Friday, May 1, 2009

WAR AND SEX- will technology destroy us?

Well…we are wrapping up another semester. This week I gave a presentation to a bunch of High School Seniors on the subject of Technology and The New World. The focus began with the incredible advances in technology for our warfighters and policemen and the potential (and probable) impact on our society. Let me share some of those highlights with you.

First, a search of YouTube will reveal a number of videos on the subject of new war-fighting technology (as of May 1, 2009). Several things may be noted. First, Soldiers will be SAFER because more of the fighting is done by machines. Second, machines are becoming ever more sophisticated, being able to adapt quickly to a changing battlefield environment. Third, The Research and Development of war-fighting machines stimulates R&D into other aspects of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Fourth, although a great deal of scientific exploration has emerged, and technology has surged forward, very little study is being done with respect to the social/cultural implications of these technological advances.

I discovered from my reading, while preparing for this presentation, that at least SOME researchers are questioning our ability (as humans) to control either our lust for new scientific develops, or our ability (inclination) to abuse or misuse our discoveries, to the detriment of all mankind. One researcher suggested that we have had, in the past as few wars as we have had, because war is a terrible thing. The human organism detests warfare and it marks our collective psyche in a way that makes us accept warfare as ONLY a last resort. With the dawning of the new age, where machines do more and more of our war-fighting, and the human element is further and further removed from the actual death and destruction, it is LIKELY that war will INCREASE. Apparently, we are “de-sensitized” sufficiently to order our machines to do our killing and this is a more “palatable” recourse for us. Additionally, as our enemies likewise develop more war-fighting technology (and likewise become even more desensitized to destruction), then we will end up with machine-killing machines (ala the Terminator series). Humans will become incidental casualties of war.

At least some psychologists and social scientists are concerned about the devolution of the human species as a result of this aspect of futuristic warfare (which is now not futuristic at all). War, after all, is a result of failed relationships at the national level. What happens when we humans experience failed relationships at the personal level? It seems we have a technological solution to that as well.

My perusal of the Internet (yes, I am an avid user of technology!) disclosed another interesting and disturbing trend: Love robots. Advances in robotics and AI have led to the development of androids (humanoid robots) that imitate human speech, facial expression, body language, and even sexual behavior. They flirt, tease, and even can engage in intercourse. Of course, for some years now, some researchers have combined electronics, fluid hydraulics, micro-ship circuitry, and/or synthetics to produce a variety of sex toys or other means of mechanical masturbation. I doubt that too many people have actually developed a sense of “love” towards a mechanical device that simulates a part of the human anatomy. However, an interesting thing seems to happened when, instead of merely a “part” of human anatomy, a “whole person” is created, with the ability to recognize, communicate, initiate intimacy, and is programmed to simulate “love”. The human being is, apparently, able to “love” their robot. In fact, you can now order online “the perfect woman” (don’t know how much she costs) and it will be only a very short time until advances will allow for a fake woman that will be virtually indistinguishable from “the real thing”.

Should we be concerned? What’s next- legal marriages between “man and machine”? Can’t the same argument be used as for same-sex “marriage”? After all, if a man truly LOVES his android, why shouldn’t he be able to secure the same protections for himself and his “mate” as “any other normal person”? Why should narrow-minded right-wing bigots force THEIR old-fashioned values on him/her? What if he/she is “genetically pre-disposed” to love a robot? Or, what if some early childhood development event created a kind of social/sexual dysfunction that precludes this individual from enjoying a healthy sexual relationship with a real person? Why shouldn’t technology be used to “adjust” that person’s dysfunction or “re-align” that person’s identity? That is the same phraseology used to justify Sex-Change operations (called Sex Re-Alignment Surgery, or SRS).

I hope the reader notes that I say this “tongue-in cheek”. I will never consider that such thinking is rational nor healthy nor in any way conducive to a healthier society. It is, in my humble estimation, the height of self-deception. Such scenarios as I have suggested are quite possible, technologically speaking, and quite probable, given the near-total rejection of God in our society. I understand that God created us in a perfect state, but that we CHOSE SIN and thus introduced imperfection. We have since been attempting to achieve “perfection” WITHOUT GOD by refusing to yield to HIM and going our own way instead.

When we try to perfect our lives by science and technology, without regard to the PERSON of God, the WORD of God, or the WILL of God, we are doomed to life of deception, dysfunction, and despair. When we try to SUBSTITUTE the PLAN of God with our own plan, and attempt to thwart the PURPOSE of God with our own pursuits, we condemn ourselves to Hell in the here and now, and Hell in the hereafter.

I am not anti-science nor do I claim that all technology is bad. I AM, however convinced that the human race is too spiritually immature to be able to manage or control the mental abilities with which we have been blessed. Thus, I believe that the literal fulfillment of Biblical prophecy concerning the end times is near. Very near! It is not technology that will destroy us, for that is merely a tool in our hands. Rather, it is our sinful nature, and our willful disregard for the God who created us, and loves us and desires nothing more than to have relationship with us. We have not only REJECTED the love of God, we have chosen to replace HIM with a man-made machine! I would never have believed we could be reduced to such stupidity had I not been alive to witness it with my own eyes!

Look to the hills for your redemption draweth nigh.

John Sterling

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