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EXPERTS WORRIED RITUAL ROBOTS MAY WORSHIP GODS BETTER THAN HUMANS–“ROBOTS, UNLIKE PEOPLE, ARE SPIRITUALLY INCORRUPTIBLE”

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Strangely enough, Hinduism is the latest venue for robots and automation — and worshippers as well as religious experts are freaked out by it. While the aarti robots and several others — like a life-size animatronic elephant used to make a Kerala temple “cruelty-free” — are exciting to some worshippers, others have plenty of reservations about what their use might mean for the future of religion. “There are concerns that the proliferation of robots might lead to greater numbers of people leaving religious practice as temples begin to rely more on automation than on practitioners to care for their deities,” Waters writes, citing research that has found that younger people are, indeed, going to church less. To the anthropologist, these concerns appear to be linked to pervasive spiritual anxiety. “Scholars often note that these concerns all tend to reflect one pervasive theme – an underlying anxiety that, somehow, the robots are better at worshipping gods than humans are,” she wrote. “They can also raise inner conflicts about the meaning of life and one’s place in the universe… (READ MORE)

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