Saturday, June 21, 2008

Robot love???

I just read an article that I wish wasn't serious - - a presumably very lonely scientist is predicting that there will be robots that humans can have relationships with within 40 years.

Given that our society already is fractured, and self-absorbed, such that real relationships are harder and harder to come by, I think this will cause many many many more problems than it will solve.

It's like the whole Wii Fit thing. In the olden days, kids used to play outside and so were healthy from getting exercise. Then we invented computer games and television, so that modern kids spend so much more time inside and thus are not getting exercise, and are getting fat. So the solution??? Let's invent an attachment for our computer game systems so that kids get exercise WHILE playing computer games. Is it just me or is the more obvious, healthy and affordable option TO SEND THEM OUTSIDE TO PLAY!!

This Robot love thing strikes me the same way. There used to be a higher rate of marriage, there used to be a higher rate of marriages THAT LASTED. Since the 60s with the so-called "free love" movement, marriage and long term relationships have suffered. We've created a world where sexual expression is about what feels good to me, regardless of the relational impact. Our desire for sexual gratification is promoted as being more important than bringing sexual fulfilment to our partners. Suddenly, sex has become all about ME. Therefore it is no wonder that it is getting harder and harder to form good lasting relationships, because we've built a view on sex and relationships that they are all about MY fulfilment. It is hard to love someone, and give yourself to someone else, when your primary objective is your own satisfaction.

An example from the article, the scientist believes that such robots could be used within human-human relationships, for instance when one partner is travelling. The other partner might say, "Take your robot, I don't want you visiting the red light district". Seriously, if the ONLY options when travelling are sex with a robot or sex with a prostitute, then there are bigger problems in that relationship than whether or not robot-sex is appropriate. There should only be one option when away from one's spouse--abstinence!

This human-robot-love solution that this scientist thinks will solve these problems is just a bandaid on the problem. An icky and disturbing bandaid, but a bandaid none the less. This idea is like that of the Wii Fit -- let's not deal with the real issue, let's let the existing problem fester under what might seem on the surface to be a solution.

God bless,

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