Another meme collision

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Today's SMBC:

The mouseover text: "Wishing I had just taken this job instead of joking about it."

The aftercomic:

For more, check out anything by Ray Kurzweil


  1. tudza said,

    July 8, 2024 @ 1:27 pm

    Hey Abot!

  2. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    July 8, 2024 @ 3:12 pm

    I guess that means tudza's on first.

  3. bks said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 5:06 am

    Preachers are the low-hanging fruit to be plucked by LLM. For that calling hallucinations are a feature, not a bug.

  4. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 6:53 am


    AI-drafted sermons? Nah; LLM's don't have access to the necessary "training data". AI can't pray.

  5. Philip Taylor said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 7:06 am

    Don't you believe it, Benjamin —
    Self : "Please write a sermon condemning fornication"

    **Title: The Call to Purity: A Sermon Condemning Fornication**


    Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

    Today, we gather to reflect upon a topic that weighs heavily on our spiritual well-being and societal health— fornication. The Word of God speaks clearly and consistently about the importance of sexual purity and the sanctity of our bodies. As we delve into the Scriptures, let us open our hearts to the truth and the transformative power of God’s Word.

    **Scriptural Foundation**

    Let us turn to 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV), where the Apostle Paul admonishes the church in Corinth:
    “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.”

    **The Sanctity of Our Bodies**

    Our bodies are not mere vessels for our desires; they are temples of the Holy Spirit. When we engage in fornication, we defile this sacred temple. It is an act that goes against God’s design for our bodies and our lives. God created sex to be a beautiful and sacred expression of love within the covenant of marriage. Outside of this covenant, it becomes a source of pain, brokenness, and separation from God.

    **The Consequences of Fornication**

    Fornication is not merely a personal sin; it has far-reaching consequences. It affects our relationship with God, our relationship with others, and our own sense of self-worth. In Hebrews 13:4 (NIV), we are reminded:
    “Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

    Fornication leads to a cycle of guilt and shame, it can damage our ability to form healthy, committed relationships, and it often results in emotional and spiritual turmoil. God’s judgment on sexual immorality is clear, and it is out of His love for us that He warns us to steer clear of such actions.

    **The Call to Repentance**

    Yet, we must also remember that our God is a God of grace and forgiveness. In 1 John 1:9 (NIV), we are assured:
    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    If you have fallen into the trap of fornication, know that there is hope and redemption in Jesus Christ. Repentance is the key to restoring your relationship with God. Confess your sins, turn away from them, and seek His forgiveness. His grace is sufficient to cleanse you and set you on a path of purity and righteousness.

    **Living a Life of Purity**

    To live a life that honours God, we must be intentional about our purity. This involves setting boundaries, avoiding situations that lead to temptation, and surrounding ourselves with a community that supports our commitment to holiness. In Philippians 4:8 (NIV), Paul provides a guide for our thoughts and actions:
    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

    Let us fill our minds and hearts with what is pure and good, and let us encourage one another to walk in the light of God’s truth.


    Dear friends, the call to purity is not just an ancient command; it is a timeless truth that holds profound implications for our lives today. Let us flee from fornication and embrace the holiness that God desires for us. Let us honour our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit and live in a way that glorifies our Creator.

    May the Lord give us strength, wisdom, and grace to pursue purity and to stand firm against the temptations of this world. Amen.

  6. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 8:30 am


    Not exactly St. J.P. II's "Theology of the Body" is it? What's the difference? — one is inspired, the other, sieved.

  7. bks said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 8:45 am

    There are about 500,000 clergy in the USA. How many of them can outwrite ChatGPT?

  8. Philip Taylor said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 8:52 am

    Well, I asked what I thought was GPT-4o to have a go, with a modified prompt, but whether it really was GPT-4o is somewhat moot …

    "Please write a sermon condemning fornication, using British English and citing only the King James bible "

    This is is what it came up with. I have a feeling that the life of the IT-literate rural vicar is going to be far less stressful and time-consuming in the very near future …

    **Sermon on the Condemnation of Fornication**

    Beloved congregation, we gather here today in the presence of our Almighty God to reflect upon His holy Word and seek guidance for our lives. Today, we turn our hearts and minds to the topic of fornication, a sin that has plagued humanity since time immemorial. As followers of Christ, it is our duty to understand the gravity of this sin and to strive for purity in our thoughts and actions.

