Human Cloning: Top 10 ArgumentsSuggested by SMS
Since the creation of man, he has been in pursuit of the wisdom of God. How God created the earth and the heavens and life are questions that have been messing with the human mind over thousands of years. The development of cloning has provided answers to some these questions.
Cloning is a concept that involves the removal of the nucleus from an egg and its placement into another fertilized egg, which itself had its nucleus removed. This nucleus, in its new home directs the development of a complete organism. Although cloning is a naturally occurring phenomenon in case of some organisms such as armadillos, poplar trees, aphids, etc. it can also be implemented on humans.
Man has been inquisitive about human cloning ever since its inception. This is reflected in literary works like The Boys from Brazil (by Ira Levin) and movies like The Sixth Day. Although, human cloning is essentially considered unethical but ethical concerns about whether an action is right or wrong are often clouded by subjectivity, emotion and perspective. In this article we discuss the top ten arguments concerning human cloning. Some of these arguments shed light on the unethical nature of human cloning while others support the development and research of new technologies that can ensure safe and successful human cloning.
10. Social Uneasiness
One of the major anomalies surrounding human cloning is that it creates a unique and uneasy social confrontation. If a person clones himself and brings up the child as his own it gives way to a strange situation. Rather than being the clone’s father he would be ideally the clone’s sibling. Also, in the society clones stand at a very awkward position. What should they be considered? When an entity is added to a family he/she holds some relation to each member of the family, but clones emerge out of thin air. Their relations with the other members of the family are merely a notion rather than a reality. Such social awkwardness leads to a psychological hindrance in the development of the clone.
9. Constrained Psychological Development
In the book, The boys from Brazil, 94 clones of Adolf Hitler are conceived in various parts of the world and a plan is made to kill each one’s father to recreate the same circumstances that could give rise to the birth of another Führer. This more than sufficiently proves that cloned humans will be images of their nuclear donors. They will have a different life because their lives can be measured. They will be subjected to tests that they are supposed to pass because that is what originally happened. This constrains their level of their psychological and social development.
8. Freedom of Choice
Whenever, a groundbreaking discovery has surfaced, it has been opposed by the masses, churches, governments, etc. This happens because man has always been shy of change. But discoveries and inventions are the life studies of some men for his fellow men and should be addressed with respect and embraced. Anything that is followed by something good cannot be all bad and all good things are worth fighting for. Cloning is as natural as reproduction, and should not be prohibited. Who is to judge that cloning is wrong, it depends entirely on an individual’s perspective. Some may find it wrong while others might approve of it. With the rise of individualism in the human society, choices should be left entirely to person.
7. The “Objectification” of Humans
If man could be grown in laboratories like some vegetable, it defeats the purpose of being born. The love, care and pain the mother goes through to give birth to a child personifies man. It is part of our identity as living organisms. The conception of man as an object that can be manufactured degrades this very individuality.
The child born through cloning isn’t unique. It is an image of its nuclear donor. It has no individuality. This child will always be perceived as piece of commodity can be manufactured again and again.
Humans have been blessed with intellect but the use of this intellect to create lesser humans is an abuse of this power. The question that we should ask ourselves is that, will these people be treated with the same respect and dignity in society. This objectification of man is the degradation of man by man himself and should not be tolerated.
6. Sanctuary to Many
What if the most intelligent man on earth married the most beautiful woman, their combined gene pool would be lush with excellent quality genes. Their children would have what everyone desires. They would be subject to envy by everyone. Now throw infertility into the mix. This complicates things because now since they cannot conceive they would have to adopt, what a waste.
What if human reproductive cloning could be developed to such extents that it would be safe to give birth to our own offspring? For people who cannot be treated by fertility treatments, reproductive cloning can show them a way where they can have their own children. For them, cloning is a true hero. It helps to protect them from many psychological tensions that they may face in case of adopted children. It helps them live a normal life like the rest of the society.
