One problem with cloning is that, as the process is explored, it is likely to produce numerous unsuccessful clones before the process becomes reliable. This has obvious ethical implications, and is an argument that some have articulated against cloning. To be honest, I can’t blame them.
No, allow me. Where are you living that this isn’t the case now?
A clone would be genetically identical to the parent; but being genetically identical to a person does not make one an “exact replica” of that person.
The point I was making when I first said clones would not be exactly like the original person is a philosophical and ethical point. A clone of a person is not a duplicate or a spare or an automaton; a clone of a person is a person–a separate person from the original or parent person.
Here’s another clone-related dilemma: Parents. In normal childbirth, there are standards of “who takes care of the child”. If parents don’t take care of their kids, they are punished and the kids are given to new parents. However, with a clone, who would have the legal responsibility of the cloned person?
As for deformations… yeah, the odds of making a “healthy” clone at the time being is slim, but I have no doubt that, eventually, the kinks will be worked out (hey, it might be five months, it might be fifty years).
Genetically identical = exact replica, from a genetics perspective.
Ethically/philosophically, a clone is an exact genetic replica, I personally think, until you the clone matures to the point that its reactions to its environment begins to make it a unique person. But that’s my own subjective opinion.
So much of this is subjective. Some people will draw the line at creation, in a absolute denial that any embryo is not to be considered less than human because of the potential to become human: some people (including judges)will say not until third trimester or whatever.
Because the line is impossible to draw and can only be subjectively drawn, people will inevitably medically exploit cloned embryos.
Except, of course, for mitochondrial DNA. If your clone does not also have your mother as its mother, it is not an “exact replica” the way an identical twin is. True, mitochondrial DNA might not have much to do with anything on an individual level but it does mean that the genetics are not identical.
Re: mitochondrial DNA,here: http://www.ri.bbsrc.ac.uk/library/research/cloning/sindyq&a.html
is an interview about some of these ideas on a page I found while I was trying to make sure I was spelling “mitochondrial” right. I don’t agree with the social issues he raises, but I am concerned about the premature aging and other problems that might arise.
I was just thinking of the heading of this thread. Has anyone given an example of how cloning is immoral? I can’t think of one.
I am waiting for the “soul” argument.
The Vatican has a policy paper on this, which I might try looking for, if only to add fuel to this debate.
Cloning (combined with mental transference devices) would allow people - rich people especially - to live forever. With the exception of Emperor Palpatine, who didn’t need a MTD.
I think that the issue of cloning is well beyond ethical. To me its a question of making the human race even more vulnerable.
Consider this argument that I read perhaps in these boards (or maybe somewhere else I don’t recall)… We have already played a huge part in perpetuating a large number of diseases by…finding a cure for it. So now that people can lead fairly normal lives with say diabetes and beget children, the disease gets transmitted to the next generation without any filters. In other words the weaker specimens of the species are being allowed to procreate, whereas if natural selection was allowed, then the weaker specimens ability to procreate will be diminished. Now this may sound extremely fascist or whatever, and I for one do NOT advocate any stoppage in research for new cures. We have merely followed our self preservation instinct. And that I think is fine.
Now, cloning will raise this issue a couple of notches, With a single individual causing another individual to be created the chances of inherited diseases being passed on to a child increases many many times. I think that we have caused enough damage to the human gene pool and we should let nature take its course. I think that we should not allow cloning to become a race to be won by a corporation just to get their jollies.
Let’s put it this way: Does anyone think any of the arguments against human cloning advanced so far are strong enough to warrant sending someone to Federal prison for ten years?
