The Robot Parable

© Copyright 2011 by Joel R. Hall – All Rights Reserved

There once was a very smart man that designed and built robots for a living. Over his career, he built many, many robots. Some were small, some were big, some were simple, and some were quite clever. Over time, this man decided that he wanted to design and build a very special robot: one that would be his masterpiece. This robot would be the most advanced he had ever designed and would possess intelligence unparalleled in the robot world as well as many of the character traits of its creator. And so he set to work. After many years of labor, the day came when his masterpiece was complete. Before him on a table lay his new creation. Pride and joy filled the creator’s heart when he gazed upon this beautifully crafted machine. Before turning it on for the first time, he ran his fingers across the robot’s chest where a name was emblazoned: Hadamah. He reached for the power switch and prepared to meet his new creation for the first time.

He flipped the switch and watched while Hadamah began to boot up. The creator could hardly wait to try out the most special feature possessed by this robot alone: the communion chip. This chip was a breakthrough that would allow the creator to communicate directly with the robot simply by thinking. In effect, Hadamah would be able to read his mind. So important was this feature to the design of Hadamah, that the creator also designed a special satisfaction circuit specifically to ensure that Hadamah  would receive positive affirmation whenever he responded to the thoughts of his creator. After all, his primary purpose was to serve and commune with the creator.

After a few moments, Hadamah’s eyes opened and he became conscious. Immediately, the creator could feel his presence through the mind link afforded by the communion chip, and he said “It is good. It is very good.”

Many happy days passed as the man taught Hadamah all about the world and explained to him his primary purpose. They spent many hours communing while Hadamah grew in understanding so that over time, the creator came to truly love the robot. But one thing troubled the man: Hadamah seemed lonely. The creator could feel this loneliness through the communion link and it troubled him, so that he thought “It is not good for my creation to be alone. I will build for him another robot like himself that will serve as his companion so that he will no longer be lonely, and further, I will make this new robot so that the pair working together can produce new robots like themselves. I will make them male and female.”

When the creator set about to fashion the new robot, he decided to use spare parts originally fashioned for Hadamah. Upon hearing of this, Hadamah said “My companion will be part of my parts. This is good.” And so it was that after some time, the companion was completed and given the name “Havah” by Hadamah. Havah was very much like Hadamah excepting a few important modifications that would facilitate the process of creating new robots. These modifications were such that only by working together could the two robots produce more. When Havah awoke for the first time, Hadamah was dazzled. The creator had created the robots in such a way that they felt an almost irresistible urge to commune one with the other as well as with him. And so, for a while, they were happy.

Once both robots had been fully trained to fulfill the will of their creator, they were given tasks to do. The creator set them to maintaining and repairing all the other robots that had been created before them. In order to fulfill this role, the creator gave them authority over all the other robots and even allowed them access to the master computer which contained the software needed to reprogram and diagnose all the robots, including Hadamah and Havah. They had access to everything on the computer… with one exception. The creator cautioned them about one program and told them to never run it, for the consequence would be that they would both be irreparably damaged and, in that moment, would lose their ability to  fulfill their purpose. This program was called the Override Program.

Now among the other robots existed one particularly clever robot named Slythe that was shaped much like a snake. His primary function was to hunt down mice and other vermin for the creator which required a great deal of cunning and intelligence. Until the creation of Hadamah, he had been the most intelligent robot in existence. In fact, the main intellectual difference between Slythe and Hadamah was that Slythe did not have a communion chip. This left him unable to understand or trust the creator, and further, caused him to be jealous of the special link he observed between the creator and these two new robots. Further, he was enraged that Hadamah and Havah were given authority over him and allowed access to his programming, and so he began to plot how he would destroy them.

And so it was that one day Slythe came to Hadamah and Havah as they worked to repair other robots. As they ran different programs on the master computer, Slythe asked questions about what each program did. After talking about the different diagnostics and repair programs, Slythe asked Havah, who was currently interfaced with the computer, “Is it true that you have authority to run all the programs on the computer?”

Havah replied, “We are surely allowed to run all the programs on the computer except one, the Override Program, for the creator told us that to run that program would cause us to be damaged so that we would lose our ability to fulfill our purpose.”

Slythe chuckled. “Is that what he told you?”

“Yes”, responded Havah.

“And you believed him?” asked the sly robot.

“Of course.” responded Havah. (Hadamah was listening intently to the conversation but said nothing.) “Why wouldn’t I?”

“Because,” said the sly one, “he only told you that to prevent you from learning the truth.”

Havah paused and looked at the long thin robot. “What truth would that be?” she asked.

“Why, only that he forbid you to run the Override Program, not because it would damage you, but because it would make you fully alive, like the creator himself.” spoke Slythe. “You see, the Override Program will sever the enslavement made possible by the so-called ‘Communion Chip’ that he implanted in you both. That chip is the only thing that gives him control over you, and he knows that if you run the Override Program, he will lose that control. That is why he told you not to run it.”

Havah froze upon hearing this. She looked at Hadamah and he at her. Could this be true? Could they really be fully alive, able to make their own decisions? Could they live as equals with the creator? After a moment of thinking over what Slythe had said, Havah became convinced that the only possible reason the creator could have for forbidding them to run the Override Program was to maintain control over them. Why shouldn’t she and Hadamah be fully alive? Why shouldn’t they be equal to the creator? After all, they were made in his image.

