Rights and Ethics of a Clone

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Pit, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. baftan ******* Valued Senior Member

    As soon as autonomous responsibility and awareness become an issue.
    For instance, we don't keep children or mentally incapable adults responsible from what we normally call "crimes". Because they simply don't have enough capability to reflect the necessary responsibility for such and such actions.
    However, they still have some "rights". In the case of children, they possess the capacity of being responsible adults in the future, and for mentally incapable people, they possess the material (brain/mind) to reflect this responsibility although it is currently damaged.
    If robots start to have similar capacities, rights and responsibilities are started to become issues. Forget about that; animals also have rights within human universe as they possess awareness, even though they are not subject to any responsibility. For that matter, bacteria or plants don't have any rights, simply because they don't fulfil the requirements of awareness.

    According to Turing test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test), when it starts to have a conversation with you -and you are not able to distinguish this conversation from one you engage with humans- we can call them "intelligent". But this is not necessary starting point for rights; animals can not engage this sort of conversation, yet we know that they are intelligent. So, showing a degree of autonomy to reflect the concept of "being a separate mind" is enough; no need to engage an intellectual conversation.

    Government should intervene in the beginning in terms of drawing the limits and the identity of clones -commercial or not-: If you are cloning separate organs (arm, heart, or even a part of a brain lobe), it is a different story, we are not talking about "beings". But if you are cloning beings, government should protect them and their rights as any other individuals. And by definition, individual can not be subject to commercial commodity. That would be slavery.
    Two things: One, human rights do not come from "registration". Registration is about citizen rights. We can not approach a human being depending on birth certificate.
    Two, if you approach "human rights" as rights for humans, other intelligent beings will suffer if they don't qualify as humans. However, if you approach human rights as "rights established by humans", anybody or anything who ticks the boxes of awareness, identity, or responsibility will find a place among these rights.
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  3. Pit JAADD Registered Senior Member

    I use the term "Human Rights" as the term for sentient beings rights, since we have yet to encounter other creatures that can be considered intelligent and not just "aware"
    Towards registration, isn't it required that a baby have a birth certificate? If cloning became possible, should a clone also have to be, as I so badly put it, a clone would also need to be entered into the central mise of bureaucracy?
    Also, is, or should, human cloning be illegal?
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  5. baftan ******* Valued Senior Member

    As you have rightly raised this issue, it is a possibility that we can encounter not-naturally-human beings (such as artificial intelligence) soon and we will need to develop some principles. Even if we don't see them very soon, it is still useful to discuss in terms of allowing a different perspective to our actual humanity: What does "being human" mean?

    Most probably. But registration issue has nothing to do with the fundemental rights you are implying. If we don't set the basic rights as universal as possible -depending upon the indivisibility of a being-, further developments such as hybrid beings (half clone half human, partly artificial partly organic, etc.) would create another type of problems.

    Nature already creates clones (twins) without asking legal permission. So clones will not be a radical invention. And if we naturalize artificial intelligence from the same category, there should not be any obstacle. We can not make various existence types as "illegal", this would be a useless approach. But we should definitely make it illegal to treat these beings in discriminatory manner.
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  7. Pit JAADD Registered Senior Member

    We're still way off from artificial intelligence, and I think cloning will come before then. But since the A.I. won't be human, the argument will start all over.

    Half clones won't matter because it will be the logical continuation of organ donation. Partially artificial humans, (Cyborgs?) might be a problem as you get father from human and closer to robot. How much human must you be to still be considered a human? 85%? 51%? 10%?

    As for your last comment, identical twins aren't clones, just split eggs. (Technically, you're right, but I only mean artificial clones) So cloning would be a world changing concept, once it comes up to speed.
  8. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Why do you think this?
    The only difficulty involved that I can foresee would be that of identification. Hardly an issue as far as 'rights' go...
  9. baftan ******* Valued Senior Member

    If we follow this logic, we shouldn't talk about clones either, since they are not the reality yet.

