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View Full Version : What if "The Island" were real?



Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-07, 01:52 PM
I've been watching "The Island" and it has left me with some questions in my head.

Suppose for a moment, that there was a very extensive complex out in the middle of the desert in which people were being cloned and harvested for spare parts. What would be the consequences of having such an establishment? How long would it take for such an establisment to be discovered? Finally, how would the world react to the discovery of such an establishment?

- Maha "I think I'm a clone now" Vailo

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 01:54 PM
The only thing I can say for certain.

The response to the discovery of an Island would ensure braces and college educations for ten generations of lawyers' children.

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-07, 02:03 PM
Well, Doodler, I did talk it over with my dad, and he said that the discovery of an "Island"-like cloning bank would probably invoke something a little more massive than a lawsuit.

Something on the line of cruise missiles, perhaps.

- Maha "it's the only way to be sure" Vailo

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 02:09 PM
Well, Doodler, I did talk it over with my dad, and he said that the discovery of an "Island"-like cloning bank would probably invoke something a little more massive than a lawsuit.

Something on the line of cruise missiles, perhaps.

- Maha "it's the only way to be sure" Vailo

So even though the existance of human cloning facilities would invoke outrage over the violation of the sanctity of human life, the clones are still not considered human enough to be saved? Only fit for extermination? Hypocritical.

I can imagine the desire to explosively dismantle the facilities and the folks responsible, but ouch, even I'm not that cold.

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-07, 02:19 PM
What my father was trying to say was that if such a massive cloning tank existed and it was discovered, there would probably be negotiations between the country that owned the "island" and the rest of the world. If those failed, military intervention would probably ensue, or if that wasn't possible, then the cruise missiles would start flying. Now do you understand?

- Maha Vailo

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 02:22 PM
What my father was trying to say was that if such a massive cloning tank existed and it was discovered, there would probably be negotiations between the country that owned the "island" and the rest of the world. If those failed, military intervention would probably ensue, or if that wasn't possible, then the cruise missiles would start flying. Now do you understand?

- Maha Vailo

Somewhat, the question remains, to what end the negotiations?

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-07, 02:28 PM
To what end the negotiations? Probably to dismantle the "island" as it was a serious violation of human rights.

- Maha Vailo

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 02:36 PM
To what end the negotiations? Probably to dismantle the "island" as it was a serious violation of human rights.

- Maha Vailo

Which makes the threat of cruise missiles somewhat impotent, because if cloning humans for spare parts is a violation of human rights, then how is turning around and destroying them out of spite for their creators much an improvement?

Will the offended governments sleep well at night knowing that they simply blew the problem straight to hell despite the human cost?

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-07, 02:54 PM
Well, in your humble opinion, what would the rest of the world do with such an "island"?

- Maha Vailo

Ronald Brak
2006-Sep-07, 02:58 PM
Funny, I was just thinking about the movie The Island less than an hour ago. Quick! Call Robert Sheldrake and tell him we have proof of telepathy! Some guy on the internet can't be wrong.

And it may seem odd to launch a war over the killing of one group of people who happen to be clones when no action is taken to protect other groups and many people are allowed to die of neglect, but the fact that it involves cloning may be enough for the dominant religions of the United States to whip up public opinion against it.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-07, 03:10 PM
How could you keep it secret if you were creating thousands of 'spare parts'? If you start to use them on a scale of thousands then its a give away. If you don't use them what's the point?

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Sep-07, 03:16 PM
Lie about it, like in the movie. Say that you can clone individual organs.

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-07, 03:22 PM
Lie about it, like in the movie. Say that you can clone individual organs.

Yeah, but wouldn't such a lie be found out eventually? History has shown time and again that even the darkest secrets get exposed eventually.

- Maha Vailo

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 03:30 PM
Well, in your humble opinion, what would the rest of the world do with such an "island"?

- Maha Vailo

As far as the island? I would assume any "negotiations" would probably end up in front of the UN Security Council. Massive sanctions, and a peacekeeping operation launched, guarantee the US will be all over it, given the prevailing attitude towards cloning hereabouts, which will dismantle the operation explosively.

What scares me more than anything is the fate of the clones. I honestly do not have even the slightest inkling how they'll be received by the world. Some of the more ridiculously religious groups may want them dead as some kind of abomination, research doctors will be all over them trying to figure out how their genetic make up is holding up after being artificially reconstructed during conception. Their citizenship status is going to be a real treat to resolve, since their donors (likely facing criminal charges as a result of numerous legal violations over embargos on human cloning, along with conspiracy to commit murder) are going to be viewed as genetic "siblings", technically members of the families from which they were created. THAT'S going to be dependent on another sticky point, how families of people who had clones made up view them.

