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Ravi Zacharias

When Gary Kasparov was playing chess, years ago, against IBM’s Deep Blue, and he was asked why he was so nervous about playing the match with the computer, he said, ‘Because I’m afraid that, if I lose, we would lose human dignity.’

I lost my dignity when they came out with calculators; he’s talking about computers.

So before he played Deep Blue, he decided to just prepare and prepare and prepare. And Dr. David Gelernter — who was one-time professor of Computer Science at Yale — he wrote this article in Time magazine.

He said, ‘The idea that Deep Blue has a mind is absurd. How can an object that wants nothing, fears nothing, enjoys nothing, needs nothing and cares about nothing have a mind? It can win at chess, but not because it wants to.

It isn’t happy when it wins or sad when it loses. What are its after-the-match plans if it beats Kasparov? Is it hoping to take Deep Pink out for a night on the town? It doesn’t care about chess or anything else. It plays the game for the same reason a calculator adds or a toaster toasts: because it is a machine designed for that purpose.

No matter what amazing feats they perform, inside they will always be the same absolute zero. No computer can achieve artificial thought without achieving artificial emotion too…

In the long run I doubt if there is any kind of human behavior computers can’t fake, any kind of performance they can’t put on. It is conceivable that one day, computers will be better than humans at nearly everything. I can imagine that a person might someday have a computer for a best friend. But that will be sad — like having a dog for your best friend, only sadder.

The gap between human and surrogate is permanent and will never be closed. Machines will continue to make life easier, healthier, richer and more puzzling…’

Now listen to this line. He couldn’t resist it:

‘And human beings will continue to care, ultimately, about the same things they always have: about one another and, many of them, about God.’

You know, unwittingly he picked the two greatest commandments. To love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your strength, and all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself — on these two hang all of the laws of the prophets.

What else distinguishes us?

What else distinguishes us?

You know we talk so much about sexuality, which is a symptom, an expression. You will never be able to answer what’s right about sex until we answer the question what does it mean to be human.

What does it mean to be human?

We must answer that first.

And, ladies and gentlemen, we are living in a world so bereft of wisdom. We desperately need young men, young women with wisdom.

Wisdom in marriage. Wisdom in raising children. Wisdom in how we organize our time. Wisdom to keep the body in the best shape we can keep it in. All these things demand wisdom.”


From the only pastor (and one of the few people) I always enjoy learning from and listening to: Ravi Zacharias.

Watch this excerpt, and Zacharias’s transition to the topic of wisdom, in his sermon “Who Are You, Really?” posted below.