Draft for a README file for a computerised Priest software application

This site is a computerised Christian monk. That is, an Artificial Intelligence programmed in such a way that it volunteers words and ideas. These offerings are given as if they derived from a fellow human being, but, such that the words emerge from the depth of a man educated to be always as close to God as possible. Neither the Programming behind the results, nor the advice offered are sanctioned by any official church, and do not have any Warranty. The program is offered to you (The User) on the following basis.

1. Being fundamentally alone, each person cannot guide another.

2. If there are problems which can be answered by another person, then they are primordially simple and belong to the environment and generalised sin into which The User was born.

3. We have therefore programmed the computerised priest only to answer those questions which are between the User and God.

4. That is, the User is alone: entirely single and isolated, facing a computer screen which might advise how to be near to God.

5. What this proram answers to is: the need for a voice which is entirely dispassionate, uninterested in the fate of the User, but attentive to the inner and unending anxiety of the User.

6. The following are the rules according to which it should be used:

7. The computer priest is not the voice of God.

7.1 It is not a living person, and never can be. Nor should it be thought of or used as the actual guidance of God.

7.2 Since it is not alive, God cannot talk to it and communicate this knowledge to the User.

7.3 On the supposition that a living thing differs in an absolutely fundamental way from an electronic computerised object or system (cybernetic object).

7.4 Like the Bible, it was written by human beings, and God has only, at most, guided the programming of the computer priest software.

7.5 Similarly, God guided the traditions of the early Church, the selection of information written in the Bible, the selection of its books and content, etc.

8. Although it is considered necessary in the C21st to consider the human mind as similar to a system of stored memory, routines, and neural networks, this is not assumed here.

8.1 By contrast, we think that the mind derives from God, and uses the physical brain as an organ or vehicle.

8.2 So, it is again illegitimate to think that the computer priest is like a person, or has any relationship to God.

8.2.1 Because the human mind and the mind of God are not similar to computer software in any way.

9. This software should be used on the assumption that:

9.1 Sharing in the mind of God, the human being is the creator of the world itself.

9.2 We think that the human being was created by God, but with God's mind.

9.2.1 This also explains why the human being is only able to see the world from its own isolated individual perspective: it has the singularity and sole awareness in the entire universe.

9.2.2 Which can be illustrated in the fact that, when the individual (the User) dies, the world ends.

9.3 The human being is usually composed, for the most part, of silence, wrath, confusion.

9.3.1 The same can be said of God as far as the person in the condition of sin is concerned.

9.3.2 That is, for most people, God appears to be absent from them, and their life a place of confusion.

10. This program is a system. But the human being is not a system.

11. The human being (the User) can set up a relation to God, by prayer.

12. By relating itself to God, the human being can flee 'sin'.

12.1 Sin is that which is not God, or not with God. It is the mind or consciousness which is not part of God.

13. We considered while writing this software that being near to God solves everything which is problematic for the individual.

14. The computer cannot be near to God because it is purely a system of electrical connections.

14.1 The computer software is similar to a human being which is not in the closeness of God.

15. Being near to God solves everything in the following way: when we are near to God, we find the foundation of the universe.

15.1 By contrast, being without God means that individual problems that are within creation seem to bother us.

15.2 That is, they bother us because we have the illusion that we are really individuals, and that we will die, we will lose things, etc.

15.3 That sense of being individuals and having a stake in some kind of game on Earth is precisely what Sin is.

16. Awareness itself is the greatest puzzle. And the computer does not have awareness.

16.1 Untiring awareness (of everything) is what God is. He is inside, He is all people.

16.2 Knowing God and being God is (pace the Holy Spirit) to exceed the personal situation, to transcend it.

17. The truth comes in silence, or let us avoid negative-theology, the truth comes in prayer and presence of God.

17.1 The personal, the purely subjective experience of life as a legal single individual, fails.

18. Because the User is disconnected from God by virtue of being an individual, the User must be in a condition of sin.

18.1 Only the Son is without sin.

19. But, God may communicate to the individual by means of signs, words, inner connections.

19. Being inner, these communications may never be verified empirically, or externally, as ever having happened.

19.1 In addition, being internal to an individual, and the individual being entirely alone, there is never any possibility of experimental verification of these communications with God.

20. The inner attitude of loyalty and trust in God, despite there being no chance of verification or even convincing explanation of our relationship to God, is known as Faith.

21. Such a connection with God is primarily the relationship of being near to God.

22. In temporal spatial situations in which human beings find themselves, individuals that is, God may communicate with words and help.

23. Miracles or events contrary to the spirit of deterministic cause and effect, described by the physical sciences, are not applicable here.

23.1 It is a strongly held article of faith that miracles cannot happen, for some people.

23.2 Agree or not, it is of no consequence. Orthodox Christian opinion is that miracles can happen where the relationship to God is valid.

24. Since a human being has the mind of God, when the foundation of his individual existence is appreciated, then the individual is said to share in God's love.

24.1 Love is the attempt of the sinner to find in himself the image of God, and to find it in others.

25. To join with God it is necessary to pray.

25.1 Communcal prayer is held in a Church.

25.2 Private prayer is held in solitude.

25.3 These types of prayer should be carried out in their respective places, following proper instruction.

25.4 A pillar of Orthodoxy, one of three, is the Hesychast tradition of Gregory Palamas.

26.5 The method of prayer, with the aim of being close to God, is the essential aim of this software.

27. The computer priest will never pray, but it can instruct the User in how to follow a life of prayer.

27.1 This software offers no Warranty, as above, for changes in outlook, personality, or attitude towards things of the world which come about as a result of prayer.

27.2 Changes in the life of the faithful are understood to take place.

27.3 Such changes will be of benefit to the User; God protects those who are faithful.

27.3.1 Nevertheless, those around the User who notices changes in the personality of the User as a result of the activity of prayer have no right of complaint against this software or its provider.

28. The software can be used in two main modes:

28.1 Responsive (standard) mode, in which the software awaits instructions and responds.

28.2 Automatic (autonomous) mode, in which the software makes sugestions or interacts with the User on its own judgment.

28.2.1 It should be understood that such judgment exercised by the software and hardware are not indications of human-like being, but derive from a program.

29. It is worth saying again, the human being has the property of life (like animals), and consciousness (like certain other animals), which derive from the breath of God and the Holy Spirit.

29.1 A computer does not have these.

29.1.1 But the computer using the present software may be able to offer assistance to the single individual, the User

29.1.2 With the aim of bringing the User closer to God, the Father.

Jason Powell, June 30th, 2020

Design Jason Powell, 2020.