The Mystical-Religious Side of Artificial Intelligence and High Technology

Five hundred years ago, the Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortez came to North America (his nephews, brothers PizarroThey would do so a few years later in the south), the Aztecs are said to have confused him with the serpent-god. QuetzalcoatlWhose return by sea was prophesied. I wish the ancestral American empire came to an end.

Historians debate whether the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II and his court of priests believed this prophecy, or rather, they had to face the consequences derived from the general ignorance and discontent of their people. Fascinatingly, this confusion may have been fueled by the mystical aura that surrounded Cortés: his glowing armour, his sword, his armed forces and the equipment they carried. In fact, the Mural of the Battle of Centella and the Conquest of TabascoLocated in the Mexican municipality of the same name, it captures this vision well and shows Don Hernán Cortés de Manroy and Pizarro Altamirano on horseback bound by fire from Quetzalcoatl, as it turns out, in one of the work’s best scenes.

Centuries after the conquest of the Mexican Empire, in 1853, Commodore Matthew C. BerryCommanding an American squadron, he sailed toward Edo Bay (present-day Tokyo) with an important mission: to force The Shoguns The military rulers who controlled the emperor, who at the time was more of a symbolic than a political role—opened Japan’s doors to the outside world, after two centuries of self-imposed isolation. The Japanese, baffled by the advent of the steamboat—an unprecedented technology for them— Peri’s flag was depicted as a devil On a famous postcard that lives today Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and it represents a culture clash between two different worlds.

The humorous scene finds its echo in the video game Magical Ninja starring Goyaman (Konami, 1997). On this topic, two extravaganzas The Shoguns, Dancin Y Lily, arrives in Tokyo on a spaceship with the goal of conquering medieval Japan and turning it into a pop scene for Western culture. The invasion creates consternation among conservative landlords and the Japanese population. KoyamanThe legendary ninja is then forced to fight an epic battle that ends up in space to protect his country from a “nation.femininity» and absurd Westernization.

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In the end, he defeats the invaders and their subjects – empty robotic puppets that represent the emptiness of the contemporary Western citizenry – and sends them back to the unknown universe from which they came. Video game, Through satire and fantasy, it explores the tensions and fears of Japan’s opening to the Western world.as well as the struggle to protect cultural identity against foreign influence.

In his classic work HolyGerman theologian (1917) Rational and Irrational in the Concept of God Rudolf Otto These things seem to be explained in experience.”Innumerable”, exists in all religions and in the unfathomable mysteries of reality, such as the idea of ​​infinity in mathematics. Otto identifies Three main components In this experience:

  • A terrible mystery (Great Mystery): It evokes a sense of fear and bewilderment in the face of the mysterious, a sense of smallness and awe in the face of something that surpasses us.
  • A fascinating mystery (Seductive Mystique): It attracts and entices the individual, mesmerizing him with its magnificence.
  • A look of awe and mystery (Grand and Fascinating Mystery): It combines both elements, creating a mixture of fear and fascination that paralyzes us and makes us feel vulnerable.

To illustrate this point, we may refer to a famous work Copernicus By a Polish painter John Matejko. In it, the famous Polish-Prussian astronomer finds himself awestruck and completely overwhelmed by the grandeur of the universe, revealed to him by the work and grace of his heliocentric model.

Likewise, technology, in its constant evolution and complexity, can create these kinds of experiences as well. Numinosas.

The vastness of data, the speed of processing, AI and global interconnectedness can inspire feelings of awe, admiration and fear in some people. It’s as if we’re facing a new dimension of reality, an immense force beyond us, forcing us to rethink our place in the world..

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French philosopher Eric Satinin his work Artificial intelligence or the challenge of the century (2020), raises a similar point: AI, in the “religious” turn of technology, The revealed truth of the Christian God can be modified – has been in practice for over 2000 years- By a “Number and algorithm truth«.

In other words, AI is the new system of truth, displacing traditional belief. Formerly, truth is attributed to God; Now, “the system has it.” This “algorithmic-numerical truth regime” seduces us with its complexity and magical utility, leading many to “surrender” to it without question.

But this may not be the case with AI. All settings (Society, Politics, Economy, Education, Law, Business, Education, Environment, Communication, Transport, Health etc.) A charm like “revealed truth” can be exerted.

Thomas Hobbes, his work “Leviathan” (1651), illustrates it perfectly. Hobbes, using the biblical metaphor of leviathan—the world’s largest monster living at the bottom of the sea—not only supports creation. Organizations that appear omnipotent and control people through fearBut his most famous treatise uses this symbol to magnify his own political theory, as read: Leviathan, or the Matter, Form, and Authority of an Ecclesiastical and Civil State.

Centuries later, the shipping company White star line Repeat this pattern when promoting Titanic As an “unsinkable” ship, it attracts thousands of passengers who, tragically, find their fate in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Hobbes would affectionately refer to his beast as a cat: “Like Leviathan, there is none. The mighty fear his majesty. “It rules over all the narcissistic, hateful, and arrogant people on this planet.”

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However, the above presupposes a fallacy – not yet formalized in logic -, let’s say “absolute supremacy”. It teaches us that It is not because an event or entity is of greater order than the individual, and appears to have negative consequences for those who oppose it, that the individual should consider it invincible or all-powerful.Or rather surrender to their impositions than offer resistance.

It will be precisely this logical fallacy This makes it easier now in an important area – hand in hand with the myriad of effects it triggers- Unconditional acceptance and transformation of AIand all the high technologies that make our lifeworlds possible, for their colonization and irreversible transformation.

Not only because of its convoluted logic that surpasses the minds of ordinary subjects, but also because of the effect of greatness that the public clamoring to support it now calls forth the future! Yes or yes it makes us think that it is going to be installed and there is nothing we can do about it, all rebellions are negative, typical of fools. But it is fools who make mistakes and plunge us into the abyss of unintended consequences.

The true fools are those who, like Copernicus in every epoch, look to the heavens with open arms, paralyzed before the precepts that guide and standardize them, and cowardly wonder: “But (in my inferiority) what can I do (what is the real truth)? Should I settle down? If I can’t resist it, join him?

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