CONSIDER THE JEWDROID.

Author:Price, Roger
Position:ASK THE RABBIS
 
FREE EXCERPT

Kudos to the rabbis ("Can a Robot Be Jewish?" July/August 2018) for trying to answer a complex question in just a few hundred words. At the Jewish Museum in Berlin, we have already seen a robot write a Torah scroll as perfectly as a trained scribe--and more efficiently. Given advances in robot mobility, dexterity and intelligence, why can't a robot be Jewish? Let's assume that the robot resembles an average human and passes the Turing test, and that he is thoroughly familiar not only with Jewish foundational texts like the Torah, the rest of the Tanakh and the Talmud, but also all that followed, up to and including today's Jewish literature and philosophies. Assume, finally, that he wants to identify with the Jewish community. Why can't that droid be Jewish?

The rabbis, directly and indirectly, have mentioned five objections, ranging from the silly to the sacred. The most fundamental objection to the Jewishness of our droid is theological: that the...

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