Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. From an August,  2014 Facebook post by Joan Rivers

Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. From an August, 2014 Facebook post by Joan Rivers

With the recent suicide of Robin Williams, the question has come up again from Christian students as to whether or not suicide is the “unforgivable sin”.

 So what is the answer from a Christian perspective?

The answer is that suicide is forgivable. It is certainly sad and tragic. But as  Jesus says  murder,  adultery, theft  are  all forgivable.

Then is there one unforgivable sin?

According to Jesus, there is only one. It is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

As Jesus says in Luke 12 :10 “…Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man (Jesus) will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against The Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

What is the Holy Spirit? It is a spiritual  gift  from God available to all men and women. By inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives we become changed. And what does that mean exactly?

 According to Romans 8:26,” …the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Galatians 5:22-25)

And once the Spirit takes hold of us, we are transformed for “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law….Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in touch with the Spirit.”

So to those who have been asking, Robin Williams, according to Scripture, did not commit a unforgivable sin. For all those Fundamentalists Christians who  pridefully have all the answers including who is a “Christian” and who is not, I like to end with the quote from Nobel  Peace Prize winning social advocate, Bishop Desmond Tutu.  “We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.”  

The Bot and I at MIT

A Him And A He At  MIT

HIM” is backed by capital from the  founders of PayPal, Facebook, and Tesla. Him is known as “Vicarious”.

According to the Vicarious Company,  Vicarious will be a “machine learning software based on the computational principles of the human brain. Our first technology is a visual perception system that interprets the contents of photographs and videos in a manner similar to humans. Powering this technology is a new computational paradigm we call the Recursive Cortical Network.”

Some of Silicon Valley’s most influential billionaires are backing Vicarious which aims to recreate the human neocortex as computer code.  Peter Thiel, from PayPal, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, and Elon Musk from Tesla are all in the creation game.  The young men have thrown $40 million in capital to HIM,  according to the Wall Street Journal. 

The neocortex is the outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres and in humans is crucial to the use of the senses as well as activities such as language, motor commands and spatial reasoning.

The  Vicarious Company has already managed to create software that will solve Captcha, the online tests used by many websites to supposedly identify humans from computers. Vicarious  founder Scott Phoenix said that if they are successful, Vicarious will have created “a computer that thinks like a person except it doesn’t need to eat or sleep”.

By the definition from Mirriam-Webster, Vicarious is  experienced or felt by watching, hearing about, or reading about someone else rather than by doing something yourself. Just another giant leap , not for mankind, but for HIM.