Re: neo-luddites are "US Taliban" (was Re: "Cloning Breakthrough" not one)

Date: Thu Nov 29 2001 - 00:02:27 MST

Jeff Davis wrote:
> Christian fundamentalists with their biblical law and abortion-clinic
> assassins are the American equivalent of the Taliban with their Shari-a
> and throwers-of-acid-in-the-face-of-un-burquaed-women, and the anti-tech
> eco-terrorists and power-addicted PC ideologues of the extreme left are
> the American equivalent to the hate-filled, dogma-driven, anti-west,
> anti-modern, jihad psycho-killers of Al Queda. I would do everything
> possible to spread, promote, suggest, convey, and in short, hammer home
> that analogy, apt as it is. Rinse and repeat.

There was an article yesterday in the right-wing magazine National Review
which explored this same concept,

Of course the NR columnist opposed the analogy, which she attributed to
a cloning researcher at a conference last August. In fact the columnist
seemed to think that the comment was so self-evidentally absurd that
she was using it to make fun of cloning research in general.

The article also had some interesting quotes from the Raelians, who have
an odd mixture of religion and almost Extropian philosophy. The cult
leader Rael is quoted as responding to September 11:

   We must accelerate the development of human cloning technology because
   it will make terrorist attacks inefficient in the future. Indeed,
   when phase 3 of cloning will be reached (the one which will allow the
   direct cloning of an adult thanks to the Accelerated Growth Process)
   it will be followed by the uploading or downloading of information into
   one's brain that contains personality, memory, and life experiences.

   Therefore, when a tragedy occurs, such as the recent one, cloning
   will bring back to life all of the victims -- directly as adults and
   their personality will be downloaded into their brain. For this to
   happen however, it will be necessary to have a genetic bank in each
   country which would contain the genetic code (what primitive people
   used to call the "soul") of each individual from their birth, and for
   each individual to regularly download on their PC a back-up of their
   personality (memory and experience) which could then be transferred
   into the new clone. The person who would benefit from this technology
   would only, after a tragedy, have the last day missing from their
   memory. This technology would also allow the cloning of terrorists,
   thus allowing us to try them for their crimes. This way, no suicidal
   attack would see its perpetrator escape from justice through death.

Of course this glosses over the difficulty of the upload/download
process, which is undoubtedly far greater than cloning. But the
general idea of achieving immortality through backups is appealing.
The notion of thwarting attempts to escape justice via suicide is new
to me. What would you do if you restored a suicide bomber from a backup?
There wouldn't be much point in giving him the death penalty. So what
is the idea, would you torture him? That doesn't seem very enlightened.


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