AI will be the political left’s ‘single greatest weapon’ against religious faith and truth, says expert
On this day in history, June 5, 1968, presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy is fatally shot in Los Angeles
Ruptured brain aneurysm lands social media influencer in medically induced coma after emergency C-section
As national conversations around artifical intelligence (AI) intensify, faith leaders and scholars are examining the potential ramifications these emerging technologies will have on worship – both its practice and its role in modern life.
Some experts and faith leaders are also concerned about whether religion will have any place in AI programming – or if the intellectual will eventually take precedence over the spiritual in society.
It’s possible and even probable, say experts.
Dan Schneider, Media Research Center and Free Speech America vice president, is both blunt and emphatic in his assessment of AI.
“The [political] left controls AI, and the left is going to what the left wants to do,” Schneider, whose headquarters are in Reston, Virginia, told Fox News Digital in a recent phone interview.
“The left despises the whole idea of a higher being that sets standards of right and wrong,” he also said, adding that “the left sees religion as the engine that has destroyed different societies and peoples throughout history.”
He continued, “They blame religion for that – when it is religion that is responsible for most of the good that has taken place in the world.”
Schneider added that AI “is going to be the single greatest weapon against faith, against truth, against religion.”
He added, “The word ‘God’ – we are not going to see that as a priority in AI programming.”
“It is important to remember that we need transformation more than information.”
Schneider said that it is important for believers to become savvy about the downsides of artificial intelligence, engaging with the issues surrounding it instead of “hiding from it.”
Likening AI to politics, Schneider added, “What we do know is that people of faith today are less interested in politics than they were ten years ago,” he said.
“It’s like we’ve returned to that 1950s [or] 1960s era where people of faith think that maybe politics is just for other people to engage in.”
Schneider said that with AI as with politics, the savvier believers are about emerging technologies, the better.
“There are a lot of potential upsides to AI, but [believers] need to wake up,” he added.
“The left controls the tools of AI, and the left wants to bring that to war against people of faith in the future,” he also said.
He added, “If people of faith are seeing value in it today, they need to get engaged in this fight to protect the upside of AI for tomorrow.”
“The left controls the tools of AI, and the left wants to bring that to war against people of faith in the future.”
Pastor Jesse Bradley of Auburn, Washington, said that the “reality” is that AI usage is increasing in our culture and it is “very powerful.”
He said that AI “is a tool that can be used for positively, for information and insights.”
He continued, “At the same time, it has the potential for privacy violations and manipulation.”
AI raises dozens of new “legal and ethical” questions, Bradley continued.
“In the wrong hands, AI can take away freedoms and undermine community and human dignity.”
He added, “It is important to remember that we need transformation more than information.”
Love is “more important” than knowledge, he also said.
“The grace of Jesus changes our hearts; a relationship with God fills our souls. If we seek God, he will give us wisdom in all situations,” he said.
Bradley said we need to prioritize and “greatly value” human connection.
“AI needs to be used in ways that honor God, and are benevolent,” he emphasized.
“Our screen time is soaring, but what we really need is each other – along with unity and healing in our nation.”
“In the end, even if human intelligence is surpassed by AI, that won’t make AI human.”
We need to focus on “serving, loving, encouraging and praying” for one another, he also said.
“Authentic friendships and genuine community are a gift from God, and need to be guarded and prioritized,” he added.
Another faith leader said that a “fundamental question” being asked today is “what exactly” it means to be human.
“This question is especially prevalent in an age of advanced technologies like AI,” Jason Thacker, chair of research in technology ethics and director of the research institute at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, told Fox News Digital via email.
Thacker, located in Louisville, Kentucky, noted, “Humanity is fundamentally different than AI, as we are someone versus something.”
He continued, “At its core, the Christian witness and gospel is not about information transfer or simply acquiring more knowledge, but rather a personal encounter with the living God being shared with other image bearers.”
He added, “Thus, while an AI may be able to present information or perform complex human-like tasks, it cannot truly witness or even preach, as it isn’t able to experience true grace or the redemption of sin which is at the core of the gospel message.”
Another faith leader says that AI may be able to “produce and spread biblical, doctrinal and evangelistic messages,” but proclaiming the gospel requires the “physical presence” of God’s people in the world.
“Christians proclaim the gospel through our embodied existence.”
“If we only consider the verbal or written production and dissemination, it seems likely that AI is capable of proclaiming the gospel,” Dr. James Spencer, president of D.L. Moody Center, located in Northfield, Massachusetts, told Fox News Digital in an emailed message.
“That said,” he continued, “proclaiming the gospel requires the Church’s presence in the world. Just as Christ made known the Father through the incarnation, so also Christians proclaim the gospel through our embodied existence.”
He also said, “AI will never be able to replace the church as a people brought together to demonstrate God’s manifold wisdom (Eph 3:10), because demonstrating God’s wisdom is not a matter of function or potential, but of substance and being.”
“The reality of the Church’s existence points to the reality of Christ,” he stated.
Whether AI can proclaim the gospel, said Dr. Spencer, prompts a second question: “Can AI learn the gospel?”
He continued, “Learning the gospel is not simply a matter of mastering an intellectual idea through sophisticated coding or interactions with huge sets of data. The gospel is learned through an embodied existence immersed in the reality of God’s active presence.”
He also said, “It is learned as God’s people test him through obedience. It is learned through the Holy Spirit who dwells in those who believe.”
AI may be able to proclaim the words of the gospel, said Dr. Spencer — but it cannot “learn the gospel as humans can.”
He said, “In the end, even if human intelligence is surpassed by AI, that won’t make AI human. It won’t be human because the essence of what it means to be human is not a matter of capabilities, but of being and, in particular, being made in the image of God.”