Re: Amusing anti-cloning arguments

Max More (
Tue, 27 Oct 1998 15:00:33 -0800

At 04:33 PM 10/27/98 +0000, Damien wrote:
>At 08:42 PM 10/25/98 -0800, Max wrote:
>>Every other argument he presented, I found either laughable, annoying or
>Hmm. I fear I detect a touch of double-think or evasion in your complaint,
>Max. (Sorry.)

Damien, if you're going to make such a serious charge, don't you think you should give some evidence for it? You may disagree with me and have a higher opinion of Pizulli's arguments than I do, but why do you accuse me of evasion and double-think? what am I evading? I wasn't even giving arguments against his arguments, just reporting them.

>>* If cloning is allowed, we won't be able to draw a line and will end up
>>producing legless people to go into space or four-legged people to go to
>>Jupiter. [He really said this.]
>Why shouldn't he? It's a notion very familiar to readers of Varley and
>Bujold. >H thinkers and writers often project such variants as options,
>usually not marked as dystopian but rather the reverse. He might have
>added sex changes, increased brain size and other modifications regularly
>canvassed here and in sf. So as far as I can see, your only reason to
>object to this suggestion is that he *disapproves*.

Yes, it's a fictional scenario, and Pizulli cited J.B.S. Haldane. The point is not that no one would ever suggest this. The point is that it's ridulous to oppose cloning on the grounds that it will lead to a situation where the government produces humans with no legs, raises them for two decades in confinement, brainwashing them so that they will not want to do anything other than go into space, and that we will not object to this whole process. His fantasy involves slavery because the proposal is to raise the child for this purpose and not to allow them any other option. To suggest that we ban cloning because it might lead to all this is ludicrous. If the government started a program like this, we'd have a lot more to worry about than cloning. I'm really surprised that you don't see how desperate an argument this one is.

>>* "America doesn't want cloning". Cloning will produce an aristocracy and
>>America is all about doing away with aristocracies.
>This is all too easy to project. If cloning is made prohibitively
>expensive, only the rich (already a de facto aristocracy) will have the
>option. Instead of taking their chances in the reshuffle lottery, some of
>them might choose to clone the brightest, most aggressively successful and
>most beautiful of their number.

So we'd better also ban private education, educational trips by wealthy parents for their children, make it illegal for wealthy parents to pass on their wealth, and in fact take away any wealth above the average. Silly me, here I was thinking that America was based on the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, not on banning anything that might give someone an advantage. If this argument were any good at all, it would be an argument not for banning cloning but for funding widespread access to cloning.


Max More, Ph.D. (soon also: <>)
Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies President, Extropy Institute:,