Re: "Cloning Breakthrough" not one

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 05:58:03 MST

On Tue, Nov 27, 2001 at 03:17:33PM +1100, Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 10:27 PM 11/26/01 +0100, Anders wrote:
> > - The Kantian ethical idea that humans must be ends in
> >themselves, and not tools for other ends is sometimes invoked by
> >suggesting that clones are created for other reasons than simply being
> >themselves.
> Wrong! As my pal Russell Blackford regularly points out, Kant arguedthat
> humans must not be used *only* as tools for other ends. Obviously, nearly
> all human activities, moral and immoral alike, involve other people as
> means; the immorality only emerges, for Kant, when this is the *sole* aspect.
> This places severe bounds on using Kant to attack human cloning *per se*.

Excellent point! (and Robert, while I appreciate your concern on list
mood, I gladly accept shouts of 'wrong!' from both you and Damien :-)

It seems that this misinterpretation of Kant is very widespread, and
even when people do not hold it they might argue that any more use of
humans as means moves us in a bad direction. But that argument only
holds if there are no ameliorating effects of the practice; if we treat
humans a slight bit more like resources for stem cells that increase in
mean-ness is offset by the health benefits, which enable more people to
live full lives and use their energy in positive direction. Again, a
cultural risk is not reason enough to ban a technology, but an incentive
to see if there are cultural ways of handling the risk.

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

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