NOTE: I actually think the House’s #2 “finding” is a sufficiently strong argument to warrant a ban on full-scale cloning of humans for the time being, until and unless more reliable techniques for cloning humans can be developed. I also think their finding #5 probably ought to be the subject of separate legislation if reliable techniques for cloning people are ever developed; you shouldn’t be able to clone someone without their consent. Some of the issues from finding #4 might require new laws to make clear who has parental responsibility for cloned children. Much of finding #4 is just more of the same tired rhetoric reminiscent of that used to bash gays and lesbians. Finding #3 is just plain silly. Clones would still require nine months of gestation, in a womb or reasonable facsimile–and there are no reasonable facsimiles of a womb right now, we aren’t very close to such, and if there were, it would be a major medical advance and quite beneficial to humankind in general and womankind in particular, cloning or no cloning–in short, cloning can no more “mass-produce” children than sex can. And Congress hasn’t made fertility treatments which result in large multiple births a Federal felony; instead, those parents are frequently treated as heroes. Despite the verbiage in finding #7, findings #6 and 7 strike me as an attempt to legislate pro-life law through the back door, and the hardest-line pro-life law at that–the contention that embryoes which are only a few days old should be legally protected as “human life”. Since I don’t want a permanent ban on cloning, I find finding #8 to be possibly true but irrelevant. Finding #10 merely shows that the Council of Europe is as capable as the U.S. House of Representatives of giving in to high-minded-sounding but vague fears about technology. Finding #9 is pretty irrelevant; and finding #11 looks like Constitutionally-required boilerplate to justify Congressional action (cloning will “affect interstate commerce”).
JTC did. In order to make cloning reliable, we are bound to produce a lot of unsuccessful clones. It is ethical to create clones, knowing that in the process, we are bound to produce a lot of human who are seriously deformed and/or have no hope of survival?
It might be possible to borne out an anencephalous clone for use as spare parts. No brain; no mind.
this is kinda funny because there are lots of humans formed by conventional sex that are seriously disformed and/or have no hope of survival. Using this criteria; conventional sex is immoral too.
That’s an entirely different situation than cloning in general. Why do people have such a hard time imagining that we could allow cloning of embryos, even of whole persons, while still taking steps against unlikely and unfeasiable situations like the above (vat organs, one of the possible benefits of cloned stem cell research, would much better source of organs; you’d have to grow your vegitable clone to maturity and feed it until you needed to harvest, take a vital organ and the rest goes to waste). Ditto for clone armies, slave drones, and full body replacement. These are seperate issues, and a clone is only step one of many that we’d need to take before they become at all pertinent.
I’d also agree that cloning is currently unethical b/c of the failure rate and possible health effects. While a cloned child and it’s parent(s)/guardians would face some special social and moral issues, many of these are already being faced by in vitro fertilization and surrogate motherhood. Others would be more difficult, but not jusitifiable for the government to outlaw the procedure.
I am not sure why it is immoral for people to not die. Would you care to expand on this a little. Or is the immoral part the destroying of the clone’s mind and replacing it with another what is immoral?
That’s not a cloning issue. That’s about stealing the body of one’s child, cloned or uncloned.
I don’t think so. For one thing, I think we should distinguish between accidents of nature and man-made accidents. It’s one thing for a natural abnormality or fatality to occur; it’s another thing to cause it more-or-less deliberately.
Besides, without natural procreation, the human race would be doomed to extinction. So while some fatalities and abnormalities may ensue, it’s the price to pay for ensuring human survival.
Additionally, the number of abnormal or unviable births are fairly small, and can often be attributed to disease and poor nutrition. Experimental cloning, on the other hand, is likely to produce a large number of such births, with no guarantee that the process will ever be perfected.
-----you seem to assume massive errors. Granted that is the case at the moment.
Suppose that a scientist stumbles on a sure-shot technique that has LESS error than conventional sex, in other words cloning is SAFER than conventional sexual reproduction. Then it would seem that it would be MORE moral to clone than not.
If so, then this PARTICULAR moral objection would be lifted. (As in, it doesn’t automatically follow that cloning becomes more moral, since we should consider all other aspects as well.)
However, the question remains. How is a scientist supposed to determine that this technique has a lower failure rate that conventional reproduction? The only way to determine this is try it out. The scientist wouldn’t know ahead of time that his technique is more reliable, and so the moral problems still remain.
Additionally, how would this scientist “stumble upon” that technique without any prior experimentation? Is it possible that he’d discover a more reliable method without conducting any previous tests on humans? I find this notion to be a bit farfetched.
Of course at present, it’s all a moot point, since nobody has stumbled upon a safer technique, and there’s no reason to expect any such breakthrough anytime soon.