When it comes to creating quite a stir and causing controversy, a few topics are as anger-inducing and polarizing as human cloning. At a certain point in time, it was considered as a profound achievement in biology, but this is no longer the case these days, as the number of its opponents are increasing, making such technology quickly becoming a heated topic in debates from all over the world.
The technology of cloning humans is already here, as evidenced by Dolly the sheep, but it called forth questions about the role of God in society, the soul and even the quality of life a cloned individual would have. In return, however, its advantages are also quite apparent. So, would it help society at large or is it ethically questionable? Let us take a look at the pros and cons of cloning humans to come up with a well-informed decision on our end.
List of Pros of Cloning Humans
1. It could eliminate defective genes.
Though genetic illnesses are not a leading killer of people as of yet, there is a huge possibility that it will become one in the future. As humans reproduce continually, there is also an increase in damage to their DNA lines, creating defective and mutated genes, which could be eliminated by cloning healthy human cells.
2. It is considered as the logical next step in reproductive technology.
Considering that identical twins are natural clones, we can regard reproductive cloning as the technological version of the process. When it comes to infertile couples, should not they be granted the opportunity to produce clones of themselves? For couples who have unfortunately lost their children, should not they be given the chance to replace their loved ones with clones, if possible? Moreover, those who have made significant contributions to science, the arts, music and literature would be ideally cloned to produce more of them to contribute more of their works.
3. It is an innovation that can change the world in a positive way.
Cloning humans is an innovative method that is an extremely powerful tool to bring about a huge change for the entire world. Not only that plants and animals can be revived with cloning, but also humans can be cloned to offer potential benefits to other people who are living.
4. It aids in faster recovery from traumatic injuries.
For people who became quadriplegic due to horrific traffic accidents and professional athletes who tore their ACLs, recovery time could be long or it is even impossible for them to get back to their original state. However, cloning their own cells can lower recovery time and true healing could occur.
5. It gives a new meaning to genetic modification.
By cloning humans, it will be possible for potential parents to actually choose particular traits for their children. This means that sex, eye color and other characteristics can be selected and not left up to chance. For many people, this is a huge advantage and a great way to use science in a new light.
6. It could eliminate infertility.
Though treatments for infertility these days are somehow successful, cloning can reached even greater heights, like being able to take cloned cells to create a younger twin of a father or a mother. This means infertile couples can experience happiness of having their own families without enduring painful procedures to treat infertility that are common today.
7. It can cure some disorders.
The technology can potentially help cure certain disorders, by replacing damaged tissues and organs within the human body. The process of transplanting human organs can become simpler, with an immensely improved success rate. Though the possible medical benefits of cloning humans are still not fully known, it is argued that such a technology can completely transform the ways by which many disorders are being performed.
List of Cons of Cloning Humans
1. It risks the possibility of faster aging.
As older cells are often used to create human clones, it is possible that their imprinted age could be adopted by the growing embryos, which can then create some premature aging issues and, potentially, even premature death.
2. It interferes with nature.
Many opponents of the technology feel that its process is artificial and interferes with nature, even believing that the natural process of procreation is not something that should be corrected or altered in a way. They said that this form of interference is decidedly wrong and can lead to a domino effect, which means that other attributes of life could be changed or altered negatively as a result. If genes are modified to create beings who are smarter than others, the average person will not have a place in society.
3. It can bring forth a reduced sense of individuality.
Though human clones would be a brand new set of life with unique preferences, a loss of individuality is still potential, as clones would be simply twins of someone else, regardless of the age of that other person might be.
4. It can cause a divide among people.
One big drawback to cloning humans is its ability to divide people, where clones who are not treated as human beings can lead to social unrest and divide. And since there is already a great deal of gap and difference in the world today, from race to social status, many people feel that human cloning can result to a new difference that will only cause more harm.
5. It might decrease the overall value of human life.
With human cloning on the rise, it is greatly possible that human beings would become more of a commodity than an individual. When parents do not like the children they have got, then they would just go clone another one in the hopes of getting it perfect the next time around. Also, it could create new societal division, where perfect clones would be treated in a different way than those who are naturally born.
6. It goes against religious ethics.
People who have strong religious beliefs generally oppose the process of cloning humans, as they feel that it would result in man becoming the creator, changing the authority of a supreme being. Since religion often comes into play with regards to this controversial matter, there emerge very passionate opinions that are not necessarily based on facts, but rather emotional. Whatever these opinions are based upon, religion is definitely a motivating factor that keeps many people from agreeing with such a technology.
7. It might be used for exploitation.
It is speculated that human cloning could eventually be used as a means to exploit people for other people’s vested interests. Though it might seem like a scenario straight from a sci-fi film that people might use clones for unlawful interests and crime, it is still possible if human cloning takes a common place in society.
8. It has seen a lot of failure.
Opponents of human cloning feel that is a mute debate, since the technology is primarily unsuccessful. In fact, over 90% of human cloning attempts have been labeled as “failure”, which means that the human DNA is only put at risk during the process. As you can see, human DNA can be contaminated, and the chances of success are very rare. Also, the implications of what happens when the process goes wrong are still not fully understood, which is not good and could lead to problems that we will not be able to handle.
9. It is just a completely wrong idea for the many.
Many people feel strongly the cloning humans is completely wrong, with the state of the technology at the moment possibly involving a huge number of damaged pregnancies to achieve a single live baby clone. Also, evidence suggests that clones often have built-in genetic defects and are unhealthy, which can lead to premature ageing and even death. They think that it would be completely wrong to bring children into the world knowing that they can be affected by these problems. With the dignity of human life and it genetic uniqueness at risk, people might be cloned unwillingly, leaving millions of cells around every day as they go about their normal lives shedding skin. There is no clear information on who will have control over who gets cloned, and firms are already making money from storing tissues from dead partners and children until the time when human cloning becomes widely available.
The science of cloning humans has continued to develop, and it is expected that it will not be long before it becomes a full reality. Do humans have a soul, which would be lost during the process? Is this a way for humanity to try to replace God? Coming to an agreement on this hot subject is not easy, but understanding it deeply can lead to some level of clarity. Taking a look at it from both sides and comparing its pros and cons can give us a different perspective. While the debate about cloning humans is ongoing, how do you feel about it?
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.