Imagine a future where masses of men divorce themselves from the world and have sex with robots instead of people. Maybe children would all be conceived through artificial means by then and raised by the government. If not, humanity would die off.
This is the dystopian future sexbots will bring about, as described by pick-up artists, men’s rights activists, feminists, and others. If we go down that road, it would be a fitting end to a human species that is unnecessary and undeserving of continued existence.
Humans are easily replaceable with robots, the champions of sexbots argue. Douglas Hines, CEO of True Companion, said his company’s creation, Roxxxy, will replace all aspects of human interaction, not just sex.
Anyone with Siri on his iPhone knows how shallow that proposition is. Artificial intelligence can’t even come close to emulating the range of emotions and reactions of a human being. Many of the articles about sexbots, though, project 50 years into the future. By then, artificial intelligence would have made great advances. Maybe it will be able to ape human emotions, but the end user would know all the while that they weren’t real.
Machines Can’t Replace People
What we have as humans can never be replaced. Those who try, whether they be communist ideologues bent on creating a superior race or techno-fascists creating machine overlords, will fail.
We humans need meaning in life. We crave self-actualization. We need a reason for being—not just the how of survival, but the why. While animals spend their lives gathering food and reproducing, following their instincts completely for survival, humans create art and go on spiritual journeys.
We read and write books, paint, and play instruments, not just for entertainment, but also to fulfill our need for thinking and expressing ourselves. A computer can write a melody on its own—after a human programs it—but computer-generated music wouldn’t have the same meaning as a song sung by a rags-to-riches diva who started busking on the street to feed her family as a child. Nor would a conversation with a robot programmed to socialize be meaningful, or an act of sex with said inanimate object.
Can One Objectify People Much More?
A robot that looks like a woman but isn’t a woman is just a fake woman for men who don’t like women. It’s a minimalistic view of women that views them only as vessels to fulfill male pleasures. That is similar to the view of some communists who have dreamt of new and improved societies.
In her memoir “First They Killed My Father,” Cambodian survivor Loung Ung described how Khmer Rouge soldiers would rape village women freely and force them into marriages to bring about a “pure” Cambodia. A woman’s duty under the tyranny of the Angkar, which is what the Communist Party of Kampuchea referred to itself as, was “to bear children for the Angkar. If they do not fulfill their duty, they are worthless and dispensable.” So, too, disabled people who couldn’t work in the fields were viewed as dispensable, and thus shot to death by the Angkar.
Sexbots don’t just demean women. Ultimately, they demean men in thinking that men are nothing more than base animals only interested in carnal desires. The idea that robots can replace humans relies on the idea that men aren’t interested in meaningful lives. (It is also a demeaning view of individual men who think of themselves as not being able to attract desirable women.)
Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos and pick-up artist blogger Chateau Heartiste thus argue that men don’t need any emotional or intellectual connection with their romantic partners. “[M]ost blokes are fine with a pizza and a wank,” Milo wrote, and “[M]en are just as happy beating a video game as they are solving the riddles of the universe.” Men are happy being worthless losers if they can get free sex: It’s the very same demeaning stereotype of men that the most radical feminists would apply.
Chateau Heartiste “can easily foresee a future where masses of betas and omegas become shut-ins, telecommuting for their sustenance.”
Men Are Not Dogs
But we know that’s not the case. Humans live for so much more than that. The reason we have come so far to have men plant our flag on the moon, to land a spacecraft on an asteroid, to build a 1.7-mile-tall skyscraper and do all the great things humans have done is because we always want to push ourselves towards a higher calling to legitimize our existence.
It’s why artists and poets like Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Allen Poe slaved away in poverty all their lives just to create something special. It’s why George Orwell forsook his life as a privileged colonialist servant of the crown in Burma, where he could drink and carouse in the segregated officers’ club, instead to return to Britain and tramp around in the slums, write critiques of colonialism, and go off to Spain to fight the fascists.
There’s no survival necessity in writing literature. Those few who get rich from it only do so because our appetite for intellectual stimulus has created a market for writing (however limited). It would be hard to define a direct survival instinct that demands humans must read literature, and no other animal has that.
Certainly, some will gravitate to thoughtless indulgence. If popular TV shows are any indication, perhaps many will. But individuals should demand more of themselves. Anyone who holds a high esteem of his or her own worth as a human, and indeed anyone who enjoys the companionship of a fellow human, would resist sexbots.