Cloning: Why we shouldn’t be against it
You have been told that you are unique. The belief that there is no one else like you in the whole world made you feel special and proud. This belief may not be true in the future.
The world was stunned by the news in late February 1997 that a British embryologist named Ian Wilmut and his research team had successfully cloned a lamb named Dolly from an adult sheep. Dolly was created by replacing the DNA of one sheep’s egg with the DNA of another sheep’s udder. While plants and lower forms of animal life have been successfully cloned for many years now, before Wilmut’s announcement it had been thought by many to be unlikely that such a procedure could be performed on higher mammals. The world media was immediately filled with heated discussions about the ethical implications of cloning.
Some of the most powerful people in the world have felt compelled to act against this threat. President Clinton swiftly imposed a ban on federal funding for human-cloning research. Bills are in the works in both houses of Congress to outlaw human cloning which it taken to be a fundamentally evil thing that must be stopped. But what is exactly bad about it? From an ethical point of view , it is difficult to see exactly what is wrong with cloning human beings. The people who are afraid of cloning tend to think that someone will break into Napoleon’s Tomb, steal some DNA and make 2000 emperors. In reality, cloning would be probably used by infertile people who now use donated sperm, eggs, or embryos. Do the potential harms outweigh the potential benefits of cloning? From what we know now, they don’t. Therefore, we should not rush to ban a potentially useful method of helping infertile, genetically at-risk, or single people to become parents.
We can start by asking whether human beings have a right to reproduce. I say ” Yes”. I have no moral right to tell other people they shouldn’t be able to have children, and I don’t see that Bill Clinton has that right either. If humans have a right to reproduce, what right does society have to limit the means? Essentially all reproduction is done these days with medical help- at delivery, and even before. Truly natural human reproduction would make pregnancy-related death the number.1 killer of adult women.
OF course, some forms of medical help are more invasive than others. With in vitro fertilization, the sperm and egg are combined in the lab and surgically implanted in the womb. Less than two decades ago, a similar concern was raised over the ethical issues involved in ” test-tube babies”. Today, nearly 30,000 such babies have been born in the United States alone. Many parents have been made happy. So what low or principle says that one combination of genetic material in a flask is Ok, but another is not?
Nature clones people all the time, and rather frequently. Approximately 1 in 1000 birth is of identical twins. However, despite how many or how few individual characteristics twins have in common, they are different people. They have their own identities, their own thoughts, and their own rights. They enter different occupations, get different diseases, have different experiences with marriage, alcohol, community leadership, and etc. They have different souls as would cloned individuals. Even if somebody did clone 2,000 Napoleons, they would be even more different from their parents than twins are from each other because the cloned child would be raised in a different historical period. The argument that cloning robs individuals of their individuality therefore doesn’t hold.
Perhaps the strongest ethical argument against cloning is that it could lead to a new , unfamiliar type of family relationship. We have no idea what it would be like to grow up as the child of a parent who seems to know you from inside. Some psychological characteristics may be biologically based and the parent will know in advance what cr…..ises a cloned teenager will go through and how he or she will respond. It may produce a good and loving relationship, because the parent may understand, to greater degree than most parents, what the child is going through. ON the other hand, most children want to have their own space. Still, just because a family relationship is new and untried, is not a reason to condemn it automatically. IN the past . ,many types of family relationships were considered harmful but later showed to cause no harm to the children. Among these are joint custody after divorce, gay and lesbian parenting, and interracial adoption. As with adoption, in-vitro fertilization, and use of donor sperm, how the child will react to the news about his /her arrival in the world will depend to a large extent on how the parents themselves feel about this mode of reproduction. Parents and children may adjust to cloning far more easily than we might think, just as it happened with in-vitro fertilization.
One recurring image in anti-cloning propaganda is of some evil dictator raising an army of cloned warriors. But who is going to raise such an army. Clones start out life as babies. It is much easier to recruit young adults than to take care of babies for 20 years. Remember that cloning isn’t the same as genetic engineering. We can’t make supermen-we have to find him first and his bravery might- or might not – be genetically determined.
Some of you might think that cloning is playing God. However, can you really say that you know God’s intentions. There is substantial disagreement as to what is God’ s will. But what I find interesting in this argument is something I read in article “Cloning: Will They Soon Clone Human Beings?” by Garner Ted Armstrong who wrote: ” Anyone who has truly proved God exists; that God isn’t only Creator, but Lifegiver, Designer, Sustainer, and Ruler over all his creation, knows that the human family began with one man, and that a wife, miraculously created form his own body and as unique and original a creation as Adam himself, formed the first family. Though God’s miraculous creation of Eve was far from cloning, it is interesting to note in passing that God’s own Word says He used Adam’s rib-physical bone and tissue – to create Eve.”
Another argument against cloning is that it would be available only to the wealthy and therefore would increase social inequality. What else is new? This is the story of American health care. We need a better health care system, no a ban on new technologies.
To summarize, human cloning and cloning research shouldn’t be made illegal by the U.S. Federal Government because it may provide a way for completely sterile individuals to reproduce, it may provide a way for homosexual couples to reproduce themselves, it probably will provide a valuable basic research and possible spin off technologies related to reproduction and development, our society has respected general right to control ones body in regard to reproduction, and finally prohibiting it would violate the fundamental freedom of scientific inquiring.
Will human cloning be done? Undoubtedly. The technique used in sheep cloning does not require a highly sophisticated laboratory. Since the United States government doesn’t support research on the human cloning, and the United Kingdom, France , and Germany have banned cloning, the research making cloning possible may take place in Asia, Eastern Europe, or the Near East. Much of it may take place in secret, and it will occur regardless of any United States policy. According to the a.. approximately 80 % of Americans feel that cloning is wrong. However, the vast majority of people, including those who rail against cloning research , owe their very lives to previous medical discoveries. Don’t let the forces of ignorance and fear turn us back from the research, and at this point, do not worry about Napolion’s Tomb . Only living cells can be cloned.
Cloning: Why We Shouldnt Be Against It
Cloning: Why we shouldn’t be against it