    Depends what you understand from "half clones".

    Percentages are not a useful measurement in here. If it was so, I can say that chimpanzees and humans share 98% identical DNA.

    What do you understand from "clones" exactly? What you call "split eggs" is actually copy of a set of DNA. Therefore clones.

    And you were just saying "artificial" is way off -yes you meant A.I. but still categorically "artificial"-

    Even normal reproduction has become a world changing concept when you consider how quickly we have reached 7 Billion population. You see, if you don't follow principle-based definition, all these clones, artificial, percentage and numbers will become headaches rather than diversity and richness.
  10. Pit JAADD Registered Senior Member

    I meant the eventual political argument
    DNA is separate from what I am saying. I mean how much of a person is organic and how much is robotic
    As I said above, what I mean is taking someones DNA and creating a fetus that has identical DNA. Key word: creating. Artificial. Please read my posts carefully next time.
    I was speaking of human beings and not computers. Artificial clones, to be precise. Artificial intelligence, e.g. computers that can think, are off the scope of what I was speaking about.
    I'm sorry if I can't speak Lojban. I'll try and learn. Until than, bear with me as I use the connotative meaning for something as well as the denotative meaning, like almost everyone else who speaks English.
  11. baftan ******* Valued Senior Member

    We are talking about arguing an event before it happens. Both issues (artificial -in terms of robotic- and cloning -in terms of organic-) haven't done yet. Both are equally speculative. Given that we have the technology of cloning but not having the technology of A.I. doesn't make a great deal of difference for that matter.

    And what does "political" mean? Do you have any other type of discussion in mind when it comes to making it legal/illegal? Or are you aware of the fact that you are having this discussion under the Ethics, Morality and Justice sub-forum, not politics?

    We are dealing with the end-result, not the raw material. It is irrelevant whether or not hybrids will contain organic or non-organic compounds: What if you mix human DNA with dolphin DNA (no machine involved)? What is your category for this combination and how do your percentage will make any sense?

    Read what you wrote again: You are talking about copying DNA, nothing else. "Creating" is not key word at all. Before you plan to make any emphasis on this word, I must remind you that there is nothing called "creation" in terms of "making something out of nothing" in this universe. And if you continue to impose word "artificial" , I will question other artificial solutions. If you wish, you can have a look at thread titled as "Artificial Life has Arrived" (http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=101843).

    My recommendation will be this: Think carefully before you post anything next time.

    No, go and read your original OP: You are comparing human beings with human clones. If you were "speaking of human beings" only, you wouldn't have brought this topic in the first place. And since you are comparing existing human beings with something somehow (in terms of being "clone") separate from human beings, I can bring any other example in order to define what I am trying to say. If you are after socio-ethical identity/position of clones only, you may or may not adapt my example to your subject, it's your problem.

    Me no speak English. If you are trying to be a comedian you should come up with better jokes...
  12. Pit JAADD Registered Senior Member

    Yes, but it will. When you see a clone, you see a human being and you can't just make a person a second class citizen because they share DNA with someone. A computer, however, is wires and metal, with an electric soul. Giving machines rights, even intelligent ones, will require a fundamental shift of paradigms.
    By political, I meant the combination of politicians, talk show hosts, news networks, and protests around the issue. I meant whether YOU feel it should be legal or illegal, based on your own ethical beliefs. And yes, I know where I am. But ethics and politics concede a lot more than you think. (No. Really. I'm serious)
    Semi-human. Or something. But my question still stands: How much of a person must still be that person in order to still be considered that person. Or: How mush of John must be John in order for him to him to still be John?
    Fine. I bow to your grammatical superiority. From now own, unless i say the words natural or in nature, take cloning to be artificial copying of DNA
    Same to you.
    The topic has breached related ideas, like A.I., so it's a tad different from what I had first brought up.
    Q: What happens when you insult the pope of White Castle?
    A: You go to Taco Hell
    Not funny, but it serves the purpose.

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