Sunday, July 31, 2016

Is Cloning Moral?

From guest blogger, Michael.

A case against the moral permissibility of cloning, when the clones face significantly reduced lifespans, can be made on the basis that procreation through natural means will create offspring with a longer lifespan, and thus a higher quality of life.  Both sides can agree that if cloning could be done in a way that did not significantly lower the lifespan of the clones, it would be morally permissible. 

Well, a study recently released recently shows that a new set of 13 sheep clones are doing just fine.  They have yet to show any signs of premature aging, and are all around in great physical health.  So, assuming that we can now expect to someday live in a world where we can create healthy clones of ourselves, is cloning morally permissible?

Personally, I think it is, but for the sake of this blog post I will provide an argument against it.  Humans have been brought into this world in the same fashion for countless generations.  A man and woman engaging in passionate intimacy to bring new life into the world has some kind of natural value to it.  Humans are the byproduct of love, and that is how it ought to be.  To change this would be to change too fundamental a part of humanity, and cloning does just that.  It takes the grace out of the conception and makes the creation of a person no more significant the manufacturing of material goods.

My opponent may bring up the point that test tube babies have been produced in a somewhat-similar fashion for many years now.  None of the people created through such means seem to live any less dignified kind of life. But the babies conceived in test tubes are still an intimate combination of two beings.  Being nothing more than an identical copy of your parent may make your life seem less significant in some way.  The clone does not have its own sense of self.  It just a second copy.

1 comment:

Alex Sorensen said...

Michael, I think you bring up some interesting points in your blog post about cloning. In your concluding paragraph you say that clones would be nothing more than an identical copy of the parent and therefore may feel like their life is somehow less significant because of this. What about the case of identical twins? One is basically an identical copy of the other, even though the copy occurred well before that in the cloning case. Should one of the clones feel any less significant because they are identical to another person? I know earlier you said that do think cloning is morally permissible, and so do I if it can be done where the clone doesn't experience any less of a valuable life, but I think it's an interesting topic to think about nonetheless. Thanks.