Poor Tariq Moosa; who knew writing for a left-wing British newspaper could be that lonely?
But there Moosa was on April 7, welcoming the brave new world of sex robots. “Robots and Sex: Creepy or Cool?” came down decidedly on the side of “cool.”
“Sex with robots may currently be restricted to fiction,” Moosa wrote, “but with advances in technology this could eventually change.” And he’s a-ok with that. “This is something that should be accepted, maybe even embraced.”
Noting the advances in books, music and social media, Moosa continued, “Our sex lives and love lives, from finding new partners to even the partners themselves, will get the gloss of modern and future technology.” He reasoned that “If many (not all) of us are tolerant of dildos and Fleshlights [male sex toy]” then “is this not already a basis to accept sex robots?”
He listed the benefits: no STDs, no consent, no sex trafficking, plus “sexual fulfillment with something resembling the target of their [humans’] desire” “without harm” – or, in other words, “We’d be worried about glorified furniture, not people.”
Sounds romantic. Stuff like using sex only for self-pleasure (forget factoring in another human’s feelings and those inconveniences called children) or blurring the lines between humans and objects didn’t, of course, concern him.
For Moosa, sex robots provide “healthy sexual gratification” which “could be considered a health benefit” and assist those with disabilities. He concluded, “That the sex robot is providing relief with sexual gratification instead of (vanilla?) nursing isn’t that significant a difference morally – that is, a person is still benefiting without any significant harms.”
Surprisingly, he expressed some hang-ups, such as “The idea that we can program something to ‘always consent’ or ‘never refuse.’” He soon retorted, “But we must wonder: how is it different to turning on an iPad?” After all, “that’s the nature of tools. We don’t wonder about the hammer’s feelings being nailed, so why should we worry about a robot’s?”
Oh, and just in case you were thinking of judging Moosa when his electronic sexual panacea does become available, he pre-empted you, future hater. “It’s about accepting other people’s choices to do what they want with their bodies and obtain sexual satisfaction.” He concluded that “We are all grown-ups” and should act as such with “non-harmful sex and sexually related activities.”
But until that day comes, Moosa will “consider supporting robots taking over our unnecessarily conservative and judgmental species.”
To which the only rational response is, “Danger, Will Robinson!"
The Guardian has expressed similarly dumbfounding arguments in past, such stressing how “thoroughly rational” women choose sex-selective abortions.
— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.