In Japan, grown men are marrying virtual reality cartoon-character girls. For real. This is so sad & disgusting: Making sacred commitments to imaginary women that you can shut off when maintaining your commitments becomes too onerous. What helped to make humans different from other animals was in part our willingness to make sacrifices for others, in the name of love, social order, the good of the group if necessary. This is the social contract being torn asunder.
It’s also the destruction of what love means. Love isn’t about someone else telling you what you want to hear in a baby voice. Love isn’t about someone else telling you things that make you feel special or sexy. Love is about understanding another complex human being well enough that you integrate them into your own sense of self. They become a part of you, not because they tell you what you program them to say, but because you know them well enough to understand why they say what they do or want to try to.
Personal growth comes from seeing the world through the eyes of another, empathizing with them so you feel what they feel, and knowing them well enough to learn how their perspective shows them the world in a different way from how you see it. You get to experience so much more beauty in the world around you when you love someone.
But this new ‘VR-brides’ thing, this is true narcissism, and a turning away from love, life and sex (that brings new life into the world, but also bonds us in chemical ways that are deeper and more startling than is generally acknowledged). And we should be shocked and ashamed that we’ve let society fall apart and fail individuals so severely that this has become acceptable. We’ve forgotten what it means to love, or we’ve failed to teach our children what it means to love and be loved.
You cannot destroy the social contract and create an army of narcissists and not expect the social fabric of your world to tear, your society to fail, your community to disintegrate.