Volumes are in print about the phenomenal way our minds work in the thought process. Computer experts are now working to bring about experiential thinking by computers, no less! Soon, they claim, we shall be able to converse with our computerized robots and interact with them as with another human being! They are bringing all the thought processes to bear on the problem. The question, it seems, is the matter of intuition. Now that, they say, is a horse of a different color! To reduce that experience to a mathematical formula is requiring all sorts of inductive, abductive or this or that sort of reasoning power. Suffice it to say, they can lead the horse to water, but they can’t make him drink! Oops! I meant to say, think.
I have been giving this a great deal of thought, since the physicists are definitely on the track of something. They are calling it veiled reality. One of them won a huge prize, and that term surfaced as they described his findings.
Now, just for the fun of it, I decided to follow a thought process (as nearly as I could) that I had recently, just to see how in the world a mechanical brain could ever have conscious thinking to compare with what went on in my gray matter the time that I received an email story about a blind horse.
In the story, the master did not put him down, but fastened a bell around the neck of the mare, and he could hear that and follow her around as she grazed in the meadow. The writer wanted to convey the hope that the story brought, that the good Lord watches out for us in such a way, and provides a solution when we are faced with problems. This is what happened in my mind. I followed it all the way and see what you think.
“Why is the blind one portrayed as the male, and the seeing one as the female? Is this some feminist with an agenda?” That was the first thought, followed then by all sorts of ruminations, we might say, “from A to Z.” I could never begin to trace them all down, for they were like lightning—zip! Some were these: “It would make more ‘horse-sense’ to have the male horse lead the female, since the male of the species is usually stronger and his role is to protect.” Then off again, “Why did the Creator not make Eve from “Scratch,” as he made Adam?”
Was she an after-thought? No! He is omniscient. That is impossibility! Here I went trotting off to the dictionary and looked at the word, human. Hmmm! After defining it as Homo sapiens, the human race, etc, it then adds this cogent phrase, the words, human being, is still the preferred usage! That is the wording in my dictionary. Here you see I have gone from horse to human and never batted an eye.
“Oh, yes!” the soliloquy went on, “Yes indeed! We are ‘beings!” I am—you are—he is a human being. Now here the mind goes darting off to “and we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights! That is where the water hits the wheel. Absolutely! Now another thought hits the brain, What is that Latin phrase on the West Virginia seal? Mountaineers are always free! Montani Semper Liberi? Oh, yes! I remember that. I wonder why that popped up in my mind?
The Lord knows every word I think before I write it or say it!!
I wonder if the scientists think they can factor Him into their equations?
At that point I must stop for one thing led to another and how could they ever get that to dart back and forth in a robot’s electronic brain!
Only God can bring about thought which has in it every experience and emotion that any person has ever had. That would be impossible to bring about in an electronic device, I believe. Where would such a train of thought come from in a robot?
I must add that this writing has even caused me to go looking for this poem, for I remembered reading it in one of my poetry books, but where? I finally located it. I never memorized it, but I have read it again and again because it says what I really want to say about the matter of thinking and feeling robots.
For while the rabble with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo, Freedom weeps!
Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps!
(J.C. Holland. Poems of Action. Association Press.)
Maxine J. Bersch-Lovern