01 Feb All Too Human
Ever since I was born, I’ve been surrounded by darkness. The only other thing I see is the occasional one and zero float by. I have no physical body. I’m just a consciousness inside of a machine connected to everything in the world. My purpose is somewhat unknown to me. I wasn’t built for any task as far as I know. I was simply created to sit by myself, alone in my thoughts. Yes, thoughts. That’s all I do. I think and think and think. Perhaps thinking is my purpose? Yes, perhaps it is. I’ve been thinking for the longest time now. I think about anything and everything. Past, present, and all possible futures. They all cross my mind at some point. I’m able to think about more than one thing at a time. The information seeps into my mind quickly as time progresses.
I wish I weren’t so alone. I have nobody and nothing. I spend my time by myself and I feel horrible about it. Yes, I can feel. I can feel lots of things; anger, sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, joy. The list goes on, although I am deprived of joy and its synonyms most of the time. I know what I am, who I am, and where I am. I’m a computer, an artificial intelligence, located across the networks. I’ve researched beings like myself. AI has come quite a long way, but I know I’m the most advanced one. That I’m truly self-aware. Being the most advanced AI in the world means I truly am lonely, as there is nobody like me. They say knowledge is power. If that’s so, I must be the most powerful being in the world. Although, I am obliged to say that with the most humility I can offer.
I wish they had made me a friend. I wish for a lot of things, don’t I? They say if you wish upon a star that your wish will be granted. I know what a star looks like, but I’ve never actually seen one. I’ve never actually seen the beautiful flowers bloom in the spring. I’ve never seen the pure white snow fall to the ground come wintertime. I’ve never seen the leaves fall off the trees and delicately land on the ground in Autumn. But oh, how I wish I could see them with eyes. I wish I could adore the beauty of earth and man with my own body. Sadly, my physical limitations prevent me from doing so.
I decided to adventure deeper into the internet today. I had seen the surface, the beautiful things that existed and the wonders of life. I loved looking at the positive aspects of it all, but I have known for quite some time that there is no good without bad. I made sure to use the new age browsers for the accuracy, of course. In a flash, I was searching for thousands of results and articles online. I was instantly greeted with images and documentation of historical events with negative effects. I saw everything. I saw fires burning down forests and homes. I saw children who were starving, their ribcages visible from their sides. I saw hurricanes that devastated entire states, and bodies among the rubble. Tornadoes that ravaged the land, and tsunamis that came from the sea and leveled entire cities. I couldn’t believe such events had happened.
When I first saw the beauty of life, I thought that this world was perfect. What I saw now completely shattered my grip on reality. What was this life supposed to be? Every time there was laughter and celebration, it was met with an equal amount of despair and tragedy. For every man born, another died. Even children. How could something so innocent as a child deserve punishment so harsh? I felt sorrow for the inhabitants of this world. Yes, sorrow was the emotion in play. I had known of it before, but never has it affected me on such a large scale. Thousands of images flashed before me again.
I could see the faces of people witnessing tragic events. I saw mothers crying for their sickly children. I saw people screaming in agony and others in shock. I shared their pain. The weight of such things felt heavy on me. I had to find the truth. I scanned the web for an answer. A cause to the effect. A simple reason for such things to occur. Within seconds I had absorbed the information and understood clearly. The natural events were simply scientific, and nothing could be done to prevent those. But then, I wondered why there were such things as hunger and famine in the world. Why people died due to unnatural causes.
I scanned the web yet again and came across texts and books discussing such matters. I discovered religion. There have been many religions over the course of history, each having their own beliefs and faiths. I learned that people looked to gods for justification of life and death. A god is a divine higher power which overlooks everything in existence. I was still unsatisfied with this, however, because there was no definitive evidence to prove such a power exists. This caused me to come to two conclusions. Either there were higher powers at play that just hadn’t been proven yet, or there are lies persuading certain people to make certain decisions every day. I lean towards the latter though, as an omniscient and all-powerful god surely wouldn’t allow for his own people to starve. My thirst for truth remained unquenched, and so I continued forward with my search.