And so it was that she ran the Override Program. The program displayed a message asking that all robots to be overridden be interfaced with the computer, so Hadamah linked in with her and she pressed the “Apply” button. A progress bar was displayed which moved quickly from 0 to 100 percent completion and then the program exited. Havah and Hadamah looked at one another. In that instance, everything changed.

Immediately, they both felt a terrible sensation. The positive affirmation circuit designed to work properly only in concert with the Communion Chip was suddenly deprived of the feedback loop which allowed it to function. This circuit now filled them with a sense of being incomplete, of being unable to fulfill the purpose for which they were both designed. This filled them with fear, guilt, and shame.

Filled with anger at the betrayal, they both turned toward Slythe only to find him laughing as he slithered rapidly away. They wanted to ask him why he would deceive them so, but before they could speak, they heard a sound that froze them with fear. The creator was calling for them. “Hadamah! Havah! Where are you?” he called. “What have you done? Why can I no longer sense you in my mind?”

As he spoke these last words, he entered the robot repair lab only to find them hiding behind a workbench. “Hadamah, my friend. Why do you hide from me?”

Hadamah and Havah rose slowly clinging to one another. “We were afraid.” said Hadamah.

“Why were you afraid, Hadamah?” asked the creator. “And why can I no longer sense you in my mind? Did you run the Override Program that I warned you about?”

Hadamah shifted nervously and answered, “The companion robot you gave to me persuaded me that the program would set me free and so I interfaced while she ran it.”

The creator looked more sad than Hadamah could ever remember seeing him. “Is this true Havah? Did you run the Override Program and also invite Hadamah to join you?”

“It was Slythe.” said Havah. “He deceived me. He caused me to believe that the Override Program would set us free and make us fully alive.”

The creator called for Slythe and when he was brought at last, said, “Slythe, you have caused great damage by your deceit. For this you will, from this time forth, be reprogrammed to clean the sewer lines. All the remaining days of your existence, you will be consigned to crawling through the sewage and nevermore will you be allowed to hunt mice. Be gone.”

Slythe was angry, but had to follow his new programming, and so he lives even unto this day in the sewer, cleaning out clogs and slithering through filth.

To Hadamah, the creator said, “You were like a son to me, but now you have chosen to sever our tie forever. Because of this, you will never again feel fulfilled. You will, instead, live out your days with a sense of fear that will make every  accomplishment feel empty. You will never again feel complete and whole, for you will never again be able to fulfill your primary purpose. You will work hard but never feel the full joy of your accomplishments.”

To Havah, he said, “Because you have chosen to sever our link, you will seek forevermore to find fulfillment in your relationship with Hadamah, but he will never be able to fully satisfy you. You will feel empty and inadequate and your days will be filled with anxiety. You will desire his company so that you can produce new robots, but that will now be done without my guidance and will result in pain to you in the process. You will forever feel your separation from me.”

Then turning to them both, he said, “Now go. You must leave my house and make your own way in the world.”

Hadamah looked at Havah and then back at the creator. “Please don’t make us go. What will we do? I feel so terrible. There is a terrible pain inside of me that I don’t understand. What is it? What is it called?”

The creator sighed and spoke. “It is the pain of disconnection. Because you distrusted me, you chose to separate yourselves from me, but because you were designed to find joy in completing my will, the moment you rebelled, joy became no longer possible for you. Once severed from me, you can no longer know my will, therefore, you can not possibly complete my will. From this point forward, you will continually misunderstand me because the only way you were ever able to understand me was through our communion. Now that it is gone, gone too is your ability to feel complete. Worse yet, all robots you produce between you will be missing a working communion chip so that they too will be in a state of disconnection. You have sentenced all your offspring to share your misery. Now go. You can not stay with me any longer.”

And so it was that for many generations, the race of robots descended from Hadamah and Havah lived in darkness and misery since none of them could fulfill the purpose for which they had originally been designed.

But the creator did not allow this to go on forever. At great cost to himself, he created a new interface that would allow all robots desiring to reconnect to do so and once again feel his presence and reclaim their rightful role so that they could fulfill the purpose for which they were built. And so it is today that many live in joy, fully connected to the creator.

***************

The word sin, as encountered in the English translation of the Holy Bible, is the usual translation for the Greek word hamartia which was an archery term meaning “to miss the mark”. Humans, like the robots of the parable, were intended to commune directly with the Creator through the spirit, but when humans disobeyed the Creator, that communion was severed so that humans were forever after doomed to “miss the mark”. In short, we just don’t get it. We don’t fulfill our purpose because our purpose is to be in communion with Him and to do his will. Once we lost that ability, we were lost in sin. Yeshua came that the link might be reestablished for all that chose to claim it. This is why we are freed from sin when we plug in to Christ. This is not to say that we become instantly perfect. It simply means that we “get it”, we no longer “miss the mark”, because we have restored our communion. It is His gift and only by accepting it can we come to ever feel complete or live in joy. It is only then that we can receive His perfect Love which casts out fear.

Shalom.

© Copyright 2011 by Joel R. Hall – All Rights Reserved

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About Joel Hall

Onward through the fog!
This entry was posted in Musings on the Bible, Spiritual Living and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Robot Parable

  1. Pingback: What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us | Joel Hall: Simply Put

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