• Jonathan Shuerger

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Us Understand the Afterlife

Artificial intelligence has been a concept scientists have been trying to produce since the 1960s. Just imagine: autonomous robots undertaking mundane and dangerous tasks without the need for placing humans in danger.

The first place I'm going is Skynet and how this is all an incredible mistake. I mean, is there not enough literature out there explaining in lush detail how making thinking robots is a terrible idea? Terminator? The Matrix? Dune?

But that's not the point of this piece.

I was listening to a lecture by Dr. Jordan Peterson, which is something I recommend everyone do, because the man has an incredible mind and seems to really try to approach ideas with as little bias as possible. In this lecture, he mentioned that a problem scientists were having with creating AI is that they could not get it to perceive objects unless it possessed a body.

Basically, the computer has no frame of reference to perceive a physical object unless it can relate it to itself. The strange conclusion is that the scientists have to build the body first, then construct the intelligence to be placed inside the body in order for the intelligence to operate and interact properly with the world around it.

I find this fascinating, because this is exactly how God did it. In Genesis 2, we see that God constructs Adam's body from the dust of the ground, then breathes the breath of life into his nostrils. When Adam rose to consciousness, he had a body already present, developed and useful for interacting with the world around him.

What does this have to do with the afterlife?

In I Corinthians 13, the famous love chapter of the Bible, another concept is presented that should be foundational to our perception of reality, but is overlooked because it's in "the love chapter".

Paul mentions that when we were children, we thought, behaved and acted as children, but when we mature, we behave as adults. He also mentions that now we see "through a glass darkly".

These statements are immensely important, because they indicate that our understanding of the totality of reality is not complete, and also imply that we lack the sensory apparatuses to even perceive what we're not understanding.

Throughout the Scriptures, God refers to the spiritual realm, what we call the afterlife. When we die, our souls leave our bodies and travel to another place, whether it's good or bad.

There's even a lot of contemporary studies and academic literature that speculate on the utility of dreams, and whether the fact that human consciousness can descend into a state that seems to be without time or other physical stricture is pertinent and necessary for human survival. Basically, they've found that if you don't dream, you die.

In reference to dreams, there are theories that when humans dream, their minds are taking a break from the constraints of physical reality and returning to an eternal place to recharge.

Currently, we don't have much understanding of that other realm, because it rests in the realm of metaphysics and few serious researchers venture into that subject matter.

Here is my contention, based on the issues scientists have experienced with AI.

The Bible mentions that when Christians die, our bodies will be glorified and taken to Heaven. Not just our souls, mind you, but our bodies also. Therefore, our bodies are important.

I believe that the glorification of our bodies equips us to perceive and interact with the afterlife, which is a realm that follows its own set of rules, ie there's no time, death, etc.

Therefore, the fact that we cannot fully perceive or interact with the afterlife in our current bodies and equipped with our current faculties cannot be taken as evidence that the afterlife does not exist, because logically, if we could perceive the spiritual realm with our physical senses, it would not be the spiritual realm.

The fun conclusion that I've come to is that we need a Terminator chassis to interact with Heaven, and I am 110% on board with this.