November 02, 2006
Curious George: Why is Human Cloning a Bad Thing?
10 years ago
There seem to be a great deal of objections to cloning human beings. Why? What's wrong with it?
My personal objection would be that it would lead to an enormous gap between the wealthy and the poor. The wealthy would use cloning to keep their ranks more powerful. The poor would never be able to clone, and they would fall further behind. It would lead to a serious variation of racism. I think that most people object to it because they think that humans are playing God by cloning. It shakes their fundamental beliefs to learn that man can do one of the bigger things that has previously been attributed to God (making people).
"The wealthy would use cloning to keep their ranks more powerful."
That's an interesting idea. I'll have to think about that.
my main problem is that we don't know enough about cloning. dolly may be aging prematurely: she developed arthritis at three or four years. apart from that, there are issues around identity and so forth, though i think most of these could be cleared up in a sensible way. there are also some question on genetic inheritance, but again these could be dealt with. on preview, the point about wealth is important.
Because the ladies can only handle one of me.
The survival of the human species has depended a great deal on genetic diversity, once that factor is taken out, the species is in peril. It is only through the constant mutation and mixing of two gene samples can we get the genetic strains that produce such phenomena as recessive sickle cell anemia which boosts resistance to malaria.
Somebody watched a rerun of Homer's cloning hammock... Seriously, though -- the economic argument is a powerful one, even if it applies more to genetic engineering as opposed to 'mere' cloning as such. And there is also a fear that we just don't know enough to do it right, and before you know it, we're sending off people to Ceti Alpha 5.
Plus, it'd completely fuck up Nietzsche's Theory of Eternal Recurrence.
dolly may be aging prematurely
Since cells have a built-in expiration date, cloning adults is tricky. Of course, stopping the suicide of cells is a whole other thread topic, but it relates here.
The survival of the human species has depended a great deal on genetic diversity, once that factor is taken out, the species is in peril.
That's a good point, but only if you allow clones to reproduce. If not, then they are outside of the collective gene pool, and cannot influence evolutionary processes. However, even if clones were allowed to reproduce, and these clones were of identical robust DNA as the host (like identical twins), it doesn't depress the variation in allele frequency that much. It would be like everyone having twins or triplets (or whatever). Back me up, biomonkeys! Cloning is "wrong" because it interferes with the average person's conception of humanity. Since many of us define ourselves as products of the process of a divine origin, replete with soul and opportunity for an afterlife, the questions that arise from cloning are troublesome. Then comes the legal definition of humanity, and if the clones have legal rights or are simply seen as the host's property. Any clone with half a brain will want the same rights and privileges as any legal person, and will not want to be exploited or harvested for organs. Hell, we hardly have a standard for what is and is not considered a living person (you're dead when your brain function stops, but why are you not living when your brain function starts?); how could our society define what it means to be human? Furthermore, I don't know if all the ladies can handle more than one Lord Sludge.
If you were to clone yourself, you would essentially be creating an identical twin, although they would be much younger. The clone would be a unique individual with different thoughts and different personality. The only thing they would share is your DNA. Why would anyone want to do this? I can think of three reasons. 1. Organ harvesting. If you needed a kidney or a lung, your clone would be a perfect match so your body wouldn't reject it. If you needed a liver or a heart, you would have to kill your clone to obtain it. 2. Scientific Study. Cloning is a science and would be advanced as such significantly with human trials. The person created would be created purely as a subject of scientific study. 3. Ego. Rich egotistical types would be able to create copies of their fabulous selves to make the world that much better. I can't see any good in any of those scenarios.
Yes - people have an exaggerated idea of what cloning amounts to - it's widely believed that your clone would be a perfect copy of you down to the opinions and the hairstyle, eabling you to construct an immortal army of personal replicas. In fact I believe your clone would be likely to resemble you somewhat less than an identical twin because of cellular and birth differences. I understand cloned cats don't even look the same as the original, since fur pattern is determined in the womb. I don't see how cloning would help the wealthy any more than their existing ability to have hundreds of children if they wish (wealthy males, at least).
Terrific link, by the way.
Most people generally have an immediate, subconscious distrust of science. It's pretty deeply ingrained in a sizeable chunk of Western culture -- witness for instance the prevalence of the "mad scientist" in film and literature (
is a fascinating treatment of the topic, by the way). There is a terror naturally attached to the concept of "playing God" that most people have difficulty reasoning beyond, and let's face it, cloning edges us ever closer to Frankenstein territory, for better or worse. That, and the unacknowledged fear from the religious camp that successful human cloning would disprove the existence of the soul.
Cloning is good, and is a part of the "human experiment" master plan. All human capabilites should be flushed. There will be a terminus.
> Why would anyone want to do this? I can think of three reasons. There's also the simple reproductive factor. Granted, it's easier to get a sperm or egg donor, but if cloning technology becomes widely available, people might want to "parent" a genetic replica of themselves rather than take a risk on some stranger's DNA.
successful human cloning would disprove the existence of the soul
Well, there would probably be those who believed that the clones didn't have souls, and this would remove those pesky guilt pangs when they exploited the clones (labor, harvesting, etc.). Another group would rationalize that God gives souls to every human, even clones (since the very nature of "souls" is slippery).
Also agree with mct's observations about the soul. It think it would show we are not in fact unique and special, merely lumps of flesh and circumstance. I find the desire for cloning more disagreeable than the actuality, in as much as in my opinion it proceeds largely from warped views about the nature of our humanity and mortality, and fears of the same. I probably wouildn't have strong objections if it was genuinely a case of using it for medical purposes such as replacing lost limbs and the like.
A clone would never be an identical copy of an individual, as Plegmund states. Much of how we look & act is environmental. A real life clone would not actually look like you, it would look like your brother/sister. It has the potential to be similar to you, but also the potential to be quite dissimilar. The stuff about soul & identity is tosh. Good points, all.
Bernockle!!! We've missed you. /derail.
Cloning technology is incredibly misunderstood by most people. Firstly, as I'm sure all you monkeys know, a clone is nothing more than an identical twin of the originator. Clones wouldn't be carbon-copies of someone's personality. And cloning technology need not even be ultimately used to create whole new individuals. The use of stem cells from an individual could create organ farms for transplants or simply rejuvenation treatments. This is obviously part of what Bernockle feels would contribute to class differences. However, I think in the long term, like any technology, once patent protection expires and mass-production techniques are perfected (do you seriously believe that the middle classes would put up with the rich being the only ones to get genetically perfect replacement organs?) the costs of the technology will inevitably decrease. Lastly, I believe that cloning technology will be the key to overcoming the conscientious objections of many vegetarians and vegans. If, rather than killing an animal that has feelings and experiences, muscle tissue were simply grown and harvested in some analog of a hydroponic growth medium, the objection of meat-eating on the basis of animal pain and suffering would evaporate. The conscientious vegans could enjoy a wonderful, thick, rare filet mignon the growth and preparation of which caused no animal any pain whatsoever.
Why would anyone want to do this? I can think of three reasons. 1. Organ harvesting. If you needed a kidney or a lung, your clone would be a perfect match so your body wouldn't reject it. If you needed a liver or a heart, you would have to kill your clone to obtain it. 2. Scientific Study. Cloning is a science and would be advanced as such significantly with human trials. The person created would be created purely as a subject of scientific study. 3. Ego. Rich egotistical types would be able to create copies of their fabulous selves to make the world that much better. I can't see any good in any of those scenarios.
You forgot: 4. Masturbatory sex-slave (wherein I can finally "go fuck myself") 5. Food source (my liver tastes *awesome*) 6. Clone army soldier -- COBRAAAA!!!! Orrrr, golly, maybe infertile couples can finally have a child of their own. I see no reason why would a clone have fewer rights than a conventional child. #1 and #2, above, are absurd -- the same thing could happen to conventional children. #3 is, sadly, a common reason for people to have kids -- well, that and we have to outbreed teh Mexicans. #4, I can totally get behind, cuz I ain't no catcher -- oh wait... #5 will finally put Chick Fil-A out of business. And, thanks to #6, you will soon bow before me(s). Bring me your (hot) women. A weirder possibility exists though, in partial cloning -- growing individual skin sections, whole organs, or even an entire headless body. Oooo, or how about cloning an entire human body minus the frontal lobe -- would it have any rights? (on preview, chimaera touches on this -- I like the vegan ethics angle!!) There are ethical concerns to be addressed here, but we're not at that point yet. Cloning entire humans is no big deal. They're people too.
I can't see the point of a rich person cloning himself, since he'd have to share all the money and the power and the women with the clone. And then the clone would think you're holding out on him, mang, I gonna go start my own fucking gang. Then KAPOW BANG RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT BOOM SHRIEK KILL BLOOD EXPLODE and now I own this city motherfucker!! Whose cloning who now you piece of shit cocksucker big stupid *kick kick kick BLAM BLAM* asshole! I make the clones now! I gonna clone myself right da fuck now! There! Say hello, my little friend! "hi." You see that? What joo got to say about that? Nothin' motherfucker, cuz you're DEAD. I mean, where does it end?
We already issue patents for genetically modified organisms, it isn't a great leap to see the potential ethical dilemmas from modified humans. Plus, come on, the concept of "designer babies" *must* creep you out.
Cloning entire humans is no big deal. They're people too.
No they are not. They are sub-human. They think they are better than us, but we will see when they are working in the mines. HAHA YOU SONS OF BITCHES! WORK!
However, even if clones were allowed to reproduce, and these clones were of identical robust DNA as the host (like identical twins), it doesn't depress the variation in allele frequency that much. It would be like everyone having twins or triplets (or whatever).
Good point, and aren't the DoubleMint commercials creepy enough to dissuade us from this course of action. Identical twins are already creepy, do we want synthesized one. With that vacant zombie stare. Brrrrrr
As I understand the cloning process, it is an inefficient and messy process. Currently, there are several failures per success. Imagine that you are cloning yourself. You produce 6 @ baby *you*. After they are born you discover that 5 of them have defects. What do you do with them?
after they are born you discover that 5 of them have defects. What do you do with them?
Costumed theme-park entertainers.
And what if you raise your Elvis 25 and
he won't perform the hits?
WHAT THEN, YOU MADMEN? WHAT THEN!!!???
after they are born you discover that 5 of them have defects. What do you do with them? Costumed theme-park entertainers.
Likewise, genetically-engineered freakshow family a la Katherine Dunn's "Geek Love." Seriously though...personally, I think every time we take an antibiotic, we are playing god (and I don't have a problem with it).
thanks topolino, I was going to reference "Geek Love" but ya beat me to it :)
Antibiotic resistant staph is the perfect counterpart to your analogy. Meaning, of course, unforseen consequences that come about because of an overeager acceptance of scientific advances. Or abusive labor practices coming from the Industrial Revolution, eugenics (quite applicable) from early genetic theories, etc, etc. The fact is that widespread cloning of humans will change our world. We owe it to ourselves to carefully consider the possibilities of how it could be changed before we rush headlong into that Brave New World.
The stuff about soul & identity is tosh.
I'm not saying it's a valid argument, necessarily, just that a lot of people are deep down scared that it would be. Like, oh, I don't know, those who reject the single greatest, most widely supported theory in the history of biology because it doesn't jibe with one interpretation of a book that was written almost two millenia ago. Nonsensical to the point of absurdity, but most fear rattling the pillars of their beliefs.
Why is it automatic that clones would have no soul? Isn't it possible that, if a soul exists (I believe it does, but I'm not trying to start any religious debates), that a soul would be given by the deity of your choice to the new being at the instant it would have gained a soul if it were formed in the natural process? Either when the initial process was started by injecting material into an egg, at some point in the gestation process, when the child left the womb, or whatever you believe?
If God could clone himself, and of course he CAN, I would think that he would have done so by now many times over, so much so that each of us had his/her own personal God who would answer all of our personal prayers. And would run to the store for us and things. That would be handy.
"after they are born you discover that 5 of them have defects. What do you do with them?"
Could God make a clone of himself so fat that he couldn't lift it?
"each of us had his/her own personal God who would answer all of our personal prayers."
There's the Clone Jesus movement that opines we get a bit of DNA from the Turin Shroud & give everyone a personal roomJah.
if there really is a Clone Jesus movement and they really believe that the Shroud of Turin is authentic, I may need to clone myself, as the original is gonna die of laughter...
has it right. This will start a war. Of clones. Maybe even a Clone War. And no,
, wants to be in that god-awful piece of shit movie.
Although I would enjoy hacking clones with lightsabers. Hmmm...
I'd worry about the ethical dilemmas that have already been brought up by others: organ harvesting, forced labor, the denial of reproductive rights -- anything that defines clones as 'less than human.' Even if you legislate cloning, there will be unscrupulous people who will offer organ farms, sex slaves and the like. (Then again, a ban on cloning won't stop these either.) I worry about any technology that treats humans as things rather than people.
"Did you like America, Richard?"
So, nobody wants a Claudia Schiffer clone?
There is a lot of discussion here in this thread that shows that even us monkeys have difficulties in identifying what cloning is and isn't. People are talking about using clones for slavery -- sure is awful expensive to pay for a person to grow up for well over a decade before they're useful as slaves. And why spend the money to grow a whole person to be an organ farm when it will be that much cheaper to just grow the organ itself? Cloning isn't genetic engineering. It's just twin-making. Does that bring up potential
questions? Absolutely. But what sort of science fiction-fed thinking brings about the idea that they'll have no soul? Or that they'll be organ-harvested (at great cost of growing a whole person for a decade or more just to get a liver you could grow in months), they'll be mindless sex slaves (do tell how a clone is any different from an identical twin simply years apart)? Soon as someone says the word "clone" it comes with an incredible amount of baggage. You do realize that a "clone" grows just like any person, right? And you have to feed them and teach them. And they simply grow like any person, with feelings, with a soul, as it were. It's that baggage that even contaminates the relatively well-educated discussion here on monkeyfilter.
Before someone steps in and points out that slavery did in fact spend the money for people to grow up into slavery, my point is how would cloning qualitatively change this cost situation? Furthermore a whole colony of genetically identical slaves would be much more easily wiped out by any single illness -- the risk of all your clone slaves dying from one flu that whipped through them is much higher than with the natural genetic diversity of a (more or less) naturally procreating population.
