Thought Experiment: Bilateral Cloning
When discussing cloning there is a general question of whether or not the new clone would retain the memories of its parent organism. Generally speaking I can think of absolutely no reason why this would be the case however it got me thinking.
I believe I’ve discussed before the fact that the right side of the brain and the left side of the brain can function while entirely separated from their sister lobe assuming they still have all the connections to the body that keep them alive. While these are both in the same body it appears that the person still is a single person.
What would happen though if we split a person bilaterally from top to bottom and connected each side to the required machinery to keep them alive. Perhaps in a future with advanced cybernetics we could give them half mechanical and half organic. At any rate, my point is this, would each function as the original did? We have created two people out of one person and not only that but each has the ability to function just as the originally did, however half as fast (well not literally but a separated brain does not function as well as a full brain…which isn’t a shock).
Would each side make the same choices when presented with the same stimuli? How evenly split would the memories of the person be? How well would they function as a team? Do we consider this as two individual people or one person? That final question is the one that is blowing my mind a bit.
Is a person split in half and still alive a single person or two people? It seems to break the black and white view of a person or an organism in general. It is another case of something seemingly obvious that is in no way obvious. It also is an important question when looking at a mother and the child within her. At what point do we consider them as two individual people, is it because they have each a set of organs? If so would that mean that a person split bilaterally would now no longer be a person at all?
The things that keep my brain moving are so odd sometimes…