Re: human cloning

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From: Karee Swift (
Date: Sat Sep 30 2000 - 15:20:19 PDT

> Don't you think that's the resource owner's decision? Don't you
agree that
> making social decisions on the basis of "better spent," etc. and
removing choice
> from the resource owner limits the market? And don't you think
that's a bad
> thing? So "Mr. A" decides that having a clone is a desire of his,
and he can
> afford it. OTOH, "Mr. B" decides to donate the same amount of
money to buying
> Linux boxes for schools in Harlem. Believe whatever you want about
the moral
> value of those two acts; do you really believe that we should base
policy about
> cloning on this kind of reasoning? Substitute "having a big house
in the
> Hamptons" for "having a clone" in the first clause. Should we
therefore make
> buying a house in the Hamptons illegal, on the basis that it's
better to spend
> that (individual's) cash on education?
 Fortunately owning a big house tends to be limiting. Lets say you
have a couple million in the bank and you want 10 clones, but it
turns out you're a flaming idiot (even genetically). Owning a big
house can be beneficial for the population -- you spend your money in
a non hazardous way, that doesn't directly (usually) affect the
population at large, but keeps you happy and content. Now ...
cloning 5 or 10 of yourself is hazardous. You've created 5 or 10
people with the equal lack of intelligence that you posess, and
manage to unleash them on the world. While it takes them 18 years to
fully mature, they're still out there. They still cause problems and
its like a little army of stupid people.

> I'll admit that I'm on a bit of a tangent, here; the way I phrased
my question
> it was clearly a call for individual opinion, which is what you
gave me. But
> what I'm really concerned about is the social policy / governmental
> of freedom that the governments seems to be posturing for, without
> *why.* The better question to ask would've been "do we think human
cloning is
> an appropriate for policy and law to address? If so, what should
the parameters
> be and why?"

PUlling up a diagram that was discussed by Lessig earlier, and I
think has application in this sense, you have 4 main mechanisms for
regulating a behavior. Law, Norms, Market values and "code". In
this case, I dont' necessarily agree that Law should do it.
BUT...What will? Norms play heavily, but frankly, if you have a
bunch of cash and don't give a fuck what people think you're going
to make your damn clone. So we're down to market and 'code'. Market
doesn't care. Tehre is no reason for a technology to regulate itself
if people have the appropriate price they're willing to pay. As far
as code is concerned, tech can't be designed to regulate cloning
procedures to a certain intelligence level... 'I'm sorry Mr. Smith,
you're too fucking stupid to be a cloned entity. Try again next
time.' So really, law is the only alternative. At least with the
Clonaid Example. AS a friend of mine was noting, people die for many
reasons, and if they die b/c of their own stupidity, they shouldn't
be brought back to life... even if its a different person. Their DNA
shouldn't be allowed to exist again.

IS law the best method? No. I don't think the idea of a politico
regulating how I reproduce, or clone in any way is good. But the
concept of some of my coworkers cloning themselves is downright scary
and potentially hazardous for the human race at large. ;)

What do you say JB?

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