The fallout for the clones would be one of the most earthshaking legal cases in human history. Its going to have us staring very uncomfortably into the mirror trying to determine what it is exactly that makes us who we are, and what it is that defines us as human.

While more rational minds may see them as nothing more than artificial twins, the emotional arguements will keep the waters nice and muddy for a very long time.

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-07, 03:44 PM
How long would it take before all the fallout settled from the lawsuits and military interventions? What might be the closest historical event that parallels this situation?

- Maha "islands of uncertainty" Vailo

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 03:49 PM
How long would it take before all the fallout settled from the lawsuits and military interventions? What might be the closest historical event that parallels this situation?

- Maha "islands of uncertainty" Vailo

Question 1: The court cases would be a few years, in all likelihood, the military stuff would be over after the appropriate individuals are shot while attempting to escape, despite wearing hand and ankle cuffs, and the buildings were demolished.

Question 2: Honestly? The publication of The Island of Doctor Moreau. Maybe more recently, the discovery of a human parts ring pilfering pieces out of cadavers for donor parts here in the US. Some were so extreme, femurs of bodies were replaced with PVC pipe. That's really the same mentality as the Island, taking pieces of expendable bodies for the benefit of those who can afford them.

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Sep-07, 04:13 PM
I'd say that the closest thing in reality to this situation would be alleged organ harvesting of Falun Gong members in China. If true, then not only are organs beng harvested illegally, people are actually being killed to obtain them!

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 04:51 PM
I'd say that the closest thing in reality to this situation would be alleged organ harvesting of Falun Gong members in China. If true, then not only are organs beng harvested illegally, people are actually being killed to obtain them!

Gimme a source OTHER than the Chinese government before I take that even remotely seriously. They could tell me the sun rose, and I'd still look out the window to verify it.

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Sep-07, 05:13 PM
Well, the Chinese government is denying it. They were outed by an independant report drafted by a number of Canadian MPs. I'll look for it. Gimme a sec...

Edit:

Here we are:

http://organharvestinvestigation.net/

By a FORMER MP and a human rights lawyer. Sorry about that.

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 05:22 PM
Challenge answered, thank you. Chilling reading, though.

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Sep-07, 05:29 PM
No problem. And, yes, it is chilling. There's been talk of Canada boycotting the Beijing Olympic Games because of it.

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-07, 06:20 PM
How long might it take for the clones to fully incorporate themselves into society (assuming they ever do)? What is the closest historical parallel to their hypothetical plight?

- Maha Vailo

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 06:35 PM
How long might it take for the clones to fully incorporate themselves into society (assuming they ever do)? What is the closest historical parallel to their hypothetical plight?

- Maha Vailo


How long is a question of how well they're received, and that's one I don't know enough to guess.

As for a parallel to that? Oy, lets see...

I hate to tap this, but given the purpose for their creation, imagine how it feels for anyone who's escaped after a pogrom. Russian Jews escaping the Cossacks, Bosnia, Germany, Darfur, Chechnya, some Native American tribes in the US and Canada, Japanese occupied Manchuria, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, that kind of thing. You've got a group of people who have literally escaped the jaws of death, despite the fact that they'd be much healthier, considering their donor "parent" would want them in top physical shape for when they're harvested. What's would be going on inside their head wouldn't be too much different, despite the physical differences of their circumstances.

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Sep-07, 07:00 PM
I think you're right on, Doodler.

Gillianren
2006-Sep-07, 08:48 PM
Maybe more recently, the discovery of a human parts ring pilfering pieces out of cadavers for donor parts here in the US. Some were so extreme, femurs of bodies were replaced with PVC pipe. That's really the same mentality as the Island, taking pieces of expendable bodies for the benefit of those who can afford them.

A lot of the bodies were actually cremated, so the loss wasn't discovered--until it was discovered that they were using crematoria that burned multiple cadavers at once--hugely against California law--that they really started discovering how nasty the whole thing was. As in, yes, stealing fillings, too. Plus jewelry people were supposed to be buried in, a ton of corneas, etc. At least, if we're thinking of the same place. If we are, I used to go past there all the time. It's under new management, now, and has been for quite some time.

Doodler
2006-Sep-07, 09:13 PM
I'd have to go digging through the news sites for the link, but I could swear there was a group out east that was doing it, too. Lots of bones were taken for grafts, resulting in some nasty infections because the tissues had been dead for a while. The PVC pipe was one that stands out because there was a picture of the x-ray taken of the exhumed cadaver showing the pipe in the hip where the femur should have been.

Gillianren
2006-Sep-07, 11:39 PM
The one I'm thinking of was the Lamb Funeral Home, Pasadena, CA. (They changed the name after the indictments, too.)

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Sep-08, 03:32 AM
I know that there was one operation that chopped up the Masterpiece Theatre guy. Do either of you remember that?

