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Is “intelligence” the same thing as “wisdom”? Or, to phrase it another way, if computers can become “intelligent,” is there any way they could become “wise”?
To me, our goal shouldn’t be getting rid of religion — it should be about moving beyond the “Santa Claus” view of God to create a more sophisticated theology, and using religion to improve our world, rather than harm it.
When we have to take an action that is correct and appropriate — but also potentially difficult and controversial — are we brave enough to take it?
If we have to think about who we are — a most basic and fundamental question — in new and inventive ways, then we’ll be that much more likely to start thinking of programs, products, and situations in new and inventive ways, as well.
The most effective punishments generally exceed their crimes, because they not only punish the wrong-doer, they act as a powerful deterrents. But “effective” doesn’t necessarily mean “moral.”
If we think of our neighbors as people we have to try to keep up with, then that will just make us miserable. But if we think of our “neighbors” as those we have a responsibility to, then we can realize the value and importance of moving away from our self-centered materialism.
Perhaps the Robin Hood story endures even up to today because thinking about “giving to the poor” simply makes us feel good (although certainly just “taking from the rich” is not what we should do!). So maybe we should strive to become a bit more like Robin Hood on the “giving” part of that equation — not only would it make the world more fair, it would make us feel better, as well.
Today, “Jewish identity” is no longer fixed, and it is no longer a given — it has to be created and nurtured in order to be chosen and embraced. And in fact, that has the potential to be a great boon for the Jewish community.
If we simply feel invested in our choices — even if sometimes they aren’t always “ours” — we can then own them and take responsibility for them.