    Let us begin by examining the scriptures, for it is through the Word of God that we gain wisdom and discernment. In the First Epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul sternly warns us:

    "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body" (1 Corinthians 6:18).

    Here, Paul implores us to flee from fornication, recognising it as a sin that uniquely defiles our own bodies. Our bodies, as temples of the Holy Spirit, are sacred and must not be desecrated by acts of immorality.

    Furthermore, the Epistle to the Hebrews admonishes us with these words:

    "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).

    The sanctity of marriage is a covenant blessed by God, and within this sacred union, the marital bed remains pure. However, those who engage in fornication and adultery invite the righteous judgement of God upon themselves.

    The wisdom of Solomon in the Book of Proverbs also provides a stark warning against the path of the wicked:

    "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul" (Proverbs 6:32).

    To indulge in such acts is to lack understanding and to bring destruction upon one’s own soul. It is a sobering reminder that the consequences of fornication extend beyond the physical realm, affecting our eternal souls.

    Let us also consider the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew:

    "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).

    Christ teaches us that even the lustful gaze, the very thoughts of our minds, can lead us into sin. It is not merely the physical act, but the intentions and desires of our hearts that we must guard against.

    In our modern world, the temptations of the flesh are ever-present, and the sanctity of marriage and chastity is often disregarded. Yet, as Christians, we are called to a higher standard. We are called to purity and holiness. We are called to be different, to shine as beacons of light in a world shrouded in darkness.

    Let us, therefore, commit ourselves to a life of purity. Let us support and encourage one another in this endeavour, holding each other accountable and praying for strength to resist temptation. Let us remember the words of Paul to the Thessalonians:

    "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication" (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

    Sanctification is the will of God for us. To be set apart, to be holy, to abstain from fornication. This is the path we are called to walk.

    In conclusion, dear brethren, let us heed these warnings from the Holy Scriptures. Let us flee from fornication, honour the sanctity of marriage, and seek to live lives that are pleasing to our Heavenly Father. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, guiding us and giving us the strength to overcome the temptations of the flesh.


  9. David Marjanović said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 1:35 pm

    Haaa! Delve again!

  10. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 3:00 pm

    bks said,

    There are about 500,000 clergy in the USA. How many of them can outwrite ChatGPT?

    Based on what's upthread? Prolly c. 499,988. If I'd heard a sermon like the above, I'd report it to the Bishop. Bullshit doesn't cease being bullshit simply because it's sprinkled with Biblical citations.

    For comparison's sake, see:

  11. J.W. Brewer said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 5:42 pm

    But how good a sermon in Latin can it generate?

  12. Philip Taylor said,

    July 9, 2024 @ 9:20 pm

    Let’s ask it —

    **Sermo in Latina Vaticana de Fornicatione Damnanda**

    Fratres et Sorores in Christo,

    Hodie convenimus in Domini præsentia ut verba eius divina audiamus et in vita nostra animos nostros purificemus. Admonitionem gravem et necessariam proponam hodie, ut per verbum Dei vitam nostram dirigamus. Quæstio fornicationis, quæ in Sacris Scripturis sæpe damnatur, hodie tractabitur.

    Primum, reminiscamur verba Apostoli Pauli ad Corinthios: "Fugite fornicationem! Omne peccatum, quodcumque facit homo, extra corpus est; qui autem fornicatur, in corpus suum peccat" (1 Corinthios 6:18). Apostolus hic clarissime demonstrat fornicationem esse peccatum grave, quod non solum spiritui, sed etiam corpori nostro nocet.

    In Levitico quoque Deus loquitur dicens: "Ne polluatis vos in omnibus istis; quia in omnibus his pollutæ sunt gentes, quas ego eiciam ante conspectum vestrum" (Leviticus 18:24). Videmus ergo fornicationem et alia peccata carnis esse abominationem coram Deo et causam iracundiæ eius.

    Fornicatio autem non solum in Sacris Scripturis damnatur, sed etiam in doctrina Ecclesiæ. Catechismus Catholicæ Ecclesiæ docet: "Fornicatio est unio carnalis illicita inter virum et mulierem non coniunctos matrimonio" (Catechismus Catholicæ Ecclesiæ, 2353). Ergo, actus fornicationis est contra voluntatem Dei et contra ordinem moralem naturalem.

