“What’s The Meaning of Life?” And 3 Other Big Questions for Bard

“What’s The Meaning of Life?” And 3 Other Big Questions for Bard December 8, 2023

life's big questions
Mojahid Mottakin via Unsplash

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about AI, otherwise known as artificial intelligence. While AI has been getting some bad press with some concerned it’s going to take over the world, I’m here to look at the positive side of AI—specifically Bard, an AI-powered chatbot tool designed by Google.

Bard is positioned by Google as a “conversational AI service” and it works just like a search engine. You type in a phrase or topic you want information on in a search field and hit return. But instead of getting a list of website results, you get a short essay on the topic, that’s miraculously pulled in real-time from the gazillion sources on the Internet.

I recently used Bard for the first time when I needed a short description of “Christ Consciousness.” To my delight, the results were right in line with the many stories I had read about the topic and offered a neat summation. It got me wondering: What about life’s “big questions”? Did Bard know the meaning of life? Or if there’s really a God?

I came up with a few questions and as it turns out, Bard was unable to deliver definitive responses. But all in all, Bard did a pretty good job of offering answers to questions that have long been debated and where the answers depend on your belief system and faith. The responses below were edited as most were several paragraphs long. I’ve also added my own thoughts in italics.

Question 1: What is the meaning of life?

Bard: “Unfortunately, there isn’t a single, universal answer that applies to everyone. Ultimately, the answer to this question lies within you and is shaped by your unique experiences, values, and beliefs. You need to you discover your own meaning and purpose in life.”

To help you find your purpose, Bard offered a few valuable pointers:

  • Reflect on your values and passions. What is important to you in life? What brings you joy and fulfillment?
  • Consider your strengths and talents. What are you good at? How can you use your skills and abilities to make a difference in the world?
  • Explore your relationships. Who are the people who matter most to you? How can you strengthen your connections with others?
  • Above all, be patient and compassionate with yourself. Finding your purpose in life is a lifelong journey, not a destination.

Question 2: Does God exist?

Bard: “The question of whether God exists is one that has been debated for centuries by philosophers, theologians, and scientists alike. There is no single answer that will satisfy everyone. Ultimately, the question of whether God exists is one that each individual must answer for themselves.”

Bard punted on this one but fair enough. Belief in God really is a matter of faith, you either have it or you don’t.

Question 3: Is Jesus really God?

 Bard: “Ultimately, the question of whether Jesus is truly God is a matter of faith and personal belief. It is a complex theological issue with no single, universally accepted answer. Each individual must come to their own understanding based on their study, reflection, and spiritual journey.”

While Bard points out that “most Christian denominations hold the belief that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human” there are exceptions even within Christianity:

  • Unitarianism: This denomination believes in only one God and rejects the concept of the Trinity. They believe Jesus was a divine being, but not God himself.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses: This group believes Jesus was a created being, the firstborn son of God, but not God himself.

Question 4: Why is there evil in the world?

Bard: “Ultimately, the question of why evil exists is a complex one with no easy answers. It may be a combination of various factors, including our free will, social and environmental influences, and our very nature as humans. Whatever the cause, the presence of evil in the world is a reality that we must confront and strive to overcome.”

Bard adds a few takes on why evil exits from a religious perspective:

  • Free Will: Many religions believe that God gave humans free will, the ability to choose between good and evil. This means that while God desires us to do good, he allows us to choose evil if we wish.
  • Original Sin: Some religions, like Christianity, believe that evil entered the world through the first humans, Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed God. This act introduced sin and suffering into the world.
  • Divine Plan: Some believe that evil is part of God’s plan and serves a purpose, such as testing our faith or allowing us to appreciate good more fully.
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