The Ethics of Cloning: Your thoughts?

IMAGINE :stuck_out_tongue:

According to the New Scientist, there are many different types of cloning. There are also cloning technologies that can be used for other purposes other than the genetic reproduction of a “twin-like” organism. Reproductive cloning is a technology used to generate an animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another currently or previously existing animal. While DNA cloning technology is used for the transfer of a DNA fragment of interest from one organism to a self-replicating genetic element such as a bacterial plasmid, as an example. The issue that society is mostly centralizing in this subject would have to be reproductive cloning] such as the famous Dolly the sheep.

Even though there is also thereauputic cloning, which I am totally for since it will help to regenerate damaged cells such as the study of embryonic stem cell research which would help cure terminal illnesses of nearly tens of millions of people. Many researchers hope that one day stem cells can be used to serve as replacement cells to treat heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other diseases. Let us focus on reproductive cloning

What are its benefits?

The initial step in reproductive cloning is basically taking nucleus of an egg cell and replacing it whe the nucleus of a cell from an adult. The reconstructed cell the begins to divide. If the procedure is successful, the cell will divide several times to produce a pre-implantation embryo which is composed of 150+ cells.

Cloning might produce a greater understanding of the causes of miscarriages which might lead to a treatment to prevent spontaneous abortions. Also, better contraceptives can be manufactured, because cloning would also help us understand how condoms can only be 98-99% effective, and not 100%?

Cloning could also be used for parents who risk passing a defect to a child. A fertilized ovum could be cloned, and the duplicate tested for disease and disorder. If the clone was free from defects, then other would be as well.

Also, organs can be cloned so it can be limitless to humans who need them the most.

I would be a wonderful scientific advancement. Since I am totally for Embryonic Stem Cell Research, why not take it to the next level?

Any Thoughts on this issue? Moral/Social issues?

Regards,
Aquarian

In the past, attempts to introduce human ideas of effeciency and usefulness into the creation and maintenence of our population have been disasterous. This is not a statement of ethical value, but of risk.
As far as ethics are concerned, none of the reasons you cited for cloning are beneficial in any way benefit or impact the actual person being created by the cloning. There is a mistake involved in considering the benefits of cloning as something unrelated to the person the act affects the most- the clone. The idea that creating a new human being is justified if it is for the good of Society is already making a concession against the value of a human life.
I agree that the cloning of individual organs has great potential to help the sick or injured, but I see no problem in today’s society that would be fixed by endorsing a new way of creating people, and I see great potential for abuse.

Cloning is just another artificial means of conception, which includes things like IVF or test tube babies and even, arguably, surrogate motherhood, and even social engineering. There is no ethics in knowledge or technology, just as there in no inherent badness or goodness in a knife. Knowledge is a-ethical. It is the user and the use of it that is the issue. And people have been trying to manipulate babies for ages, eg the preferance for boys in some cultures. Perhaps what has changed is that it has become easier for bad people to do bad things (?)

I don't think we're talking about cloning as a body of knowledge, we're talking about cloning as an act.  Acts aren't a-ethical.

The making of a knife or a gun are acts too. These are a-ethical too. Knowledge too are acts - if you don’t think, dont investigate, dont carry out experiments and many other acts, there is no knowledge.

All depending on the context. Making a gun or knife while in prison may not be a-ethical. My point is, cloning is an action, and actions and occurances are what has ethical content. You can argue that the particular act of cloning has no ethical content if you want, but that requires a particular argument for that particular act. All I’m disagreeing with is your grouping of cloning as the type of thing which never has ethical content.

Knowledge is a thing, learning is an act- an act which may have ethical content depending on the context. Certain things may be morally good to learn about, certain things may be morally wrong to learn about.

When we look at selective breeding, we can deduce that this is a type of cloning. Gregor Mendel helped to establish the rules of genetics through his work selectively breeding plants in the 1800’s. Selective Breeding has worked well for engineering plants and some animals. As science advances, we can see differentiation between species by using the same genes, cells, etc. Who knows? It can also be used to save a species from extinction? I agree with you, for there is a great risk in cloning, but just like all scientific advancement processes, wouldn’t you think? There is always going to be failures until proven success is demonstrated.

I actually never thought about this before. Keep in mind, that I was only thinking about the societal benefits, and how it would benefit the rest of the world’s population when looking at it from a scientific perspective.

Yes, I am talking about cloning as an act. To get to knowledge there are acts that are required, but knowledge is a thing you accumulate in a learning process.

Cloning is an act:

From dictionary.com/

  Yes, this is a good point.  Cloning is risky, just like inventing the Nuclear Bomb was risky, and could lead to great evils.  That doesn't mean that inventing the nuclear bomb was itself an evil act.  I think a difference here, though, is that the act of cloning [i]itself[/i] involves creating a person, and if people have intrinsic value, the moral implications are a lot harder to seperate from the science.  In other words, you can create/research bombs all day without affecting any people, but you can't say that about cloning. In many ways, the research [i]is[/i] the moral act. 

[/quote]

The thing about nuclear bombs, is that scientists have categorized “testing nukes” as part of research, but nuclear bomb testing in the Galapagos Island has lead to the endangerment of the tortoise and the destruction of many tree habitats (I’m an environmentalist :slight_smile: )

I guess we would have to see what cloning offers? The results?

Right, but we have to examine the results in terms of the clone first and foremost, and society after the fact.