    Cur igitur fornicatio tam graviter damnatur? Primo, quia violat sanctitatem matrimonii, quod est sacramentum et imago unionis Christi cum Ecclesia. Matrimonium institutum est a Deo ut locus legitimus amoris et generationis filiorum. Fornicatio vero hanc sanctitatem destruit et ordinem divinum subvertit.

    Secundo, fornicatio animam maculat et corpus polluit. Homo, creatus ad imaginem et similitudinem Dei, vocatus est ad sanctitatem et puritatem vitæ. Actus fornicationis vero animam a gratia Dei separat et ad corruptionem moralem ducit.

    Tertio, fornicatio socialem ordinem perturbat et familiam, fundamentum societatis humanæ, destruit. Ubi fornicatio dominatur, ibi familiæ dissolvuntur, filii sine cura et disciplina crescunt, et societas ipsa fragilis fit.

    Quid ergo faciamus, fratres et sorores? Primo, convertamur ad Dominum et poenitentiam agamus. Dominus misericors est et paratus est peccata nostra dimittere, si vere poenituerimus. Secundo, vitia carnis fugiamus et castitatem colamus. Hæc vita brevis est, sed præmia æterna sunt. Ergo, nitamur ut in gratia Dei permaneamus et in virtute crescamus.

    In conclusione, hortor vos, fratres et sorores, ut semper memineritis vocationem nostram ad sanctitatem et puritatem. Fornicationem fugite, corpus et animam puras servate, et in amore Christi perseverate. Sic enim veram pacem et gaudium inveniemus in hoc mundo et in æternitate.

    Dominus vobiscum.

  13. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    July 10, 2024 @ 6:17 am

    "Primum… Secundo… Tertio… In conclusione…"

    Congratulations — AI can write a bland 7th-grade 5-paragraph theology essay. I'm inspired, really — I was gonna fornicate on my way to work this morning, but this bit of lectio divina stopped me right in my tracks.

    Still ain't a sermon. It is not "inspired" in the literal (oxygen), metaphorical (élan), or theological (Spiritui Sancto) sense of the word.

    Sad to say, there _is_ an AI bot out there online that is "trained" on the Catechism and provides "answers" to user questions with citations to the Catechism. I hope people know the difference between a "useful index" and "source of ultimate truth".

  14. ~flow said,

    July 11, 2024 @ 8:59 am

    Similar to the above examples, I wanted to see whether Copilot could author an entire text on a modern subject but based on antiquated English, so I prompted it with

    Bitte einen kurzen englischen Text schreiben der begründet warum AI Bildgenerierung eine gute Sache ist; den ganzen Text ausschließlich mit Ausdrücken und Sätzen aus der King-James-Bibel verfassen

    and this is what came out:

    "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, the advent of AI in image generation is akin to the dawning of a new day. As it is written, 'And God said, Let there be light: and there was light' (Genesis 1:3). So too does AI bring forth light, illuminating the canvas of creation with the hues of its wisdom.

    Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin (Matthew 6:28). In like manner, AI toils not, yet it spins images of such beauty and complexity that they rival the lilies in their splendor.

    As the shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered (Ezekiel 34:12), so too does AI seek out the patterns and forms scattered within the chaos of pixels, bringing forth order and meaning.

    In the multitude of counsellors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14). AI, in its multitude of algorithms and computations, provides a safe haven for creativity, offering a bountiful array of possibilities to those who would harness its power.

    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8). AI, in its capacity to generate images, embodies these virtues, bringing forth truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness, and good report in the realm of visual representation.

    Thus, we see that AI in image generation is indeed a good thing, a blessing bestowed upon us, a tool to be used wisely and well."

    I leave it as an exercise to the other commenters to verify the citations; I for one am impressed, again, by what has all of a sudden become possible.

  15. Philip Taylor said,

    July 11, 2024 @ 9:06 am

    To which ChatGPT replied —

    And lo, it came to pass that in these latter days, the sons of men did fashion unto themselves images made by the hand of artificial intelligence. And they did marvel at the works of their own devices, saying, "Behold, we are become like unto gods, creating in our own likeness."

