This last weekend I was leading a discussion that centered around the idea of that we are not to be OF the world. In the world yes, but not of it. We were discussing 1 John 2:15-17 which tells us not to love the world. But if we are not to love the world, then we have to know what the world or “Spirit of the Age” is. If we don’t name it, then it is very easy to get lulled to sleep and passively get sucked into being a part of it. We came up with three Spirits of the Age: Busyness, Tolerance (which really means accepting anything as truth) and Consumerism.
As I’m sure you can figure out, these worldly trends have a huge impact on us when it comes to singleness, dating and marriage. Now I’ll spend some time on each of these in different ways in the following weeks but for today, I just want to mess with us a little in case you think these things aren’t impacting where we are going.
I’ve written before about the idea of consumer dating. The idea of thinking of the next person as some sort of product to obtain, going with it until we get bored and then looking for the new one. While on the one hand it’s good to know there will always be another person I could date so I don’t end up over pressuring a situation, I also need to recognize that I can get addicted to the search.
But more than just needing the next one, we are also often looking for the perfect one. The one that meets my needs does what I want, shares all my interests, will never let me down, will do things my way, and of course it would be bonus if they would always look hot. I don’t want to commit unless I can find the perfect product right?
Now if you combine that with the fact that we have taken sex outside of marriage it begins to get really interesting. Stay with me here. If we have taken sex out of marriage, and then really even the orgasm out of sex, and we think all of this is sort of ok somehow, then why not change the game completely. What we need is not another person with all of their flaws, idiosyncrasies, demands and desires. What we need is some sort of perfect for us partner.
Allow me to introduce you to Dr. Driscoll a “leading authority on sex tech”. I can’t believe I just typed that. In this article she discusses that we are well on our way to this future. Why look for a person, when you can just buy what you want.
Yeah, it’s sounds sort of crazy but as she points out, “We tend to think about issues such as virtual reality and robotic sex within the context of current norms. But if we think back to the social norms about sex that existed just 100 years ago, it is obvious that they have changed rapidly and radically.”
She adds: “Currently the lack of human contact could be harmful. Humans are naturally sociable and a lack of human contact could lead to loneliness which is linked to various mental and physical health problems.But, in the long term, technology may overcome these problems.
“When eventually there are intelligent robots indistinguishable from humans – apart from their lack of bad habits, imperfections and need for investment – not only are we likely to choose them over ‘real’ humans but psychologically we will not suffer if we are not able to tell the difference.”
Now you may be thinking, but what about children? Not a problem. Way ahead of you. Already in Denmark 50% of the women coming in to the sperm bank are single women. Most of them are highly educated and just haven’t met the one. But of course they want to be moms. So they just head on in to the bank and make it happen.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t ever want to have a husband or more importantly a father for their kids. As Signe, a 41 year old therapist says,“I’d still love to meet someone and give my little girl a dad. For me, a father is so much more than a blob of sperm. A father is someone who makes the lunch boxes, says, ‘Good morning,’ and kisses good night. He’s the one who is always there for the child during its upbringing. I just haven’t met him yet.”
But a real actual man might be more trouble than it’s worth. Maybe she could go the Sarah Connor route. After quality Terminators may soon be easy enough to find.
You may at this point be wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end. Fair question. But let me ask you two questions. Do you really believe that this can’t happen? Or even that it isn’t happening? And do you really believe that each of us isn’t in some way affected by it?
There is a flow, a current if you will, heading in a direction. Its not a new problem, just a new context. But we need to understand that we are in it if we are going to decide to swim against it. Where are you just floating along? Are you looking for the perfect person, the perfect sex, the perfect match, or the perfect companion? What are you ok with that maybe you shouldn’t be? Do you want your needs met or do you want something more?