Source of patterns
With notable exceptions, such as disasters and droughts, nature is quite predictable. Science exists because of this predictability. We build air conditioned homes in Florida and igloos in Alaska because of this predictability. As familiar as its seasons, we are pretty comfortable living in nature's ebb and flow of energy and resources.
Technology then comes along to give us progress. Over the last few centuries, we have produced more, created more, discovered more, traveled more, and lived longer than our ancestors. We have cured some diseases and put men on the moon. The mental prowess of humanity harnessing nature's power has made many wonderful accomplishments and points us toward a future of astronomical achievement.
On a material level we have profited from the universe's resources. Our civilization far surpasses anything that has come before us. Our standard of living is a thousandfold greater than the generations that scratched in the dirt with crude implements.
Generally, physical power gives us physical predictability, technological progress, and materialistic profitability. What about the spiritual level? How are we doing individually and globally?
We all know that money cannot buy us happiness or love. That is because personal patterns can only be made by people. Only a person can believe in me, see my potential, and love me for all I am worth, and choose it day after day, year after year. Only a person can give me a role model I can look up to. Only a person can be my friend, guide, hero, or lover. And they earn that right by becoming a long term demonstration of predictable, progressive, profitable patterns.
I love my dad, not only because he provides me food at every meal, but because he encourages and guides me. I love my mom, not only because she washes my clothes, but because she nurtures me and teaches me compassion. I love my friends, not just because they give me gifts, but they also give me belonging. Without the physical I would die. Without the spiritual I would be an animal. But positive spiritual patterns on top of positive physical patterns is a life I can live because it is full of people I can love and be loved by.
We are all spiritual people, spiritually positive or spiritually negative, but spiritual nonetheless. We are souls filled with faith, hope, and love. No machine, robot, artificial intelligence, or Mind-In-The-Sky can understand or communicate with us on a personal level. No impersonal essence or set of scientific laws can satisfy our needs or fill the longings of our heart. We need a mother’s lap in which we can curl up in comfort and a father’s shoulders upon which we can sit in safety from harm.
Only a heart feels another heart. Only a living hand shares the warmth of love and life. Only spiritual people make and consume spiritual patterns.
If there is such a thing as an eternal machine or an endless mind then it can keep operating the universal mechanisms, but it will remain cold as ice for people who need the warmth of personhood.
In your words:
In movies and books who is almost always made more relatable: the hero or villain? Is there a correlation between criminal behavior and the ability to view people as people instead of objects? In other words, is it easier to commit a crime against someone we put in a box with a label rather than seeing them as a fully faceted person? What if you discovered that your parents were robots and you were hatched in a laboratory?