May 02, 2005
High prices are always immoral
It's been some time since I wrote a post about animal cloning, but I see that there's now legislation pending which would criminalize the practice in California:
SACRAMENTO - With a Bay Area company making international headlines by pioneering commercial cloning, a state legislator said Monday he will try to outlaw the practice in California.Well, any industry which is unregulated has to be regulated, right? When I posted about this back in December, people thought I was out of line to criticize the regulatory mindset -- because they hadn't yet proposed any legislation. Well, now they have, and my objection has not changed. Nor has the "reasoning" of the moralizers:
. . . Critics say the money used for cloning would be better spent to support shelters or find new homes for the animals stuck there. Others say the practice is ethically wrong.You can't? While I have better things to spend my money on than creating a twin of Puff (which I think would be a mistake because he wouldn't be the same dog, and it's better to start fresh), the only moral objections they can come up with are:
Neither one of these objections makes any sense. As I said in December:
Lots of people would spend thousands of dollars to save a sick pet. Isn't that also elitist by the same argument, and wouldn't that money be better off spent on "homes for a lot of strays?" Seen this way, purchasing any expensive item is immoral. Plenty of people spend $50,000 for a car. Isn't that also technology "available only to the wealthy?"I suppose that someone might make the argument that if it's immoral to create a new human life by means of cloning technology, that it's just as immoral to create animal life, but I haven't heard it in this debate. It boils down to the high cost, plus availability of alternatives, and these arguments could be made about nearly anything.
If something is too expensive, make it illegal! That's at the core of the inane objection to Apple iPods by an MIT professor who complained of a "participation gap."
Might as well ban expensive guns! (Well, that's after we get rid of inexpensive Saturday night specials.....) And while we're at it, private schools have got to go. Do you realize how much money parents fritter away on elitist education while existing public school districts can't even afford to pay their teachers?
UPDATE: Randall Parker has much more on this subject (including some very cool hypothetical examples), and links to this press release from GSC answering man of the critics' objections. (If only ideologues were persuaded by having their objections answered!)
posted by Eric on 05.02.05 at 07:42 AM
Search the Site
Classics To Go
See more archives here
Old (Blogspot) archives
A knee sock jihad might be premature at this time
People Are Not Rational
No Biorobots For Japan
The Thorium Solution
Radiation Detector From A Digital Camera
This war of attrition is driving me bananas!
Attacking Christianity is one thing, but must they butcher geometry?
Are there trashy distinctions in freedom of expression?
Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood