Cloning - Is the World Ready?
12 March 1998
Submitted to: DR. Mark Brasher
PH100 - Intro. To Philosophy
Cloning - Is the World Ready?
Human Genetic Cloning - it has been titled "Breakthrough of the Year", in my opinion, it should be titled "Confusion of the Year", as this is the hottest debate in the Senate to date(BBC). This particular science is the creation of living organisms, derived from another organism through an asexual reproductive process. The question to be posed: "Is America ready for the Human Clone?" In my educated opinion, no; this practice should be outlawed for various ethical, religious, medical, and moral reasons.
First off, when there is a clone, the first ethical issue that comes to mind is, is this a human being? To me, a human being is a person who is breathing air and has a heartbeat; this is just the minimum requirement to be considered a human. So if we do create a human clone, then it must be breathing, and have a functioning heart, so, yes, it is a human. Next, since I determine this clone to be human, it should live under the same constitutional rights as the next human. These constitutional rights are a given, every living man, woman, and child living in this country has these rights. So this human clone should have rights. Well, it doesn't according to the plans for uses of these clones. So where do we draw the line? Another issues that has come up is "the fear that reckless scientists might create novel pathogens that would devastate the world's population, or new plants that would grow out of control and bury the herbal competition"(Boffey 22). Could you imagine another plague that could potentially destroy the entire world? Just another reason to hold off any cloning practices.
"The scriptures clearly teach that God alone has the right over life and death. We are dismally unqualified by knowledge or moral stature to take the role of the Creator"(Priests). This is the word of Chicago physicist, Richard Seed speaking of his opinion of cloning from the religious point of view. Who give a scientist the right to take the life of human clones? This is one of the plans with clones, to create them and to kill them. Father Frank Pavone, International Director of Priests for Life says, "Cloning disregards the dignity of the human person and the dignity of human procreation. It enters the arena of making people. Human cloning should be prohibited by law"(Priests). I tend to agree as I was brought up in a strong Catholic environment, one that has taught me that taking another life is always unforgivable. Only God has this right. So are scientists claiming to be God? Let's hope not.
Medically, there might be valid reasons for cloning. Scientist's claim that cloning can help create a cure for cancer, or make it possible to replace body parts that are damaged by disease or injury. This is a valid argument, but the objection to this is, do we need to create a full human clone to replace an arm, or skin damage. I believe not, we have had the technology to do skin grafts for years, and the practice has gotten to the point that it is almost impossible to notice. Also, there have been instances that scientists have grown an ear on the back of a lab rat. Why not expand on this? Why can't scientists experiment with other body parts or other animals? Also, how many human embryos will we sacrifice to create one clone? It took 277 attempts to create "Dolly" the first cloned sheep(Company). Is that acceptable? I for one am totally against it. We need more information, more tests. In the mean time why not keep testing with animals, and not humans.
Looking at this issue morally, do we need to clone human beings? Picture it this way; imagine walking into a classroom with thirty students. Nothing out of the ordinary right? Now, imagine all thirty students look exactly the same, have the same questions, and who talk and walk the same. This is what could conceivably happen with cloning. Clones would not have individual personalities; all clones would eat, walk, and think just like the human that they were molded from. Curing cancer, correcting injuries, or birth defects, to me that is not worth risking another human's life to create a human that will not live a proper life. Where do we draw the line? Are we going to accept the power to create and destroy a human's life? God did not intend for us to have that power. "As a society, we produce, buy, sell, and throw away so many things that we are easily tempted to do the same thing to human beings. We forget the difference between a person and a thing. Things are made; persons are begotten"(Priests). There are the remarks of Fr. Frank Pave, he agrees that human cloning should be outlawed, but he does condone the cloning in the animal or vegetable kingdom to aid the learning process for potential future cloning practices.
President Clinton proposed a five-year ban on human cloning. I agree with this proposition, we nee to put a ban with stiff penalties for all practice within this period. Regarding humans, we need to answer all of the questions, potential risks, uses of clones, first. Yes, the technology is there, but what we have to decide is when or what reasons would
human cloning is acceptable?
BBC News, "Sci/Tech First there was DollyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦" Online
Internet 15 January 1998 Avaliable
Biffey, Phillip M. "Cloning as an Anticlimax." New York Times
01 April 1997, 22.
Company Press Release, "BIO Responds to Cloning Report"
Online Internet. 10 January 1998. Available
Priests for life, "Priests for Life on Cloning ,What does
It mean to me?" Online. Internet. 09 January 1998.