So exactly in what way is human cloning immoral?

My beef with cloning is the mental effects it will have on the cloned child. How do you tell a child it was the product of science?

*All the children you play with in daycare at the institution all have biological parents, you don’t. *

This is assuming they aren’t born from a womb by implanting them during a certain cycle of development. Being placed in a womb would mean the “not being born by a human” problem is solved, but there are other problems still. I’m sure that if they clone a human; they will try to make it genetically superior (immunity against certain disease…better eyesight, use a little more of the brain perhaps). After cloning this is all well with in our grasp. What this will cause is a sort of genetic prejudice. This all my opinion folks, but I’ve thought a lot about it.

The whole issue with clones is due to the fact that the majority of people have no idea what a clone is. Most paople believe that a clone will pop out of a vat looking like the original, with somehow the mind of the original. Or they think that clones are somehow modified to be better or different than themselves.

All pure bunk of course. Fed from all the science fiction and ignorant news media that people swallow without a second thought.

Cloning is not gene manipulation. A clone is just a human baby. Born from a womans womb not a vat. You can’t grow a spare body because that body will have a mind. who won’t want to just give it up.

Think of cloning as a just different type of invitro fertilisation and all the ethical issues go away.

Of course this is only for clones that go to full term.
Growing zygots for cell harvesting will always have ethical issues as long as there are people wyo are anti-abortion.


How do you tell a kid he’s adopted? How do you tell a kid her father was a drunk who ran away and abandoned her and her mother before she was born? At any rate, clones would certainly have to be placed in a womb for the time being; and if the technology is developed to build “uterine replicators” and have babies who are “of no woman born”, then plenty of non-cloned, genes-from-two-people babies will also be born from uterine replicators (because “Mommy had a medical condition that wouldn’t allow her to have you grow in her tummy”). And it’s not like cloned children will have “CLONE” stamped on their foreheads. Do you have any co-workers or neighbors who were adopted? And how do you know if you do or don’t?

The issue of genetic enhancements is in the same general biomedical ballpark as cloning technology, but it is a separate issue. Genes-from-two-people babies could also be genetically modified, when that becomes technologically possible.

If science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that no good can come from cloning. The only practical applications are creating a race of super-soldiers or perhaps cloning Hitlers brain to rebuild the Third Reich.

Let’s not be foolish here people!

Yes, I do believe that killing an embryo is just as worst as killing a human at any other stage of life.

BTW… I don’t agree in execution of any kind.

But if a woman terminated a three-day-old zygote, you would favor, say, imprisoning her for the rest of her life?

The significant question is, will stem cell research lead to real cures, or merley long-term pharmacuticle treatments?

The private companies doing the research probably have a long-term profit incentive, rather than a saving humanity ideology. I think this has to be put in check from the get-go, by putting legislation in place that would allow the benefits of any such research to be not limited to the rich.

True those are also hard things to tell a child, but don’t we discourage those kinds of situations. Its not like sending your child up for adoption is the latest trend. Children are put up for adoption because they felt they had no other choice. If cloning was used just to help mothers who cannot produce offspring have genetically similar children then I’m all for it, but it won’t be like that.


Sure for right now that’s all cloning is. It’s when we duplicate the natural process of making a human outside the body that I will have a problem with.

I am not a big buddy of the prison system, I think it’s more about revenge against law breakers than rehabilitation for them.

I would try to think of an action that would help to prevent this from happening again.

mighty_maxx says:

Sure for right now that’s all cloning is. It’s when we duplicate the natural process of making a human outside the body that I will have a problem with.

gazpacho responds:

I can definitely see this as being a popular service without cloning. Not going through all the pregnancy stuff. Morning sickness, labor, etc. I can see where a lot of women might like that. I am sure not all women will want to have children brought to term outside their bodies. But many probably will.

But you didn’t say “discourage”, you said “avoid at all costs”. On the one hand, you have a childless person or couple who choose to reproduce by cloning. On the other hand, you have a teenage girl who gets drunk, then gets pregnant, chooses not to have an abortion, and chooses to put the child up for adoption. We may seek to “discourage” scenarios like the second one from happening, but we don’t take teenage mothers out and have them shot, or throw them in prison. Whereas, some in Congress want a criminal ban on cloning, with fines and even prison terms for violaters.

What’s so all-fired terrible about a child being born from an artificial device instead of a womb? Sure, if at the end of this process the child isn’t regarded as human, that’s a problem. But the solution isn’t to ban “uterine replicators”, but to enforce existing laws against child labor, infanticide, slavery, child neglect, etc. More probably, children born of uterine replicators would be wanted and loved children whose mothers simply couldn’t bear children for medical reasons (eventually many mothers might come to choose a uterine replicator for reasons of convenience and safety, without loving the resulting children any less). Meanwhile, many children are born of wombs into utterly horrible conditions.

Cloning is a great thing. It will allow us to create new organs that won’t be rejected by the body, which would be one of the great medical breakthroughs of the last 100 years. No more organ banks, no need for organ donors, no need for artificial hearts. Instead of trying to keep a diseased heart going through endless amounts of surgery and angioplastys, we can simply grow a fresh new one and replace it.

Who could possibly have a problem with that? Yet, Bush would make this illegal. In fact, even research towards this goal may be illegal. That’s irresponsible.

Part of the problem is that Bush’s ‘bioethics’ advisor is Leon Kass, who is pretty much a Luddite. I don’t think Kass has ever seen a technology he liked.

