020. Cloning

A discussion coping with copying, seeing double, and creating anew

Questions to ponder

  1. If you found out you were a clone of some “original person”, how would that make you feel? What if you found out you were a twin? A quintuplet?
  2. If the technology existed right now, how would you use complete and perfect “cloning”?
  3. Would you ever want your clone to exist? If your clone came into being, how would you deal with it?
  4. Is a clone more like a twin or a child?
  5. If twins are raised in separate wombs are they still twins? What if genetically modify each in different ways? What if we never let them or their mothers/fathers/families/anyone they ever knew interact? If such a twin of yours existed out there, what would you want to say to them? What would you want them to say to you? Who are they to you?
  6. Often fears concerning human cloning (especially those with a more reproductive bent) arise out of the technique’s/technology’s possible undermining of our ( or at least their) sense of self. To this end, three arguments are traditionally given: (1) cloning would undermine our sense of individuality and/or uniqueness; (2) cloning would undermine the value or worth of human beings; and (3) a clone’s freedom and/or autonomy and/or liberty to construct her or his own life is undermined by the presence of an earlier “original”. How do you feel about each of these arguments? Do you agree with Brock on the issues?
  7. Should we resurrect long-dead species? What about the recently extinct? 
  8. Should someone be allowed to make their own clone?
  9. Should you be allowed to clone yourself?
  10. What traits are important to define “the self”? 
  11. Assume a dystopian future. It is common place (“the norm”) to clone oneself towards the end of life to transfer “the self” that is “you” upon death into a younger clone, and to carry on. This cycle is expected to repeat until the end of time now that world peace has been achieved. Do you keep your “self” going through this cycle?


Essays of possible interest

  1. Genetic encores: the ethics of human cloning
  2. Uniqueness, individuality, and human cloning
  3. Human cloning and our sense of self
  4. The ethics of reviving long extinct species