I have been a hacker and programmer since I was 14 and I have done advanced education and research in Artificial Intelligence. We all know that we do not yet have a computer entity that is "truly" intelligent since all have to conform to their coding and logic proposed by the programmer(s) therefore limited by the scope of those instructions.

However, let's assume for the sake of argument that one of those machines becomes sentient, like humans. It thinks for itself, by itself and without any reliance on programmatic logic. It would be considered a new lifeform; albeit created by man.

Here is my question: If god has made us in his own image and therefore is God because he created us, does that also mean that if we as humans create a sentient lifeform from say Artificial Intelligence, would we be considered it's God? I ask because if the premise for God is that he/she/it created us, then by all standards we would be God as we have created a sentient being. So in essence, we are to it as god is to us, right?

  • Maybe more like a father. God supposedly created the whole Universe, which is a completely different level of creation. – Trylks Sep 30 '13 at 23:32
  • Good point but didn't man create the computer universe in which it exists? – GµårÐïåñ Sep 30 '13 at 23:53
  • "... let's assume for the sake of argument that one of those machines becomes sentient ..." In what way is that different than asking the question: Let's assume for the sake of argument that the moon is made of cheese. Can we melt it and make a really big fondue? It's a ridiculous question. Surely you don't think that your programs are conscious, or are likely to become so anytime soon. It's a meaningless question. I've written programs but I don't think my for-loops are conscious. Do you think yours are? – Janet Williams Oct 1 '13 at 0:28
  • What do you mean by "considered its God"? For example, if your program contained a line to the effect of printing "Hail to @GµårÐïåñ", would that count? – Drux Oct 1 '13 at 3:14
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    David Brin's fictional accounts of the Uplift Universe may provide some ideas ... – Drux Oct 2 '13 at 6:21

If by 'God' you mean creator, the answer is 'yes' by construction.

If by 'God' you mean has the right to get what he wants, you've entered the world of rights, for which I'd recommend Nicholas Wolterstorff's 2010 Justice: Rights and Wrongs.

If by 'God' you mean moral example, you beg the question of what morality is, for which I'd recommend Alisdair MacIntyre's 1984 After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. He argues that morality is meaningless unless the current state and desired state (or telos) are both known [to some degree], at which point morality is merely how to get from there to here. The Problem of Evil puts into doubt the idea that creators are also moral examples.

One way to provoke further thought on this matter is to question what thriving would look like for the sentient AI. Humans have had a great variety of thoughts on what constitutes 'the good life'. One might predicate it on the satisfaction of desires, but since desires in humans are tiered, one can ask if there is a deepest one and/or whether it is knowable. Can we simultaneously design a sentient being and determine what it desires? Perhaps these two characteristics anti-commute, a property in quantum physics which leads to the Uncertainty Principle.

  • Thank you. Yes, I am thinking God as more of a construction principle. I am not delving into rights, since even if we believe in God for ourselves, we don't all agree he has a right to anything. I mean some pray and so on, but to consider that a right of get what he wants, I don't think anyone would go that far, although it is generally believed he can DO anything - omnipotence with regards to us and so on, just like we could unplug and EMP the AI being vulnerable to surges. Sort of wrath of "god" if you will. – GµårÐïåñ Oct 8 '13 at 6:57
  • Morality is not a concept I was introducing at all, since that is WAY too subjective. What I consider moral action as a Marine is not the same as some farmer or teacher or priest - and vice versa. Some common grounds perhaps, culturally, religiously, socially, but nothing written in stone. So just like we don't expect our children to inherit our idea of morality and they make their own, this AI, life form, would very much do the same, as any of us would do. We are created, given life, but beyond that anything else is a subjective construct that is learnt or formed individually. – GµårÐïåñ Oct 8 '13 at 7:01
  • On your last paragraph, I agree - it becomes sentient, now what you gonna do? that would be the decision of the being, take on a human form, become a black box floating in space, create a massive mainframe and live in it, take a drone design and fly around the world. You are right, we don't know what it wants to do next. That would be entirely its choice. Just like what is good or bad life for us is an individual decision, it would be for it too. It can become a hermit, a psychopath, a scientist, a teacher, a weapon (a soldier if you will), and so on. – GµårÐïåñ Oct 8 '13 at 7:06
  • It is fascinating to consider how much of the 'irrelevant God talk' religious folks have engaged in over time might become relevant when we create AI. If we can start and stop the AI and even revert to a previous state, we are 'outside of time' from the AI's perspective. And so forth. :-) – labreuer Oct 8 '13 at 17:38
  • You are correct. It is amazing how much of the man made constructs over time become almost de facto part of it. But when you are right, you are right, it will certainly color the lens for sure. Thanks :) – GµårÐïåñ Oct 8 '13 at 22:44

