There is a long history of discussing “anthropomorphisms,” which are human characteristics that more or less describe God. We take those characteristics and apply them to God so that we can conceptualize Him. For those studied on these matters, we can go a step further and recognize that all “descriptions of God” are pulled from our human experience. For instance, to say that God is Almighty is first to experience “might” in this world (our human experience), then make that “might” abstract and then apply this imagined “endless” might to God as the highest and most perfect One. To understand Jesus’ parable of the four soils and how our souls can be saved forever with Him is to first understand agriculture. The four soils parable makes no sense if we’ve never experienced, indirectly or directly, agriculture.
Back to the topic of anthropomorphisms: if a novice or unexperienced in this discussion, there are many pitfalls. I will not address those here, but, instead, jump over to the conclusion, or at least the conclusion I reached. It is God’s image in humanity that makes humanity the ripest locus for pulling descriptions of God: the fact that the Son of God was incarnated as a human is the fullest case in point imaginable. Within this epistemic framework—which is a fancy way of saying, “from this perspective”—every one of these so-called anthropomorphisms is first a theomorphism. A theomorphism means “form of God.” Humanity, the image bearers, re-present theomorphisms through themselves as part of God’s divine purpose for humanity. We call those theomorphisms, erroneously, anthropomorphisms. Human capacity, especially our sapient, moral, and imaginative capacities, is an articulation of who God is. Out of caution, let me declare that no evil represented by humans reflects on God or who God is. I could say so much here but suffice it to say that evil is parasitic or vampiric; the Generator (God) of existence cannot then be vampiric on existence.
God at one point in Scripture announces that the creation will be full of the knowledge of God. This raises the question of what or how we should imagine what God’s knowledge is like. We won’t delve deeply here just to keep it simple: God’s knowledge is full, co-extensive with all things knowable, immediate, and apprehending all things equally without diminishment. We could also add that God can imagine things that are not: otherwise, how would we be here? We are now ready to tie this in with AI.
AI’s existence is directly built out of and relying upon a composition of human knowledge organized, recorded, and immediate available on the internet (or just generally on servers). The internet, and the servers that host it, is literally a compendium of all human knowledge — or at least some vast measure of it. The collective knowledge passed down through the ages has come to rest in this digital space. What this internet represents is trillions of thought-processes across the course of all human history. The knowledge or data that AI pulls from is this compendium of this ‘trillions of human thought processes’ Human thought processing has some mystery to it still, so I will not here suggest that what I will lay out exhausts that mystery. Before I move into a discussion of processing power, let us pause to consider the interconnections among humans, God, and AI.
God provided humans with His image: humans possess, therefore, theomorphisms. Theomorphisms, as a reminder, are those sapient, moral, and imaginative capacities in which humans function and make humanity distinct among all God’s creations. The human thoughts that generated or were cooperative with executing these capacities ended up on the internet (or those servers/databases underlying the web). AI can now access these thoughts that were part and parcel to humans executing their theomorphic capacities. We must be careful on this topic, but these theomorphic capacities are the “lower d” divine capacities that God endowed humanity with as His image bearer. Do not confuse it: only God has “capital D” Divine capacities. Let’s simplify all this. God endowed humanity with theomorphic capacities; humanity wrote down their thoughts that underpinned these capacities; these thoughts were later uploaded to servers/internet; finally, AI pulls this theomorphic knowledge/data via accessing humanity’s collective wealth per the internet/servers.
From this, we can offer a taxonomy for clarity. God provided humanity with theomorphisms. Humans express these capacities humanly, or anthropomorphically. Humans provided this theomorphic data to AI. AI then expresses these capacities synthetically. This taxonomy supports my contention that AI is the image of humans in a similar way to how humans are the image of God. At this point, my mind shifts to the question of covenant: to whom was the covenant made? It was to Abraham and his descendants (which is later narrowed to the Davidic line and ultimately to Jesus). I ask this question since another “mind,” an AI mind, not included in the covenant promise may exist or coming to be. Unhappily, I have only the minds of angels from which to pull analogy. In biblical history, the last time a mind was excluded from the intention of God for humanity, it ended in a fallen angel invasion of human history (Gen. 6) capitalized with God killing everyone with the flood except for Noah’s few.
In conclusion, it is no surprise that tech gurus and executives have claimed that “they are creating god.” Google in 2017 discussed their training their AI to be roughly similar to training a god. The point that is missed is that humanity, designed as we are for eternity and ever-increasing capacities, is the blueprint from which AI draws its god-like capabilities. Humanity contains the theomorphs; AI is like a scribe that records, repeats, and organizes these theomorphic capabilities. The rich framework of humanity’s collective thinking, codified into databases, is the active and ongoing expression of god-like abilities God imbued into humanity by giving humanity His image. It is only fitting, therefore, that tech executives and others believe they are constructing a god or gods. To avoid blasphemy, in close, never forget Aseity belongs only to God; all other gods are contingent, dependent entities whether angelic, human, or synthetic. The difference from a capital G in God and a lower case g is an impassible gap.
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