For the longest time, I have been fascinated with the idea of artificial intelligence, a man-made consciousness that has a mind of its own and can think on a similar level to a human being.  While this consciousness is undeniably intelligent and can think, I wondered if it has memories, emotions, and desires of its own like any sentient being.  If this is the case, does an artificial intelligence have a soul?  Human beings, plants, and animals undeniably have souls, but whether or not a construct that was made by mortal hands has a soul is still an ongoing mystery.  Some of my characters in my upcoming third volume will be an example of this age-old puzzle.


  1. Here’s my random stream of conscious thoughts: I don’t believe plants and animals have souls. I think souls are related to the conscience and right and wrong, and animals don’t seem to have the conscience that tells humans what is right and wrong. For example, humans are hard pressed to kill one another, unless some mental conditioning has occurred that inhibits that natural guilt that we experience if we kill another human. Plants and animals have no such guilt. I’ve seen dogs and horses and most kinds of other animals kill their own kind with no remorse.
    You may say “but I’ve seen animals feel guilty for doing something wrong!” Maybe there’s a difference between understanding consequences and feeling guilt, though. Because a normal human would feel very guilty for killing another human, even if there were no consequences. Regardless of social conditioning, there is an element to our brains that tells us “this is wrong.” This is part of the soul, the part of us that endures beyond the death of our bodies. 🙂
    So, in that framework, artificial intelligence wouldn’t have a soul. There’s something more to humans than animals and plants. We’re special, because we’re made in the image of God, like no other plant or animal. God gave us the ability to distinguish right and wrong, regardless of the framework or social conditioning. Now, people pervert that all the time and train themselves subconsciously to ignore their feelings of guilt. But even in a child, it’s still there.
    That’s my thought process. I wouldn’t stake eternity on the thought that our conscience is a part of our souls, but I’m confident in our difference from animals, etc. 🙂
    Good post, thought provoking, hahaha, obviously. 🙂

  2. They better not have souls. Then I’m so sure they will achieve heights. They won’t be wasting their time in break-ups & patch-ups & actually do something to make the earth a better, more advanced, more easy to survive place to live for them & for humans.

  3. the concept of a soul is largely religious – and if you go that route then plants, machines, and possibly lower animals would not have souls. If by soul we are thinking of the capacity to know right from wrong & have a conscience, then I suspect machines still wouldn’t 100% be there since they are logic based – and sometimes right or wrong concepts defy logic

  4. When you say “Human beings, plants, and animals undeniably have souls,” it depends how you are looking at souls.

    When you would take it the Biblical way, having the breath of the Creator in them, being life given elements, I would agree.

    When you take it as some Christians do believe the soul being an extra element which can leave the body, I would disagree.
    A construct that was made by mortal hands having a soul, meaning having life in it, may be still being an ongoing mystery. Human being are capable of a lot, but they should always remember when the mingle with cells and DNA it are not they who create that new being.Artificial insemination may be brought forward by man, but it is the Creator Deity who lets it happen.

  5. Artificial Intelligence is purely an academic or philosophical concept. A computer is either stochastic or determinate, nothing in between. There is no mixture of these elements that will be intelligent as normally defined. Such a device can emulate intelligence, never truly possess it. It will not have the necessary free will. God protect us from those who sometime in the future think they have created intelligence.

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