Should human cloning be legalised?

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07 May 2024 10:48 #376735 by Grace Resilience
Helloo Temple!

I hope you're all well. In an attempt to give some activity to the forum that anyone can participate in I thought I would start a debate but with a twist...there are rules.

First of all, you do not get to pick a side, instead your side will be picked by your username.

If your username starts with a letter between A-M in the alphabet you are to argue for cloning and if your username starts between N-Z you are to argue against cloning.

The second rule is to have fun, do not take this super seriously. It is harmless and not that deep, really.

Lastly, the first rule is not a hard rule, if you do have genuine feelings about this topic either for or against you can argue that, but I think it might be fun to give yourself the challenge...

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07 May 2024 14:42 #376736 by Andreas Starlight
I would say that I am for cloning but with limitations. Taking someones stem cells and cloning a liver or a heart that would be a genetic match for that person could be greatly beneficial for human survival. Learning to help extend lives when they are needlessly lost due to waiting on transplant lists would be incredibly beneficial for the world, especially children who deserve to be able to live their lives to the fullest. One limitation on this would be things like no brains, no transplants for three packs a day kind of smokers, etc. People that abuse their bodies to the point of needing a transplant from the cloned organs should be placed at the back of the list. Someone who gets into a car accident and looses part of their lung should be able to have a new one grown for them and replaced. Someone who was a drunk driver and crashed and caused their own misfortune shouldn't necessarily have that option. 

The next limitation is on the line of potential consciousness of the cloned individual. I don't think that a full cloned individual should exist. There's no reason for it other than vanity. Once that person is cloned, the new clone is essentially a new person with their own wants and ambitions that will be dictated by the education they should receive. They won't be the same person as their genetic donor would be and wouldn't necessarily think in the same way as them due to not having the life experiences that shaped the personality of the donor. Cloning for organs by growing only the organ that is needed would be an essential part of society advancing, but cloning a full individual would not have any societal benefits that I can think of outside of a parent losing a child in a car accident or to an illness and then being able to clone that child and having a fresh start with them. That to me is the only ethical way to do this. 

Andreas Starlight

"Your focus determines your reality" - Master Qui Gon Jinn

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08 May 2024 15:42 #376747 by SMDremel
While I can understand the idea that cloning is useful and potentially beneficial, I cannot stand by its entire premise. As Andreas Starlight pointed out, cloned organs for transplant can be a great boon for the injured or those born with defects. But this should ultimately be the limit of cloning.

If we clone a whole human, we must examine what we have created, and determine if it is a moral and ethical choice to continue the process. We must define why a human must be cloned in the first place, and we must determine to what extent is this new being a person.

Why must we clone? Is it to return to life a loved one who has passed on? A terrible concept, as we must accept that death is a part of life, and clinging to the departed (whether in spirit or physically here) is an unhealthy thing to do. This would rob us of the essentially grieving we must do to let go of those who are no longer with us. Is it to grow a labor force or a military? This would be the equivalent of raising cattle for slaughter, and would cheapen the lives we create. It would also rob the clones of the choice of who they want to be, should they desire another path. Is it to create a receptacle of replacement parts for ourselves in the event of injury or disease? Then we are creating "savior siblings," which is already a hotly debated matter for families struggling with dangerously sick children.

We must also discuss the matter of personhood for an artificially created being. If we are cloning people, to what extent are they considered people? I purpose that if we clone, then we must also concede that we are creating individuals with the same rights and allowances we give to any other living sentient entity. If we clone, then we must accept that a clone is a person, and we would ultimately be responsible for what this new being would do and know. And from humanity's history, we have a terrible track record of this, as we have fought tooth and nail to find ways to say "I'm better than you because of my birth/wealth/faith/etc.", and this would simply be another way of people to say "I'm better than you because I wasn't a test tube baby." Until humankind can embrace the inherent living rights of others, we cannot allow cloning to happen.
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08 May 2024 16:55 #376748 by Andreas Starlight
Have you seen the movie Gattaca? If you haven't this very situation is presented in it. One brother was conceived naturally with no genetic altering while his brother was essentially a test tube baby where his genetics were altered to make him stronger, faster, better looking, etc. The whole movie shows this divide between the natural born individuals and the test tube babies. The test tube babies are given better jobs, better opportunities because they are deemed to be genetically superior, but Ethan Hawkes character shows them all that the natural born can be just as good as the test tube babies given the right opportunities. Its a great movie that deals with very controversial topics.

