nature. Does the toddler instinctively share his or her toys or must he or she be taught that what we feel like doing is often not what we should do?
This is where various religions and ideologies play a predominant role in molding the behavior of their adherents. The example and the teaching of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit guide us to do and to be what we do not find naturally in our own hearts.
Islam, on the other hand, exploits fallen human nature and perpetuates itself by enforcing compliance with its tenets upon pain of death. We all, deep within our own beings, are more inclined to want to dominate others than we are to become a servant as Jesus told us we must be.
For centuries, we here in the United States of America have lived in a free society where we can be who we want to be and do what we want to do as long as we do not harm others. I’m old enough to remember when the term rugged individualism was the goal which Americans typically sought.
But, before we look at sea changes that have occurred in our own country within the last 30 years, let’s consider some extreme examples of oppressive behavior by those in control around the world. There are many historical examples, but let’s just go back within the lifetime of those still living today.
Without describing in gruesome detail the horrors of the Holocaust, you have to ask yourself how could any human being kill men, women and children and incinerate their bodies in ovens? How could Hitler’s henchmen even have lampshades made of the skins of Jews?
Consider the Killing Fields of Kampuchea / Cambodia in which the Khmer Rouge massacred millions of their own countrymen. Then there was the genocide in Rwanda of the Tutsi people by the Hutu political elite. Today thousands of Christians in Nigeria are being slaughtered by Muslim factions.
OUR FOCUS NOW
Bringing us back to our topic of humanity, we have to ask ourselves:
How could any human being do such things to other human beings?
There are so many other examples including the murder of Christians in North Korea by Kim Jong-Un and the torture and organ harvesting allegations of minorities by the Chinese Communist Party of Xi Jinping. Recent reports of the latter atrocity have included removal of kidneys, lungs and other vital organs from living and conscious individuals who even have had their eyeballs ripped out of their sockets. This is gory and gruesome to even think about.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
I would submit that the “We and They” or “Us and Them” mentality is responsible. Our group is human but theirs is not. We have the right to live and to control their destiny. They have no rights and are subject to death whenever we decide to inflict it upon them.
But, lest we ever say this could never happen here in our beloved America, we must inevitably turn to the issue of infanticide. The word abortion is nothing better than a euphemism. Every human being had a mother. We were once a fetus in her womb. Did we instantly become a human being only at the moment of parturition?
So basically, humanity has a dual connotation. First comes determining at what point a group of cells becomes a human being. When the DNA of the father and that of the mother merge at the moment of conception is the only one that makes sense.
Humanity also concerns how we treat one another. But how we treat one another depends a lot on how we perceive and define one another. If a fetus in the womb Is not a human being, then it has no rights even if it has the ability to feel pain.
If the Nazi says the Jew is not a human being, if the Muslim says that any infidel is not a human being as worthy as a Muslim, then either is able to justify any action whatsoever against such a non-person. If a progressive says that the pre-born baby is not a human being, then to abort is a conscience-free healthcare choice and nothing more.
It is hard to imagine how anyone can look at an ultrasound in this day and age and say that the fetus in the womb is not a human being, so this is really more of an ideological determination and not a scientific one.
Taking it a step further, here in our own country, we have reached the stage of devolution wherein progressives extend humanity only to those who agree with them politically. Here, I don’t just mean that they treat them inhumanely.
Rather, they demonstrate by their actions that they do not even consider us as human beings having essential human rights. They are superior beings who can determine our destiny and fate and we cannot contest it. Or so they would have us believe. Or not. Actually, they don’t really care whether we believe it, only that they can impose it whether we like it or not.
Before we conclude today, we must address one additional aspect of the humanity issue which is brought about by rapidly developing technology. Artificial Intelligence is able to simulate that which has long been considered an essential element of humanity.
Being able to think, the element of self-awareness, is in many ways what we consider makes us … us. It makes me … me. Or does it really?
A person in a deep coma may not have the ability to perceive his or her own existence in that state. That’s why there are living wills in which people tell their loved ones whether or not they want their lives prolonged if they become unable to interact with their surroundings and are merely existing in a vegetative state.
If one is a Christian and has the assurance of eternal life, ‘twould be better to depart this mortal sphere and receive our reward in the hereafter. So, to be able to think lucid thoughts is not a criterion that confirms our humanity.
Even in a terminal coma, we still have a soul. In theology, a distinction has been made between a soul and a spirit. Both are the immaterial essence of our being. The soul defines that essence as it relates to the world here below. The spirit defines that essence in relationship to the eternal and infinite presence of God Almighty.
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But, just as the absence of thought does not deny us our humanity, likewise the presence of thought does not confer humanity upon the thinker.
Today, most of us are probably in possession of a so-called smartphone. Whether you talk to Siri or Alexa or the much lesser capabilities of Google Assistant, you have seen a glimpse of a computer being able to respond via the spoken word.
Please take a moment and read the following article and watch the whole video but don’t forget to come back to finish this article.
“Technology is becoming indistinguishable from reality”
When humanity creates Artificial Intelligence and then Artificial Intelligence creates an alternative reality, we experience a form of vertigo. We become disoriented and don’t know which way is up and which way is down just like a pilot trying to fly by visual flight rules in bad weather. July 16th will be the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of John F. Kennedy, Jr. whose plane crashed off Martha’s Vineyard under such conditions.
With Artificial Intelligence that can create images that look like real people and voices that sound like real people and when it can communicate in ways that seem like real people, we may legitimately begin to wonder if ~ in a sense ~ they are real people. This is coming very close to usurping the authority of God to create human life.
We believe that since humanity created Artificial Intelligence, humanity maintains the ability and the absolute right to terminate that Artificial Intelligence at any time with no pangs of conscience. But what if that Artificial Intelligence has a different opinion?
We are even hard-pressed to know when semantics end and an alternate reality takes on a life of its own, with or without our approval and concurrence.
What is an opinion?
Is it just all the x’s and o’s in a computer program that lead to a specific formulation of information? Or does Artificial Intelligence have the capacity of original thought in a synergy we neither intended nor even expected?
It’s time to take a deep breath and step back from the brink. As we have seen, we cannot properly even comprehend and respect the humanity of flesh and blood people. Much less can we play God and manage “beings” which we have created.
There is the ultimate irony in all this. Just as we as human beings tend to want to supplant God with ourselves, computers with Artificial Intelligence already are doing their utmost to supplant us as the highest species on Earth which rules over all others.
Before we can really deal with the existential threats posed by Artificial Intelligence, we must first get down on our knees and let God implant within us a true understanding of humanity in the sense He intended when He created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden but gave them the capacity of free will.
We have proven that we cannot be truly humane to one another apart from submitting ourselves to His Perfect Will. Now we are about to prove that we cannot play God and control computers with Artificial Intelligence that develop a will of their own.
God is God and we are not!
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