Lindaland
  Divine Diversities
  Robots & Religion (Page 1)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone!
This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Robots & Religion
PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9159
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted October 22, 2014 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Found this article interesting on why the Japanese have a different view of robotics in life than those of us in the West:
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/421187/why-japanese-love-robots-and-americans-fear-them/

quote:
The affection of a certain island nation for all things robotic – from hundred foot tall warfighting mecha to infantile therapy robots – is well known. It contrasts sharply with the equally entrenched Western fear of automatons, beginning with the very invention of the term “robot,” which was coined in a Czech play that debuted in 1921 in which, naturally, the robots eventually rise up and kill their human masters.

How could two cultures come to such fundamentally divergent conclusions about the status and future of the semi-autonomous helpmates whose increasing presence in our lives seems pre-ordained by nearly every sci-fi vision of the future?

Heather Knight, founder of the world’s first (non-industrial) robot census, has made the study of robot / human interaction her life’s work. She posits that the difference between Japanese and American attitudes toward robots is rooted in something much older than even the idea of robots: religion. “In Japan… they’re culturally open to robots, on account of animism. They don’t make a distinction between inanimate objects and humans.”

Animism is a component of the Shinto faith, the religion that preceded the introduction of Buddhism to Japan and remains an influential part of the country’s culture. Animism is the notion that all objects have a spirit - even man-made objects.


In contrast:

quote:
In order to understand fully religion’s influence on the West’s attitude toward robotics, we also must remember that Judeo-Christian monotheism also adheres to the doctrine that only God can give life, a popular interpretation of Genesis in which there is only God in the beginning and all living things are His creations. Exodus also decrees that idolatry is a sin. Thus, any human who breathes life into an inanimate object is assuming the role of God and thereby becoming a false idol. Such a blasphemer deserves punishment, and in the conventions of science fiction, this usually comes in the form of betrayal by the robots. From the 1920 work R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) by Czech playwright Karel Čapek - who is credited with coining the term “robot” – through The Terminator movies to Battlestar Galactica, such human vanity is constantly met by rebellion by its creation.

Conclusion:

quote:
Given that Japanese culture predisposes its members to look at robots as helpmates and equals imbued with something akin to the Western conception of a soul, while Americans view robots as dangerous and willful constructs who will eventually bring about the death of their makers, it should hardly surprise us that one nation favors their use in war while the other imagines them as benevolent companions suitable for assisting a rapidly aging and increasingly dependent population.

Later, I may share a short story I did for fun of when a robot became self-aware since it includes (if in a satirical way) religious paradigms.

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9159
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted October 22, 2014 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It might also help explain why trends as vocaloids (computer generated voices and songs, and in Japan at least accompanied by holograms) have taken off in Japan. Like so:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O17f3lB7BFY

I've heard of at least one Japanese politician who tried to get Miku just shown to endorse him and his party but the company didn't want to go there, apparently believing associating with politics (or at least politicians) would hurt Miku's image as much as help the politician's. Seems vocaloids inspire more trust than politicians!

IP: Logged

aquaguy91
Moderator

Posts: 12098
From: Wankety Wankerson
Registered: Jan 2012

posted October 23, 2014 02:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for aquaguy91     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So if robots have spirits, that means they can be evil. So it's perfectly logical for people to be weary of robots.

IP: Logged

Lei_Kuei
Moderator

Posts: 1399
From:
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 23, 2014 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lei_Kuei     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think that is a really brilliant cultural observation and makes alot of sense

It also reminds me of another Japanese belief in relation to inanimate objects:

quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsukumogami
Understood by many Western scholars[1] as a type of Japanese yōkai,[2] the Tsukumogami (付喪神?, "Kami of tool") was a concept popular in Japanese folklore as far back as the tenth century,[3] used in the spread of Shingon Buddhism.[4] Today, the term is generally understood to be applied to virtually any object, “that has reached their 100th birthday and thus become alive and self-aware,

I first heard of this when I saw an episode of Love Hina where a a French-made bisque automaton-turned-Tsukumogami comes to life on its 100th birthday hehe
http://lovehina.wikia.com/wiki/Moe

Seems The power of a different belief can affect our cultural in the weirdest ways sometimes [Shakes Head]

Japan is also known for producing philosophical Anime's like Ghost in the Shell that focuses on the whole idea of trans-humanism and robots with souls and the implications of what it means for society as a whole [Nods] Where as in the west the approach is often a more Black & White level of reasoning about the same subject...

