Professor Bryson Newhart
Cloning for medicine In the summer of 1995, the birth of two sheep changed genetic research and medicine forever, with seemingly endless possibilities in the medicines, and therapies that could result in the use of cloning and stem cell research. And although there are many breakthroughs that could come from this research however there is also a stigma surrounding this field that seems to scare the public in assuming this research is “evil” this of course comes from the mythical possibility of cloning humans or collecting genetic material from human fetuses. Human cloning, although highly unofficial, is possible, and there are thousands of uses for it, from the medical organ donation to science and art. We've all wondered how Julius Caesar or Alexander the great would fare in the modern world, and many would like to listen to more songs from Elvis Presley. But is it ethical? What stands against cloning are arguments of a quite passionate nature. They are based upon questions of morality, of theology, of scientific restraint, of political positioning, and of the nature of humanity. Of all the arguments against cloning, perhaps the most legitimate and directly applicable to those who are furthering the field, is the question of whether or not there should be a limit to the expansion of human knowledge. To this end, many groups have come forward to express concerns regarding whether or not cloning is tantamount to acting as God. In essence, what is being argued is whether or not we, as humans, have the right to study, modify, and create life, even with the purpose being to improve and extend that which is most precious to us. The argument to reduce or restrain the development of cloning research is one which significant elements of the scientific community publicly oppose. Consider the opinion of the International Academy of Humanists who sees the efforts to ban cloning as “the Luddite option”. Indeed, bans on scientific advancement are, in essence, artificial barriers to the advancement of human knowledge.
Ermer 2 The other, more frequent argument against cloning comes from the religions of the world. Yet, the counter to their argument is just as clear, in the majority of religious texts, God demonstrates his power by putting down the efforts to reach him (i.e. the Tower of Babel). In the case of human cloning, we have actually recreated life, we have unlocked the final code, which is at the heart of our very physical existence and we are still here to talk about it. Could it be then that the religious argument would only hold up if, somehow, we were to unlock the secrets of the soul, that which ascends to Heaven, rather than of the body which remains behind and simply houses the soul?
A fourth reason to consider cloning is the prevention and remedy of genetic diseases. Numerous genetic diseases and conditions that impair and even cause the death of those inflicted could benefit from cloning. Disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, degenerative joint disease, and cystic fibrosis are just a few problems that may be curable if cloning and its technology are not banned. By combining genetic engineering with cloning, the breakthroughs could allow scientist some insight on how to perfect...