Twit Suggests Banning Sex Robots via Taxation

The Daily Mail’s article Sex Robot Tax: Government Could Kill Off Cyborgs with ‘10,000% Price Hike’ is so ludicrous, it requires comment, not the least of which is that sex robots are not cyborgs.robot-taxes

Sex robot sales should be slapped with a 10,000% tax to curb the “deviant behaviour” of perverts, a world leading tech expert has told Daily Star Online.

How often so called “experts” are complete idiots.

Producers of the erotic dolls have slammed the proposal as “ridiculous”.

Creating a massive tax as a means to ban something you don’t like goes beyond ridiculous. An outright ban would be immediately challenged in court, and I would guess such a regressive tax would be as well. Also, giving the government the right to police morality is putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

A groundbreaking report from the UK-based Foundation for Responsible Robots has called on the government to ban the sale and import of sick child sex dolls. The report, written by professor Noel Sharkey, said that guilt free sex with a submissive robot could encourage objectification, abuse, rape and paedophilia.

See my review of the report, Our Sexual Future with Robots (review). This report is biased and full of opinions, but very few facts.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, Nigel Cameron, president of the influential Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies think tank, has gone one step further. In the same way that tobacco and alcohol sales are taxed, Mr Cameron has called on governments to introduce an eye-watering levy on sex robots.

Since both alcohol and tobacco have clear health consequences, there is some reasonable justification (at least in a country with public health care) for taxing those products to pay for their ill effects. How is a tax on sex robots in any way “the same”?

The strategist and writer for the Washington DC-based think tank believes a tobacco and alcohol-style tax is a useful mechanism to discourage “abusive conduct”.

Since robots are inanimate, they cannot be abused. As far as I know, there is no evidence that their use leads to abuse of people. If anything, I expect they would reduce the problem of abuse.

Cameron stopped short of an outright ban, saying “People often decide to ban things they don’t approve of, and it rarely works. But governments have many ways of discouraging behaviour that is deemed unhelpful, including – a useful comparison is tobacco – through taxation. What about a 10,000% tax on sex robots for a start?”

How is that not an outright ban?

Cameron foresees “horrendous implications” for society if regulation isn’t introduced. He said: “An illusion of liberal modernity is that sex is a pastime, like golf, external to us and of only as much importance as we give it.  I’m not convinced, and outsourcing our most powerful emotions to machines suggests the ultimate dehumanization. If they become mainstream – likely as prices fall – it’s hard not to see women and children as big losers. The notion that – mainly male – users will take out their fantasies and so on with the machines and not wish to perpetrate them on people is just an optimistic guess.”

And all of Cameron’s notions are pessimistic guesses. I can guarantee this: if sex robots are banned, deviants will be perpetrating their fantasies on real people.

“Since in Japan there are already reports of child sex robots there could be horrendous implications for deviant behaviour.”

Deviant behaviour with a robot is better than the alternative: abuse of child prostitutes.

Dr Sergi Santos, whose sex robots are on display in London’s Covent Garden, has lashed out at calls to introduce a sex robot sales tax. In a blistering attack on the tax, he branded it “ridiculous”, “pointless” and “moronic”.

I’d have to agree that it is ridiculous and moronic. But, should such a tax be enacted, it would have a point: to ban sex robots. The eighties called: they want their moral majority back.

Santos believes sex robots will be accepted in society only after there has been a “revolution”. He argues that “absolute statements” about the dangers of sex robots cannot be made until after the “revolution is gone”. He added: “What I’m doing is good for some people and bad for others, but in general I don’t understand why it’s bad for society overall. Why don’t they slap a 10,000% tax on dildos and vibrators for women?”

Mic dropped.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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