In our society, human cloning is a stepping stone to defining the ethical boundaries of science. The heart of this controversy has little to do with the technology behind cloning, or cloning itself. It is scientific fact that the cloning of an animal is possible and has over time become a process done with continually increasing ease and success.
Biologically, humans are nothing more than animals with a more advanced system of biomechanics. Humans, like any other animal, will become easier to manufacture artificially as technology and time progress. This is fundamental because one of the core ethical reasons for the banning of human cloning is the risk of natal defects. However, technology increases in a matter that linearly coincides with time. As time passes, methods are perfected, and like any other medical procedure the risks will decrease in frequency. This will occur until what I fondly nickname the “Equalized Life Opportunity Mark” .
The “Equalized Life Opportunity Mark” is the point at which the statistical life expectation and deformity rate of a cloned human is equivalent to a naturally born human. At this scientific plateau, the risk of deformities will no longer be a factor in deciding the virtuousness/ethicalness of human cloning, as the risk would be either equalized or smaller than that of natural humans. This is the point where human cloning actually becomes an ethical controversy with a firm foundation in the supporting of human cloning. Human cloning before this point grants artificial life with a mathematically lower chance of survival, and thusly is fundamentally harmful. However once we reach the E.L.O.M we are no longer giving the fetus a disadvantage. In contrast this would allow us to harness science in such a manner as to give society huge advantages.
And now we reach the ethical boundaries of science. We have the ability to manufacture artificial life that is as viable as natural life itself. Now we unveil the underlying ethical issue, the true leviathan in the deep abyss far below cloning. The real ethical issue is, “To what extent can we allow technology to change the human body before a line must be drawn.” In simple terms, that is the core concern of fundamentalists and other adversaries of cloning. The truth of the matter is that we as humans are not comfortable with modifying what we attribute to be part of our identity. If we can change our eye color to that of whatever we please, then any uniqueness or remarkableness about our eyes completely loses value. This same concept applies to every other theoretical change that could be done with the level of genetic engineering required to clone humans. Many are innately afraid of being replaceable, of no longer maintaining uniqueness, and that is perhaps instinctual.
The unfortunate reality is that an individual is replaceable. We are an animal species, and deep down within our matrix of existence we are programmed to wish to survive as a race. All known organisms in the world have an innate drive to promote the continued existence of their species. After acknowledging that our goal as a race is to survive, to exist continually, the same as any other animal, it must be acknowledged that successful genetic engineering benefits the human race without harming an individual. For example, let’s suppose there is a natural fireman, and a genetically engineered fireman. The natural fireman may complain, saying that it is unfair that he has to exercise regularly and vigorously to perform his duties, whilst the genetically engineered fireman has innate strength without any need to exercise it. However, fundamentally, it is an absolute truth that one fireman’s strength does not reduce the other. Only if you attempt to compare the two, is one diminished. And it is common sense that when comparing individuals via a black and white attribute, a ranking of superiority is inevitably formed. This is true for any attribute, skill or talent that can be concretely measured and compared to another.
After acknowledging that the underlying dilemma behind human cloning is the ethical limitation of genetic engineering, we identify an innate desire to be extraordinary. However, genetic engineering removes the title of extraordinary from the equation, as anyone can theoretically become anything. Anyone who feels entitlement based off their attributes is surely prone to begin outraged, at having their unique ability becoming diluted, mainstream. What if we could breed genius? What if we created a mere one hundred humans each year, genetically engineered to be intellectually equivalent to Einstein? Millions of scientists would feel that all of their accomplishments were dwarfed, their intelligence diminished, by their being such individuals. But this reality demonstrates one thing and one thing alone; human vanity. We as a race are more concerned with our appearance to others, then our continued survival as a race. Most individuals would rather be special, then have actual problems be solved in our society. This is ironic because that in itself is a problem in our society. The fundamental truth is that cloning, or rather what we are truthfully concerned about, genetic engineering is a technology that can benefit human’s and aid in our survival in countless ways. If we decide as a society to prohibit it, to protect our fragile egos and attempt to justify our sense of self-importance, well, let’s just say that philosophers a thousand years from now will have fun at our expense.