Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Machines Are Coming

If you're a cool guy like me, then you love sci-fi movies. In all seriousness though, I do think that sci-fi movies have a lot to say to us that goes far beyond how cool it would be to fly spaceships and blow things up with lasers. The reason why I think they have much to say to us as a society is that they all seem to show us that technology can be used correctly, or it can be used to rob us of our humanity. If there is one thing sci-fi tries to warn us of, it's that "the machines are coming."

Take Star Wars for instance. The less "human" Anakin becomes, the more machine he becomes. It takes his human son, who is much more human and much less machine, to bring his humanity back to him. In the final scene where he is alive, Luke takes off his respirator/mask and reveals his much less intimidating human face. When we witness him again as a redeemed spirit, he is fully human again (well, as human as a spirit without flesh can be).

Take the Terminator movies for a moment. This is the idea that machines will one day overtake us. They will seek to wipe out humanity altogether. Then there is the Matrix trilogy. In these movies, machines have robbed us of our humanity by suppressing who we are, and yet, convincing us that we are still fully human with nothing out of place. It is only in being released from the machines that one realizes that he has not been living as a human, but in a role that has oppressed his human role in life, and who he was meant to be.

Now, obviously, I don't believe machines are going to take over the world. That's science fiction. But do I believe that they have confused us so much that we have begun to lose our humanity? Yes. I believe this has happened and continues to happen already. I believe it has happened in terms of our expressions of humanity, which are our gender roles.

Hence, as I've been talking about, men and women have particular roles that exist for family, and we are incomplete and underdeveloped humans when we ignore these roles and the duties that they require. But we can't even see this, because technology is in our way. Technology isn't evil, of course, but it has been used in an evil way. It has been used to blur the lines between the genders, and I don't think that this has been good for us as families and as a society. Let me explain further, since what we were meant to be, and what we are, is best displayed when we remove artificial add-ons.

If one were to take away technology, and leave you with just who you are as a human couple, you would come together in marriage and in sexual relations and have children. The creation of human life into family is the "natural" result of the two genders becoming one. The man would need to protect the household and secure food for it simply because of his physical strength and natural inclination toward aggression. The woman, being often physically weaker, would need then to fight off chaos at home, where she remained to protect her children from harm by removing the threat of starvation, exposure, and disease. She would also be the daily guardian of her children in terms of their spiritual life, even though the man as disciplinarian and protector of the household from outside harm would be the overseer of his household in terms of what is taught and practiced. These are all consistent with who they are biologically, and what God made them to be in their spiritual roles, which coincide with their physical ones.

Hence, the human role, as God's image (i.e., His representatives who work with Him to perpetuate human creation through procreation and preservation of human life, first and foremost through family), is one where chaos is thwarted by the man and woman who actively participate in their designated gender roles to have family in order to rule rather than to be ruled. Again, Genesis 1:26-28 has the idea that the image is a role that humans decide to enter by subduing and ruling over the earth via their creation and preservation of the family.

Now, add technology to the mix. Technology now allows for that normal expression of who you are as two different gendered humans coming together in the sexual act to no longer result in the creation of human life. It no longer must result in family. Hence, one can just choose to come together for other reasons than family. Immediately, humanity is robbed of its role because its genders are rendered functionally genderless by technology.

A man can just go buy mass produced clothes from a store. A woman can just go buy mass produced food at a store. There is no need for making clothes. There is no need for hunting. There is no need for protection provided by the man. As the saying goes, "God made all men, but Samuel Colt made them equal." That includes women. A woman can just take up a shotgun. No man required. The man is no longer needed; but neither is the woman. We have washing machines and dishwashers. So men can do that too (after all, they're not out hunting anyway, so whatever job they get outside the home, the woman can do it just as well). We can trade genders because our modern conveniences have made things so easy that you don't have to give your life to doing them. If we could teach a machine to think, it could just fill our duties. There is nothing specifically human to us any longer because we have used technology to wipe our genders, the very expression created for us to express our humanity, from us. There may be no children to guard, no family to preserve anyway. We are just a bunch of genderless individuals roaming about the earth.

Again, we can use technology to fulfill our roles if we know what they are, i.e., if we do not allow technology to confuse us about who we are within our gendered humanity.

And we are confused by technology now, because it does not allow us to see who we are apart from it. If it did not exist, the gender roles are VERY clear. It's not just a matter of primitive societies who didn't get it like we do. We're the ones who don't get it. A woman in those societies, apart from those in abusive households, where the man has become warped and turned in on his family rather than functioning as the protector of it, which always seem to be the testcases used by pop-feminists, would look at a woman arguing that women should be able to not have children and go do what men do, like she had a mental illness. They wouldn't want to do it. Neither would the man want to do the role of the woman. He would feel less of a man for it. These feelings are not just the result of breaking cultural mores, or thinking that women are lesser. They exist because of that inner feeling down deep that we are not doing what we should be doing. But our misuse of technology has robbed us from identifying the problem correctly.

We have been duped. We have let ourselves become enslaved to the idea that genders are non-distinctive in roles because technology allows us to believe that. But we have lost ourselves in the process, because there is no such thing as an androgynous human. All humans are gendered because all humanity as God's image must be expressed through gender. The task of subduing the earth and ruling over it cannot be accomplished apart from humans using their genders to the best of their abilities to accomplish it. Without them doing so, family fails, humanity falls. The machines have won. We're still here, but then again, we're not still here.

If we wipe away the natural results of our genders coming together, we wipe away our genders. To wipe away the purpose of something is to wipe away its meaning and existence. If we wipe away gender, we wipe away the only expression through which humanity exists. If we wipe away the only expression through which humanity exists, we wipe away humanity.

What we are left with are shells of humanity. We are left with creatures who look human but are not fully human. To the degree that we diminish the functions of our gender roles, we diminish our true humanity. We were meant to be the co-creators and preservers of family because that is the task God gave to us for, not only our survival as a race, but our individual survival as human beings who are made to be His image.

No, the machines aren't coming. They've already come.

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