There’s an episode of Futurama where the main character, Fry, falls in love with a robot programmed to be like Lucy Liu and to love Fry. Fry’s excited when she says stuff and dotes on him like a real lover might and everyone else says stuff like, “she’s programmed to do that”. They’re implying that this is somehow inferior to “real” or “authentic” love that loves you for who you are rather than because they’re “forced” to.
However, isn’t it pretty much the same thing whether a woman or man loves you “for real” than if they have to. You end up in a romantic or physical relationship both ways. Imagine for a moment that you have this love potion that can cause anyone you’re interested in fall in love with you. Why would that affection be “inferior” than if a series of random events caused a high enough probability to allow a relationship to develop?
The only thing I can think about is validation. That is, wanting to believe, “I am deserving of love and a worthy person”. What are your thoughts?
Also, in the same episode of Futurama, they show a propaganda video that shows people just making out with robots all the time and society collapses, which is not good for anyone. This reminded me of how, for the sake of society or other larger unit, we are convinced to do things that are not always in our best interests. For example, people believe jobs are necessary and the consumerist culture that has grown up to attempt to constantly grow the economy, but jobs are not necessary and things can’t make you happy, but enough people have to be convinced that they are for the system to function. Or, how, according to Dan Gilbert who wrote in Stumbling on Happiness that people with no kids are happier in their day to day lives than people with kids. However, enough people have to be convinced that having kids is a good thing so that humanity doesn’t just die.
Anyhoo, to recap: why is someone’s care or love because they “have to” inferior to “authentic” or “true” affection.