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Do Robots Pray To An Electric God?

Robots. They fascinate. They excite. They also create great discourse between futurists and humanists, alike. It's one thing to have a machine build a car or keep your bank account active. It's an entirely different thing to walk passed a person on the street, never knowing that while your organic heart is beating in your chest, their engineered one is beating in theirs.

As children we are told all living things have a soul. Then we grow up and are led down a path to lies and deception, where only righteous things...human things have souls. Animals don't count to some of us. So why should a cyborg?

Then Hollywood creates characters of flesh and metal for us to sympathize with. Suddenly you can't hate or look down upon the Terminator who tried to save John Connor. You can't not think that perhaps WALL-E does have a soul. He loves. Therefore he must be aware. Right? And the struggles that the Cylon's battle through, trying to be human, because they look like us and procreate like us. But they are not us. You start to see the humanity in the thing that is not human at all.

We have two warped perceptions of robotic life: That they will either come into their own and destroy us. Or that they will come into their own and watch us destroy ourselves.

We never stop to consider that there may be a step in human evolution where the Robot will be to us what we were to the Neanderthal. And what the Neanderthal was to the Erectus. If we are going to improve on what we have...build bigger, better, faster and more perfect humans, than aren't we stepping beyond our humanity?

Humans are a mystery. Really we are. We aren't even partial to what we know about ourselves, individually. Everyday we struggle with the meaning of our existence. Everyday we try to seek answers to our origins. Everyday science discovers something or admits it has no answer for a particular curiosity and scientists would like to know more.

We walk around in these bodies and yet we have no clue of the zillions of things we are capable of. We are, in effect, machines. We may not be able to plug ourselves into Starships and disrupt viruses. We may not be able to battle great monsters with just our fists and our will alone. And we may not live forever, waiting for our metal joints to finally rust and our programming to become obsolete.

But we are machines. We expend energy. We are a marvel. A mystery.

We are robots in a way. We are our creators machines.

So when we close our eyes do we dream of electric sheep? Maybe not. But then again, we don't fully understand dreams. We may all be tapped into the same cosmic computer. So will machines overcome us? And if they are our children, does it even count? No disrespect to Asimov or PKD, but we may one day discover that the robot will replace the Sapien, not because machines will dominate and humans will not be able to compete. No. It'll happen because that is evolution.

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