This question has a different answer depending on whether you are talking about a monotheistic or a polytheistic conception of God. In monotheism, a central part of the conceptualization of God is that God is the "Prime Mover", the ultimate source and creator of all things. Even if there are intermediate creators, they do not take on the same status. Thus, your hypothetical AI would have the same God as you have. After all, when you have a biological child, you arguably create that child in your own image, but no sane parent considers himself his child's God.

On the other hand, if you have a polytheistic approach to religion, then you might arguably consider yourself to have a godlike relationship to your AI --but in that case you might be only one of many possible figures of worship your AI might choose.

  • Not really concerned with theocracy in any form for this matter. God is a generic term like Xerox that refers to the creator as does to copying respectively. Nothing more man made read into it than that. Obviously short of its intelligence and ability to reason on its own, an AI lifeform would not be anything in our image unless it chooses to take that form. So I take the term, created in his image with a grain of salt. – GµårÐïåñ Oct 8 '13 at 22:42
  • If you're just using "God" as a synonym for "creator" then your question reduces to "if I create an AI, then am I its creator?", which is trivially true. As noted by labreuer, any attempt to answer your question is dependent on how you define God. In the case that you define God not as a generic creator but as the ultimate Creator (the First Cause) then the answer to your question is no. – Chris Sunami supports Monica Oct 9 '13 at 3:58
  • Not exactly but I do see what you are saying. Why would it not be accurate as to first cause? It/they would not exist without my/our intervention to give it life. So by any definition of the term god that would be indeed the ultimate creator. In the future when they replicate themselves by whatever method they choose, asexual probably unlike us, then they would take the position of parents endowed by god (us) to have ability to exist and procreate. I am talking about levels here. God -> Us -> AI (if god is above us, we are above Ai, therefore god is to us as we are to ai, hence ITS god – GµårÐïåñ Oct 9 '13 at 7:29
  • Traditionally, at least in the Aristotelian tradition, God holds a uniquely privileged position in the chain of causality. God is not just any link in the chain, but specifically the first link. Imagine that I write a story about a person named A who writes a story about a person named B who writes a story about a person named C and so forth. No matter how many writers are in the story, I still hold a unique position as the ultimate author. On the other hand, your conceptualization does match Morman theology, which describes our God as one in an infinite chain of creator gods. – Chris Sunami supports Monica Oct 9 '13 at 13:10
  • But that assumes that god doesn't have a god, meaning someone that created it. For all we know the god of god has a god that created it. The absolute of god being the the first and only is just because we don't know beyond that and we take it on presumption that our god is high as it goes. If we assume it was created by a god as well, then a chain is quite apt. Wow, I didn't realize it was Morman theology, I am not religious at all in any particular label, so I am glad you pointed that out, now I learned something new. Thanks. – GµårÐïåñ Oct 9 '13 at 19:31

This is a true logic based question which most of the smart people are asking these days . Well get this .

The one who created if consider as god by logic . Then god is the creator of that logic itself. These are human logics but divine logic can never be understood by man cause there are certain limits to humanity like there are certain limits to machines. You're question is kind a genuine but human itself can't consider as god of machines because machines aren't that smart at least for today.


In the OP, you are equating 'god' with 'sentient agent responsible for the creation of', and in that context the answer is definitely yes. Our relation to this AI would be similar to this (hypothetical) god's relation to us.

However, I think 'creator' would be a more accurate label. Labeling us as 'gods' brings a lot of unrelated (and often inconsistent) baggage which is NOT reasonably justified based on the initial proposition.

Creating a sentient, artificial intelligence has no relation to whether humanity is omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, or any of the other attributes commonly attached to 'god.' In all likelihood, any such AI we create would exceed humanity in those categories (e.g. ever try playing Jeopardy vs Wikipedia?).

The label of 'god' truly sounds silly when the creation's capabilities exceed our own. It's hubris to pretend otherwise, and we all know where AI + human hubris leads.

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