I remember when I was in my teens seeing a movie where clones were being grown as organ banks to prolong the lives of the original person they’d been cloned from. The clones were treated as sub-human, and it was even argued that they didn’t have souls. How could they? Mind you,
We still don’t know where the soul is, do we?
Here’s another one – the researcher in Humans has created an AI replica of her child, and is trying to load it into a conscious synth’s body. Wiping out a legitimate personality with another that she values more because she pretends it’s her daughter; apparently, her need to have a copy of her daughter supersedes the right of another being to exist. Does she really think this AI she’s created IS her daughter?
There are people TODAY who are cloning their deceased pets as though the duplicate is exactly the same creature as the one they lost. You can easily envision doing the same with human beings. Is there a difference between the original and the duplicate? Is either more valid a creature than the other?
From another angle, Star Trek’s transporters have been sending people across distances – or have they? Dr. McCoy has questioned scattering molecules, and at other times questioned where the soul is in all this. As I recall, the “science” of the transporter was “invented” by Star Trek’s creators to spare the financial hit it would cost to deal with the visual effects of crew members travelling to the surface and then back to the ship. Later, the food replicators appear (in Next Generation?), supposedly based on the same science, and construct objects rather than transporting them.
Are the people who step into the transporter really TRANSPORTED to another location? Or are they disintegrated on the spot, and a duplicate assembled at the destination? (as was done in The Prestige – although in that case the original remained and had to be disposed of in other ways…)
What makes us individual if we can be copied? If the original wasn’t disassembled, there would be two Kirks. Which would be the real one? Of course, within no time, each would have slightly different experiences that would shape them into slightly different people with unique memories, and eventually personality differences.
This is Forecast Friday; what does this have to do with the future?
Will the ability to duplicate – whether through cloning, or robotics, or something like the transporter – make a human being seem more valuable, or will human life be devalued even more? In a world where those in power insist on treating people as interchangeable widgets, who has value?
One week to go on the preorder campaign has begun for The First Three ‘Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND’ – a collection of my first three OUT OF MY MIND collections (a total of eighteen short stories in all.) The release date is April 7th, but you can PREORDER it now through then at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE of 99-cents (such a deal!), and is available at several online sellers, including, but not limited to:
William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “Some Kind of Luck,” can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri