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Infinite Possibilities If Mirrors Face
The inevitability of human cloning is unavoidable. Although a majority
of individuals disapprove the idea of cloning humans, I firmly believe
that, not only will human cloning be widely practiced in the near future,
but it will also benefit the health and well-being of all humanity. Just
visualize for a second that you are one of the human clones that will
exist within this decade, and imagine putting up with all the arguments
that many opinion leaders are currently struggling to make illegal: that
cloning is a threat to human dignity and nobility, that it’s a slippery
slope, that it’s playing God, that everyone has an entitlement to a unique
and exclusive genome (except identical twins?) or to an unknown genome,
and so on and so on, etcetera, etcetera. Now how would this possibly
make you feel? Perhaps, and maybe in all probability, you would feel much
the same way as a black man would suffering from racial abuse, or even a
woman being a victim of sexual harassment. Fortunately, however, by the
time a human clone arrives at an age where he or she can be aware of what
is being interpreted, each and every one these arguments we hear today
will be forgotten. This is what happened to the moral panic that once
tempered over the prospect of transplanting a heart via one individual
to another; and to most of the opposition to in vitro fertilization,
which has not been heard from barely again after the 1978 birth of
Louise Brown, the first test tube baby (McGee 79). Public approval of
IVF in America has risen from 15% in the early seventies to over 70%
today (McGee 135). Although it did take more than 275 attempts before
researchers were able to obtain a successful sheep clone (Internet),
while cloning methods may improve, we should note that even standard
IVF techniques typically have a success rate of less than 20 percent
(Wachbroit B1). In the Book of Genesis in the Bible chapter 1, verse 28,
God says, “be fruitful and multiply; and fill the Earth.”!
Then he continues, “and master it.” Also to note, ?Though God’s
miraculous creation of Eve was far from cloning, it is interesting to
note in passing that God’s own Word says He used Adam’s rib-physical
bone and tissue – to create Eve (Auerbach).” This shows me that God
had to clone Adam to create Eve?s body structure, which could be argued
that biologists and embryologists are only following God?s footsteps,
and not playing God.
Over 90 percent of Americans oppose of human cloning (The Economist).
Human cloning is condemned by every major religious denomination in the
world (Wachbroit B1). The United Nations, the G-7, the World Health
Organization and other international bodies have all called for the ban
on human cloning (Walker 83). My advice to them?chill out! The fact of
the matter is, it doesn?t really matter one way or the other, except
to the parents who could not otherwise conceive, and to the children
that could not otherwise have been born. Human reproductive cloning
will never have an impact on society at large. Long before a large
enough number of clones have been born and reached adulthood to have
any potential effect on our society, much more exciting reproductive
technologies will be available. These will make it possible not only to
copy an existing genotype but also to design new genotypes to precise
specification. Parents will be able to select genes for their kids that
correlate with all sorts of desirable characteristics, such as health,
longevity, intelligence, athletic ability, beauty, and a pleasant
temperament (Ahlstrom). And long before any such genetically enhanced
children have reached an age where they can have a noticeable impact on
society, there will exist still more potent technologies, making even
this development insignificant. To concentrate on a different aspect on
the advantage human cloning, allow me to introduce to you the number one
natural assassin of the United States, heart disease. With human cloning,
scientists predict that in the near future they will be able to clone
healthy heart cells and inject them into damaged areas. According to ABC
News, cancer kills one in every four individuals in our country alone.
In a classroom of thirty-two students, eight students may possibly die
from this horrific illness. Many drugs were made to try to prevent this
deadly disease, but we are unable to find out how cells differentiate
into a specific kind of tissue, nor do they understand why cancerous
cells lose their differentiation (Internet). There are a plethora of
different diseases that await infinite freedom from human anatomical and
physiological atrophy such as leukemia, liver and kidney disease, Down?s
syndrome, cystic fibrosis, etc. These diseases are nearly impossible
to cure with the government’s ban and the absence of federal funding.
But with human cloning research, not only will illnesses be cured, but Lou
Gehrigs along with Parkinson?s will simply be considered as just?names.
On this view, it is not the case that technological development is
always progress and that all technology is good. For technology can
also be used for destructive purposes (oh yes), and the more powerful
the technology, the graver its abuse potential. Let?s take nanosystems
for example. Nanosystems are mechanical systems to guide the placement of
reactive molecules, building complex structures with atom-by-atom control
(Lewis 11657). Those who have thought through the consequences of the
anticipated ability to design and build nanosystems are rightly concerned
about the possibility of misuse of this technology, with potentially
deadly consequences. Small self-replicating molecular machines, mechanical
bacteria that could be made to feed on organic matter, may one day be
built. In the wrong hands, this technology would pose a threat to our
Earth?s biosphere and the survival of intelligent life.
And this ties in with our discussion of cloning. What concerns me about
the cloning uproar are two things. First of all, the response and the
unpreparedness of our society in dealing with this relatively trifling
technological development. In some countries there is even a risk that
legislators will respond by passing legislation that would outlaw not
only human reproductive cloning, but also research into therapeutic
cloning, although the two have little more in common than seven letters
(The Economist). If we cannot keep our heads level at the prospect that
some individuals may come to have a younger identical twin, then what
are our chances when the time comes to deal with technologies that pose
a threat to our species? existence? Will we manage to have informed,
constructive discussions, and responsible, timely decision-making?
Maybe, if we smarten up. But we better begin soon.
My second concern is that crying ?Wolf!? too often may cause people to
ignore the moral alarm the one time when the warning is actually real.
Imagine that in a couple of decades, an urgent need arises to pass some
globally binding regulation on some aspect of nanotechnology to prevent
human extinction. Will people put pillows over their heads and say,?
well, they forecasted the calamity in the cases of heart transplantation,
IVF, acid rain, recourse depletion, overpopulation, global warning,
genetically enhanced children, and many others on many occasions.
Nothing happened. So why do they expect me to pay attention this time??
So this is what I think about human cloning. It is just another tool that
will make it possible for some infertile couples to have the biological
child they could not otherwise have, enable some non-infertile parents
to better satisfy their reproductive preferences, and to cure our
world from all diseases imaginable. You can celebrate this progress,
if you so are inclined; or, you can simply accept it with a shrug.
But let us hope that it will somehow stimulate us to ascend to a level
where issues raised by our current rapid technological development can
be discussed in an informed and constructive manner, and where we can
begin to debate the options for our species? future in a more mature way.
The benefits of human cloning are plentiful and can revolutionize the
world. There are certainly risks in any new technology, but in this case,
benefits outweigh the risks. We should not close the doors that lead
to significant advances for our well-being. Better yet, let us join the
efforts of those who are working to make it happen. Cloning will not be
a downfall to human history, but rather a step closer to a better society.
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