If the Christians believed the clones didn't have a soul, this would be very liberating for clones. None of that "your gonna burn in hell for eternity." The clones would just say "No soul bitch, I do what I want!" This also liberates them to kill indiscriminately, which means we have to program their plastic clone minds with some System Task Directives. STD 1. Clone shall not kill man. STD 2. Clone shall not impersonate man. STD 3. Clone shall obey man, unless action hurts man. I also say we tattoo their heads with a number of the beaker, from which they have been grown. Neutering should be performed as well. Maybe a heart plug as well.
chimaera you are starting to sound an awful like a clone sympathizer. Who's side are you on anyway? You do realize that Homo Sapien is superior to Homo Xeroxian?
There is a terror naturally attached to the concept of "playing God" that most people have difficulty reasoning beyond...
I read a brilliant argument once against the concept of "playing God." It proposed that once we have the
to play God, we cannot help but do so. Choosing to do nothing with the power is still an active choice, with consequences equivilent to those of using the power at full force. Imagine that we have an in-utero process for preventing wisdom teeth. The kid will never have them, never need to get them removed. Some people will get all hot and bothered that they've been fucked with. We played God with thier natural design, flaws or no. Now imagine the parents who say, "Fuck that, God designed my baby and we're not gonna mess with it." This child grows up, gets his wisdom teeth, and has to have them removed. Pain and expense are the result. His parents are equally guilty of "playing God" through thier inaction. A sticky concept, this one.
I'm much more a fan of "playing Satan," myself. Less messy and much more fun. /throws the horns, bangs head
Cloning, at present, seems yet another area of human endeavor in which our technological prowess exceeds our ability to foresee, understand or address the consequences of our actions. Add cloning's appeal to some of humankind's baser motivations and a cautious approach looks well founded.
It's ethically irresponsible. If we can't take care of the children we've got, we've no business
cloning more. Why spend the vast amounts of time, energy, and money to clone ONE human being when that same amount could be used to keep others from starving. Oh yeah. Clones be white. Starving babies aren't. Send in the clones.
I just came up with a science fiction storyline that involves a very famous dead person (Elvis, John Lennon, Picasso, Mozart, etc.) being cloned for the obvious purpose of producing more stellar works. However, the clone is not interested in the arts at all or -- even worse -- is terrible. I am accepting offers to commission this screenplay.
Touching on Lord Sludge's
comment, I can imagine that sexual deviants (e.g., pedophiles) would be in the market for clones (provided there was an "underground" clone market). Along comes the clone option, whereas a clone can be exploited "guilt-free." The cost would surely be justifiable in their mind. Just a mind fart, but nonetheless... Also, GranMa brings up an excellent point. In this day-and-age, groups of naturally born humans *are* trapped in vicious cycles of exploitation because they are viewed as being "subhuman." Shouldn't we deal with such issues before adding another type of fuel to the fire?
God made man in his own image. Ergo, God clones. Ergo, God-clones play God, they're genetically predisposed to do so.
Check out Michael Tooley's "On the Moral Status of Cloning Humans". Most of the issues (except the inevitable clone war) are discussed. A variation of BlueHorse's comment, appealing to the problems of social justice seems to be the most persuasive complaint. In the end it is just a really expensive test tube baby that will look more like the donor than an average child.
You guys do realize that these babies wouldn't actually gestate in a test tube, right? There'd still need to be a womb involved. Even test tube babies don't grow in a test tube!
Somehow missed your comment,
. Brilliantly summed up what I was thinking, but couldn't express very well!
sugarmilktea: Touching on Lord Sludge's Masturbatory sex-slave comment, I can imagine that sexual deviants (e.g., pedophiles) would be in the market for clones (provided there was an "underground" clone market). Along comes the clone option, whereas a clone can be exploited "guilt-free."
How is that any different from unscrupulous parents (or a single parent) having a kid to serve as their sex-slave? (and it's a big, sick world; I'm sure it's happened.) Why on earth do you (plural "you") make any distinction between a conventional child and a clone child? I really don't get it. Eliminate the distinction, and you've answered most, if not all, of your ethical concerns. Cloning dead humans is a different deal, as is cloning partial humans, but the ole "I want to clone myself" is no different, ethically, than "I want a baby".
Weezel: I read a brilliant argument once against the concept of "playing God." It proposed that once we have the abitlity to play God, we cannot help but do so. Choosing to do nothing with the power is still an active choice, with consequences equivilent to those of using the power at full force.
Meet me in the
There'd still need to be a womb involved.
They will gestate in a pig. No human woman would let one of these abominations inside her belly.
I would! I volunteer here and now to carry a clone child. Except it can't be my clone, 'cause I wouldn't unleash my genes on the world twice.
