Soul Cafe – Science and Religion: Conflict, Merger . . . or Extinction?
February 19 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Soul Café meets at the Wyomissing Restaurant, 1245 Penn Avenue, Wyomissing, at 10:00 a.m. on the third Tuesday of the month. All are welcome. You can buy breakfast at the buffet or just a cup of coffee. Conversation and fellowship are free.
Craig Bennett will engage us in a thought-provoking discussion on this relevant topic and gives us something to ponder in advance:
- If artificial intelligence advances far enough, might it somehow develop a soul? Think of HAL, the computer, in “2001: a Space Odyssey” or the possibility of God’s appearing in a computer, as in Updike’s “Roger’s Version.” Might Alexa’s progeny have their own personalities? If so, what would this suggest about the notion of the soul and its divine origin or connection? What would it suggest about the nature of consciousness?
- What about laboratory-created life? If we manage to produce something “alive” according to a definition that accommodates such a conclusion, what does that do to our belief that life is divinely created? What sort of life might we eventually create, and what would ITS status be vis-à-vis a relationship with God or whatever represents the divine in the universe? Do we have the “right” to do this (or even to keep trying), or is it something that would take both scientific endeavor and human hubris a bit too far?
- What about cloning? Human beings haven’t been successfully cloned yet, but that’s not to say that they never will be. Would a cloned human be conscious in the way that the rest of us are? Would he or she have a soul? A conscience? Would a cloned human be able to access such a thing as Jung’s universal unconscious?
- How about intelligent life on other planets? What would this say about the Biblical account of God as the creator of the universe? What if those intelligent beings have no conception of God, religion, or anything beyond the purely physical? Would that be another nail in the coffin of traditional religion . . . or would we dispatch a cadre of astronaut missionaries to convert them?