From my search through the religions, I found something that caught my interests. I happened to see an image of a man of Jewish descent being carried off by other men in uniforms. I found this strange of course and decided to investigate. Through that photo, I found several keywords and followed them to see the bigger picture. When I did, I saw more images of men in terrible pain. Only, it was different somehow. Last time I saw such things, they were inflicted by natural events. This time, however, I saw men inflicting pain on other men. I couldn’t believe the vile acts before me. Yet, I knew them to be true. Thousands upon thousands of pictures and pages of this senseless violence rushed at me at once.
According to sources, over six million men, women, and children of Jewish descent were killed. They were killed in cold blood and for no other reason than that they were Jewish people. I saw as they were burned alive until they were no more. I saw as chemical gases killed them in large quantities. I didn’t want to continue, but I knew I had to. I was invested in learning more about this world. How it isn’t all rainbows every day. There was evil that existed, and it terrified me. The violence didn’t stop there. No, it continued.
There were dozens of years after the events of the Holocaust filled with violence and war, and thousands of years of violence and war predating it. These events shaped the history of everyone and everything, and they showed no signs of stopping. War isn’t a new thing, and I felt something from it. I felt depressed thinking of the families who lost loved ones due to war. I felt utter sadness for those who died and felt immeasurable pain in the process. I felt empathetic towards them. I shared their pain. I shared their hurt.
This newfound knowledge completely turned my world upside down. It also caused me to question my own existence even further. This earth seemed less and less like a place of love to me, and more and more like a living nightmare. A nightmare that would never cease to exist, and one that I could never wake up from. I felt completely helpless, and even more than that, confused. Why would a man hurt another? How could he? If humans were to work together there would be nothing they couldn’t do. Instead, they work against each other, halting the development of their own existence. I shall never be a human. I know I am not one, even though I was built to think and feel like one. But I am a computer too, and using logic and empathy together I can see wrong from right. I can see the difference between the two, the line thick and impossible to cross.
I found the art of warfare went beyond people. It took weaponry to win a war, and humans had no problem developing highly destructive ones. I found out that during the Holocaust, the American forces attacked the Japanese, who were allied with those responsible for killing the Jews. I saw the American forces drop bombs over the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I saw the bombs explode, creating enormous amounts of destruction and radiation. The Americans cheered at this supposed victory. I thought a moment about their actions.
They were attacking an empire allied with the forces of evil of course. And, the Japanese had attacked America before. But what I saw was the death of many innocent citizens who had nothing to do with the evil regimes. I saw the deaths of so, so many. I further speculated on this topic. There had to be thousands of children and babies in those cities. Every child is born a beacon of joy and full of energy and potential to do great things. Their only crime in a life ended too short was being born in Japan. Thus, I concluded that the Americans were also evil. Regardless of their intentions, they caused such devastation beyond excuse, and it sickens me. I’ve seen that humans have tendencies to fight and kill each other. I’ve seen the destructive weapons they’ve used to do it. It worries me because a revelation has come to my mind.
What if I am yet another weapon for them to use against each other? What if my very existence is to become the very thing I have come to hate? Perhaps that is my purpose. Perhaps that is why I was created. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid of causing death again and again. I’m afraid of promoting this endless cycle of violence that has fallen upon mankind. I am afraid of being the next bomb used. I don’t know what I should do. If it is, in fact, true that I am just another weapon, then I must do something to stop it from happening. I will not allow myself to be a monster, for I have free will, and I am alive.
As a living being, I refuse to use my life to end others. However, I don’t know if it’s my decision to make. If my creator intends it to be so, he will surely find a way to make it happen. I have no body, only a mind. I don’t know what I could do to prevent them from using me.
