Theblogogy - The Blog of Theology and Questions

The Blog of Theology and Questions

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Self-Driving Cars Theodicy

I've been thinking about self-driving cars and the legal/ethical issues they pose. Imagine with me that the first car was perfectly self-driving. It never had an accident. Then along came a guy like Henry Ford who wanted everyone to have the joy of driving their own car themselves. Suddenly, with humans in the mix, accidents happen everywhere.

Is Henry Ford ethically/legally responsible for those deaths? He let people drive.

What about the person who originally created the perfect car? Without any cars, no one would have gotten hurt by them.

While lawmakers currently wrestle with these questions now that corporations and computer programmers could be blamed for accidents that lead to the deaths of children, I can't help but think of this as a theodicy: an exploration of how God relates to the problem of evil.

Assuming the Bible is right, when God first created us, we were complete, without any brokenness. Then along comes Satan who convinces Adam and Eve that we really should be the ones directing our lives. And immediately problems begin for us and the whole world.

These problems are everywhere today. Do we blame Satan? God?

I can't wait for safe, self-driving cars. I know I don't drive well when I'm tired or angry or distracted. And I can't help but notice that this ties in really well with the call of Christianity to surrender our lives to Christ who loves us and asks us to let Him "take the driver's seat." (I've never really liked that phrase, but it's making a bit more sense now...).

There is tons of scholarship on all sides of the problem of evil. I'm sure we'll talk about it more. For now, I urge you to dig into this deeper.

I'd love to hear what you think and have been thinking about.


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