A modest proposal(s)

I don’t want any replies that state the obvious. “all life is precious”, “the costs are too high” etc.

Your goal is to fill in the situations with what you think is tolerable and acceptable loss of life.

Situation 1) They find out that stem cells increase our life span by X but it requires Y amount of fetuses for each Z amount of people.

Situation 2) They find out that live 15 year old brains cure alzheimers with a brain transplant. It takes X amount of teenager(s) per Y amount of Alzheimers patients.

Situation 3) You are forced with the decision to kill X amount of people to save Y amount of people. Would either change if you had a closer relationship to Y?

if the thing that creates value in a life is created after birth (which i think it is, fetuses dont know what pain brain signals mean, they just know its a brain signal that triggers facial expressions and such) so a trillion fetuses for every one alzheimers brain cell should be just fine.

id have to vote religiously for the rest. old people with alzheimers certainly arent worth crap compared to any 15 year old (who hasnt been permanently broken by his experience on earth), and of course id have to shallowly claim that a close relationship wont affect my altruism.

nice title. wasnt the original work by this name, written like a hundred years or so ago, actually about eating children also? i love how on south park last night, the way christopher reeves uses stem cells is by sucking the juice out of a developed fetus. they literally managed to illustrate the religious dislike of this issue better than i remember catholic school doing. that show will go down in history.

Hi MB,

Simple answer.Clone the living hell out of everyone. Let’s see… I’ve got three clones kept in as close to suspended animation as possible.(keeps the costs down) This gives me NASA redundancy for the availabilty of “spare parts” Of course, if it requires more than three, we just go to the clone corral and cut a few out of the herd. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "parts is parts’. We’ve already seen the tip of this particular iceberg in those cases of black market body parts needed for transplants, not to mention the abject poor selling that “extra” kidney. In many parts of the world, you are now worth more dead than alive…

Anyone who thinks that selling "parts’ is too ghastly to consider needs to wake up. It isn’t in the future, it is happening right now. We have ‘off-shore banks’, how long before we have an off-shore "parts’ house? Ethics? Morality? Its all about the money…


wait, dont stem cells actually NOT require the use of more fetuses?

cant we just kill like a hundred or so, and then clone their stem cells forever? even if the soul is stuck in those stem cells for a thousand years, never knowing what is happening, and jesus gets really pissed at the scientists who trapped him there because his omnipotence is too limited to save the trapped guy,

wouldnt that still be a more than equitable tradeoff? assuming full christian dogma, i still think stem cells are ok.

just keep in mind that soylent green made from clones is not as tasty as the real thing…


No, because human cloning is illegal. they are using a stem cell line from five years ago and they are starting to lose “quality” because they are growing new cells from the original batches. The new law bush puts in place prevents them from using new stem cell lines, even of aborted babies.

It’s a sticky situation (no pun intended), If stem cells are okay at what stage is the baby to be aware? at what stage do we determine it’s okay to off the developing baby because by our standards it hasn’t developed awareness?

clever :wink:

Are you ready for your ride on carousel? Mine is coming up in ten months.

LOL… I like the gib of your glib. I think cloning stem cells is the way to go, you’d have a helluva time convincing the majority of people to go ahead with full fledged body backups. It’s interesting from what I’ve seen (the debates I’ve had about paraplegia) That when asked if they accept the situation if they were paraplegic, those against the stem cell line of research say they would and they would teach those that are paraplegic to accept their situation and make the best of it. Maybe we should stick them in a wheel chair for a week with a spinal tap to cut off all the nerves below the hips… see how well they make the best of it?

Exactly… if we don’t develop this technology someone else will who doesn’t give a rats ass about the morality or ethical treatment of humankind. Imagine if china developed clones, for backups when the children die of lead poisoning from recycling our monitors.

Human cloning is going to happen, wouldn’t it be better if countries that actually give a slight rat’s ass about human rights did it?

-And yes the original modest proposal was during the potato famine in the middle of the nineteenth century, that the rich give the poor money for their children then eat the children.

Sorry, but how exactly will us using cloning stop the Chinese from cloning people? No matter what we do, people we don’t agree with will probably develop cloning technologies. (Not to mention the richness of us saying “we developed cloning, and we’re ethically justified in using it but you aren’t.”)

