The Athenian Altar and the Amazonian Chatbot: A Pauline Reading of Artificial Intelligence and Apocalyptic Ends

This article explores questions about chatbots in particular and artificial intelligence (AI) in general from a Pauline, that is, a Christian theological perspective. It does so in a way that focuses on a particular scene in the New Testament: Paul in the Athenian Areopagus, considering an altar to...

Full description

Saved in:  
Bibliographic Details
Published in:Zygon
Main Author: Morelli, Michael
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Journals Online & Print:
Drawer...
Published: Wiley-Blackwell [2019]
In:Zygon
Year: 2019, Volume: 54, Issue: 1, Pages: 177-190
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Einheitsübersetzung der Heiligen Schrift. Apostelgeschichte 17,16-34 / Millennialism / Artificial intelligence
Further subjects:B Theology
B Ethics
B Technology
B Religion
B Cosmology
B Worldview
B Artificial intelligence
B Divinity
B Eschatology
B Teleology
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
doi
Description
Summary:This article explores questions about chatbots in particular and artificial intelligence (AI) in general from a Pauline, that is, a Christian theological perspective. It does so in a way that focuses on a particular scene in the New Testament: Paul in the Athenian Areopagus, considering an altar to an "unknown God," quoting Greek poets and philosophers, and sharing curious theology as he dialogues with Stoic and Epicurean thinkers (Acts 17:16-34). By examining the sociohistorical nuances of this scene and their philosophical and theological implications, this article shows how the altar Paul considers philosophically and theologically becomes the focal point for an important dialogue about apocalyptic ends, or ideas about who we are, where we are going, and who or what is responsible for that who-ness and where-ness. In turn, this can teach us how to ask practical questions, which can uncover the unsuspected apocalyptic ends represented by, or even contained within, common technological objects such as chatbots.
ISSN:1467-9744
Contains:Enthalten in: Zygon
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12483