Would You Vote for a Machine for President?

Sometimes my class on Religion and Science Fiction seems to be incredibly practical, despite the impression the title might give. Yesterday we talked about whether it would be a good idea to ask an artificial intelligence whether God exists. The conversations we had were great, and included a contribution from Siri which led to one student [Read More…]

Terminator: The Simone Beauvoir Chronicles

Existential Comics recently offered a philosophical variation on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a program which I used to blog about regularly because of the show’s exploration of religion and my interest in artificial intelligence. Having duly issued the necessary language warning, I nonetheless recommend it and link to it. Of related interest, see the [Read More…]

Do Unto Others

A lot of people have been sharing the image of robot trials undertaken at Boston Dynamics, often mashed up with scenes of Sarah Connor from Terminator. While what we’re witnessing are tests to see how robots cope with challenges, the time may come when we have to ask serious questions about the ethical treatment of them. In the [Read More…]


I recently watched the movie Chappie. It poignantly conveys a point that I also sought to get across in my chapter on “Robots, Rights, and Religion” in Religion and Science Fiction: that what is most scary about artificial intelligences is that they will resemble us in all our shortcomings. But it also makes other crucial [Read More…]

Amazon Echo: The Future Is Now

I paid a visit to Amazon.com today to see if I could find a particular piece of sheet music. I didn’t find it, but on the front page was an announcement that Amazon Echo is available to the general public. I had not really paid attention to the news about this before. But when they quoted [Read More…]

Prophets of the Technological Future

I had been meaning to blog about the movie Ex Machina for a while now. It makes explicit the potential for the creation of artificial intelligence to be thought of in terms of godlikeness. It is interesting that, whenever we imagine creation of sentient beings taking place, whether in Genesis or sci-fi, they never fail to [Read More…]

Christian Robots

The above segment from the Daily Show looks like it could have been inspired by my book chapter, “Robots, Rights, and Religion” in Religion and Science Fiction. The video came to my attention via Atheist Rev. See also the website of Christopher Benek, who is featured in the video. [Read more…]

Doctor Who: The Robots of Death

The Doctor Who episode The Robots of Death explores a perennial theme in science fiction: the great potential for robots to make our lives easier and safer, the potential for them to do us great harm if they are misused, and the fear that any safeguards we put in place to avoid the second possibility may not [Read More…]

Robot Fundamentalists

The website IO9 highlighted my work on religion and artificial intelligence today. Click through to take a look. The chapter that article mentions is available on my Selected Works page. It is from the volume I edited, Religion and Science Fiction:. The coolest part was that a former student of mine spotted the piece even [Read More…]

They’re Made Out Of Meat

I recently had the story “They’re Made Our Of Meat” by Terry Bisson drawn to my attention. It is available to be read online, and it offers a nice, brief mirror to the way humans are prone to scoff at that which is unlike us. In my class on religion and science fiction, we’ve spent [Read More…]