Cloning is “Playing God”
Recent advancements in science and technology have enabled humans to achieve much in research, medicine, computation and aviation. While most of the advances have been welcomed, given their effect in easing human life, some of these advances and current have left questions on whether humanity is going too far in its quest for scientific conquest. Cloning is one of the most controversial advances in science, research and technology, with most, especially those with religious inclining, harshly condemning research and the possibility of cloning humans (Tannert 238). The argument, and by far the truth, is that humans are playing god with such attempts, steps that are not only sacrilegious, but also incredulously demeaning to the very sanctity of human life.
Life, in its very nature, is sacred, and perhaps the most cherished of human possessions. The sanctity attached to life that makes the death penalty the harshest punishment for offenses within the society. So precious is life that its start is celebrated at birth, while its end a cause of sorrow and mourning. Humans have attached so much sanctity to life that in so doing religion, especially Christianity, gives hope of life after death.
Cloning, however, in all its glory, attempts to create new life, from part(s) of a donor, in essence creating a replica of the same individual (Pearson 658). By doing so, scientists hope to create individuals resembling the donor to the very last strand of their genes. As if stem cell research is not repulsive enough, creating individuals borders the very extremities of blasphemy, wherein humans try to play god by creating a life form from individual’s cells (Pearson 658; Tannert 238; Tierney n.p.).
While it is entirely understandable for humans to want to prolong life through medicine, the creation of new life forms from other cells borders insanity and tramples on the very natural course of life. It is natural for one to live, and after some time, cease to exist at his/her demise. Regardless of the pain it causes, death represents the natural course set for humans. In its intentions, cloning aims at giving humans the hope that it is indeed possible to escape this natural course of life, in essence, cheat death. The truth, however, is that it is entirely impossible to cheat death through cloning. By using a donor’s cells, scientists create a new being, and while this new being may have striking resemblance to the donor, it is a completely new being, without the memories, attachments, feelings, experiences, temperament, attitudes and even the compassion or character of the donor. Thus, although the loved ones of the donor may see their beloved in the clone, the clone will never be their loved one. Creating such a clone is only giving the false impression of the presence of their loved one. Additionally, it only provides an escape from the reality of the demise of their loved one. In essence, clones can never take the place of the donor, given the differences in environmental conditions that brought the two into existence, experiences that shape the character and interactions, all of which make a whole being.
More extreme for cloning, away from the process being morally wrong, is the physical risk present in the process of cloning. Pearson informs that cloning is not only disastrous at this point, but that it also presents the dangers of physical harm to the donor and the clone. Further, Pearson enthuses that cloning technology at this point is has not advanced to a point where it does not present advanced danger/unacceptable risk to the women, fetuses, clones, children, and new born (Pearson 658).
Further, the purpose of procreation is so that the two individuals involved in procreation have a progeny. In its true sense, procreation is a deliberate action by the individuals seeking the children. This thus drives to the process of natural procreation, and when natural impregnation is impossible, to ART clinics. Cloning on the other hand, serves only the egoistic and selfish desires of the donor, whose clones are generated (Pearson 658). Moreover, some donors’ desire is only in replicating a particular genotype, a process that is entirely unnatural in its totality. Natural procreation provides the template for the natural process of bringing to life, fetus or life into being. Cloning, conversely, violates this natural process, through the selection particular traits that individuals feel should exist in their replicas. The clone, therefore, does not get an equal chance of developing its character, abilities and even individuality, given that all these are preprogrammed during the cloning process.
Proponents of cloning consider it as an answer to genetic illnesses and the creation of superhumans (beings with the best of abilities and traits). Furthermore, other proponents see cloning as a means of fulfilling therapeutic function especially by creating body parts without the possibility of rejection: creation of a perfect match and solution to organ donation (Tannert 238). In its very basis, such an argument goes against the natural order of things. The fear of passing genetic illnesses is not reason enough to want to clone another human; a replica free of the genetic illness. Furthermore, the argument of creating superhumans robs the world of variety that the natural order of procreation provides. The desire to have geniuses, super-athletes or superattractive individuals, among other desirable human traits robs humanity of the beauty of variety, choice of what one wants to become as well as choice of developing other abilities. Moreover, allowing cloning on the therapeutic guise has the danger of starting a slippery slope and setting a bad precedence, while may eventually culminate into full-fledged cloning (Tannert 238).
Pearson, Yvette. “Never let me clone?: Countering an ethical argument against the reproductive cloning of humans.” EMBO Reports 7.7(2006): 657-660. Web. 10 October 2016
Tannert, Christof. “Thou shalt not clone.” EMBO Reports 7.3(2006): 238-240. Web. 10 October 2016
Tierney, John. “Are Scientists Playing God? It Depends on Your Religion.” The New York Times, 2007. Web. 10 October 2016