THE ETHICS OF CLONING: A DEBATE BETWEEN ME AND MY TWIN BROTHER
Me: Against Cloning
My Younger Twin Brother: For Cloning
MODERATOR: Tonight’s debate is on a topic meriting serious discussion: the ethics of cloning. Our participants are two outspoken proponents of opposing positions. Because it is a question for all of society, we have decided to include all and not simply the ‘academic elite.’
Justin, you are going to argue that Cloning should be abandoned in any civil society?
ME: That’s correct.
MODERATOR: And your brother is going to argue that cloning is a scientific option worth exploring?
MY TWIN BROTHER: That’s Correct.
MODERATOR: And just to be clear, Justin. You must see some benefits to having a duplicate of yourself? As in the case of your brother.
ME: (Hesitantly) I disagree with attempts to advance cloning technologies. But sure there are some advantages. For example me and my brother know each so well that sometimes we finish each other’s…
MY TWIN BROTHER: Dessert?
ME: No, sentences.
MY TWIN BROTHER: Ahh.
MODERATOR: Well, we look forward to a lively exchange. Based on the flip of a coin, Justin will go first. (Audience Applauds)
ME: I believe that any discussion of ethics must begin by acknowledging the inherent dignity of the individual. Part of the dignity of the individual consists in existing as a unique creature. Cloning violates this right to be unique, and so it violates the inherent dignity of a human being.
A parent’s love gives itself wholly for a child. How can a parent love a child when they are constantly getting the child confused with another that looks identical?
Allow me to cite a frequently used example of a mother’s love for her a child. Documented cases have shown that in severe situations a mother’s love can provide a source of supernatural strength., i.e. lifting up a car to save a child that is being crushed.
Now imagine a world filled with clones. Suppose a mother believes her child is being crushed, adrenaline kicks in and she lifts up a car to save what she believes is her son. Obviously Mom is going to be mad if it turns out she is saving a clone of her kid and not her kid. Mom would probably feel the same way about saving a younger twin rather than me.
Cloning could create a world where adrenaline charged mothers decided not to lift up cars of their kids for fear that the kid is just a duplicate anyway.
Also, cloning is only going to occur to a very specific class of people. I mean of course, specifically the Super Awesome. I don’t think it is that far fetched to imagine an evil dictator getting hold of a the genetic materials of someone very super awesome and eventually creating a whole army of super awesome people.
So in the end I feel…
MY TWIN BROTHER: So this is all about how you feel?
ME: Excuse me. Think. So in the end, I think, my brother’s position sucks.
MODERATOR: I’d like to remind each of the participants the importance of following the agreed upon rules of proceeding. With that in mind our second participant will begin.
MY TWIN BROTHER: Allow me to begin by thanking our moderator who has been a gracious host, the University Committee on Values and say to my brother that it is so stupid to continue referring to me as ‘younger brother’. We are talking a difference of minutes. Remember, Mom even said the doctor never saw such a close delivery?
You have always tried to make me feel unwanted. But Mom told me you were the mistake. When she had her fortune read, she was told that her next baby would be serious and hard working. Obviously, I was supposed to be the first born. Maybe in reality, the doctor didn’t keep track of us, and I was actually the first born.
Also, you aren’t nearly as awesome as you like to think you are. So even, if an evil dictator gets a hold of Super Awesome DNA, it’s not like it’s going to be yours. And I think that is reason enough to allow cloning. Maybe a world full of the Super Awesome would compensate for your lameness.
The fact is, he has been bitter about cloning ever since we used to watch Patty Duke on Nick at Night. He would say how great it would be to have a show based on us. I told him Patty Duke played both Patty Lane/Cathy Lane.
ME: Look how polite my brother is! He starts off by thanking the moderator and whatever. He only did it to try and make himself look better.
Anyway. Obviously my opponent is raising a lot of interesting points. For example he is acting exactly like the evil dictator I mentioned in my opening statement. You know, the sort who would stop at nothing to clone my super awesomeness.
Yeah, and I still think it would have been cool to have our own show. Does that make me such a horrible person? But my case goes beyond that. Ultimately, I am opposed to the cloning on the grounds that you are effectively stealing the identity of the person who is cloned.
MY TWIN BROTHER: I agree.
ME: Shut up. Mom and Dad only wanted to have me. (Walks over to Podium Shoves Brother)
MODERATOR: Gentleman, please. If you could each return to your podiums. Thank you. Let’s continue with the rebuttal.
ME: I don’t want to say anything else. For the record, I think this whole thing was a bad idea.
MY TWIN BROTHER: I’d like to talk a little about the question of identity in relationship to technologies surrounding cloning. A human identity can never be reduced to chemical and physical components.
Allow me to illustrate. My brother and I share DNA. However, girls have always gone for me. Why? Because of my rugged good looks? Well, yes partly. But my brother has these same looks, yet he repulses women. Why? Because I have personality, I have soul.
You know, he makes it seem like his identity is the one that is getting trampled on. But what about my identity? One Halloween he was going to a party dressed as Dracula. He asked me if I wanted to go as his shadow. I said Dracula doesn’t have a shadow. He said, ‘Neither do I. Go away.’
You think that doesn’t hurt my sense of identity?
ME: Here we go again. My brother and I have been invited to this very classy symposium on bioethical things and he has to bring up Nina?!? Fine. Nina wanted to go out with you, because you happen to make more money. Besides, there are other women out there.
Why should the rest of the ladies settle for a cheap imitation when they could have the original? Plus, sometimes the copy is much more dangerous. Like when Superman was cloned, what do you end up with? An Evil Superman. That’s what my brother’s position comes down to. Just get rid of the Good, All-American, Superman and trade him in for an Evil Superman.
MY TWIN BROTHER: First of all, that stuff about Superman is based on a movie. If you would read the book (The Presidential Commission on Cloning Superman) you would see that genetic modifications are required to create the bad Superman out of a good Superman.
ME: You think we are made out of the same genetic material? You think these biceps (Flexing) are made out of the same stuff as that skinny punk? (Pointing to biceps) This is solid rock. Steel. Look at him. His biceps are made out of jelly. How is the same genetic material going to create a superman and a girlyman? That is hardly the same stuff.
MY TWIN BROTHER: I lift three times a week, but I’m a runner. I’ve never tried to bulk up. I’m in as good as shape as you. Probably better – definitely healthier.
ME: Let’s arm wrestle for it. If I win then cloning is wrong.
MY TWIN BROTHER: Let’s do this. But let’s run. If I win cloning is O.K.
MODERATOR: While there may be other ways of testing the benefits of cloning, tonight’s evening is devoted to rational discourse on a topic.
ME: You know what, bro. I think we can take him (Moving towards moderator)
MY TWIN BROTHER: If he tries to run, I’ll catch him.
MODERATOR: (Trying to avoid me and my twin brother) We hope that this has been an informative evening. In a democracy it is important that everyone—even their twin brothers-has a chance to make intelligent informed decisions so that our great country isn’t taken over by an Evil Superman Clone. Thank you and goodnight.
SECURITY GUARD: (to intercom) We have another situation in the Krausner Hall.
WALKIE TALKIE: The Ethics Forum? Again?