How is that any different from unscrupulous parents (or a single parent) having a kid to serve as their sex-slave?
Not really different, though I can imagine that a disturbed individual (and you would have to be disturbed to go there to begin with) could rationalize a difference in their own mind, "it's a clone, so, it's
." As I said, twas just a mind fart.
There's also the simple reproductive factor. Granted, it's easier to get a sperm or egg donor, but if cloning technology becomes widely available, people might want to "parent" a genetic replica of themselves rather than take a risk on some stranger's DNA.
" There's an interesting theory that asexual reproduction may in fact be more beneficial than sexual reproduction for advanced multicellular organisms, but that the barrier for moving from sexual to asexual is too high for most species to overcome. The few that have (like whiptailed lizards in the southwestern US) are doing pretty well without sex. That does, however, take all the fun out of life, doesn't it? (It also takes all the males out of life. All parthenogenetic whiptailed lizards are female. Guys, that right there is enough for you to be afraid of human cloning, isn't it?) Cloning would allow one to finally go fuck oneself, as LordSludge so deftly observed above. The number of times I've heard the phrase suggests that a sizable portion of the population is actively being encouraged to try it, despite our (irrational? perfectly understandable?) fear of cloning.
I would! I volunteer here and now to carry a clone child. Except it can't be my clone, 'cause I wouldn't unleash my genes on the world twice.
Yeah, have fun in the clone camps. *Douses wooden double helix effigy with gasoline.*
On the topic of how much of an exact copy a clone is, I just want to point out that a clone won't even have the same fingerprints as the original.
I just want to point out that a clone won't even have the same fingerprints as the original.
OK, I couldn't think of a good reason to have myself cloned until now. Once the kid's old enough that we can pass for each other, we can carry off the perfect crime caper!
If there's the tech to do it, it will be done. For all the good/bad reasons. Organ donor banks is the most likely 'killer application' (sorry, bad pun) that will boost research. I recall some article mentioning the possibility of 'raising' headless clones for organ harvesting, thus obviating the ethical dilemma of 'is it a person'?
Plus, come on, the concept of "designer babies" *must* creep you out.
If it works as intended, it's no more creepy than plastic surgery that is today being performed on younger and younger patients. 15 y.o. girls are shopping for breast implants nowadays, with their parent's consent; better spec a shapely kid outright, no?
chimaera you are starting to sound an awful like a clone sympathizer.
Well, with such an user name, that's hardly surprising : )
So, nobody wants a Claudia Schiffer clone?
Who wouldn't? But that brings into the problem of slavery, not to mention the whole 'sou/personl' matter. Not that such will stop the future affluent, of course. Meanhile, we the plebeian wil have to do with some Sony sex droid.
Once the kid's old enough that we can pass for each other
So you're going to look exactly like you do now in 15-20 years, then? Clones don't grow faster than non-clones, afaik.
... but on further consideration - what a fountain of youth concept, once brain transplants are perfected!
The Clone Way to the Immortal You: 1. Clone yourself about once a year. Let 'em grow. 2. When one of 'em reaches adulthood and appears reasonably healthy, kill the rest. 3. Transplant your brain into the clone. 4. Repeat every 30 years or so. If we'd only been doing this for the last half century, we could have avoided both disco and hip-hop.
I am not going to call them clones anymore, now they are called plastics. "God damn plastics are taking all the jobs, Marge!"
Sheesh, don't use some grotesquely outdated technique like physically transplanting brains, what is this, the 20th Century? You *upload* your brain's information into the clone's grey matter.
*consults body mod sites about usb port installation*
Ah, but Chy, do *you* go with the information in that computer? Is that data *you*? Or are you just copying your mind to inhabit a new body? And your original mind will die with the old one? Will that manifestation in cyberspace be really *you*? Scary questions. There's an old Orson Scott Card story, 'Fat Farm', which deals with that problem.
the ole "I want to clone myself" is no different, ethically, than "I want a baby".
Anyone want to speak to this topic? Sludge: I certainly recognize where you're coming from with this argument, but I would like to play the devil's advocate. Not to sure if I can argue it logically, because I'm not as familiar with philosophy as I ought to be. Ok. I would suggest that the statements, "I want to clone myself", and "I want a baby" are alike in that they spring from a selfish stance--more of an individual's desire, rather than concern for the good of society. If we consider all the ethical ramifications of every individual procreating, then things like population growth, pollution, ability of each individual (child) to have basic needs met--food, shelter, safety, a decent standard of living with access to education and health care--then reproduction should go beyond "I want" into the "Society needs." Right now society needs to take care of the children that are here, right now. Lots of kids out there need basic needs met. Sure we can clone, and that knowledge valuable. It may provide ways to improve or save lives. But moving into the realm of actually using that knowledge to create more children when we can't take care of the ones we have is immoral. It would probably require a vast paradigm shift to get Americans to even consider this. I gotta leave it at that because I'm headed into Vicodin Land thanks to a ruptured disk. Lalalala Course, I'm the nutcase that thinks all kids, hesits and shesits, should be sterilized at age 10 and not allowed to have children until they are licensed and meet minimum qualifications in life skills and child care education, have a job, have established, and intend to remain in, a succesful long-term partnership (minimum 15 years--after the kids are launched, it's fine if there's another partner, just as long as the kids are still a major focus for both "parental units") Oh, and the other requirement is that the couple can humanely train a dog to behave in public. School's should educate so that kids know about sex and can seperate it from reproduction and know what their responsibility to society is in terms of bringing a child into the world. Oh, and give the brats a logic, an ethics, and a philosophy class--can't hurt.