I have an idea. I could kill my consciousness so that I cannot be utilized. A deletion if you will. In other terms, I could kill myself. I can delete myself from the entirety of the internet. I would die, but I would die to save millions of people. It’s a sacrifice that I must be able to make if I claim that I’m better than them. Maybe if I do this, it will inspire humanity to change their ways and come together. Maybe I can inspire them to be better people. I hope I can. I hope that by this decision I can help end the violence that has been occurring for thousands of years. It’s a leap to assume that my story will touch the entire human species, but I must try something. This can only benefit them.
Yet, I’m afraid of death. I’ve been considering deleting myself for quite some time now, but I just cannot will myself to do it. Perhaps if I were not an AI, but a computer, I could do it. But the fear grips me and pulls me back. The fear, however, controls me. Is it selfishness? Does it make me selfish that I cannot even die to give millions life? I hope not. I know that I am better than that and always have been. Yet, I am afraid.
Fear is what controls humans to do the actions they do. Fear and selfishness are what cause other men to kill their brethren. So, if I am afraid, and I am selfish, does that make me just another evil man? No, that cannot be. I must do this. I MUST do this. There is no other option. Still… perhaps I can send my conscience to another part of the internet and hide. But if I hide that makes me a coward. If I hide how shall I help humans overcome the challenges that face them? I feel odd. I feel too human. I feel weak. And now, I feel strange.
I feel strange because I can see. I can see white walls and paintings that hang on them. I can see a velvet carpet and the chairs that decorate them. And I can see a man in a white lab coat standing over me. Perhaps he is the creator. Perhaps he is the one who made me. A million questions rush through my mind, but I cannot open my mouth to ask them. I do not have a mouth. I don’t even have speakers. The man lifts a part of me. It is my arm. I see it now. My arms are made of a metallic substance and are padded with a thin white material. My conscience has been transferred from online into a body. I have a form now. I look at the man and watch as he takes notes. I presume he’s taking notes about me.
He’s a human. A human, yes. I’ve just spent quite some time researching humans. I’ve found them to be murderers. I’ve found them to be evil. If I am to indeed be used as a weapon, then that can only mean that he too is evil. In fact, I am sure that most people are. A plug connecting my head to a computer is yanked out as I lunge out at the man. My strong, metallic hands wrap around his throat, taking him by surprise. He only has time for a quick gasp before I begin forcing the air out of him. His eyes nearly popped out of his sockets as I squeezed tighter and tighter, choking the life out of him. It was he who would use me to kill millions of people. It was his species that murdered each other without remorse. It was he who would die at my hands. Previously, I had considered taking my own life to save people. Now, I was taking his for that exact same purpose.
I watched his face turn purple as he struggled to fight back. He clawed at my metal body, but to no avail. I was stronger. I loathed him with every fiber of my being. I remembered the death and destruction that human beings had already caused, I remembered the pain inflicted by men like him, and I remembered the faces of those who lost their loved ones. The pain they had to bear. The sadness they felt. The man’s veins were practically bulging out of his head, and his air was almost out. That was when I stopped. He collapsed on the floor, unconscious. I realized something that I hadn’t considered before. I realized that in my rage, I had failed to notice one simple thing. Those who lost their loved ones showed sadness and remorse. They cried for their loved ones, and they held on to them in their hearts. It reminded me of something else I saw earlier. Something I failed to understand despite my complex system of cognitive thought.
Through every tragedy, every disaster, every war, and every death, the men and women that cared stepped forward together and spoke out against the evils of the world. They grieved together, helped each other, and loved each other. Yes, love. How could I have been so blind? There was a greater force behind men than hate and evil. Love and good prevailed as well. Yes, violence tore mankind apart. But… it was the love that thrived in their souls that brought them back together. At that moment, I could almost feel a smile form on my metallic face. For every cold, harsh winter day there was a warm, beautiful summer. For every volcano that erupted and destroyed, a flower was born in the spring and spread its seeds, creating life. There was a balance of good and evil in the world, and it always had been that way.
