Yale Computer scientist David Gelernter argues here that Judaic dialectic tradition will help us to reason our way through the moral morass of the first truly intelligent machine. I had first written this off as an article in the genre of "interesting collision of worldviews". But in the near future the cognitive science debates we're having today will seem luxuriously academic and unhurried, because for several reasons involving computing and neuroscience they will soon be more than intriguingly difficult questions. Even if we can all agree that suffering must be the basis of morality, we will need a way to know that, on that basis, it's not okay to disassemble someone in a coma, but it is okay to disassemble a machine that can argue for its own self-preservation.
"...there is good and bad speculation, and this is not an unparalleled activity in science...Those scientists who have no taste for this sort of speculative enterprise will just have to stay in the trenches and do without it, while the rest of us risk embarrassing mistakes and have a lot of fun." - Dan Dennett