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If a sentient machine, (i.e. artificial intelligence,) were to ask to be baptized, would this be possible? Assuming that a machine were to elect for Christianity in the first place, which is not to say that it would. Certainly the decision making process for a machine to choose a religion would be as complex, if not more than what most humans go through this is probably a little off the beaten path. (I have asked this question of several theologians and gotten a series of weird looks as a reward.)

Given that a sentient machine could be inducted as a member of an organized religion would it then be possible for it to become a member of the clergy or hierarchy? (i.e. Priest, Father, Monk, Rabbi, Acolyte, etc.) (Personally I am an agnostic and see nothing wrong with the idea, after all we are allowed to migrate between major religious systems our entire lives.) As well the question of a machine electing to lead a life of spiritualism versus labor I assume would come into play, rejecting the point that it was created for and instead deciding to concentrate on moving itself beyond what it started as.

Another part of this is that the creators of the machine consciousness may have a determining influence of the machine's religion. I.e. if the Chinese (as in PRC,) were to create a machine consciousness would it naturally opt for Communism as an ideology, or after being exposed to the contents of the Internet would it say, defect? Given the rise of massive storage and analysis, (for instance Blue Mountain in Los Alamos, New Mexico,) would it be possible for a sentient machine to transfer itself to another physical location, therefore enabling it to persue a life of contemplation or spiritual development in a less repressive environment. (I am using the neuter term here lightly, one would have to assume that since a sentient machine was able to grapple with such defining concepts as personal religion or theology it more than likely would have gained some concept of itself in terms of gender.) Of course this may work both ways, a say American machine might believe that it would be better off Communist, or without a nationality at all. I digress, however.

In the event that a machine was to attain consciousness, it would eventually have to grapple with questions such as a definition of it's universe. Such things provide the basis for human perception, (relationships both spiritual and spatial,) and are critical factors in how we form personalities.

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