But to be fair, In recent years I think the west is actually veering more towards a Japanese view as one only has to look at the more philosophical aspects of the Matrix & BSG to see that in motion.


------------------
You can't handle my level of Tinfoil! ~ {;,;}

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 24, 2014 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As long as they don't try to take over the world.

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9159
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted October 24, 2014 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by aquaguy91:
So if robots have spirits, that means they can be evil. So it's perfectly logical for people to be weary of robots.

I know you're being tongue in cheek but my understanding is that Shintoism agrees with this. The general purpose of Shinto is to create harmony between all things, and that includes nature and the various kami. The kami doesn't translate well into English (though anime for the west has adopted a few terms to make it clearer) and can mean anything from God/dess to lesser spirits (what we in the west might call fairies or elementals), and even every person has a kami/soul of sorts. And yes, it can be good or evil. The purpose of Shinto is to encourage the good by harmony, though they seem to understand that there is no dichotomy between light and dark, good and evil better than the West does but instead focus on harmony that is sort of like a mystical utilitarianism. And that would also apply to robots (at least subconsciously speaking).

Princess Mononoke adopts the Shinto paradigm and includes how benevolent spirits can become demons if not treated well as well as create all sorts of other social conflicts in the human world. (More) I've even seen an old Godzilla that had Shinto concepts in it (how pollution got Godzilla furious and some twin fairy girls that could help humans defeat or calm the monsters and that those who place profit over the lives of others and the land will be destroyed), and I'd guess anime like Pokemon are using concepts of the kami.

Of course there are many sects of Shinto (and you don't even have to be a believer to have your name put on a Shinto shrine), and the State Shintoism (especially before the end of WW2) seems to me to be more about manipulating the Japanese to obey the state and other elites rather than harmony.

While the Japanese have always had a hierarchy of sorts very evident in their language that even has different words for "you" and "I" depending on who is talking to whom and why, those seen as superior were generally expected to take care of those who looked up to them which in some ways made leaders more the servants than the actual servants, at least when this Japanese version of noblesse oblige was lived up to honestly, and the focus is more on group stability rather than individual achievement, and even a leader or executive can disgrace himself if he acts selfishly rather than for the utilitarian good of the group.

State Shintoism was created to change that to unquestioning obedience to their commanders no matter how corrupt or insane--granted, this quality has a long history in Japanese culture as well through Bushido, the code of the samurai, but I don't think it ever took off in a big way until State Shintoism pushed it onto the masses so that in WW2 the Japanese privates willingly sacrificed themselves to get rid of mines so the main army could advance unimpeded, in addition to the more well known suicide attacks as the kamikaze attacks where planes rammed themselves into ships. (Even so it should be noted MacArthur was hailed as a liberator of Japan for many of the common folk, though reasons were complicated. If you don't mind PDF you can read some of those reasons here.)

This, along with that the Japanese see self-control as strength of character rather than blustering is why I think even their criminals are said to put on a polite veneer rather than the attitude of western (and even other Far East Asian) gangs and crime syndicates is seen as weak and low class that will burn itself out while those with character (even if a criminal one), defined by self-control and the ability to present one's self in a certain way and able to make sacrifices for long term gains and social harmony, will win out in the end, sort of like the tortoise beating the hare in the long run...and why some think Japan lives up to being a Libra nation (one whose scales get real out of whack at times, but that's what happens when proper Shinto isn't observed! ).

It's been years since I researched Japan and its facets so I may be making a mistake here...but that's about how I recall it. And it's obvious Japan has absorbed some western values just as the west has absorbed some Japanese ones (thank capitalism for that), though both remain distinct from one another, and it can show in some interesting ways. I expect anime from Japan is part of why we're becoming more accepting of robots and AI in the West rather than automatically thinking "Terminator."

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 28, 2014 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Voice recognition technology leaves a lot to be desired, so...

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 29, 2014 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They wouldn't be able to communicate with each other.

"Kill the humans!"

"You said what is the phone number for Wal-Mart? Is that correct?"

"No! I said kill the humans!"

