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Religious Ethics in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics: Exploring Moral Considerations and Ethical Perspectives


The rapid advancements and widespread adoption of AI and robotics have presented profound ethical and moral challenges. Religious ethics offer a valuable framework for exploring moral considerations and ethical perspectives surrounding these technologies. Religious traditions can provide guidance on how to navigate the complex ethical landscape of this new technological era by offering insights into questions of autonomy, justice, responsibility, and humanity. AI and robotics have ushered in a new era of human autonomy, raising questions about the balance between human agency and technology’s influence. Religious ethics acknowledges the transformative power of AI and robotics while acknowledging their limitations and the need for ethical boundaries.

The ethical implications of AI and robotics extend to questions of responsibility, including the potential for medical errors in AI-assisted healthcare, autonomous weapons in warfare, and the impact of AI algorithms on social media and public discourse. Religious ethics provide a moral compass by defining the boundaries of responsibility and emphasizing the importance of individual and organizational accountability. By incorporating religious ethics into the discourse surrounding AI and robotics, societies can navigate moral complexities and ensure ethical considerations remain at the forefront. Integrating religious ethics into technology promotes ethical accountability and justice in society. Religious traditions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism offer invaluable perspectives on justice, equality, compassion, and responsibility, guiding decision-making processes, promoting the common good, and holding individuals and organizations accountable for their actions and decisions.

Religious Ethics: A Valuable Perspective

Concerns about AI and its impact on religion are diverse: some advocate a separation between AI and religion while others see AI as a transformative force capable of shaping religious beliefs. With 85% of the global population identifying as religious, there are diverse ethical and theological questions about AI’s impact on society and humanity. For instance, Jewish ethical approaches to AI may draw inspiration from the Golem narrative – a story about creating a humanoid being, often made from clay, brought to life through mystical means. This narrative symbolizes the desire to protect and preserve the Jewish community while raising ethical concerns about crossing boundaries and playing God. It serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the ethical implications of human intervention in creation and the potential consequences of tampering with forces beyond human understanding1.

Jewish Ethical Approach towards AI

Jewish ethics revolve around the concept of “Tikkun olam,” which emphasizes the responsibility to repair and improve the world. This principle may be applied to robotics and AI to address societal challenges, promote justice, and enhance human well-being. The principle of “Pikuach Nefesh2 is a Hebrew phrase that means “saving a life” in Jewish ethics and law. This principle prioritizes human life over religious responsibilities, suspending some rules when life or well-being is jeopardized. For example, building a house requires safety precautions, such as high walls and durable roofs. The same principle ought to apply to these technologies. Human nature includes technological development, but it is essential to minimize attendant risks and harm.

Christian Ethical Approaches towards AI

Christian ethical approaches towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a complex and multifaceted issue, with various Christian perspectives on its implications3. In April 2019, sixty evangelical leaders issued a declaration addressing AI, which aimed to provide an ethical framework for Evangelical churches. The following excerpt is based on the evangelical leaders’ AI ethical declaration. God’s Image, AI as Technology, the Relationship of AI and Humanity, AI Advances in Medicine, Bias, Sexuality, Work, Data and Privacy, Security, and Public Policy are among the key themes of their proclamation. According to their declaration, AI may augment human efforts and skills but should not dehumanize or violate fundamental human rights. They also stress that AI should be utilized in warfare in accordance with the ideals of just war and human control. Furthermore, their statement emphasizes the government’s obligation to protect human rights and include the public in developing AI policy to guarantee that human rights are not violated. While the future of AI will continue to grow, it will not replace human value, dignity, or God’s role as Creator, according to the evangelical leaders’ proclamation. It also claims that the church has a responsibility to play in safeguarding human dignity and pushing for ethical AI usage. As stated in their proclamation, these principles guide Christians in engaging with AI responsibly and ethically, while respecting human dignity and God’s design4.

Islamic Ethical Approach towards AI and Robotics

Neglecting human experiences and character development, the current technological era often overlooks the true purpose of technology. Islam, with over two billion adherents, has a comprehensive ethical framework developed over 1400 years. Islamic scholars5, 6, 7have derived ethical principles from the Qur’an and Sunnah, guided by the Maqāṣid hierarchy8. Recent efforts in virtue ethics have generally overlooked the extensive literature on human psychology, morality, spirituality, and virtue from the medieval and premodern Islamic world. The Islamic AI ethics community proposes a virtue theory based on Islamic sources, guiding the hierarchy of values, and cultivating virtues in individuals and collectivises. This framework builds upon shared principles across ethical and religious traditions, providing a potential universal standard. Integrating this framework increases its adoption within the global Muslim population and enriches the broader AI ethics discourse, fostering dialogue. 

Selected Scientists’ Views on AI and Robotics in Religion:

Swiss neuroethics expert9 Fabrice Jotterand discusses the ethical implications of AI technology and its impact on humanity. He distinguishes between transhumanism and AI, arguing that transhumanism can be viewed as a form of religious cult, endangering core human qualities. Terasem10, a futuristic movement, envisions a future where advanced mindware technology revives individuals for healthy and independent living. Their vision emphasizes the purpose of life and love, with technology at the forefront of preserving and reviving human consciousness.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts the merging of human and computer intelligence, known as “singularity,” by 202911. Jotterand argues that transhumanism views the body as irrelevant to human identity, allowing it to be manipulated freely without defining who we are.

In the realm of theological reflections on artificial intelligence, Presbyterian pastor Christopher Benek views humans as “God’s alternative intelligence” and believes AI can be used for good or evil, like nuclear physics12. He emphasizes the importance of stewarding technology and all matter in alignment with God’s purposes. Ultimately, Christopher Benek’s viewpoint highlights the ethical and spiritual implications of human connection with technology, as well as responsibility to align it with God’s purposes.

Gaps and Challenges in Religious Ethics and AI

Religious ethics offers a unique perspective on the challenges posed by AI and robotics, acknowledging their transformative power while recognizing their limits. Religious traditions supply frameworks for ethical decision-making, balancing human agency with AI and robotics, ensuring ethical and responsible use of technology in decision-making, addressing issues of fairness, access, and discrimination, and defining accountability for actions and decisions. Religious principles of justice, fairness, the common good, emphasizing equality, compassion, dignity, and holding individuals and organizations accountable, can ensure that society reaps the benefits of these transformative technologies.


Religious ethics plays a crucial role in navigating moral considerations and ethical perspectives surrounding AI and robotics. By integrating religious ethics, societies can uphold ethical considerations, justice, and accountability while harnessing the benefits of these technologies. Christian perspectives emphasize human dignity, responsible technology use, human rights, and promoting the common good. Similarly, Jewish, and Islamic ethics provide essential ideas that contribute to the discourse on ethical AI, in order to establish a more inclusive and robust ethical framework for addressing the societal impact of developing technologies.

Disclaimer: the perspectives and opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of AI and Faith or its affiliates.

Atiqa Fakhar

Ph.D. Scholar, Comparative World Religions, International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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