Zheng Jiajia is an artificial intelligence expert from Japan. He was evidently unable to find a suitable mate (or could not find love) so he built a humanoid robot. And then married her, or it. Or whatever. His family even attended the ceremony. He programmed his robot to speak some rudimentary sentences and has plans to upgrade her eventually so she can walk and do basic household chores. And the robot has a name: Yingying. Or would that by Yingying Jiajia?
So what is the Christian response to this? Well … nothing I guess. I mean, I do not know Jiajia so I am not really sure what I could say to him. But it does raise some interesting points for Christian leaders to process. What do we say to our people in the face of this?
I think we speak about human’s desire to create. Address the idea that, if life is not turning out how I want, then I need to do whatever it takes to create one that does. If you cannot find a suitable mate, just create one.
What about free will and love? Do they matter? Can you have a relationship in which one party has no will? What happens if he grows tired of Yingying? Do they seek counseling? Divorce?
What makes a marriage? Is it whatever we say it is? Can society – or an individual – create his own set of definitions for marriage?
What does this say about gender? Is a robot female? Did she choose to be female? Did her creator make her female? Can a robot even have gender?
Of course, I think this kind of thing happens way more than we think. People choose to create their own reality. If life does not suit you, create the one you want. And of course others are expected to endorse and support that decision.
But we already have a Creator. He designed a life for us that will work. A Creator that demonstrates his love for us. One who wants us to live in relationship with him forever.
And one who then leaves the decision to us. Free will. And maybe that is the crux of the matter.
Who do we really want to be in charge of our life?
I choose God … and I want others to choose him, too.