Created for Free Will, and Love

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a huge topic of discussion in recent years, and some of the most well-known social commentators of our day are giving foreboding messages about the future of human civilization in a world that we share with AI. Elon Musk has said, “AI is a fundamental risk to human civilization,” and Stephen Hawking once warned, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

In the same way that mankind has created AI, so has God created mankind. Human beings have developed “thinking” machines in the form of AI, but we are beginning to fear that we have created a monster in the pattern of Dr. Frankenstein. We have given life to a being made in our own image and likeness, but we are terrified that it will one day destroy us.

God, on the other hand, created mankind in his image and likeness, but he is not afraid that we will destroy him. It is laughable to think of God being destroyed by humanity, and David writes about this in the second chapter of the Psalms. He observes the kings of the earth plotting and scheming to break away from God’s authority, but our Creator sits on his throne in heaven and mocks them, saying, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in your rebellion” (Psalm 2:12 BSB).

Why do humans rebel against their own creator, and why do humans fear that the works of our own hands will destroy us?

Fundamentally, we act this way because we feel weak, insignificant, and despised. Our weakness causes us to believe that we will be conquered. Our insignificance causes us to believe that we will be forgotten. Our despised feelings cause us to feel rejected and unworthy of love. If we feel this way about ourselves, then we fear that a machine made in our own image and likeness will feel similarly. A son who is abandoned by his own father will grow to despise him because the boy has felt abandoned by the man who brought him into being.

Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein tells the story of a scientist and philosopher, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who successfully creates a new man by stitching together body parts from corpses and giving him life with power from electricity. On the day the creature is “born,” its creator runs away in terror, realizing that he had not considered the ramifications of what he had created before he plotted to create it. Fearful of the monstrous creature, Dr. Franksenstein abandons the man he had brought to life, and sadly, this newly formed child is left to learn how to live in the world by itself, fatherless, and abandoned by his own creator.

Ironically, it is Frankenstein’s abandonment of his own creation that leads to the horrors that unfold in the book. When “the monster” finally does have an opportunity to meet with his creator face-to-face, the created being says, “There is love in me the likes of which you’ve never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied in the one, I will indulge the other.”

Deep within us, we fear that we will be destroyed by the things that we create because we feel unloved, unaccepted, and unworthy. We, too, feel abandoned by our Father, the one who created us. However, God has never abandoned the people he has created. Rather, we turn from him, unwilling to accept that he loves us. Fundamentally, we do not feel loved ourselves, so we do not believe that anything we create could ever grow to love us. The difference between mankind and God is this: Humans fear what they create, and they worry that they will be destroyed by the work of their own hands, but God loves what he creates, and he brings his children to life so that they will worship him. God is love, and anyone who loves has been born of God (1 John 4:7-8).

Our primary concern with the rise of AI is that it will develop free will and choose to destroy us. God, on the other hand, created human beings and allowed them to choose disobedience from the very beginning. God was never concerned whether his creation would rise up to destroy him. He has no existential crisis because he knows that he is lovable. When we understand this, we will become like him, too. Our Heavenly Father, who sits eternally enthroned in the heavens, looks down on his creation with love and compassion. With patience, he tenderly waits for us, encouraging us to do good, to seek life, to dwell in peace, and to love each other as he has loved us.

The Bible says that mankind is held in bondage due to their fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15), but of the Son of God it is written, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He wishes” (John 5:21 BSB). Those who are in Christ have no fear of death. Rather, we sit enthroned with God (Revelation 3:21; Ephesians 2:6), mocking the kings of the earth who have conspired to break away from his control. About the Son, God says:

“You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.  Ask Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance, the ends of the earth Your possession. You will break them with an iron scepter; You will shatter them like pottery” (Psalm 2:7-9).  

God created his children with free will, and he did this without fear that we would destroy him. In this, we know that our Creator is not only all-powerful, but he is also patient, loving, and kind. The pattern of God is to love what he has created in his own image, knowing that it will love him in return, but the pattern of man is to fear what he has created in his image, knowing that his heart is filled with wickedness and evil.

We have nothing to fear in AI, for we are made in the image and likeness of God. We are born to love, to give God glory, and to receive eternal life in him.

[If you feel powerless, afraid, and unloved due to feelings of rejection you have experienced from God, your father, or others, click here to set up an appointment with a Christian counselor].

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