Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Cheerful Clone

Maybe I should go out and experience the world. Maybe I should embark on a spiritual journey across mountainous lands, or harsh desert sands. Or I could just blog. I'll go with that.

Why is it that my writing ability has dived into a sea of nothingness and slightly uncommon words? I used to be able to sound like I was really, really pretentious, more than I sound now, and that seemed pretty damn cool to me. As soon as I started taking antipsychotics, all this impulsivity and creativity business just jumped right out the window, leaving me with a poverty of words. I have to really think, now. I have to actually try when I want to make something sound like it hasn't been shoved into my nether regions and covered in faeces and maggots and pineapples (I hate pineapples). Still, people aren't trying to read my mind anymore, and the walls aren't telling me to off myself*. So I guess this is me now. Lovely old me.

This is going to be another rambling post; you have been warned.

I was thinking recently about a little thought experiment: what if you have, all your life, loved life, and never faltered in this belief even once, and are completely sure you will never falter. Can you then go on to create your own clone? But I pretty much decided against this because of the environmental things that would make that clone, not an early science fiction clone, but an actual clone, like a twin. The clone could easily decide it doesn't like life from the get go if subjected to a harsh enough stimulus. You can't really be sure you have the consent of the clone, even if it has the same genetic code as you. But still, even if you could control the environment perfectly, this reeks of the whole Robin Hanson creating only people who want to live fiasco (leading to the Pathetic Golem). Is it okay to create someone even if you have their 'consent'? Well a lot of things that cause suffering are basically justified by consent - I could easily ask someone to chop off my arm, and it'd be perfectly moral for them to do so, even if a little stupid. So the whole thing rests with whether liking your life counts as consent or not - in the Pathetic Golem case, which turns out to be non-intuitive. In this cloning case, If you keep environmental conditions the same, or mostly the same, the clone will actually think at some point: I consent to this action in advance, and will make another clone - if the environmental conditions are kept similar. Is that alright? Or is it because they are not exactly the same person that there's no real consent involved?

Brain fried again, can't really think. Don't know if I could even answer that if I tried. But if you want to, here's the outline:
-Clone to be made (=genetic code the same, no mutations during cloning process)
-Pre-clone human believes life good, 'pre-consents' to being created 'again'

-Environmental conditions kept pretty similar throughout life SCENARIO 1
-Environmental conditions kept exactly the same throughout life SCENARIO 2
-Was the 'pre-consent' valid morally? Can you consent to making a clone? What if the clone is actually you in every way?

This may not be fully what I intended, simply because again, brain is burnt into a crisp. Make it better if you want, I'd be delighted if you did. 

*I never had full hallucinations - just really involved delusions. To some extent I knew those strange voices were coming from me, but I couldn't really stop them or modify them. Hard to explain to anyone who hasn't been inside my head.


  1. Yknow, that's really an interesting scenario. I've been thinking about it and, while it probably does take care of the consent problem, it doesn't take care of any other of the myriad of problems with procreation. It's a pretty interesting idea though.

  2. Antinatalist by Law15 February 2017 at 09:18

    An interesting scenario, but - at least in Germany - a consent (Einwilligung) before legal capacity (Rechtsfähigkeit) does not work.