Thursday, December 23, 2004

Sheesh! What Next?

A woman paid $50,000 to have her cat cloned! Do people have nothing better to spend their money on?

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/12/23/MNGM3AGB391.DTL

26 Comments:

At 7:42 PM, Blogger Shannon Szukala said...

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At 10:48 AM, Blogger Patrick Anderson said...

I can't figure out how cloning a cat is a moral issue. Why shouldn't a sentimental pet owner with an extra $50,000 lying around be able to buy a "Little Nicky" if she chooses?

Yes, I'm sure plenty of people see this as a threat to mankind (as we know it) because it won't be long before someone clones a human. Will that be a moral issue? It can be, to the extent that it infringes on the rights of other humans. Regardless, you can be sure that someone will do it. It can't be stopped any more than than invitro fertilization could be stopped a few short decades ago.

Cloning humans is just another step in man's advancement of science. What next? It would not surprise me if by the end of this century, we will know how to transfer the very "awareness" of an individual into its own clone, memory and all. Fathom that!

Immortality is a scary thought for some people, because it totally upends their fundamantal assumptions about life, death and the hereafter. Can the hereafter be HERE, on this planet?! What about God? Does that mean he doesn't exist? (Answer: No.) Does it lessen God's greatness? (Answer: No.) What about the Bible? Does that mean it can't be taken literally? (Answer: Yes.)

This is not the first time in the history of our species we have been forced to re-examine our funamental assumptions. Remember when the Earth was flat, and all of the stars and planets in the universe revolved around our world? Was it a moral issue then to challenge that assumption? It was made out to be one by the Church. Galileo was imprisoned during the Inquisition for his support of the Copernicum theory and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. That was only 371 years ago, an eyeblink in the history of mankind.

Somehow mankind survived the enlightenment, and today most people are comfortable with the with the idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The only loser was the Church, ending up with egg on it's face and having to suffer the indignity of a Protestant Revolution. Too bad organized religion no longer controls the world (at least not the Western world). Now that's a moral issue.

Very soon, the ethical debate will not be framed around whether it is right or wrong to clone "Little Nicky", or a monkey, or a human. It will be about how to use the technology without destroying ourselves, eroding our fundamental rights, or enslaving the human spirit. Explanations of how God fits into all this will follow shortly thereafter.

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger CivicEntrepreneur said...

Who wants the same pet, over and over again.
Diversify for goodness sakes!!

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger sam said...

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At 6:12 AM, Blogger ferociously benevolent said...

Cool.

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger ap0c said...

What can you say, some people are just out there. Have you seen the woman who underwent multiple cosmetic surgeries to look like a cat? Now that's weird.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Seth said...

$50,000 to clone a stupid cat?

I understand the sentimental aspect of it...

But how much of the AIDS blocking drug could we have bought to prevent transmission from mother to fetus?

Gosh, what a waste. It is a moral issue. The moral issue is using your resources for shit.

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger Patrick Anderson said...

OK, Seth. Would purchasing a Little Nicky still be immoral if it only cost $5,000? $500? $5?

 
At 3:03 AM, Blogger pmusu said...

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At 10:20 AM, Blogger Mel said...

hmm...i love mac (my cat), but i imagine i would spend the $50,000 on shoes and paying off student loans.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Patrick Anderson said...

Mel-
And you would not be immoral if you chose to spend your $50,000 on shoes and paying off student loans. Your money, your choice (not Seth's). No one's rights are violated, your $50,000 goes back into the economy creating demand for the manufacture of more shoes, the increased demand stabilizes or creates employment for other people who need work, and there is more money available to provide student loans to others seeking higher education. As for Little Nicky, the lady in Texas has provided $50,000 to someone who will use it to further advance science, or who will make another $50,000, or perhaps both. No telling where that $50,000 will end up. Maybe it will lead to a cure for socialism.
-Patrick Anderson
http://www.StandForSomethin.blogspot.com

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Fast Fred said...

OK, Seth. Would purchasing a Little Nicky still be immoral if it only cost $5,000? $500? $5?

I agree with you Patrick. Never mix morals with money ....err resources. A good idea would be to keep the dead cat, clone a new one and when it dies you have a swell pair of matching slippers.Now thats hard to beat.

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger Russ said...

For a cat? You gotta be kidding!

A dog I could understand.

That comment will likely bring out the cat lovers (now I've really done it).

 
At 3:56 AM, Blogger Phil said...

Did the woman or spouse actually work for this money or was it unearned income, in the form of dividends or capital gains? If it's the latter, I say this expenditure was indeed unethical, and she has no right wasting resources when it could have been used to help save lives (human lives) and help create jobs that are more useful to society.

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger Patrick Anderson said...

Tiberius—The question is not whether the woman was unethical in the way she obtained the money. There’s no way to know that. The question is whether she was unethical in purchasing the cloned kitten. For sake of argument, let’s assume that she came by the money in an ethical way. Was she unethical in purchasing Little Nicky?

 
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