Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Tue Mar 18 06:39:50 CST 1997

On Mon, 17 Mar 1997, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> On Sun, 9 Mar 1997, Srinivas Sista wrote:
> > Consider the case where I have a book or an article and somebody wants to
> > copy it. Do I debate with that person why he or she wants to copy or what
> > they are going to do with that copy? Does my lending it out mean that I am
> > agreeing for further misery? What the other person does with the copy (makes
> > further copies, worships it, burns it ...etc) is absolutely of no concern to
> > me. I may not even care to identify with my book (but that is another issue
> > altogether :-)). I fail to see how there can be any attachment to the copy,
> > which rules out any karmic consequences.
> >
> I'd have to agree.  From what I've read of the cloning process, I don't
> see how this is any different from donating blood or even a kidney.  If
> the person you donate blood to goes off and commits crimes you can hardly
> be held responsible can you?  In this case you have donated a whole body.
> The personality in that body will have no more relation to you than any
> other random one.  If you choose to raise the clone it may have some
> feelings for you much as a son or daughter would (and if you reciprocate
> you would also then have the obligations of a father or mother) but you
> could just as easily choose not to without any moral qualms.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
> Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \
> -)~~~~~~~~  Perth->*.--._/  o-
> "Witty quote" - Dead Guy   /\/\/\ _ _ ___ _  _ Amboy       v      McQ!

I am most surprised at the above statement. Shri Vyas seems to be saying
that cloning is just like donating blood. I would like to ask the question
Why the cloning ? What is the purpose ? Is it for spare parts ? Is it for
ego-gratification ? Is it for creating a "superior" human race ?
Any of these "actions" or "thoughts" have a karmic consequence
associated with it.

Unless and until we believe and accept that our thoughts and actions are
not ours but we are simply playing the role allotted to us in the supreme
scheme of things, in that state, there is no karma associated with the
thought or action.

Until then, any "action" or "thought" however trivial it may look like,
or however trivial one may try to make them out to be, has karma
associated with it. It is inevitable. Donating blood or a kidney has
its associated consequence. Certainly cloning or even the thought of
wishing to be cloned is not as trivial as the examples cited.

Now, the advaita literature is full of statements that the body is a
corpse powered by the sense organs. In cloning, you are giving life
to a body. Thus, you are "donating" more than the body.

However much one wishes to trivialize the (karmic) consequences of
cloning, I think the consequences are humengous and grave, both on
moral and philosophical grounds.

Gummuluru Murthy
Sarvaagamaanaa maachaarah prathamam parikalpathe !
                                          Sage Vyasa in Maha Bharatha

For all (incoming) knowledge, discipline is the most fundamental.

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