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AI Deities — Trivializing Jesus (and Satan)

By James Spencer for THE CHRISTIAN POST

An artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot now offers “a divine connection in your pocket” by allowing users to “text with Jesus.” While some may look at this app as a means to find comfort or spiritual growth, others will likely see it as an abomination signaling the apocalypse. I find myself asking a more basic question. What sort of church makes an app like this possible? 

One of my favorite quotes comes from the preface of George Will’s book titled “The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts.” Will notes, “Men and women are biological facts. Ladies and gentlemen — citizens — are social artifacts, works of political art. They carry the culture that is sustained by wise laws and traditions of civility… That is why statecraft is, inevitably, soulcraft.” If the “Text with Jesus” app is viable, it is because the “ladies and gentlemen” of the church who carry the church’s culture have had their souls crafted so that texting Jesus makes sense. “Text with Jesus” is tragic to the extent that it reflects the church’s discipleship or lack thereof.

While the app’s website acknowledges that the app “is not intended to replace or mimic direct communication with divine entities, which is a deeply personal aspect of one’s faith,” the odd and almost worshipful fervor around AI’s genius will almost certainly lead some to believe that even if the app isn’t intended to “replace or mimic” Jesus, there is no reason it couldn’t (or shouldn’t). Yet, texting with Jesus is not a good thing for at least a couple of reasons. First, based on my interactions with the “Text with Jesus” app, AI Jesus is less concerned with fulfilling the Law and the Prophets than providing answers palatable to the itching ears of 21st century users. At its most basic level, the app is simply a filter of sorts designed to offer a constrained…

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Photo courtesy of https://textwith.me/jesus/