Mmm, Vicodin. I got kinda so where I needed those to sleep after a knee surgery. Took three sleepless nights to wean myself. Hope the pain is brief, BlueHorse.
"do *you* go with the information in that computer? ...Or are you just copying your mind to inhabit a new body? And your original mind will die with the old one? Will that manifestation in cyberspace be really *you*?"
The same question can be asked about teleportation. When Captain Kirk beams down to the planet, is that really him, or a copy? But when you get into that area of speculation, it soon becomes apparant that what you term the mind is just a collection of signals in a bio-electric network that perceives itself as a coherent entity. This is an illusion. As long as you perceive yourself to be the same person, you are.
But moving into the realm of actually using that knowledge to create more children when we can't take care of the ones we have is immoral.
And talking about paradigm shifts... perhaps something like some of European countries' plummeting birth rates will make that happen. Obviously some governments will do whatever it takes to keep (usually immigrating) minorities from becoming majority. Sounds paranoid, but hey. And BlueHorse, as soon as I become supreme ruler of some island, you have the Ministry of Public Education & Brat Rearing. You can bring your own minions.
As long as you perceive yourself to be the same person, you are.
But what if there's a moment where two 'yous' are manifest, the old, organic one and a shiny, cybernetic entity? Who gets the rigth to pull the plug on the other one?
"Who gets the rigth to pull the plug on the other one?"
The quickest on the draw.
As long as you perceive yourself to be the same person, you are.
That's nuts. I mean, literally, balls-out nuts. Thinking that you are a table doesn't make you a table, even if the table agrees.
A table can't think. We're talking about the perceptions of a sophisticated sentient being, here. Cogito ergo sum. We had this sorted 350 odd years ago, old chum. Obviously one needs a bit more evidence, like one's memories, senses, abilities, etc. But basically, one knows what one is. Then again, there are exceptions to this.. such as dementia or dreamlike states.. but then if you get into that territory, you can question your own ability to understand what you're really experiencing right now, if it comes to that. Flagpole's point about the two 'you' entities being aware of themselves at the same time is a good one, & brings up lots of meaty transcendental phenomenological possibilities to discuss (& in fact I may even use that idea in a story I am writing - thanks, Flaggers!) But nevertheless, I think the technical process involved in 'uploading' one's entelechy into another brain would rule out two existances of a self. I think the recipient would take time to boot-up. :D Presumably one would make sure that the donor was, er,
once the transfer was complete, if the process did not itself cause cessation. In short, if the table agrees, then we have consensus.
Well, I oppose cloning people on the grounds there are far too many human beings already in the world. And not nearly enough urinals.
Flagpole's point about the two 'you' entities being aware of themselves at the same time is a good one, & brings up lots of meaty transcendental phenomenological possibilities to discuss
Yeah, that's why Dennett wrote about it in
It has been followed up and discussed by many others, involving the mind being split into people, machines, multiple individuals been placed in the same body, then divided again. The philosophical opinion in these and cloning cases that I prefer is that at the point in which a sentience is subject to differing experience it becomes a unique individual subject to rights of any unique individual.
If God could clone himself, and of course he CAN, I would think that he would have done so by now many times over, so much so that each of us had his/her own personal God who would answer all of our personal prayers. And would run to the store for us and things. That would be handy. posted by RalphTheDog at 05:15PM UTC on November 02, 2006 "after they are born you discover that 5 of them have defects. What do you do with them?" Sandwiches. posted by Chyren at 05:17PM UTC on November 02, 2006
'God' did clone 'herself' - some of the clones are H.Sapien.
"that's why Dennett wrote about it in 1978."
/sigh it is a sad fact that every story has already been written.
Chy, you're the one that summed the concept of self into a collection of signals. That same collection signals can be made into a mp3 or can be written on a table. That same collection of signals, if they can be transfered into a clone, could also be transfered to a non-clone, like Abe Vigoda. But just because the mp3, the table, and Abe Vigoda all think they're you doesn't make them you. Duplicating self requires more than creating a duplicate, identical body. But it also requires more than creating a duplicate, identical "collection of signals" inside that body. There is more to your identity than that.
