.. ) who want to have children but have a high risk of producing children with genetic problems can use cloning to prevent these diseases. If we criminalize human cloning, it will still exist, just simply go underground. Lee Silver, a biologist at Princeton and author of several books on human cloning, predicts that the first human clone will be born in a population where no one knows thats what it is. It will sneak in quietly when no one is looking (Many oppose 20).
President Clinton recently signed a bill stating that no federal money would be allocated for cloning. This bill was signed as it was determined that federal money would be better spent providing health care, seeking cures for diseases, etc., and not on cloning. I tend to agree. However, this still leaves private companies open to develop clones as they wish. Only three states have banned human cloning.
So cloning is legal in forty-seven states and about two hundred countries around the world (Eibert, par. 68). The University of Edinburgh in Scotland (where the cloned sheep, Dolly, was produced) recently obtained the first patent for a cloned human last December by the European trade commission (Ramirez 4.5). I think that there are some laws regarding cloning that should be mandatory without banning cloning altogether. I think that one of the main laws should be that one cant clone someone without permission.
People might want to clone celebrities for their own gain. Yet if we really are more than our genes, a cloned Michael Jordan may prefer the violin to basketball. A clone of a recently deceased child would never be able to fully replace the child. Although we all want what is best for our children, these extra pressures on them can never be fully met, and if a celebrity (or someone else who hasnt given permission) were cloned, the clone is more than likely going to develop into the bearer of unmet expectations (Zabludoff 6). I also think that it should be illegal to sell DNA. If DNA were to be sold, it would create these same undue pressures on appearance and lifestyles that cloning a celebrity would take.
Also, people selling the DNA might have traits that they are unaware of (carriers for certain diseases or recessive genes). Buyers would essentially have no way to know for sure where the DNA (cells) they are procuring actually came from. How does religion affect this issue? Although religion isnt a decisive means to allow or disallow any matters, we are all religious in our own accord, and, therefore, the view of religion on cloning means something to us. The Christian perspective is that cloning is against Gods plan. All children are special creations of God.
Most Christians believe children should be born out of the procreation between a man and a woman (Meilander 21). It is a belief of many people that this embryo is essentially alive and that destroying it is no different than murder (or abortion) and that experimenting with it is essentially human experimentation. In a response to cloning, the Donum Vitae publication in 1987 by the Catholic Church, makes a defense of human life from the first moment of existence, and this document further states that the embryo demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to (human beings in their) bodily and spiritual totality (Clarke 12-13) The Islamic view on human cloning is that it is a disaster to the world. Although the cloning of plants and animals is recommended as a cure for illness or for the manufacture of medicines, the cloning of humans is considered a cause of evil as it goes against the natural way that Allah has created people, in terms of reproduction (Zallum 12). The renowned Hastings Center Report has discussed human cloning to some extent. In July 1999, the organization began to discuss the issue from a religious (Jewish) point of view.
Author Jonathan Cohen writes, The possibility of cloning human beings challenges Western beliefs about creation and our relationship to God. If we understand God as the Creator and creation as a completed act, cloning will be a transgression. If, however, we understand God as the Power of Creation and creation as a transformative process, we may find a role for human participation, sharing that power as beings created in the image of God (7). Basically the overall tone of this report is that cloning may actually have some benefits and should not be dismissed without merit. Rabbi Elliott Dorff writes in the same report that Cloning, like all other technologies, is morally neutral. Its moral valence depends on how we use it (10).
He compares it to drug use; it can be beneficial when used to improve health but a curse when taken by addicts. Cohen addresses the issue of playing God by writing, Seeing Gods hand in the uncertain and mysterious is relatively easy; seeing Gods hand in what we can control may be difficult.If asked whether we are playing God by engaging in human cloning, we might respond, Yes, for God is in us too. We might even stress that creation lies not merely in changing the world, but in changing it for the better (11). Ultimately in the issues of cloning, it comes down to a matter of who is able to make the decision. Who decides how a woman can bear a child? Who decides what children should or shouldnt be born? Arent we, as Americans, given the freedom to make these decisions for ourselves? In the selection In Gods Garden, there is a story of a man who, when deciding whether to raise his children in Israel or the United States, goes to talk to his rabbi about this difficult decision. His rabbi tells him, There are two types of fruits in the world: fruit that grows in vineyards, and fruit that grows in the wild.
Usually, fruit that grows in vineyards is large, shapely, tasty, and consistent. Fruit that grows in the wild often has blemishes or defects, and much of it is lost to insects and disease. However, it may be quite strong in flavor. How do these two types of fruit compare? Both are pleasing in Gods eyes (11). Cohen goes on to write, In time, we may well see a world in which many people will be cloned or genetically engineered, while others will be created through traditional means. Perhaps both will be pleasing in Gods eyes (12).
Bibliography Clarke, Kevin Unnatural Selection U.S. Catholic January 2000: 12 Cohen, Jonathan. In Gods Garden (Jewish thoughts on cloning) The Hastings Center Report 29, no. 4 July 1999: 7 12 Colvin, Jonathan Me, my clone, and I (or in defense of human cloning) The Humanist May/June 2000: 39 Eibert, Mark Human Cloning: Myths, Medical Benefits and Constitutional Rights 23 September, 1999. Online. Internet.
5 July, 2000. Available http://www.humancloning.org Kilner, John F. Human Cloning Would Violate Christian Ethics. Winters, p. 13 Lester, Lane P.
with Hefley, James C. Human Cloning: Playing God or Scientific Progress? California: Fleming H. Revell, (a division of Baker Book House Company), 1998. Many oppose human cloning National Catholic Reporter 22 October, 1999: 19 23 Meilaender, Gilbert. Human Cloning Would Violate the Dignity of Children.
Winters, p. 21 Ramirez, Anthony A Case of Letting the Gene Out of the Bottle The New York Times 14 May, 2000: 4.5+ Winters, Paul. Cloning: At Issue, An Opposing Viewpoint Series. San Diego. Greenhaven Press, 1998. Zabludoff, Marc Fear and longing.
(arguments against human cloning and other disquieting biotechnologies) Discover May 1998. p. 6 Zallum, Abdul Qadeem Islamic Verdict on Cloning, Human Organ Transplantation, Abortion, Test-tube Babies, Life and Death Online. Internet. 5 July, 2000. Available http://www.khilafah.com/books/cloning.html.