    Yet, there arose among the wise a lamentation, for they saw the deceit that was wrought. "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" For verily, these images, though they appeared fair and comely, were but lies and falsehoods, leading astray the hearts of the simple.

    And it was written, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath." Yet, the sons of men hearkened not unto this commandment, and they made unto themselves images that were not, deceiving themselves and others.

    Moreover, it is an abomination, for "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." And these false images did bring confusion and strife, and the truth was hidden in darkness. "Let no man deceive you with vain words," for these creations were but the vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit.

    Therefore, let the people take heed, and turn away from these abominations, lest they be led astray. For it is written, "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil." And thus shall they find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

  16. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    July 11, 2024 @ 9:53 am

    After ~flow and Philip, I say: QED.

    Again, I repeat my plea: "I hope people know the difference between a 'useful index' and 'source of ultimate truth'.".

    People, especially impressionable children, are not going to be "playing" with AI in the manner of our jolly band here, but will instead be _asking_ it _questions_ that they want _answers_ to; i.e., they will be seeking "truth". You and I and LL know that what AI produces is not truth but plausible sophistry, but what's going to happen to successive generations growing up without sufficient critical thinking skills?

  17. Philip Taylor said,

    July 11, 2024 @ 10:07 am

    I have enormous sympathy with your second paragraph, Benjamin, but would ask “why you do believe that ‘successive generations [will grow] up without sufficient critical thinking skills’ ?” . Do you believe that they will have fewer critical thinking skills than the current generations, or do you rather believe that even the present generations lack the critical thinking skills necessary to judge for themselves the extent to which AI output can be relied upon (if at all) ?

    [D@mn — that ends with a preposition, something I normally avoid like the plague].

  18. ~flow said,

    July 11, 2024 @ 10:32 am

    I've been observing, for many years, how my 'viewing skills' to separate actual live footage from any of the techniques used to produce illusions—animation, bluescreen, CGI, scale models and so on—were continuously honed by watching both Sci-Fi series and content related to astronomy and space exploration. I somehow have also assumed that today's kids—y'know, "kids these days", those ones—will be better than I was at their age, simply because of exposition, not unlike one could assume better understanding of general relativity or quantum physics among contemporary 10, 20 or 30 years old persons when compared to their respective cohorts in the 1920s, again simply because of exposition. So maybe not all is lost, maybe improving AI bragging skills also leads to improved skepticism (Nigerian princes likewise have a harder time these days I hear).

    Then again, I've registered decreased levels of orientation skills among those who use navigation tools, so I will not say I rule out that we're doomed.

  19. Kate Gladstone said,

    July 11, 2024 @ 11:22 pm

    Philip Taylor’s posted AI material (of July 11 at 9:06 AM) sounds as if it could have come from the Mentats of Frank Herbert’s DUNE novels.

  20. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    July 12, 2024 @ 7:17 am


    Indeed! (And the Butlerian Jihad can't be far behind).

    People really should listen more to science fiction writers; they've been trying to warn us for years…

  21. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    July 12, 2024 @ 7:43 am


    Ending a phrase with a preposition is something up with which I will not put. But in your case, I'll make an exception.

    As for the cognition of today's youth, at 45 I feel like I'm prematurely senescing into curmudgeonhood whenever I rail against the screens that commandeer so much of our youth's time, which used to be spent doing things like riding bicycles, starting pick-up baseball or hockey games, wandering through the woods, or just digging around in the dirt looking at interesting bugs.

    But most importantly, the screens are preventing kids from being bored. Remember boredom as a kid? Remember sitting in your room with nothing to do? You might pace around a bit, and then… you would _think_ of something. All by yourself, unprompted. A thought would emerge from your mind; out of boredom would come creativity. Now people can't even stand in line at the grocery store with their own thoughts without feeding their eyeballs to the screen. I can't help but think that making a habit of walling yourself off from your own mind must change one somehow.

    But, I digress… the initial point was that reading long stretches of text in paper books, rather than snippits of online "class materials" requires a different way of thinking. Making outlines of thoughts by hand, with their attendant circles and arrows and underlinings and whatnot seems like a deeper way of thinking that whipping up a powerpoint. And now, we're going to let the bots do our _writing_ for us?

    And, to answer the question you're going to ask next, yes, as a matter of fact I _do_ have three teenage children.

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