Re: poly: more clones

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Tue Jan 13 1998 - 09:15:07 PST

Damien B. writes:
>I'm not sure that there *are* better ways of marking many, many people in
>a single step as a despised and dehumanised out-group ... the issue is
>whether cloning industrial quantities of a given genotype is likely to have
>injurious psychic and social consequences, and I'm suggesting one that
>might afflict these people *if* anyone decides to make that investment.

To an economist, the issue is whether there are enough injurious
consequences that aren't internalized by the people choosing whether or
not to clone. For the usual scenario of a parent choosing to raise a
clone kid, one would expect such a parent to be concerned about raising a
despised kid, and so to internalize this loss. I've heard no reason to
expect parents to be underconcerned about raising despised children.

The usual problem described in the media I've seen is the idea that parents
do not sufficiently internalize their children's desires to be different from
them, and so parents may selfishly want to pick kids too much like themselves.
Abstractly, this is a reasonable point, though note we aren't so concerned
this problem that we interfere greatly with parents all the ways in which
parents try to raise kids with similar tastes in religion, sports, music,
education, etc.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Tue Jan 13 17:07:47 1998

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