Here is the article that inspired this post. Link
I think it is interesting how science fiction tends to become reality, and often sooner than we expect. For many years humans have imagined machines that could simulate human behavior. For decades this was the stuff of science fiction books and campy sci-fi movies. As our culture became more progressive, robots were even created in fiction that could carry on a physical/sexual relationship with their human counterparts.
Here are some pop culture examples:
-Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation. If memory serves he had a relationship with human security officer Tasha Yar. In the movie First Contact, his sexuality is again brought up in a conversation with the Borg Queen.
-Fembots on the Austin Powers movies. A humorous take on robots that take advantage Austin Powers’ weakness for all things female.
-Steven Spielberg’s movie Artificial Intelligence is about robots feeling emotions.
There are many more examples but these are the ones that I could think of off the top of my head.
Well, it looks like science fiction is once again on its way to becoming reality. According the article on Fox some experts predict that there will be robots capable of sexual functions within five years. FIVE YEARS! That is unbelievable.
This opens up a can of worms larger than a family sized tomato soup. As soon as the first prototype hits the market, or we begin seeing it plastered across the media, the ethical war will begin a battle on a new front. I would like to fire a few early shots in what is sure to be a bloody battle.
First, my thoughts on sex:
1. Sex is something special that God created and blessed with His creation of the first humans.
2. Sex was designed to take place between men and women. A knowledge of basic anatomy attests to this. It is also worth noting that even if you don’t believe that God created the world and hold to evolution: sex between a man and a woman is still required if for no other reason than the survival of the species.
3. Sex was designed to take place in the context of a committed and loving marital relationship. Our culture will tell you that the people who get the most enjoyment out of sex are those who are liberated enough to go to bed with just about anyone. Culture says that those people have the best sex and they can get it whenever. That is also wrong, as there are numerous studies that say that married people have better sex and more often than their swingin’ single counterparts.
So what does this mean in relation to robots?
1. It completely removes the human element from sexuality. The bond that sex creates for a couple will be completely lost. Sex will become even more recreational and casual than it is now. It will become as casual as turning on the X-Box and playing a video game. When you are done; turn the machine off, stick it back in the closet, and go on with your daily life.
2. It discourages face to face interaction. Sex has always been inherently social, but this will completely eliminate the need for social interaction as a part of sex. Our culture has allowed us to become less and less physically social and more electronically social (Myspace, Facebook, text messages vs. calling and actually talking to someone, and much more). Sex with a robot simply takes this to the next level.
3. No commitment, no strings attached. For centuries sex was something that was only socially accepted between married couples. It was a part of a couple’s commitment to marriage. We have lost much of that as sex has become less about a sign of love and commitment and more about personal enjoyment. Robot sex would be the ultimate non-committal form of sex. Think about it, there would be no risk of disease. There would be no risk of getting a call from that one night stand a few weeks ago to tell you she’s pregnant. There would never be a time when you had to go out of your way to woo Mrs. Robot. It would be truly recreational sex available to you as long as Mrs. Robot doesn’t have dead batteries.
Robot sex. Would it create a whole new industry? Would it eliminate “the oldest profession?” What about sexual deviants like pedophiles, would the industry cater to them? Would the value of marriage drop even further? Would the value of children drop even further?
Those are some tough questions. I feel that the advent of interactive robotic sex would be a huge detriment to society. Marriage would undoubtedly be cheapened even more and we will probably see the age of first marriage rise even higher than it already is (I believe it is currently 25 for women and 27 for men). We will probably see people waiting even longer to have kids, and potentially having less of them. The act of sex itself will be so cheapened that we might begin to view it the same way we view a video game today.
Robot sex will take away one of the most fundamental and oldest of human interactions. The effect on society will be devastating. God’s intention for sex was for it to be one of the most intimate of human interactions. We have already cheapened sex so much (and have had to endure the negative results it), to remove the human element from it completely will cause a dramatic and, quite frankly, scary change in humanity.