My Stand on Cloning

ONE test of the goodness and reasonableness of so-called "creators" is responsibility for what they could create: in this case, toward cloned embryos whose survival is limited by the therapeutic process. Goodness ought to see humans and their embryos as subjects, not mere objects for clinical tweaking.

Sisyphus raises many important questions, but is undercut by facile reasoning and muddled expression. A flagrant instance of the latter occurs in the second paragraph of the second column: Sisyphus asks three questions. The reader would naturally expect Sisyphus to answer all three in the next paragraph, but, no, Sisyphus talks instead about a trend towards a no and a yes and leaves the reader exasperated about the trend of Sisyphuss thought.

Worse, Sisyphus wrongly equates cloning with the production of the atom bomb. Whereas few quibble about toying with inanimate subatomic particles per se, it is clearly not the same with the tweaking of [e]arly embryos or [o]lder embryos. Sisyphus is correct when h/she says that those embryos feeling pain or not is irrelevant, but gives the wrong reasons. Though the thought of cloned Hitlers is nightmarish, people do not need to stretch their imagination much to think of a reason to be wary of cloning.

Embryos are produced from cells of human persons and, given more time (after 14 days), will grow into human persons in their own right. Like patients about to undergo open heart surgery, embryos deserve better than to be treated as genetically modified food (that is, to be plucked at will for a planned cell harvest). People should tread cautiously where fundamental human rights are concerned (no matter at what stage of life or pain threshold). If nerveless embryos are now being considered by a few unscrupulous doctors to yield tissues and organs for medical treatment, what is to prevent morally insensate governments of the future from digging out the eyes, lungs, heart, liver or kidneys of ordinary folks such as Sisyphus when they are deemed worth no more than prostheses? What legal safeguards can prevent an anaesthetized Sisyphus, for instance, from becoming a test case for genetic engineering? Those two questions should not be ignored.

Independent thought, when properly harnessed, can produce technologies that alleviate the world's problems without resorting to ethically questionable means.

In the 19th century, Malthus warned of an imminent scarcity of food because of trebling population growth. Technology has since so developed that the world's food supply is now in excess. Acc to the Institute for Food and Development Policy in California, "the world production of grain and many other foods is sufficient to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day."

I trust that human ingenuity would develop comparable technologies to cure more diseases without tinkering with human embryos.

A door; Actual size=180 pixels wide

Click to receive e-mail
when this page is updated
Powered by NetMind

Browse My Other Pages:

Back to Temple of the HS

The Holy Eucharist

A Reason to Cheer

My Personal Page

Millennium Journal 2