Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Many of us love dogs, but we know too that they can be a hassle, too: soiling the carpet, shedding, barking at the wrong time, getting sick, and on and on.
Well, Sony Corporation has a solution: the perfect pet. A robot dog called AIBO, which means “friend” in Japanese. Here’s how Sony promotes it:
“AIBO actually has emotions and instincts programmed into his brain. He acts to fulfill the desires created by his instincts. If satisfied, his joy level will rise. If not, then he will get sad or angry. Like any living being, AIBO learns how to get what he wants. Occasionally, he will wave his legs around vigorously or show signs of anger if he does not receive the kind of attention he requests from you. The way you respond to his emotional expressions greatly influences his personality and growth. Even though AIBO is made from plastic, powered by a battery, and has a nervous system of integrated circuitry, he is also a fully cognizant, sensing, loving and communicative companion.”
Instincts? Emotions? Joy? Desire? Sad? Angry?
How stupid do these people think we are?
It’s a machine, made of the same stuff as an iPad. Emotions? Instincts? Desires? Robot dogs have no more emotions, instincts and desires than a toilet has vertigo when you flush it.
If the thought of a robot dog does nothing for you, then perhaps you can understand better why God created us as He did: beings with free will that could truly love Him and others. Just as a real dog, as opposed to a robot dog, comes with risks, real humans (created in the image of God who is love) come with risks too. And yet rather than create us as robots, God made us free beings who could love, even if He knew what it would cost Him.
And what did it cost Him? Look at the cross, Christ on the cross: that is what the cost of free will was to God. But rather than deny us that freedom, that ability to love, He knew “before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9), where it would lead Him.
And, yet, He did it anyway.