Bryan Caplan  

How I Raise My Children

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Friday Night Video: Henderson ... Redistributing from Capitalist...
Tonight I screened The Sixth Day, Schwarzenegger's 2000 cloning flick, for my twin sons.  After the movie was over, I had them read this passage aloud:
If you think clones are contrary to nature, think twice. Identical twins are naturally occurring clones--two humans who have all their genes in common. Since clones already walk among us, we don't have to idly philosophize about the psychological and social
dangers of cloning. We can look--and see that cloning's opponents don't know what they're talking about. The Council on Bioethics warns, "A cloned child . . . is at risk of living out a life overshadowed in important ways by the life of the 'original.'" Yet identical twins rarely agonize over their supposed lack of individuality. Instead, they feel grateful for their special bond. When people ask how my identical twin sons get along, I answer, "I've never seen anything like it. They are literally 'brotherly.'"
Human cloning is not just a noble dream.  We desperately need clones to teach us, once and for all, that life is a gift - and one does not look a gift horse in the mouth.


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COMMENTS (11 to date)
roystgnr writes:

The Sixth Day "clones" weren't just clones, they were also mind uploads. I'm not going to argue that it was any better as a movie-about-uploading than as a movie-about-cloning, though, and IIRC the movie itself unnecessarily confused the two ideas.

MG writes:

But in "The Sixth Day" we also learn that while life may be a precious thing, staying alive apparently is not. As I remember, one or several of the characters were reborn so often after being shred to pieces I lost count. These lives were being "born", seemingly, as a necessary condition to being later being killed.

This appears to an unintended consequence of cheap cloning, which identical twinning does not have.

NZ writes:

I can't speak for your sons, but growing up as a twin did cause some "identity trauma" for me. Constantly being called by someone else's name, having to share everything from toys to friends, being given one birthday gift to share between us (not to mention having to share the day, the excitement, the party, etc.), having people assume that I shared the tastes, ideas, and disposition of my twin...the list goes on. By the time I was a teenager my twin and I hated each other, and I had developed what could almost be called an individuality complex. It took until my mid 20s for me to learn to feel okay blending into a group or accepting a conventional way of doing things. Granted, that made me likeable to some people, but most found it offputting and who knows how I held myself back as a result. Being able to act normally without feeling like you're going to disappear is an important life skill that I wish I had had more time to practice.

Sillygamesh writes:

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Sillygamesh writes:

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Tom West writes:

Given the number of people who feel their lives where overshadowed by their elder siblings because their parents and teachers assumed and compared with the "original", I could easily manage a clone having this experience, but on steriods.

At least with twins, you have a 50% say in what the initial pattern that will set expectations. If instead, you are following in the "original's" path, people all around you may have their expectations now set in stone, from which you deviate at your peril.

MingoV writes:
Identical twins are naturally occurring clones...
Identical twins are not clones. A clone must be descended from a progenitor or ancestor. Identical twins occur when a small group of cells (from the fertilized egg) split apart. Neither twin is the progenitor of the other.
Jeff writes:

What if someone cloned Hitler!

Alexander writes:

Nothing would happen if Hitler was cloned. The clone would be a completely different person with his own life experiences.

Rob writes:
We desperately need clones to teach us, once and for all, that life is a gift - and one does not look a gift horse in the mouth.

The arrogance and intellectual failure of Bryan Caplan is that he never even honestly tries to understand his critics' arguments, and then keeps using the same emotive propaganda language.

I am actually really offended by this. He is clearly smart enough, and there is no way he has never seen any of the countless rebuttals to why his "free disposal of life" myth is just that - a myth.

Presumably you can get rid of an actual gift horse without years of non-autonomy (childhood) or pain and suffering?

barry soetoro writes:

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