Re: spare parts and cloning ethics

Anders Sandberg (
Sat, 1 Mar 1997 19:29:34 +0100 (MET)

On Sat, 1 Mar 1997, Max More wrote:

> At 04:13 PM 3/1/97 +0100, Anders wrote:
> >
> >Exactly. In one of the articles in Nature Axel Khan discussed the ethical
> >principle Kant proposed: Human life should never be thought of as only a
> >means, but also as an end. While I disagree a lot with Kant in general, I
> >think this principle is quite sound. The trouble comes when defining what
> >human life is; is a brainless clone human? An undifferentiated cell mass?
> For Kant, I think it's clear that he meant not biological humans but beings
> possessing rationality.

Yes, Kahn changes the principle somewhat, from "individuals" to "human
life", thus making it fuzzy enough to involve even brainless clone humans.

> In fact, Kant's view of ethical standing has been
> used by pro-choice philosophers in the abortion debate to support the
> reasonableness of aborting a fetus. A fetus being human (and a human once
> developed enough) but not a person.

This seems to mirror the "neocorticaldeath" idea discussed in Hughes
interesting essay (forgot the name, has uploads in it) about how
technology changes our definition of death. He regards a patient as dead
as a person when the neocortical functions are irreversibly gone, even if
the rest of the brain works.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y