Original Research - Special Collection: South African Science and Religion Forum

Artificial intelligence and the question of being

Cornel W. du Toit
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5311 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5311 | © 2019 Cornel W. du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 November 2018 | Published: 27 November 2019

About the author(s)

Cornel W. du Toit, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Technology is part of all life forms. This does not mean that all technology is beneficial for life. Technological evolution in the human sphere holds promises to attain the status of singularity. This identifies the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. What is at stake includes the emergence of intelligent and conscious super computers and robots, conscious materialism, the possibility of human immortality and the emergence of the trans-human. In the ambit of a new artificial environment in which humans will live, the question of being must be addressed again. How will all of this affect the question of being human and new conceptions of ‘self’? To what extent will the possibility of techno-religion replace traditional religions with its promise of eradicating poverty, illness and death? This article focuses on these and related issues to identify possibilities of a new artificially envisaged lifestyle.


Artificial intelligence; Fourth Industrial Revolution; Being and artificiality; Techno-religion; Human-machine interaction; Conscious materialism; Spiritual materialism


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Crossref Citations

1. The Influence of Artificial Intelligence on the Human Potential Development: The Views of Orthodox Clergy and Parishioners
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doi: 10.46398/cuestpol.3865.27