In fact, wouldn’t it be easier for countries that don’t give a rat’s ass to clone once we’ve done all the ground work and they just have to put the pieces together?

Seems a lot like nuclear weapons… if we build some then everyone else won’t build them because we have them. That worked really well, and the number of people with nukes goes down every day, doesn’t it?


You make a good counterpoint.

no… just announced, we are selling nukes to india…


This is slightly skewed from the original topic so I’ll try to reign it back in with an answer.

the india deal is to help them develop nuclear energy programs, (the very ones we are leary of Iran self developing.) So bush is stepping in beforehand to make sure we guide them towards energy and not weapons. Like in the Russia deal, the outside world will be providing India with energy grade plutonium (or uranium, probably the latter as it’s cheaper) which cannot be Re-refined into weapons grade material. From what I understand Iranian Uranium is unable to be refined for weapon grade.

If we developed cloning, it would be out there in the open and anybody with a lab and a human body could do it.

errrr, MB, India already has nukes. Our end of the deal is to begin addressing our trade deficit problems by selling them more technology to build better nukes. We ain’t in it to control non-proliferation no matter what the whitehouse says…

Back to topic. Brave New World is right around the corner and what is coming will for the first time, be wilder than sci fi. Lemme see… where was the Botany Bay experiment? Oh yeah! It was in Botany Bay! #-o


So the knowledge of a fetus about pain depends on its position in physical space (inside the mother or out)? So if I step outside this room I might forget about what pain means and it would be okay to kill me?

I think you can come up with a better reason than that…

It’s not a sticky situation though . . . ESC come from the blastocyst. This is not a fetus. This isn’t human, by any appreciable metric. A fruit fly is more aware of its situation. Heck, I’d put good money on an Amoeba demonstrating more self-awareness than a blastocyst.

So, if we are talking real ESC, then if it takes a million of them to save a single life, that is completely acceptable.

If we are talking about killing fetuses (feti? Is ‘fetus’ greek or latin?), I’d say a 1:1:1 is pretty fair.

As to the others, have you ever read the story ‘The Organ Bank’ from Harlan Edison’s original “Dangerous Visions”?

Hi Xunzian,

Yes indeedy, Scary stuff, no? And here we are in the middle of…

I know it i just a typo, But his name is Harlan Ellison in case someone would like to go looking…


Ah, but many, including me, do not view a fetus as a viable human. Actually, for many centuries, many did not consider a human, human until quickening or until after birth.

A viable human life should not be sacrificed to spare another human life.

Nope, a 15 year old X is a viable human life.

Scyth, it is in the definition. Try to read both side of the issue for insight. Remember, many of the embryonic stem cell will be thrown in the trash if not used. Why not use them for research that may heal a defective heart, liver, kidney, etc.

With regards,


p.s. if I do not respond in a timely fashion, I have work to do and am not avoiding the issue.

LOL, wasn’t sylent green made from corpses? :wink:

Swift was sticking in finger in the Prostestant eye. The guy was often is deep guano with the establishment. He is hilarious, as is Monty Python.

Yes, I love Monty Python flicks, we have “em” all.

With regards,


So I hea(r)d this morning. The difference would then be that India hasn’t declared us the great satan.

The truth is stranger than fiction. The isle of Dr. Moreau? I’ve heard proposals of genetically modifying apes to do the dirty work of mankind… basically making a new slave race.

Aspacia, you didn’t answer the third question correctly. And I don’t necessarily agree with my statements in the first post I wanted some other opinions.

Your hypothesis is:
Situation 3) You are forced with the decision to kill X amount of people to save Y amount of people. Would either change if you had a closer relationship to Y?

I said Nope, it is not okay to kill viable humans to save other people. How is this an incorrect statement? Okay, again I would say no, it is not okay to kill another viable person to save a person I love or was close to. However, if a person is a murderer, and will be executed for a capital crime, then yes, after due process, and the lengthy appeal route, kill him or her and use their organs, cells, etc., to help save others.

I do agree with embyonic and adult stem cell research, especially since I do not view embryos as a viable human life.

Yes, Robin Cook has touched on these themes in Coma and Chromosone 6. It is already occuring.

At the moment, they are cloning to create new body parts, for people either physically deformed at birth or maimed in an accident. This is good, and ethical. But the other capitalistic aspect of selling body parts is a major condemnation of capitalism.

With regards,