Benjamin Wiker is Professor of Political Science, Director of Human Life Studies, and Senior Fellow of the Veritas Center at Franciscan University. His newest book is In Defense of Nature: the Catholic Unity of Environmental, Economic, and Moral Ecology. His website is www.benjaminwiker.com.
Nearly every day the news presents yet another article on sexbots, robots that are designed to take the place of women. This is the most obvious “objectification” of women that has followed upon the sexual revolution, the literal creation of an artificial object, a robotic woman, for the sexual pleasure of men degraded enough to prefer a machine to the real thing.
Note that I have not provided any links to such articles, the obvious reason being that they all very graphically depict the new and constantly “improving” sexbots. Readers do not need yet another near occasion for sin, and I don’t want to provide one, thereby racking up even more years for purgatory.
Just within the last few weeks articles report (with giddy excitement, the slightest touch of moral trepidation, and no sense of irony) that sexbots are getting ever more realistic all the time, meaning, we assume, more like an actual flesh and blood female. In other words, the ultimate aim of sexualized robotics is the creation of a new Eve, a machine so like a real woman that the two will become indistinguishable—except that sexbots aren’t actually alive and so don’t get pregnant.
That’s an important difference. The Pill promised men and woman that sexual pleasure could be technologically cut off from the inconvenience of the natural procreation of another human being. But the Pill initiated a sexual revolution that has ended up in cutting men off from women—women who, we suspect, are now considered by such men as just one more inconvenience from which technology has relieved them. First babies, now women.
As you might expect, with even a casual acquaintance with fallen humanity, the depravity only gets stranger and more perverse. Sexbot manufacturers now promise that you can have a sexbot made in the image of your dead wife, or your favorite female celebrity. But since robotic perversion follows the ruts of the already existing cultural perversions, manufacturers are also making female sexbots that express their enjoyment at being raped, and even further down the moral slide to hell, sexbot children for pedophiles.
That’s a pretty quick and abysmal moral tumble in the fifty years since the Pill hit the market. I assume that none of the “well-intentioned” advocates of the Pill then, would have been so optimistic if, by some miracle, they could have been given a quick vision of the future five decades hence.
Fifty years ago Pope Paul VI stood, almost alone, against the tide of those calling for the severing of sexual union from sexual procreation. In his famous encyclical, Humanae Vitae (1968), he states the following prophecy, which is now being fulfilled in far darker terms than even he envisioned. Read it again, very slowly, especially the part I’ve highlighted.
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Get it? See the horrid historical connection? Could Paul VI have possibly foreseen the full prophetic warning that a sexually liberated man would soon reduce a woman to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires?
So, sex has become more and more unnatural. This slide into the ever more unnatural is why we need a new defense of nature, especially what might be called “moral ecology.” Those interested should read my In Defense of Nature: the Catholic Unity of Environmental, Economic, and Moral Ecology.