People & Robots

From the time I was ten, I was exposed to computers.  My brother, who designed the things, started exposing me to terms like bits and bytes long before they the public knew of them.  If I remember right, this was about 1958 or 1959.  I was already picking up general electronic terms as well.  I could read the color codes on a resistor almost as well as I could read the regular number system.  I didn’t use little limericks to memorize it either as others did.

One of the first things I learned about computers is that they are dumb.  They know less than nothing.  All their apparent intelligence must be programmed into them.  Even then, all results are completely predictable.  If a computer doesn’t do what it is designed to do, then something is wrong with it.

Let’s look at the most basic special purpose digital computer, the calculator.  Hopefully, every time you add the same two numbers, it should come up with the exact same result.  It is predictable.  If you get a different result, it is broke.  It is useless.  You might as well toss it because it is unusable.

We humans, on the other hand, are, at least to some degree, unpredictable.  You put ten men in the same situation and it is quite possible to come out with ten different results.

You see, when God made man, he gave us what is called a free will.  That is to say, for the most part, he lets us do what we want to do, though we frequently do what He doesn’t want to do.

He could have stopped Adam and Eve from eating the fruit, but then, Adam would not have had a free will.  And God wanted us all to have a free will.

To be sure, ultimately, God’s will is always accomplished.  At times, a man wants to do something that is completely against God’s will.  For instance, when God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, Jonah decided to go anywhere but Nineveh.  It was a direct collision of Jonah’s will with God’s and God decided His will would prevail.

Even at that, God didn’t just treat him like a robot.  Jonah was still able to rebel.  It was only by circumstances that He drove Jonah back to Nineveh, this even though Jonah would have preferred death to going to Nineveh.  Jonah still had the ability to exercise his free will, though without much success.

In the end, God accomplished at least two things.  First, the entirety of Nineveh repented from their evil and turned to God.  Second, He taught Jonah a few important lessons.  I don’t know.  Maybe He accomplished a few other things.  He can do things like that.  Certainly, the book of Jonah, to this day has a few lessons for us all.

Even so, I have come upon passages I simply don’t understand.  Such is the 15th chapter of Deuteronomy.  First time I read that, I was very perplexed.  In it, God instructs the master to give the slave a chance for freedom.  If the slave chooses to remain a slave to the master, the master is to punch a hole in the ear and put a ring in it.

  1. It does seem odd to me that any man should want to remain a slave.
  2. It seemed odd to me that God would sanction such a thing.
  3. Why should there even be a need for such a law?

Over time, my eyes were opened.  I found, oddly, there are people who like to be told what to do.  They like a world where they don’t have to make decisions.  I guess, to a small degree, I am in this category.  I don’t much care for being the leader.  I would much rather someone else make the decisions and I just do what I’m told.  However, sometimes I do get a little rebellious, or more likely, lazy.

It is common for us followers to get the idea that we would make a much better leader.  Yet, when put in the position of leading, we fail.

Now, what makes me bring this up?  I heard a statement made by a member of the Chinese Communist leadership that sort of opened my eyes the other day.  He said that in China, we follow orders.  You in the US do what you want.

So.  I guess that is what the socialists want us to do.  They want us to stop making decisions and just follow orders.  What we are to do, say and think should be all determined by the leadership, regardless of how inept that leadership is.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a recipe for disaster.  The primary problem is that leaders seldom have the good of everyone in mind.  They always get the best of everything, shelter, transportation, medical and food.  When two men need a liver transplant and one is in the leadership, guess who gets the liver.  The same goes for every other aspect of life.

This is the way it was in the USSR and they went bankrupt.  This is the way it is in China and they would not succeed without steeling all of our ideas.  Socialism discourages free thinking, which is the source of ideas.  Why invent the better mousetrap if you aren’t rewarded for it?

Nonetheless, let me go back to my three bullet points.  The answer to the first question is simple.  Some men don’t want to be free.  They like the idea of security being provided by the master, or in this case the state.  It is an easy life, to do what you are told and to think what you are told to think.  Some men prefer the easy life to freedom, even to the point that some ever prefer living in prison where everything is taken care of for them.

God sanctioned the practice for that reason.  It gave some men an out to taking care of themselves.  Also, oddly, to some degree, it kept them from choosing to be criminals.  Moreover, in that day, it seemed that there were strong voluntary bonds of friendship to be formed between slave and master.

When Abraham chose a servant to choose a wife for his son, the man could have just as easily left.  Apparently, Abraham trusted his servant and the servant loved his master.  Yet, the servant was wise in the way he chose the wife.  (By the way, God also provided some guidance.)

Third point, the law permitted the slave a choice.  If he wanted his freedom, the master had no recourse but to set him free.  No one could force him to stay with the master.

Today, in the US we don’t have such laws.  We no longer have slaves.  It does make me wonder, though just a little.  Just how things would have been in the days before the Civil War had the South been forced to conform to the aforementioned law.  I’m going to let you come to your own conclusions but I’m sure things would have been a lot different.

Today, we don’t have masters and servants.  We have employers and employees.  An employee is free to leave at any time.  An employer, within limits is permitted to dismiss an employee for cause.  The system seems to work well.  It would appear that the socialists don’t like the system.

I suppose many might suggest all sorts of reasons they don’t like it.  The out and out truth is simple.  It chips away at their effort for gaining power.  And power is their goal, no matter whose toes they step on, no matter who they have to climb over to get to the top.  Then when they get there they are the worst leaders.

It is a fact that the socialists are very good at spending money, not so much in making it.  Every blue state is falling apart financially.  At first it was slow.  Now it is rapid.  California seems to have lost one representative, perhaps the first time in recent history.  New York might lose two.  Texas and Florida will each picking up one.  Unless there is a change leadership, by the next census, California and New York may well lose a forth or more of their representatives.

The horrible thing is, the leaders of New York and California are expecting the people from Texas and Florida to bail them out and that is not right.  I say, let them fail and learn the lesson of socialism as did the USSR.

God did not make us robots.  He does not control us like robots but the socialists would just love to control us all.  They want us to shut up and take orders.  They want our brains to function like computers.  They demand we respect them while they don’t deserve the respect of a dog.

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