In general, technology ruins life for everyone. First, mankind created nuclear weapons strong enough to destroy the Earth a hundred times over. Then Skynet took control of the world. For those of you who can’t follow, that was a Terminator reference.
The fear that science will go too far has been explored by novels, cinema and television. Before Sarah Connor fought the machines, Frankenstein built his monster. Einstein’s dread over the nuclear bomb preceded any Will Smith-versus-robot death-match. More importantly, Fry from ‘Futurama’ would never have experienced sex with a Lucy Liu robot if H.G. Wells had not played with the idea of a time machine first.
Sure, ‘Futurama’ is silly, but that episode had a point about over-reliance on technology. For those of you who haven’t seen the episode, Fry buys a robot that looks like Lucy Liu and proceeds to have sex with it for the majority of the episode. The humor is more ingenious than it sounds. Besides the topic of copyright infringement, the show raises the question of what would happen if someone built a life-like robot for the purpose of sexual intercourse.
In as little as 25 years, we may have to answer that question. Japanese technology companies are beginning to develop life-like synthetic skin and robots that can realistically imitate human movements. Complex sensors are being developed to make robots react to touch. Computer programming has even become advanced enough to imitate human emotions and social skills.
Once these robots are made, people around the world will have to decide whether they will have sex with them. I will not argue that sex with a robot is not ‘natural’ because who are we to say what is natural? That statement also sounds shockingly similar to the anti-gay rights movement today and the Puritan justification for the death penalty for sex crimes hundreds of years ago.
One might wonder, ‘Why should we be against sex with robots? If they are almost identical to us, why stop people from enjoying themselves?’ Sex with robots is wrong because robots would have no free will. I assume this because it is highly unlikely a robot would want to have sex with someone who can only get sex from a robot.
Without the ability to choose, relations (not just sexual relations) take on an entirely different form. I am not trying to say that sex with a robot is rape. It is simply worth pointing out that without the ability to leave a relationship, any kind of interaction loses its fire. If robots cannot leave you, it means when they talk to you, they may not really want to be around you.
Besides the poor quality of interaction robot sex would provide, it would also send us down the slippery slope of overreliance on technology. We already let technology absorb our leisure time and education. Sexual relations from the first kiss to ‘going all the way’ are a fundamental part of the human experience. To surrender them to technology means giving up our humanity. Instead of creating art, we play video games, and instead of face-to-face conversation, we use soulless e-mails to communicate. If we surrender sexual relations to robots, the next step will be to use them for emotional relations.
This loss of humanity can only weaken the human race as a whole. Due to an over-consumption of resources, a natural disaster or human conflict, our technology could be gone. If it were gone today, society’s communication and basic functioning would be crippled. Imagine how detrimental the loss of technology would be 20 years from now when we will be even more reliant on science. Sex with a robot may not be damaging, but if we are willing to let robots that far into our personal space, imagine what we will rely on them for in the future. They could become our doctors, protectors or even adoptive parents.
Millions of people will flock to stores to buy their first ‘sex-bot’ when it is available. The chance for guilt-free sex