Seduced by an Android

It is adultery if it’s with a robot?  That’s just one of the provocative questions raised by Humans, a new AMC television series set in a world where every home has an attractive cyborg servant.  Will lifelike robots, responsive to our needs, lead to further loss of interest in relationships with real humans?  Is it slavery to own a highly intelligent synthetic human?  Will advances in robotics make old fashioned morality completely irrelevant?

This morning’s news included this headline: SEX WITH ROBOTS THE NORM IN 50 YEARS.  A “specialist” in the psychology of sex and relationships forecasts that everything will change by 2070.  “As virtual reality becomes more realistic and immersive and is able to mimic and even improve on the experience of sex with a human partner; it is conceivable that some will choose this in preference to sex with a less than perfect human being.”

Would robophilia be immoral?  Indeed, would that kind of sex be sex at all?  I can already imagine advocates who will argue this is just  another form of video gaming.  What could possibly be wrong if no other human being is harmed or even involved?

When you have to stop and think about a question like that, you have already lost a larger, more fundamental argument. The greater principle constantly overlooked in debates like these centers on the role of human intimacy.

  • Sex is not mere recreation.
  • The human body is not a pleasure machine.

In Christ, we recognize that sexual intimacy is designed to bond a man and woman together in marriage. That bonding leads to the kind of strength and stability that unite a family around raising healthy daughters and sons.  It keeps a couple moving forward in love and sacrifice even when their emotions demand self-fulfillment and individuality. It focuses the brain. People who corrupt sex and waste it as a dating game forfeit the wonder and unity that happen only in dedicated, sacred commitment. They can never put that toothpaste back in the tube.

In Christ, we reserve our bodies as temples of the Most High God.  Our flesh, blood and brain cells can derive joy and pleasure from things like football, shopping, hiking, and- yes- video games.  But all those delights are simply by-products that must be evaluated according to divine purpose for our lives.  Anything that disqualifies my temple for God’s purposes is not acceptable, not even thinkable. Right or wrong, it’s just not desirable.

The day will probably come when every home has an attractive cyborg servant. But even in a world of synthetic humanity and android slavery, the purpose of following Jesus Christ will not shift even one millionth of one degree, and the cost of discipleship will not be discounted like dated jeans.  Our bodies will still be temples reserved for the calling of servant leadership.  And sexual intimacy will still be an act of devotion reserved for building the bond of sacred unity within a purposeful marriage. In a world searching for new gray areas, hold out for the brilliant colors of life that can only be experienced while walking in the Light.

Lift up the Cross!


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