No Sexbots Allowed, Say Evangelicals in Statement on Artificial Intelligence April 18, 2019

No Sexbots Allowed, Say Evangelicals in Statement on Artificial Intelligence

A group of Baptist leaders recently signed a statement on artificial intelligence and its capabilities for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. And when we’re talking about many of the same people who signed the anti-LGBTQ Nashville Statement, there’s no doubt that this statement will eventually come back to bite everyone in the ass.

The statement begins with a summary of why it was written: Because God talked a lot about AI in the Bible, obviously.

In light of existential questions posed anew by the emergent technology of artificial intelligence (AI), we affirm that God has given us wisdom to approach these issues in light of Scripture and the gospel message. Christians must not fear the future or any technological development because we know that God is, above all, sovereign over history, and that nothing will ever supplant the image of God in which human beings are created. We recognize that AI will allow us to achieve unprecendented possibilities, while acknowledging the potential risks posed by AI if used without wisdom and care.

Here’s an example of what they say about medicine: They celebrate AI assisting with “enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions,” which they attribute to God (of course), but they want you to know something something Jesus.

We deny that death and disease — effects of the Fall — can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Furthermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

AI is great, but it’s incomplete without Jesus, and if it ever helps women with their health care needs, screw it.

And don’t even think about making sexbots. Especially gay ones.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Sure, AI could theoretically help people obtain sexual pleasure (especially if they’re physically or emotionally incapable of having sex right now)… but NO. Jesus said no to sexbots.

The entire statement reads like this. It’s a bunch of Christians trying to Christianize a topic that doesn’t involve Christianity. Rather than admit there are moral complications to AI that we need to sort through as a species, they come right out and make every moral judgment ahead of time — and it’s the same anti-LGBTQ, anti-women, anti-science garbage we’ve come to expect from Southern Baptists.

They want all the benefits of AI, as long as they can attribute it to God, but they fear that AI could take people’s minds off of the Bible. The more scientific progress we realize, the less of a need there is for primitive mythology. That horrifies them.

The most ironic line in the entire statement may be this one: “We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people.” That would mean a lot more if Southern Baptists weren’t known for violating the human dignity of whatever groups of people they deem unworthy. They want AI to live to to standards of morality that they themselves can’t reach.

I’m reproducing the list of people who signed the document below, just so we can always refer back to these people in the future when they inevitably say or do something that contradicts this written-in-stone statement.

Russell Moore
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

Matthew Anderson
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion

Bruce Riley Ashford
Provost & Professor of Theology & Culture
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Vincent Bacote
Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics
Wheaton College

Hunter Baker, J.D.
Dean of Arts and Sciences
Union University

Bart Barber
First Baptist Church Farmersville, Texas

Phillip Bethancourt
Executive Vice President
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

Darrell Bock
Executive Director for Cultural Engagement &
Senior Research Professor of New Testament
Dallas Theological Seminary

Denny Burk
Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Matt Chandler
Lead Pastor
The Village Church, Flower Mound, Texas

Hee Yeal Cho
Executive Staff
Grace Covenant Church

Mike Cosper
Harbor Media

Daniel Darling
Vice-President of Communications
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Jim Daly
Focus on the Family

Dan DeWitt
Associate Professor of Apologetics
Cedarville University

David S. Dockery
Trinity International University & Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Erick Erickson
The Resurgent

Jason G. Duesing
Provost & Associate Professor of Historical Theology
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary & Spurgeon College

John Dyer
Dean of Enrollment Services and Educational Technology
Dallas Theological Seminary

Albert Erisman
Institute for Business, Technology, and Ethics

Nathan A. Finn
Provost & Dean of the University Faculty
North Greenville University

Ronnie Floyd
President & CEO
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention

Micah Fries
Senior Pastor
Brainerd Baptist Church

Mark J. Galli
Editor in Chief
Christianity Today

J.D. Greear
Pastor, The Summit Church
President, The Southern Baptist Convention

Wayne Grudem
Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies
Phoenix Seminary

Daniel R. Heimbach
Senior Professor of Christian Ethics
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Casey B. Hough
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church of Camden

Michael Horton
Westminster Seminary California

Johnny Hunt
Pastor, First Baptist Church Woodstock
Vice President, North American Mission Board

Dean Inserra
Lead Pastor
City Church, Tallahassee, Florida

Scott James, MD
The Church at Brook Hills

Richard Land
Southern Evangelical Seminary

Heath Lambert
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church Jacksonville

Mark Liederbach
Dean of Students & Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Fred Luter
Senior Pastor
Franklin Avenue Baptist Church

Ken Magnuson
Professor of Christian Ethics
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Katie McCoy
Assistant Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

James Merritt
Lead Pastor
Cross Pointe Church Duluth, Georgia

Paul Miller
Research Fellow
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Matthew C. Millsap
Assistant Professor of Christian Studies
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

C. Ben Mitchell
Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy
Union University

Richard J. Mouw
Professor of Faith and Public Life
Fuller Theological Seminary

Trillia Newbell
Director of Community Outreach
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Samuel W. Oliver
Union University

Esther O’Reilly

Ray Ortlund
Immanuel Church

Tripp Parker
Senior Manager, Technical Program Management

Jackie Hill Perry
Author & Speaker

Matthew Pinson
Welch College

Vance Pitman
Senior Pastor
Hope Church Las Vegas

Karen Swallow Prior
Professor of English
Liberty University

Rhyne Putman
Associate Professor of Theology & Culture
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Tony Reinke

Jim Richards
Executive Director
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention

Jeffrey Riley
Professor of Ethics & Associate Dean of Research Doctoral Programs
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Rev. Gabriel Salguero
National Latino Evangelical Coalition

Jimmy Scroggins
Family Church, West Palm Beach, Florida

Jacob Shatzer
Assistant Professor of Theological Studies
Union University

Colin J. Smothers
Executive Director
Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

John Stonestreet
Colson Center for Christian Worldview

Jason Thacker
Associate Research Fellow & Project Leader
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Mark Tooley
Institute on Religion and Democracy

AB Vines
First Vice President
Southern Baptist Convention

Todd Wagner
Senior Pastor
Watermark Community Church

Andrew T. Walker
Senior Fellow in Christian Ethics
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Keith S. Whitfield
Dean of Graduate Studies
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

K. Marshal Williams, Sr.
Senior Pastor, Nazarene Baptist Church
Past President, National African American Fellowship, SBC

Malcolm B. Yarnell, III
Research Professor
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Hershael W. York
Dean of the School of Theology
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Christopher Yuan
Speaker, Author, Bible Professor
Bearer of Christ Ministries

(via Joe. My. God. Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)

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