I am sure that if the definition of a life is viewed in an ethical manner, than yes, a clone would be considered an organism worthy of morally considering and capable of feeling/thinking. Then again, we must remember that these are propagates, or “extra” identical organisms.

I personally feel that it would be beneficial to research the cloning of body parts and organs. The more research that is put into cloning, the less the chances there will be of problems with manufactured cells. Not to mention, the effectiveness of having a cloned body part or organ is considerably more useful than cybornetic implantation.

I am however not in favor of cloning full human beings, because of one reason, and that is the possibility of abusing the power of cloning to the end of enslavement. If the military had this power, they would make clone armies of the best soldiers America had to offer. Companies could utilize this power to send clones to Mars in the distant future for the purpose of mineral mining and terraforming. The possibilities on making profits off clone labor workers is endless. It is to this extent that I find cloning immoral.

Like learning in biology about what can make a heart stop? There is nothing moral about this even in its learning. It is what you do with the learning: either to stop a heart to revive one.

Like drug abuse or prostitution, like it or not, think what we may whether it is ethical or not, cloning will happen; not if, but when. As long as there is demand there will be supply. And if not in the USA, then elsewhere, Russia or China or Korea.

We can stop all research or learning in the matter, and then when it happens, we are no wiser to deal with it. Thus we must continue research into it.

It is the use of this knowledge that is the issue. We can try to legislate against “unethical” usage, the line being defined, in the final analysis somewhat arbitrarily, perhaps in a vote, but that will not stop cloning from happening elsewhere in the world. You can get the UN to mandate a global ruling, but the UN is a very poor policeman.

So alternatively we can allow cloning as a means of reproduction, ie make it legal under certain conditions. I am not saying we are ready for that today, but it due time, when we have the necessary knowledge to do it with a fair amount of success.

Part of the uncertainty and the fear in such a notion is precisely the lack of knowledge. We are fearful of the freaks that may happen, which in the “best” case, detected early in the fetus. So shall we allow abortion or not. And if not or the parents choose not, what then the freaks? Are they human or not? Then what about psychological unseen abnormalities? For example we do not even know if homosexuality is genetic. So the cloning process may introduce unknown genetic variation and randomness that could not have happened naturally. There are yet many unknowns.

These are the fearful questions even to comtemplate, but I think there is no choice, we have to ask and answer them, and the wisest thing is not to curb or restrict knowledge but to increase knowledge. For the best way to fight someone with a sword is to arm yourself with a sword too.

Luckily, the scientific method many scientists utilize allows them to experiment before to see if this process would reach near perfection, or without clear error.It is the knowledge that scientists accumulate and how this knowledge would be used that worries me. We can use cloning as a method of understanding the human body, or have clones as a slave race.

Aquarian what if your slaves had a smile on their face more of the time than you, their normal human overseer. they laughed more, they wanted less and they clearly exhibited signs of unending human happiness.

honestly, if these people didnt break their backs working in any overly uncomfortable way, do you think you created a society of suffering? or an unimaginable utopia?

A thought along that of Futureman’s … suppose if we can genetically engineer a close-to-perfect human being would we not do it? Suppose we can identify all the bad genes - disease causing, or leading to personality or behavioural defects - either by direct genetic tinkering or by gene “cross pollination” in a petri dish, ie combining over and over again selected genes until you arrive at the perfect genes, the initial genes being from persons “ideal”, should we do it?

Or perhaps we do not even go there, and instead we have “genetic counselling services”, where you can get recommendations of who is your best genetic mate. You give a gene sample, and it will be completely sequenced, and then the database will search, possibly anywhere in the world, for the best matching genes. And there is already a private company doing this for cows, albeit just to maximise certain commercial triats in the cows. Conceivably that for humans is not too far away, if not here already. So again why not do it, since there are no ethical implications at all in such a thing, and it is completely “natural”.

So suppose we can breed away, as much as possible, the biological contributions to things like malice, aggression, greed, and instead increase that contributing to a disposition to peaceful resolution of conflicts, to cooperation, to kindness, etc, why not do it, since it is so difficult if not impossible to change behaviour by law, ideology or religion. Perhaps biology is the way to go. And herein lies the saviour and future of man?

ah the spine tingles, well written chan. i love that term “the future of man” its why i have this name. and your absolutely right, there are no apparent ethical problems with this.

the ONLY problem that we have seen so far is that religions say that “we are not to toil with those things which belong to god” well screw that cause i live half my life on a lightning machine and its not smiting anybody except people who disagree with me, and then only with words.

the only real problem we could ever run ito would be the creation of horrifying errors. on our way to perfection, i think its almost unavoidable that some humans will be born with some crap all wrong and their life will blow or end within minutes.

this is the way life is today, and probably more so. ill admit it would really suck to be that scientist that creates a kid with muscular distrophy, but besides feeling bad about it, god is not going to hold you accountable for something that even he fails to avoid.

what i do now is that there is something fundamentally different between me and saddam. i think the main thing to do to prevent future saddams would be to eliminate the unfairness of his young life, but it looks to me like some people are physically prone to anger, violence, and stubbornness. there is no way you can compare this to hating jews if we actually can verify what genes cause anger. so dont bring it up.

Speaking of cloned organisms…

[size=200]
First Custom-Cloned Pet Delivered
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Source:
cbsnews.com/stories/2004/12/ … 2689.shtml

hooray for disgusting, pathedic materialism.