Andreas Starlight

"Your focus determines your reality" - Master Qui Gon Jinn

House of Br John
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08 May 2024 19:37 #376750 by Bhalu
I am creating my argument before reading any of the responses already given. Additionally, my argument has been crafted for fun... I have not thought about this too deeply, nor have I done my research beyond what I already know. Also, the views below may not constitute what I actually believe. 

As per my username, I am to argue for cloning. 

Cloning is a divisive topic because it inherently comes with a few ethical issues. Whenever you create life or destroy it, you will have people giving their opinions on the matter. See the debates surrounding abortion and medically assisted suicide. In my mind, there are 3 issues to discuss. 

First, there is the problem of fairness. Cloning will probably always be an expensive endeavor. Because of this, there will always be a class struggle between those who can clone and those who cannot. But, I find that we can look to precedence for this. Fertility treatments are prohibitively expensive, and on the whole people seem to be ok with it. Notwithstanding some backwards laws that prevent things like this in the United States. Recently, they were overturned. Public opinion seems to be ok with creating life in untraditional ways. But, on the flipside, this is usually done because we view human birth as a right, and not everybody has the ability to birth their own children. Cloning might serve a similar function, though. Imagine you are a parent, and your child dies at age 5. You have a DNA sample on file, and you can pay $500,000 to take that DNA and create an exact copy of the child you lost. If you are a parent, you will absolutely take your whole life savings to make that happen. Would it be the same child, though? Something to think about. But, in the end, cloning would allow creation of a new life to replace ones that had been lost. 

Supplementary to that, you can imagine geniuses could use cloning for the betterment of the world. This does bring up the problem of eugenics. Essentially, if there are visionaries that can truly change the world, why wouldn't we want more of them? What if we had 7 Albert Einsteins working on today's big physics problems? What if we had 7 Platos contemplating the universe and its meaning? What if we had 7 Martin Luther King Jr.s fighting for equity and justice around the world? But, then, cloning could become problematic for being a meritocracy. Normal people wouldn't be able to afford it, but the public would demand extra people who have a proven record of changing the world. Money is still the root of the issue here because it unbalances the scales. What if a genius happened to be poor and they couldn't access cloning? And, because of this, they could not make as big an impact as they wanted to? Think about having 30 of the greatest music teachers in the world made from one donor: they could educate 30-fold students. Then, those students could make a bigger impact on the rest of the music world. Maybe some of them would become great teachers and we'd start it over again.

A third and final piece of my brief argument regards the problem of patent and ownership. When people are cloned, are they owned by the companies that create the clones? I think it would be beneficial if humans created artificially were given full rights and citizenship for the country they into which they are born. If we can avoid the problem of ownership, though, and the problem of money... I highly doubt cloning would ever become widespread or lucrative. The only vision I can see is making cloning a human right through the governmental system. And, in that case, it would probably be limited to eugenics, familial loss, or for the greater good. 

There are true goods to come from cloning. We could save the world by creating new resources of knowledge and wisdom... we could also spare those who are spread too thin. Some people work themselves to death, and if they could divide and conquer with themselves, they could accomplish much more with less effort. Two brains are better than one, after all. And, if they're the same brain, they could collaborate using chaos theory (because their brains won't think of the same things at the same time) to come up with even better solutions. In fact, they could even expand their knowledge sets concurrently to see differing points of view. 

In any case, outside of this assignment, I'm not sure if there are practical ways for cloning to exist in a fair manner. But, fairness doesn't always create the best outcomes when considering the greater good. I can't perform a brain surgery, but I am glad there are people who put in the effort to do so. I'm glad that some parents can have IVF and get children. I would probably be happy for the parents who could replace their dead children and for the physics problem solved by two geniuses that led to a way to save the planet. Maybe it would be a net positive. 
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