Gillianren
2006-Sep-08, 10:00 AM
Alistair Cooke. No; that's the first I've heard about it, though it's probably the one to which Doodler's referring. (I went and looked Cooke up.)

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Sep-08, 02:01 PM
Hm. So at least two independant cases, eh? Yikes.

Doodler
2006-Sep-08, 07:44 PM
Hm. So at least two independant cases, eh? Yikes.

Which is part of the reason there's so much controversy over cloning. The organ/tissue transplant market is one where demand exceeds supply by an absolutely gutwrenching and (tragically) ethic-bending margin.

Black market organs, paid donors, cadaver theft, even one bum that used a pretense of donating a kidney to his son to escape from a long prison sentence. The culture that exists in medicine that preaches the preservation of life at all costs occassionally writes checks to sources some people can be convinced to turn a blind eye to reality for because the health and survival of a loved one is on the line.

Aside from Micheal Bey's stupid predilection for blowing crap up in spectacular fashion, the actual discussion point of the Island is, what happens when there are no limits to how far you can go with the best technology at your disposal? You think there aren't a large number of millionaires and billionaires that wouldn't line up for guaranteed 100% non-rejectable body part replacements, damn the AMA and its ethics?

That's the question, and for those of us who can't afford it, or place some esoteric value on human life, its one that reviles us when we consider there are people who'd jump at the chance.

Gillianren
2006-Sep-08, 07:47 PM
Hm. So at least two independant cases, eh? Yikes.

It's at least possible that the one (the Lamb Funeral Home scandal was in the 80s) inspired the other; there's a book about it. (Chop Shop, written, as I recall, by a reporter for the local paper.)

Doodler
2006-Sep-08, 09:54 PM
It's at least possible that the one (the Lamb Funeral Home scandal was in the 80s) inspired the other; there's a book about it. (Chop Shop, written, as I recall, by a reporter for the local paper.)

The one to which I was referring was less than six months ago. Dunno about directly inspired, but I would say the motivations are parallel.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-11, 11:23 AM
Diagnosis Murder on BBC2 on Sat afternoon was an episode about a Dr in a 'Free' Clinic bumping off Down and Outs to harvest organs.

Weird Dave
2006-Sep-11, 07:23 PM
I'm not sure this could be kept secret for long. If one company starts producing cloned human organs etc. to order, and none of its competitors can, I suspect the first thing they'd do would be to try to get spies in for a bit of industrial espionage. I think they would soon discover that conscious clones were being born - presumably they'd jump at the chance to grass up a competitor to the law. Although perhaps they'd blackmail the cloners instead... depends how much you trust big business I suppose.

If a government was doing the dirty work, it may be much harder to dicover.

Doodler
2006-Sep-11, 08:36 PM
It depends on the local laws where the cloning is being done. Presumably, its called "The Island" because its done "off shore" where the law allows cloning.

Jim
2006-Sep-11, 09:53 PM
It depends on the local laws where the cloning is being done. Presumably, its called "The Island" because its done "off shore" where the law allows cloning.

No, the title refers to the grand prize in the lottery, you get to move to an island paradise. The lab was in the Arizona desert.

I saw this movie on cable last night. It's actually a very good premise gone wrong... far too many pyrotechnics, a few "yeah, sure" plot devices, and an ending very reminiscent of Logan's Run.

They should have spent more time on the moral delimmas, but went for the action instead. (Too bad they didn't explore Jordan 2 Delta's dilemma. Her "sponsor" had a young child, and was sure to die w/o Jordan's organs. You could see the ethical debate starting to roil in her mind, but they never followed it.)

Doodler
2006-Sep-11, 11:07 PM
No, the title refers to the grand prize in the lottery, you get to move to an island paradise. The lab was in the Arizona desert.

I saw this movie on cable last night. It's actually a very good premise gone wrong... far too many pyrotechnics, a few "yeah, sure" plot devices, and an ending very reminiscent of Logan's Run.

They should have spent more time on the moral delimmas, but went for the action instead. (Too bad they didn't explore Jordan 2 Delta's dilemma. Her "sponsor" had a young child, and was sure to die w/o Jordan's organs. You could see the ethical debate starting to roil in her mind, but they never followed it.)

That's no moral dilemma. If someone wants to carve me up at the expense of my life to save someone else, I'll have a bullet on standby with that individual's name on it (given that scenario). That kind of threat to my existance gets scheduled for removal.

Mellow
2006-Sep-15, 12:24 PM
Hmm, didn't Tiffany sing "I think I'm a clone now"?

captain swoop
2006-Sep-15, 03:01 PM
I prefered 'Send in the Clones' and 'Tears of a Clone'

Ronald Brak
2006-Sep-15, 03:11 PM
Call me paranoid, but let's not forget the classic Cyndi Lauper track, "Clones just wanna have guns."