Here’s some excellent commentary from the pro-cloning side, including a ton of letters from some high profile scientists:

No, there is a lot more to that: establishing connections, preferential treatment, and so on, solely on the basis that one is exactly like the original person. A person who is a not-clone can effectively be shut out permanently from access to the power elite because he just isn’t a clone of someone else of the power elite. In America, it is a matter of earning riches, working hard and the ability to win certain favors that are requisites of moving on up. With cloning, it could be the case that no matter how hard you work or how rich, or how high an EQ or IQ you have, if you are not a clone of a power elite, then you are out of the clique, forever. Scoff at it now, but I am not too confident of human nature transcending science in this matter.

Mock that Sam Stone.

But a clone isn’t “exactly like” the original person.

Is there an impenetrable power elite in this country now? If the answer is yes (which would be a highly debatable proposition), then we need to fix that, never mind cloning. If the answer is no, then why would cloning members of the porous power elite make it any more impenetrable than the members of the power elite having offspring the old-fashioned way?

Nepotism is already a problem in many human societies, but as with ordinary nepotism, nepotism by cloning would be subject to the same limitations. If you are smarter or more talented than the clone in charge of Corporation A, but Corporation A won’t hire you because you aren’t a clone of Old Man Smith, then Corporation A is probably not long for this world, as it will be ripped to shreds by the other corporations which have no such silly nepotistic preferences.

Nepotism probably is part of human nature, but so is competition from smart, talented, ambitious people outside the power structure who want to get in.

The word “cloning” strikes me as a misnomer, in this case. If we had called it “twinning” (i.e. to make a genetic twin of) from the get-go, we would have avoided much of this nonsense. The process creates a new human being; just like natural procreation, but with only one parent. Yeesh.

Creating a human blastula, extracting stem cells from it for medical research, and then discarding it (aborting it) is the centre of the controversy here. Whether the blastula was produced by “cloning” or by in-vitro fertilization or by other means doesn’t enter into it.

This controversy is about abortion, not “cloning”.

The issue comes down to, at what point do the cells become “human”? Even the scientist consider the body to be sacred once it has become “human”, the debate is when this occurs.

Consider the case of a petri dish growing a layer of human stem cell tissue; is that human? If we develop technology that can grow a human liver in a vat of nutrients to be transplanted in the genetic donor, is that human life? When are we going to call a collection of human cells human life? When it can walk, talk and think? When it looks like a small, unborn version of us? I think these are some of the more germane questions we should be asking about stem cell research (and that’s were our focus should be; debating about cloning Fred down the street is very premature at this point.) I also think that abortion issue debates should be left out of stem cell debates; the two issues are apples and oranges, and discussing abortion tends to cloud any stem cell research debates.


Actually that’s not right.

Can we just talk about how this works before everyone starts talking about spare parts in vats?

This is how it works, in real basic lay terms so even I can understand it: I take some of my tissue, which I own. I stick it in an egg. No part of the egg’s material forms the cloned me. In fact, its an exact duplicate of me. At the time at which it is a few days old, hasn’t developed and semblance of sentience etc., its partly grown tissue samples of me.

If I was to let my partly grown tissue samples mature, then eventually I’d have an exact replica of me. The mother’s DNA does not contribute towards the clone’s DNA. The egg acts as a vehicle.

But there are good reasons to not let my grown tissue mature, ethical issues aside. Deformities are almost guaranteed. Dolly the sheep was the first good clone from a series of failures. Dolly is also now dead. Lifespans for clones aren’t good.

Technology might be able to fix these problems in due course.

For the interim, in relation to humans, if this is going to be done, then it is much better to harvest them at a very early stage until these problems are sorted out. How cloned kids will be treated at school isn’t even a consideration right now.

I’m involved in the intellectual property industry, and I’m really having to look at this issue and other biotechnological advances with ethical problems from a commercial point of view. If some Western countries are not going to allow clone-based technology to be developed, then they are shunting off-shore the next enormous growth industry (on par to the revolution caused by computers), and you will be flying to Singapore or Tokyo for your clone-derived medical therapy for Alzheimers or aging or cancer or whatever. And the global economy will shift away from the West. If I had cancer, I’d be flying to the country which has it and paying whatever it takes for a fix, and not give a damn if the cure was derived from harvested clone embryos.

I agree that the current practical problems of cloning present a good argument against attempting to reproduce a human being by cloning at this time. I even think a temporary or conditional legal moratorium on making actual human beings by cloning, until and unless techniques which can give some confidence that the clones would lead normal and healthy lives, is justifiable.

However, to say that a clone is an “exact replica” of a human being is extremely naive genetic reductionism. A clone of you would not have your memories. He would not have whatever environmental influences you experienced throughout your life–he would not have been exposed to the same chemicals pre-natally, have would not have eaten the same foods, he would not have injured himself in the same way and at the same times you did as a child. He would not have had the same friends or the same teachers you did, and he would not have your parents. He would be decades younger than you. He would not have grown up during the same historical era that you did. In short, he would not have your entire life.

Yes, your clone would be genetically identical to you, barring new spontaneous mutations. He would look just like you did at his age. If the evidence of identical twins is anything to go on, he might well have a personality and intellectucal capabilities very much like yours, maybe even uncannily so. But he would not be you; he would very much be a separate, distinct, individual human being.

*Of course *no one person goes through the same environmental experiences. Let me be clear. For the purposes of discussing cloning, as a genetic science, the clone is identical, save for defects resulting from the cloning process. Compare me as an embryo 5 days old to my clone as an embryo 5 days old. Identical genetics. An “exact replica”. That is not naive genetic reductionism: it is fact.