Or are we torn between sins and the impulse to do good, as the character William’s story seems to suggest?
“I wouldn’t say I completely agree with all of the show’s perspectives, but it definitely shows that man in his heart is sinful,” Cleland said in a telephone interview as he and Brimer prepared for their penultimate podcast on “Westworld.” “Given free rein and lawlessness, what do we fall into? The whole park is built around that premise and inevitably, each guest that comes to the park ends up doing some pretty evil stuff.” Cleland sees this as an accurate depiction of man’s state before what he as a Christian expects to be the ultimate return of Jesus.
Our collective freakout over sex robots is yet another example of how our culture is terrified of technology — even though history has consistently proved that technology in the bedroom is rarely, if ever, something to be feared.
From cultural commentators writing alarmist think pieces about how Tinder is ruining our sex lives to men panicking about their girlfriends’ vibrators to parents wringing their hands over their kids watching online porn, there’s a precedent for our anxiety over sex and technology.
“That there’s this crazy place where people can do anything they want to these hosts and is that ‘sinning.’ This show wrestles with the question of, ‘If we do this to a robot, is it wrong?“But I think you will also see the potential that we possess.We’re not at Westworld yet; it could be a cautionary tale.” “Westworld,” which wraps up its first season Sunday, is loosely based on the 1973 film of the same name written by sci-fi savant Michael Crichton.The dawn of the sexbots has been referred to as “the end of intimacy,” as well as “the impending demise of the human species.” Some of these arguments are based in feminism: Robotics lawyer Sinziana Gutiu, for instance, has argued that sexbots, because they are not capable of saying no, will inspire men to rape women by “promot[ing] users’ antisocial practices and impair[ing] the dignity of women.” Others seem to be opposed to sex robots on the grounds that they’ll simply be too good at sex.Robotics expert Joel Snell of Kirkwood College has warned that sex robots will become so “addictive” that humans will never want to boink other humans again.Anti-sexbot sentiment is so intense that it has even prompted a feminist grass-roots collective, the Campaign Against Sex Robots.In its mission statement, the organization equates the relationship between a sex robot and its owner to that of a john and a non-consenting prostitute, breathlessly warning that sex robots will “reduce human empathy,” “reinforce power relations of inequality and violence” and “sexually [objectify] women and children.” Yet despite this concern, there’s good reason why we shouldn’t fear the dawn of the sexbots.And because it’s a science fiction narrative about robots and sex, the show has stirred long-standing concerns about what havoc technology could bring to bear on our sex lives.From Alicia Vikander’s pillow-lipped android Ava in “Ex Machina” to Scarlett Johansson’s sultry i OS assistant in “Her,” pop culture has long been fascinated by the idea of humans copulating with robots.’ But no one is asking, ‘Is it just wrong to do these things in the first place?’ What kind of effect are these acts having on their own souls?