Question: Would an entire world of your clones have wars?

By | April 24, 2010

Xeno’s Clone World Thought Experiment:

If exact genetic copies of yourself were all seven billion people on the planet, what do you think would happen? Would there be descrimination in hiring for jobs? Would there be crime? (note: clones have slightly different fingerprints because the pattern is tied to nerve growth which is a somewhat umpredictable dynamic process during each person’s development.)

Would there be war? Would the laws change? How would you share world resources? Would you let the copies of yourself in Africa starve to death? Would there be different religions? How would you choose who becomes a doctor and who becomes a farmer? Would you have different countries? How would you choose leaders?

7 thoughts on “Question: Would an entire world of your clones have wars?

  1. Cole

    The question I suppose is whether an exact clone of oneself would think and act the same as the original.

    1. Xeno Post author

      Exactly. Exact clones of you would think and act somewhat differently for the same reason exact clones would have somewhat different fingerprints. Each clone brain would have differences in wiring from different interactions during nerve growth. Even if you could grow each one under the exact same conditions, there would be variation due to quantum randomness at the atomic level. Each clone would have to behave differently. But how differently? Nature-nuture is a false dichotomy. In dynamic systems such as ourselves it is the interaction between ourselves and our surroundings that defines our lives. How predictable are we based on genetics? Twins separated at birth sometimes have surprising similarities if reunited as adults. Would the differences caused by environment be enough to start a war? To have different religions and so on?

  2. Sepp

    The question assumes that the human personality is made up only of nerve connections in the brain. I am afraid the situation is a bit more complicated.

    Clones cannot duplicate personality, merely external physical appearance, and even that is slightly different from one to the next, as you say (fingerprints).

    There is good data now to show that the human experience is a composite of bodily existence and spiritual animation of that body. Since we are – as a spirit – each one unique, of course merely cloning bodies cannot ensure that the clones would have the same moral values as the “original”, because bodies simply don’t have moral values.

    It is the spiritual part of us that does not perish at death that “embodies” our personality and our moral values.

    If you’d like to read up on the difference between body and personality, I’d recommend Robert Monroe’s books

    Journeys out of the body

    Far Journeys

    The Ultimate Journey

    I started with “Far Journeys” and then read all three of them in sequence. It’s good research he did, and really leaves little room for doubt that a clone army isn’t in our reality…

    1. Xeno Post author

      Because I have someone in my family who became a different person after a stroke damaged his brain, it is my personal experience that personality resides in the brain.

      What data shows spirtitual animation of the body? Everything I have read shows that immortal immaterial essenses are wishful thinking, something the brain has evolved to believe in order to ease our anxiety about death.

      If you stimulate a person’s brain in the right place, they will experience floating above their body. That to me says that the soul is an illusion.

  3. Sepp

    “…became a different person after a stroke damaged his brain…”

    How does that show causation, i.e. how does that show that the personality depends on the brain?

    It may just as well indicate that the person you knew (the spirit) left after a stroke and someone else took over that body. Often the changes in personality and knowledge in these circumstances are so great as to defy any rational explanation by way of simple damage to the brain.

    Some people, for instance, lose ability to speak their language but start speaking perfectly in another language (I just read about a case like that in the last week – a girl in Croatia, I believe). How could brain damage be giving you knowledge of a complete new language that you have not had before?

    Monroe (the books I linked in previous comment) came to this as a highly skeptical person – he was a successful businessman with a bent for scientific investigation, and he systematically investigated, leaving aside all the religious and new-age type explanations. What he found should convince any skeptic.

    1. Xeno Post author

      Correlation does not prove causation but it does give useful clues. We can’t undo and then recreate the stroke and observe that the personality change happens every time, but that’s in effect what the brain surgeons did who triggered out of body experiences. Seems very clear. Also, some parts of his personality did not change. I’d have to believe we are inhabited by multiple spirits. Too complicated. No evidence for spirits, lots for brains.

      AFAIK, there are no cases of anyone suddenly being able to speak a language they never studied. Accents can happen and there was a case recently where someone who had been studying a language got much better at it after a brain injury.

  4. Sepp

    I can’t really argue with you over the existence of spirits or souls or – as someone might say – the existence of ourselves. But just as you say, correlation does not prove causation.

    The brain being involved in triggering such changes makes sense from both perspectives.

    As for languages, I don’t think this is really uncommon. Three stories I found. I remember having read of the first two when they happened.

    Czech speedway rider knocked out in crash wakes up speaking perfect English

    Croatian girl wakes up from coma speaking fluent German

    Man awoke from coma with foreign accent

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