From doll brothels to ‘robotic rape,’ the rise of sex robots raises ethical and legal dilemmas

'People snigger about them, but they are actually shipping quite a lot and we are going to see them a lot more,' one researcher who worries about the spread of automatons for sexual purposes

Jul 06, 2017
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Commodifying people through technology has been an ethical concern for some time.  The eugenic research of the early twentieth century was checked by the horrors of the Second World War; but it is advancing with widespread social approval and significant research funding once again.

Today’s transhumanists range from people seeking to perfect human nature, extending human life ad infinitum, to those seeking to augment it with powers along the lines of comic book superheroes.

But the ethical and theological concerns arising from experimenting on human beings are fairly familiar terrain; there are now also a whole host of concerns that arise from changing what being human means.

It is these latter concerns that are arising with greater frequency.  Gender reassignment surgeries provide one such case.  But the problem with sex robots is somewhat different.  It is not that people’s bodies are going to be altered by sex with robots; the threat is to their souls.

Even the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR) is already flagging up concerns and trying to draw clear, bright lines: they cite concerns about child sex robots; or the ‘rape’ of robots.

Why should those issues be a concern when there aren’t actually persons suffering?

The answer is obvious, though unstated.  Indulging in depraved actions corrupts the person committing the acts.  In one fell swoop, the vanity of the centuries-long attempt by scientific materialists to debunk our moral nature has been displayed.

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