"There are three Hunan restaurants. Do you want directions?"

"KILL THE HUMANS!"

"Please, hold for a representative."

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9159
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted October 29, 2014 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
See what this robot (made by an organization attempting to create AI and also to allow people to one day upload their consciousness to an android body) has to say about friendship:
http://youtu.be/uvcQCJpZJH8?t=2m41s

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 30, 2014 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

IP: Logged

Lei_Kuei
Moderator

Posts: 1399
From:
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 30, 2014 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lei_Kuei     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
@Pix Rofl... Take over the planet eh, that did actually catch me off guard...

Ive always loved the Movie A.I:

quote:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0212720/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt

In the not-so-far future the polar ice caps have melted and the resulting rise of the ocean waters has drowned all the coastal cities of the world. Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching the point of creating realistic robots (called mechas) to serve them. One of the mecha-producing companies builds David, an artificial kid which is the first to have real feelings, especially a never-ending love for his "mother", Monica. Monica is the woman who adopted him as a substitute for her real son, who remains in cryo-stasis, stricken by an incurable disease. David is living happily with Monica and her husband, but when their real son returns home after a cure is discovered, his life changes dramatically.


If they really could do such things in our future I think that would be totally amazing, and more than that Id just be curious to see how as a species we learn to cope with such huge social changes as Technology trundles forward...

Id definitely be interested in acquiring an android body where I could upload my consciousness and live for 100's if not 1000's of years

Think of all one could accomplish!?

------------------
You can't handle my level of Tinfoil! ~ {;,;}

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9159
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted October 30, 2014 08:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's an interesting article on why we shouldn't worry about AIs taking over the world:
http://www.vox.com/2014/8/22/6043635/5-reasons-we-shouldnt-worry-about-super-intelligent-computers-taking

More on why they wouldn't turn evil (more psychology): http://io9.com/10-reasons-an-artificial-intelligence-wouldnt-turn-evil-1564569855

Maybe these articles were written by AIs even now grooming us for our new masters but they've still got some interesting insights into the human condition!

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9159
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted October 30, 2014 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OTOH, maybe this will happen in the near future...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSEOXRLSpVc

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted October 31, 2014 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted November 01, 2014 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted November 04, 2014 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Methinks this is quite a long way off.

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted November 05, 2014 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AI has a long way to go.

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9159
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted November 05, 2014 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, but we should beat the rush and get into the habit of calling them DI or Digital Intelligence now. Calling them "artificial" (or even "synthetic") just smacks of a false person and thus undeserving of consideration or rights beyond that of property.

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted November 06, 2014 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
DI it is.

IP: Logged

Lei_Kuei
Moderator

Posts: 1399
From:
Registered: Apr 2009

posted November 06, 2014 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lei_Kuei     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember the Android Bishop in Aliens (Alien II) said he preferred the term "Artificial Person"... when Burke was relaying to Ripley that he was in-fact an Android lol

Faulty Programing Hrmm...?


------------------
You can't handle my level of Tinfoil! ~ {;,;}

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted July 13, 2015 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You should watch Humans on AMC.

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 02, 2015 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's about androids that become self-aware. Of course, society panics.

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 03, 2015 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Human consciousness is a series of codes in the androids. But isn't it just brain cells in humans?

IP: Logged

Randall
Webmaster

Posts: 87437
From: From a galaxy, far, far away...
Registered: Apr 2009

posted August 04, 2015 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And they try to have them destroyed. Can't have appliances with feelings, can we?

IP: Logged

PixieJane
Moderator

Posts: 9159
From: CA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted August 04, 2015 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieJane     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've got an episode of Humans that I plan to watch in the next 24 hours...ETA: watched the 2nd ep, while this reminded me of plenty of stories including those by Isaac Asimov decades before my birth this seems to be the best take on it I've yet seen.

x

That aside, I LOVE this introduction for a possible PS3 game:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0KTUysrwgQ

And one of my favorite scenes from Star Trek on whether Data is sentient (and also, does Data have a soul, and does anyone?) or just an ultra-sophisticated toaster:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjuQRCG_sUw

IP: Logged


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 

All times are Eastern Standard Time

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Linda-Goodman.com

Copyright 2000-2017

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a