I’ve been too busy lately to write any new blog posts, but not so busy that I haven’t been able to spend some of the little free time at my disposal reflecting on that overridingly important issue du jour, robot sex. Stephen Hicks’s discussion is one of the more enlightening ones I’ve read so far–exemplary for getting past the “ew factor” (in which I was mired before I read it) and clarifying the relevant issues.
The next step would be to come up with a way of distinguishing between those for whom robot sex was an all-things-considered best option considering the circumstances, and those for whom robot sex was a problematic form of acquiescence in the less-than-best, i.e., the moral equivalent of “settling” or satisficing. For whatever it’s worth, my own view is that robot sex can be a “best option considering the circumstances” in the first five of the bulleted cases Hicks mentions, but is an acquiescence in the less-than-the-best in the latter two.
Unfortunately, I can’t elaborate on that right now, because I’m soon due at a talk on…Gaza. There’s something surreal and disorienting about a world in which one spends part of the day doing real work, part of it reflecting on robot sex, and part of it attending a lecture on Gaza–something problematically reminiscent of Marx’s explication/defense in The German Ideology of the dilettantism of communist society:
In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.
I realize that I’m digressing here, but mutatis mutandis, doesn’t Marx’s aspiration describe middle- to upper-middle class capitalist society?
I think it does, but I don’t have time to elaborate on that, either. Off to Gaza-in-Clifton, then. With luck I’ll manage to summarize the water symposium and Gaza talk later in the week.