Cloning is a process that has been debated for decades, and all the arguments are now coming to a head. The thought of cloning has been around since the turn of the century, but was not given much publication until the genre of science fiction pursued it in novels, comics, magazines and television shows in the mid-1950’s. When Dolly, a sheep, was cloned, many people, including scientists, religious leaders, politicians, and common people, were held in fascination as the cloning process was explained to them on every major network television channel. People watched as the theory was put to use in certain stages of sheep and frogs being cloned. Many people also came to the realization that cloning is a scientific blight upon humanity, which should not be pursued any further.
Cloning will, for the most part, degrade the ethics and civility of humanity until the population is either: a) no longer recognizably human, or b) subjected to various forms of barbarianism including slavery, mass production of “spare” humans, and the coercement of the gene pool. Cloning, if stopped, will leave many resources free for other scientific pursuits that could better humanity, or raise the overall standard of living. The freed manpower could also be put to more useful scientific tasks, such as food manipulation, or ecology control. If the research of cloning is not stopped, the end result could well be a eugenics war, or the inevitable death of the most powerful species on the planet…humanity.
Large majorities of people still presume that cloning will better society, and that the level of technological improvement gained in the short term justifies the few “minor” adjustments that would accommodate the “new & improved” society. These same people propagate the use of cloning to harvest the extra bodies for needed body parts, as opposed to people donating parts, and having people who need the organs sign a waiting list. Another argument for cloning is that individuals with desirable characteristics could be cloned as substitutes; e.g., a strong man could be cloned for construction workers, a smart person could be cloned for scientific R&D, a man with musical ability could be cloned to help an orchestra.
None of the above-stated arguments are compelling enough to merit cloning as an ethical line of research. The flaws included within each pro-cloning statement are innumerable, but, due to space constraints, only a few will be mentioned.
Harvesting bodies for organs is one of the most primitive and savage ideas ever put forth by human society, especially considering that we are eclipsing the twenty-first century. To waste time and manpower on an obviously immoral cause is despicable. To create a human is to care for and nourish it until it is ready to face the world on it’s own. If a clone wants to donate an organ it is entirely up to the clone, not the creator. It is similar to becoming impregnated and then selling the baby to science for dissection.
Cloning people for various tasks originally relegated to the clonee is not unlike slavery in that the clone is given no consideration as to what it’s wants and desires are. As a society, people should fell ashamed to have put forth the proposition of creating slaves; how is a clone’s rights and privileges any different from the original person’s? Clones should not be considered to be of a lower standard than naturally conceived humans are.
Having, hopefully, successfully refuted the pro-cloning stance, it is time to support the reasons for stopping cloning research and implementation. To start, the topics of clone/original discrimination will be pursued, followed by the topic of eugenics.
When a clone is created, the world will gaze in wonder, as the marvel of technological science is an exact replica of a human being, down to the last strand of hair. When the planet is teeming with clones, the world will whimper in fear as they see “unoriginal” humans taking what precious resources we have left. This will, in all likelihood, lead to a new sort of discrimination, in which clones are the ostracized group, and humans are the “superiors.” It will be reminiscent of former times when Blacks and Indians were treated with contempt and suffered ridicule. This is all on the premise that there will be more humans than clones, of course. If the planet ends up with more clones than humans, well, we originals are out of luck. There’s no other possibility. Every human being has in their genes the desire to live, even if it means at the expense of others. This want will encompass both species until one is wiped from the face of the Earth, or is kept under such tight control as to be considered objects.
Eugenics is, in a nutshell, attempting to manipulate offspring by examining the genes of it’s parents. As an example, when a woman goes to the sperm bank for a donor, she is given the statistics of each donor’s abilities, including standardized intelligence, strength, mechanical comprehension, and what job they held when they donated. If a woman wants her child to be smart, she merely has to (hypothetically) choose a donor that is exceptionally intelligent, and hope that his DNA takes effect in the growing fetus. When applied to cloning, it is already known tat we can clone, and that we can splice DNA. It is a small step from those being individual sciences to using them in a combined effort to create a “super-human.” In effect, as it has already been hypothesized, many world leaders will probably create an entire race of identical super-humans in an attempt to better their armies and instill fear in the rest of humanity. A prophesized eugenics war could take place in the near future, maybe 10-50 years from now, in which no humans will be involved, except as prisoners or hostages.
To recap, cloning’s benefits by no means justify the grave risks associated by the pursuit of this science, as it will likely end humanity’s term of ruling this planet. Cloning does have a few good possibilities, like cloning individual organs for donation, and cloning food for the hungry, but cloning humans should be avoided like the plague. Would you feel comfortable knowing that, when you give a urine sample to the doctor, they could likely be giving the government the ability to clone you? How would cloning affect people’s personal morality? Likely, people’s epistemology would change from a deontological form to a consequential form. Would you wish this affliction upon humanity?