GENEVA—In an effort to explore the complex moral issues surrounding the controversial topic, the world’s leading geneticists gathered at an international conference this week to debate the ethics of cloning human beings and compelling them to fight to the death in a rocky pit for our amusement.
According to organizers, the five-day symposium provided luminaries in the field of bioengineering an opportunity to thoughtfully deliberate on the moral dilemma of creating hundreds of genetically identical copies of an individual human, arming them with bladed weapons, and forcing them to violently slaughter each other solely as a captivating pastime for spectators.
“Cloning human beings and using various intimidation tactics to coerce the genetic duplicates to battle inside a craggy, dimly lit arena certainly raises numerous ethical questions, but the benefits of cheap, incredibly exciting, blood-drenched brawls outweigh potential violations of moral principles,” biologist Richard K. Phillips said during a panel discussion, arguing that dozens of identical combatants fighting until only one is left standing would provide countless hours of gripping entertainment. “While such practices would assuredly be detrimental to the clones that are ruthlessly beaten to death in the fighting pit, we cannot underestimate the net benefit to humankind at large of watching five unarmed versions of a single man gang up on another indistinguishable genetic copy who, say, had this huge club covered in spikes.”
“Or imagine 10 clones of one person in a bout against 10 clones of a different person,” Phillips continued. “I wholeheartedly believe that it is the responsibility of science to advance human society by creating something so fucking cool.”
Throughout the conference, the geneticists reportedly participated in numerous roundtable discussions to examine the contentious subject matter, debating whether human individuality would be diminished if, for example, someone dictated which weapons the cloned humans must use while fighting to the death. In addition, scientists contemplated if it was socially misguided to line the battle pits with razor wire and glass shards or if it was intrinsically immoral to charge audiences a fee to watch physically identical combatants participate in the brutal matches.
Despite considerable support from the scientific community, critics argued that it was reprehensible and unethical to use clones genetically selected for specific cognitive traits and physical attributes that would lead to greater carnage, such as people who produced higher than normal levels of adrenaline or psychopathic individuals with diminished capacities for empathy.
“Not only is it unethical to choose subjects to clone based on their predilection for ruthless and bloodthirsty behavior, but it is undeniably irresponsible to make hundreds of copies of these disturbed individuals,” said geneticist Kenneth Wilson in a keynote speech, warning that cataclysmic consequences would occur if the dangerous clones escaped from the pit. “Do we really want to put our world at risk just for more appealing, aggressive, and barbaric free-for-alls?”
“My colleagues in the field seem to have forgotten that human life is precious,” added Wilson. “That’s why it would have a far greater impact to force regular non-cloned individuals to butcher one another for our amusement.”
The geneticists reportedly debated a number of related moral questions as well, including the ethical implications of leading individuals blindly into the arena and not informing them that they would be fighting their exact clone until their hood is removed and they see that they’re dueling themselves. The scientists reportedly also explored the virtues of coercing cloned humans to fight younger versions of themselves from 20 years earlier, and formally discussed whether it was right or wrong to secretly transport human clones to a completely different place, like a remote island in the South Pacific, where they would hunt one another with rifles.
Proponents of the practice, however, stressed that a great deal of scientific knowledge could be acquired by cloning humans and forcing them to fight to the death, such as learning precisely how a human would look its own clone in the eye while killing it, understanding the potential of the human mind for perpetrating gruesome violence against what is essentially itself, and determining whether spectators would eventually raise objections to replacing the clones’ limbs with axes and swords.
“We could learn a considerable amount about making new organs from this cloning process,” said panelist Dr. Sandra Butler. “And, in turn, determine whether it’s possible to put those organs into wounded clones so that they can continue to battle. If successful, that would be a revolutionary advancement for these savage melees.”
Advocates for cloning humans and forcing them to mercilessly massacre each other were reportedly in unanimous agreement, however, that the vicious spectacles must be regulated to avoid potential abuses.