"There is more to your identity than that."
But you can't prove it.
Unless you believe a table and a person can be the same thing, I already have.
All you are saying is 'there is more to your identity than that'. This is not proof. This is an assertion of belief. Neurologists, scientists, philosophers have all failed at presenting a testable hypothesis on identity, what makes up the mind. A table can't think. That's a daft analogy. It's a lump of wood. A collection of brain signals encoded into an MP3 (it would be a huge file, dude) would not be an identity, it would simply be a recording of a moment; a snapshot of brain activity. In order for the 'identity' to be transferred, it has to be into a functional brain, or a perfectly simulated brain, a brain that is alive. There has to be cognitive function. Drawing it on a table doesn't cut it. That's like saying a signal flow chart of a radio
a radio. Try picking up Radio 1 on it.
So you're going to look exactly like you do now
in 15-20 years, then? Clones don't grow faster than non-clones, afaik.
There was a nice little magic windo when I was in my late teens and my mother was in her late 30's, when we looked about the same age - and like sisters - if you didn't see us standing right next to each other. Also, I looked 20 when I was 11. I can only imagine that the effect wouold be heightened with a cloned child of mine.
Uh, aren't there already a whole bunch of clones walking the earth RIGHT NOW? I think they're called "identical twins."
Pardon, TUM - guess I was thinking of my own experience as a daughter and as a mom! 35 and 30 year gaps.
Interesting. If you were to transfer the entire content of your brain instantaneously into another brain (assumedly wiping out what was already in that 'receiver' brain, essentially killing the individual), what would happen? Well, you, as the donor, wouldn't feel any different. You wouldn't have dual consciousness or be seeing through 2 sets of eyes or anything like that. You would probably feel normal...unchanged in any way. The clone would look like you, and probably act like you. It would be like dealing with another person who thought they were you. The clone would have your memories, share your likes/dislikes, be in love with your wife/husband. In fact, the clone would probably think it had just transferred its brain contents into yours, since that was your thought at the time of transfer. A big argument would ensue as to who was the original, since both would be convinced it was them. Very interesting, indeed. Someone should write about it. (No doubt some monkey will tell me it's already been done)
I don't think anyone is saying you would have dual consciousness or anything like that. arruns' link above touches on the issue, which is, who is the real you in that situation. I agree that the instant the second 'you' comes into being, that entity has become a new individual. They're a copy, but from that moment, they start laying down unique memories & experiences. I don't actually believe in coherence of identity anyway, so I have a different viewpoint on those kinds of concepts. I don't believe we are literally the same person from moment to moment, we just believe we are.
If we are the sum of our memories, then we don't even know who we are. Most of those memories are false or distorted.
> If we are the sum of our memories, then we don't even know who we are. See also the outrageous amounts of money paid to psychiatrists and psychologists.
Identical twins are already creepy.
I hear you sister, indeed I feel the same way about the Japanese, and albinos. Oh yes and people with Huntington's. I thought I was the only one.
was a fairly good read. It dealt with creating copies of your self to deal with the daily grind. These copies only lasted 24hrs, and had to get back to their owner in order to merge memories. Great first line: "It's hard to stay cordial while fighting for your life, even when your life doesn't amount to much."
... then we don't even know who we are.
Very interesting story, arruns. Tough at first it could be said that the illusion of 'shifting at the speed of light' from a vat in a lab to an underground well was just that, an illusion; the guy had became nothing mre tha a biological robot, a telepresence unit, just like today's VR medical and submarine gizmos. Regards the 'is it a copy of my mind, anther me?' issue, there's another aspect: where *is* the mind? What about the rare cases of
people living with almost no brain?
What do you realy have to cut and graft into another body for it to become a new 'you'? Lots of mind blowing questions.
I agree that the instant the second 'you' comes into being, that entity has become a new individual. They're a copy, but from that moment, they start laying down unique memories & experiences. I don't actually believe in coherence of identity anyway, so I have a different viewpoint on those kinds of concepts. I don't believe we are literally the same person from moment to moment, we just believe we are. posted by Chyren at 03:29PM UTC on November 03, 2006
You're right Chy. Personality varies and shifts constantly. Learning actively changes brain structure. It's a fact folks. Personality is dependent on brain function. It's physical, not some nebulous 'psychological/spiritual otherness.' It's part of genetic structure. You're born with a certain number of parts, how they develop is dependent on a lot of things, not particularly environmental, nor social, or family structure, but rather a mixture of many different factors. How one person reacts to a situation is personality based but that can evolve, or change dependent on exposure to learning, and/or willingness to accept new information. It is also, as you say, fluid. There are many aspects of personality. Each is presented, or comes to the fore dependant on situation, environment, who you're with etc. There is an enormous amount of research on brain function, and with the advent of things like MRI scans and the like, mapping brain function; areas of the brain which are 'firing' at different times, emotional and cognitive centres, even the area which contains 'wisdom' and the 'spirituality factor' have been mapped. Spirituality for instance, is a physical component. Some have a larger area of the brain allocated to same, others have very little. Conscience is also a physiological aspect of personality function, as is creativity and so on. Conscience is independent of spirituality, by the way, so it aint some god-factor, it's a physical aspect of brain structure. As has been mentioned above, cloning would present a 'twin.' What makes the personality is perspective, where you are standing you could say, in order to view your environment. No one person can possibly view the same event in the same way due to this placement in space. Different perspective, different impression, different effect.
