Re: Interview with the Bioethicist

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 20:01:07 MST

At 08:28 AM 9/02/00 -0800, Robert wrote:

>> May you kill an identical twin, with impunity, on the above grounds?
>> Abominable! Absurd!

>I don't consider it to be a "twin" until it begins to accumulate a unique
>information set (after birth).

Au contraire, stochastic divagations will make the twins differ quite
quickly, well before birth.

BTW, I should stress that I wasn't uttering that cry of horror in my own
voice; it was an impersonation for the sake of the argument.

And BTW, of course with mothers given fertility drugs and ending up with 8
foetuses or some such, the prevailing practice *is* to cull some of them
early, to permit the rest to survive. Nobody seems *too* horrified by this.
(Lifeboat rules, I guess.)

>I as an SI, might dissassemble you, Damien,
>carefully recording the position of all of the molecules so that I
>could later reassemble you (to speak at the 1000th anniversary party of
>the publication of The Spike). There is no *loss* of Damien
>in this

Not for the on-lookers. *I'd* be exceedingly pissed off, however. (He
wouldn't, of course, but why should I care what *he* thinks?)

>> On the other hand, the puzzle I proposed in LAST MORTAL GENERATION has
>> never received an answer from god-botherers, to my knowledge. Squish two or
>> three early embryos together in vitro, and they form a single moasaic
>> individual. [snip]
>Hmmm, I don't remember seeing this discussion in LMG.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:03:36 MDT