I was thinking today about why God would create humans in the first place. The Bible gives a lot of direction on how we should live, and in many ways it gives us some insight into God's character, but I struggle to see the motive behind our existence. My thought: why not just create beings that would actually obey and love him instead of us flawed beasts that fight the Creator?
And then I thought about my happy dog Kaia. We joyfully picked her up last July as we returned from our trip to Guatemala. After forking out tons of money to buy her, our cute little pup stepped in a sewer drain grate and ran up twice her initial cost in just medical bills getting her leg repaired. Over the following months, she pooped and peed on our carpets multiple times, and even got sick and had some disgusting accidents in her crate downstairs. Throw in the lack of flexibility with traveling and the need to take her out to the bathroom / walks when the wind chill is -30 degrees, and suddenly you start to wonder what the heck you were thinking. Why not just get a robotic dog that acts like a real dog?
I can't really put to words why a Sony Aibo just wouldn't satisfy me, but I think it mostly comes down to a lack of free will. As the owner, I get to strongly influence Kaia's habits, activities, and behaviors, but in the end she does what she wants. She might want to play when I'm super tired. She might squat down in the middle of the living room and leave a present. But she might also walk over to me when I'm feeling down and give me a loving lick (with the same tongue that eats deer feces) and completely change my day. The moments like this make up for all of the difficult and annoying things in an instant. Maybe God needs us to have free will for the same reason.