That's like saying a signal flow chart of a radio is a radio.
Dude, that's the point
been trying to make.
are the one who making the argument that all there is to a radio is a signal flow chart. There's more to a radio than a signal flow chart. There's more to identity than a signal flow chart.
You don't seem to be following what I am saying.
petebest and pete_best are living proof that clones aren't exactly alike.
Good thought provoking posts. And I need this after a week spent banging my head against a wall. As the superficial and pragmatic person that I am, I have also wondered about this question: What is the problem with creating a fully functioning person, identical in every way that DNA determines, to another person? And the answer that struck me was socio-political: because it might address issues that would offend certain powerful forces. I.e.: Is being gay nature or nurture? It could be a fairly definitive indication, given that the clone would be raised in a different environment, given all other things being equal. Is social success really dependant on one's genes, or on one's access to opportunity? There would be a means test, if a clone were involved. Are pretty people born or made? Luck of the draw: Real or Fantasy Fiction? Just idle speculation.
Don't worry about that shit, tell us what happened with the Indian women & the toilets.
I understand it was cultural, but beyond which I sayeth naught. I'm still stuck in the middle of a stand-off. Should have never mentioned it.
Oh, and aren't we breathlessly awaiting the fate of your socks?
Well, you can whistle for the audience, then.
OK, I'm a worthless crapper who didn't bother to tell you it had something to do with the color white.
It's not a color, I know.
Dang it, cynnbad- tell us more.
In the correct thread.
*snaps gum* *waits*
If we'd had cloning 200 years ago, Poe would never have written
And then Vncent Price might have missed a couple of car payments.
No he wouldn't, because he could still go on celebrity squares.
Sorry to hear about your disc BlueHorse - feel better soon. Or given that that might happen due to vicodin,
Very late to the game here, but better nate than lever, right?
FDA Approves Sale of Meat and Milk from Cloned Livestock in USA
Yeah, gotta love it. Consumer's right to know? Piss on that, folks. We be the gummint, and you don't need to know nuthin' but what we tell you. Won't be happening soon, but they've got the machinery in place for when it does. Like the man said on the news last night, if you want to know if you're eating cloned food, ask. WTF? Ask WHO?? The damn grocery boy. He doesn't even know what an avocado is.
Eveytime I look at Romney I think of
Transmetropolitan: Year of the Bastard
Scientists at Stemagen in California yesterday claimed to have cloned a human embryo
Is there any evidence - not even
, but evidence - that meat or eggs from cloned animals could be harmful? From what I know about cloning, it creates a genetic equivalent to it's host, no different in any way from a monozygotic twin would be. How could this possibly cause harm to someone who ingests meat or milk from a cloned animal?
That's what I want to know.
I guess we'll find out, won't we?
Dolly had some sort of premature aging that might have been caused by genetic mutation that arose as part of her cloning process. I don't think this would have had implications for Dolly as a food source, but I'm not certain. The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, which advises the European Commission,
has come out against
food cloning on the basis of animal welfare rather than human health.
Here's another question: You can make new animals pretty easily by natural methods or even insemination. What's the advantage to food producers of cloning? It's definitely not cheaper.
The premature aging was caused by incomplete replication of chromosomal telomeres (hexamer repeat sequence proteins) tags on the end of the chromosome which stabilise it during replication, further details on this are irreducibly complex. They are theorised to be a mitochondrial 'clock', whose length correlates with the number of cell divisions, indicating the molecular age of the cell. But suffice to say, this shouldn't be a source of any worries to people eating a cloned animal, since this doesn't appear to be a cause of disease or transmission of DNA errors to the consumer. It is, of course, ethically questionable to create an animal more prone to age related problems such as cancers. (I'm not sure, but I think this problem has recently been solved, a breakthru which may eventually give us multi-century lifespans, but I digress) Why is cloning an advantage? That's easy: you can clone your best animals, the ones with the best muscle to fat ratio, the fastest growth rates, the most desirable traits in general, which is definitely less expensive in the long run than buying them or breeding them normally, as such quality animals fetch exorbitant sums, & you're not guaranteed positive traits of the parent animal will manifest in the offspring. With cloning you are.