Illustration for article titled Two Robots Named John Have Questions For God

Friday night's television included two androids named John asking questions of God, notes religious blog Exploring Our Matrix. Terminator's John Henry asked about "ball-and-socket joints," and Battlestar's John Cavil ranted about gelatinous eyeballs.

The artificial intelligence John Henry's question, on Terminator, came in the context of playing with Bionicle toys, and wondering why God didn't give humans such cool ball-and-socket joints as our toys have. Meanwhile, Cavil, who hates his first name of John, confronted his creator, Ellen Tigh, and demanded to know why his eyeballs have such limited bandwidth for viewing the universe's marvels, when he could have been made of metal and had the ability to smell dark matter.


Neither robot's question is silly, says James McGrath, Associate Professor of Religion at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN:

Our bodily forms are not optimum, and without evolution as an intermediary and part of the explanation, the notion of our bodily forms being in God's image becomes borderline inexplicable... Some have complained that BSG is bad (or at least "not as good as LOST") because the writers didn't know where they were going ahead of time. Neither did evolution. That's why we don't have more ball and socket joints. But that doesn't mean that human existence is not something splendid and wonderful, that our nature with its limitations doesn't give us a gift that the theoretical infinite possibilities John [Cavil] desires might not.

So there you have it: robots' body issues actually illuminate the human condition and the meaning of being created in God's image. The whole blog post is well worth checking out. [Exploring Our Matrix]

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