Genetics

Pros and Cons of Human Cloning



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Human cloning is a technology that can result in both positive and negative consequences. Deciding what is "natural" is an arbitrary decision made by different cultures. If we see a bird make an elaborate nest or bees make a fine, we call it nature. They used their talents to construct something important to their respective lives.

Whenever humans use their talents and the environment around them, people start shouting about things being "unnatural." First of all, there is no basis for making that claim and secondly, what's it matter even if it's true? If medicine were unnatural, it would still provide valuable benefits to sick and vulnerable people. And as we've discovered, many violent criminals arise naturally as a result of genetics. Even though these people are "natural," there's certainly nothing admirable about their deviant behaviors. Medicine is not somehow morally inferior to psychopathy because it's "unnatural" (not that it is). That's just not the case.

Obviously, religious lines will be crossed when it comes to cloning humans. It's not difficult to realize that the non-religious have no basis for claiming clones are not human or are inferior to the rest of us. However, there are still those who object to the practice for a variety of reasons, and many objections to cloning are well thought out. That said, the objection that it's against religious truths or the will of God is simply a statement made with no supporting evidence.

Science consistently has been repressed by people attempting to speak for everyone with regard to religious matters. Everyone is entitled to make up their own mind on such issues. That said, we have an obligation to consult the facts, and even if one believes in a soul, there is no passage in the Bible on cloning. I think it's tragic that people think fertility treatments and in vitro fertilization are immoral based on a failure to conceive the "normal" way. These couples desperately want a child to love and care for, but they're often demonized as causing some great offense. They aren't hurting anyone, and the children grow up perfectly healthy and normal. Religiously speaking, God could fool us into believing anyone has a soul. Perhaps some people don't. However, we don't make assumptions about people being "inferior" based on nothing. There is no reason to presume clones are not human. What are twins supposed to think of themselves? Are the less because they had to get their souls copied or split into two bodies? I mean let's be serious, here.

The realities of cloning come from real worries. Humans being used as farm animals to harvest organs to keep the rest of us alive is, in my view, something that is not excusable (though few if any people advocate this). Alternatively , the psychological implications of cloning human beings are something there is not enough information about. I'm not worried about the child as much as I am parents trying to make up for a lost loved one - will that be damaging or helpful to their health? Furthermore, we already have significant population problems, and genetic diversity and sex selection may become topics of debate. There are too many variables to go head first into such a complicated area.

That being said, do I think human cloning is necessarily dangerous? No I do not. Quite frankly, I think pregnancy is incredibly painful for many women, can cause death, wastes the time of doctors, parents, family, friends, etc. If parents can have their children in a tube, everyone suffers a lot less. If cloning can avoid genetic problems, great. Perhaps the husband doesn't want to give the child a rare disease or his crooked nose. Who knows, but it's his choice. They might decide to take a clone based on the DNA of their favorite niece. Or perhaps a family had a rare high level genius who was lonely, and they wanted to clone a sibling from a database. There are lots of possibilities where if proper precautions could be guaranteed, cloning could benefit society.

Now until precautions are guaranteed, I would oppose cloning. That being said, I'd actually support cloning research for the purposes of developing data, and I suspect it's already being done. I would not support revealing it to the public, however, as I think they are too frightened of change and "end of the world science fiction movies" to deal with the matter maturely.

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