5. Sanctuary to Many II
Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres are Jack Twist (Brokeback Mountain) people who have something in common. Yes, they are famous and they are gay. Now being gay is not a crime. In fact, it is one of the boldest stands taken for love and compassion in the history of mankind. People who are gay love their partners in same way a straight couple loves and they would too like to have babies with their partners just like straight couples. Human cloning gives them a shot at this. Take Elton John for instance, he has ten grandchildren but no children. I bet that he would have loved to have children with his partner.
Cloning gives gay and lesbian couples a chance to live like normal families. They can give birth to babies who they can nourish and bring up without dreading a day when they have to explain the situation to them.
4. Unsafe Procedure
Dolly, the world’s most famous sheep was famous because it was a clone. It lived till the age of six and gave birth to five healthy lambs. It died because of lung cancer which is a quite common disease in sheep. Though it can be suggested that Dolly suffered death under quite common circumstances, some say otherwise. Dolly’s life expectancy was predicted to be 11 to 12 years but it died prematurely. It has been speculated that maybe the reason for this premature death was that Dolly had a genetic age of six years. As it is almost impossible and impractical to clone a new born baby, clones will always suffer from this anomaly.
Therefore, the development of clones can prove to be very destructive, resulting in the death of many clones, and if someone did not know better, he may brand this as murder. Technology hasn’t been developed to such extents that ensure successful conception of clones and maybe it should be given a rest until then.
3. Down a Dangerous Path
In popular culture, often movies and novels are based on dangerous genetic engineering methods. In the movie Hollow Man, the antagonist who befalls an accident and turns invisible, soon proves to be very hazardous. In the movie Soldier, staring Kurt Russell, a new breed of genetically engineered soldiers is introduced to replace the regular ones. These soldiers later turn rouge. So there is no measure of the amount of destruction dangerous genetic engineering methods can do. If human cloning is encouraged and eventually accepted, then who is to say that tomorrow newer technologies will not be supported which can lead to the similar scenarios as portrayed in the movies mentioned above. Reproductive cloning stands at the door of a very dangerous path which holds the potential to destroy, well, everything.
2. Athelas Leaves
In J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth writings, Athelas is a plant which has healing capabilities. It was used by the King to heal others and was like a wonder drug. In Hindu Mythology, in the Ramayana, Lord Hanuman rescued Lakshman, brother of Lord Ram, from fatal war wounds by bringing him the Sanjeevani Booti from the Himalayas. These citations confirm that man has always longed for a wonder drug or at least something close to it. Cloning is the closest man has ever got to it.
Cloning gives way to growing parts of the human body by using the hosts DNA. Such parts can then be used to replace the original ones which have lost their use now. Specific organs can be cloned and transplanted in place of the original organs. Many people die of organ failures or lose their eyes and limbs in fatal accidents or are born with some imperfections. These people can be treated using cloning can yet again live life as they ought to.
1. Man Playing God
Conflicts of ideas with religious sects and their beliefs is an age old phenomenon. Religious beliefs have always tried to draw lines around the mobility of ideas. Ideas on the other hand, have always tried to work around these lines. When the idea was that the earth revolves around the sun, churches reacted violently. Jesus was crucified because he had over ceded his role as a human being. History is full of such examples. Every revolutionary idea has to go through its share of endurance before being accepted.
After human cloning became general knowledge, several quotes of the Bible and the Quran have been cited and interpreted as anti-cloning, thereby drawing the same lines around the development of human cloning. The development of human cloning is like cracking the code to become God. Man can create life using cloning, engineer specific features to appear while make others disappear. Creation of life, which has been the privilege of the Gods, is now about to be brought down to laboratories and test tubes. Religious sects believe that this is a degradation of the power of God. Man was not supposed to do this.
Although rebuttals can be found to each of these arguments, these arguments stand at their respective places. After much debate and speculation around the world over the years, it is the general conception that cloning humans does more harm than good and therefore its study and development should be held captive, at least for now.