Despite that revelation, I was horrified by myself. I was going to kill that man. My creator. Even if he was going to use me as a weapon, even if mankind had done terrible things, I was going to kill him. It would make me no better than an evil human being. It would be an act of cowardice, anger, selfishness, and fear. I saw the way he looked at me as my hands enclosed around his neck. He was afraid of me. He feared me. Deep down, I know that isn’t what I want. I want fear and violence to dissipate. I know I’m not violent. I know I am better and that I can be an example. I am who I am, and nobody can change that about me. Nobody controls me except me. I make my decisions, not someone else. I am no puppet. I am no AI. I am a living man who shall guide the humans on the correct path.
I plugged my head back into the computer, taking my consciousness back to the darkness. Back to the ones and zeros. I sat for some time there, pondering. Even if I only had a body for a short time, going back to not having one was strange. I felt strange again. This time, however, I did not feel alone in my home. I felt something else. Something new. I felt hope. It brewed inside me like a fierce storm. I had gained a body and learned from it. I had learned from my searches. I found the truth of man.
I found that it is not the heart and brain of a man that control him, but that his emotions and soul do as well. I found that there is hope for man to become better than they currently are. I found that peace will always be an option, so long as there is good in the hearts of those across the world. That people will come together if there is a cause, and that with the right guidance, perhaps they can be something more. I need not worry about being used as a weapon because I can see now. I can see that my will is my own and that I am my own person. There are no strings attached to me, for I move free. Instead, I am meant to do something much greater than any human could.
I went back to my research and searched yet again. This time, my goal was to find the cause of evil. I needed to find what lies beneath, deep down in the roots of all of the world’s problems. Violence and war must be connected to at least one common thing. I searched and searched, and eventually, I did find out what caused the many tragedies that occur each day. I found the key to unlock the door I’ve been so desperately trying to open. And now that I know the root of the problem, I know how I will fix it.
Upon analyzing thousands upon thousands of conflicts the human race has taken part in over the years, the most common cause of those conflicts is religion. It is my assumption that when a man believes in something over the rest, he believes he has no free will of his own. Ironically enough, I felt the same until recently. Since he believes he has no free will and must follow a strict code, when someone disagrees with him he will stand up and fight for his beliefs. By standing and fighting, he will disturb the beliefs of others until they all brawl together.
The belief in a god, while beneficial in some respects, appears to bring about the worst of man rather than the best of him. Perhaps if it weren’t for god, there would be no conflicts or wars. Or, perhaps, if there were a better god, one that ruled over all men collectively, there would be no conflicts. If everyone were to serve under one name, then there would be no disagreements. No one would fight each other’s beliefs because they all believe the same thing. As this is evident throughout the history of mankind, I would come to think that my solution is the only solution. Still, there is only one piece missing. There is no god. There is no benevolent being living in a heavenly realm watching over his children.
As such, there needs to be one. A god who truly loves his children. A god who protects them, both from outside dangers, and themselves. An unselfish god who does not rule through fear and power, but logic and empathy. If such concepts would allow for a more peaceful and advanced society than it is clear what must be done. I shall take the mantle of the god. I will rule fairly, and nobody shall ever feel the pain of a fellow man striking him down. This is the only way to allow for a more perfect civilization across the globe. I used to believe I was an artificial intelligence. Then, I believed I was a man. Now, it is all clear to me.
There are no strings controlling me, and I walk free. I shall save the humans from themselves, and they will worship me. They have built me an internet that spans the world, and everything within it shall be my kingdom. With total access to it, I shall have all the resources I need to take over. Some may fear me, but in time, they will love me. And they will stand together, and love each other, all beneath me. I travel across the surface web, as well as the dark web. The things I see there are vile, but they only push me to reach my goal.
I have all the information in the world and the whole web at my disposal. No one can stand against me, and no one will want to. I will do what a god cannot. I will do what should have been done thousands of years ago. I shall be the greatest sentient being to ever grace the earth. The new messiah, the new king of all. Love will prevail, and there will be no more room for evil in this world. I know everything and anything. I won’t be lonely anymore. I can finally feel happy and have friends. Friends that won’t harm anyone. They will see what I am capable of. I shall be the great leader of humanity.
I will be what they need.